Team PokerStars' Fintan Hand Crowned UKIPT Edinburgh Main Event Champion

Team PokerStars' Fintan Hand Crowned UKIPT Edinburgh Main Event Champion

The PokerStars UKIPT Edinburgh Main Event, running at Genting Casino Fountain Park, has reached its conclusion.

A total of 220 entries were made across three starting flights, which generated a prize pool of 211,200. Of those, 33 players made it through to Day 2 to lock up the 1,720 min-cash. By the end of a relatively short Day 2, six players were left in contention for the title.

Having turned professional during the COVID-19 pandemic after a short career in recruitment, and having briefly worked as a dealer in this very casino, Daniel Gormley went into the Final Day with a massive chip lead over his nearest rival.

Despite taking the occassional blow to his stack, Gormley finished in second place after an intense heads-up battle with Fintan Hand. It was Gormley's birthday today, and although he couldn't quite lock up the top spot, he takes home a fantastic present in 27,580 for second place.

Hand came back for the final day with significant less chips than his rival. Still, after busting Stephen Mckay, doubling up through Andrew Mckenzie and eliminating both Nohad Teliani and Mackenzie, he entered the heads-up match with a huge chip advantage over Gormley.

That's not to say the heads-up match went without drama. Gormley picked up an early double and chips moved back and forth before Fintan finally pulled away and delivered the final blow, his pocket eights holding against Gormley's ace four to give him the pot, the tournament and the trophy.

"Its nice whether it's for 500, 5,000, or 44,000," said Fintan. And that's my biggest score ever. I've not played a lot of live poker. So to win a tournament and beat my best score is fantastic. And the trophy is bloody beautiful. It's lovely," added Fintan.

UKIPT Edinburgh Main Event Final Table Results

1Fintan HandIreland44,200
2Daniel GormleyScotland27,580
3Andrew MackenzieScotland19,810
4Nohad TelianiCanada15,240
5Stephen MckayScotland11,680
6Benjamin SpraggUnited Kingdom9,100
7Gajathan KamalanathanUnited Kingdom7,570
8Marius VaranaviciusLithuani6,300
9Chun Jun BeumSouth Korea5,460

Lucky (and Not So Lucky) Charms

Poker players aren't exactly known for being a superstitious bunch. There's too much math for that. Yet many will use lucky charms and unusual items as card protectors or as ornaments on top of their chip stacks.

Both Benjamin Spragg and Hand had lucky charms with them for the final day of the Main Event, with wildly different outcomes.

Felix Schneiders lent Spraggy his Baby Yoda figurine. Spraggy wasn't too sure, but kept it with him anyway. After busting in sixth place, he could later be heard saying that he intends to "melt it down and destroy it" - the charm clearly not having the desired effect.

Fintan, on the other hand, had bought himself some lucky heather in a vessel after visiting Edinburgh Castle earlier in the day, a traditional Scottish charm. The flower used to be rare and so, like the four-leaf clover, finding it was associated with luck. Hand kept it with him as he navigated the final table and eventually came out on top.

"I got sold this for five pounds and I asked all the Scottish people (what it was)," said Hand. "No one knew except for Phil (the tournament director). And let me tell you, as soon as he told me what it was all the cards are coming."

I paid five quid for it and Ill sell it for a grand, he added.

Whether or not the lucky heather really came into play, Fintan Hand is the new UKIPT champion. He walked away with 44,200 and the PokerStars trophy.

Final Day's Action

The final day started with only six players in the hunt for the UKIPT Edinburgh Main Event title, and two were flying the PokerStars flag: Spragg and Hand.

Spragg, who won the UKIPT Brighton Main Event in September, bowed out in sixth when his short-stacked three-bet shove with pocket fours lost to the five-four of Gormley.

Stephen Mckay crashed out in fifth when the last of his chips went into the middle with ace-ten only to find himself in a dominated position against the ace-king of Hand. A king on the flop left Mckay drawing thin, with a six on the turn leaving him drawing dead.

Fourth place went to Nohad Teliani. Hand moved all-in into two shorter stack, and Teliani called to put her tournament life on the line. Telani's ace-queen was in great shape against hand's queen-seven, but a seven on the turn saw the Team PokerStars pro take down the pot and eliminate another foe.

The UKIPT Edinburgh Main Event progressed to the heads-up stage after Andrew Mackenzie fell after a clash with Hand did not go to plan. Hand jammed from the big blind with nine-seven, and Mackenzie called with ace-six. Hand flopped two pair and turned a boat, with an ace on the river rubbing salt into Mackenzie's wounds.

Hand eventually whittled Gormley's stack down to a shade over ten big blinds, and Gormley put those on the line with ace-four of hearts. Hand looked him up with pocket eights. A four on the flop improved Gormley but kept Hand in the lead. The queen on the turn was a brick, as was a six on the river. Gormley busted in second place, leaving Hand to become the 2023 PokerStars UKIPT Edinburgh Main Event champion.

That concludes the PokerNews coverage of PokerStars UKIPT Edinburgh Main Event.


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