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Kevin Simpson Wins 2015 WPT National Newcastle Main Event (£24,000)

They think it’s all over, it is now! Kevin Simpson has emerged as a worthy champion in the 2015 WPT National Newcastle Main Event and collects the £24,000 first place prize, a pair of Monster headphones, the coveted trophy and entries to all three flights of the upcoming London Aspers Accumulator event.

Simpson came into the final table the shortest of nine stacks, but bided his time, picked his spots to gamble well and fully deserves his victory.

The talented Marc Foggin was the first player to bust and he was followed to the rail by Syed Meah and the last-standing partypoker qualifier David Knight.

When play was six-handed, it looked like Ben Jenkins was going to take control, but he lost a couple of major hands and bust in sixth place and was followed to the rail soon after by Brett Andrews.

Four-handed player lasted a couple of hours and ended with the exit of Gary Miller, whose exit sparked a three-handed battle that lasted close to three hours.

Tin Sung Tang fell in third place, leaving Stephen Fung — who is affectionately known simply as “Chicken” — and Simpson to lock horns heads up.

Simpson soared into a 5-to-1 chip lead before a couple of lucky hands went Fung’s way, although Simpson was still in control.

The final hand of the 2015 WPT National Newcastle Main Event took place as the clocks displayed 00:53 on Monday morning and saw all the chips go into the middle of the felt with Fung holding and Simpson the . The dealer spread the board, Fung bust and Simpson looked to the heavens with a smile stretching from ear-to-ear and will no doubt be celebrating his superb victory with a few drinks with his friends who have railed him all night.

Place Player Prize
1 Kevin Simpson £24,000
2 Stephen Fung £16,500
3 Tin Sung Tang £10,500
4 Gary Miller £7,800
5 Brett Andrews £5,900
6 Ben Jenkins £4,900
7 David Knight £4,000
8 Syed Meah £3,150
9 Marc Foggin £2,400

Stephen “Chicken” Fung Eliminated in Second Place (£16,500)

A brief, but intense, raising war broke out preflop that resulted in Kevin Simpson moving all-in and being called by Stephen Fung.

Fung flipped over and was in bad shape against Simpson’s . The flop kept Simpson’s hand best. One of Simpson’s rail asked to use his “one time” while an other pleaded for an ace. The turn was not an ace, but it was as good as one as was the river that bust Fung and left Kevin Simpson to be crowned the WPT National Newcastle champion.

Fung Doubles

Kevin Simpson had been getting the best of the heads up encounter and did hold a 5-to-1 chip lead, but Stephen “Chicken” Fung has just doubled.

Simpson limped for 80,000 and snap-called when Fung moved all-in for 1,080,000. It was for Simpson and , the latter improving to a pair on the turn of the board.

Tin Sung Tang Eliminated in Third Place (£10,500)

Heads-up is set after a lengthy three-handed battle and it is Tin Sung Tang who is the penultimate elimination. Kevin Simpson raised, Tang three-bet all-in and Simpson tossed in calling chips.

Simpson showed and was flipping versus Tang’s . The five community cards fell , busting Tang and sending the tournament to the heads-up stage.

Lucky River Saves Chicken From Being Plucked


Stephen “Chicken” Fung has just spiked a lucky river to keep the tournament three handed. He was al-in with versus Kevin Simpson’s [Kx][Qx]. The eights stayed ahead on the flop, but fell behind on the turn. The dealer burned a card before placing the on the much to the dismay of Simpson and the delight of Fung.

Still Three-Handed

Play is still three handed here and shows no real sign of entering the heads-up stages yet. Kevin Simpson is our chip leader and seems to be doing all he can to put this tournament to bed.

Gary Miller Eliminated in Fourth Place (£7,800)


Local player Gary Miller has bust after running into a monster hand. Miller bett all three streets of a board, jamming in on the river. Sadly for Miller, Tin Sung Tang had turned a full house with , won the sizeable pot and is now the tournament’s chip leader with only three players remaining.

A Slow Grind

Things have dramatically slowed down since we lost Brett Andrews. The four remaining players seem to be enjoying themselves and are laughing and joking among each other, but that seems to have resulted in no flops being seen.

Brett Andrews Eliminated in Fifth Place (£5,900)

Brett Andrews has busted at the hands of Stephen Fung, much to the delight of Fung’s army of supporters on the rail.

Andrews was all-in for around 700,000 with and Fung looked him up with the dominated . Fung’s hand only remained second best up to the flop. Fung stayed ahead on the turn and river, sending the rail into raptures, with many shouting at the tops of their voices “CHICKEN!” which is apparently what Mr Fung is affectionately known as.

Ben Jenkins Eliminated in Sixth Place (£4,900)

Ben Jenkins is our sixth place finisher and collects £4,900. Jenkins lost a massive portion of his stack with [Qx][Qx] versus the [Ax][Kx] of Tin Sung Tang and never fully recovered.

Jenkins’ final hand saw him push all-in for around 600,000 (blinds 20,000/40000/5,000a) with and Kevin Simpson call with the . Simpson flopped a flush draw on the board and got there on the turn. The inconsequential completed the board and Jenkins is no more.

David Knight Eliminated in Seventh Place (£4,000)


partypoker qualifier David Knight has been sent to the rail after a clash with Kevin Simpson didn’t exactly go to plan. Knight open-shoved from the cutoff with , Simpson re-raised all-in with and when the blinds folded, the dealer spread the community cards and with that Knight was gone.

Syed Meah Eliminated in Eighth Place (£3,150)


While we were writing up the Ben Jenkins hand below, Syed Meah busted in eighth place. We’ll try to find out exactly how and report back.

Jenkins Shoves On Andrews

Ben Jenkins raised from under the gun and only Brett Andrews, in the big blind, called. The draw heavy flop saw Andrews check, Jenkins check-raise to 152,000 and Jenkins put in a raise of his own, an all-in bet of 666,000.

Andrews went into the tank for almost aa minute but couldn’t find a call and he sent his cards into the muck.

Marc Foggin Eliminated in Ninth Place (£2,400)

Stephen Fung raised to 75,000 preflop from early position with what turned out to be and the action folded to Marc Foggin in late position. Foggin moved all-on for around 400,000 chips with and was called.

Foggin’s hand stayed the best on the flop, on the turn, but was crushed on the river.

Brett Andrews Leads Going Into the Final Table


Seat Player Chips
1 Tin Sung Tang 871,000
2 Stephen Fung 1,068,000
3 Syed Meah 754,000
4 Gary Miller 603,000
5 Brett Andrews 1,566,000
6 Ben Jenkins 816,000
7 David Knight 761,000
8 Marc Foggin 499,000
9 Kevin Simpson 445,000

Cosgrove Busts; Final Table Set


Robert Cosgrove is our final table bubble boy, busting in 10th place at the hands of Marc Foggin.

Cosgrove jammed 10 big blinds into the middle from the small blind holding and Foggin called with . The ] flop failed to alter anything, although the turn gave Cosgrove outs to a straight. Those outs failed to appear on the river and we’re now down to nine in the Main Event.

Shepherd Sent Out to Pasture

A cruel river has claimed the tournament life of John Shepherd. Stephen Fung opened in late position and then called when Shepherd three-bet all-in from the blinds. Shepherd turned over , which remained the best hand until the river of the board, at which point Fung’s came from behind to win.

Sassi Stacked

James Sassi has busted from the tournament, losing with to the of Brett Andrews. The chips went in preflop and when the dealer fanned the board, Sassi handed over his stack.

Simpson Pays Off Shepherd

Kevin Simpson opened the betting with a raise to 40,000 with and the action passed to John Shepherd in late position. Shepherd paused for a moment before moving all-in for around 200,000 with . Shepherd tanked for close to a minute before calling and then handing over a chunk of his stack as the board ran out .

Maddison Mauled

John Maddison is gone after two big pots in quick succession went against him. First, he lost with versus the of Gary Miller then got his chips in with versus the [Ks[ of David Knight to see his tournament end prematurely.

Knight Gets There Versus Sassi

David Knight is back in business after coming from behind to beat James Sassi in a battle of the blinds. Knight was all-in with and Sassi looked him up with . Knight spiked a king on the flop of the and doubled through Sassi.

Dunwoodie Done and Dusted

We’ve lost Thomas Dunwoodie in 14th place and the final table is rapidly approaching. Dunwoodie was left with 50,000 after losing with ace-king versus the queens of Stephen Fung just before the break and it appears he’s lost those judging by the fact he’s headed for the rail to chat with his friends.

Costa Crashes Out

The tournament is now an all-male affair following the exit of Elizabeth Costa. She never recovered fully after having her aces cracked and got the rest of her stack in with [Jx][9x] and losing out to the [Ax][Kx] of Syed Meah. Neither player improved by the river, but Meah didn’t need to and Costa exits in 15th place.

Jenkins Busts Agnew

Ben Jenkins is on a heater right now and that’s bad news for anyone who has to face him, just ask Peter Agnew. On a board, Agnew checked, Jenkins bet enough to set his opponent all-in and Agnew called, turning over ] as he did so. Jenkins showed the superior and when the river came the , Agnew crashed out.

Costa Has Aces Cracked

Aces are no good over on Table 1. First, Chris Filus busted with them to Ben Jenkins and now Elizabeth Costa has had her stack cut in half while holding “bullets.”

Kevin Simpson opened to 39,000 from under the gun and Peter Agnew raised all-in from a couple of seats over for 160,000 in total. Costa re-jammed from the button for 360,000 and Simpson mucked.

Costa revealed the and was up against . The door card was the , followed by the .

“New dealer please,” joked Costa as she handed over 160,000 of her stack.

Holmes Sent Home

Carl Holmes is the latest casualty here in Newcastle, running his into the of Robert Cosgrove. Holmes caught a queen on the turn of the board but it was too little too late and he heads for the exits.

Jenkins Cracks Filus’ Aces to Bust Him

Late on Day 2, Chris Filus bluffed Bluffed Ben Jenkins off a big pot, but the latter has exacted his revenge today. The chips went flying into the middle, Filus holding [Ax][Ax] and Jenkins the . Jenkins was a massive underdog, but the flop changed that. The turn was no help to Filus, and neither was the river. Game over.

Herbertson Heads Home

Paul Herbertson has been all-in today more times than I’ve had hot dinners, but his luck has run out after a clash with John Maddison.

The chips went all in preflop, Maddison holding and Herbertson the . By the river the boar read and Herbertson is heading home.

Gary Copeland Crashes Out

Brett Andrews opened the betting from late position, Gary Copeland three-bet all-in for around 130,000 and Marc Foggin four-bet all-in. Andrews mucked, Copeland showed and Foggin the powerhouse hand that is .

Those kings remained true on the flop and on the turn and the river. We’re now down to 19 players in the 2015 WPT National Newcastle Main Event.

Watson Busts!

A couple of hands after doubling up, Watson lost a large pot to Paul Herbertson when his couldn’t hold against the . Herbertson then finished him off with versus with the final board reading .

David Watson Doubles with Kings

The chips continue to fly into the middle of the felt and show no signs of slowing down. The latest big pot saw Robert Cosgrove open from under the gun, Paul Herbertson three-bet all-in from the hijack and David Watson call the all-in. Cosgrove folded, claiming to have had [Ax][Jx] and watched on as the of Herbertson go to battle with the of Watson.

The five community cards ran and Watson doubled his stack.

Birchnall’s Run Comes to an End

Hazel Birchnall, who finished third in this event last year, has bust. She moved here tiny stack into the middle from the cutoff, Carl Holmes called in the small blind and then folded when Paul Herbertson squeezed all-in.

Herbertson flipped over and Birchnall the .

“Spades!” pleaded Birchnall and got her wish on the ] flop. However, the turn missed Birchnall, as did the river and Birchnall heads for the exits.

Knight Rising

David Knight has doubled through Robert Cosgrove after a coinflip for his tournament life went his way. Knight got his stack in with and Cosgrove held the . The flop hit both players, but Knight the hardest. The turn gave Cosgrove more outs, but the river improved Knight, much to his delight.

Another One Bites the Dust

Gary Langley has busted from the Main Event at the hands of James Sassi. Langley open-shoved with and Sassi looked him up with the dominating . The flop gave Langley outs to an open-ended straight draw but when the landed on the turn and the on the river, Langley’s tournament came to an abrupt end.

Man Down!

We’ve had our first casualty of the day. Micro-stacked Simon Baker open-shoved with and Robert Cosgrove woke up with [QsQd]. A few seconds later, the board was in view and Baker was gone.

Brett Andrews leads the final 24 at WPT National Newcastle

Welcome back to the coverage of the 2015 WPT National Newcastle Main Event where only 24 players remain in contention for the £24,000 first place prize.

The best placed of those 24 returnees is Brett Andrews thanks to him holding 739,000 chips. Andrews is already guaranteed the largest cash of his live career and will be hopeful of his first live victory.

There’s a good mix of amateur and experience among the final 24 players, which should make for a very interesting day to say the least. Play resumes at 15:00 and continues until a champion is crowned.

Average stack at the start of play is 308,333 and there are 5:41 minutes remaining of the 5,000/10,000/500a level. You can find the seat draw below:

Table Seat Player Chips
1 1 Gary Miller 331,000
1 2 Syed Meah 444,000
1 3 Tin Sung Tang 672,000
1 4 Kevin Simpson 188,000
1 5 David Watson 208,000
1 6 Chris Filus 505,000
1 7 Benjamin Jenkins 575,000
1 8 John Shepherd 44,000


Table Seat Player Chips
2 1 Elizabeth Costa 451,000
2 2 Marc Foggin 624,000
2 3 Thomas Dunwoodie 513,000
2 4 Gary Langley 65,000
2 5 James Sassi 267,000
2 6 Peter Agnew 339,000
2 7 Brett Andrews 739,000
2 8 Gary Copeland 158,000


Table Seat Player Chips
3 1 Paul Herbertson 133,000
3 2 David Knight 73,000
3 3 Simon Baker 30,000
3 4 John Maddison 207,000
3 5 Hazel Birchnall 86,000
3 6 Steven Fung 329,000
3 7 Robert Cosgrove 191,000
3 8 Carl Holmes 238,000

Bubble Bursts

The gentleman with five big blinds is now busted and earns the title of bubble boy, a title that nobody wants. He was all-in versus the [Kx][Qx] of Ben Jenkins, who turned a king to put the remaining 27 players into the money.

Hand For Hand

We’ve lost two players in quick succession, the last one versus a king on the flop cracked the queens and we’re now down to 28 players.

One gentleman has a mere five big blinds in his stack, which will the other players more risk averse.

Cagey Play

With 30 players remaining we are ever-so-close to the money bubble. Play has slowed down dramatically with players taking longer than usual to make their decisions. The average stack is now 26 big blinds so there’s lots of play left, but there are a few stacks who need to be looking over their shoulders.

We’ll be playing to 24 players tonight according to the tournament diirector.

Money Bubble Approaching

With only 33 players remaining the money bubble is rapidly approaching. Twenty-seven of those 33 will receive prize money; who will be the unfortunate bubble boy or girl?

Newcastle Great Rob Lee Speaks to the partypoker Blog

Former Newcastle United and England football star, Rob Lee, paid us a visit here at Apsers Newcastle and we had the chance to sit down with him and pick his brains on football, boxing and more. Check out this article for the full interview.

Maudlin Mauled

David Maudlin may have more than $222,000 in live tournament winnings, but he won’t be increasing that sum in the 2015 WPT National Newcastle Main Event judging b the fact we’ve just seen him hightailing it out of here, belongings in tow.

Forty-four players remain and only 27 of those will walk away with money to show for their effort.

Could Birchnall Reach Back-to-Back Final Tables?

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When the World Poker Tour National tour last stopped off in Newcastle in 2014, Hazel Birchnall navigated her way through to the nine-handed final table. Once there, Birchnall climbed the payout ladder, eventually busting in third place for a career-best score of £7,875.

Birchnall is still in the mix here in the 2015 edition of the £100,000 guaranteed event and has a stack of 169,000, which is enough to put here slightly above the average stack size. On top of her stack is a plastic duck, perhaps a its a lucky ducky and it can help her improve on her impressive performance of last year.

She’s not got the easiest of table draws as she’s having to contend with the start-of-the-day chip leader David Knight (171,000 chips) and the talented Geordie Ben Jenkins (140,000) although she has position on them both.

Life Through a Lens







Rob Lee is in the House

Rob Lee, the former Newcastle United midfielders, has joined us here at Apsers Newcastle to rapturous applause. Lee made 703 first team appearances during his career, 303 of those being for Newcastle United who he scored 44 goals for.

Lee is currently in the partypoker lounge where he will play a fussball tournament, sign autographs and play in a poker freeroll. If you’re near the casino, come in and say hi to one of the “The Magpies” most memorable players.

Simpson Stacked

Former Irish Open champion Ian Simpson is no longer competing for this title having busted a few moments ago.

“No good,” said Simpson as he walked past the media desk and towards the exits of Aspers Newcastle casino.

Yates Busts Nelson and Chattha Sends Wilson Home

Brian Nelson has the afternoon to himself now that he’s crashed out of the Main Event. Nelson was all-in with and Derek Yates called with the dominating . The five community cards fell and Nelson crashed out.

Charles Chattha has added Andrew Wilson’s chips to his stack after his held versus [5x] with the chips going in on a queen-high flop. One hundred and six players remain.

What Do Points Make?

We have received the prize pool information for the £100,000 Main Event. Twenty-seven places are paid, a min-cash being worth £700, a final table appearance worth £2,400 and the eventual champion walking away with a cool £24,000!

Place Prize
1st £24,000
2nd £16,500
3rd £10,500
4th £7,800
5th £5,900
6th £4,900
7th £4,000
8th £3,150
9th £2,400
10-12th £1,700
13-15th £1,400
16-18th £1,200
19-21st £1,050
22-24th £900
25-27th £700

Gembicka Takes on Jenkins


Ben Jenkins opened from the cutoff to 2,500 and Rozalia Gembicka called from the small blind. The big blind was dead because Paul Woloszyn is yet to arrive at the casino.

The flop fell , Gembicka fired a bet of 4,000 and Jenkins pondered his options for a few minutes before settling on a fold.

At the opposite side of the room, Chrles Chattha opened to 3,000 from under the gun and was called by Stephen Graham in the big blind. Graham checked and then folded to Chattha’s 3,000 continuation bet on a ] flop before showing [Qx][Jx].

Jun and Dusted

Well that was short and sweet for Jun Lau as he’s busted during the opening moments of the day. To be fair, he only had 2,100 chips in his stack so it was going to be a long shot for him to progress further.

Knight Leads Going Into Day 2

David Knight is the man to catch going into Day 2 of the 2015 WPT National Newcastle Main Event here at Aspers. Knight played all three flights bagging up 102,200 then 9,200 and finally 110,900 for a combined 222,300 chips.

Knight’s nearest rival is Thomas Dunwoodie on 161,150 followed by Gary Copeland (152,800) and Davide Costa on 145,400. Costa will be particularly pleased thanks to having only fired one bullet at this £100,000 guaranteed event.

The average stack is 60,655 and blinds start at 600/1,200/200a.

Anyone busting today can sign up to play in a sit ‘n’ go tournament with former Newcastle United player Rob Lee. The former England start will also be playing in a fussball tournament at around 17:00 in the partypoker lounge.

Here are the top 10 chip counts at the start of play.

Place Player Chips
1 David Knight 222,300
2 Thomas Dunwoodie 161,150
3 Gary Copeland 152,800
4 Davide Costa 145,400
5 Tin Sung Tang 143,400
6 David Maudlin 141,500
7 Robert Cosgrove 132,700
8 Paul Johnstone 129,600
9 Gary Miller 129,200
10 Luke Fern 126,400

O’Callaghan Boks Himself

Dan O’Callahan’s tournament has come to an abrupt end after losing a coinflip for his tournament life.

O’Callaghan open-shoved for 8,400 at the 300/600/75a level with what turned out to be [6x][6x]. The player on the button asked for a count before calling, both blinds folded and the button showed [Ax][Kx].

“Flip flip flip,” said O’Callaghan before standing from his seat.

The dealer spread a queen-high flop and O’Callaghan said “nice hand” only for the turn to bring a king into play.

“I bokked myself by saying nice hand,” said O’Callaghan as he started collecting his belongings. The river was not a six and O’Callaghan is heading for the exits.

Simpson’s Superhero Impression Ends Badly

Ian Simpson has busted his third bullet after making a hero call and getting it wrong.

Dan O’Callaghan informed us that Simpson “donned a Superman cape” implying Simpson made a hero call after betting the river. It appears there was some Kryptonite at the felt because Simpson has been eradicated, although he’ll be back for Day 2 on Saturday afternoon.

Where Are You?

With 45-minutes until the end of late registration, the tournament looks set to overlay by some £15,000. Why not head into the “toon” and come try becoming the next WPT National champion?

Collinson Chipping Up

Earlier today, we gave away a £200 seat to the WPT National Newcastle Main Event on our Twitter account — do you follow us? — and it was won by Derek Collinson. The 20,000 tournament chips he received may be lucky ones because he’s now up to 27,800 after the first couple of levels.

Table of Doom Seems Rather Friendly

If you have ever read any poker tournament reports you will no doubt have seen a table referred to as the “Table of Doom.” It is a term used to describe a table that has more than its fair share of talented players or pros, much like Table 1 here.

In the far corner of the room, is a table that is home to Irish Open champion Ian Simpson, Dan O’Callaghan and Charles “Chaz” Chattha. You’d expect things to be pretty serious with three top players all vying for the position of table captain, but you’d be wrong because it is probably the most light-hearted table in the room, with all three (and their table mates) laughing and joking and playing the game in the spirit that it is intended.

O’Callaghan seems to be faring the best so far and has 29,300. A chunk of those chips came from the two small pots he won from Chattha who has 21,300 in his stack. Simpson is bringing up the rear with 15,700.

Costa Claims Overall Chip Lead

Davide Costa ended Flight 2 with a stack of 145,400 and is now our overall chip leader. Flight 3 is under way with 103 players in their seats. Come on down to Aspers Newcastle before 22:00 and you can buy in, huge overlay of more than £37,000 for you to sink your teeth into.

Big Overlay Is On The Cards

With registration closed on Flight 2 of the WPT National Newcastle Main Event, the attendance for it is set at 106, which when added to the 137 from the first flight, equals 243 players.

The mathematicians among you will have figured out that this means we need 312 players to turn out for the 20:00 flight tonight otherwise the tournament faces paying a huge overlay, currently set at £56,160. Come grab some of the value. You know you want to.

Simpson’s Second Bullet Doesn’t Go To Plan

Ian Simpson
Ian Simpson ended Flight 1 with a stack of 39,900 and bought into the first of two flights on Friday in an attempt to add even more chips to the pile. Sadly for Simpson, he has crashed out of Flight 2 judging by the fact he’s sat playing in a cash game a few feet away from the media desk.

We’ll no doubt see him for the third and final flight, beginning at 20:00 tonight.

Some Familiar Faces

There are some big names who bought in on Thursday’s Flight 1 who have entered Flight 2 in an attempt to build a big stack for the business end of the tournament, including Surinder Sunar, Chris Gordon, Ian Simpson and Charles Chattha. The latter is down to around 13,900 chips (from a starting stack of 20,000) thanks in part to raising to 500 from the cutoff and then calling when the button made it 1,300 to go. Chattha checked the flop and then folded when the button made a continuation bet of 1,300.

Gary Miller Claims Flight 1 Chip Lead

We’ve received the chip counts for yesterday’s action and it is local player Gary Miller who bagged up the most chips, an impressive 129,200.

Hot on Miller’s heels is Luke Fern, on 126,40,0 with Robert Martin (116,100), Benjamin Jenkins (109,000), Simon Baker (103,600), and David Knight (102,000) being the other players to bag up six-figure chip counts.

Sixty-nine of the 137 starters made it through making the average stack 39,710. Here are the top 10 chip counts from flight one.

Place Player Chips
1 Gary Miller 129,200
2 Luke Fern 126,400
3 Robert Martin 116,100
4 Benjamin Simon J Jenkins 109,000
5 Simon Baker 103,600
6 David Knight 102,200
7 Paul Nicholson 95,000
8 Owen Shiels 83,000
9 Rodolfo Valentino 70,400
10 Christopher Gordon 69,900

Flight 2 Has Started

The penultimate starting flight of the £100,000 guaranteed WPT National Newcastle is under way with 78 players in their seats. This means we need a total of 340 more players to head to Aspers in order to avoid an overlay, which current stands at an eye-watering £61,200!

Friday at Aspers

With half an hour to go before Friday’s first flight takes off, we thought what better way to kick off the day’s festivities than a quick recap of yesterday’s play through some cool visuals.







Two More Hands

The tournament clock has been paused and the dealers instructed to deal two more hands before we call it a night here in Newcastle.

Sunar Stacked

“Seat open Table 2,” cried the dealer, the table that Surinder Sunar was sat at, was being the operative word. Sunar, pint of Guinness in hand, was collecting his belongings and heading out of the tournament area and will now have to take a shot on one of Friday’s flights if he is to progress to Day 2.

Last Levels of the Night

We’re now into the seventh level of play on Flight 1 and that means the night is drawing to a close. Will players play tight and hope to take chips through to Day 2 or adopt the “go big or go home” approach?

Martin Making Mountains (of Chips)

Robert Martin
Aspers Newcastle regular Robert Martin has by far the largest stack in the room with a colossal pile of chips worth around 135,000. We’ll try catch up with him at some point and see just how he accumulated so many betting tokens.

Others notable chip counts include David Knight (68,000), Chris Gordon (42,300), Craig O’Dowell (36,500), Ian Simpson (24,000) and Surinder Sunar (13,500).

Chattha Chopped Down

When we spoke to Charles Chattha at the break, he told us that he liked his table but was “bluffing too much” and had seen his stack dwindle to 17,000. It’s now at zero judging by the fact we saw him heading for the exit, but we’ll no doubt see him on both of Friday’s flights.

Hell Hath No Fury Like….

Hazel Birchnall in action at the 2014 WPT National Newcastle Main Event
It’s always great to see women entering these prestigious events and, at a last count, there are nine ladies in the first flight’s field. One of the ladies is Hazel Birchnall who finished fourth in last year’s tournament here at Aspers Newcastle, a result that bagged her a career-best £7,875.

Knight Obliterates O’Callaghan

Dan O'Callaghan
David Knight has slain the talented Dan O’Callaghan here in Newcastle and is now up to 53,200 chips.

Knight checked from under the gun on a , a player in middle position checked and O’Callaghan took a stab at the pot with a 700 bet. Knight then check-raised to 3,500 and after much deliberation the baseball cap sporting-player in middle position folded, but O’Callaghan called.

The turn saw Knight lead, O’Callaghan quickly move all-in for more than 15,000 and Knight snap-call, turning over , which was way ahead of O’Callaghan’s . No ace or jack on the river saw O’Callaghan hand over his chips and he’s now making his way to his home in nearby Durham.

Cards Are Back in the Air

2015 WPT National Newcastle
The players are back in their seats and chips are being riffled like there is no tomorrow. Total attendance for the first flight stands at 137 meaning we need 418 entrants over the next two flights to reach the lofty £100,000 guarantee.

Breaking Up Is Hard to Do

The players are now heading for a scheduled 20-minute break where they will no doubt grab a drink and spout off about bad beats they’ve endured to anyone within earshot!

Sunar In The Mix

Surinder Sunar
As the tournament approaches its first break, we have noticed we’ve been graced with the presence of a true poker legend in the shape of Surinder Sunar. The veteran Brit has more cashes dating back to 1987 that when tallied up come to more than $4.6 million.

Sunar is a member of the Champions Club having won the WPT Grand Prix de Paris in 2004 for a cool €679,860 and while he won’t be winning that much if he takes down this tournament, we’re sure he’ll cherish the win and revel in the glory of adding yet another title to his name.

Sunar currently has around 22,000 chips.

Championi Championi!

Chris Gordon
WPTNUK London champion Chris Gordon is in the house and has started well his quest for back-to-back titles. Gordon walked away with top honours at Aspers Stratford, namely £22,500, after defeating Jesus Garcia heads-up.

Gordon is up to 32,400 chips here as the fourth level commences and looks in the zone, which is bad news for anyone who has to lock horns with him during this event.

Chattha Chips Up

Charles Chattha
Charles Chattha is one of the more accomplished players in today’s field. The London-based pro has more than $1.1 million in live tournament winnings, including one score of €111,129 that he collected for finishing second in the 2012 WPT Dublin Main Event, yet he has never cashed in a tournament held in Newcastle.

Chattha has started solidly in today’s tournament and has chipped up to around 23,500 chips thanks, in part, to the following hand.

A raise to 500 from a heavily tattooed player was called by Chattha on the button and by the gentlemen in the big blind. The action checked to the initial raiser who fired a continuation bet, a bet that only Chattha called.

Both players tapped the table and checked the arrival of the on the turn, leading the deal to put the onto the river. Mr Tattoos bet 650 and Chattha called almost instantly, turning over as he did so. Chattha’s opponent couldn’t beat top pair and his hand went into the muck.

Man Down! McDowell Claims Early Chip Lead

We may only be halfway through the second level of play, but we already have seen a player bust out.

The now busted player moved all-in on the river of the board, sending Craig McDowell into the tank. After a few moments of weighing up his opponent, McDowell tossed in a solitary chip to indicate a call. McDowell’s opponent stood and rapped the table when he saw McDowell’s , a hand that the all-in player couldn’t beat and he’s now making his way into the cold Newcastle night, while McDowell is busy stacking a tournament leading stack of 40,000 chips. The busted player should read our blog post about what to do in Newcastle now that he’s on his way out.

McDowell isn’t going to have an easy time of it today because he’s sat on the same table as the WPTNUK London champion Chris Gordon, although he is on his left so he has that in his favour.

Shuffle Up and Deal

Shuffle up and deal at the 2015 WPT National Newcastle Main Event.

Shuffle up and deal at the 2015 WPT National Newcastle Main Event.

The tournament director has muttered those famous words, “Shuffle up and deal” and play is under way here in Newcastle. There are currently 115 players in their seats, the button starts in Seat 4 and play has begun!

Welcome to WPT National Newcastle!

Hello and welcome to the latest leg of the 2015 World Poker Tour WPT National UK, coming to you from Aspers Newcastle.

This is the first of three starting flights in the £100,000 guaranteed tournaments, with Flights 2 and 3 taking place on Friday  1 May. Anyone wanting to become a WPT champion only needs £200 in their pocket, and for that affordable sum they receive a generous stack of 20,000 chips, playing to 30-minute blinds.

Players can buy into one, two or all three opening flights and, their stacks, should they make it through on more than one,  are combined on Day 2, meaning we could see some huge stacks by the time Day 2 kicks off on Saturday 2 May.

Last year’s champion, Darren Mapley, outlasted a field of 412 to get his hands on the £17,500 first place prize. Who will be the 2015 WPT National Newcastle champion? Stay tuned to the partypoker blog to find out.17137237438_fe54eefedb_z







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