Elliot Marais Wins GUKPT Goliath For £85,7601 week ago
Being ‘sent to Coventry’ is meant to be something negative, a place where no-one will talk to you because of your bad behaviour, but for Elliot Marais the city will forever have great connotations after he took down the 2017 version of the Grosvenor UK Poker Tour’s Goliath event, topping a field of 6385 hopefuls to scoop the £85,760 first prize.
Marais’ incredible run to the title at the Ricoh Arena started with a £120 buy-in, and when the 4,022 unique and 2,363 re-entries were all added up, it turned out to be biggest-ever live poker tournament to take place outside of Las Vegas.
This meant £638,500 on the line – a huge increase on the £250K guarantee – and it would take 5 days to whittle the huge mix of players down to a final table of nine, and an eventual winner.
With some rapid knockouts on the last day, it soon left more people in the commentary booth than on the felt, Joe Beevers being joined by Will ‘9 high like a boss’ Kassouf who was guaranteed to fill in any awkward gaps in the conversation or play.
Former Marine Paul Morris had only 6 cashes in the preceding 9 years of poker tournaments, the biggest being his first cash for £770 at the Dusk ‘til Dawn casino in Nottingham, but his deep run in Coventry dwarfed any of his priors - £31,670 and the knowledge that he can compete at a higher level.
Down to three, and the clever money – at least going on experience levels – was on Birmingham’s Tai Hoang, who had cashed for £15K back in April and boasted almost £80K in tournament winnings overall. In fact Marais was the least-experienced player left, Sheffield’s Levan Reid also a regular casher at the mid-stakes UK tour events.
However it was Marais who eventually saw off the challenge of his rivals and proved a worthy winner of the 2017 GUKPT Goliath – a sweet £85,760 payday and a place in the record books!
2017 GUKPT Goliath Final Table Results
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