Joeri Zandvliet has won the inaugural UK event on the new PokerStars UK & Ireland Poker Tour.

Zandvliet takes home the £63,200 first prize and receives an entry into the £5,250 EPT London event which is the season finale to the UK & Ireland poker tour. In addition to that he will also place first on the Season 1 UKIPT leader board which awards over £60,000 worth of added prizes to the top 100 players over all of the events from Season 1 with the top placed finisher receiving all of their buy-in and hotels for Season 2.

Zandvliet took just seven minutes to finish the heads up battle with Jack Ellwood. All the chips went in pre flop with Zandvliet, who had a 2:1 chip lead, holding pocket nines and Jack Ellwood holding Ace Queen. A queen arrived on the flop to give Ellwood the lead but a nine on the river gave the title and the £63,200 first place prize to the Dutchman.

College student Zandvliet, 21, of Utrecht, Netherlands was understandably delighted to win his biggest live tournament to date. Zandvliet came to the table third in chips and faced stiff competition from the rest of the final nine with over eight hours of play at the final table.

Zandvliet was gracious in victory saying “I feel very happy and lucky. There were five relatively strong players at the final table. Whatever I did today didn’t really work too well but I managed to get lucky a couple of times” he also went on to praise the organisation “The tournament had a great structure and was very well organised.”

UKIPT host Nick Wealthall said “We were blown away by the reception we got in Manchester. To have so many players for the first UK event, the second of the tour, was an amazing experience for everyone. Not only that but the tournament and the final table were played to an incredibly high standard. We have already discovered some names for the future that will go onto great things in the world of poker. We are all looking forward to setting more records at the future events on the tour.”

In all there were 518 players, including 279 players, who entered the inaugural £500+£50 buy-in UKIPT Manchester event creating a prize pool of £259,000 and Manchester’s largest ever tournament. There was great additional value for players at the event as they were able to attend a special poker education seminar hosted by UKIPT host Nick Wealthall, EPT presenter Michelle Orpe and new Team PokerStars PRO Julian Thew. The seminar focussed on what the online qualifiers can expect at a big live tournament and the transition from online to live play. The attendees clearly benefitted from the expert advice of Julian and Nick as several went onto cash in the event including day 1 chip leader Mark Warnock.


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