Posted by Tony 'Tikay' Kendall 28th December 2016
An excellent start to the festive UKOPS, with pride of place going to _Smoothe_ who had an outstanding evening. On with the detail then.
An encouraging start as 256 hopefuls embarked on their UKOPS XVIII journey, beating the guarantee by 28%.
Quite an interesting winner, too, in zeeco, who had shown nothing of note in 5 long years with Sky Poker. His biggest cash in all that time was £111, and then, just 2 days ago, he took down the Xmas Bounty Hunter for nearly £1,700. And today he followed that up by winning UKOPS 1, and with it some £426. How do these things happen? Real unbelievable Jeff stuff.
Runner-up hazelwood05 is a consistent and profitable Sky Poker casher, but for lhobson in 3rd, his £160 profit was a career high here.
No surprise to see stayorgo in 4th place, and if Sky Bet were running a book on the Total Player Leaderboard, stayorgo would likely head the market. He was big chippie 4 handed, but as can happen with Graham, his foot got stuck on the accelerator, and he started losing flips.
Sky Poker veteran of over 10,000 MTT's - and steadily profitable too - unbpower took 5th, whilst MARKALLIN, who has been with Sky Poker since 2008 collected a best ever £90 to round out the Final Table.
Sky Poker hotpots TheDart, chicknMelt, Arrogant and TommyD all recorded small cashes.
Arguably the most interesting cashee was hurst05, who used to be quite the up and coming star on Sky Poker. He attended all the SPT's back in the day, and rumour has it that he had the hots for the female Sky Poker Presenters, as well as me. Who can blame the boy for that?
169 runners, so the guarantee was bettered handsomely by some 60%.
Rather pleasingly, I can congratulate the winner MrTucker, who prevailed Heads Up v Wiked, and I was able to watch the last few hands.
Why "pleasingly"? Well during a recent Sky High Roller which MrTucker won I mistakenly got my facts in a tizz, and said MrTucker had been lucky, when in fact the opposite was true, as I had described a hand back to front. He was a bit miffed with me I suspect and quite right too. By way of "sorry" Sky Poker awarded him a Free Entry, but he's never claimed it. So it all ended rather well and I'm most pleased for MrTucker.
Runner-up Wiked might not be overly fond of me either. When I started railing tonight's Final heads up Wiked had a good chip lead, and I wished him well. Minutes later he had been busted. My bok powers remain undimmed by years of success.
My old mate zippy146 was 10th, just ahead of a man who recently described himself on the Sky Poker forum as a "Sad Barsteward" - Solack, aka Sticky Solly.
Remarkably, Jac35 cashed, despite his usual distractions, including toothache, a bad knee, and a grumpy disposition. Frankly he is a pain in the butt, and I daresay he suffers from that, too.
chicknMelt notched his 2nd UKOPS XVIII cash to soar up the Total Player Leaderboard, and SkootaT and albania both registered small cashes. cpfc_2010 celebrated the appointment of Big Sam Allardyce with a point, as did Palace, and on the subject of celebrations, Prio Club member GregUK, who enjoyed a birthday on Xmas Eve, collected a few bob by way of a belated birthday pressie.
With 71 entrants this fell just shy of the Guarantee, so poor Sky_James will be summoned to see Plimsoll Sam in the morning.
A surprise winner here, as reesey999, without a 4 figure MTT win or cash in 6 years romped home to collect £4,350, and thoroughly deserved it was too.
3 handed there was some spectacular action as reesey999, Ludovician and Solack traded blows, and it was full-house City. Ludovician was felted but then stepped on the gas big time to recover and finish 2nd, meanwhile Solack went from 1st to 3rd and then out with a brutal series of hands.
KickaStink was 4th, xleex21 5th and Curt360X27, which sounds like a computer spec was 6th.
7th to 9th were Jordz16, Tedson and fresh from winning UKOPS 2, MrTucker.
Finally, just edging into the money was MattBates with a small cash.
Boring Accountant was the Bubble Boy, then albania, TOWIEP (The Only Way Is Essex Phil) and jubb.
This was the Day One Main Event, and with 183 runners, it beat Guarantee by 8%.
What a Final these guys played out, and it seemed to go on for hours. In fact it did go on for hours.
First final table exit was Bounty Hunter specialist onetwoone who has plenty of history in such events, including 1 win and two runner up spots in the Sheriff BH.
Next to go, in 5th place, was _Smoothe_ but his evening was very far from over as we shall soon see.
Big chip leader with 4 left was nishg, but variance came knocking and he was next out. He's a formidable foe in Bounty Hunters on Sky Poker, just 12 days ago he had a spectacular night, coming 2nd in Summit BH and winning the Avenger BH.
The lead went back and forth for an age before NTFC_Jamie eventually busted in 3rd.
A titanic heads up struggle then ensued, with funkybunch eventually coming 2nd. He typed in the chatbox that he had learned his poker basics watching the Sky Poker shows, which was pleasing to see, though I'd be surprised if he learned much from the odious Orford.
Our winner was blac who had been sitting quietly throughout, but found extra gears heads up, and so he not only wins himself just over £3,000, but a shiny Sky Poker UKOPS Bracelet. Well done blac.
We must mention RogueCell who finished 8th. A consistent performer in UKOPS but never seems to get the coveted 1st place. In the November 2014 UKOPS High Roller she collected £4,230 in 3rd place - no disgrace considering the winner went by the name of CMoorman.
A monster field of 750 showed up for this, battering the Guarantee by exactly 50%.
A quite remarkable performance by _Smoothe_ who had moments earlier exited the Main Event in 5th place for £700 but this time he made up for it by winning the Mini for just over £500. He might have made Sky Poker history, too, as he collected a bonus £500 in the Sky Poker Final Table Jackpot, and I don't recall anyone doing that before during a UKOPS. More success was to follow later in the evening, too.
undereppin was 2nd, with IAMAF1SH 3rd.
Good to see the young and handsome Wacko90 in 4th place. A thoroughly smashing lad, one of the few to have over £100,000 in profit from Sky Poker MTT's, and amongst the Top 10 most profitable MTT players on Sky Poker in 2016.
Sky Poker veteran NIHIGHGUN was 5th with ribiero66 rounding out the top 6.
An impressive 330 contenders which beat Guarantee by a handsome 76%.
Pride of place went to PokerEsse who fended off runner-up saus21
The fearsomely good devil_tear was third, he is having a monumental year in Sky Poker MTT's sitting in 3rd place overall based on profitability. Next up in 5th was edders, followed by Doncaster's finest, young Granite89.
mkgunner and yourfired just missed the Final, and IAMAF1SH cashed for the 2nd UKOPS on the bounce.
Meanwhile, in the unfamiliar surroundings of 23rd was that man _Smoothe_ visiting the payout desk for the 3rd time this evening.
Day One of UKOPS XVIII concluded with the Turbo Bounty Hunter, aka the MattBates Invitational, for which 92 paid £55 each to enter, so this was 15% over Guarantee.
Regular Sky Poker hotpot albania took this down, to add to his cash earlier in the UKOPS Deep Stack.
The other finalists were PADSTER13, Jamie92, rancid, swindownkev, and SenorBegs.
In 8th was Heads Up and PLO8 specialist Hotwheals, (his alias is named after his wheelchair) closely followed by MAXALLY who was sulking all evening after Stoke City got pulverised by Liverpool despite taking an early lead.
RogueCell bubbled, one spot ahead of BoringAccountant, with TheBoyNutter just making the top 20.
The Final Table bubble went to _Smoothe_ who played 6 of the Day One UKOPS and cashed no less than 4 times, plus that £500 Sky Poker Final Table Jackpot bonus. A night to remember by any standards, and if anyone can do better this week it'll be a major surprise.
No surprise to see _Smoothe_ take an early lead, hotly pursued by my mate MrTucker, albania, PokerEsse, blac and reesey999.
Can _Smoothe_ add another £1,000 to his already bulging kitty by winning this? He's in pole position, but there's a long way to go yet and he might have to take the rough with the you know what.
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