Posted by Tony 'Tikay' Kendall 31st December 2016
A cracking final day of UKOPS XVIII, and how wonderful to see the Main Event taken down by Direwolf, a chap who is part of the Sky Poker furniture, and, if he does not mind me saying, a genuine foot-soldier. These are the guys around whom a successful online Poker site and community is built - loyal, competitive, and decent human beings. Love it.
OK, enough waffle, on with the waffle.
243 entrants, some 20% north of guarantee, and a good quality field too, as players chase Total Player Leaderboard points.
I suppose if I tried enough times, I could score a 180 at Darts, but mostly I'd fail.
By the same token, if I big enough players up as future champions, I'll get one right eventually.
Yesterday I wrote "You'll hear a lot more of this fella" after SkootaT won the 7pm UKOPS 16, but less than 24 hours later he completed a quick-fire double, winning the 5pm UKOPS 22. He beat 169 runners yesterday, and another 242 today. He might just be very lucky, or running super-hot of course. I don't buy that, I fancy the boy has game, and some. He was sitting 8th in the Total Player Leaderboard after Day 3 - so watch out, he's making his move.
The runner-up was givemeaquid. Not going to pretend he is top drawer, more Sky Bet Championship standard, but he's a Bounty Hunter specialist and on his day he gets plenty of decent results.
Completing the Final Table were scott1288, nidge77, jd44 and rjd28. Have you ever noticed how many players have numbers appended to their alias? Ridic, I'd never do that.
Another good run from RogueCell in 7th, coincidentally also her overnight position in the Total Player Leaderboard.
175 were hunting bounties here, some 75% above guarantee.
Cracking final too, with young FeelGroggy, who is a rare talent by any standards, taking it down after beating bar4004 heads up, winning a race to seal the deal.
StayOrGo is determined to try and win the Total Player Leaderboard, and a 3rd place here did his prospects no harm at all. rrchem1 was a surprise in 5th, with Wiked and Larson7 completing the top table.
Limp2Lose was 13th, not quite able to beat Graham, his Dad, on this occasion. Well done George or Gary.
The arguments go back and forth on the forum as to the viability of bigger PLO and PLO8 MTT's here on Sky Poker but this week's UKOPS has shown that, on occasion, they can make the numbers when the stars align just so, and both 4 card events beat guarantee handsomely.
Tonight's PLO8 - "Pot Limit Omaha High Low Eight or Better" to use its proper name attracted a surprising 82 entries to come in 64% above guarantee, but the field was packed with NLH players chasing Total Player Leaderboard points.
The winner was ronny707, who I've never previously seen at an O8 table, but I watched the entire final and he knows how many beans make five at this peculiar format, and used great patience to weather the storm from super aggro jordz16 who eventually finished 3rd. Jordz is a delight to watch and his game is constructed around sheer aggression. He now has a UKOPS win, 2nd and 3rd in this series alone.
To those poor souls who think they can limp their way to victory in any form of poker, take note, I doubt Jordz has limped since I was in short trousers, which is the best part of 30 years back.
Runner-up deathcruis played jolly well, too, and was a tad unlucky in crucial spots.
PLO8 specialist Whizzewky was going along nicely until Old Pommy said "you can win this Whizzo", and hey presto Whizzo was out next hand. Pommy should be renamed The Bok King, but he's ancient and we should be tolerant of these old codgers.
MUZOWNED and Steel_Fury, both of whom have had a good UKOPS, were 5th and 6th.
Amongst those cashing were Suzy66, _kagawa_ (he is seriously good), jascham, Old Eon, Old Sir_Gary, and young Groggy, Vespa and Phantom66.
Honourable mentions go to Hendrick62 and Pommy, who finished 78th and 79th respectively. Of 82. The Stewards have enquired into the improved performance of Hendrick.
284 entries, falling 16 shy of the ambitious guarantee, which was a bit of a shame really, but not a disaster by any means. Sky James will be summoned to see Plimsoll Sam this morning, fo' sho'.
Now then, a quick story. All the way back in 2010, I was lucky enough to be sent to Las Vegas by Sky Poker to help look after our qualifiers, and to produce blogs and that sort of stuff.
Amongst our qualifiers was a chap named Guy, aka "Direwolf." In all the times I have been to Vegas with Sky Poker, the hundreds of qualifiers I have been there with, I don't think ANY of them loved the moment as much as Guy did. He is not exactly built to be an athlete, but whatever time it was, night or day, I could always rely on bumping into Guy somewhere, as he patrolled the tables and cardrooms. I had just finished work one morning at 4am and was wearily trudging up the Rio corridor, and Guy was going the opposite way, as he wanted to rail some players. At 4am.
He is such a great guy. And the point of that story? Well I don't really know, except that the UKOPS XVIII Main Event took place last night, there was nearly £8,000 to the winner, and Direwolf took it down. BOOMIO. Honestly, I'm made up for him.
Before we move on, would you like to see a few photos of Guy in Las Vegas with us, as well as several other Sky Poker regulars, including the Norsdens, Thewy, Penguin7, Sparce, etc? Then you shall, see here...
OK, we'd best move on. Runner up was DoobieFish, with just 29 Sky Poker MTT's to his name. Imagine how much he'd win if he played here more regularly?
Direwolf and DoobieFish must have played pretty well, as the chasing pack, who finished 3rd to 6th consisted of StayOrGo, TommyD, gadgerno1 and FeelGroggy. Final Tables here at Sky Poker don't get tougher than that.
Also in the money was bearlyther, Lady Bromley of Burnley, MilitantG and TheBoyNutter.
I also noticed Pretty Boy (lJAMESl) min-cashed, so Swindon will be celebrating now. James is a Dad these days, who'd have thought? He really is very pretty.
366 for this, effectively the "Mini", some 22% above guarantee, not bad considering it was a Freezeout.
The winner was TriGG3R, who celebrated an anniversary - as it was exactly one year ago today that he also won a UKOPS event, though today's was far bigger. Nearly 900 games here on Sky Poker, with only rather modest wins, and then not one, but TWO UKOPS wins exactly a year apart. Can't make this stuff up, though I'm sure the "It's rigged" brigade would have some view on that. On which note, I was perusing 2+2 earlier today and noticed some guy who claimed that auto shuffling machines in Live Poker were rigged. God give me strength.
Nice result for Dazzla66 in 2nd place, too, this guy has a whole bunch of nice results to his credit. Third place went to -LEON-, who, as chance has it, cashed in the equivalent UKOPS event last night too.
luckme002, VAPORIZE and GothGod were 4th, 5th and 6th respectively.
In the money were the likes of Omm (again), IAMAFISH (again again) and FeelGroggy who suddenly seems to have found his UKOPS stride after a few relatively quiet days.
GregHogg - remember him? - RogueCell and extraman all had small cashes.
332 runners took to the Sky Poker tables for this, 33% above guarantee.
The winner was Philmar, who has just 15 MTT's on Sky Poker to his name, and who has barely played here since he ran 2nd in a November 2015 UKOPS event. So he has an average cash per event of close to £100. MBN, well done Philmar, now don't be a stranger, as you could collect a few more scalps and good money besides when Bounty Hunter Champion starts on Monday.
The rest of the Final Table consisted of KingRiver - or a name very similar -mike240, goldenballz, young bearlyther who plays almost all the UKOPS jobbies, and sharkio.
Those in pursuit with cashes included UKOPS royalty such as TommyD, StayOrGo, albania, Day4eire76 and _Smoothe_.
Amongst the odder names who cashed was a Mr SomethingBubble in 37th. Where do they get these aliases from?
UKOPS XVIII concluded with the Turbo BH, which performed well as always - 106 runners, 30% above guarantee.
Our winner was jjbails who seems to specialise in Speed or Turbo Bounty Hunters. The ever consistent mkgunner was runner up, with VAPORIZE 5th and Otter_Head 6th.
MrTucker ended a fine UKOPS performance in 7th, and the usual suspects chased them home, such as the awesomely good jordz16, StayOrGo and SenorBegs.
Who won this, then? I am not going to spoil the surprise, but it looked just about the right result to me - you will be able to see the final Total Player Leaderboard very shortly, HERE.
That's a wrap.
So that's another UKOPS done and dusted, and it looked a pretty good one to me. Sky Poker UKOPS will be back soon.
We end with a question for you all. If it was your job to design the next UKOPS, what would you do different to this time?
And on that note, I'll bid you all a peaceful and healthy 2017, and plenty of fun at the Sky Poker Tables.
Take care now, and God bless.
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