The 2015 Grosvenor UK Poker Tour has completed its final leg of the season, finishing up with the GUKPT Main Event in Leeds. To the victor go the spoils; in this case, a fantastic £24,500 payday for Stephen Foster.
A retired executive and esteemed family man from Nelson, England, Foster has plenty of experience grinding the felt throughout the United Kingdom. He’s a regular at Grosvenor casinos and Genting Club, and has 13 recorded live tournament cashes under his belt dating back to 2011, totaling £45,578, with this latest victory being the largest cash of his career.
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This marks Foster’s second win at a GUKPT event. In November, 2014, he outlasted a field of 86 in a £300 + £30 NL Holdem Re-Entry tournament during the 10th leg of the series in Blackpool, pocketing £6,870.
Foster’s run in Leeds was a phenomenal one in terms of competition. The 57 year old Brit faced off among a field of 249 entrants that included such esteemed poker figureheads as GUKPT regular and this year’s winner in Manchester, Ali Mallu, EPT titlist Tom Middleton, former GUKPT champions Paul Foltyon and Jamie O’Connor, online pro Luke Fields, among others.
Of the aforementioned pros, 2010 Champion of Champions Luke Fields was the only one to make the final table alongside Foster.
First out was Renee Xie, who bubbled the final table (and prize pool) in last year’s rendition. Xie collected £2,600 for the 9th place finish. Three GUKPT regulars then fell to the rails in sequential fashion; George Wainberg (8th, £3,100), Gary Whitehead (7th, £3,850) and Richard Hawes (6th, £4,850).
Fields, who’s racked up over USD $2 million in online poker scores, exited the Leeds Main Event in 5th, adding another £6,500 to his current live event total of $143,728. Next out was Thomas Besnier in 4th (£19,500); a notable finish for the Frenchman who captured 1st in Friday’s bounty tournament.
Simon Taberham of Australia also collected a £19,500 payday when his run ended in 3rd. Upon his departure, Simon was asked what he planned to do with all that money, to which he comically replied he would be giving it all straight to his wife – just as he does with all of his money.
Taberham’s elimination brought about heads-up action between Stephen Foster and John Woodhead, a systematic (and successful) tournament grinder at Napoleons Casino in Sheffield.
Interestingly enough, Woodhead won his £550 buy-in to the GUKPT Leeds Main Event through a local poker league, and was on the brink of selling his entry before friends talked him into playing. It was a wise decision indeed, as John’s runner up finish put £19,500 in his pocket.
After claiming the 1st place prize of £24,500, Foster was asked if he had any plans for the prize money. After three intense days of poker action in Leeds, Stephen said he will use a portion of the winnings to take his wife on holiday to Portugal.
2015 GUKPT Leeds Main Event Final Table Results