Three qualifiers and three of the biggest names in poker clashed in the partypoker Celebrity Sit-n-Go during the opening ceremonies of the partypoker WPT National UK festival at Dusk Till Dawn in Nottingham. It was a thrilling experience for all the players, but in particular, the qualifiers in Josh Cooper, David Barlow and Martin Bremner.
Having qualified on partypoker for the event, all three were in the mix from the off, with David Barlow getting off to the best start. Their quality didn’t surprise our eventual winner, WPT Raw Deal host and partypoker ambassador Tony Dunst.
“They may be relatively inexperienced to professionals, but each of them know how to play. Josh has played loads online and it’s going to be a tough game. It’s the social element of poker that I love, though, so none of us can wait!”
We didn’t have to wait long for the action to begin. Tony Dunst was clashing with Carl Froch a lot in the early stages, but Mike Sexton was able to help his boxing friend in one hand where Tony allowed him to ‘phone a friend’ if he needed help to call or fold. Carl called Tony’s river bet…and was shown the best hand.
Josh Cooper was the first man to leave the six-handed table after losing a series of small pots left him short-stacked. He was caught when he had and led 3,000 into a pot of roughly the same on a flop of . Unfortunately for Josh, David Barlow had and on the turn of , David shoved all-in and Josh made a quick call. He needed a jack on the river to survive, but couldn’t find his three-outer as the dropped to send him to the rail.
Next to depart was our biggest name in the game of poker, the face – and voice! – of World Poker Tour, Mike Sexton. He jumped right into the high roller after he got his 25,000 stack all-in pre-flop with . The board threatened an escape when two diamonds landed on the flop, but two bricks landed on turn and river to send Mike onto a High Roller table with Sam Trickett and Simon Deadman on it. Talk about out of the frying pan and into the fire!
With four players left, play got shallow very quickly, and Martin Bremner was unlucky to leave us in fourth place, just before the prizes. David Barlow earned a $22 partypoker ticket when he was the shortest stack, and moved all-in over the top of Carl Froch’s min-bet to 4,000. Froch had a big call to make. He made it, however, and saw that his was ahead of David’s and it stayed like that through the .
Heads-up was a brief affair when Tony Dunst took the title when he raised to 12,000 on the button and got a call. All the chips went into the middle on a flop of . Tony shoved and Carl called off his stack, showing for top pair. Unfortunately for the British boxing legend, who retired a world champion in his sport for the fourth time, Tony had woken up with and the turn and river ended the game.