Doctor orders GUKPT win in Newcastle

Ganesh Rao
Ganesh Rao, 2008 GUKPT Leg 5 winner

Ganesh Rao became the fifth winner of a Grosvenor U.K. Poker Tour main event in 2008 as the tour headed to Newcastle last week.

With 189 players dishing up the £1,000 to play, the Newcastle leg of the tour saw players fighting for a £57,175 top prize. In the end Ganesh Rao managed to come out the victor of a lengthy heads-up battle against an online qualifier to claim it.

Rao is a doctor from Sheffield who now resides in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. He has previous GUKPT final-table experience after finishing ninth in the Walsall leg of the tour in 2007, which certainly couldn't have hurt him any as he took on the Newcastle final table.

Several of the final-table players Rao went up against in Newcastle had won their seats through qualifiers. Scotsman Dave Allan, who placed in fourth, plus ninth-place finisher Cheryl Routledge, were both freeroll qualifiers, as was the runner-up Ian Farrell.

When play got down to heads-up, Farrell and Rao traded the chip lead back and forth for almost two hours. The final blow was dealt when Farrell moved all-in on a stone cold bluff with 5-2 but Reo had pocket jacks that would hold up for the win.

According to a press release from the GUKPT, Rao wore this heart on his sleeve throughout the final table as he buried his head in his hands on every all-in and couldn't watch the board coming down.

"But when the winning had was played out and his pocket jacks had survived, he let out an almighty roar and celebrated exuberantly with his fans on the rail," the poker tour reported.

The final-table results were:

Place Player Prize
1st Ganesh Rao £57,175
2nd Ian Farrell £33,075
3rd James Akenhead £23,625
4th Mark Dalimore £16,075
5th David Allan £12,275
6th Fraser McIntyre £9,450
7th Mike Hill £7,550
8th Alan Vinnicombe £5,675
9th Cheryl Routledge £4,725

Rao also takes home a seat in the £3,000 Grand Final plus a seat in December's Champion of Champion's event for his win.

The GUKPT will now take a bit of a breather during the summer months before returning in late July for an online leg of the tour. The next live leg of the tour will be Aug. 2-10 in Luton.

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