Dumfries’ Joe Boyce took down the South of Scotland Nuts Poker League Regional on Saturday.
He dominated the 10 hour long event at Glasgow’s Genting Casino walking away with the £750 top prize.
Once the usual presentation of trophies was out of the way for the season’s pub league champions it was time to get the cards in the air, and it only took around 30 minutes for the first victim to fall, being Jamie McQuarrie of Gatehouse-of-Fleet. It took some seven and a half hours for the field to be whittled down to the final table of ten players, when at 9.05pm Sean Anderson of Dumfries was eliminated in 11th Place.
The final table then got underway, with a domineering command by Dumfries players, however it was still all to play for as only nine players would win money and a national seat out of the 10 players, generating some humorous and courageous play, Mark Little of Dumfries, the short stack at the start of the final table managed to survive several all-in moves until it was third time unlucky, when his hand failed to improve against his opponents.
With Little’s elimination came a huge sigh of relief as the remaining players were all safe in the knowledge that they had qualified for the National Final, a mere fortnight away, and had further secured a cash win, safe in this knowledge, a steady stream of eliminations would occur, seeing in 9th place Kenny Lau of Dumfries (£40), followed quickly by Callum Troup of Newton Stewart (£50) then James Bamford of Kirkintilloch (£60).
Play slowed down but Matthew Lind of Kelloholm was next to exit when his Pocket Kings were crushed by the 89 suited of Johnathan Inglefield.
Lind, in sixth received £100 for his effort, and it was off to the cash poker table for some more poker for him.
The fifth place finisher was in the form of Martin Driske of Sanquhar, who received £140, with Johnathan Inglefield of Dumfries exiting in fourth for £170.
Three handed play then commenced and the chips moved between the players in rapid style, until Ryan Tait of Dumfries moved all-in with King Queen suited, being called by Michael Marko of Dumfries, who held pocket eights. No King or Queen appeared however, and Marko’s 88 held up against the all-in to exit Tait in third place for £310.
Heads up then commenced in play that could only be described as “I’ve seen more action in a mortuary” with both players refusing to clash with each other for some time. It was a play that was not to last forever though when Joe Boyce of Dumfries moved all-in with Ace Five, to be called by chip leader Marko who held Ace Nine suited. A flop of Ace Queen Four, and a turn of Nine saw Marko poised to claim glory, only a rivered Queen would save Boyce from elimination, however a crushing Queen on the river saw Boyce and Marko split the pot as they both held two pairs – Aces and Queens with a Nine to make the fifth card.
From there the disappointment for Marko was apparent and Boyce regained control of the game and the chip lead, and when they eventually clashed again it was Boyce who held the domineering hand, pocket tens against Marko’s pocket sixes, no draws or six appeared and Boyce jubilantly celebrated his victory, with a cool £750 in cash, with Marko receiving £430.
Twenty three players from across south Scotland will now join in the national final at Genting Casino, Glasgow, a week on Saturday in order to play for a cool £7,000 in prize money and the glory of being Scottish National Champion. The Nuts Poker League plays in pubs and clubs across Scotland, for more information check out www.thenutspokerleague.com.