Justin Astley wins the white-knuckle GUKPT Blackpool for £59k and Eleanor Gudger wins WPT500 for £140k

Justin Astley wins the GUKPT main event in Blackpool, while PKR pro Eleanor Gudger scoops the biggest win of her career in Nottingham

Strictly Come Dancing might have been broadcasting from the Blackpool Tower Ballroom on Saturday, but the quality action was just down the road at the Grosvenor Casino, where 171 players battled it out for the value at the GUKPT main event. 200 players were needed to hit the £200k guarantee so there was £30k in overlay up for grabs and the main beneficiary was 31-year-old Justin Astley. Astley has already recorded a win at the 25/25 Series in Bolton this August and proved his game has what it takes to move up a notch with another trophy and £59k at the GUKPT.

He eliminated Daniel Kneafsey heads-up, which keeps alive a prop bet he made with his mates – Kneafsey can’t shave his beard until he wins a poker tournament. He came mighty close this weekend, but his friends on the rail must have been  laughing as he fell just short. He picked up £40k for second place though, which will enable him to buy the grooming products he needs to keep his facial hair under control.

Astley had his work cut out with a strong line-up of players coming back on Day 3 in Blackpool, including last year’s winner Rick Trigg. Unfortunately Trigg fell just short of back-to-back final table appearances. A cruel cold deck sent Rick rolling to the rail, making way for Astley to step into the spotlight.

With the last of the regular legs now in the books for the 2014 GUKPT, attention turns to this year’s Grand Final, held once again at London’s Grosvenor Victoria Casino. The festival kicks off on Sunday November 23, with the Main Event (a £2,125 buy in) starting on Thursday November 27. It has a huge guarantee of £400,000, which would provide you with a huge first prize just in time for Christmas. Qualifiers are running now, both in the casino and online here.

Six-figure score for Eleanor

Meanwhile, Dusk till Dawn hosted another huge success in their Nottingham Club when the WPT500 broke its £1m guarantee as 2,133 players ponied up the £500 entry fee. Eleanor Gudger – a member of Team PKR Pro – took it down for the ladies and celebrated her biggest career win of £140k when she defeated Matthew Noonan heads-up in the early hours of Monday morning.

Gudger held more than a two-to-one chip lead heads-up and converted it when Noonan shoved with A-9 and Gudger called with A-Q. Two Kings on the flop meant a chop was possible but the turn and river bricked and Gudger lifted the trophy.

Dusk till Dawn is a happy hunting hunting ground for the female pro who enjoyed her second biggest cash at the club too – £36,950 in the UKIPT Nottingham high roller event in May this year. Gudger will be back to try and take down the WPT main event this week.  


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