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Cracking Cody

British poker’s excellent year continued as Jake Cody from Rochdale took down the WPT London Classic. Gareth Bracken followed his progress

After the success of UK players at the recent WSOP in Vegas it should come as no surprise that a Brit has emerged victorious at the WPT London. The Mayfair Hotel played host to 171 players from across the world and Cody was impressive throughout the tournament, employing a commanding degree of aggression at the final table to dispose of all-comers and claim the title.

Day 1A was an American affair with legendary player Erik Seidel emerging with the chip lead. Playing in his 101st WPT event, Seidel assumed pole position about half an hour before the end of the day’s play and the eight-time bracelet winner finished the day with 226,200 chips.

Day 1B saw some cagey action before a flurry of late bustouts. This may have been partly down to the late arrival of big names like Freddy Deeb and Tony G, although the rising blind levels also put pressure on those who had elected to play cat and mouse in the early stages. Priyan de Mel finished the day as chip leader with 235,000.

The 90 survivors from the opening days were brought together for Day 2, with five players also exercising their right to buy-in at this stage, including Jake Cody. Erik Seidel, Phil Ivey and Luke Schwartz were all drawn on the same table, although neither of the two Americans was able to make it to the end of the day. Italian Giovanni Safina was at the same table but coped admirably, building his stack until he assumed the chip lead.

Schwartz had a bad end to Day 2 and busted out within the first half an hour of Day 3. He called a raise to go all-in with tens and found himself in reasonable shape against A-Q. However, a queen on the turn sealed his fate and his tournament was over. Notable players Praz Bansi and Huck Seed departed later in the afternoon as Jake Cody went from strength to strength, though Safina still lead the way with over 1.2 million chips.

There were bustouts aplenty in the opening hours of Day 4 but Safina continued to build his stack. By the time the play was nine-handed however things were a little tighter. The Italian still led the way with 1.65 million but was being closely followed by Kristoffer Thorsson on 1.35 million. Talal Shakerchi had earlier departed in 10th place and the final table line-up was complete with Priyan de Mel’s sixes seen off by the K-9 of Thorsson.

After a couple of hours of aggressive final table play two players left the action in quick succession. Short-stacked Gareth Teatum finished eighth while Fabian Quoss departed in seventh. Both players lost out to Cody who was now the commanding chip leader. Sandiep Khosa exited in sixth and Cody claimed two more victims when he dismissed Safina in fifth and Thorsson in fourth.

The young Englishman took his final table elimination tally to five when he sent Bruce Atkinson to the rail, K-9 proving no match for A-10. That left Cody in heads-up combat with Sweden’s Nichlas Mattsson. Cody soon held 80% of the chips in the play and was looking indestructible, until Mattsson employed a couple of successful shoves to claw back some chips.

It wasn’t to last however and the end came when Mattsson moved all in with A-Q suited. Cody snap-called with queens and the Swede must have known his fate. The board offered nothing and Jake Cody was the deserving winner of the WPT London Classic, earning himself £273,783 and further recognition and respect in the international poker world.

FINAL TABLE PAYOUTS

1. Jake Cody – £273,783

2. Nichlas Mattsson – £176,979

3. Bruce Atkinson – £93,316

4. Kristoffer Thorsson – £56,311

5. Giovanni Safina – £42,233

6. Sandiep Khosa – £34,189

7. Fabian Quoss – £26,144

8. Gareth Teatum – £18,100
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