George Achillea wins Paradise Series of Poker
It’s been a tricky time for live tournaments in this country in recent months, with tour numbers being well down and the lower spectrum of buy-ins filling up while their £1,000 big brothers struggle to fill seats.
There was a similar small, but very tough, field at London’s International Club as Paradise Poker launched what should prove to be a very successful tour with their inaugural Paradise Series of Poker.
Two weeks of action saw a plethora of well-attended side events culminating in a £1,000 buy-in Hold’em main event, with £10,000 of added prize money from Paradise Poker. Richard Gryko, coming off the back of his first GUKPT title in Luton, Nik Persaud, his better half, India Storrar, and local stalwarts Ade Bayo, George Achillea and Briony Stone were just some of the talent on show. Adam Latimer, fresh off the back of cashing in this year’s WSOP main event, James ‘Worzel’ Mitchell, student and all-round yo-yo, and HitSquad’s Chaz Chattha also anted up.
What set this event apart was undoubtedly the blind structure: 75-minute clock, 12,000 starting stack – this certainly was a tournament for other organisers to pay heed to. In the end, George 'Any 2' Achillea took down the main event. A well-liked regular at the club, George has come close to winning festival events before and his £27,050 payday was certainly welcome.
After a short heads-up battle on a final table that featured three Paradise Poker qualifiers, George's Q-10 held up over Oliver Breese's J-7 and he took the title. Breese himself played extremely well over the event, as did Storrar who finished fifth for her second cash of the festival following her £4,380 victory in the £200 freezeout event.
George's cousin, Gutshot pro Andy Achillea, also had cause to celebrate as he took down the £100 / £50 event and other notable winners included recent GUKPT winner Martin Silke in the £200 Freezeout and regular International players Miriam Segal in the £300 PLO Double Chance and Robert Lim in the £300 GSOP.
FINAL TABLE PAYOUTS
1st £32,800 George Achillea
2nd £20,150 Oliver Breese
3rd £14,100 Pawel Czartoryski (Paradise qualifier)
4th £10,800 Daniel RuddM
5th £8,600 India Storrar
6th £6,950 Thomas Friberg (Paradise qualifier)
7th £5,850 Sverre Daniel Langard (Paradise qualifier)
8th £4,750 Fez
9th £4,200 Michael Ivory