Ian Hamilton has won the 2022 European Poker Tour London main event, defeating a field of 749 total entries in the £5,300 buy-in no-limit hold’em tournament to earn his first major tournament title and the top prize of $744,128 USD.
This was, by far, the largest score of the 31-year-old UK resident’s career, blowing away the $170,073 he earned as the runner-up in a €2,700 buy-in mystery bounty event at the EPT Prague festival earlier this year. He now has more than $1 million in lifetime tournament cashes to his name.
In addition to the title and the money, Hamilton also earned 1,824 Card Player Player of the Year points as the champion of this event. This was his first title and third final-table finish of the year. With 2,918 total points and year-to-date POY earnings of $918,441, Hamilton is now the 44th-ranked player in the 2022 POY race standings sponsored by Global Poker.
Plenty of big names made it deep in this event, including four-time bracelet winner Adrian Mateos (35th), bracelet winner and two-time World Poker Tour champion Ole Schemion (33rd), recent £50,000 high roller winner from this series Kenrik Hecklen (32nd), online tournament superstar Conor Beresford (31st), 2014 WSOP main event champion and recent UKIPT London main event winner Martin Jacobson (28th), two-time EPT main event runner-up Martin Czuczor (16th), bracelet winner Ben Heath (15th), nine-time bracelet winner Erik Seidel (12th), 2017 WSOP main event third-place finisher Benjamin Pollak (11th), and bracelet winner Harry Lodge (8th).
This tournament played out at the Hilton Hotel on Park Lane in London over the course of an entire week. The final day began with six players remaining and Roman Hrabec in the lead. It didn’t take long for the first elimination to arrive. Just minutes after cards got in the air, Germany’s Nils Pudel found himself all-in with pocket aces dominating the A-K of 2018 WSOP Europe main event winner Jack Sinclair. The board ran out with four spades, and Sinclair’s ace of spades gave him a winning flush to crack Pudel’s aces and narrow the field to five contenders. Pudel earned $150,976 USD as the sixth-place finisher.
Danut Chisu was the next to fall. He moved all-in from under the gun for around 16 big blinds with K-J and found himself at risk against the pocket queens of Alexandre Vuilleumier, who shoved for slightly more from the small blind. A ten-high runout improved neither player and Chisu was knocked out in fifth place ($196,280 USD).
Hrabec, a former ice hockey pro from the Czech Republic, came into the day with the lead but fell to the bottom of the chip counts during four-handed action. He eventually got his last ten or so big blinds in preflop with A-10 trailing the A-J of Sinclair. Hrabec flopped a gutshot straight draw, but was unable to find any more help on the turn or river and was eliminated in fourth place ($255,136 USD). This was the largest score yet for Hrabec, who now has more than a million dollars in lifetime tournament earnings to his name.
Hamilton open-shoved from the button in the next key showdown. Alexandre Vuilleumier called all-in for around 15 big blinds from the big blind with A-Q. He was dominating the Q-J of Hamilton preflop, but Hamilton made a king-high straight on the turn to win end Vuilleumier’s run in third place ($331,688 USD).
With that, Hamilton took better than a 2:1 chip advantage into heads-up play with Sinclair. Sinclair managed to briefly overtake the lead, but Hamilton closed the gap considerably when found a double up with his pair of sevens and a flush draw beating a pair of deuces and a gutshot for Hamilton with all of the chips getting in on the turn. Hamilton moved back in front not long after that when he won a big pot with trips, shoving the river to move Sinclair off of a bluff with a busted flush draw.
In the final hand, Sinclair three-bet shoved from the big blind with AQ and Hamilton called with AK. The board ran out J10322 and Hamilton’s superior high cards held to earn him the pot and the title. Sinclair earned $464,408 USD as the runner-up, the third-largest score of his career behind his win in the WSOPE main event for nearly $1.3 million and his eighth-place finish in the 2017 WSOP main event for $1.2 million. He now has almost $5.2 million in lifetime earnings.
Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at the final table:
Photo credits: Danny Maxwell, Manuel Kovsca / Rational Intellectual Holdings Ltd.