Local Manchester Student Michael Gilbert Wins Unibet UK Poker Tour to Wrap Up 2017 Season

Over the weekend, 23-year-old Michael Gilbert beat a field of 225 players to win the Unibet UK Poker Tour Manchester, the tour’s fifth and final stop of the year.

Michael Gilbert closed out the second season of the Unibet UK Poker Tour with a win in Manchester. (Image: Unibet)

It’s Science

The low-stakes £220 ($300) buy-in tournament featured a £40K guarantee, but surpassed that by generating a £45,000 ($60,326) prize pool. In addition to winning £12,300 ($16,489), computer science student Gilbert received a Unibet Open package worth £2,000.

At the final table, it took Gilbert, who attends nearby Manchester Metropolitan University, just 90 minutes to close it out. That included defeating Adrian “NMPfan” Nica in heads-up play. Prior to the win, Gilbert had just $1,074 in tournament earnings, playing mainly recurring tournaments at local venues Manchester235 and Grosvenor Casino Didsbury.

“I play my live poker here at this casino so to win a major tour event like this is amazing,” he told Unibet officials after the takedown.

For Nica, it was his second runner-up finish of 2017. In August, he took second in the Unibet UK Poker Tour Nottingham for £8,966 ($11,477) after a three-way deal. That tournament was won by Russell Betts for an equal amount. In Manchester, Nica received £7,650 ($10,255) for placing second, as well as a Unibet Open package worth £2,000.

Others to cash the tournament were Unibet Ambassador Dara O’Kearney (9th for £910/$1,220), Unibet e-sport ambassador Fabian “Kioshima” Fiey (10th for £790/$1,059), and Espen Jorstad (11th for £680/$912). Players who competed, but failed to cash, included Unibet Ambassadors Ian Simpson, David Lappin, and Rauno “Estonian Jesus” Tahvonen.

Season Two Winners

The second season of the Unibet UK Poker Tour consisted of five stops, each featuring a £220 ($300) buy-in, £40K guarantee Main Event.

During 2017, the Unibet UK Poker Tour awarded £253,600 ($337,592) in prize money and enticed 1,209 entrants.

Back in March, things kicked off in Brighton when Poland’s Mateusz Krzyzewski, who won his way in via a £25 online qualifier, prevailed over a 261-entry field to win £14,090 ($17,335).

From there it was on to Glasgow, which drew 205 entries and saw Scotland’s Andrew Mackenzie take home £11,500 ($14,804). That was followed by the aforementioned Nottingham stop.

For the penultimate stop of the season, the tour returned to Brighton, where Falklands veteran Colin Bidwell beat golf pro Tom Simm heads-up to overcome a field of 316 players for £11,540 ($15242).

Final Table Results
1 Michael Gilbert (England) £12,300 ($16,489)
2 Adrian Nica (Scotland) £7,650 ($10,255)
3 Bartlomiej Grabowski (Poland) £5,460 ($7,320)
4 Jorge Reyes (England) £4,060 ($5,443)
5 Katarina Khytushko (England) £2,920 ($3,914)
6 Chris Roberts (England) £2,470 ($3,311)
7 Michal Mozdzierz (England) £1,580 ($2,188)
8 Andreas Johannessen (Norway) £1,120 ($1,501)
9 Dara O’Kearney (Ireland) £910 ($1,220)

Written by
Chad Holloway
Splitting his time between his native Wisconsin and Las Vegas, Chad Holloway gave up a potential law career to follow his passion and play and write about poker. His background includes a long stint as a senior writer for a major poker news site. Long well-known throughout the poker community for his incisive and in-depth commentary and reporting, we are proud to have Chad on board as part of our CardsChat writing team, where he will be covering everything from the World Series of Poker to interviews, features, and more.


YouDieToday wrote...

It must be amazing to win such a big event (especially for a beginner) at your regular casino! I wonder if he’ll continue participating at such events and whether or not he’ll be ever heard of again. Who knows, it might be a new champion.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Did you know about our poker forum?

Discuss all the latest poker news in the CardsChat forum