Chris Johnson Storms to Luton GUKPT Victory

Jonathan
07 May 2024
Jonathan Raab 07 May 2024
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  • Chris Johnson wins GUKPT Main Event title in Luton
  • Johnson puts on masterclass to destroy the final table and scoop the £48,570 first prize
  • UK Open winner Kevin Allen runner-up
Chris Johnson wins GUKPT Luton
Chris Johnson puts on masterclass to win GUKPT Luton Main Event.

The 5th leg of the 2024 GUKPT took place at Grosvenor Casino, Luton from 25th April to 5th May, featuring a £1,100+£100 buy-in main event and a modest schedule of just 12 tournaments. The early part of the festival was headlined by the £500+£60 Midi-Main Event, followed by the £200+£30 Mini-Main Event, while the Main Event itself ran from 1st - 5th May. 

The main event took place over the last four days of the festival, attracting a field of 212 players, generating a £218,870 prize pool and a first prize of £48,570. It was won by Chris Johnson, who went into the 9-player final table as the chip leader and remained at the top of the tree from pillar to post, defeating Kevin Allen after a brief heads up battle to claim his second GUKPT Main Event title. He follows in the footsteps of Ludovic Geilich, who also became a double GUKPT Main Event champion earlier this year.

Winner Chris Johnson

Chris is quite camera shy and didn’t give much away in the post match interview conducted by Phil Heald, but did comment

Once I had all the chips, it wasn’t easy, but it just makes life a lot easier, just use the chips and hit some hands and it worked out well.

Chris has been competing at the GUKT since its first season in 2007 and is no stranger to the winners enclosure, with several tournament victories over his live poker career, including five previous appearances on GUKPT Main Event final tables. His won his first GUKPT main event title in Leeds in 2022. He plays a very aggressive style and this has served him well over the years and when he does make the money, he is odds on to make the final table, as his 139 live cashes include 70 final tables and ten first place finishes.

Runner Up Kevin Allen

Runner up Kevin Allen was going for his second victory of the year, having won the £1,500 UK Open at Grosvenor Coventry in March. He was delighted to have finished second, having been lucky to avoid being eliminated with ten players left. Kevin paid tribute to Chris’s performance, saying

He (Chris) used the chip lead to absolute perfection, he’s absolutely put a clinic on, just different class, he did everything he was supposed to do with the chip lead.

Tour Regulars on Final Table

The final table included several players with significant GUKPT history, such as Robert Boon, who was runner up to Leo Kam in the very first GUKPT London event. Despite never winning a GUKPT, Boon has made seven main event finals on the tour and has been runner up three times. 
Trevor Reardon, another GUKPT stalwart won his maiden GUKPT main event title in 2022, finished in 4th place, while Matt Davenport, who exited in 8th place was on his record setting 13th GUKPT final table. 

Big Chip Lead

Johnson already held a significant chip lead when the final table began and was installed as the 7/4 favourite by Grosvenor Sports, but that prize was backed and the firm was forced to shorten his price to 6/4 before play began.

Paul McCauly who won GUKPT Edinburgh last month also made the final table, but was first to be eliminated when his AK lost out in a flip to Chris’s pocket tens. Kevin Allen then took out Matt Davenport in 8th place and after that the rest of the final was essentially the Chris Johnson show, as by the time there were seven players left, he commanded over half the chips in play and had a stack that was almost four times bigger than Kevin Allen who was second in chips.

Johnson accounted for all the remaining exits, dispatching them in quick succession and went into the heads-up stage against Kevin Allen with a 10-1 chip lead. The encounter did not last long and within 25 minutes the final hand played out, with Kevin’s 4K unable to hold against Chris’s QJ when the Q fell on the turn.

The Result

GUKPT Luton Main Event Result

Next GUKPT Stop is London

The next stop on the GUKPT will be at the Vic in London from 16-26 May, which will be the last visit to the capital for the tour in 2024, because the iconic venue will be closed for tournaments this summer for a substantial refurbishment and will re-start them again in early 2025.

Players can qualify online for the London leg at Grosvenor Poker, where 'live event credit' satellites take place daily. 

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