The Alea Casino in Nottingham was the place to be this weekend as they played host to another East Midlands Regional Final. Another eight players would secure a trip to Dusk Till Dawn in March and also walk away with a cash prize.

The tournament was under way a little after 2pm and within 15 minutes we had our first casualty. Leslie Fearson from the Treetops, Nottingham was eliminated by Ashley Gillott of the Mundy Arms, Heanor. Gillott’s flopped set of 8’s was way too strong for Fearson’s two pair as Lesley made her way to the rail to a round of applause. This was the start of an early surge for Ashley as not long after he was on the better side of a flopped flush vs. flush hand to almost eliminate another player.

The first East Midlands Team Event was won in convincing style. The Harrington Arms trio from Nottingham were awarded the trophy after Liam Roberts from the Sportsman Inn, Hinkley was eliminated. Chris Whittle, Shaun Palmer and Dan Marshall were the heroes on the day for the Harrington.

Our final table was set after a quick head count during the aftermath of a few sudden eliminations. Nine players would continue the fight for the eight National Final seats and £1,000 prize money. As soon as James Ager from the Cornmill, Nottingham lost out in 9th place on chip count, the remaining players didn’t waste any time in playing down to a finish. Chris Littlewood from the 66 Club, Cotmanhay and Mark Williams from the Bell Fountain, Leicester made it to the heads-up match which only lasted one hand. Mark put the rest of his remaining stack in with 87 of hearts and was called instantly by Chris who was holding AQ of diamonds. An AJ5 4 8 board ran out very favourably for Chris and after a quick chip count, Chris was declared the new East Midlands champion!

Cash Prize Winners
1st Chris Littlewood – 66 Club, Cotmanhay
2nd Mark Williams – Bell Fountain, Leicester
3rd Lee Rainey – Crusader, Nottingham
4th Steven Murphy – Monk Bar, Matlock
5th Ryan Norris – Chequers, Hucknall
6th John Charlton – Birds, Lincoln
7th Mark Booth – Chartwell Arms, Leicester
8th Chris Powers – Gallows Inn, Ilkeston

National Final Qualifiers
Chris Littlewood
Mark Williams
Lee Rainey
Steven Murphy
Ryan Norris
John Charlton
Mark Booth
Chris Powers

Team Winners
Harrington Arms, Nottingham