Look out, London. Spraggy will be playing the EPT Main Event!
That’s the headline news from EPT Barcelona after the Team PokerStars Ambassador — Benjamin “Spraggy” Spragg to give him his full name — won the special True Geordie: The Showdown tournament that played out last night.
It was an invite only event, streamed live from the EPT Barcelona tournament room, and it wasn’t obvious for long periods that they were even playing for any kind of financial remuneration.
The atmosphere was jovial and relaxed; the focus was on having fun more than destroying one another’s souls with lacerating poker skills. But even so, there was indeed a big prize on offer: a £5,300 buy-in to the EPT in London, scheduled for October.
In between all the chat and the banter, they did manage to play some cards. And quickly it was Spraggy and Rory Jennings, one of True Geordie’s streaming crew, who came to the fore.
After a lively rebuy period, Spraggy knocked out Joe Stapleton first in the freezeout phase, and Jennings soon despatched his fellow streamer Adam McKola. Jennings then played two huge hands against Lex Veldhuis (see clips below), which ended up with only three players left. Spraggy was then the one to send True Geordie — aka Brian Davis – out of his own tournament in third.
“Me v you then, Rory,” Spraggy said as the two then prepared to play for the big ticket.
“He’s the most improved player since we began playing together,” Davis said of his friend, Jennings. “If we’re being brutally honest, he was absolutely terrible at the start of it. He’s done amazing. I can’t believe it.”
Jennings started this phase of play with the chip lead, but Spraggy scored a massive double up and then took the last of Jennings’ chips when Jennings could do little else but get them in blind.
Spraggy had only 6♦ 4♦ but a favourable run-out left him posing with those two cards for his winner’s photo.
“If Spraggy wins, everybody boo,” McKola said, and the crowd was only too happy to do that.
“Taking part is nice,” Spraggy needled. “But it’s the winning that counts. He’s had a lovely day out, but I’ve got a trophy and five grand.”
Eventually the boos did turn to applause as Spraggy celebrated his win and Davis offered his thoughts on the first True Geordie: The Showdown event from a live poker festival.
“Big thank you to everybody,” Davis said. “Big thank you to everyone who has worked behind the scenes. It’s been amazing. This has been one of my favourite days I’ve ever had. We’re in dreamland…We’ll see you on the next one. Cheers!”
HANDS OF THE DAY
Here’s a really tough decision for Rory Jennings, who has the chance to knock out Lex — and gain all the glory associated with that — but who is clearly pained by the prospect of making a decision for more than a third of his stack. Jennings’ agony will be familiar to anybody who has played poker against players who he knows are more experienced.
OK, so that one didn’t go as planned for the True Geordie crew member, but he had a chance soon after to gain quick and emphatic revenge.
With only Spraggy and Jennings left in the tournament, the dealer put out a totally cold deck.
And Spraggy was able to take the last of Jennings’ chips with his six-high: