ESPN Bounty Shootout, UKIPT Manchester And The XWINK Watch

It may only be Tuesday, but there’s been plenty of good poker to talk about both live and online this week. In fact, there’s been so much action that we’re going to have to cover a few notable events in one go. When it comes to live tournament updates, we’ve got news from both sides of the pond, and on the virtual felt new high stakes superstar XWINK is giving the poker press plenty to write about during the week for once.

We’ll kick off our poker action overview with a recap of the UK & Ireland Poker Tour Main Event in Manchester. The event drew a better than average starting field of 615 players to Manchester’s popular G Casino. With a £500 buy in that translated to a total prize pool of £307,500. That was enough loot to extend the bubble to 81 players. The competition for the bigger cashes was fierce, though, leading to a a very strong final nine players. Ultimately though the UKIPT Manchester title stayed on home turf thanks to Englander Michael McDerra’s ultimate win. Here’s how the final table chips fell:

Matthew McDerra – £74,000

Mateusz Warowiec – £43,500

Mick Fletcher – £20,300

JP Kelly – £16,000

Paul Nash – £12,600

Owen Shiels – £9,500

Michael Birt – £7,200

Dennis Troake – £5,125

The day before the UKIPT Manchester Main Event was decided, a 13-hour grind session was going down on the other side of the world as pros like Joe Tehan, Jonathan Duhamel and Victor Ramdin duked it out for the $10,000 ESPN Bounty Shootout at the Bicycle in Los Angeles. Surprisingly, none of the above big guns ended up taking home the top prize. Instead, it was minor Missouri pro Pat Walsh that triumphed to claim the $241,700 first place payout. While the Shootout win wasn’t the biggest of Walsh’s somewhat short career, it still pushed his lifetime earnings over the three-quarters of a million mark.

Finally, we can’t talk about hot poker action without talking about online enigma XWINK’s latest ventures on the virtual felt. In case you haven’t heard, XWINK is the new masked player du jour. He’s been hitting Full Tilt Poker’s high stakes tables hard in 2012, and while he doesn’t always win he does always make headlines. So far this week XWINK is down a painful $389,000 but his growing fanbase is hoping to see him back at the nosebleeds again tonight, so where his bottom line will be by the weekend is anybody’s guess.

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