Every year, thousands of passionate poker players come together to compete at Goliath: the biggest poker tournament outside the USA. The prize? A jackpot of thousands and a place in the ranks of the UK’s most promising players. This year, however, there was one exciting difference…
Dave versus Goliath:
The Wild Card
For 2015, we launched the competition of a lifetime; Dave and Goliath. We offered 11 lucky winners the chance to perfect their poker skills under guidance from the pros, before heading off to play in Europe’s largest poker tournament, Goliath. There was just one catch… all entrants’ names had to incorporate a variation on Dave, whether in their first name, middle name or surname.
Every Dave was welcome, whether they were called Dave Jackson, Sally Davidson, Dafydd James or Helen Davidtz, and it wasn’t long before our final Daves were chosen!
Take a look at the leader board and our Daves’ poker diaries to find out just how they progressed in their quest to overcome the mighty Goliath!
League of Daves: Final Results
|NAME||REGION||POKER PRO||STATUS AFTER DAY 1||CHIP COUNT AFTER DAY 1||FINAL RANKINGS & WINNINGS|
|Atkinson, David||North-East||Ellie Biessek||Out||0||N/A|
|Cunniff, David||North West||Jeff Kimber||Out||0||N/A|
|Gee, Gareth David||Wales||Jeff Kimber||Out||0||N/A|
|Mason, David||West Midlands||Ellie Biessek||Out||0||N/A|
|Mee, David||East Midlands||Ellie Biessek||He’s through!||148,000||74th place - £750|
|McGregor, Gary David||Scotland||Joe Beevers||Out||0||N/A|
|O’Riley, Nicholas David||South West||Joe Beevers||Out||0||N/A|
|Porter, David||London||Ellie Biessek||Out||0||N/A|
|Rutter, Liam David||South East||Joe Beevers||Out||0||N/A|
|Secker, Nick David||East of England||Joe Beevers||He’s through!||186,000||17th place - £1,750|
|Walker, David||Yorkshire & Humber||Jeff Kimber||Out||0||N/A|
The Dave Diaries
Gary David McGregor
Nicholas David Secker
Nicholas David O’Riley
Liam James David Rutter
Gareth David Gee
Our 11 winners headed to Goliath Boot Camp to receive expert training from one of three assigned Grosvenor-sponsored pros: Jeff Kimber, Joe Beevers and Ellie Biessek. They underwent face-to-face tuition in an intensive and truly unique poker training programme, covering everything from the basics to advanced strategies. Once our Daves ‘graduated,’ they were entered into Goliath 2015, free of charge, where they put their new-found knowledge to the test.
Goliath Day 1
All our Daves did brilliantly, with nobody being knocked out of the competition before the first break at 2pm. After a valiant effort, our first Dave was eliminated at Level 4, while Nick David Secker rose to the top of the Dave rankings with 46,000 chips.
Soon, we lost more of our Daves to mighty Goliath, but the fact that 10 remained after almost seven hours of poker at 6:45pm is testament to how Boot Camp had transformed their fortunes for the better.
As the night wore on we were left with just four Daves. David Cunniff, Gareth David Gee, David Mee and Nick David Secker each put up an impressive fight against the formidable Goliath – not to mention staying in when all three pros had been eliminated! By midnight, only Dave Mee and Nick David Secker remained, with stacks of 195,000 and 247,000 respectively. An hour later, the confirmation came that both were through to round two: Dave Mee with 147,500 chips and Nick David Secker with 186,000 chips.
Goliath Day 2
The remaining Daves entered Day 2 of Goliath full of confidence and in a great position to make serious headway. And with a record 4,210 entrants into Goliath 2015 – up from 3,400 last year – the Day 2 competition was tougher than ever.
The Daves played a steady game right up until 9pm, with Dave Mee in possession of 740,000 chips, and Nick David Secker an extraordinary 2,100,000 chips. Unfortunately, five minutes later, Dave Mee found himself all in with Ace-Jack and called by an opponent with 6-6. He took 74th place in Goliath 2015, taking home £750 for his fearless game.
Fast-forward an hour and Nick David Secker eliminated a fellow competitor, snagging a sizeable pot and bringing his chip count up to around 3.8 million! A trying couple of hours of play followed. Nick ended up grinding a short stack until just past 1 am, leaving the competition in 17th place. A fabulous effort – and one that landed him with £1,750 in prize money.
More About Goliath
The biggest poker tournament of its kind outside the US, Goliath offers players eight days of poker bliss. This year, Goliath took place at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena, bringing with it the record-breaking £250,000 Guaranteed Main Event, and hundreds more winners.
While last year’s entrants totalled 3,400, this year’s competition saw a record 4,210 entrants, and some pretty impressive prize pots. Sunil Moti snagged this year’s fourth place spot, and a cool £25,200. Ryan Meager then coasted into third after running into Miikka Toikka’s pocket kings, cashing for £29,050.
In the end, it was all to play for between Katie Swift and Miikka Toikka. Katie achieved a brilliant second place finish for £46,300, while Miikka took home first place and £70,800.
As in previous years, one point of appeal for Goliath players was the tournament’s entry rules. By doing well in other GUKPT poker tournaments, or in online Grosvenor tournaments, entrants found they could qualify for Goliath for as little as £2, and – if they outfoxed their opponents – leave with thousands in return. This is just what happened to this year’s sixth place winner, Andrew James, who went home with £8,400 after free-rolling in from our Newcastle G Casino.
For more information about how Goliath 2015 played out, or news about Goliath 2016 as we have it, take a look at the official Grosvenor Poker page.
See you at Goliath 2016, Daves!