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Vincent Meli Wins UK and Ireland Poker Tour Nottingham Main Event

Frenchman Earns $195,970 For His First Tournament Victory


Vincent Meli – Photo Credit: Eloy Cabacas/Rational Intellectual Holdings Ltd.

Vincent Meli has won the PokerStars UK and Ireland Poker Tour Nottingham main event title hosted at Dusk Till Dawn. The French poker player captured his first tournament win along with close to $200,000 in prize money. The 43-year-old has been living in London for the past 15 years, and he recently made the switch from cash games to tournaments. This is his largest tournament score since making that transition.

“It was perfect, nobody doubled up, players just busted one after the other. I knew I was probably going to be heads-up against Patrice. It was perfect to put pressure on the small stacks,” said Meli to PokerStars reporters after the win. He continued, “You always dream of it, but when it doesn’t happen it takes time to have a score. You still believe, but you feel it’s far away. I didn’t even think about the possibility of winning, not even at the final table. I’m very glad.”

The £1,100 buy-in no-limit hold’em tournament drew a field of 1,227 runners over five starting flights (including one flight that ran at the Hippodrome in London) to build a total prize pool of $1,444,248. The top 185 players took home at least $2,044 in prize money, and Day 2 saw that many players return to march down to the final 10.

Meli was fourth in chips at the start of the final day, and he scored a quick double through chip leader Matthew Bonham during early action. He then overtook the chip lead when his quad queens topped a full house for Bonham to give Meli the top stack.

Meli finished the job against Bonham when he took him out in seventh place a while later. Meli got back in on the action again by eliminating John Farrell in fifth place, and Thomas Middleton in fourth place.

Patrice Brandt then took out Andrew Tuxworth in third place to actually hold the advantage at the start of heads-up play. The counts were 21 million for Brandt and 15.7 million for Meli to kick off the final showdown for the title.

A deal was then struck between the final two that gave Brandt the top prize money worth £168,425, and Meli received £157,325. The players left £2,000 up top along with the trophy and title to play for in the end.

Play continued for another hour with Meli taking the lead before the final hand played out. That hand saw Brandt get all in preflop with 3Diamond Suit3Club Suit, and Meli had him covered holding QHeart Suit6Heart Suit. The final board was dealt ADiamond Suit10Spade Suit4Spade Suit5Heart SuitQDiamond Suit, and the queen on the river gave Meli the tournament win. Brandt took home the larger share of the prize money as a nice consolation, and the German poker player now holds more than $900,000 in career tournament earnings.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at the final table:

Place Player Earnings POY Points
1 Vincent Meli $195,970 960
2 Patrice Brandt $207,163 800
3 Andrew Tuxworth $110,786 640
4 Tom Middleton $85,178 480
5 John Farrell $65,559 400
6 Jack Nolan $50,430 320
7 Matthew Bonham $38,622 240
8 Niall Murray $29,766 160
9 Guillermo Nuez $22,940 80

This event was the UKIPT season finale for 2023. Stay tuned for details on the 2024 season when they are released on the Card Player poker tournaments page.