Cambridge triumph over Oxford on the river.By Sj.Cliff
OXFORD, England – June 7th/8th, 2014 – Forget the boat race, this weekend saw the brightest young minds from Oxford and Cambridge universities swap their oars for cards as they faced off on a different river all together at the Oxford versus Cambridge Varsity Poker Match and the 12th annual Oxford Cup, both sponsored by Full Tilt Poker.
To kick-start the weekend, Cambridge triumphed over Oxford in the Varsity Poker Match, getting revenge over the dark blues for this year’s boat race. Cambridge captain Mark Hammond, studying history, was the last man standing at the end of the day’s proceedings, securing the bragging rights for his university.
The event featured six players from each team facing off against each other in a heads-up shootout to determine the amount of chips each player started the decisive final table with. The first part of the competition saw Cambridge take a 20-16 lead in the matches. This granted Cambridge a slight advantage going into the final stage of the event which they made the most of to claim overall victory.
Things had looked bleak for Oxford when, of five remaining players, only Yousisif Moneimne, a PPE student, remained to wave the dark blue flag. Despite a valiant effort, Yousisif was next to exit, allowing the remaining Cambridge players to enjoy the rest of the match safe in the knowledge victory was already secured.
Cambridge captain Mark Hammond from Wimbledon was delighted with the win saying:
“The Cambridge team played well, we deserved it. Both teams gave a good account of themselves, but we lead it all the way.”
Oxford captain Garbriel Tiplady, who studies French and Italian, was obviously disappointed but still proud of his teams showing in the event:
“This has definitely been the highlight of leading the Oxford Poker Society, there’s something special about the rivalry between our two universities, the venue [Oxford Student Union] has been amazing, the interest and support from Full Tilt Poker – yeah, it’s been truly great.”
The Oxford Cup XII followed the Varsity tournament and was won by Oxford local Rick Hawkins after he triumphed over a field of 153 entrants. This event originally began as a tournament for Oxford students but has since expanded to attract poker players from all over, even including big names like Gus Hansen, Tony G, and Phil Hellmuth over its 12 years. Hawkins, a software engineer who only entered the event on a passing whim, took home the lion’s share of the £4,500 prize pool and was delighted with the win, beating many of the participants of the previous day’s Varsity event to the top prize.
"It was good to beat the local students; there are several regular games around the Oxford poker scene – I really enjoyed myself! Especially considering that I wasn't planning on playing at all!"
That brought a close to a hectic weekend of poker in Oxford. The two university teams enjoyed some healthy competition while adding another chapter to the historical rivalry. Oxford now have a year to wait for the rematch and are looking forward to the chance to even the score.