Alex Todd Goes Wire-to-Wire to Win Record-Breaking 2023 Goliath Main Event (£178,860)

The largest-ever live poker tournament held outside of Las Vegas has crowned its latest champion, with Alex Todd taking down the 11th live edition Grosvenor Poker Goliath Main Event.

He took the lion’s share of the a six-way deal that took place and then sealed the victory after defeating compatriot Richard Birchall in heads-up play.

The 2022 instalment drew a record-breaking 10,584 entries. However, it would only stand the test of time for 12 months as this year’s tournament smashed the previous total and attracted 11,493 entries to make it the biggest Goliath ever.

A huge £1,379,160 prize pool was generated, which is mightily impressive for an event that has a buy-in of just £150. That kitty shared among the top 1,000 players with the min-cash set at £320.

2023 Grosvenor Poker Goliath Main Event Final Table Results

Place Player Country Prize (GBP)
1 Alex Todd United Kingdom £178,860*
2 Richard Birchall United Kingdom £80,000*
3 Yu-San Chan United Kingdom £83,300*
4 Min Ji United Kingdom £103,500*
5 Wayne Penford United Kingdom £80,250*
6 Andrew Mackenzie United Kingdom £75,000*
7 Nigel Brampton United Kingdom £22,510
8 Peter Seagar United Kingdom £18,500
9 Willam Picot United Kingdom £15,880

* Denotes six-way deal

Final Day Action

The final day of the 2023 Goliath Main Event began with 44 players returning to the Grosvenor Poker felt with Todd holding the chip lead.

Play resumed at 11 a.m. and six hours later, the final nine players had been determined. Todd remained in the upper echelons of the chip counts and was only behind Yu-San Chan when the final table formed.

William Picot was the first departure as the short stack couldn’t connect with his queen-nine against the ace-king held by Peter Seagar after stacks were committed preflop. Shortly after, Seagar found himself on the wrong side of the rail after his ace-queen failed to crack the pocket kings that belonged to Wane Penford. Picot collected £15,880, while Seagar saw his payout jump to £18,530.

One of the best stories of the 2023 Goliath was the deep run that Nigel Brampton put in. You often hear of players getting into a tournament on the cheap and then parlaying that into a tidy score. That’s exactly what Brampton did as he won his seat for free on a live stream giveaway. He took full advantage of the opportunity and turned that into a seventh-place finish which awarded him £22,510.

Originally, £220,000 awaited the winner, but at six-handed play, the remaining players came to a consensus and agreed upon a deal which paid out the below totals. They then battled it out for the remaining slice of the prize pool, the title and the trophy.

Todd, who had retaken the chip lead, secured himself the biggest guaranteed payout, while Min-Ji also locked up six figures.

Andrew Mackenzie exited in sixth place after his ace-eight fell to Chan’s pocket jacks left the former on crumbs. Chan then put the final nail in the coffin the following hand.

Penford clocked out in fifth after his queen-jack could not usurp Birchall’s ace-ten suited in an all-in preflop race. Birchall then ousted Ji as his ace-six held out against his opponent’s ten-eight.

Chan’s third-place elimination came in a cruel fashion. He had ace-eight and dominated Todd’s ace-seven suited. Stacks piled into the middle preflop, and Chan paired his eight to leave Todd drawing thin. However, running spades on the turn and river gave Todd a flush to set up heads-up play.

Todd had an almost three-to-one chip lead and put his chips to use to seal out a brief heads-up battle. On the final hand of the night, Birchall moved all in with ace-nine, and Todd quickly called with pocket tens. There was no drama on the runout, and Todd was confirmed as the champion, to the delight of his raucous rail.

The History of the Goliath

This writer was part of the poker media industry when the inaugural Goliath took place back in 2011. Everyone looked on in awe as the 2011 Goliath drew in 1,765 entrants, and paid champion Lee Rawson a £32,705 prize.

The Goliath broke through 2,500 runners in 2014, has hit more than 5,000 entrants by 2016, and topped out at 9,300 in 2019. Everything was set for a 10,000-strong field the following year, but the COVID-19 pandemic put paid to any live poker plans.

Grosvenor’s online poker site hosted the 2020 and 2021 editions of the Goliath; they saw 2,013 and 2,722 entries, respectively, making them two of the biggest online events Grosvenor Poker has hosted.

Goliath returned to the live scene with a bang in 2022, when 10,584 players created a £1,270,080 prize pool for a £150 buy-in, which was and still is unheard of. Kyle Jeffrey emerged victoriously from the 2022 Goliath Main Event, and did so with a bankroll-boosting £200,000 in tow.

Jeffrey called his £200,000 score “life-changing” as he picked up his cheque, and it has been exactly that for the reigning champion. Jeffrey’s massively boosted bankroll has given him the freedom to play in live poker events up and down the country in addition to across Europe. He has enjoyed some poker in the sun in Malta, and in late May, put together a deep run in an €800 buy-in event in Belgium.

Year Buy-in Entries Prize Pool Winner Prize
2011 £120 1,765 £176,500 Lee Rawson £32,705
2012 £120 1,954 £200,000 Les Fenton £35,800
2013 £120 2,570 £257,000 Jake Skidmore £29,690
2014 £120 3,394 £339,400 Ryan Foster £62,320
2015 £120 4,210 £421,000 Miikka Toikka £70,800
2016 £120 5,232 £523,200 Vamshi Vandanapu £62,750
2017 £120 6,385 £638,500 Elliot Marais £85,760
2018 £125 7,584 £758,400 Florian Duta £101,450
2019 £125 9,300 £911,410 Lee Reynolds £64,601
2020 – online £125 2,013 £231,495 “WRDortmund7” £42,248
2021 – online £110 2,722 £272,200 “Whityestar” £54,460
2022 £150 10,584 £1,270,080 Kyle Jeffrey £200,000
2023 £150 11,493 £1,379,160 Alex Todd £178,860
Name Surname
Calum Grant

Editor & Live Reporter

Calum has been a part of the PokerNews team since September 2021 after working in the UK energy sector. He played his first hand of poker in 2017 and immediately fell in love with the game. Calum’s proudest poker achievement is winning the only tournament he has ever played in Las Vegas, the prestigious $60 Flamingo evening event.

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