RECAP: The Gibraltar Blackjack Tournament
Highlights from the Gibraltar Blackjack Tournament
Although blackjack is one of the world’s oldest and widely-celebrated card games, it has only recently been given a brand new lease of life with the advent of online gaming that allows players to compete in the fascinating game at their own convenience.
The online tournaments have been able to allow a much broader range of players to partake in the card game, but the social aspect of blackjack is something that has often been sidelined.
This is why the Gibraltar Blackjack Tournament was started as a way for online players to congregate in a thrilling competition that this year took place in the luxurious gaming hotspot this November. And the 2015 competition proved to be a massive success with Felix A winning £5,000 and emerging as the first champion of what should hopefully become an increasingly popular blackjack tournament.
What made the Gibraltar Blackjack Tournament unlike any other was the great way that it combined the online and real-life card playing formats. Competitors were invited to visit the LadyLucks online casino site where they fought their way through four separate qualifying rounds with the winner being chosen as a result of who claimed the highest wins in any 24 hour period of that week.
Each of the four qualifying weeks produces some exemplary card-playing with prize winnings that were frequently well over £1,000. But it was the prospect of playing in the highly-anticipated Gibraltar Blackjack Tournament that really upped the ante.
Rather than the often solitary practice of gaming online, the winners of the four qualifying stages were treated to a VIP all-expenses paid trip to the beautiful British enclave of Gibraltar.
The glamorous Mediterranean surroundings offered the perfect playing environment for the gamers, and the venue of the five-star Sunborn Yacht Hotel more than fulfilled the classy and stylish atmosphere that such a high-stakes game required.
After a suitably VIP tour of the highlights of Gibraltar that included a trip to the Upper Rock, exploring St Michael’s Cave and hanging out with the enclave’s resident apes, the contestants soon settled down to the main event at the gaming tables at the luxury hotel’s private casino suite.
With play starting in the late afternoon, the competitors quickly demonstrated just how tight the tournament would be. Matt B in particular showed some aggressive early playing and gained a quick lead over Felix A, whilst Richard C and Laura P were locked in a tight battle that clearly illustrated the skill and determination that these players had.
However, as any blackjack gamer knows, events can quickly change. And this was seen in the last two hands where Matt B played a disastrous hand when he doubled down on a KK and bust which meant that he was the first player to be eliminated.
The second session saw Laura P become the next player to lose out on the grand prize as she failed to overcome an unlucky break of 14s, 15s and 16s and couldn’t keep up with the other two trailblazing competitors.
Richard C’s impressive playing strategy and Felix’s domineering approach continued into the third round as the tension around the table grew to see who would win the extravagant £5,000 grand prize.
The competitors seemed to slightly alter their play as they figured out each other’s approaches with Felix minimising his stakes and Richard followed in a cautious approach after the opening burst of winning hands.
Felix A appeared to enjoy the element of danger in maintaining his chip lead, and only made a point of boosting his stakes after Richard C managed to create a dramatic victory before the last hand. At this time the point difference was 180 points and Richard C had the perfect opportunity to make a decisive victory.
With a maximum bet of 1k by both in the last hand, all eyes were on the gaming table where both were dealt a hand that could have easily been split, but Felix A made the canny decision to play without splitting, whilst Richard C split his cards and put 1000 points on each.
This decision ultimately proved to be Richard C’s downfall as one of his hands busted, whilst Felix A sailed through easily as the dealer’s hand also busted, and Felix A suddenly became the first winner of the Gibraltar Blackjack Tournament with the impressive £5,000 winnings.
Everyone’s a winner
However, as befits all such prestigious competitions there were no losers at the Gibraltar Blackjack Tournament, as the guaranteed prize pool of £10,000 ensured that all players went home with some extra Christmas money.
Furthermore, the competitors were treated to an extravagant range of after-competition drinks and dinner at the prestigious Sunborn venue that maintained the top-class atmosphere and enjoyment gained at the 2015 Gibraltar Blackjack Tournament.
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