Runaway winners of season-long races always deserve their moment in the sun, so step forward David Docherty, 2023 UKIPT Player of the Year.
The 36-year-old Scotsman capped a decade and a half of poker grinding with cashes at every single stop on the UKIPT calendar this year, with two huge wins ensuring overall leaderboard victory.
The first, and biggest of those came back in April when he scooped the €365,000 top prize at the Irish Open, overcoming a €1,150 buy-in Main Event field of 2,491 runners to grab victory in the biggest tournament ever held on Irish soil.
The second, and to Docherty no less meaningful, victory came just last week in Nottingham, where he took down the UKIPT Nottingham £3,200 buy-in Super High Roller.
That £46,180 scoop not only edged him ahead of Andrew Leathem in sixth place on the all-time Scottish moneywinners list, but was a bitter-sweet reminder of a close poker friend no longer with us.
He told Irish Poker Open writer, Mad Harper, “Ollie Schaffmann was my roommate for a full UKIPT season back in the early days of the tour and he made his name with a runner-up finish in the inaugural UKIPT Nottingham main event.
“He sadly passed away of leukaemia in 2020. This was my first trip to Nottingham since then, so he was on my mind this weekend and it meant a lot to me to secure the title in the venue where he had his biggest result.”
With a fourth spot in Malta and several other cashes, overall victory bagged Docherty a £15,000 package (a very useful 10 x £1,100 live events tickets plus £4,000 cash expenses) for the 2024 season, a perfect sweetener in the hopes of going back-to-back.
However, he is unlikely to have things all his own way, revealing to PokerStars’ Nick Wright: “Benny Glaser messaged me after I won the High Roller here and said, ‘I’m coming for it next season, I don’t want anyone else winning a leaderboard!’”
If so, Glaser, or anyone else fancying their chances, may well have to top this kind of season showing:
David Docherty: UKIPT 2023 season results
Irish Poker Open Main Event – First: € 365,000
PokerStars Summer Festival Malta Main Event – Fourth: € 52,660
UKIPT Brighton Main Event – 26th: £2500
UKIPT London Main Event – 26th: £2620
UKIPT Edinburgh Main Event – 33rd: £1720
UKIPT Nottingham Main Event – 90th: £2510
UKIPT Nottingham Super High Roller – First: £46,180