The most frantic of days at a UKIPT main event has come to an end as our final table of eight is set for tomorrow. A total of 49 players returned to the Balmoral today, all assured of a payday, but all with far bigger aims. Apart from a plateau in the middle of the day the play was fast and furious as players departed the Prince's suite one-by-one. One player determined not to go anywhere was the end of day chip leader, Przemysław Dajer, who came in with a healthy stack that just grew steadily all day to finish at 2,083,000. Here's how he and the other seven finalists will line up tomorrow:
Seat 1. Nicolau Villa-Lobos - 313,000
Seat 2. David Vamplew - 1,127,000
Seat 3. Przemysław Dajer - 2,083,000
Seat 4. Christian Bergstrom - 517,000
Seat 5. Jamie Sykes - 1,029,000
Seat 6. Guido Braye - 775,000
Seat 7. Vladislav Donchev - 1,700,000
Seat 8. Chris Derrick - 1,497,000
Dajer had added a couple of hundred thousand to his stack early on before he tangled with Kevin Williams in a huge pot that saw him break the one million barrier. He was in the small blind and cold four-bet the Brit's three-bet only to see Williams five-bet his remaining 40 big blinds with Q♦T♥. Dajer had two black aces in the hole and you know the rest. From here the Polish player chipped up steadily with a couple of dips when he doubled up short stacks, then he tangled in a huge pot against one of his main rivals for the title in Jamie Skyes.
Dajer check-raised Skyes on a 5♦6♣2♥ flop. Sykes called this bet and another 220,000 on the 8♠ turn. There was no stopping Dajer on the K♥ river as he bet 320,000. The bet was for more than a third of what the former Sunday Million winner had left. After a good think Sykes decided to release and wait for a better spot. That win saw Dajer become the first player to topple the two million chip mark.
Sykes didn't have to wait long at all to find a better spot. Not long after David Vamplew eliminated Jamie Burland in 10th spot (jacks versus queen-jack) Skyes doubled after he found aces when the unlucky Dutchman, Guido Braye, found queens. The pot was worth 1,7500,000 and put the talented Brit, room mate of Team PokerStars Pro Jake Cody, in a good position before he dropped back into the pack in the last level. He will still be one of the favourites for the title tomorrow.
Vamplew and Burland were the only previous UKIPT winners coming into today, and if Vamplew goes onto win the double tomorrow it seemed fitting that it was he who knocked out Burland. He also eliminated Sébastien Guerlinze minutes before that and helps make up a very strong mix of players for what promises to be a very exciting final.
One player who was so close to being involved only to fall in the heartbreaking position of 9th was Isaac Opoku. He was down to less than ten big blinds when he made a stand with A♦2♦ but Vamplew and Vladislav Donchev teamed up to knock him out; the latter's pocket threes doing the fatal damage.
Those who came back today with high hopes at midday, only to be dashed throughout the afternoon and evening, were: PokerStars' Team Online Grzegorz Mikielewicz (44th), Thomas Hall (37th), Manig Loeser (36th), Brett Angell (18th) and Jason Barton (12th). All are talented players who play on the tour regularly, and all will be back and running deep again.
Tomorrow play will resume at midday and one player will walk away six-figures richer. Here's a reminder of the money on offer for all the final table spots:
The jumps are big and that's what makes tournament poker so exciting. Please join us back here then when we will have every big hand, bust out and talking point. Goodnight from a chilly Edinburgh.
To catch up on all today's action and see who finished where click on the links below:
Use of all photos should be credited to Mickey May. Be warned, her ancestors once conquered these shores and she's up for another battle.