There’s one word to sum up UKIPT Coventry so far; smooth. The tournament started on time and if there has been any hitches we’ve certainly not been there to witness them. One player who hasn’t had a smooth ascent to the top is chip leader Alex Jackson. He barely made it to the tournament at all. The 20-year old student overslept after qualifying in the wee hours of last night here at the Coventry G Casino. But following that early slip up he steadily pushed his stack up before emerging as chip leader in the last level.
For others things didn’t go quite as planned and we lost some quality players such as Team PokerStars Pro Julian Thew, EPT Snowfest 5th place finisher Brent Wheeler and UKIPT Manchester runner-up Jack Ellwood. But when you’re playing a tournament to win with a 15,000 starting stack and an hour long clock you’re always going to get some upsets. Other players opted for the fold-for-hours approach knowing that they wouldn’t be too short stacked until later on. That’s hardly a surprise given that some of the players, mainly of the younger variety, have been sniping at a lot of pots; raising them up pre-flop to attack them post. There’s still a great divide here in the UK between the online and live players, albeit with the online players being in increasing numbers and mainly being the ones coming through with the chips at the end of the day. What matters is what happens on day three so we’ll leave that hot topic until then. A quick look at the numbers on the board shows that a total of 191 players bought or satellited into the £500 main event and 72 made it through the other side.
It will be a day hard to forget for Benard Maregedze. Things had looked like they were going so well when he scored a royal flush with K♣J♣ on a A♣10♣Q♣ flop and got a nice little payday when the board paired. It wasn’t quite enough for him though as he fell before the end of level 9. Not the same can be said for these two final table finishers from February’s UKIPT Manchester.
Dan Owston, a serial qualifier to live events through PokerStars who finished seventh in Manchester, has had a topsy turvy day. Starting off a little worse for wear after being the most enthusiastic member of the welcome party Owston had started the day slowly before picking up Aces in one spot and Kings in another. Unfortunately his opponent had Aces… then he sucked out on poor Vincent Pasdeloup. Owston finished the day with 42,800 sat next to Rupinder Bedi, a player that had driven a big stack well through the latter stages of UKIPT Manchester but only managed a 22nd place finish. Bedi has 61,300. Both are good shouts for deep runs.
A player who is fast becoming what the UKIPT is all about is Chris Brammer who is going for his third consecutive UKIPT cash. Brammer was unlucky to finish sixth in Manchester getting his Kings cracked for the chip lead and he’ll be keen to prove a point here. Will he get more points to stretch his lead at the top of the UKIPT leader board? Even with a shallow looking 23,600 you shouldn’t bet against it.
So who is our chip leader? We caught up with Alex Jackson at the end of play and pressed him for some much needed info. The 20-year old student who lives in Coventry and is reading history at Warwick University started the day with Julian Thew sat directly to his left. It’s hardly a dream draw in terms of your tournament longevity for someone who is playing by far and away their biggest tournament buy-in they’ve ever played. So far the poker gods have smiled kindly on Wacko Jacko (that’s the name his university friends were chanting at him last night) with one five-bet shove getting through against Dave Docherty who tabled Ace-Queen. Jackson did not reveal. Hot run or hot talent? We’ll find out in day 2. In the meantime join us tomorrow from 2pm for day 1b where TeamPokerStars Pros Victoria Coren and Jude Ainsworth, among others, will be anteing up in a capacity bursting field.
The overnight chip leaders are:
Alex Jackson – 116,100
Mike Lacey – 110,900
David Mobbs – 73,600
Chris Brice – 70,500
Anthony Kennedy – 68,600
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