Online grinder Gabriel Kollander took the UKIPT Dublin chip lead at the bell with a stack of 151,900, swiping the overall chip lead away from Day 1A’s William Champion. The 23-year-old American, who plays under the name $indabank111 on PokerStars, is playing his first live tournament and, so far, things seem to be going well as he put himself at the front of the line for the €100,000 first place prize. All well except for the small problem of some errant chips, but we’ll come to that.
Before Kollander’s late surge, thanks to a large pot in the final couple of hands, David Brady was leading the race to be Day 1B chip leader with 114,000. Up until then it was looking like it may be a break in conventional poker wisdom; that the largest stack going into Day 2 would be from the first, smaller half of the draw. Brady wore a greedy hat and seemed to play as such, hoovering up chips like cocktail sausages at a Christmas party. It wasn’t blind gluttony. Late on he passed to a single raise on his big blind with relaxed discipline, his opponent flashed aces. Then Kollander came through.
The Californian had been studying at the University of Hawaii when Black Friday struck and after some commuting back and forth decided to relocate to Toronto. Somewhat incredibly this is the online grinder’s first major live tournament, but he soon revealed some live inexperience.
Having already bagged his chips, Kollander was in the process of being interviewed by the PokerStars Blog, in the presence of tournament floor staff no less, when he absent-mindedly stuck his hand in his hoody pocket and pulled a couple of low denomination chips out, looking slightly confused as to what they were doing there.
“Oh, I didn’t even know I had these. Is that a problem?” said Kollander.
The floor staff swiftly indicated that it was. Kollander put them on the table, they weren’t worth much.
“Sorry, I don’t know. I just found them. I think it was when I had that huge pot. I can just forget that I had them. I don’t care that much,” he chuckled, perhaps not realising the gravity of the situation.
UKIPT tournament director Toby Stone was called over.
“This should make a great blog entry. Guy has a load of chips but is an idiot at the same time and messes up the whole tournament,” said Kollander, while waiting for Stone.
“They were in your pocket?” asked Stone.
“I’m sorry,” said Kollander, looking equally amused and surprised by the chips appearance.
“I’m keeping them now. What were they doing in your pocket?” asked Stone.
Kolander explained that he’d won a big pot late on, that some chips must have fallen over the lip of the table – his stack was certainly large enough, that pot messy enough. The story checked out.
“You know you can never, ever put chips in your pocket in any tournament in the world?” said Stone.
“I didn’t realise I had. I prefer to display them out front to scare people.”
Stone seemed satisfied it was a genuine mistake, it certainly seemed to be. A lesson learnt for the online player: get better at stacking your betting discs.
Kollander’s topped a 398-strong field, which was exactly twice the size of that yesterday. Just 153 made it through among which were UKIPT Newcastle champion Richard Sinclair (30,100), Mark Muldoon (103,000), Martin Baláž (98,800), Sam Grafton (63,500) and, so we’ve been told, a Big Brother contestant by the name of Glen ‘Spiral’ Coroner (103,000).
Grafton, ‘high in confidence’ after his $234,193 SCOOP result (see 3pm: Getting the SCOOP with Sam Grafton), started badly, down to just 6,000 early on. Quad aces and a set of kings helped breathe life back into his tournament ambitions and he chipped up steadily from there. Come the close of play he had a short stacked WSOPE winner, Scott Shelley, on his right and a big stacked Martin Baláž to his left. Shelley also made it through (32,500). Many others did not.
Andy Black turned up late, sleeping off the night before we’ve been told, and if the photos are to be believed wasn’t necessarily in the finest of fettle. His UKIPT Dublin adventure didn’t last but with 244 other fallers today he was far from alone. Craig Burke, looking for three from three Season 3 cashes, hit the rail, as did many others; Ian Woodley, Daiva Barauskaite, Damian Porebski, EPT Tallinn runner-up Grzegorz Cichocki, Michael Leedham, Paul Jackson, Albert Sapiano, Mick McCloskey and Ciaran Taggart were just a few players to go. They are now just footprints in the history of UKIPT Dublin.
Focus tomorrow will be on the 244 remaining players, the 153 of today that joined the 91 of Day 1A, and which can make the final 72 places that pay. The prize pool was confirmed late in the day and it looks like a juicy one. This season’s increase in buy-in has swollen the pay outs making some very attractive prize pools. To find out who makes it and who doesn’t, join us from 12 noon tomorrow.
All images are copyright of Mickey May and must credited as such. She can kick at head height even with an injured leg, which is something Chuck Norris is unable to.