You could tell within 10 seconds of stepping inside the confines of Dusk Till Dawn that today was going to be a busy day. Some 30 minutes before play began the place was already bustling with expectant poker players eager to take their shot at the £1,000,000 guaranteed UKIPT5 Nottingham Main Event.
Some were back for the second (or third) bullet but many more were entering the fray for the first time and by the time late registration slammed shut 291 players (265 uniques and 26 re-entries) had swelled the prize pool; add them to the 178 who played during the first two starting flights and you get 469. More than double that will be needed tomorrow to make the guarantee, but this is Dusk Til Dawn and the UKIPT and it’s the surest bet of the week.
Another safe bet is that the main problem Alex Harriman is going to face between now and Day 2 at noon on Saturday is ensuring he turns up in sufficient time to unbag and then stack all his chips. He topped the 109 survivors from Day 1C with a massive 205,900 in chips. What’s more remarkable is that he was as low as 7,000 before spinning it up to 120,000 within 30 minutes. “I bluffed it off to be honest,” the 24-year-old recruitment headhunter told the PokerStars Blog. His resurgent spin up was down to being on the right side of two confrontations with ace-king. In the first he bested them with pocket eights and in another he got there against pocket sevens. The Londoner has been playing poker for four years, but having only recently switched to tournaments this is his first Main Event. Only time will tell if today proves to be ‘beginners’ luck.
He may have accumulated the most but John Keown (155,800), David Urban (147,700) and Demetrios Nikolaidis (144,000) can give themselves a big pat on the back for a hard day’s work well rewarded by an ample chip stack. “I flopped two sets and got paid both times,” said Keown, a bookmaker from Northern Ireland, at the end of play. “The rest was ducking and diving,” he added. The likes of Brendan Liddy (142,300) Chris Dowling (137,600) and Rory Brown (133,700) will also no doubt be pleased with their efforts over the first ten levels of this event
For the second day running Team PokerStars Pro was represented by Jake Cody, the triple-crown winner had ran up a stack on Day 1B but busted shortly before the day ended. Today he didn’t even get to accomplish the first part of that list before being dispatched from the tournament. A day spent grinding whilst waiting for a spot to double dragged on until finally one arrived. Ace-king in the big blind facing a small blind shove is about as auto-call as it gets. Cody duly called off his final 18 big blinds to put his tournament life at risk and saw he was racing against pocket tens. There was one over card to the tens amongst the community cards but it wasn’t the one he needed.
He’ll be back tomorrow though as will fellow Team Pro Liv Boeree. They’ll be in good company as the likes of: Ivan Luca, Tom Hall, Ian Simpson, Ryan Spittles, Dara Davey, Ben Heath, Rick Trigg, Alan Gold, Fraser Macintyre, Ludovich Geilich, Chris Ferguson, Deborah Worley-Roberts, Kelly Saxby, Morten Mortensen, Nick Hicks, Paul McTaggart, Mitch Johnson, Niall Farrell, Charlie Combs, Dean Lyall, Jack Ellwood and Dean Hutchison will have to try again tomorrow if they want to take this tournament down.
Of course poker is a zero sum game and others fared much better and can relax tomorrow or play the £300 Nottingham Cup (which starts at 7pm). Other notable counts either due to the size of their stack or the reputation behind it include:
Ian Gwynne, United Kingdom, 133,100
Ian Gascoigne, United Kingdom, 130,500
Simeon Sundelius, Sweden, PokerStars Qualifier, 120,000
Juan Riera Roig, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 119,100
Christopher Vernon, United Kingdom, 117,700
Giulio Mascolo, Germany, PokerStars Player, 111,500
Frankie Lacken, United Kingdom, 110,000
Robert White, United Kingdom, 109,300
Paul Clements, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 108,900
Kevin Whelan, United Kingdom, 107,000
Juan Benito, Spain, PokerStars Qualifier, 103,300
Marc MacDonnell, Ireland, PokerStars Player, 93,000
Jason Wheeler, Mexico, PokerStars Player, 92,000
Matas Cimbolas, Lithuania, PokerStars Qualifier, 85,200
Sergio Aido, Spain, 85,200
Ben Dobson, United Kingdom, 85,100
Padraig ONeill, Ireland, 84,200
Chris Gordon, United Kingdom, 84,000
James Rann, United Kingdom, 80,600
Paul Zimbler, United Kingdom, 79,700
Lawrence Gosney, United Kingdom, 73,000
Lynne Beaumont, United Kingdom, 68,100
Kevin Allen, United Kingdom, 66,100
Timothy Chung, United Kingdom, 65,800
Thomas Dunwoodie, United Kingdom, 65,200
Bryn Kenney, USA, PokerStars Player, 60,000
Jeff Kimber, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 52,200
Michael Kane, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 41,700
Thomas Middleton, United Kingdom, 36,500
Jonathan Wong, United Kingdom, 33,900
James Atkin, United Kingdom, 32,400
Paul Vas Nunes, United Kingdom, 32,000
Felix Stephensen, Norway, PokerStars Player, 18,200
A full list of Day 1 survivors can be seen here. Whilst you can catch up on all today’s action here and here. We’ll be back tomorrow for Day 1D of the Main Event, which begins at noon. It’s going to be big!
All photos are copyright of Mickey May