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UKIPT Galway Day 1a Complete: Thomas Finneran Leads

Thomas Finneran (Photo: Mickey May / PokerStars)

The UK & Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT) kicked off its third season in style yesterday as 298 players descended on the Radisson Hotel in Galway, Ireland for some Day 1a action. Leading the way when the curtain finally came down on proceedings was Thomas Finneran who bagged up an impressive 89,600 chips, almost six times his starting stack. A total of 136 players remain.

Finneran is a regular on the Irish poker circuit and has a number of impressive scores to his name including a seventh place finish in the 2007 Irish Open Main Event that netted him €75,000 and a third place finish in the €1,500 buy-in PaddyPowerPoker Irish Winter Festival for a cool €56,500. More recently Finneran has been turning his attention to the European Poker Tour where he has three cashes, the latest of which coming in January when he busted in 23rd place at EPT Deauville. The Irishman is going to take some catching that is for sure.

Amongst the 298 entrants were a number of former UKIPT champions including Gareth Walker, Padraig Parkinson and Joeri Zandvliet. The first two players mentioned made it through to Saturday's Day 2 with 30,700 and 16,600 chips respectively but Zandvliet, who has two UKIPT titles to his name having won UKIPT Manchester in 2010 and UKIPT Edinburgh in 2011, was the very first man to be eliminated during Day 1a and will therefore have to wait another few weeks before going for his third win on the popular tour.

Day 1b kicks off at precisely 1200 noon and will continue until eight 60-minute levels have been completed. Word around the campfire is around 400 players are expected to participate, to discover if that is close the the mark follow the action on the PokerStars Blog and check in here tomorrow for a recap of the action.

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