The PokerStars UKIPT London Main Event is under way after the first of its three starting flights were completed in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The Grosvenor Victoria Casino – affectionately known as The Vic – accommodated 194 entrants on Day 1A and after 11 one-hour levels just 43 of them had chips that needed bagging and tagging.
One young man who certainly has chips is Ben Jackson, who managed to turn his 15,000 starting stack into a gargantuan pile worth 197,700. Jackson, the son of decorated poker pro Paul Jackson, is one of the United Kingdom’s rising stars and despite his tender age, has a reputation for being a fearless opponent. Some of the highlights of Jackson’s fledgling career include a runner-up finish in the GUKPT Blackpool main event (£47,820), a win in a £500 side event at the same GUKPT Blackpool festival (£20980) and a sixth place at the 2012 English Open (£15,180).
Although there is still a very long way to go in the UKIPT London Main Event, amassing such a large stack on Day 1A gives Jackson a solid platform to build on and I for one would not bet against him making a deep run in the British capital.
Joining Jackson on Friday’s Day 2 are the likes of PKR-sponsored Pro Scott Shelley (109,300 chips); Sky Poker pro Ryan “scotty_77” Spittles (100,200); Nik Persaud (67,800); former UKIPT Newcastle champion Richard Sinclair (65,400); Dara O’Kearney (48,100) and Marty Smyth (42,200).
Day 1A was not kind to the likes of poker legend Chris Bjorin, Neil Channing, Julian Thew or Sam Grafton, who all perished during the first starting day and will play no further part in the £770 buy-in Main Event.
The second of three starting days begins at 12:00 and again those who enter will have to battle their way through 11-hours of poker, more if you take into account breaks and dinner. Day 1B should attract over 200 players, with Thursday’s Day 1C being larger still. Word around the campfire is that we should see 800 entrants in total and 1,000 is not out of the realms of possibility.
UKIPT3 London End-of-Day 1A top 10 chip counts