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Craig McDowell Leads GUKPT Stockton After Day 1a

GUKPT Stockton

The Main Event of third leg of the 2013 Grosvenor UK Poker Tour (GUKPT) kicked off yesterday lunchtime at the G Casino in Stockton and saw a compact field of just 42 entries – including re-entries – take to the north-eastern felt. Eighteen of those 42 entries navigated their way through to Saturday’s Day 2, with Craig McDowell getting off to a flying start and ending the night as the chip leader.

Forty-two entries may seem low but when one considers last year’s GUKPT Stockton Main Event attracted 73 in total, then the number becomes more impressive. Let us not forget either, that this year’s Main Event carries a £50,000 guarantee and is a re-entry format so expect a bumper crowd to turn out for Day 1b on Friday.

As mentioned, it is McDowell who bagged up the most chips when play ended on Day 1a. Over the course eight hours, McDowell increased his 20,000 starting stack to a most impressive 98,375. Judging by his Hendon Mob page, McDowell is a regular on the North East poker circuit and has no fewer than five registered cashes in live events in Newcastle. Can he add a sixth in Stockton this weekend?

McDowell’s cause was aided by him scooping a huge pot during the last few hands of Level 7. A three-way all in on a {10-Diamonds}{3-Spades}{2-Diamonds}{6-Clubs} board saw David Rudling turn over {6-Diamonds}{3-Diamonds} for two pair and a flush draw, Xenophon Constantinou reveal the {Q-Diamonds}{9-Diamonds} and McDowell the {A-Diamonds}{K-Diamonds}. Amazingly, the river was yet another diamond, the {8-Diamonds} and McDowell’s stack swelled past 100,000.

Mark Harding had held the chip lead but fell just shy of McDowell’s total thanks to the huge pot McDowell won. Harding ended the night with 92,675 chips. Other players who managed to increase their starting stacks substantially include Tom Hall (89,300), Stephen Sung (72,650) and Richard Howe (63,250).

One man who did not have the best of days was the GUKPT sponsored pro Jeff Kimber. The former GUKPT Walsall champion busted out within 90-minutes of play commencing and promptly rebought. Two hours later and Kimber was turfed out again, his {A-}{K-} losing out to the {K-}{7-} of CT Law on a {k-}{2-}{10-}{7-}{2-} board. Mr Law would later but in 19th place to bring the curtain down on Day 1a.

GUKPT Stockton Main Event Day 1a Top 10 Chip Counts

1stCraig McDowell98,375
2ndMark Harding92,675
3rdTom Hall89,300
4thStephen Sung72,650
5thRichard Howe63,250
6thHamid Rowshanaei49,100
8thDarren Knaggs44,025
9thNigel Ventre41,600
10thGeorge Brown37,400

Day 1b opens its doors at 12:00 and will continue until play has progressed 11-minutes deep into Level 8. Late registration and re-entries are permitted until the end of the sixth level so we would fully expect the £50,000 guarantee to be met with ease.

Tune back into UK & Ireland PokerNews tomorrow to see if the guarantee is reached and which players have pulled away from the chasing pack.

You could be playing in a £550 buy-in GUKPT Main Event for free. Interested? Then check out our exclusive GUKPT freerolls over at Grosvenor Poker.

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