The eighth leg of the 2013 Grosvenor UK Poker Tour (GUKPT) got underway yesterday in the Lancashire city of Bolton. Although the attendance was nothing to write home about, there was plenty of action worthy of a spot on the front page.
Day 1a of the £500+£50 buy-in GUKPT Bolton Main Event saw 44 players buy-in, making it one of the smallest turnouts on this year’s tour. In its defence, this tournament is competing with the more extravagant Full Tilt Poker Galway Festival in Ireland and the Southend leg of the Genting Poker Series that begins Sunday.
Play started as a tight affair and only two players busted within the first four hour-long levels. The players then started to open up their game and there was a steady stream of eliminations, which were so steady the tournament staff agreed to cut the day short when 18 players remained otherwise they ran the risk of having hardly any players progressing to Saturday’s Day 2.
Talking of steady, John “Steady Eddie” Eames seemed to be cruising along nicely for the majority of Day 1a, peaking at more than 60,000 chips. By the time the curtain came down on Day 1a’s proceedings, Eames had lost two-thirds of his stack and now languishes in 16th place with 21,500 chips.
Three players ended the night with stacks in excess of 85,000; one of those players claimed the chip lead right at the death.
As the tables were playing their last scheduled hand of the night, this hand occurred and two players busted. Reese Joslin opened to 2,000, Andy Peters — no not the children's TV presenter — then three-bet all in for 14,000 in total. Carlos Chang checked his holecards, liked what he saw and cold called from the big blind. Joslin re-shoved for 16,000 and Chang instantly called.
Chang was a substantial favourite to knock out two players and boost his stack to tournament leading proportions. The flop gave Peters some outs to a straight, but they never came. The turn and river completed the board and sent both Joslin and Peters to the sidelines and Change to 88,650 chips.
Taiwanese-born Chang is a regular in tournaments held in Macau is now terrorising players in the UK! Chang’s largest score is for an impressive $246,608, which he won for taking down a HK$23,000 buy-in event in 2012.
The other two players to end with more than 85,000 chips were Craig Dawson (87,150) and Ian Barnett (85,925).
Dawson last cashed in a major live tournament in November 2012 when he finished 14th in a £100 side event at GUKPT Blackpool. A keen amateur player, Dawson will be looking for his sixth career cash and his first victory this weekend.
Barnett’s latest cash came in January 2013 at the Dusk Till Dawn club in Nottingham. On that occasion, Barnett finished 55th from a field of 727 in the £300 New Year Special. It was Dusk Till Dawn where Barnett had his best result, winning more than £17,000 for a second place finish in a £300 Deepstack.
2013 GUKPT Bolton End-of-Day 1a Chip Counts
Day 1b has already started and has attracted the likes of Mark McCluskey, Ben Jackson and the GUKPT Brighton champion, Main Event Travel’s David Lloyd.
Tune back into UK & Ireland PokerNews on Saturday for a recap of Day 1b’s action.