There’s a long-running joke among the live tournament grinders that the €2,000 buy-in side events on the European Poker Tour are called the “John Eames Invitational” thanks to the Southport-based pro having a knack of winning them, seemingly at will.
Although not as glamorous as an EPT destination, John Eames is currently leading the £1,070 buy-in Grosvenor UK Poker Tour (GUKPT) Main Event after Day 1 and is on course for his fifth GUKPT cash. Can he reproduce his “Invitational” form in Manchester and walk away with a GUKPT title? We don’t have too long to find out the answer to that question.
Fifty-four players turned out for the first of two starting flights in the GUKPT Manchester Main Event, which we would think is less than anticipated, especially when one considers there is a £200,000 guarantee to be met. As things stand, everything is pointing towards and overlay, possibly a substantial one, which is great for the players but not so much for the organisers.
Of those 54 starters, only 19 made it through to Day 2 relatively unscathed. Eames is the man to catch, having ended Day 1a with 140,075 chips, over 25,000 more than his nearest rival Danny Blair on 113,450.
Other notables who navigated their way through the choppy Day 1a waters include World Series of Poker bracelet winner Lawrence Gosney (85,000), Simon Deadman (34,250), Steve Warburton (22,150) and Stuart Fox (16,650).
GUKPT Manchester End-of-Day 1a Top 10 Chip Counts
Day 2 commences at noon on Friday and should see a more substantial crowd descend on the newly refurbished casino. PokerNews would expect players such as Matt Davenport, Nicholas Crisp and GUKPT Stockton champion Neil Raine to re-enter after busting out on their first attempt, along with plenty of players who will be attracted to the tournament and its impending overlay.
Check back into UK & Ireland PokerNews on Saturday for a recap of the Day 1b action from the GUKPT Manchester Main Event.