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GUKPT Grand Final Day 1a: Former Champion Sam Grafton Leads

Sam Grafton

The season-ended Grand Final of the 2013 Grosvenor UK Poker Tour (GUKPT) began on Thursday at the famous Grosvenor Victoria Casino on Edgware Road, London. Eighty-eight players bought in for £2,125 and after nine 60-minute levels around half of them had busted, leaving 42 smiling faces in the card room. One of the biggest smiles was on the face of Sam Grafton, last year’s champion, who bagged up a tournament-leading stack of 159,325 chips at the end of the night.

Grafton was his usual chatty and entertaining self, taking, as many poker players do these days, to Twitter to keep his legion of fans informed of his progress.

The 2012 GUKPT Grand Final champion finished Day 1a with 50% more chips than his nearest rival Joe Laming, who bagged and tagged 108,050 chips. Laming recently finished sixth in the GUKPT Luton Main Event for £11,550 and will be looking to improve on that superb result in the London leg.

As you would expect from a tournament of this magnitude, the Day 1a field was packed with notable players and familiar faces. The likes of Sergio Aido (107,075), two-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner JP Kelly (80,625), Charlie Combes (79,850), Sunny Chattha (64,000), Steve Watts (60,000), Andrew Hulme (58,950), Kevin Allen (46,800), Keith “The Camel” Hawkins (41,150), Rick Trigg (28,300) and Tamer Kamel (13,150) just a selection of those big names making it through to Saturday’s Day 2.

Of course, there were also plenty of familiar faces who will need to buy back during Friday’s Day 1b if they are to follow in Grafton’s footsteps and take down the GUKPT Grand Final. Players such as Team PokerStars Pro Mickey Petersen, Nick Crisp, Jonathan Weekes, Shaun Conning, Neil Channing, Karl Mahrenholz and Barny Boatman each fell by the wayside during the first starting flight.

Day 1b commences at 12:00 noon on Friday and continues until nine hour-long levels are completed. Will anyone manage to accumulate more chips than Grafton did? Tune into UK & Ireland PokerNews on Saturday morning to find out.

GUKPT Grand Final Day 1a Top 10 Chip Counts

1stSam Grafton159,325
2ndJoe Laming108,050
3rdSergio Aido107,075
4thLes Packer90,175
5thDriton Haxhiaj86,675
6thJP Kelly80,625
7thCharlie Combes79,850
8thPratik Ghatge78,850
9thDavid Tighe77,175
10thNicholas Katz68,300

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