The Grosvenor UK Poker Tour (GUKPT) may be into its eighth season now, but of you thought that it had started to lose some of its gloss and shine think again.
Day 1a of the 2014 GUKPT London Main Event kicked off on Thursday lunchtime, launching Season 8. Some 122 players turned out for the £1,080 buy-in event, which when added to the 27 re-entries that were made during the first starting flight, took the total to an impressive 149.
What was more impressive was the calibre of player on show in the English capital. Neil Channing, Mathew Frankland, Praz Bansi, Simon Deadman, Leon Louis, Team PokerStars Pro Mickey Petersen, Dominik Nitsche and former GUKPT Grand Final winner Sam Grafton being a handful of poker superstars who bought into Day 1a and managed to navigate their way through to Saturday’s Day 2.
Sat at the peak of the chip counts is a former GUKPT champion in Alan Mansbridge. After taking down the Walsall leg in 2011, Mansbridge has only cashed in five other tournaments, but thanks to bagging up a tournament leading stack of 158,700 chips, he could be adding another in-the-money finish by the time the 2014 GUKPT London Main Event concludes.
Ending Day 1a second in chips was Andy Efstathiou and his 119,400 chips. Efstathiou finished 11th in this very tournament last year and will be looking for a repeat performance 12 months on.
Other big stacks include Neil Channing (115,300) – who won a large pot with vs Ramey Shiao’s on a board – Mathew Frankland (97,500), double World Series of Poker and double GUKPT champion Praz Bansi (90,000) and the in-form Simon Deadman (77,200).
2014 GUKPT London Day 1a Top 10 Chip Counts
Day 1b, which is the second and final starting flight, commences at 1:00pm and should see an even larger crowd descend on The Poker Room inside The Vic. Along with plenty of fresh faces, Day 1a bustees such as David Vamplew, Alex Goulder, Chris Day, James Mitchell and Ross Loggie will almost certainly fire another bullet, meaning Day 1b of the GUKPT London Main Event should be as star studded as the previous day’s play.
Tune into UK & Ireland PokerNews on Saturday morning for a recap of the Day 1b action.