While Chris Moorman was fast asleep, dreaming of becoming the 2014 World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic Main Event champion, the Grosvenor Poker Tour (GUKPT) was setting up shop in the slightly less glamorous location of Manchester, UK.
Day 1a attracted a compact field to the G Casino Manchester, with a total of 57 entries of £1,080 being taken by the time the shutters rolled down at the registration desk, leaving the tournament needing at least 143 entries on Friday’s Day 1b to avoid an overlay.
Such is the prestige of a GUKPT Main Event that plenty of established players bought in on the first of two starting flights. The likes of UKIPT Nottingham Six-max champion Ben Mayhew, Genting Poker Series champion Yucel “Mad Turk” Eminoglu, Jonathan Gill, circuit regular Albert Sapiano, Ben “jenbizzle” Jones, Ludovic Geilich, Steve Warburton, all bought in at least once on Day 1a, but will have to fire another bullet on Day 1b if they are to becoming this tournament’s champion as they crashed out at various points of the day.
A handful of big names managed to navigate their way through to Saturday’s Day 2, with the in-form Simon Deadman (81,200) doing the best of them and finishing Day 1a in fourth place. John Eames (50,800), Irish Open champion Ian Simpson (48,450), Rhys “floppinhel” Jones (45,225), Matt Davenport (39,425) and Martyn Frey (25,125) being a selection of the more known players to progress in the tournament.
2014 GUKPT Manchester Main Event Day 1a Chip Counts
|9||Chun Hao Man||54,950|
Topping the chip counts at the end of Day 1a thanks to ending the night with 152,800 chips was local player Nathan Jackson. Hot on Jackson’s heels, and the only other player to bag up a six-figure stack, was Mark Whitney who ended with 136,925. Whitney finished fourth in a £110 side event at this stop in 2012 and will be hoping to at least match that performance in the much larger £1,080 Main Event this week.
Day 1b opens to the poker loving public at 1:00pm on Friday and has late registration available until 8:15pm. Personally, I don’t think there will be any chance of an overlay as plenty of the players who busted on Day 1b will re-enter at least once, the majority of the online qualifiers chose Day 1b as their start day and scores of big names are almost certain to make the short trip to Manchester if there is even a hint of an overlay!
Tune into UK & Ireland PokerNews on Saturday to discover how many runners Day 1b got and if anyone has managed to knock Nathan Jackson from the top of the chip counts.