It is something of a rarity in poker for a player to be the chip leader at the end of the first day’s play and then goes on to win the whole shebang, but Ian Francis could do just that in the 2014 Grosvenor UK Poker Tour (GUKPT) Reading Main Event.
Francis claimed the chip lead early on Friday’s Day 1c and stayed atop of the chip counts through the 10 hour-long levels, eventually ending the night with a colossal stack of 255,800 chips. To put Francis’ stack into perspective, his closest rival on Day 2 is Day 1a chip leader Paul Vas Nunes who starts with 162,900 chips, some 92,900 chips less.
When the GUKPT was last in Reading, Francis won a £75+£7 No Limit Hold’em side event for £1,445 and it wouldn’t be out of the realms of possibility thht he takes down this £500+£50 Main Event in 2014.
Seven Day 1b players finished the night with six-figure stacks, those players being Wai Yuen (150,200), Patryk Slusarek (142,400), Jeff Hemmerman (138,400), Tom Deane (130,600), Tony Hallam (130,000), Danny Tran (120,000) and Alex Zeligman (102,200), while such luminaries as Iwan Jones (95,300), Albert Sapiano (95,000), Dean Clay (83,700), Paul “Action Jack” Jackson (57,800), and Shaun Conning (39,000) were among the 51 players who survived the Day 1b antics.
Prize pool information is yet to be officially announced, although one thing is certain and that is the £100,000 guarantee was obliterated. A total of 163 players bought in on Day 1b, which when added to the 107 from Day 1a, takes the total attendance to 270 and a prize pool of £135,000.
2014 GUKPT Reading Day 1b Top 10 Chip Counts
Day 2 commences at 4:00 p.m., later than usual so that players and staff can go pay their respects at the funeral of the late Kirit Patel. Those of you wanting to do the same, head to Hither Green Crematorium for 11:30 a.m.