Before the 2014 PokerStars UKIPT London Main Event commenced on Wednesday afternoon, talk among the organisers was of a potential attendance of around 800 players. Reaching that figure would have been a solid enough achievement in today’s climate, but what happened was quite remarkable.
Day 1a saw 353 players head to the luxurious Grand Connaught Rooms while Thursday’s Day 1b attracted a staggering 736 runners, taking the total attendance to 1,089, making this particular tournament one of the largest in UKIPT history.
These 1,089 players have created a prize pool of £762,300 that is to be shared among the top 159 finishers, a min-cash is worth £1,250 with the eventual champion taking home a wallet-filling £133,500 for their victory.
While there is a long way to go – and 323 players still in the hunt – Eric Theissen has done his chances of glory no harm at all by soaring to the chip counts’ summit. Theissen somehow turned his 20,000 starting stack into a most impressive 293,200 during the 10 hour-long levels on Day 1b and now he goes into Friday’s Day 2 as the overall chip leader.
Others who managed to accumulate huge stacks included Hamid Toghyan (279,000), Alain Bissailogbo (260,800) and Daichi Tominaga ((212,400).
2014 UKIPT London Day 1b Top 10 Chip Counts
|8||Dragos Vasile Alinei||183,700|
With massive prizes on offer in this £770 buy-in event it was no surprise that some of poker’s biggest names entered the fray. Luminaries such as David Peters (185,700), Roberto Romanello (138,800), Andrea Dato (129,900), Keith “The Camel” Hawkins (116,900), Christopher Brammer (106,800), Ludovic Geilich (105,700), Shannon Shorr (87,800), Martins Adeniya (86,900), Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier (73,900), Fatima Moriera De Melo (65,200), Dimitar Danchev (64,800), Nick Rampone (64,600), Pratyush Buddiga (55,100), Grayson Ramage (41,500), Antoine Saout (40,300), Jack Ellwood (35,300), and Ryan Spittles (26,600) all bagged up more chips than they started with and will be ones to watch on Day 2.
Speaking of Day 2, it kicks off at 12:00 p.m on Friday and will be a star-studded affair. The money bubble is set to burst during Day 2 proceedings, which is always an exciting time, and once that is out of the way anything can happen.
Return to UK & Ireland PokerNews on Saturday to discover who was the unfortunate soul to burst the bubble and who managed to flourish while others floundered.
Lead image courtesy of the talented Danny Maxwell