Before a card had been dealt on Day 1b of the 2014 Grosvenor UK Poker Tour (GUKPT) Luton Main Event, the talk around the G Casino was of how large the overlay on the £200,000 guaranteed prize pool would be. Day 1a only attracted 54 players, meaning Friday needed 146 players to walk through to door and pay £1,080 to enter.
It seemed like a longshot, tripling the attendance in 24 hours, but it happened. By the time the registration desk stopped accepting buy-ins, 165 players had bought in and the hefty guarantee was surpassed.
Sixty players made it through from Day 1b, among them some of the United Kingdom’s most recognisable poker faces. At the top of the chip counts is Rana Gurnam with 160,000 chips. Gurnam has been on the UK scene for years, but it is the past 12 months that has seen his best results in live tournaments.
In August, Gurnam finished fourth in a €2,200 buy-in Deepstack event at the EPT/Estrellas Poker Tour for €30,900 and followed that up in September with a £10,000 score after finishing third in £1,100 buy-in High Roller at the Genting Poker Series Nottingham festival. Can he make it three consecutive months with five-figure scores?
The likes of GUKPT Leeds winner Harry Law (121,300), Zimnan Ziyard (107,700), Andrew Hulme (101,700), Will Kassouf (83,300), Carlo Citrone (82,800), Leo McClean (70,300), Matt Davenport (44,500), Ellie Biessek (41,500), Simon Deadman (31,500), Ryan Spittles (25,700), Karl Mahrenholz (23,300), Shola Akindele (17,600) and Willie Tann (10,000) all progressed alongside Gurnam.
2014 GUKPT Luton End-of-Day 1b Top 10 Chip Counts
Day 2 kicks off at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday and sees 79 players return to their seats in the hope of becoming a GUKPT champion. Only a third of the returnees will receive prize money, money that is to be distributed at some point on Saturday. Tune into UK & Ireland PokerNews on Sunday to discover who popped the money bubble and who is in control going into Day 3 of the 2014 GUKPT Luton Main Event.
Lead image courtesy of Blonde Poker