The super high roller series known as the World Poker Tour (WPT) Apha8 is visiting London for the second consecutive year, bringing with it some of the biggest names in world poker. Yet it is the lesser-known Talal Shakerchi who leads after the first day’s play, bagging up 385,000 chips when the curtain came down on proceedings.
Fifteen players bought in for the princely sum of £60,000 and five of those re-enter for an additional £60,000. Of those 20 entries, only 11 remain in contention for a slice of the £1,160,000 prize pool and it is Shakerchi who is in pole position going into Tuesday’s Day 2.
I probably did Shakerchi an injustice by calling him “lesser-known” but that was only meant in the sense that the likes of Isaac Haxton, Daniel Colman, Stephen Chidwick, Sam Trickett, and Erik Seidel are household names and known around the globe.
Let’s not forget that Shakerchi is a talented poker player in his own right, one who has taken down the £10,300 European Poker Tour London High Roller (£436,330) in 2013 and the €10,300 6-Max Turbo High Roller at the 2012 EPT Grand Final (€223,000). Should Shakerchi emerge victorious in the Alpha8 London event, he will surely receive the global recognition that he deserves.
2014 WPT Alpha8 London End-of-Day 1 Chip Counts
Joining Shakerchi in the duty of representing the UK in this super high roller are Stephen Chidwick and Sam Trickett. Chidwick ended Day 1 with a 229,300 stack, enough to place him fourth in chips, while Trickett finished with 127,600 and finds himself ninth from 11 when play resumes.
There was another Brit in the field, but Elior Sion, fresh from his World Championship Of Online Poker (WCOOP) Main Event final table appearance, couldn’t reproduce his online form and he busted and didn’t re-enter.
Daniel Cates busted twice, as did Frenchman Jean-Noel Thorel, while Germany’s Max Altergott crashed out late on and opted to invest £60,000 elsewhere. Colman, Fabian Quoss and Philipp Gruissem were the players who re-bought and managed to progress to Day 2.
Play resumes at 3:00p.m. on Tuesday and continues until a champion is crowned. There are no easy seats in an Alpha8 tournament, but Shakerchi does seem to have a dreadful seat draw for the final day, as you can see below.
Don’t forget to return to UK & Ireland PokerNews on Wednesday to discover if it is Shakerchi’s or someone else’s name that is etched onto the latest Alpha8 trophy.
Lead image courtesy of the World Poker Tour live reporting team