Day 1a of the 2014 partypoker World Poker Tour (WPT) UK attracted 88 players (plus six re-entries) to Dusk Till Dawn in Nottingham and it was the former World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) Main Event champion Adrian Mateos who fared the best, ending the night with 181,200 chips to take an early lead in the £1,000,000 guaranteed event.
Spanish pro Mateos went about his business in a quiet, yet deadly efficient, manner, accumulating more than his fair share of small and medium sized pots before a massive cooler of a hand propelled him to the top of the chip counts.
The hand in question started with a raise to 1,200 from Emran Hussain in early position, a three-bet to 3,200 from Mateos in middle position and an all-in four-bet of 14,000 from Sergi Reixach on the button. Hussain went into the tank for a couple of minutes before moving all-in and Mateos instantly called.
Hussain's were the weakest of the three holdings because Reixach held and Mateos the powerhouse hand that is . By the river the board read , keeping Mateos' aces as the best hand and sending both Hussain and Reixach to the rail.
Joining Mateos on Day 2 are the likes of former Irish open champion Ian Simpson, Robert Smith and Morten Mortensen. Simpson finished Day 1a with 167,900 chips with Smith bagging 147,000 and Danish star Mortensen 128,900.
Other notables progressing from the first starting flight include Jonathan Gill (127,300), David Peters (112,900), Chris Sly (93,300), Mateos' fellow Spaniard Sergio Aido (92,900), Max Silver (81,400), Charlie Combes (78,100), Leo McClean (76,400), Daniel Rudd (64,900), Marvin Rettenmaier (63,600), Mike Sexton (61,800), Paul Vas Nunes (40,400), Rhys Jones (36,600), Steve Watts (35,800) and Nick Hicks (23,500).
2014 partypoker WPT UK Day 1a Top 10 Chip Counts
Day 1b need 240 entries in order to reach the lofty guarantee, but it should not be a problem as scores of internet qualifiers chose the final starting flight to enter the fray. Joining them should be some of the high-profile Day 1a casualties such as Alex Goulder, Jack Salter, Tom Middleton, Chuck Clark, Gaelle Baumann, Dominik Nitsche, Gordon Huntly, Simon Deadman, Ram Vaswani, Christopher Brammer, Simon Higgins, Scott Margereson, Jon Spinks, Michael Mizrachi and Sam Trickett.
Bryn Kenney Wins the 2014 partypoker WPT UK High Roller
While the Main Event was in full swing, the £6,000 buy-in High Roller event concluded. A total of 50 entries were processed, meaning the £300,000 guarantee was met to the pound.
The players returning for Day 2, the final day, read like a who's who of British poker with the likes of Toby Lewis, Craig McCorkell, David Vamplew, Oliver Price, and Stephen Chidwick being among them, the latter becoming the unfortunate bubble boy when he crashed out of the tournament in seventh place. Chidwick's exit locked up £18,000 for the six surviving players, Dhru Patel being the first player to collect prize money, followed by Pablo Fernandez, John Haigh and Stuart Rutter.
Despite the wealth of British talent on show, it was American star Bryn Kenney who walked away with the largest share of the spoils, but he was made to work hard for it by online poker's world number one Patrick Leonard.
2014 partypoker WPT UK High Roller Final Table Results
Day 1b of the WPT UK Main Event begins at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday 19 November and you can follow all of the action unfold via our Live Reporting pages.
Lead image courtesy of the WPT Live Updates team