Seventeen players are still in with a shot of a £59,000 payday and the title of 2014 Grosvenor UK Poker Tour (GUKPT) Blackpool champion. Leading those 17 hopefuls into battle on the third and final day of the £1,080 buy-in event is former Irish Open champion, James Mitchell.
Mitchell secured a €600,000 cheque when he took down the Irish Open in 2010, by far the largest score of his career so far. The man from Wimbledon now has more than $1.61 million in live tournament winnings and is on course to add another title to his already impressive poker CV by the time the GUKPT Blackpool Main Event concludes on November 16.
With 372,000 chips at the start of play, Mitchell has almost 75 big blinds and is going to take some stopping when pay resumes. Although in a healthy position going into the final day, Mitchell is sure to be pushed all the way by the chasing pack, which happens to contain some top poker talent.
Carl Harris and Alan McLean are hot on Mitchell's heels with 321,000 and 302,000 chips, while Phil Walker and Kevin Steele are also deep stacked with 295,000 and 280,000 chips respective.
However, it is the man in eighth place who is probably Mitchell's most dangerous opponent. Sat in eighth place at the start of play is the reigning GUKPT Blackpool champion Rick Trigg (249,000). The online legend has a superb record in the seaside town of Blackpool having secured a 12th place finish in 2009, an 18th place in 2011 and an outright victory in 2013. A Trigg versus Mitchell heads-up battle would be fantastic to watch.
2014 GUKPT Blackpool Day 3 Chip Counts
Each of the 17 returning players are in the money and guaranteed a minimum payout of £2,600 for their efforts so far. Anyone reaching the final table locks up £4,800 with the eventual champion taking home £59,000. Can Trigg successfully defend his title? We'll find out soon enough.