Aspers Casino in Stratford was packed to the rafters on November 27 when 201 players bought into the 2014 Unibet Open London Main Event. By the time the curtain came down on the first starting flight's proceedings all but 68 of those players had fallen by the wayside.
The name at the top of the Day 1a chip counts is that of Nathan Dippie who managed to accumulate 356,500 chips. Dippe is more accustomed to grinding low buy-in tournaments than he is €1,500 buy-in events, but you wouldn't believe it basing on his Day 1a performance. Time will tell if Dippe can build on his impressive start in this £250,000 guaranteed event.
Johan Backfjard (271,800), Richard Pullen (228,700), and Tim Van De Riet (202,100) each finished with more than 200,000 chips in their stacks and have done their chances of some pre-Christmas glory no harm at all.
Slightly further down the leader board is Ryan Spittles who bagged up 181,600 chips at the close of play. Spittles is a popular figure on the UK and European poker circuit and one who is also respected immensely. This summer, Spittles came close to winning a World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet in Event #44 of the 2014 WSOP, but fell in eighth place for $45,554. Now that Spittles has chips aplenty, he is definitely one to watch as the tournament progresses.
Other notables to punch their Day 2 tickets include Haresh Thaker (159,000), Otto Richard (131,100), Charalampos Lappas (105,900), Marc Inizan (74,100), Kevin Williams (71,000), Jonathan Weekes (52,000), and the reigning 2014 partypoker WPT UK Main Event champion Matas Cimbolas (21,900).
Day 1a didn't work out for the likes of Morten Mortensen, Lukasz Wasek, Timotheos Timotheou, Gabriel Tuna, Artur Wasek, Gordon Huntly, Lucille Cailly, John Conroy, and Sky Poker Pro Julian Thew.
2014 Unibet Open London Day 1a Top 10 Chip Counts
|4||Tim Van De Riet||202,100|
Day 1b should see another substantial crowd descend on Aspers, smashing the guarantee in the process. It will be interesting to see how many players do turn out for it as the 2014 GUKPT Grand Final's final starting flight runs at the same time.
Tune into UK & Ireland PokerNews on Saturday morning to discover how many players turned out for the Day 1b of the Unibet Open London Main Event and it anyone managed to surpass Dippe's impressive Day 1a haul.