It is not only the Czech Republic where there is hot poker action this weekend because the Steel City of Sheffield is playing host to the season finale Genting Poker Series (GPS) Grand Final.
With Day 1a having taken place online – only 19 players participated at the virtual felt – Day 1b was the first starting flight to take place at the Genting Club Sheffield. The day started with only 18 players in their seats, but the attendance grew steadily and topped out at 68. This puts the total attendance at 87, which means Day 1c has to attract at least 163 entries in order for the £200,000 guarantee to be hit.
One man who won't be competing on Day 1c, thanks to having an amazing time at the felt on Day 1b, is Tom Deane. Over the course of 10 levels, Deane turned his 30,000 starting stack into a colossal 316,600 chips, 126,100 more than his nearest rival. To put Deane's stack into perspective, he could double up any player outside the top 10 and still be the tournament's chip leader.
Although anything can happen in poker, we'd put good money on Deane being there or thereabouts when the final table is reached over the weekend.
Deane's closest rival at the end of Day 1a was the legend that is Alli Mallu, a player who is renowned for playing any two cards and one who is not afraid of committing his entire stack at any point of the tournament. Mallu bagged up 190,500 chips.
Another player to progress with a solid stack is local player Alex Spencer, who you may recall is the reigning Sky Poker UK Poker Championship Main Event champion. Now that Spencer has oodles of chips at his disposal – 173,700 to be exact – he is definitely a force to be reckoned with when Day 2 commences on Saturday.
Other notables to progress to Day 2 include Richard Hawes (145,700), Chin Chai Koh who is better-known as Chinese Frankie (140,400), Waheed “Wadey” Ashraf (122,000), Ben Martin (99,700), and the man ranked 22nd in the UK by the Global Poker Index Matt Davenport (81,600).
2014 Genting Poker Series Grand Final Day 1b Top 10 Chip Counts
Tune back into UK & Ireland PokerNews on Saturday to find out if the GPS Grand Final overlaid and if anyone managed to match Tom Deane's impressive total.
Lead image courtesy of the Genting Poker Blog