The Hippodrome Casino was packed to the rafters on Friday thanks to yet another huge crowd of poker players descending on it for the final starting flight of the UKIPT5 London Main Event. The venue's capacity was reached but thanks to a constant flow of eliminations, the 67 alternates were seated, taking the total attendance of Day 1c to 347 and 742 overall.
Unlike the previous starting days, nobody eclipsed the 200,000 chip mark on Day 1c, although Ross Boatman came close. The former London's Burning actor – if you're under 30-years old you won't have a clue what I am talking about – finished the night with 190,100 chips, enough to claim the Day 1c chip lead.
Boatman, brother of World Series of Poker bracelet winner Barny Boatman, doesn't play as many live poker tournaments as he once did, yet he took to the UKIPT5 London main Event like a duck to water and is now one to watch as the tournament enters its second day's play.
Another familiar face pushed Boatman all the way in the race to bag the most chips, that face belonging to Nik Persaud. Like Boatman, Persaud hasn't registered a cash in a major live tournament since the middle of 2013, again down to lack of volume and nothing to do with his unquestionable ability.
Day 1c was the start day of choice for some of the UK's best poker talent and it ended in punching their ticket for Saturday's Day 2 for the likes of Willie Tann (169,300), Chuck Clark (152,500), William Dorey (121,200), Brett Angell (91,100), popular Irish grinder Andy Black (85,900), Andrew Sweeney (72,100), Paul Febers (65,100), Team PokerStars Pro Matthias De Meulder (64,200), Leo McClean (63,500), Steve Watts (59,000), Ben Vinson (57,700), Charles Chattha (52,800), Richard Milner (36,800), and Fraser MacIntyre (21,900).
UKIPT5 London Day 1c Top 10 Chip Counts
|3||Juan Riera Roig||178,800|
As poker is a zero sum game, those who progressed were offset by the players who fell on their swords during Day 1c proceedings.
Such luminaries as Kevin Williams, Sky Poker's Julian Thew, James “Flushy” Dempsey, Fintan Gavin, Kelly Saxby, Lee Taylor, John Duthie, PKR's Simon Hemsworth, Team PokerStars SportStars Fatima Moriera de Melo, Emmett Mullin, and Ellie Biessek exited before the end of the twelfth level to make the Day 2 waters slightly less shark infested.
Day 2 sees 216 players return to the fray with Day 1b's leader Piotr Tuczynski (332,100) leading them back into battle. Only 111 of those returnees are to be paid, 11th place netting them £1,260, an official final table appearance being worth £9,138 and the UKIPT5 London Main Event champion receiving a comedy cheque for a cool £95,100.
Return to UK & Ireland PokerNews on Sunday to discover which unfortunate soul burst the money bubble and who is on course for the massive first place prize.