The final starting flight of any major live tournament is almost always by far the busiest of any before it and that certainly was true in the 2015 UKIPT Bristol Main Event as 306 players chose Day 1b to start their title quest. Eighty-nine of those starters progressed to Saturday’s Day 2 but none of them excelled like Neil Van Der Merwe.
Van Der Merwe has got off to a start that most players can only dream of, one that saw him have the welcomed problem of having to cram 351,200 chips into his overnight chip back at the close of play. To put Van Der Merwe’s chip stack into context, he could double up eighth placed Kelly Saxby and still be in the top six chip counts.
Daniel Williams also had a solid start to this event, finished Day 1b with a stack of 224,900 chips, which means he starts Day 2 second in chips, pushing Javed Ullah, the Day 1a chip leader, into third place when the 128 surviving players from both start days return to the fray on Saturday lunchtime.
UKIPT Season 5 Bristol Main Event Day 1b Top 10 Chip Counts
|1||Neil Van Der Merwe||351,200|
Among the 89 Day 1b survivors was Deborah Worley-Roberts; she progressed with 147,400 chips.
France’s Richard Otto (145,500), Nikhil Persaud (91,900), Richard Kellett (83,600), Shola Akindele Deadman, wife of Simon Deadman (66,300), Brett Angell (56,600), Daragh Davey (49,200), Stephen Woodhead (45,300), Joe Grech (42,900), Gareth Chantler (21,200), Team PokerStars Pro Jake Cody (19,900), and Robbie Bull (15,500) are all still in contention for the £58,500 first place prize.
Missing from the Day 2 seat draw, much to the delight of the rest of the field no doubt, are a group of players who wouldn’t look out of place in a tournament with a buy-in several times the size of UKIPT Bristol.
Team PokerStars Online’s Alex Millar, a man with Bristol close to his heart, couldn’t get going and fell on Day 1b. As did recent World Series of Poker bracelet winner Alex Lindop, Rhys Jones, Richard Hawes, Tom Hall, Kevin Killeen, Niall Farrell, Ludovic Geilich and Antoine Saout.
Day 2 commences at noon on Saturday and there will be 10 levels of play before bringing the curtain down on proceedings. Should the eight-handed final table be reached before the end of the 10th level, play will also be over for the day.
Lead image courtesy of Mickey May of the PokerStars Blog