The penultimate main event of the 2016 Grosvenor UK Poker Tour began on November 10 as 76 players took to the felt in Blackpool each vying for a slice of the £200,000 guaranteed prize pool.
After nine 60-minute levels of play, only 30 of those 76 hopefuls had chips needing bagging up, and nobody had amassed more chips than Simon Zach, the Day 1a chip leader.
2016 GUKPT Blackpool Day 1a Top 10 Chip Counts
Looking at Zach’s Hendon Mob page, it appears the Blackpool resident used to be a regular on the GUKPT in its earlier days. Zach finished sixth in the 2007 GUKPT Cardiff Main Event, eighth at 2007 GUKPT Newcastle, and ninth at the 2007 GUKPT Grand Final. Zach also finished 18th in the 2012 GUKPT Blackpool Main Event, which was his last recorded cash until he made it into the money in a $550 buy-in tournament in Las Vegas this summer.
Mitch Johnson was the only other player to break through the 100,000 chip barrier, ending Day 1a with 101,700 chips. Hot on Johnson’s heels are the likes of former European Poker Tour Barcelona champion Tom Middleton (87,600), and Nick Slade (86,500), while Steve Holden (60,500), Luke Reeves (58,500), Simon Deadman (30,600), Michael Fletcher (17,600), Shola Akindele (13,200), and Terry Jordon (13,000) also progressed to Saturday’s Day 2.
Several high profile players bust on Day 1a but can re-enter on Day 1b and take another shot at glory. WPT500 Las Vegas champion Andreas Olympios was eliminated right at the death, while Dean Hutchison and Steve Warburton also crashed out during the first starting flight.
Day 1b commences at 1:00 p.m. on November 11 and should see upwards of 150 entries processed before late registration closes at the end of the sixth hour-long level.