Day 1a of the 2020 Unibet UK Poker Tour £220 Main Event was a huge success with 164 entrants meeting almost two-thirds of the £50,000 guarantee with still three more opening flights to go.
The field was dwindled down to just 28 players after 16 blind levels of 30 minutes each.
United Kingdom's James Mitchell bagged a chip leading stack of 390,000. Very close on his tail was Nicholas Secker bagging a healthy stack of 385,000 in chips.
Mitchell was chipping up throughout the day and appeared to know when to put his foot on the pedal and when to brake including a spot where he folding pocket aces face-up on the turn with the king-queen-nine-jack on the board.
Meanwhile, Secker got most of his chips in one huge pot where he got it all-in with a flush draw to more than double up after hitting it.
Rounding out the top five in chip counts on Day 1a were Mark O'Callaghan (351,000), Artan Dedusha (329,000), and Paul Bahbout (282,000).
Meanwhile, the former Head of Poker at Unibet Poker David Pomroy was able to find a bag full of 178,000 in chips after firing two bullets today. Near the end of the day, his stack hit a high point of around 225,000 after he won a key pot with the nut flush when his opponent called a big bet on the river.
About 83 percent of the field wasn't as fortunate as the players already mentioned and will need to re-enter during any of the three opening flights remaining in hopes of advancing to the final day on Sunday.
Among those unable to survive included Unibet Poker Ambassadors and The Chip Race podcast co-hosts Dara O'Kearney and David Lappin. Additionally, poker streamer Jamie Nixon, who was fresh off two final table appearances at least week's Unibet Open Dublin, also will need to re-enter for a chance to make the final day.
Meanwhile, Canada's Lyle Bateman, who reported on the Unibet Open Dublin at PokerNews last week, also came up short today.
The Main Event resumes on Friday at 6 p.m. GMT with Day 1b. Stay tuned at PokerNews as we report the Unibet UK Poker Tour London Main Event from beginning to end.