PokerStars Festival Dublin: Ilyukhin and Foley race into early lead

Seven of Day 1A's 12 levels have now been played, meaning registration is closed and everyone else is going to need to wait until tomorrow to join the action.

One hundred and thirty-seven players sat down today, of which around 90 remain. By the time you are finished reading this, we'll almost certainly be into the 80s. A 30,000 starting stack doesn't last that long.

There's no question of the star attraction: after doing the shuffle up and deal, then disappearing back for a nap, Team PokerStars Pro Chris Moneymaker got himself a tray of chips and joined the fray during Level 6.

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Taking it easy: Chris Moneymaker

Much to the dismay of the live updates team, he then proceeded to take it easy during his first orbit. I think they were hoping to watch him go boom or bust.

But Moneymaker had a lesson in patience (and snooker) from Stephen Hendry earlier and is taking things easy in the relatively early levels.

The same can't necessarily be said of Nicholas Galtos, David Docherty and Mathias De Meulder, who were among the prominent names to be knocked out in early exchanges.

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Nicholas Galtos: Among the early fallers

At the same time as they were hitting the rail, Victor Ilyukhin and Sean Foley became the first two players to move beyond 100,000, with Gary Stokes, Mark Muldoon and Chris Wood among those also enjoying decent starts.

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Victor Ilyukhin: Early leader

It is, however, premature to be making any grand pronouncements about how these opening levels will affect the tournament as a whole. Tomorrow's Day 1B will inevitably be far busier, then there's the turbo Day 1C immediately afterwards too.

Don't forget, there's a €700,000 guarantee on this event, and a bluetooth beanie for every participant. So what are you waiting for? Get over here to play.

Howard Swains
@howardswains in Live Poker