PokerStars Festival Dublin: McGinty massive, leads the final 40 in the Main Event
When you're sitting with a stack that is more than twice as big as your nearest challenger and over four times the average stack, you know something is going right. With 40 players left in the Main Event that's the situation Gary McGinty finds himself in.
He was the first player to cross the million chip mark, and since then has powered on to increase his stack to over 1.8 million. There will almost certainly be players who start with less than that at the final table as the average stack with eight players left will be 2.04 million.
There's no one close to catching McGinty at the moment, Padhraic Mulligan sits second with just over 800,000. It's a mostrous chip lead for McGinty then and a huge stack relative to the blinds which are 5,000/10,000 ante 1,000 at this stage. Anyone with more than 409,000 is batting above .500.
A quick look at McGinty's poker resume reveals that prising those chips away from McGinty is unlikely to prove an easy task. A side-event win at the Irish Open in April of this year earned him $28,386 and he has over $60,000 in lifetime live earnings. Throw in almost $360,000 of online earnings and he looks a dangerous customer indeed.
There are plenty of big names in the chasing pack though and lots of homegrown talent looking to win a PokerStars title on home soil. Two of the most notable are at the same table as Sean Prendiville (520,000) and Mick Graydon (340,000) are flying the Irish flag. They're not alone as 13 of the final 40 hail from Ireland. Dan Wilson (280,000) and Andrew Grimason (350,000) are also still in the mix.
One table over there's a little corner of America sat side by side. Day 1B chip leader Deborah Worley-Roberts is sat to the right of James Salmon. Worley-Roberts is a well known face on the UK and Ireland circuit and seems to do well in Ireland. A fifth place finish in the UKIPT3 Cork Main Event is her best result in Ireland so far. That earned her €14,780, if she finishes seventh of higher here in Dublin she'll eclipse that. She's below average with 270,000 at time of writing.
That's not a problem Salmon has. He's not as well known in Ireland but followers of PokerStars events may remember him from his final table appearence in the PSC Panama Main Event. He finished seventh for $48,520. That was in March of this year and since then he's cashed at Championship events in Monte Carlo and Barcelona and had a deep run in the WSOP Main Event. He's no fish and is sitting with a stack of 600,000.
With 40 players remaining that means almost half of the 79 in the money spots have been filled. Snooker star Stephen Hendry is one of those who has departed. He was elimianted in 56th place in a cooler when he lost with a set of fours to Mulligan's set of kings. Still, €2,510 and a first major cash meant Hendry wasn't too disheartened. David Penly (44th, €2,780), Emmett Mullin (62nd, €2,510), Dan Jones (65th, €2,510), Paul Leckey (69th, €2,510) and Kevin Killeen (72nd, €2,310) are some of the other notables who made the money.
There's still another three levels to play before play is done and our expert predicts that they'll be around 20 players left at the end of play. Will any of them be able to catch McGinty? To find out, check out the live reporting over at PokerNews.