PokerStars Festival Dublin: Shameful nepotism (aka, Dan Jones leads Main Event)
If there's one thing I hate about poker blogging and poker Twitter it's how self-referential it all is. All anybody wants to do is talk about their own achievements or the achievements of their mates. You'd never catch me doing that.
Ladies and gentleman, let me introduce your Day 1B mid-day chip leader. It's Dan Jones! Yes, that's PokerStars Blog's Dan Jones. Congratulations mate. Always knew you could do it.
To fill in the gaps: Our friend and colleague Jones is a qualifier to this event here in Dublin and is continuing what amounts to a hot streak. Only five days ago, Jones was at the final table of Event #73 in WCOOP, a $215 no limit hold'em event. He finished eighth, from a field of 1,259, to win a little more than $4,000.
By then, he had already locked up a seat in this tournament via an online satellite. All of that was about a year after he first came to our attention as a player at EPT Barcelona, where he was the feature star of Brad Willis's foray into podcasting The New Guy.
We'll not blow too much more hot air up Jones for the time being. Quite apart from how difficult it is on a personal level, it's still incredibly early in this event to be talking of a new champion. (But it would certainly be well celebrated in these parts.)
But what else is happening in the tournament, as it approaches the end of Level 7? Well, Jones has a stack of around 120,000 and he leads Maria Kozak (114,000), Florian Duta (110,000) and Miguel Coussement (100,000).
Registration closed with 259 players having taken their Day 1B seats, bringing the total number so far to 396 over the two starting flights. There's a last-chance re-entry turbo flight kicking off at 9pm tonight, but it's only open to players who have already entered and been knocked out. It should add a bit more cash to the prize pool, which looks like being an even €700,000.
Both Michael Duberry and Wayne Bridge have already been knocked out today. Both of them absolutely loved it, but couldn't grind their way into Day 2. Bridge ran kings into Dermot Blain's flopped straight and couldn't get away. They were last seen plotting a return to the tables in some side events.
The same applies to Jake Cody. The Team PokerStars Pro made only the shortest visit to the Main Event and was knocked out in a matter of two levels today.
Stephen Hendry remains involved, however. He has around 37,000. Maria Konnikova is also still playing. She has 24,000. Fintan Hand, of Team Online, is leading all the Red Spades with 45,000.
Today's field also still includes Jason Wheeler, Ludovic Geilich, Fintan Gavin, Niall Farrell, Andrew Christoforou, Dermot Blain and Mick Graydon, so it's a toughie.
You can follow blow-by-blow coverage via our friends at Poker News.