UKIPT Coventry: Get Carter
The day started with 137 players stamping their hooves at 2pm readying themselves for the metaphorical gallop towards the big money waiting at the final table. At 3.10am this morning some 13 hours later there were just ten players left. Right at the death of level 20, just after Joe Lucas somehow managed to avoid chopping a pot with A♠T♥ against A♣J♦ on a A♥8♣8♥Q♦Q♣ board, UKIPT tournament director Toby Stone drew a halt to play. Lucas takes home £2,500 for his Trojan effort but misses out on the chance to win £46,000 tomorrow. Tired, battered and bruised the remaining ten players bagged their chips looking relieved and elated to make the cut if not more than ready to head back to their hotel rooms. It's a quick unwind for them before coming back tomorrow for those final couple of jumps. Tournament poker can be a killer.
Looking back there were a few chip leaders who came into day 2 with over 100,000 but there was only one who made it all the way through and that was Paul Rigg. He started on 102,900 and finished the day on 593,000. Other chip leaders didn't fare quite so well. PokerPlayer magazine staff writer Ross Jarvis had the biggest stack overnight with 131,100 and finished in a credible 32nd for £950. Even Jarvis would admit that he had a tough table draw with former EPT winner Jake Cody and, soon after, Dan Carter joining him at the table. Jeffrey Burke and Mike Lacey finished in 22nd and 24th respectively for £1,250 each while 20-year old student Alex Jackson bagged £1,750 for a 17th place finish. It does go to show that while overnight chip leaders often don't win an event they are still obviously in a great position to make the money!
Having the chip lead going into the final table is a different matter however - especially when it's held by a player with the quality of Dan Carter. The 22-year old already has a frightening amount of experience behind him and is a big favourite to make the final three at least. But this is poker and the cards are play out a different story. One thing is for certain and that's that all the players will be trying to get Carter's hands off the £46,000 first place money and the UKIPT Coventry. The players coming back tomorrow are:
Seat 1, Gilles Augustus, 22, Belgium, PokerStars Player
Chips - 677,000
Augustus was the man responsible for setting the Final Table when he eliminated Joe Lucas at just after 3am on Day 2. His biggest online win is $3,700. He has certainly shown us that he's not afraid to make big calls and he starts the Final Table third in chips.
Seat 2, Chris Brice, 31, United Kingdom
Chips - 343,000
Brice lists his occupation as nuclear medicine so he is obviously an intelligent man and his poker style reflects this. When involved in the action, he has been very methodical and seems to have steadily accumulated chips rather than won any big coups or set up hands. His biggest live cash to date was £16,500 when he finished third in a £500 tournament in October 2009.
Seat 3, Ben Crellin, 19, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier
Chips - 126,000
Ben is the youngest competitor at our Final Table. When not playing poker he's busy studying at Durham University, so he will have quite a tale to tell - not to mention less student debt to pay off - when he returns from the Easter break. He comes into the Final Table eighth in chips. His biggest win online is $4,300 when he finished fourth in the PokerStars $3 re-buy tournament.
Seat 4, Dave Jones, 22, United Kingdom
Chips - 823,000
Dave Jones is a poker professional who specialises in tournaments, with a biggest online win to date of $77,000. His biggest live cash to date is $23,670 which he scooped in a $1,000 tournament in November 2009. Although he was seated to the direct right of chip leader Dan Carter for the last few levels of Day 2, he comes into the Final Table second in chips. Jones mixes in the same circles as many of the top UK online players and is likely to have a cheering section on the rail at the Final Table.
Seat 5, Marius Lietuvnikas, 32, Lithuania, PokerStars Player
Chips - 332,000
Marius is making his second deep run in a UKIPT event, but he's already gone one better than the Manchester leg of the UKIPT, where he finished 11th. Lietuvnikas, a Lithuanian who resides in London, has been well stacked throughout the tournament but really vaulted into contention when he eliminated Toby Lewis in a 320,000 chip pot just before the bubble burst. His biggest cash to date is $12,000.
Seat 6, Andrew Booth, 41, United Kingdom
Chips - 148,000
Booth is a property developer from Liverpool. Having laid the foundations by cashing at this tournament, he will now have to work hard to build further as he lies ninth in the chip count. His best live score to date is £35,000 and he'll have to win this tournament to beat that total.
Seat 7, Dan Carter, 22, United Kingdom
Chips - 1,411,000
Dan Carter is a professional poker player from Cheltenham who has been playing for a living since the age of 18 and is the chip leader heading into the Final Table. Carter has just over $275,000 in live tournament earnings. He's no slouch online either, having chopped the PokerStars Sunday Million (with a then guarantee of $500,000) for $95,976 in January 2006. Carter has variously specialised in cash games, Sit and Gos, heads up cash and tournaments in his poker career to date. He is an avid golfer who plays off a handicap of seven and in fact had to cancel a round he was due to play this morning due to the late finishing of Day 2.
Seat 8, Paul Rigg, 46, United Kingdom
Chips - 593,000
Rigg is a professional poker player and he has won just shy of $120,000 in live tournaments, with his biggest single cash being £21,000. He has done well to recover from running Queens into Dave Jones' pocket Kings halfway through the day and he comes into the Final Table fourth in chips, well-placed to take his deep run even deeper.
Seat 9, Ben Dobson, 21, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier
Chips - 547,000
Ben Dobson is the second student at today's Final Table and starts play fifth in chips. He had a rollercoaster ride to get here, running his stack up and down a couple of times before settling in the middle of the pack. His biggest cash to date came when he won a $75 online tournament for $14,000. No doubt he'll be looking to parlay some of his winnings from this event into the next leg of the UKIPT, which takes place in his hometown of Nottingham on 12-17 May.
Seat 10, Joe Grech, 56, United Kingdom
Chips - 418,000
Grech is the oldest player at today's Final Table but with age comes vast amounts of experience. Joe has over $1,200,000 in lifetime career earnings and his first recorded cash came in 2003 when chip leader Dan Carter wasn't even old enough to drive, let alone enter a casino. Remarkably consistent Grech has recorded total cashes of over $100,000 every year since 2004 and his biggest single cash was for $350,000 back in 2005.
The final table payouts are: