UKIPT Galway: Peter Murphy emerges from the snow storm to lead Day 1 field

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Poker isn't a game that you'd normally associate with weather problems. Games run night and day, rain or shine all year round but when extreme snowfall hit the UK and Ireland earlier this week we were left wondering what would happen to UKIPT Galway? Of course we should never have worried. Players came through rain, sleet and snow to get here, a total of 266 brave souls trying to race their way to the first final table of the UKIPT second season here in the €1,000 UKIPT Irish Poker Championship.

Come the end of 11 gruelling hours we had one man out at the front, Peter Murphy, who, much like Scott of the Antarctic, had to eat whale blubber and use sleigh dogs to stay ahead of the pack. Murphy had amassed an almighty 185,700 stack, a chunk of which he had taken by knocking Owen Robinson, one of the success stories of last season, into an icy crevass towards the end of the day. Of the 266 that had set off at noon, just 75 had made it through.


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A slew of silhouettes chased Murphy through the snow storm and at one point it looked like Dermot Blain might be the one to catch him.

Irishman Blain is an adventurer in the truest sense following the tournament trail wherever it may lead. He's made cashes in tournaments across Ireland, Europe, and, most notably, Asia where he won APPT Macau in 2009 for $541,100. Blain finished the day with 138,600 but it turned out there were several others ahead of him. Peter Barrable pitched his tent with 159,000 while Kenneth Forkan (163,000), Vinny Gavin (159,900) and Jamie Burland (137,700) were all left well positioned to take their shot when the clouds clear tomorrow.


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Dermot Blain looking to bring foreign success to domestic shores


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Jamie Burland is pushing to be the first double UKIPT winner


Despite the charge of these pioneers at the front there are plenty of others still plodding along - practically snowblind in some cases -hoping that the skies will clear overnight and their path becomes that little bit clearer. Chief amongst them is Jude Ainsworth, a player that not only has won the Irish Poker Championship before but has had searing results online of late. He may only have 36,600 left but to write him off would be foolish.


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Jude Ainsworth: down but certainly not out


Among the 191 players that were lost in the cold today were Team PokerStars Pros Liv Boeree and Julian Thew. Boeree made a large bluff representing the nuts only to find out that's exactly what her opponent held and ran ace-queen into ace-king moments later. We lost Thew in a blizzard somewhere around level six. If you look deeply into the swirling snow you can still see his gentle face smiling back at you. Both players are gone, but not forgotten.


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Liv Boeree won't be adding a UKIPT trophy to her cabinet this time around


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Julian Thew: listen closely and you can hear his voice on the wind


Play resumes tomorrow at 1pm where we'll play down eight-handed until the final table. Join us from the off.

The payout structure can be found by clicking here and the overnight chip counts will appear if you use your mouse to attack this area.

To catch up with all the day's action click on the links below:
Welcome to UKIPT Season 2
Level 1, 2 & 3
Level 4, 5 & 6
Level 7, 8 & 9
Level 10 & 11

Rick Dacey
@PokerStars in UKIPT