UKIPT Nottingham: Late charge sends Robinson to final table summit
Ever since the schedule changed mid-way through day two, a lot of vagueness entered UKIPT Nottingham. We might have reached our final table anywhere between about 4pm today and 4pm tomorrow, such had been the haste, then slow, then haste, then slow of the action.
No one minded much because the old certainties remained. We knew at some point that all but eight players would depart and that we would witness a cull of the 72 hopefuls returning today. So it proved. By 10.15pm, the carpet was splattered with blood and the vanquished were weeping in the halls. And although that's not true in the slightest, this is: your final table players are as follows:
Owen Robinson, Ireland, 2,414,000
Graham Giles, UK, 1,807,000
Andros Spyrou, UK, 1,407,000
Andrew Couldridge, UK, 1,206,000
Oliver Schaffmann, UK, 1,018,000
Piotr Majewski, Poland, 639,000
Gareth Walker, UK, 506,000
Nicholas Gavriel, UK, 494,000
The leader there is Owen Robinson, who is the man putting the "I" in this leg of the UKIPT. He's from Wexford in Ireland and will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of his countryman Padraig Parkinson and into the winners' enclosure tomorrow.
Robinson started playing about four years ago in home games, but now mostly plays online. His last job was as a clerical officer in the accounts department of local government but currently he's on a voluntary three year career break. He intended to use it to get an MA (having previously completed an undergrad in Philosophy, Sociology and Politics at Galway University) and also to travel to Asia, but poker has somewhat taken over. This result is already his best result; his biggest online win is about $3,500.
Robinson's day only really got going late on, but he zoomed into contention with a series of massive pots. He doubled up through Nick Gavriel, then knocked out Parminder Kandola in 11th, Raymond Chan in 10th and then finished the job by eliminating Mark Aldridge in ninth.
Aldridge had actually led this tournament for hours before he was coolered against tomorrow's second-biggest stack, Graham Giles.
Andros Spyrou, who will be third going into the final table, has always been a vibrant presence at the tables, and today he showed the substance to back up all the style.
Oliver Schaffmann, who is fourth, was also never far from the very top through all ten levels. All of these guys have proved they can play, and tomorrow it will be anyone's game.
Well, not exactly anyone. All the names you see over on the prizewinners page are now out of the running, busted today.
They include yesterday's two leaders Aman Atwal and Paul Ephremsen, as well as the noted talents of John Eames, Thomas Middleton, Maria Demetriou, John Burberry and Mickey Wernick. They were all in the black for the week, but they're busted now.
Play begins at noon as we search for our champion - and the man who will take the £80,000 first prize. Don't forget, there'll also be the spectacular televised final of the £300 side event, where the techies are experimenting with new hole card wizardry.
And if you can't wait for that, look at all the frolics from the day over at PokerStars.tv or with any of the following links:
That's all for now. Goodnight.