Sam Macdonald the Big Mac at UKIPT Edinburgh, leads Day 1 field
Sam Macdonald tonight bagged up 225,000, the biggest takeaway of any UKIPT customer here in Edinburgh. Excuse the pun, please. It's been a long day and we've been dreaming of comfort food. This is not the first time the prolific young Brit has held a UKIPT Day 1 chip lead, it's the third... this season. Macdonald outwitted, outflopped and outplayed his way past a combined field of 519, some 273 of whom played today. Macdonald not only stacked up the most of the 74 that made it through today but also the 73 who bagged up last night. Do your sums, we'll have 147 players return tomorrow for Day 2.
Having the biggest stack at this point all but guarantees a cash but Macdonald has thus far not been able to dismiss the belief that a Day 1 chip leader will not claim the title. He bought the farm in Nottingham at 28th and a little deeper at UKIPT Cork in 14th. If Macdonald doesn't final table here in Edinburgh you can only imagine he'll feel bitterly disappointed. Third time's the charm, they say.
Last year's winner Nick Abou Risk arrived today looking to retain his title with the ambitious goal of defending his Day 1B chip lead. In that he may have failed but until Abou Risk has had the last cold chip prised out of his hand you simply can't rule him out. Last year poker commentator Jesse May had been drawn next to Abou Risk, then an unknown, and picked him out quickly as a "terror and destroyer." May played again this year and was soon drawn to Abou Risk's table, this time he survived. Abou Risk is healthily stacked with 72,200, May a little below average with 39,000.
Fellow UKIPT winners Sam Razavi, Richard Sinclair and Max Silver also made it through, each having their own problem to overcome. While Razavi fought off the excesses of the previous night, which seemed to take eight of the ten levels, Sinclair seemed to be fighting time itself, patience constantly tested, the Scotsman ground his way through to finish on 70,000. Razavi's late revival coasted him up to 34,900.
Silver however had perhaps the biggest test of all, the temptation of Martin Mulsow. The unlucky third place finisher at UKIPT Cork earlier this year is a presence at the table, his laughter often rocking out hysterically across the tournament floor - a constant invitation to play him at his own game, which seemed to involve shoving Broadway heavy flops with nine-high and giggling some more. More of that, please. Silver later found himself seated with Razavi and Macdonald but successfully navigated his way through to the safety of a 55,500 stack. Mulsow unfortunately was sent to the rail some time earlier.
If there was ever a man to epitomise the phrase 'get it quietly' then it's EPT champion Julian Thew. True to form Thew sat quietly and patiently at his table and proceeded to take everyone's chips. It's unlikely anyone resented giving them to him either. How could you? Arguably the nicest man in poker, he takes 79,500 through to Day 2.
Join us from noon tomorrow as we play through into the money. If you want to see the overnight chip counts then click here. To catch up on all the day's action click on the links below:
All images are copyright of Mickey May and should be credited as such. She is an interesting singer and may caterwaul in your ear if you breach said agreement.