UKIPT Brighton: Albright shines through to take Day 1B chip lead
Rod Albright made a late surge to claim the UKIPT Brighton Day 1B chip lead with a hefty 166,100 stack. The 36-year old financial advisor was one of several player jockeying to claim tonight's chip lead and thanks to an aces versus ace-king hand late on it was Albright who stacked up the largest. Albright certainly in the ranks of the playing that can dream of the £71,100 first place prize.
"I've had aces four times and got paid every time," said the recreational player, who was obviously thrilled to be bagging up a monster stack. Others weren't far behind. Danny Lamming (141,900), David Lloyd (109,400) and Derek Murray (101,000) all broke the six-figure mark, but all fell short of the 180,500 Chris O'Donnell took through at the end of Day 1A. The 355 players of today brought the total UKIPT Brighton main event field up to 603, more than twice that of last year (admittedly at half the buy-in of last year). We had 106 players make it though today, and will have 169 return tomorrow.
The fight for the Day 1B chip lead ran side by side to the WSOP main event bubble, possibly not entirely mirroring the tension felt in Las Vegas at this juncture, but come Sunday we will be crowning a champion. The "Big One"? They have to wait to November.
Paul Zimbler (53,700) had led the Day 1B field early on amassing a huge 100,600 stack in the fifth level of the day giving him in excess of 500 big blinds. He held the reins for some time but the end of the day was less kind as other players raced past him. He tried to rectify that situation at the end of the day by scribbling 153,700 on his bag. Knock off a 100,000 and you're there.
David Rudling-Smith had been a key figure and had held the lead for a short time, during which he quite enjoyed playfully needling Rupinder 'Buckaroo' Bedi. The serial UKIPT cash finisher had been up and down all day (as per normal) dropping as low as 8,000 and finished on 65,800. Rudling-Smith scraped through with 17,000.
At the beginning of any tournament the PokerStars Blog scours the tables for the players with standout pedigree, reputation or perceived prowess. Today it was easy to spot some quality names. European Poker Tour winners Roberto Romanello, Toby Lewis and Will Fry were in attendance as were UKIPT champs Nick Abou Risk, Femi Fakinle, Matthew McDerra and Andrew Couldridge. Of that magnificent seven only Romanello (44,800) made it through, the others were run out of town early on, largely before the dinner break. Nicky Romanello, who had been ahead of his better known brother for most of the day, finished on 41,800.
One former UKIPT top dog was conspicuously missing, last year's champion Jamie Burland. Who doesn't come back to defend their crown? What would stop you from coming back to have another shot at the title? Well, making Day 4 of the WSOP Main Event. Burland made the money and as this wrap was being written he was still in, punching and kicking his way through the field. Beating these UKIPT fields takes class and heart, there's no mistaking that. Burland's earned his stripes, who will follow in his footsteps as king or queen of Brighton pier? Whoever it is they'll be coming back tomorrow for a 2pm start. Join us then and in the meantime read this letter from Burland ripped from his facebook page this morning. It's a bit twee, we admit, but the sentiment is heartfelt.
Dear Las Vegas,
I'm pretty close to beating you for the first time in my life. I've extended my flights and am missing home and my girlfriend terribly. 850 left in the WSOP main event going back to day 4 tomorrow. I have 103,500 points and 697 people will make at least $19k. I'm not saying I expect to win the $8.17MM up top but I promise to come back and visit again if you don't let me down.
Thanks in advance,
To catch up on all the day's play click on the links below and you can find the overnight chip counts by clicking here (or rather they will be once we've been given them).