UKIPT Cork: McGleenon shines among a bright Day 1B field
The United Kingdom and Ireland Poker Tour is all about providing quality deep-stacked tournament poker at an affordable rate for recreational players, but with an attractive prize pool for even the most steely of UK professionals. That ethos has been borne out here perhaps more than anywhere else. While Irishman Barry McGleenon finished the day with 209,300 - just 100 more than Day 1A's chip leader Sam MacDonald - today's field saw some great players hit the baize; a handful bred and blooded by the tour, others that have established themselves on other stages, all fighting for a hefty €71,000 first place prize.
The 37-year old span from 15,000 up to 72,000 and down to 3,000 in the first couple of hours. I think it's safe to say that we can expect fireworks from him tomorrow as well. McGleenon played Cork earlier this season but had lasted just half an hour. Given his high octane style of play one can see why he's a big stack or bust player.
Among the other 281 players opting to play today's second flight were UKIPT champs Nick Abou Risk and Max Silver. Both ended up grounded before the later levels kicked in. Abou Risk - calm customer his default style of play - looked a little unsettled today, probably something to do with the rubdown he received after losing ace-king to kings. Silver on the other hand never really got started, perhaps more pre-occupied with deciding whether he should wear a pink baseball cap purely to find out whether it was lucky. The conclusion? Yes, if it was worn backwards. He must have been wearing it orthodox at the critical moment, he was out well before Abou Risk. They were just two of the 211 player that fell.
Two other former UKIPT champs, Jamie Burland and Matthew McDerra, enjoyed better fortunes, even if they were a little more up and down. While McDerra failed to last the distance, Burland was left with the onerous bagging and tagging duties at the end of play. The Englishman, now sporting a faux-lobotomy haircut*, lost a 40,000 pot with ace-king to ace-queen at an early juncture that would have put him out ahead as an early chip leader and did well to bounce back (several times). He finished the day on 36,000, well below average but far more than a chip and a chair.
*Inspired by Sam Grafton, Burland claims.
The chip leader role instead fell to a mix of players, first of all Conor Mcelhinney, a player who quietly chipped up in the corner of the room seldom putting a foot wrong if his tablemates were to be believed (the irony being that's he's currently on crutches), and Patrick Stephens. Just behind them was someone used to holding a big stack; EPT winner Kevin MacPhee. MacPhee was going strong throughout the day but lost two chunky pots at the back end of the day - one ahead, one behind - to finish on 38,100. Mcelhinney bagged up 89,300.
Another player to finish the day well chipped was, unsurprisingly, Rupinder Bedi. Upon engaging in a courtesy greeting halfway through the day we'd asked how he was getting on: "Up and down," he said before adding with a chuckle , "As per usual." Too true.
Bedi's a roller-coaster player that we've seen make several deep runs at these festivals so it's little surprise to see him here again. Should he make the money it will be a fifth UKIPT cash and having four times made the final 24 he does deserve to make a final table. Maybe here, maybe not but it's surely just a matter of time. Bedi is well prepared with 143,400. Paul Nash, currently second in the UKIPT leader board deserves an honourable mention on 127,200. He's cashed in every UKIPT so far this season. This could be his chance to overtake Mike Hill.
Two EPT winners that didn't make the Day 2 cut were Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree (jammed into a bigger ace) and Julian Thew (forced to jam one too many times). Quality players both, but today was not their day to shine. The same can certainly be said for fellow Team Pro Jude Ainsworth who was one of the first players sent to the rail today having got it in with a flopped flush and losing to the nut flush draw.
In the final levels of the day the PokerStars Blog found itself a little distracted by a certain online tournament, SCOOP 33-H: $2,100 NL Omaha Hi/Lo to be precise. Team PokerStars Pro JP Kelly was sat not more 15 feet away grinding the final table. A fine balance of aggression, tournament nous and sensible acknowledgement of not knowing his Omaha hi-lo shoving and calling ranges inside out helped him towards an epic $30,000 second place finish. While we're gutted that he didn't win (we were going to rob him of the SCOOP watch) he did buy us a celebratory pint. JP, you're okay by us.
Join us from 2pm tomorrow as we play down into the money. We have 151 players left coming back for Day 2 and 81 places playing. That's one hell of a game of musical chairs. If you want to know how the music played out today click on the links below and you can check the chip counts here. The seat draw will not be released until tomorrow, but when it is we'll post it up.
All images are copyright of Neil Stoddart and must credited as such. He'll stamp on your SCOOP watch and grind it into a fine powder dust if you don't. Or your fingers if you haven't won a SCOOP timepiece.