UKIPT Dublin: Silver shines in sterling title defence
Reigning champion Max Silver has made an incredible start to his title defence by bagging up a Day 1 chip lead of 195,600 at UKIPT Dublin, a healthy few steps ahead of Kevin Williams in second with 167,800.
Silver sits atop of the chip counts with 205 players remaining from the 718 players that sat down to play the €500 main event, of which 125 made it through today, 80 yesterday. All of whom will be fighting it out to claim the €83,500 first place prize that forms the winner's spoils on Monday.
"Lightning can't strike twice, but I would love to rub Nick's face in it," said reigning champion Max Silver just minutes after play started for Day 1B at UKIPT Dublin. The Nick that Silver was referring to was, of course, two-time UKIPT champ Nick Abou Risk. While the odds are still weighted against Silver converting the Day 1 chip lead into a repeat title those flashing storm clouds certainly seem a lot closer than when play started ten one-hour levels ago. Williams for one will be preparing to batten down the hatches.
Alongside Abou Risk, Silver is a key member of the PokerStars Blog-coined Team Quidditch, which is led by none other than EPT London winner David Vamplew. The young Scotsman enjoyed a turbulent start to the day and in, perhaps the first of what may become a signature set of triptychs, Vamplew painfully called off his stack set under set to Dutchman Martin Blom. The set of three pics was well received by none other than poker commentator Jesse May who loved them so much that he tweeted them to the poker world at large (surely nothing to do with the fact that his wife was the one taking the pictures?).
Vamplew wasn't the only player of note not to make it through the day. Rupinder Bedi arrived into Dublin an hour late after a delayed flight - but still in plenty of time for the tournament - and felt that may be the end of his run bad. It wasn't. Two pair into a set knocked him out halfway through the day much to the glee of Sam Razavi on the sidelines, who played and bust yesterday. The UKIPT Cork winner should be overtaking Bedi nonetheless, courtesy of an attendance bonus in a headlong charge for UKIPT Leaderboard glory. EPT London remains as the final event in which to score points.
Abou Risk is the only top ten player remaining in this field and may yet cause problems with his 70,400 stack.
But Silver and Abou Risk are not the only players remaining with UKIPT glory to their name. A certain Dutchman who has been conspicuously absent this season, largely due to studies we believe, final tabled two events in Season 1, winning one.
UKIPT Manchester champion Joeri Zandvliet will be a problem at any table he is sat, as was a certain Paul Carr today. The Irishman tore through the field, much as Chris O'Connor did yesterday, but unlike his predecessor he failed to hold onto the majority of his stack. Carr finished with a bowl of rice, but certainly has the gamble to spin that back up in Day 2.
Today was one of mixed fortunes for Team PokerStars Pro. Jude Ainsworth just couldn't get going and bowed out relatively early but Liv Boeree, looking frustratingly card dead for much of the day, tested her patience to its limits and enjoyed a late rally before having to pass pocket kings on a [j][t] board to Ciaran Furey's river shove. The Irishman showed pocket tens and Boeree was set to make her first UKIPT Day 2 since signing with PokerStars. Then she jammed from the small blind into the big stack big blind of Stewie Samuels... he passed. Boeree with a wry smile bagged up 24,000.
Fellow EPT winner Kevin MacPhee couldn't break his live main event hoodoo here in Dublin, noting that his table was deceptively tough for a €500 event. That's certainly not meant as a derogatory comment, MacPhee's online play is consistently beastly and recently scored him a $235,000 third place finish in the $10,000 WCOOP High Roller. To the players that tangled with MacPhee today, you should puff out your chest and stick a metaphorical feather in your cap. Or a real one, if that's your kind of thing.
Day 2 will kick off at 2pm tomorrow and if you've been up early watching the Rugby World Cup then you're going to have a long day ahead of you. Stay with us, we'll be gentle. We have to be, we're shattered too.
To catch up with all the day's action click on the links below and click here for the overnight chip counts.
All images are copyright of Mickey May and should be credited as such. She's had a cold all day and has performed more than admirably in unfavourable circumstances, and so say us all.