UKIPT Newcastle: Paul Jackson claims inaugural UKIPT Newcastle chip lead
Today was the first time the PokerStars UKIPT wagon rolled into toon* and whenever a tournament hits a fresh venue you're always greeted by a lot of new faces. Today was certainly no different. A 226-strong field revealed just a smattering of names that have graced previous UKIPTs and in this day of firsts it was appropriately a player we hadn't seen before, Paul Jackson, who claimed the Day 1A chip lead here at Aspers Casino. And no, it wasn't that Paul Jackson, the one that finished runner-up to Phil Ivey at the Monte Carlo Millions back in 2005 after that hand.
*That means Newcastle.
After eight one-hour levels that saw 94 players left sitting Jackson bagged up 138,800, some way ahead of Ralph Watson (120,000), Ciaran Boyle (98,000) and Rachael Costa (90,600). For some time it looked like today would have marked a different first, the inaugural overnight female chipleader. Costa had surged ahead in the penultimate level of the day, but Jackson would not be swayed and powered through to a strong finish.
It had taken a lot of graft for Jackson and co to reach their heady heights but when play kicked off at 2pm today none of those players were in the spotlight. Those that did get off to a good start included Richard Hawes, Gordon Wright and Jeffrey Burke, none of whom could rival the out-of-the-blocks flier of Christian Chirstiensen. The Dane stacked Nicol Macpherson in the opening minutes of the day picking off a river bluff-shove for stacks. The professional kite-surfer (if his rail is to be believed) sailed ahead for some time before his wind died out. He fell short of making Day 2.
Of the players that we have seen busting up other UKIPT events Oliver Schaffmann, UKIPT Nottingham Season 1 runner-up, stands out as the outstanding performer of the day. The German started the day tucked away in the corner and - bar the occasional celebratory table thump - quietly chipped up to end the day on 67,800.
Other final table finishers didn't share the same triumphant tale. Local boy Gareth Walker may have won UKIPT Nottingham for £109,000 in February but his hopes of making another spectacular run here in Newcastle have been left in tatters after finishing the day short. The same can be said for Walker's runner-up, Brett Angell, who could have used a crisp packet to bag his chips. Both come back on Day 2 with a chip, chair and lot of self-belief. Anything can happen.
Day 1B starts at 2pm tomorrow and among the players that we know are already signed up is double UKIPT winner Nick Abou Risk - unlucky, folks, your tournament EV has already dropped a few pounds... See us then as we play through to Day 2.
Overnight chip counts have been posted up and can be found by clicking on Day 1A chip count.
To catch up on the day's action click on the links below:
A special mention should go out to William Poulsen who made our call of the day with queen-high on a A♦3♣4♣4♥4♦ board after Alan Corrigan tried to bluff the river. Poulsen made Day 2 and will be a player that we'll be keeping an eye on.
All photos are copyright of Mickey May and should be credited as such.