UKIPT Nottingham: Dave Colclough leads record-breaking field at end of Day 1A
It's easy to throw terms such as bigger and better around like cheap confetti but here in Nottingham something truly wonderful has happened. We had 478 players enter the £500 main event today to set the scene for Day 1B to make a UK record-breaking 1,000 player tournament. The EPT London in September attracted 848 players through its doors but this event, just the second leg of the second season of the UKIPT, is accessible to all; amateur and pro alike. And they came in their droves.
Today there were scores of alternates waiting in the wings for their chance to take their shot at a huge prize pool here at the glorious Dusk Till Dawn poker club. We expect they'll be many more tomorrow. Of the 478 that played today there could only be one at the top come the end of play and that was to be Dave Colclough with a huge 224,300 stack. He is closely pursued by the likes of Stuart Barnett (205,500), Carlo Citrone (203,600), Timothy Boyle (188,500) and Oluwashola Akindele (186,400).
There's something a little poetic that such a milestone, the first UK live tournament set to break four figures, is being led by Colclough at the close of play. The Welshman has been a central fixture of the UK poker circuit since the mid-Nineties, before even Late Night Poker had hit TV screens around the country. Colclough has had some major scores in the past but 2010 was a quiet one for El Blondie on the tournament front. A deep run here would put his name firmly back on the UK poker map.
Colclough made it through with a huge stack ahead of the field despite having the full force of five EPT winners Liv Boeree, Kevin MacPhee, Julian Thew, David Vamplew and Will Fry, and three UKIPT champions in Jamie Burland, Max Silver and Joeri Zandvliet, levelled at Day 1A. Somehow none of these proven winners managed to make it through today's 11 gruelling one-hour levels. Vamplew actually straddles both camps having won EPT London, which doubles as the UKIPT Grand Final, but I digress. He'll have to wait until Manchester in March for another chance.
The large capacity of Dusk Till Dawn was always going to pull in a big field, it attracted 650 last year after all, and there were murmurings of it approaching 900 runners. The more chatter there was about the great value, a £500 buy-in that could be converted to a first prize in excess of £100,000, the more faces we saw. Players that tried and died today included EPT Barcelona runner-up Marc Goodwin, Jack Ellwood, Owen Robinson, Matt Perrins, Karl Marenholz and Vic regular Neil Channing. This is to name but a few, and tomorrow there will be many more.
Boeree, who was being trailed by a camera crew for her short stay in the tournament, bust out relatively early in level 4 after a betting mistake from Gary Haggan - picking up the wrong colour chips - ended up seeing Boeree forced to decide whether to play for her tournament life with pocket eights post-flop. She went with it and Haggan's pocket jacks made a crying call on a king-high flushing board. His hand held to send Boeree, paparazzi in tow, headong towards the rail.
Join us tomorrow as we see if we can break that four-figure field (we will), we confirm the size of the prize pool (juicy) and find out if anyone can catch up with Colclough's 224,300 stack (is it possible?). Action starts at noon, join us then as we grind through another 11 one-hour levels. Check the chip counts by clicking here, a full Day 1A finishers' chip count will posted overnight.
All pictures are copyright of Neil Stoddart, a former ninja and mercenary, so credit all pictures courtesy of him otherwise he'll hunt you down like a lowly dog in a cheap spaghetti western. Really.