UKIPT Galway: All fall into Finneran's wake
After a hiatus of something like five months, during which the UKIPT morphed temporarily into the EPT and then celebrated with a Champion of Champions event, regular season action reconvened this afternoon in Galway, the start of season three.
And it was good to be back.
The buy-in was a princely €700+€70 and the action was much the same. We started day 1A with 298 players, finished it with approximately 145, and the leader is Thomas Finneran, who crammed 89,600 into his bag.
That represents a near six-time increase of his 15,000 starting stack after a day on which the action was, of course, frantic.
One of the neat coincidences today was that the first player to hit the headlines in season three was last to trouble reporters during season two: Joeri Zandvliet. The Dutchman was the champion in Dublin last September, which was his second UKIPT title. However when he came to our attention during the first level of day 1A in Galway, it meant that he was the first man out. It's not quite such a desired position.
Zandvliet's elimination began a drip, drip of players towards the door, which soon became a torrent. Jude Ainsworth, of Team PokerStars Pro, was swept away, likewise plenty of other familiar faces including Julian Thew, Fintan Gavin, Liam Flood, Jon Kalmar and Mick Graydon.
The former champion Padraig Parkinson lasted all the way to the end, bagging up 16,600. Another man with a UKIPT title, Gareth Walker, also endured. He has 30,700. Somewhat higher up the ladder are Emmet Mullin (84,900), George Stoddart (84,400), James Estrop (83,300), Filip Hanusek (81,600) and Luca Franchi (79,700), who has a big following back home in Italy. Here's your man:
All of them are chasing Finneran, though. He is an EPT regular, with a handful of five-figure scores to his name. If he continues today's form all the way to the final, he'll be on for the biggest result of his career.
All of the remaining day 1A players are free to do as they please tomorrow as another mighty clutch of hopefuls begin day 1B. Rumours suggest that there could be more than 400 players joining the fray, who will go through the same eight one-hour levels, beginning at noon.
As ever we will be here to bring you
all most some as much of the action as we can manage. In the meantime, look back on today with our level-by-level posts.
All PokerStars Blog photography from Galway is ©Mickey May.