UKIPT3 Bristol: Bull takes tournament by horns to lead final 45
As is always the case on Day 2 of the UKIPT, it was moving day as over eight levels of play a field of 239 was reduced to just 45, that's one elimination every two and a half minutes!
The player who moved most serenely of all and sits atop the chip counts tonight is Robert Bull who bagged up 581,600, not bad considering he started with a below average 18,900. A huge pot right near the end where his aces held up against Sam Grafton's A♦Q♦ propelled the 20-year-old maths and statistics student into the chip lead. "I also got dealt ace-king six or seven times and won big pots with them," the Edinburgh native told me.
The PokerStars qualifier who won his way here for £77 also credited good table draws with his rise up the leader board, but won't have all his own way tomorrow though as he's followed by Simon Randall (438,000) and Wojtek Barzantny (411,000). The latter is therefore well placed to make a run at a unique double having won the UKIPT Online title on Wednesday here in Bristol.
And whilst many players fell by the wayside, outdrawn, out lucked or outplayed many dangerous players such as Bambos Xanthos (235,500), Jason Tompkins (248,500), Nik Persaud (167,500) and a wounded Sam Grafton (109,500) will also return tomorrow. They'll be intent on making their first UKIPT final table or second in the case of Tompkins. And Andrew Couldridge (106,000) has a shot at his second UKIPT title, having won UKIPT Nottingham in Season One.
Whilst 45 players will be dreaming of what might happen over the next two days, many had their dreams dashed today, chief amongst them the bubble boy Christopher Nicholas. The names he shares might not be the only saintly thing about him as he took his bubble outdraw in good grace, just quietly walking away from the table when his pocket kings were cracked by the ace flopping A♠J♣ of Ed Ash.
Sadly there was no Team PokerStars Pros to sweat come bubble time (unless you wanted to watch them in the High Roller) as both Victoria Coren and Christophe De Meulder had long since departed.
The latter came back chronically short on chips and was out within the first hour due to a lack of timing: "Shoved 2 strong hands - no call. Shove a mediocre hand and get slowrolled," he tweeted.
As for Coren she found herself on a tough table to start with, one featuring Martins Adeniya, Sam Grafton and UKIPT Online winner Wojtek Barzantny, still she had no trouble tripling her start of day stack to an above average 90,000, despite the lure of Harvey Nicholls.
Then when her tough table broke to a seemingly softer one it all went wrong and in the space of a few hands she was out: ""Out! Scuppered, essentially, in two pots by a rogue third party who made bizarre dynamIcs. That's the kind of tournament that makes me wish I still had a poker column. Like something in a Tim Burton film: weird, fascinating hands. The good news is, two hours to discover Harvey Nichols Bristol before the highroller tournament."
They weren't the only big names to hit the rail today. Some like James Mitchell, overnight chip leader Marinos Mina, EPT London winner David Vamplew and UKIPT Galway Season 3 champion Emmett Mullin left empty handed. Whilst Raj Verma (60th) Sunny Chattha (59th) and Matt Frankland (52nd) at least left with something to show for their efforts. To find out who's won what so far click here.
The 45 remaining players will return at noon and will play until just eight remain and the UKIPT final table is set, join us here to follow the action tomorrow. Meanwhile to catch up on all today's action click the links below. UKIPT Cork champion Sam Razavi has had more success on the APPT, winning a side event. The final table of the main event of APPT Macau is tomorrow, find out who's made it here.
But for now that's all from UKIPT Bristol, we're off to play catch up at the UKIPT players party.
All photos are copyright of Mickey May, she's got a wonderful singing voice so please don't make the same mistake as we did and criticize it.