Dara O'Kearney's late surge claims UKIPT Isle of Man Day 1A chip lead

Dara O'Kearney this evening bagged up a 112,100 stack to claim the Day 1A UKIPT Isle of Man chip lead after trailblazers Niall Farrell and Caleb Sheridan were pegged back late in the day. O'Kearney, last season's Online Qualifier of the Year, played the patient game and picked off Farrell in the last level of the day with a flopped set. Three streets of value was good enough to boost O'Kearney into pole position of the 54 players who made it through from the starting 113. Tomorrow will be a busy day.


Dara O'Kearney (left) talks his lead through with David Lappin

Farrell had looked most likely to have his name at the top of this Day 1A wrap, which would have been quite the achievement given a very late decision to fly to the Isle of Man. It could yet prove to be a very profitable one. Not only did he kick off his winning streak last night with a third-place finish in the £165 six-max tournament for £1,510, but he's still got way more than average. Farrell adopted a medicinal approach but one suspects tomorrow's rest day may be more of a constitutional break, one involving lots of water, sleep and carbs.

ukipt4_isle of man_day1a_niall_farrell3.jpg

Farrell adopts the Padraig Parkinson style of UKIPT dominance

Elsewhere in the field UKIPT regs got chipped up. Robbie Bull followed up his £113,405 UKIPT London victory earlier this month by building a solid 87,700 stack, mostly thanks to a large winning flip against Caicai Huang. Fellow Season 4 winner Ludo Geillich (UKIPT Marbella) also made it through with 49,300. Geillich also impressed in London where he won £193,340 for his fourth-place finish in the EPT10 London Main Event. Any two cards are worth a look.


UKIPT champs Robbie Bull (left) and Ludo Geillich

Previous UKIPT winner and Season 2 Player of the Year Sam Razavi had made a trip back to the UK from his adopted home in Cebu, Philippines. His day hadn't started well but, partly thanks to knocking out British Winter Olympic hopeful Zoe Gillings, Razavi rallied to end the day with a respectable 61,600.

PokerStars home game
In case you didn't know, PokerStars HQ is based on the Isle of Man and the decision was made to make an exception to the usual rule of prohibiting staff members from playing Main Events. Consequently a healthy smattering of today's field was made up with Rational Group employees with Caleb Sheridan (90,300) and Chris Straghalis (102,300) coming out on top in that internal battle. Sheridan knocked out his VIP Programme colleague Dylan Coady as well as Team PokerStars Online's Andre "acoimbra" Coimbra. No soft playing here. Straghalis' strategy? Wear a shirt so bright your opponents misread their hands. It seemed to work.


Caleb Sheridan: PokerStars VIP Programme man leading by example

Thumbnail image for ukipt4_iom_chris_straghalis.jpg

Chris Straghalis: don't stare too long

Teeing up Day 1B
It's normal for Day 1B to have a larger showing but, from what we've been told, tomorrow's field is going to dwarf today's. Maybe it's the travel, maybe it's the chance to play with a lot of the big guns, including Daniel Negreanu, Jason Mercier, Barry Greenstein, Ike Haxton, David Williams, Jake Cody, Vanessa Rousso and Liv Boeree. We could well have the single toughest starting table in the history of the UKIPT tomorrow. We'll trawl the list tomorrow for the poker geeks out there.

A full overnight chip count will be posted as soon as we get hold of it. In the meantime, check out the tournament updates from today at the links below:

Levels 1-4
Levels 5-8

PokerStars Blog reporting team at PokerStars UKIPT Isle of Man: and Nick Wright. Photos by Rene Velli.

Rick Dacey
@PokerStars in UKIPT