Duncan McLellan leads final 30 at UKIPT Isle of Man
Duncan McLellan tonight bagged up an enormous 870,000 stack, close to twice as much as his closest rival, PokerStars SportStar Fatima Moreira de Melo. It's almost a final table average stack. McLellan may have the most chips but the chasing pack is brimming with talent and, in the shape of Barry Greenstein, experience. The Team PokerStars Pro carries through 211,000, $8,035,172 in live cashes and a whole heap of incredible poker anecdotes.
Over eight one-hour levels the Day 2 field of 161 players was squeezed to 30 who will tomorrow play down to a final eight live on a live webcast (ukipt.com/tv). You can see who made it through and with how many chips here and we've even put up the Day 3 seat draw here.
McLellan just seemed like he could do wrong today. The more chips he got the happier he was to put his opponents' tournament lives at risk. The tactic seemed to work as his chip count spun up into a pinball score.
Moreira de Melo went through her own purple patch during a fantastic level where she took a measly stack of sub 20,000 to 270,000, and was actually one card away from being out. The normally unflappable PokerStars SportStar seemed as shocked as anyone else. Perhaps not shocked, more excited. The rest of the day played out nicely as she continued to chip up eventually bagging 573,000 at the end of play, good for second in the overnight chip counts. Don't believe the smile.
The bubble burst when Tim Michels called all-in with pocket queens behind the three-bet shove of Chris Jonat who had, wait for it, pocket aces. There was no upset and Michels was busted out in the unenviable 56th place. The PokerStars VIP Manager proceeded to chip up to 242,000. This Main Event was granted special dispensation to allow Rational Group employees (PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker) to play. Jonat and Chris Straghalis (293,000) are the only two left.
There are some great players left in this field, most noticeably Team PokerStars Pro Barry Greenstein, including British showcase talent Jack "jackellwood" Ellwood, UKIPT Cork champ Sam Razavi, UK pro James Browning and Full Tilt Poker Tour Ambassador Ben Jenkins. Razavi seemed to lead a charmed life. He managed to get involved in a three-way cooler with queens into kings and aces and proceeded to win, even after Domink Nitsche turned a set, and later flopped Broadway to a set. He made it through with 197,000.
Players that didn't make it through included Team PokerStars Online's Mickey Petersen, UKIPT champs Nick Abou Risk and Robbie Bull, Sam Grafton and Dara O'Kearney (who all cashed). Other players that were sent to the rail today include EPT winners and Team PokerStars Pros Liv Boeree and Jake Cody, Julian Thew, who's also an EPT champ, EPT regular John Eames, and UKIPT winner Max Silver (all of whom bust before the money).
An enthusiastic tip of the hat goes to Daniel Stacey who finished 11th at UKIPT London winning a last longer promotion with Full Tilt Poker in the process that freerolled him for this tournament. Stacey is going strong with 406,000.
Brad Willis investigates....
PokerStars Head of Blogging Brad Willis was doing some snooping around PokerStars HQ and spoke to the man in charge of making PokerStars the safest play to play and also took a whimsical sideways look at the conspiracy of fire alarms and poker tournaments, which you can read here.
PokerStars Blog reporting team at PokerStars UKIPT Isle of Man: Rick Dacey and Nick Wright. Photos by Rene Velli.