UKIPT Cork: Finneran leads field heading into penultimate day
You don't get many more action-packed days on the UKIPT than a Day 2. Cork had it all: a glut of eliminations, swingy stacks, huge suck outs and a famous bubble boy.
We returned today with 158 players and after an action-fuelled eight levels of poker that number was whittled all the way down to 33. One man stands alone at the top of the counts and his name is Thomas Finneran, he bagged up 465,000 chips. The only other player to accumulate more than 400k was Pawel Keller who finished on 406,000.
The major talking point of the day surrounded the fact that one of the nicest men in poker bubbled. Normally there would be a lot of sympathy for Julian Thew but that was dampened by the fact he travelled to these shores on the back of a £40,000 tournament win last week. Leading up to his exit hand he and Richard Sinclair had battled in a couple of hands that saw chips leave Thew's stack and travel over to Sinclair.
The climax of that battle came when Thew three-bet all in for around 20 big blinds with pocket threes after Sinclair had opened from under the gun with pocket fives. The latter called and survived the T♣K♦9♦4♣Q♣ board.
That catapulted Sinclair into the chip lead and he was looking odds-on to finish the day on around half-a-million chips until he got his aces cracked with an hour left in the day's play. Kevin Callebaut held kings and flopped a third to win the near 300k-chip pot. The former UKIPT Newcastle champion survived the day heads to Day 3 with 189,500 chips.
It was a fine day for those wearing the red spade of PokerStars. Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree came back with around 20k and built most of the day and cruised into the money. She had a setback in last level of the day but will be back for Day 3 with 93,000. "Today was confidence building, I played my ass off, played really well. It was fun," said Boeree of her day.
Team Online's Dale Philip had a great first few levels but then suffered at being to the right of Thew in the period to leading up to the bubble. He dug his heals in though and secured his first ever UKIPT cash at only his third attempt. He'll be hoping to spin up his 57,500 chips tomorrow. Philip had this to say at the end of play, "I was looking for a spot to double up near the end. There were spots were the math would've made it correct to shove the top 60% of hands, but I was getting the bottom 30%."
There were many winners and losers today. Those who we won't be seeing tomorrow but will still be satisfied at making the money include: Mick Graydon, Ollie Schaffmann, Neil Rawnsley, David Connors and Eoin Olin.
Then there were those players who came back with high hopes today only to have them dashed. Paul McTaggart was the first player out today and he was joined on the rail by the likes of Thomas Hall, Gary Clarke, Seth Webber, Mick McCloskey, Craig Burke, Owen Robinson, John O'Shea Dermot Blain and Fintan Gavin. The last of these had a typical day for him: up, down and out in a blaze of glory just short of the money.
After making such good progress today, tomorrow promises to be a very short day. We have to reach a final table of eight and we can't imagine that taking more than five hours. Today's drama was all about making the money; tomorrow the stakes are upped as who of the remaining players doesn't want to be part of the final table fan-fair on Monday?
Play will again start at 12pm GMT and we implore that you join us. If you want to catch up on all today's action or see the overnight chip counts then please click on the relevant link below. Whilst the Day 3 seat draw can be seen here.
All photos are copyright of Mickey May. Infringe that and you'll need the luck of the Irish to survive her stare alone.