UKIPT Edinburgh: Liam Batey best placed after Day 1A
Over the near three seasons of the UKIPT it's hard to think of a stop that's taken place in a more picturesque venue than The Princes suite here at The Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh. Chandeliers - check, Corinthian columns - check, delicate carvings in the ceiling - check.
Of course, regardless of the grandeur of the venue the game is the same, the options to fold, check, bet, raise, check-raise and so on don't change. Despite that it'd be nice to think that the surroundings, be they indoor in the card room or outdoor in the bustling city of Edinburgh had a role to play in creating the 254 strong field who turned up to play Day 1A.
After eight levels of play that number was reduced to 114 and top of the pile overnight is former pro BMX rider Liam Batey who pulled off a trick or two to get to the dizzying heights of 115,400. He's closely followed by UKIPT London Season 1 champion David Vamplew (106,200) and Greig Cushnie (94,300) all of whom will be well placed going into Day 2.
For Vamplew, one of four UKIPT champions in action today, it was a last level rush that saw him increase his stack to six figures. A rivered set of jacks and a 60,000 flip, won with ace-king suited against queens, doing the business for him. Fellow Scot Richard Sinclair (30,900) also advanced and Jamie Burland (11,600) will be in the mix come Day 2.
But, perhaps the biggest shock of the day came with the elimination of Wojtek Barzantny. The German had been an unstoppable force in Bristol defeating Chris Moorman to win the UKIPT Online title and then besting a 550 strong field to take down UKIPT Bristol. He exited early on today though, nice of him to let someone else have a go though.
He wasn't the only big name to bust though; Dale Philip represented PokerStars Team Online, on his birthday no less! However, despite getting what he described to us as 'the best birthday present,' during the tournament when his A-7 cracked pocket aces, the Scotsman was short stacked for most of the day. Ironic then that had he won his final hand he'd have been right back in it, but Philip's pocket queens were out flopped by an opponent's pocket jacks and he was back on the bus home (see 7.20pm post).
With 330 players already registered for tomorrow this is already guaranteed to be the biggest ever UKIPT Edinburgh main event. Tomorrow the newest member of Team PokerStars Pro, Jake Cody will take to the felt. He'll be joined by fellow Team Pros Marcel Luske and Belgian brothers Christophe and Matthias De Meulder. Whilst Grzegorz 'DaWarsaw' Mikielewicz of PokerStars Team Online will also try his luck.
It all starts again at 12pm local time, chip counts of the remaining players from Day 1A will be available overnight. Meanwhile to catch up with all today's action click on the links below, but for now it's goodnight from Edinburgh.
All photos are copyright of Mickey May. She'll stink bomb your house if you steal her photos.