UKIPT London Day 2: Sergio Aido leads chase for final table

During its first four days at the Grosvenor Victoria Casino, UKIPT London has shown us what a peculiar game poker can be. Just when we were readying to proclaim that the cream of the crop always rises to the top, and tell you how Marvin Rettenmaier or Wojtek Barzantny have continued to dominate, they both bust with barely a min-cash between them. (Barzantny bust in 138th place; Rettenmeier before the money.)

And then just as we shifted our tack to celebrate the eternal rise of the unheralded internet qualifier, the likes of Olivier Busquet and Jason Duval begin building huge stacks to swing our attention back to the pros.

When they finally bagged up tonight, after eight levels during which nearly 200 players went broke, it was actually Sergio Aido, a solid pro from Spain, who had the most. Aido has won a WPT National Series event in Barcelona, and has cashed on the EPT (in Prague). Here he will carry 946,000 into Day 3.

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Sergio Aido: leading the pack

Other than Aido, there is, as there always will be, a healthy smattering of big names and a bunch of folk seeking their breakthrough performance. In short: it's a poker tournament.

The best idea is simply to look on the chip-count page to see who is still in and how much they have, then look at the payouts page to see who made it through the bubble but not until the end of the day. (Kevin MacPhee is one; Marty Smyth and Andrew Teng are others.)

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Kevin MacPhee: Lucksacked to a min-cash

Anyone not on either of those lists will have to wait for another tournament to show us what they're worth. (The likes of Liv Boeree and the aforementioned Rettenmaier were eliminated before the money kicked in.)

The top five chip counts are as follows:

Sergio Aido - 946,000
Georgios Zisimopoulos - 816,000
Olivier Busquet - 741,000
Jonathon Prested - 660,000
Jason Duval - 624,000

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Olivier Busquet: great day

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Jason Duval: top five

Some of the more familiar names still in with a shot include...

Tom Hall (currently second in UKIPT leader board): 345,000
Chris Dowling (two-time UKIPT final table player): 311,000
Dara O'Kearney (all time Irish legend): 232,000
Jamie Burland (UKIPT Brighton winner): 223,000
Juan Manuel Pastor (Team PokerStars Pro): 175,000

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Dara O'Kearney: ground through another eight levels

Tomorrow's plan is to play down to a final table of eight, where all will have their eyes locked on the first prize of £156,800.

You can see how all this played out through levels 12-15 (the first four played today) and then through levels 16-19 (the final four).

Good night from all in London, including from Luke Bird and father. Bird Jnr, who qualified for about £20, is having the time of his life during this tournament, and goes into Day 3 tomorrow still in the mix. He has 466,000 and a brilliant story to tell.

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Luke Bird and father

Photos from UKIPT London © Mickey May.

Howard Swains
@howardswains in UKIPT