UKIPT Series 1: Nikolay Ponomarev leads after Day 1B

With another 196 players entering the fray today when they were added to the 147 from Day 1A the final number of runners for the first ever UKIPT Series event was confirmed at 343.

A short time later the prizepool computer spat out £19,400 as the number of pounds sterling the winner of this event will receive, not bad for £275 or less for the 79 online qualifiers. In all 40 players will get paid with a min-cash worth £520. To see the full payout structure click here.

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Nikolay Ponomarev

Best placed to claim first prize at the end of Day 1B is Nikolay Ponomarev. The Russian ran up a monster stack of 183,600, although he trails Day 1A chip leader Pat Simcoe who ended his starting flight on 220,500. Other players who fared well on Day 1B included: Iain Raydon (135,600), Amit Karia (135,000), Kaloyan Kirov (129,600) and Shantanu Banerji (120,800).

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Banerji - bashed up the competition today

Two members of Team PokerStars Pro were in attendance today as Liv Boeree and Jake Cody took to the felt. It was a case of what might have been for Boeree, who got a double up early on when an opponent tried to bluff her off a flopped flush when the board paired on the river.

She lost a few chips though and eventually got it in on the turn with 19 outs and missed them all against Rafael Henderson, who'd had a dream he'd knock Boeree out. His dream came true and his dream of winning this tournament is still alive as he made it though with an above average 104,500.

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Boeree - busted despite a big draw

The start of Jake Cody's tournament was much the same, out of the traps quick he was up to 30,000 in the opening hour. But he then hovered around there for much of the day before picking up chips near the end of the day to finish on 89,000. "The atmosphere is a bit more relaxed than a UKIPT main event, there's lots of banter at the tables," said Cody. "I think the players thought I was bluffing a lot, that perhaps I wouldn't take a tournament like this seriously. That makes me very dangerous, as they'll call you down with like third pair. Today every time I had it I got called." Let's see if that continues tomorrow, he's in good shape.

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Cody - got called down light

There were a few more tough spots in the field today as a few EPT regulars dropped down in stakes to take a shot at a UKIPT Series title. Both Cristiano Blanco (56,300) and Maing Loeser (68,400) will be back for Day 2. As will UKIPT host Nick Wealthall who finished on 30,800. "Disappointing," was his succinct summing up of his day.

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Blanco is back for Day 2

Joining Boeree on the rail were a host of players with UKIPT previous, two-time UKIPT winner Joeri Zandvliet came and went, as did UKIPT2 Newcastle runner-up Raj Verma. Meanwhile TV and movie star Dexter Fletcher exited the Hippodrome theatre stage left after having his kings cracked by jacks.

In fact, just 59 players survived, they'll join the 39 who did likewise from Day 1A tomorrow as we play down to a winner. Cards are in the air at noon. You can catch up on all today's action by clicking on the links below. Until tomorrow it's goodnight from London.

Levels 1-6
Levels 7-12

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All photos are copyright of Neil Stoddart

Nick Wright
@PokerStars in UKIPT