UKIPT Series 3: PokerStars qualifier Daniel Galla leads charge for £21,770 first prize
It was another sold out day at the UKIPT Series as 248 hopefuls paid their money and took their chance. Add them to the 216 who did likewise yesterday and the UKIPT Series 3 topped out at 464 runners. The powers that be ran the numbers and the winner of the UKIPT Series 3 will collect £21,770. Prior to any deal taking place that's the biggest first prize of any of the triumvirate of UKIPT Series events, topping the £19,400 that Team PokerStars Pro Jake Cody collected and the £16,480 that Gabriel Dragomir pocketed back in June.
Looking most likely to take that five figure pay day right now is Daniel Galla. The Hungarian who now lives in London bagged up 238,100 to top the Day 1B field. The 26-year-old bartender qualified online for the princely sum of £33 and found the right cocktail to progress serenely through the day. "I ran extremely well," he said. "It was so smooth, I hope it's that way tomorrow too."
Among those hoping to deny him a smooth path to the final table and possibly the title will be: Martin Bader (174,100), Anthony Wright (156,000) and David Gassian (151,600) and UKIPT3 Newcastle runner-up Alex Jobling (149,500).
Although there were no representatives from Team PokerStars Pro or PokerStars Team Online in the field today there were four players who are used to watching them play from the other side of the felt. Today it was their turn to take to the baize as EPT Live Commentators Joe Stapleton and James Hartigan, UKIPT Host/WCOOP commentator Nick Wealthall and UKIPT media coordinator and poker reporter Jen Mason were all in the field.
Sadly one by one they were eliminated, first to go was 'Stapes' his K-3 somehow failing to get there against A-K. Whilst he was still basking in earning the EPT Commentator bragging rights Hartigan lost his stack. He got involved in a three-way all-in with A-K and was up against A-Q and pocket fives. An ace on the flop manoeuvred the movie lover into position for a huge triple up, a five on the turn meant his tournament hopes were left on the cutting room floor. Late in the day both Mason (A-K into aces) and Wealthall (top two into a set) lost big pots in hands that played themselves.
They weren't the only players to feel the icy breath of the tournament grim reaper on their necks, UKIPT Series 1 runner-up Lydia Cugudda was ejected as were Dom Kay and Dean Clay.
A total of 69 players made it through Day 1B to join the 68 who advanced from Day 1A. Almost half of them will get paid tomorrow as 63 players will pocket a minimum of £480. You can see the full seat draw here. The dash for the cash begins at noon tomorrow, join me then as we play down to a winner. But until then, it's goodnight from The Hippodrome Casino in London. In the meantime you can catch up on all of today's action by clicking here or here. Overnight chip counts can be viewed here and the full prize pool breakdown can be accessed by clicking here.
All photos are copyright of Neil Stoddart.