UKIPT4 London Day 2: Life's a breeze for Daniel 'Malibu' Stacey, leader of final 35
The UKIPT tournament staff were all a-fluster this morning as they tried to decide how many levels to play. Players originally learnt that they'd be looking at ten levels, but it was later reduced to eight. For a moment the administrators had even forgotten how many days the tournament was due to run, and didn't know how many players it was ideal to lose today.
As it turned out, it was very, very fortunate that we settled for eight because the tournament field was cut to shreds. There were 209 at the beginning, we raced through the bubble about two levels ahead of schedule, and when they bagged for the night there were only five tables left.
Around them sat 35 players, of whom Daniel Stacey, a 23-year-old Full Tilt Poker qualifier from Stoke-on-Trent, was a long way out in front.
Stacey, who qualified for $100, was involved in a lot of huge pots today, including one in particular against Robbie Bull that vaulted him into an even more commanding chip lead than he had before. (It's time-stamped 6.55pm in our hand-by-hand updates.) Stacey continued to move ever upward and was the only man through the million mark. He finished with 1.4m.
Adrian Demusca is his closest challenger. He is a Romanian PokerStars player, with only one previous tournament cash to his name, but a style of play about him that is fun to watch. He takes micro-seconds to make decisions and has no problem getting his chips in. He has 902,000 tonight.
Such was the quality of the field today that at one point in the afternoon, two EPT champions sat across the table from one another. Vladimir Geshkenbein made it through the day; Dimitar Danchev did not. (Neither did Kevin Stani.)
Liv Boeree was also eliminated, as was her Team PokerStars Pro colleague Vicky Coren, both of whom also have an EPT title. But Coren made the money...just. She was the first out after the bubble burst, cashing for £1,810.
Barry Greenstein made it to 71st before Stacey knocked him out. (If you're reading Barry, Stacey is waiting for his book.) And Henrique Pinho finished in 86th. It was not a bad showing from Team Pro, but you can see who else won more on the payouts page.
Check out the chip-count page for details of how they will all stack up when they return for day three.
The business from noon tomorrow will be to fill a final table. Join us then.