UKIPT4 Nottingham 6-max: Benjamin Rivera tops Day 1C, but Mitch Johnson leads overall as field unites

So that's that. The opening day of the UKIPT Nottingham 6-max Main Event is finally at an end. It took three days, 24 levels, and processed 458 players. Now the surviving 191 players will unite as one tomorrow, and play on towards a first prize of £100,000.

This third of the three openers was by far the biggest. Some 265 players arrived this morning, many tempted by the promise of added value, with a guaranteed prize pool of £500,000 on offer. They came, they played, and 151 departed. But not Benjamin Rivera who leads tonight, bagging up 135,000 after eight levels of play in the saloons of Dusk Till Dawn.

Rivera's performance was one of many so far this week that have stood out. The Spaniard may not have got his lead in formidable style but will be among the leaders tomorrow, new territory for a man with only two live cashes in Spain to his name. But as much as he leads tonight it is not quite the overall lead. That remains in the hands of Mitch Johnson, who closed Day 1A with 171,500 chips.

Chip leader today, Benjamin Rivera

Others caught the eye as they worked up sizable stacks tonight.

Rupinder Bedi returns with 110,000, as does Emmett Mullen with 101,800, Sin Melin on 96,000, Ryan Spittles with 91,400, Jonathan Spinks with 81,600, Mickey Petersen with 47,500 and Dermot Blain on 37,200, each of whom live to play another day. The full list of players who had chips at the end of play today can be found on our official chip count page.

Sin Melin

Chris Brammer, who is well acquainted with the concept of victory, is one of those rare players who is fascinating to watch play. It's not just about the cards with Brammer, but about this unusual aura he brings with him, a kind of bewildered genius in headphones.

A rare smile from Chris Brammer

He finished with 35,900 today, and spent the day bringing frustration to others at his tables who either banged the table in irritation or took him on directly, with predictable results. His stack may be on the short side, but he will remain a threat come tomorrow as we inch towards the money.

Many will not be returning.

Jeremy Wray, Martins Adeniya, David Vamplew and Jerome Bradpiece all departed today, as did Sunny Chattha, Gordon Huntly and EPT winners Thomas Middleton and Jake Cody. It was a long list of eliminations.

Team PokerStars Pro Jake Cody

For now though attention is not on those we have lost, but on those who will return tomorrow for Day 2 of the Main Event. It could easily prove the defining day of this tournament, the day that the big stacks establish their places, while the others to their best to hang on.

It all starts at midday tomorrow, with the evening turned over to the PokerStars player party. Before the carnage of that, the carnage of eight levels.

For now, you can catch up on the events of today at the following links, the first detailing coverage of levels 1 to 4, and the second doing the same for levels 5 to 8.

Join us tomorrow for Day 2 of the Main Event.

Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter.

Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in UKIPT