UKIPT4 Nottingham 6-max: Mitch Johnson snatches lead at the bell after Day 1A of 6-max Main Event
Dusk Till Dawn was designed and built specifically for poker players, and events like the 6-max UKIPT Main Event today made it clear why.
It may not have been rammed, with just nine tables in action on what is the first of three opening flights, but the atmosphere was one of friendliness, which is not always present for a game that pits individuals against each other. If you're a poker player at Dusk Till Dawn you're among friends (even down to a complimentary buffet). There are worse places to find yourself defeated.
Dusk Till Dawn
It's also the newest temple for British poker players, who flock here for the reasons stated above. So, it's no surprise when some of them thrive on days like this, such as British pro Mitch Johnson who leads tonight.
Johnson, from nearby Derby, is usually a cash game player at DTD but today dipped his toe into the Main Event. It was a good decision. Moments before the end of play he scored a big pot against "Greek Jack" Kyriacos Dionysiou to bag up an impressive 171,500 chips at the close, a high watermark that will be difficult to top before Day 2.
For a while it had looked like there would be a different leader tonight.
Ben Vinson did not have an easy start, losing a few high-wire pots early in the day. But he rallied, and rallied well, leading at the last break of the day and showing just why he was out front in the run-up to the bell. He may not lead, but his 82,700 was well-earned today. That's good for fourth place behind Adam Reynolds on 93,100 (see below) and Dave Jones on 92,300.
Up against both today was a field of 61 players, of which only 24 will return for Day 2 on Saturday.
Most notable among them was Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree. She openly stated her fondness for 6-max events at the start of the day and demonstrated just what's so good about them, increasing her stack to around 50,000 with two levels to play. But the wheels came off in the last level when the Team Pro was sent to the rail by second-placed Adam Reynolds with queens vs. ace-queen.
Boeree was buoyant about the 6-max format for a simple reason: it is the first Main Event of its kind on the UKIPT. It's perhaps only a small degree of history to be written, but written it was, a welcome addition to the Season 4 schedule.
Elsewhere there were good days for Tamara King (65,800), David Clifton-Burraway (75,800) and John Bousfield (66,000), all of whom finished well with stacks at fighting weight and ready for the weekend. A full list of counts for those who finished today can be found on our chip count page.
Inevitably there were bust-outs, players who are as we speak flirting with late entry into the High Roller. David Rawnsley was among them in 50th place, alongside Liam Kitchen who departed in 46th, Iqbal Ahmed joined them in 41st place while local hero Julian Thew was eliminated in 38th place. David Burghardt had led earlier in the day, but his one-time stack of 60,000 was gradually eroded as level after level drifted by. His day ended in 35th place.
Play has now ended for the night, with the second opening flight due here tomorrow for a noon start.
Dusk Till Dawn today
For now, it's goodnight from Nottingham. Join us tomorrow.
Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter.