UKIPT Dublin: Kevin Killeen leads as Silver and Zandvliet final table again
Tomorrow's UKIPT Dublin final table has all the ingredients of a classic. A homegrown hero has the chip lead whilst two UKIPT champions will go for another title in the city where they've both tasted victory before.
When cards get in the air it'll be Kevin Killeen who has the chip lead with a massive 3,505,000, but he'll have to get past both Max Silver and Joeri Zandvliet if he wants to be hoisting the trophy and oversized novelty cheque aloft come Monday night.
UKIPT4 Dublin Final Table
Seat 1. Joeri Zandvliet, Netherlands, PokerStars qualifier, 1,310,000
Seat 2. Larry Ryan, Ireland, PokerStars qualifier, 920,000
Seat 3. Kevin Killeen, Ireland, PokerStars player, 3,505,000
Seat 4. Christopher Wood, United Kingdom, PokerStars qualifier, 650,000
Seat 5. Max Silver, United Kingdom, PokerStars player, 2,545,000
Seat 6. Ivan Tononi, Italy, 435,000
Seat 7. Dirk Thijssen, Isle of Man, Rational Group Staff, 1,290,000
Seat 8. Robert Sturman, United Kingdom, PokerStars qualifier, 2,695,000
That Silver and Zandvliet have made the final table of yet another UKIPT is a remarkable achievement in itself but it's where they've done it that makes it even more noteworthy. In Season 1 Max Silver defeated a field of 590 players to win UKIPT Dublin. The two-time UKIPT High Roller champion final tabled UKIPT Dublin again in Season 2, he finished fourth, knocked out by Zandvliet, en route to the Dutchman winning a second UKIPT title to go with the one he won in Manchester in Season 1.
The two protagonists also final tabled UKIPT1 Edinburgh with Silver finishing sixth and Zandvliet fourth. Tomorrow Zandvliet goes for an historic third title, Silver for a second that would put him on a par with Zandvliet, Wojtek Barzantny and his close friend Nick Abou Risk.
More on them later but first to Killeen. He started Day 3 eighth in chips of the 54 who remained and quietly went about his business with ruthless efficiency. He steadily increased his chip stack without ever being in contention for the chip lead or at risk of going bust. That is until he went on a rush at the end, he eliminated Michael Naughton in 11th place and Declan Barker in 10th to shoot into the chip lead. The Irishman is a UKIPT regular and is usually spotted in a trademark comedy animal hat. For this event he's exchanged some cranial warmth for chin warmth by sporting a bushy beard. Perhaps it's his lucky charm?
Whilst Silver will start third in chips tomorrow many will have him as their favourite to win. "We might as well give him the trophy and play for second place," said one Irish tournament regular when the Brit, who lives in Dublin, collected another personal UKIPT record on Day 1B. Silver finished on 311,700 to break the record for the biggest chip stack after Day 1 of a UKIPT.
He slipped a bit on Day 2 where he 'only' managed to double his chip stack. Still, the 602,000 he bought into Day 2 meant he started second in chips. He was soon in the lead. He became the first player to break the million-chip-mark when he won a flip to eliminate Jonathan McCann. Although he got short after doubling up Michael Naughton, midway through the day, he fought back and then made a big call against Svein Eidseter. The Norweigan four-bet all-in for 930,000 (46.5 big blinds) on a 6♦Q♥8♠ flop. It was two-thirds of Silver's stack to call and call he did with A♠Q♠. Eidseter had K♥Q♣ and was out in 13th. Silver also ended the day when he eliminated Ben Senior in ninth.
Whilst Silver, who has over $1,200,000 in lifetime earnings, will start third tomorrow the player just ahead of him qualified for just £8. Step forward Robert Sturman, who'll be playing the biggest final table of his life tomorrow. He played the biggest pot of his life today against UKIPT3 leader board winner Tom Hall. With 16 players Hall had the chip lead, that was until he ran A♥K♠ into Sturman's aces in a pot worth 1.8m. Two hours later Sturman eliminated Hall in 12th place so Hall's quest for a UKIPT Main Event table goes on. Sturman will be hoping he wasn't simply nominated in the best supporting poker player category come tomorrow night.
Whilst Silver was rarely out of the top five stacks all day Zandvliet was trying his best to climb out of the bottom five for much of it. He'll be the first to admit that as well as using skill along the way he also got lucky to reach the final table. He cracked aces with threes, ace-king with ace-jack and ace-queen with ace-five. Lol Dutchyments! He'll start fourth in chips tomorrow as he goes for his third UKIPT Main Event title.
Back in October Rational Group Staff were, for the first time ever, allowed to enter the UKIPT Main Event when the tour headed to the home of PokerStars in the Isle of Man. The same grace was granted here in Dublin as it's the home of Full Tilt Poker. Tomorrow Dirk Thijssen will hope to better Chris Jonat - who looks after Team PokerStars Online by day - fourth place finish in Isle of Man.
That he has that shot is in no small part due to the fact that he knocked out Stefan Ebinger - the only other remaining Rational Group Staff Member - in 14th place. Aces against tens sounds simple enough but there was a premature celebration when a ten came on the flop, an ace on the turn saved Thijssen's red face though. By day he's a product manager for PokerStars working on desktop and mobile software improvements for players.
Of the three players who come to the final table with less than a million in chips it's Larry Ryan who's best placed to make a comeback. He'll start with 920,000 but having been chip leader during the first half of the day might well think he could and should've more. Still he's got experience on his side having finished fifth in EPT6 Prague in 2009. Like Ryan, Chris Wood is short on chips, but not experience. He was runner-up at the Irish Winter Festival way back in 2008 and has numerous other scores to his name.
Last but not least Ivan Tononi may only have 11 big blinds, but the Italian lives in Dublin so will have home field advantage on his side.
Today was about the race to the final table and for that race to be run we had to lose 46 players along the way. Most remarkable of all was Daniel Stacey's fall from grace. He started the day as chip leader and despite missing the first 20 minutes he was out within 90 minutes. He'd already dropped some when he lost the rest to Larry Ryan with ace-king against aces and was out in 38th.
Others to hit the rail on Day 3 were: Ludovic Geilich (50th), Jack Salter (43rd), Paul Febers (36th), Daragh Davey (31st), Dean Hutchison (25th) and Thomas Finneran (17th). To catch up on all today's action (including videos) and to see a complete list of prizewinners click on the links below. We'll be back tomorrow at noon to bring you live coverage of the final table.
All photos are copyright of Danny Maxwell