UKIPT4 Dublin: McMahon masters Day 1A field

It's good to be back in Ireland. The Irish UKIPT stops have an atmosphere that's almost tangible, some say that's down to the Guinness, but most know it's down the warm welcome and bunch of players who love to gamble.

This season's Dublin stop is extra special as well. For the first time the tournament is taking place in the Mansion House, right in the heart of one of Europe's most buzzing and sociable cities. Player numbers are good too. A total of 226 (104 remain) players sat down for Day 1A of the €770 Main Event and many more are expected tomorrow, meaning the €350,000 guarantee will be smashed!

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Noel McMahon leading the way

Noel McMahon played eight excellent levels and topped the end of day counts with 104,600. He had this to say about his day: "I was pretty happy with today. Most of my big hands held up and every time I had really big hands, players shipped into me. They weren't massive pots, 20k say, and they all held up, like I said.

"I had a couple of bluffs that went wrong, but everyone has that as that's just the game. Then near the end, some players are obviously trying get chips for the next day and I was just picking them off in different spots and getting a few easy chips."

Hanging on to his coat tails are Mathias Puzich (98,700), Philipp Teipel (99,200), Lewis Barber (98,600) and Declan Barker (97,000).

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Cracked rib; broken stack

Team PokerStars Pro are all playing tomorrow but the Rational Group was represented by Full Tilt Poker Tour Ambassador Ben Jenkins today. Despite having a cracked rib he made the journey across the Irish sea and survived for almost eight levels. On the third last hand of the night, he ran ace-jack into ace-king to bust.

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Razavi playing for nappies

Dean Hutchison (51,500), Sam Razavi (24,400), Dara O'Kearney (25,200), Steve O'Dwyer (9,850), Andy Black (53,900), Nick Newport, (51,600) Robbie Bull (33,900), Mick Graydon (50,000), Sam Grafton (29,400) and Joeri Zandvliet (81,100) were some of the notable players who advanced to Day 2. The latter two of those sat next to each other all day and basically sorted out the world's urban planning issues as well as playing top-level poker.

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Grafton and Zandvliet putting the world to rights

Albert Sapiano is very well known in UK poker circles for building big stacks or busting early on. Today, unfortunately for him, it was the latter. In fact, he was the first player out. He was unlucky to flop bottom two pair versus an opponent's top set. If you know Sapiano, then you know he doesn't often fold two pair.

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Davie couldn't last the pace

Other players to fall in the first half of the day included Phil Baker and Fintan Gavin. The latter managed that feat despite being one of the last players to register. Notables who busted in the last four levels of the day included: Jack Ellwood, Julian Thew, Dave Masters, Diego Gomez, Tom Ward, Tim Davie, Dean Lyall and Adrian Mateos.

Mateos, the current WSOPE main event champion, looked set for Day 2 after a late double up but he fell on one of the last hands of the night when his pocket queens failed to stay ahead of an opponent's ace-king.

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Adrian Mateos

The great Harold Ramis died aged 69 last week and left a legacy of movies that included Caddyshack and Ghostbusters. Tomorrow we'll be honouring another one of his movies, Groundhog Day. You know it as Day 1B. It'll be exactly the same as today, just bigger and hopefully equally entertaining. And as a comedy, PokerStars Staff Writer Rick Dacey will be playing a lead role.

To catch up on all today's action, please click on the below links.

Levels 1-4.
Levels 4-8.

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All photos are copyright of Danny Maxwell.

Marc Convey
@The_Conv in UKIPT