UKIPT4 Isle of Man 2: Matthew Baker takes overall chip lead into Day 2
As everyone knows Day 1B will always attract a bigger field than its Day 1A counterpart and so it proved again today as 257 players took to the felt here at the Villa Marina. Whilst it wasn't quite double the 145-strong Day 1A field, they made up the lion's share of the 402 runner field who've created a prize pool of £339,000, which will be dished out over the next three days here on the Isle of Man.
Whilst most will be focused on securing a min-cash of £1,660 - 55 players will receive at least that amount - others will have eyes aimed squarely skywards to the first prize of £65,900. Heading into Day 2, which begins at noon tomorrow, the player with the statistical edge in getting their hands on that prize is Matthew Baker, who bags up the overnight and overall chip lead with a massive 235,000 in chips. He finished some way clear of Wei Li (172,000), Barry Curtis (146,000) David Rees (144,000) and Donatas Didika (143,500) but they too enjoyed a profitable 10 levels of poker.
Whilst the Isle of Man might not yet be a 'must play' on the poker circuit, plenty of members of the Team PokerStars family made the trip to Douglas to play poker and visit the home of PokerStars. For many it would have been one of their first experiences of the UKIPT tour but it was those best used to the idiosyncrasies of this friendly tour and had the shortest distance to travel who prospered on the opening day.
Team PokerStars Pro Victoria Coren Mitchell (129,000) had an excellent day of poker (and sudoku-ing), finishing in the top 10 today. The two-time EPT winner will be joined on Day 2 by Triple Crown winner Jake Cody (60,400) who staged a late night comeback. Also through to fight another day are Luca Pagano (66,400) and Team PokerStars Online's Adrienne 'talonchick' Rowsome (36,400) and Vicente Delgado (76,000). But, they were the only players sporting the Red Spade to come out the right side of the 'you can't win a tournament on Day 1 but you can sure lose it,' equation.
The Poker Gods spared no one as one by one Matti De Meulder, Theo Jorgensen, Chris Moneymaker, Eugene Katchalov, Ike Haxton and their combined $25,000,000 in lifetime earnings were dispatched. A similar fate befell Full Tilt Poker Ambassador's Sin Melin and Ben Jenkins, although Martins Adeniya (97,500) joined Day 1A survivor Dermot Blain in advancing to Day 2.
There was a third type of patch being worn today at the felt, one that had an image of the Three Legs of Mann emblazoned on it as staff members from the Rational Group were let loose on a UKIPT Main Event for only the third time. Some prospered as Chris Straghalis (on his second bullet) is still in with a shot of bettering last year's 19th place finish although he'll take a below average 31,300 into Day 2. He'll be joined by Michael Josem (59,000) and Ian Marmion (108,000) to name just two.
But for last year's MVP the dream is over. Chris Jonat, who is Senior Manager for Team Online, finished fourth 12 months ago but fell just short of making Day 2 this time around, as did Rick Dacey, Dylan Coady and Michael Jones.
Max Silver, who's currently top of the UKIPT Season 4 leader board after winning a side event last night, will be adding to his total in side events only here as he too failed to make it through the day. There will also be a new champion crowned on Monday as last year's winner Duncan McLellan busted out midway through the day.
The 70 players who did make it through the day will join the 46 survivors from Day 1A tomorrow from noon and we'll be back to bring you the action as they play down to and then burst through the bubble.
To catch up on all today's action, to see the full prize pool, overnight chip counts and seat draw simply click on the links below. If you're in the Isle of Man remember there's a UKIPT player party tomorrow night and it follows hot on the heels of the VIP Club live party that was held at the Bath and Bottle last night. Sarah Grant, who gets all the tough gigs, checked it out for PokerStars TV. Well I suppose someone had to!
All photos are copyright of Danny Maxwell.