UKIPT4 Isle of Man 2: Snejberg leads as Geilich and Gavin go for UKIPT Double
Whilst Victoria Coren Mitchell might be the sole double EPT Main Event champion the UKIPT already boasts four and tomorrow it could become five as two men at the final table will be going for their second UKIPT title.
Those watching the live stream were treated to yet another airing of the Ludovic Geilich show today as the UKIPT4 Marbella champion, who came back 34th of the 40 remaining players, proved once again that poker can be a bewitching spectator sport. He'll be joined at the final table tomorrow by another UKIPT champion capable of TV gold as the gregarious Fintan Gavin also found his way to the final eight.
This is how they will shape up when play resumes with just under seven minutes left in the 10,000/20,000 ante 3,000 level.
Seat one: Marc Radgen, Germany, PokerStars Qualifier, 743,000
Seat two: David Hill, Isle of Man, PokerStars Qualifier, 1,029,000
Seat three: Josh Hart, United Kingdom, PokerStars Player, 1,167,000
Seat four: Josef Snejberg, Czech Republic, PokerStars Player, 1,561,000
Seat five: Ludovic Geilich, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 1,063,000
Seat six: Fintan Gavin, Ireland, PokerStars Player 1,148,000
Seat seven: Ciaran Heaney, Ireland, PokerStars Qualifier, 589,000
Seat eight: Thomas Ward, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 544,000
Geilich didn't take long to start rising up the leader board and his ascension was as rapid as start of day chip leader Darren Woods' fall from grace. The Manx Chef of the Year started the day with 907,000 to Geilich's 77,000. A little over an hour into play Geilich had passed Woods coming the other way as he imploded. What's more it all played out under the bright lights of UKIPT Live.
Woods had a near 100% VPIP statistic, relegating the always aggressive Geilich to the second most active player for once. A double up for the Scot with jacks against sixes, was the start of something big for Geilich and the beginning of the end for Woods, who went from chip leader, with a near average final table stack, to out in 30th place in a little over two hours.
As for Geilich he was, as ever, entertaining. It looked like he would be chip leader heading to the final table but he five bet folded in a pot against Josef Snejberg to secede the chip lead to the Czech. Geilich will start fourth in chips tomorrow but for many he'll be the favourite to win a second UKIPT title.
And what of Gavin's journey? The Irishman started the day just outside the top 10, but didn't take long to strong arm his way into serious contention. The UKIPT2 Edinburgh champion was the first player over the million chip mark but, as is his style, he was later just one card away from elimination. With 10 players left Gavin found himself needing to spike a heart on the river against local lad Christopher Corkhill to stay alive. And spike he did to win a huge pot and all but eliminate Corkhill. He had the chip lead with nine left, but he doubled up David Hill and will start third in chips tomorrow.
The chip leader when play starts tomorrow will be 24-year-old professional poker player Josef Snejberg. He'll be looking to become the Czech Republic's first UKIPT champion and has some final table experience under his belt as he finished fourth in a side event at Eureka Prague in December of last year. This is only his second ever UKIPT and he'll have to deal with Geilich on his left, a player he described as 'crazy aggressive,' if his poker is as strong as his reads he may be the last man standing tomorrow.
He spent much of the day in the middle of the pack, it was only with 12 players left that he began to go through the gears. He eliminated Team PokerStars Online's Adrienne 'talonchick' Rowsome with aces against ace-queen and then took a pot from Martins Adeniya to sit fourth in chips when the final nine convened for the unofficial final table. Then came that clash with Geilich.
A flurry of raises pre-flop ended with Snejberg six-bet shoving for 1,300,000, Geilich didn't look like he wanted to fold but eventually he released his hand. We eagerly await round two of Snejberg vs Geilich tomorrow.
Geilich and Gavin aren't the only two players at tomorrow's final table who've been there before. No one has cashed in more UKIPT Main Events than Thomas Ward, with the Isle of Man being his 12th Main Event cash. Tomorrow will be his third appearance at a UKIPT final table, his previous dalliances ended in second (UKIPT3 London) and fourth (UKIPT2 Edinburgh) place finishes.
Ward's third final table appearance was odds against for much of the day, especially when he was down to 10 big blinds and given an orbit penalty for exposing his hand out of turn. "I've never done that in my life," he said as he sat on the sidelines. A two outer against Thomas van Veelen got his tournament back on track though and although he's the short stack he has 27 big blinds to work with and he'll be one to watch tomorrow should he stick around.
As will Ciaran Heaney, who'll be hoping this final table appearance lasts longer than his one in Edinburgh earlier this season. He finished eighth on that occasion. We didn't see a lot from Heaney today, but when his cards were exposed he'd usually got his chips in good. If that trend continues tomorrow he won't be the second shortest stack for long.
The chance of a hometown winner is still alive as the Isle of Man will be represented by David Hill who had the archetypal up and down day. He was chip leader with 17 left and the short stack when nine remained. A double up through Fintan Gavin with A♣5♣ against K♣Q♠ was merely the side show to the main feature. He put a brutal beat on Martins Adeniya with his J♠T♠ turning two pair to crack Adeniya's kings and set the final table.
He'll start with over a million tomorrow as will UKIPT regular Josh Hart. He finished 23rd in Newcastle in Season 2 so has already scored his best UKIPT result this week. He showed great poise and presence at the table today but was responsible for one of the least popular eliminations of the day when he knocked out PokerStars Head of Communications Lee 'Big Horse' Jones in 14th place when his pocket queens held against the ace-king of Jones.
Jones performance was almost the best of all the Rational Group Employees in the tournament but Ian Marmion went a few spots better than him, finishing in 11th place. His exit would've been brutal at any stage of the tournament but deep in this Main Event it must really have stung. He flopped top set with aces, but couldn't shake off Marc Ragden with a continuation bet. The German, who held J♦T♠, turned broadway and won a pot that propelled him to the final table. He'll start sixth in chips tomorrow.
So that's the eight who made it, but what of the 32 whose hopes were dashed? Both Victoria Coren Mitchell and Fatima Moreira de Melo knew they needed help from the poker gods if they were to go much deeper, both instead they received a kick in the proverbials.
Coren Mitchell was first out today, getting it in with queens on a jack high flop and finding a call from Frank Longinotti's ace-king. An ace on the turn ended her day. As for De Melo, who was hoping to make back to back UKIPT Isle of Man final tables, she made it one street further in her all-in hand before Lee Jones spiked a three outer with his inferior ace to send her crashing out in 38th. To be fair to Jones he looked sheepish when he spiked the river and later said: "I knew the internet was going to hate me for it."
They weren't the only two big names to fall foul of variance as Simon Deadman (32nd), Mark McCluskey (27th) and Day 1B chip leader Matthew Baker (13th) were just three of the players who had their bid for a UKIPT final table cut short. To see the full list of payouts please click here.
You can catch up on all today's action by clicking on the links below. It's a slightly later start tomorrow, at least for us, as the final table is being shown 'cards up' on a one hour delay and we'll be blogging as live from that stream from 1pm. If it's moving pictures you want then we've got you covered as you can watch it on: PokerStars UK Facebook, PokerStars TV and YouTube. If you're going to be sneakily watching at work from your phone then you'll can watch it on android or iOS. We and the commentary team of Hartigan, Wealthall and Convey will be back from 1pm, but for now good night.
All photos are copyright of Danny Maxwell