UKIPT4 London 2: Eric Theissen leads as Main Event eclipses 1,000 runners

Whenever there are two starting flights it's almost certain that the second will be bigger and whilst the first flight of the UKIPT4 London 2 Main Event attracted 353 runners it was positively blown out of the water today as 736 players coughed up the £770 buy-in to take their seats. For much of Day 1B the action was spread between four separate tournament rooms here at the Grand Connaught Rooms, when that happens you know you've got a monster on your hands. The total number of runners quickly climbed into four figures before settling at 1,089 when late registration slammed shut.

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Packing them in at UKIPT London

After the powers that be crunched the numbers it was confirmed that the players had created a prize pool of £762,300 which will be split between the top 159 runners over the next three days. The winner is slated to receive £133,500, whilst a min-cash is worth £1,250. To see the entire payout structure click here.

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Theissen finished on top

After today's ten levels of play the player best placed to make a run at the big bucks is Eric Theissen. The player from the United Kingdom bagged up a tournament leading 293,200, he's got three cashes from the PCA, one on the EPT and another from the Estrellas Poker Tour. Tomorrow he should be able to add the UKIPT to that list. Other players to enjoy a strong day's showing were: Hamid Toghyan, who got most of his 279,000 when he won a 150,000 pot with aces against queens in the dying minutes, Daichi Tominaga (212,400), David Lichentin (194,200) Olof Haglund (191,200) and David Peters (185,700).

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When you're known by just one name you must be good

There were plenty of star names in the field today, it comes with the territory of such an event. They don't come much finer than fitness buddies ElkY and Eugene Katchalov who were the two Team PokerStars Pros to take to the felt today. Whilst ElkY made it through the day, finishing with 73,900, Katchalov would bust in level nine when he ran pocket tens into pocket kings.

The Ukranian was seated at the same table as Team PokerStars SportStars Fatima Moreira de Melo, she fared better than Katchalov did though and will be back for Day 2 with a stack of 65,200 and be hoping to make it two UKIPT Main Event cashes in a week after her 38th place finish in the Isle of Man. Also through to fight another day are Team Online's Vicente Delgado (70,600) and Christian Favale (32,000) but Mickey Petersen will have to wait for EPT London for a deep Main Event run.

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Jenkins was in short stack ninja mode today

The Full Tilt UKIPT Tour Ambassadors were out in full force today and we got the complete set of four on the same starting day for once. They all had markedly different days too. Ben Jenkins was down to less than half his starting stack before the end of level two but that boy has patience beyond his years and dilligently worked his way back up to 37,500 by plays end. He'll start tomorrow with a below average stack but he's still got over 20 big blinds to work with. In contrast Martins Adeniya seemed to coast through the day comfortably in the middle of the pack throughout and that's where he'll start tomorrow with a stack of 86,900.

Sin Melin had a rollercoaster day, shortstacked one moment, above average the next before busting out with just minutes left in the day, she joined Dermot Blain on the rail, the Irishman having fallen in level eight

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EPT champion Roberto Romanello

There's no doubt that there were plenty of players in the field today for whom a UKIPT is at the bottom of their buy-in range and that's no disrespect to this tour, just a fact. Whilst some like Roberto Romanello (138,800), Ludovic Geilich (105,700) Shannon Shorr (87,800), Pratush Buddiga (55,100) and Chris Brammer (106,000) prospered, others found this friendly little tour a tough nut to crack. Chris Moorman, James Dempsey, Sorrel Mizzi, Adrian Mateos, Marvin Rettenmaier and David Vamplew were all gone by the day's end. And they'll be a new champion too as Robbie Bull also failed to advance to Day 2.

Whilst they won't be back tomorrow we, and roughly 340 others, will for a hectic day's poker where the bubble will burst and the march towards the business end of the tournament will begin in earnest. Join us from noon for moving day, for now you can catch up on all today's action by clicking on the links below. The overnight chip counts and seat draw will be uploaded when available, keep an eye on the widget to the right for that information. For now though goodnight.

Levels 1-4
Levels 5-10

All photos are copyright of Danny 'the enforcer' Maxwell, please credit him if you use his pictures, he won't ask so nicely.

Nick Wright
@PokerStars in UKIPT