UKIPT4 London 2: Levrini leverages best to lead Day 1A field

Confidence in PokerStars Blog land for a big turnout today on Day 1A of the UKIPT Season 4 Grand Final was not high. The main factors for this line of thinking were that the UKIPT Isle of Man finished two days ago and so many players prefer to play the second of two starting flights. How wrong were we? A total of 353 players sat down today (91 remain), leading to the hope of a 800-plus field in total.

After nearly ten levels of play, Fabrizio Fuchs, Gino Levrini and Alain Bissai Logbo had amassed the most chips and were battling for the chip lead. Levrini bagged the most chips with 260,800 after Fuchs ran queens into kings at the death for 50,000 to drop to a still extremely healthy 222,700. Bissai Logbo finished a close second with 255,600.

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Levrini leads after a close battle at the top

Levrini spoke to blog at the end of play and the professional poker player told us he'll be making his EPT debut later in the week and that he's a bit of a poker nomad. His car is in Las Vegas, but he's been living in Prague for a while so he could play online where he favours tournaments.

"I chipped up slowly, played small ball and there were no coolers," he stressed before he finished with a statement about the UKIPT, "It's way more friendly than the WSOP!"

For many, momentum plays a big role in poker, but it can be hard to get that started. Fuchs was one card away from being crippled earlier after a big confrontation with Steve Watts. Both held two-pair when the chips went in on the turn but Fuch's inferior kicker paired up on the river to give him an unlikely, and winning, hand. Watts stormed off in disgust and Fuchs found the catalyst for the momentum he rode for the rest of the day. Bissailogbo found his momentum after he eliminated the talented James Mitchell three-quarters of the way through the day. From there, his confidence and stack soared.

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Fuchs was so close to leading

Players to watch out for on Day 2 include: Pablo Gordillo (202,600), Deborah Worley-Roberts (92,600), Julian Rudland (149,600), Hrair Mekhsian (195,000), Hai Jin (185,500), Sylvain Loosli (100,100) and Kima Kimura (116,100). Shorter stacks through but worth noting: Jamie Burland (40,600), Oli Price (15,000), Max Silver (13,400) and Tudor Purice (34,600).

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Team PokerStars Pros were represented on four fronts today and had mixed results. Jake Cody was bluffed early on and never got his momentum going and busted when forced to shove when short. The De Meulder twins spend most of their time in London these days and both took a shot today. Christophe busted two-thirds of the way through the day but Matthias enjoyed a great day and finished with 103,700. He spent the last few levels in the company of Liv Boeree but she also departed after a triple-barrel-bluff went wrong.

She squeezed pre flop and fired on every street of a jack high board with ace-ten. Her last (all in) bet was for 37,500 but even that wasn't enough to oust Madlena Trifonova off a lowly pair of fives.

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Boeree performed well on home turf

Unlike the recent Isle of Man tournament, there's no second chances here, which means you'll have to wait until Season 5 kicks off before you see James Mitchell, Steve O'Dwyer, Charlie Coombes, Simon Deadman, Kevin Williams, Dara O'Kearney and David Lappin again in a Main Event.

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Not UKIPT stalwart, Kevin Williams', day

Day 1B starts at 12pm BST and a bumper field is expected to pack into The Grand Connaught Rooms where another 10 one-hour levels will commence. To catch up on all today's action, please click on the links below:

Level 1-4.
Levels 5-10.
End of Day 1A chip counts

Until then, it's goodnight from Central London.

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Pictures should be credited to Danny Maxwell. He's taking a course on the history of London's gangland culture, so you've been warned.

Marc Convey
@The_Conv in UKIPT