Daniel Sochanek leads after Day 1B of biggest ever UKIPT Marbella

With 349 players having entered the opening flight of the UKIPT Marbella Main Event on Wednesday the gut instinct of those involved behind the scenes was that this could and should be the biggest ever UKIPT Marbella Main Event. When late registration slammed shut halfway through Day 1B they'd been proved right. A further 492 poker hopefuls hit the felt today to take the total number of runners to 841. That number eclipsed the total in both 2013 (762) and 2014 (750) and created a prize pool of €807,360.

The majority of that won't be divvied up until Sunday but when it is there's going to be one very happy person holding a novelty oversized cheque worth €150,800, a small price to pay for being asked to pose for numerous winners photographs I think you'll agree. Anyone who makes the final table of eight will have locked up €14,100 for three days work and 127 players will secure a cash of at least €1,695. The full payout structure can be seen here.


It was Swede dreams for Sochanek on Day 1B

Over 60% of the field are dead money - so to speak - as they've already been eliminated but one player who's very much alive is Daniel Sochanek, the player from Sweden bagged up 167,200 after a fine day at the felt. He didn't eclipse Day 1A chip leader Julian Cabello (201,700) though, nor Pablo Galache (188,100) or Heikki Juhani Piira (171,300) who all advanced from Day 1A with more chips, but the Scandinavian is in fine shape heading into Day 2.

Other players who saw their starting stack of 25,000 swell to considerably more during the opening 10 levels of play were: Juan Jose (155,700), Daniel Fernandez (142,700) Alex Ferguson (124,200) and Manuel Saavedra (122,300). They'll all be in the upper echelons of the chip counts when play restarts on Friday.


The gregarious Grafton grinded it out

Whilst there were no players sporting the Red Spade in combat today - Fatima Moreira de Melo advanced yesterday with 68,300 - there were no shortage of big name players looking to follow suit. Dotted amongst the field there was a EPT winner, a UKIPT champion, the UKIPT Season 4 leader board winner, an Irish Open winner, a WCOOP bracelet holder, an EPT presenter and a Eureka Poker Tour High Roller champion.

Not all advanced, but the Day 2 field won't be easy as: Vicente Delgado (97,700), Tobias Peters (87,500) James Mitchell (60,200) and Sam Grafton (39,100) did navigate the 10 levels of play and will be searching for another big result to add to their poker C.V. here in Marbella. They'll be joined by the likes of Luke Perrott (104,200), Marcin Barwinski (31,300) and Daniel Stacey (17,400). All three of those players know what it's like to final table a UKIPT Main Event.


Unfortunately you can't fire two bullets at this one Gaelle

The Poker Gods care not for reputation of course and plenty of big names fell to earth. UKIPT4 Edinburgh champion Dean Hutchison was an early casualty and UKIPT1 Coventry fourth place finisher Dan Carter was another who was out before the half-time oranges were served. Carter got it in pre-flop with the best hand in hold'em but couldn't hold against the pocket queens of Luis Joaquin Ruiz. UKIPT4 leader board winner Dara Davey busted in the final level as did Gaelle Garcia Diaz. She went deep in this event last year and earlier in the day she did a short interview with the Estrellas Poker Tour video team.

Overnight chip counts and the seat draw will be uploaded to the PokerStars Blog when available but this will be well before play begins at noon local time on Friday. Also keep an eye on the @UKIPT twitter account as links to that information will be made available there too. Thanks for reading today's coverage, you can catch up on today's starter for ten here. For now so long, see you tomorrow.

All pictures are copyright of Mickey May

Nick Wright
@PokerStars in UKIPT