Sunil Pancholi leads after Day 1A of UKIPT5 Nottingham

Today was the calm before the storm where we ran a little experiment on the UKIPT by having a start day on a Sunday, allowing those who work during the week the chance to play a UKIPT without having to take any time off work. In all 40 players liked the sound of that, 10 of whom doubly so as they exercised their right to re-enter taking the total number of entries today to 50.

When 10 levels had been completed it was Sunil Pancholi who had fared best of all and he leads the way with a chip stack of 170,800. He was always in contention, but his chip lead is virtue to one of the most amazing blow ups we've ever seen on the UKIPT. If we tell you that Albert Sapiano was involved then you might understand but the poker veteran experienced a swingy day even by his standards. With 45 minutes left in the day he had 24,000, 15 minutes later he had 95,000 and then five minutes later zero. He lost half his stack with a straight to a higher straight and then shoved his remaining 50,000 (over 40 big blinds) blind on the next hand.

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Pancholi's timing was spot on

He actually had a hand in king-queen but Pancholi found ace-queen, the board stayed low and Sapiano had to go. The only place Pancholi was going was to the top of the chip counts, 14 other players made it through and their counts can be seen below.

Sunil Pancholi, United Kingdom, 170,800
Kyriacos Dionysiou, Greece, 111,800
Sandor Csaba, Hungary, PokerStars Qualifier, 109,100
Jeremy Betts, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 108,400
Ben Martin, United Kingdom, 106,100
Harprit Gurnam, United Kingdom, 87,600
Niall Murray, United Kingdom, 83,500
Richard Strittmatter, PokerStars Qualifier, United Kingdom, 78,200
Mark McCluskey, United Kingdom, 73,300
Adam Pikett, United Kingdom, 71,900
Martijn Van Den Assem, Netherlands, PokerStars Player, 61,900
Athir Ali, United Kingdom, 57,100
Jordan Theobald, PokerStars Qualifier, United Kingdom, 50,700
Craig Borrer, United Kingdom, 41,500
Frank Romanello, PokerStars Qualifier, United Kingdom, 37,300

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Martin - back building a stack on the UKIPT

It was a happy return to the UKIPT for Ben Martin, he had a deep run on the UKIPT in Season 1 in Brighton but hasn't been seen at a UKIPT for a while, he was one of five players to finish with more than 100,000. A little further down Niall Murray, who placed seventh at UKIPT3 Bristol sailed through to Day 2 with 83,500 and tour regular Mark McCluskey also progressed, even shoving for 1.5x the pot on the last hand with just ace high. He played the man as afterwards Martjin Van Den Assem, who folded to that shove, said. "Today was the only start day I could play and I wanted to play Day 2."

So the Dutchman will be back but plenty of big names fell by the wayside today. Martins Adeniya and John Eames were two of 10 players to re-enter today and bust both bullets, you suspect they'll be back later in the week. As might Matt Davenport, he finished fourth here in the High Roller in Season 4 and bust out halfway through the day today and elected not to re-buy. Others to try and fail included: Chris Sly, Ross Mannion, Michael Howard and Billy Jones, who ran kings into aces in the first level.

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Adeniya - fired two bullets

The 15 who did advance now have a long wait until midday on Saturday when they'll be back for Day 2. The PokerStars Blog will return before then though. We'll be back on Tuesday to cover Day 1 of the High Roller before turning our attention to the Main Event from Wednesday. For now though, goodnight.

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Our home for the week

All photos are copyright of Mickey May

Nick Wright
@PokerStars in UKIPT