UKIPT5 London: Bayley leads counts at end of Day 1A
Season 5 of the UKIPT opened today at The Hippodrome Casino, London with a brutal first day where reputations were shredded and previous poker acumen counted for little.
Combat proved fierce and fast-paced and come the close of play it was Lawrence Bayley who had slewn sufficient competitors to find himself atop the chip counts, his 265,000 leaving him top of the pile.
SuperNova Elite Bayley, who plays at PokerStars under the moniker "bigstealer" was self-effacing about his coruscating rise to the chiplead, modestly commenting "I found a lot of good spots and ran really well."
Close behind him at bag and tag time, were Miguel Seoane and David Clarkson with 241,100 and 234,500 respectively - the pair well placed to put together a deep run when they reconvene on Saturday for Day 2.
Day 1A of the London UKIPT saw a broad spectrum of players escape from the frosty inclemency waiting on the doorstep and pour into the vastly warmer and luxuriant environ within The Hippodrome Casino. As well as warmth, food and shelter, they were provided with the opportunity to test their luck and skills at the felt - one they seized with relish.
Glancing down the list of registrants at the beginning of play, a number of illustrious marquee names leapt out as likely contenders for the title. Triple crown winner Jake Cody, 2012 WSOPE final tablist Chris Brammer and double UKIPT winner Duncan Mclellan all brought deep reserves of talent and experience to proceedings.
It is testament to the growing quality of the tour however that out of these three only Cody was able to fend off the vagaries of misfortune - McLellan and Brammer consigned to the wintery cold without, whilst Cody ground the day out with admirable resolve, making a late charge up the leaderboard to finish up with 78,500.
Cody admitted he owed his survival to a benevolent hand from the poker gods.
"Basically I got really lucky near the end," he explained. "The hi-jack raised, the cut-off called and I jammed with ace-jack. The hi-jack called with jacks, the cut-off folded an ace but we still flopped an ace. Then I moved tables and got dealt kings, got it in against ace-jack and held."
Other notable attendees - Scandinavian superstar Soren Konsgaard, Team Pro Online Mickey Petersen and online whiz John Eames - may boast proficient poker chops but their ducks would not line up today, early finishes all round the order of the day.
When all twelve levels had been played out, just 30 remained standing, ready to take their stacks through to Saturday's Day 2. Bayley's ascent to the summit of the day may surprise some, though his lack of poker celebrity owes more to his limited exposure to live poker than any paucity of poker skill.
"I don't play live poker a lot because I need to maintain SuperNova Elite, but I like live poker when it's like today," Bayley explained.
"It'd be nice to win a tournament but the sample size is so small I don't expect to! I'm aware of the variance in tournaments."
To read updates from levels 7-12, click here.
Playing out simultaneously with Day 1A of the Main Event was the High Roller final table.
Owain Carey had entered the day holding the chip lead and, after seeing off Victor Illyukhin heads-up, he had parlayed this enviable position into a win, picking up the title, £44,500 and the trophy.
Congratulations to Carey, here are the full payouts from the High Roller:
1st. Owain Carey, £44,550
2nd. Victor Ilyukhin, £32,070
3rd. Christos Kyprianou, £20,350
4th. Morten Klein, £15,350
5th. Gareth Teatum, £11,750
6th. Sergio Marti Aguilar, £8,940
7th. Vasile Stancu, £7,130.
8th. Jonathan Wong, £2,450
That brings you up to date with the day's proceedings then. We'll return for the resumption of the Main Event tomorrow at 11am sharp.
Join us then as we continue the march on the title.
PokerStars Blog reporting team at UKIPT5 London: Nick Wright and Rod Stirzaker. Photos by Mickey May