UKIPT5 London: Ross Boatman seizes Day 1C chiplead
The third slice of UKIPT5 London first day fun was played out today at The Hippodrome Casino and it was London poker stalwart Ross Boatman who carved a skilful path through the gargantuan field, snatching the chip lead with the final hand of the day to reach 190,100.
Hot on his heels is another London-based pro, Nik Persaud(179,600) both of whom will return tomorrow for day 2 with dreams of the title, trophy and glory lying tantalisingly within reach.
Day 1C proved one of the most popular in UKIPT history - ardent demand for tournament berths ensuring the casino was packed out all day long. Players from far-flung corners of the globe jumped in London-bound planes, cabs, canoes....whatever choice of vehicle was nearest to hand, no one wanted to miss this event.
Ultimately, The Hippodrome's 280-strong capacity was eclipsed with ease as near 90 alternates slipped seamlessly into vacated seats throughout the day to swell the final player tally to a mammoth 347 players.
Naturally, there were plenty of poker hotshots sprinkled around the field. It would prove beyond many of them to translate prowess to cold, hard chips however as High Roller winner Owain Carey, Team Pokerstars Sportstar Fatima Moreira de Melo, former EPT Supremo John Duthie and the garrulous, unpredictable and talented Irishman Fintan Gavin all became big name casualties of the day.
James"Flushy" Dempsey was the early pace-setter, running his stack up to 90,000 halfway through the day but his challenge fizzled out in the latter stages, Willie Tann polishing off Dempsey by cutely limping aces and drawing the WSOP bracelet-winner into a false move with king-queen. Tann, also holder of a WSOP bracelet, was one of the alternates to register late on for the tournament, but his demolition of Dempsey was the springboard to reach an impressive 169,000 at close of play.
2014 UKIPT London winner Brett Angell showed his capital skills once more in surviving the day with 91,100 whilst Andy Black also traversed the day serenely, finishing up with 85,900. Other notables who were counted amongst the day's 113 survivors include William Ho (157,800), Team PokerStars Pro Matthias De Meulder(64,200), Steve Watts(59,000) and Gary Clarke(26,400.)
To see the full chip counts for the combined Day 1 survivors, click here.
Ultimately, however the spotlight fell on Ross Boatman, the Hendon Mobster proving his fearsome poker reputation is well-earned.
Tomorrow will see all 216 remaining players reconvene for Day 2 to battle out 10 more levels. With all sorts of exciting potential match ups on the cards, we expect an irresistible spectacle and hope you are able to join us for our live coverage.
Those who fall foul of variance and miss out on the payout spots can always take a shot at the London Cup, which will have two starting "days" taking place at 1pm and 7pm.
PokerStars Blog reporting team at PokerStars UKIPT London: Rod Stirzaker and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May