UKIPT5 Marbella: Cabello shines brightest on Day 1A

The British and Irish have had a love affair with Spain since the 1950s when the very first package holidays starting appearing on the market. More than half a century later and that bond remains strong with the counties more connected than ever. The last decade has seen a poker boom emerge in Europe and gave the counties, and more specifically the premier poker tours (ESPT and UKIPT) an excuse for a summer get together.

Let's be honest, the conversation about where to host this collaboration was a pretty short one. Spain? Yes. On the coast? Yes. Marbella okay? Sure! And the PokerStars Marbella Festival was born two years ago and is in its third edition. This year could well be the most successful yet as 349 players took their seats today, up from 293 last season. A total number north of 800 is hoped for.

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Chip leader Julian Cabello

Day 1A played out today over ten 45-minute levels and the field was reduced to 136. PokerStars qualifier Julian Cabello made the most of them as he bagged up a mountainous 201,600. Other players through with big stacks include: Pablo Galache (188,100), Johnny Soerensen (151,900), Constantin Daniel Georgescu (137,200) Josep María Galindo (128,400) Mark James (120,600) and Jonathan Matthews (122,900).

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Leo Margets couldn't win a vital flip

The red spade was represented on two fronts today as friends and fellow Team Pros, Leo Margets and Fatima Moreira de Melo took to the felt with mixed results. Margets built from her starting stack but couldn't maintain the trend. She ultimately busted two-thirds of the way through day when her ace-king couldn't connect to overhaul David Tovar and his pocket jacks. Moreira de Melo also got off to a positive start before she too had to battle late on and was as low as 10,000 at one stage. The day ended on a positive trend for her though as she doubled up with tens versus ace-nine and bagged up 68,300.

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Moreira de Melo & De Korver had each other for company late on

Other notables advancing to Day 2 are: Pieter De Korver (73,600), Richard Pearson (44,800), Katja Spillum Svendsen (25,900) and Alexander Stevic (71,500). Full end of Day 1A counts can be seen here.

Those who came, saw but failed to conquer in the sun included: UKIPT London champ Rapinder Cheema; David Lappin, David Clarkson, Morten Mortensen, Chris Wood, Thomas Dunwoodie, Georges Yazbeck, Martin Vallo, Neil Strike and Neil Raine.

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Georges Yazbeck amongst the many fallers

A bumper field is expected tomorrow where the Day 1B players will play out another ten levels before all survivors will join together for the first time on Friday. Midday CET is the start time once more so join us back here then. For now, read back over many of today's talking points by clicking here and check out the video below.


PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT5 Marbella: Marc Convey and Nick Wright. In a past life, Mickey May once fled to Spain and is very well connected around these parts, so steal her photos at your peril!

Marc Convey
@The_Conv in UKIPT