UKIPT5 Super Series London Day 1B/1C: Dale Garrad Leads Overall Chip Counts
The Hippodrome Casino bore witness to a tsunami of poker activity today as UKIPT5 Super Series Days 1B and 1C both played out to a finish.
At the close of play it was Andrey Dimitrov who topped the Day 1B rankings whilst on Day 1C, friend of PokerStars LIVE! at The Hippodrome Casino, Dale Garrad, had the kind of end game poker players dream of - his chip count blazing skyward in the closing levels to ensure he will return for Day 2 poised in prime position.
Day 1B started bright and early (for poker players at least), the 1:00pm start time drawing in a 100-strong field to test their luck. Numbered in their ranks were a mix of world famous sharks and lesser-known faces. One of the sharks, PokerStars Team Pro Jake Cody, jumped off a plane straight from Miami to take his shot at the tournament and although his run in Day 1B ended in ignominious elimination, he turned his luck round with his second bite of the cherry.
Day 1C proved a happier hunting ground - Cody brushing off a barren period in the early stages to rise to a 72,600 stack at the finish.
The swift thirty minute levels ensured the players waged constant war against each other and we were treated to some showtime, aggressive poker. Hitsquad member Chaz Chattha, dubbed "Live Gangster" in the course of the tournament, was in his element, a strong finish ensuring he bagged up 137,900 at the end of day reckoning. It was Bulgarian Andrey Dimitrov however who crushed the competition to accumulate a gargantuan stack of 189,400 - and all despite being close to crashing out in the early levels.
In all just 35 players survived the epic maelstrom to earn their right to partake in day 2.
Day 1C saw another block of hundred players disseminate themselves around the poker card room and engage in battle at the felt.
Day 1C played out in a slightly different fashion to the earlier days - the pace a little more sedate in the early stages. EPT commentator James Hartigan got the better of his co-commentator Joe Stapleton during this lull - progressing with 54,000 after nursing a smallish stack effectively all day.
This gentle pace was all to change however as the day wore on - the pendulum swinging back to create a devastating last few levels that witnessed knockout after knockout.
During this period several players rose to the fore. Mario Trattou, who had finished runner-up at UKIPT Series 6 in 2014, showed this deep run was no fluke, building some giant towers which left him sitting pretty in 2nd place with 178,000 at the close.
Steve Watts, 2013 Irish Open Finalist, also had a positive run, bagging up 164,200 at the close - a stack which gives him every chance of snagging the title when they return tomorrow.
However Dale Garrad's impeccable finish to reach 214,000 ensures the rest of the field will be chasing his coat-tails when play resumes Saturday.
Day 2 will begin at 1.00pm tomorrow. the remaining 92 players looking to play down to a final table. The levels will be gently massaged out to 40 minutes however we don't anticipate that will diminish the aggression on show - expect another day of pedal-to-the-metal poker to play out.
You won't want to miss the excitement, so see you there tomorrow. History beckons for one of these lucky players.
To read updates from Day 1B, Levels 1-8, click here.
To read updates from Day 1B, Levels 9-12, click here.
To read updates from Day 1C, Levels 1-8, click here.
To read updates from Day 1C, Levels 9-12, click here.
The combined chip counts at the end of both days can be found by clicking here.
The final prizepool can be found here.
PokerStars Blog reporting team at PokerStars UKIPT5 Super Series: Rod Stirzaker. Photos courtesy of Mickey May.