UKIPT6 London Day 1A: Xizhe Yuan leads first of three starting flights
London has been part of the UKIPT since the very beginning - be it as a normal stop or as a Grand Final wrapped up as an EPT (Season 1) - so it seems as right as place as any to kick off the sixth season of one of the most successful and respected tours around. A total of 54 trophies have been given out over the first five seasons, and today, the journey towards the 55th ceremony started.
The trophy will be given out this coming Sunday after five long days of poker. Luckily for the survivors of Day 1A, they have two days off now, and will be back for Day 2 on Saturday. A total of 146 players turned up to PokerStars Live at the Hippodrome Casino today with the hope of contesting twelve 45-minute levels. When the dust settled on the last of those levels, 37 remained and were led by Xizhe Yuan who amassed 286,400.
Jack Salter almost pipped him to the post in the last level of the day after a massive hand against Jamie O'Connor. The PokerStars Blog caught up with O'Connor after the hand, and despite it being "a massive blow" he was more than happy to kindly walk us through the action.
He'd opened to 4,000 before facing a 3-bet to 10,800 from Salter. O'Connor said he flatted with T♠8♠, and the flop came king-jack-four rainbow with one spade. He check-called another bet of 10,800, leading to a non-spade seven on the turn. O'Connor checked again, and Salter made it 25,000. O'Connor then made a big shove with his gutshot - clearly thinking he could get Salter off his hand - but that turned out to be ace-king, and Salter went nowhere except up the leader board.
Other big stacks included: Gediminas Uselis (252,800), Nicholas Hennessey (219,600), Patrice Brandt (215,900), Alfie Adam (207,500), Richard Kellett (187,200), Steven Herron (176,500) and Matas Cimbolas (147,300). Kellett had a very eventful day. He came back for Day 2 of the High Roller, busted 13th for £3,980, built a big stack in the Main Event, lost most of it with kings versus ace-king, laughed it off, and rebuilt to a big stack again by close of play. Full counts will be posted shortly.
You can take a look at the full end of Day 1A chip counts here.
Kully Sidhu was one of the most in-form players in the field today, coming here on the back of his third-place finish at EPT12 Dublin for €250k, but every dog has his off day, and today was Sidhu's. He was one of the first players out when he ran pocket aces in to the set of Fabian Deimann. He was joined on the rail by such notables as: reigning EPT Grand Final champion Adrian Mateos; UK legend Albert Sapiano; the only current UKIPT champion (Dublin) Vladas Tamasauskas; Team PokerStars Live at the Hippodrome's Chris Gordon and "Mad Turk" Yucel Eminoglu.
Today also saw Day 2 of the High Roller play out. The final 28 players returned hoping to (at least) make the final 17 (min cash) and beyond. Simon Appleby was the unfortunate bubble boy after his full house was beaten by Luis Rodriguez and his bigger full house. That pot put Rodriquez in a commanding position and he rode the wave all the way to the final table and beyond. He was still in with two players remaining - the situation the tournament had reached by the end of play in the Main Event (check tomorrow's blog for the final results).
Day 1A started at 2pm today but the start times are going to jump forward for the next three days. To make sure enough space is freed up for the evening side events on the festival schedule, the powers that be have moved the Day 1B,C and Day 2 start time to 11am. So join us back here in the morning where another twelve 45-minute levels await, and a whole new bunch of faces will appear. For now though, read through all today's action by clicking here.
PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT6 London: Marc Convey and Jack Stanton. Photos by Mickey May, who will permanently watermark you if you steal her photos! Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog