UKIPT6 London: Usman Siddique leads final 10 at the end of Day 2
We started with 176. We ended with just 10. Welcome to the day of execution known as Day 2 of UKIPT6 London.
Whittling 176 players down to 10 in just 11 levels of play in a well-structured event like the UKIPT might have seemed far-fetched at the beginning of the day, but that's exactly what happened. And those remaining 10 players are a talented bunch indeed. Of course, only eight can make the official final table, so we'll have to lose two players before the big money jumps come into force.
Usman Siddique is our chip leader going into tomorrow's final day of play with 4,337,000, but for the last level it was a toss up between him and Warren Russell, who's not far behind with 3,894,000.
Siddique had quite a remarkable day. He became the chip leader a couple of levels into the day and from then on he always had one of the room's biggest stacks. He even won the hand of the day, which we simply have to tell you about in a bit of detail later in this report (you can read the full hand at 8.29pm in our Day 2 live updates).
The biggest name left in our field is that of Jack Salter with 1,231,000, the man who finished 2nd at the EPT10 Grand Final for €765,000. He's had an excellent past 12 months, notching up live cashes of more than $700,000, so it'll be interesting to see if he can bag his first UKIPT title.
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Joe Hindry and Jack Hardcastle are both through to our final day, but what's interesting about the two up-and-comers is that they're actually good mates from the same town in Portsmouth. Hindry ended play with 1,622,000 while Hardcastle is our short stack with 365,000. Hindry found a double up in one of the very last hands of the night when his pocket aces held up against Xiaoyang Luo's pocket queens. Luo busted in 11th shortly after for £5,640.
They'll be joined by Scotland's David Docherty - who celebrated his 29th birthday yesterday - with 1,283,000, Daniel Harwood with 1,220,000, David Gassian with 820,000, Morten Halvorsen with 720,000, and Anatolis Jevtejev with 636,000.
The original plan was to either play 10 levels or down to a final table of eight, but as the night went on and we got closer and closer to that final table goal, an extra level of play was added in to the mix.
Day 2 is obviously the first time we have the entire field in the same room at the same time, meaning all Day 1 chip leaders could mix together to create some massive pots. There was an abundance of those today - Richard Kellett flopped quads and Simon Dryan made a royal flush!
Iceland's Daniel Palsson won't be getting any sleep tonight, that's for sure. In the hand of the day, Palsson tried to isolate a small all-in player by moving all-in himself with ace-queen for 940,000 - a big stack at the time. However, he'd misread who was in the big blind - thinking it was another short-stacked player, when it was actually chip leader Siddique who woke up with aces. Needless to say the aces held and eliminated both players. It was a dramatic hand and a crushing blow for Palsson, but it set Siddique up for the rest of the day.
The bubble burst at the beginning of Level 16 when Aaron Lincoln's 6,500 shove with ace-king couldn't beat the flopped straight of Luke Reeves. 95 players cashed, and some of the notable names who managed to make the money included breakout player of the year nominee Rainer Kempe (83rd - £1,300); former November Niners Antoine Saout (80th - £1,300) and Felex Stephensen (77th - £1,300); Lithuania's Matas Cimbolas (70th - £1,470); PokerStars staff member Richard Connolly (65th - £1,470); Spain's Leo Margets (61st - £1,470) and Diego Gomez (46th - £1,660); former Irish Open winner James Mitchell (17th - £3,780), and British pro Richard Kellett (16th - £3,780).
Here's how our final ten players will be sitting when they return tomorrow:
|Jack Salter||United Kingdom||PokerStars Player||1||1||1,231,000|
|Usman Siddique||United Kingdom||1||3||4,337,000|
|David Docherty||United Kingdom||PokerStars Qualifier||1||4||1,283,000|
|Joe Hindry||United Kingdom||1||6||1,622,000|
|Jack Hardcastle||United Kingdom||1||8||365,000|
|Warren Russell||United Kingdom||3||2||3,894,000|
|Daniel Harwood||United Kingdom||3||4||1,220,000|
|Morten Halvorsen||Norway||PokerStars Player||3||6||720,000|
It was a crazy day of action, particularly during the last level of the night. That means we're set up for an incredible day of poker right from the off tomorrow - you won't want to miss it. Play kicks off at 12pm so make sure you join us here on the PokerStars Blog.
PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT6 London: Marc Convey and Jack Stanton. Photos by Mickey May, who will do a very high-pitched squeak right in your ear if you steal her photos. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog