The U.K. and Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT) stop in Dublin was expected to be a success, but numbers from the first day of play are more than encouraging. In total, 226 ponied up the €770 price of admission to enter the Main Event. As the first playing day was split into two flights, even more are expected to show up tomorrow and leave the guarantee of €350,000 far behind in the dust.
At the Mansion House, the style was fast and aggressive, leading to an elimination of more than half the entrants. While 226 may have started, only 104 were still alive after the end of the day’s play. At the top of the list was Noel McMahon, who bagged up 104,600 in chips and said that he was fortunate to be on the receiving end of some mistimed shoves when he held quality hands. Other players that are at the top of the hunt include Declan Barker (97,000), Lewis Barber (98,600), and Philipp Teipel (99,200).
Team PokerStars Pros plan to make their grand appearance tomorrow, but one member of The Rational Group chose to play on the first day. Ben Jenkins, the Tour Ambassador for Full Tilt Poker, made the trek to Dublin despite having a broken rib. Unfortunately, it was not to be his tournament as a tough Ace-King vs. Ace-Jack spot late in the day was enough to send Jenkins to the rail. Current WSOPE champion, Adrian Mateos, also had a late exit when his pocket Queens were not good enough to best Ace-King.
Another player that hit the rail early was Albert Sapiano. Not as well-known outside the U.K., Sapiano has a reputation of being able to spin up huge stacks better than anybody in the business. At the same time, his high-risk play can also end in a quick elimination, as was the case in this event. Sapiano was the very first player to make an exit when his bottom two pair found itself up against top set and needing a miracle to survive.
With attendance expected to soar past 226 tomorrow, there is plenty of poker to be played. Not only will the Team PokerStars Pro members be in attendance, but many other of the bigger professional names will also be showing up at this time.
Top Chip Counts
Noel McMahon – 104,600
Philipp Teipel – 99,200
Mathias Puzich – 98,700
Lewis Barber – 98,600
Declan Barker – 97,000