A total of 232 players ponied up the £875 buy-in to enter the second of the two starting flights in the Unibet Open London Main Event. Just 69 players, or less than one-third of the starting field, advanced to Day 2 and they will join the other 51 survivors from Day 1a's play for Day 2 on Saturday, March 5, at 12 p.m. local time to play towards the final table.
Germany's Giulio Mascolo came out of nowhere during the final minutes of the last level to take the Day 1b chip lead with 254,900 in chips. Denmark's Daniel Petersen, who was in the chip lead until the final minutes, ended the day with the second best stack of 235,000 in chips.
Petersen is no stranger to having a big stack in a Unibet Open main event, as in March 2014 he finished in sixth place in the Unibet Open Copenhagen Main Event for DKr 120,000 ($22,304) on his home soil.
Just behind Petersen on Day 1b was British poker pro Ian Simpson with 225,100 in chips. Simpson was near the chip lead right after the first cards were dealt over 12 hours ago. Simpson is one of the more successful players left in the field with over $900,000 in live tournament cashes. His biggest win came in 2013 when he shipped the PaddyPower Irish Open for €265,000 ($339,604). The previous year he took fourth place in the same event for €117,500 ($141,623).
With both opening days in the books, 120 players will hit the felt to compete for the top prize of £62,000. Back in 2010 in Budapest, the Unibet Open Main Event set a record for the most entrants with 460 players. While that record remains safe, this year's event with 418 players shattered the previous record set for a London leg. In December 2014, 399 players participated.
While Day 1b chip leader Mascolo came out of nowhere to finish the day on top of the field, he starts Day 2 in third place behind Day 1a chip leader Jan Riha (298,800) and the man who finished closest to Riha, Geir Reka Tollerud (263,500).
Play will resume on Saturday at 12 p.m. local time with blinds at 1,200/2,400 and an ante of 300. Stay tuned to PokerNews for continued live coverage.
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