On Wednesday, the Full Tilt Poker UKIPT Galway Festival, a 60-event series, continued with the €2,200 No-Limit Hold’em High Roller Championship, an eight-handed event with the option for a single re-entry. There were 35 players who entered the tournament and one re-entry. After nine levels of action, Chris Day led the way.
The man from the UK rocketed up to the top of the leader board early on in the day and never looked back. With around 12 players left, Day won a huge pot to eliminate the Lithuanian Anaras Alekberovas. This put him on 250,000 in chips, more than a third of the chips in play, with the blinds at only 600/1,200/200. At the time, the average stack was a mere 80,000, setting Day up in a pretty healthy position. He finished the day as chip leader with 250,200.
As the last scheduled level of the night wound down, the players had reached the unofficial final table of nine, but given that only six people were being paid the players agreed to continue through the money bubble. After playing a short stack for several hours, it was Team PokerStars Pro Jake Cody who ultimately bubbled the event.
It happened in Level 10 (800/1,600/200) when Kyle Maguire raised to 4,000 from middle position and Cody moved all in for about 20,000 on the button. The blinds folded, and Maguire made a crying call.
"Good luck," said someone to Cody, but the flop came and set him behind.
"I hate 'good lucks,'" replied Cody good-naturedly. The turn and couldn't help the Team PokerStars Pro after the flop, and he busted out on the bubble, but not before wishing everyone else "good luck" for the rest of the way.
With Gus Hansen, Martins Adeniya and Ben Jenkins taking part in a charity event, and Sinem Melin involved in the six-max event, Full Tilt Poker representation fell on Irishman Dermot Blain as an ambassador in this event.
Blain was one of several big names to enter the field which included the aforementioned Cody and former UKIPT London winner Sergio Aido Espina. He suffered an early setback when he lost nearly a third of his chips getting double check-raised on the flop and turn against Ian Cordts, who ended up being the only player to re-enter. Blain managed to double up not once, but twice later on in the day to make the final table.
In the latter double, which happened in Level 7 (400/800/100), Blain opened to 1,600 from the cutoff before Alekberovas made it 4,000 from the small blind. William Ranulf Dorey then cold four-bet in the big blind to 7,600, and Blain shoved for around 25,000 in total. The Lithuanian quickly folded and Dorey made the call.
The board ran out , and Blain leaped above the 50,00-chip mark. He didn't build on that too much as the night progressed, but he is still in contention for the €24,450 first-place prize. He'll enter the final day with 64,100 in chips.
Poker in Ireland is traditionally fast and the point, which was quickly proved as cold five-bets were appearing in the very first level on tables only containing six players. Spaniard Guilabert Bernabeu was the first exit of the day, turning trips in a three-bet pot only to run into a full house. Other players who failed to survive included Ben Warrington, Paul Fevers, Jack Salter and Kevin Williams.
One stack that seemed to be blinding into oblivion was that of Trevor Dinneen, but the Irishman had a valid excuse. He was heads up in another tournament, the Irish Poker Championship, against well-know pro Steve O'Dwyer. Eventually, having won that event, Dinneen came over to shove his last few big blinds in the middle with but ran into Blain's to bust in 10th place. A few more exits later, including Cody's bubble, and the final table was set.
The final table of six will return at 2 p.m. local time on Thursday to play down to a winner. That will be happening alongside Day 1a of the €1,100 Main Event, which boasts a €1,000,000 guaranteed prize pool. Of course PokerNews will be live reporting both of these events, which you can follow all day and night our live reporting section.