Day 1a of the 2014 partypoker World Poker Tour United Kingdom Main Event saw a total of 88 unique players and six reentries at Dusk Till Dawn in Nottingham — one of UK's top cardrooms. The £3,000 event features two starting days with the option for one reentry on each day up until the start of Day 2. With a £1 million guarantee on the prize pool, the tournament will need a total of 334 entries to make sure there is no overlay. That means that Day 1b will require 240 entries, however with most of the online qualifiers scheduled to play then, it looks like an easy figure to hit.
After nine 60-minute levels, it was a familiar face on top of the chip counts in former World Series of Poker Europe Main Event champion Adrian Mateos. He finished atop the 40 surviving players, and the Spaniard ended the day with 181,200 in chips. That put him ahead of Ian Simpson (167,900) and Robert Smith (147,000).
Day 1a Top 10 Chip Counts
Mateos joined the tournament a couple of levels in after busting from the £6,000 High Roller, and he quickly began to chip up, winning lots of small and medium pots to quickly reach 100,000. His defining hand saw him pick up aces against kings and queens, eliminating both players before continuing with the small-ball strategy that had served him so well.
Mateos was one of a large amount of players who had come back for the second day of the High Roller, most of whom busted and then quickly entered the Main Event. Among them were Sam Trickett, Tom Middleton, Dominik Nitsche, Chris Brammer, and Sergio Aido. All but Aido would bust the Main Event as well and are expected back tomorrow. Aido finished with a very respectable 92,900.
Mike Sexton traveled across from the US to represent partypoker, and he finished the day with 61,800 after he knocked out Ram Vaswani with against on a board. Others who made it through included Morten Mortensen (128,900), Jonathan Gill (127,300), and Marvin Rettenmaier (63,600). They'll all be coming back on Thursday and won't have to worry about firing a second or third bullet.
Those who will already be on their third bullet should they try again on Thursday include Jon Spinks and Simon Higgins — both of whom busted twice on Day 1a. Meanwhile, Gaelle Baumann, Marc Inizan, Michael Mizrachi, and Simon Deadman all opted for just a single bullet so far, and it remains to be seen how many of them will return for another go. Our best guess is that they'll all be back.
Day 1b is expected to be much, much bigger with so many players busting late from the High Roller and opting to keep their powder dry until Thursday. The second start day will begin at 1 p.m. local time, and PokerNews will once again be there for all the action.