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Unibet Open London: Saderne Grabs the Lead

Jeremy Sardene

As expected, the second starting day of the 2018 Unibet Open £990 Main Event at "The Vic" attracted a bigger field and ultimately saw 202 players in action in the heart of London. Along with the 147 entries of Day 1a, a field of 349 entries in total emerged in this freeze out, and the prize pool is set with £314,100. The top 47 spots will earn a share with the minimum cash worth £1,870 while the winner walks home £65,580 richer.

After 11 levels of 60 minutes each, Day 1b saw it's field whittled down all the way to just 52 hopefuls. Combined with the 36 survivors of Day 1a, that makes for 88 remaining players for Day 2 at the Grosvenor Victoria Casino.

The chip leader of Day 1b and new overall chip leader of the tournament is Jeremy Sardene (lead photo), who soared all the way to the top with a massive stack of 302,000. Francis Foord-Brown, who finished 4th a year ago at this very venue for £23,000, is in a prime position for a big payday once again after bagging up 292,500.

Sardene jumped into the position of big stack after winning a flip with pocket jacks against the ace-king of Benjamin Lebor. He also forced £2,200 High Roller champion Julien Sitbon into a big fold in the last level of the night to secure the top spot.

Other big stacks and notables after Day 1b include Deivis Rinkevicius (243,500), Marius Pertea (230,000), Gary Fisher (204,500), Yngve Steen (170,500), Preben Stokkan (161,500), Toni Ojala (120,000) and Daniel Laming (90,500), Julien Sitbon bagged up 10 big blinds for Day 2 with 31,000.

Marius Pertea
2017 Bucharest champion Marius Pertea with a big stack for Day 2 in London

Pertea won the last Unibet Open Main Event on home soil in Bucharest and added a deep run at the WPT European Championship in Berlin a month ago. The Romanian cracked the pocket kings of Unibet Poker ambassador Rauno Tahvonen with ace-ten suited and scored a massive double with aces versus tens soon after versus Hong Wang to end the day with a big smile on his face.

It was a dark day for the Unibet Poker representatives as none of them made it through. The eSports Star Mark Purdy was among the first players to bust, and he would later be followed by Ian Simpson, Daiva Byrne and the two UnibetPoker.fr sponsored pros Alexandre Reard and Quentin Lecomte. The latter lost his stack in back-to-back hands in level nine and headed to the rail.

Former Unibet Open champions Martin Soukup and Peter Harkes, who celebrated his 30th birthday today, also ran out of chips. Other notables among the casualties of Day 1b were such familiar names as Benny Glaser, Steven Watts, Albert Sapiano, Kfir Ivgi, Matt Perrins, and Richard "Chufty" Ashby.

Action for the penultimate tournament day in London kicks off at noon, and a maximum of 11 levels or down to the final table are scheduled. The action kicks off with Level 12 and blinds of 1,500/3,000 and a running ante of 500. Make sure to tune back into the Unibet Open London live updates find out who will reach the money.

Daiva Byrne
Unibet's Daiva Byrne busted the Main Event but chopped the £150 Turbo side event

Photos by Tambet Kask/Unibet Open

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