While sleep is being rubbed out of eyes and breakfast is being shovelled down necks around Galway there are 170 stomachs that may be having a little more trouble settling down than most. The inaugural €2,000 UKIPT Galway main event enters its second day and it's going to be make or break for many of the field who are chasing a share of the €471,380 prize pool. Leading the charge is Gavin O'Rourke, a train driver from Portlaoise, who qualified through a $11 rebuy and is sat on 104,000, well above the 30,000 chip average. The pack at his heels includes Team PokerStars Pro Jude Ainsworth (81,850), former Irish Poker Championship winner Kieran Walsh (79,925) and Michael 'BIGMICKG' Graydon(64,825), a player who cashed in the WSOP Main Event earlier this year.
While big stacks are looking to keep building and bullying there are just as many players that will be re-entering the tournament floor here at the Radisson hotel, Galway with just one thought on their mind, 'How do I get my stack into the middle in a good spot.' Notable short stacks include Jerome Brad piece (6700), George McKeever (7775) and Nicky Power (8400). With just a little more breathing space is former Manchester United and England star Teddy Sheringham (10,925) but it's Teddy that's likely to have the biggest problem picking a opponent to 3-bet shove on given that he's yet to turn up (thanks to airport issues, I understand).
We'll be playing another seven one-hour levels today starting from 2pm with the blinds at 300/600 (75) for the first 60 minutes going up to 400/800 (100). Keep with us and we'll give you regular updates on all the big names and chip movements. Click here.