Jonathan Schuman claims UKIPT6 Marbella title and €96,159

Jonathan Schuman claims UKIPT6 Marbella title and €96,159

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Jonathan Schuman – the latest UKIPT champion

At the start of the festival we wondered if the UK and Ireland could find an equaliser. This is the fourth collaboration of the UKIPT and Estrellas poker tours in Marbella and coming into this event Spain were leading 2-1. 

Well now we have the answer and it’s a resounding yes as 47 year-old property developer Jonathan Schuman has won the UKIPT6 Marbella main event and €96,159. Perhaps though the score is more 2.5-1.5. Marbella is Schuman’s home from home, and this casino as familiar to him as the Vic in his native London. This is his biggest tourney win, but Schuman has been playing live two or three times a week for 30 years, which is usually all the time he can fit around his property development business.    

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For so long it was Strong’s tournament to lose

For so long this final table was about Rodrigo Strong. The Brazilian came in as the chip leader and only lost the lead for a short time. Indeed by the time play was three-handed the LAPT9 Chile champion was back in charge. Play paused to discuss a deal and a chip chop deal, which left €10,000 to play for, was quickly agreed and Strong had secured the largest slice of the pie, €110,653 to be exact.

The deal was to be his downfall though as on the first hand after it’d been struck he’d lose a tournament defining pot to Janssens. You suspect he wouldn’t have four-bet jammed [Jc][7c] without the safety net of the deal and Janssens may not have been as quick as he was to call with [Ac][Kd]. By the river Janssens’ full-house had seen Rodrigo’s tournament come crashing down. “If we hadn’t done a deal he’d have won it!” said Schuman after the tournament was over.

He was left with just 12 big blinds and got them in soon afterwards with pocket kings. Schuman called with [As][5d] and flopped an ace to send him to the rail. The Brazilian was still smiling though and seemed to thoroughly enjoy the tournament

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Heads-up play begins

That left us heads-up and the two players had taken very different paths to reach this stage. In the red corner was Janssens, he’d eliminated the first three players at the final table and been the only player to hold the chip lead apart from Strong. He actually began with a chip deficit with Schuman starting with a two million chip lead (12 big blinds). 

The Englishman had entered the final table fourth in chips and seemed intent on preserving his stack rather than increasing it. But you sense he didn’t care one bit. He was intent on being around for any deal negotiations (and he was). “I just didn’t want to go out in 8th, so anything from 7th upwards, I was happy.  So now, it’s an incredible feeling,” he told the PokerStars Blog.

When Schuman did play a big pot, he had a big hand. We didn’t really see him move a chip until play was four handed. At this point his jacks held to double up against Strong’s ace-queen and for the first time he had chips and you sensed he wasn’t going to part with them easily.

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Schuman worked hard to get chips and to keep them

Whilst that hand with jacks got him back in the game, another hand with jacks was his tournament defining pot. He shoved with the hooks and Janssens snap called with aces. A jack on the flop gave Schuman a huge pot. If the bullets had held Janssens would’ve had 90% of the chips in play and Schuman would’ve been on the rail.

As is was Schuman would be the one who’d send Janssens to the rail. The Englishman had stretched out to a 2:1 chip lead by the time of the final hand. Janssens three-bet all-in for 38 big blinds with [Ad][Jd] but Schuman had him dominated with [Ah][Kh] and the board ran clean to give him the win.

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Janssens played a major role in the final table story

As alluded to above Janssens played a major part in this final table, particularly in the opening stages as he eliminated three players in a row.

First to go was Nikola Ristivojevic, the Serbian shoved his final 13 big blinds with [Ac][Ts] and lost a race to the Dutchman’s pocket nines. The physical therapist is used to helping cure aliments but he was only bringing the pain at this final table and Armin Zoike can attest to that. He had his pocket kings cracked by Janssens’ [Qd][Jd] one queen on the flop and another on the turn doing the damage.

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First out at the final table

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Zoike had his kings cracked

Thirty minutes later Janssens had his third scalp and he didn’t need any help from the poker gods this time around. Michal Ozimek three-bet jammed for 12 big blinds with [Ad][9d] and Janssens snap called with [Ac][Qh]. Two diamonds on the flop gave the Pole a big sweat but he bricked the turn and river.

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A missed flush cost Ozimek

When play was five handed a deal was discussed but negotiations broke down when Milos Skrbic rejected the terms. Not 15 minutes later he was out. A limp jam from the small blind with [As][7s] went wrong as he ran into Strong’s pocket aces to bust in fifth.

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Skrbic jammed into aces to bust

Strong’s ascension back to the chip lead was complete when he took out Alexander Voytko in fourth. It was (almost) a classic race as Voytko’s pocket nines got run down by Strong’s [Kh][Qh] when a king flopped.

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Fourth place for Voytko

That’s when the deal happened and when the tournament really began for Schuman. Having blended into the background for much of the final table he suddenly came to the fore and tonight he’s the player who can proudly say he’s the latest UKIPT main event champion.

Here are the official results:

UKIPT6 Marbella main event 
Players: 844
Buy-in: €1,000 + €100 
Places paid: 127 
Total prize pool: € 810,240

 

POSITION NAME COUNTRY STATUS PRIZE
1 Jonathan Schuman United Kingdom   € 96,159*
2 Bob Janssens Netherlands   € 101,238*
3 Rodrigo Strong Brazil   € 110,653*
4 Alexander Voytko Israel € 48,610
5 Milos Skrbic Serbia PokerStars Qualifier € 38,320
6 Michal Ozimek Poland   € 28,680
7 Armin Zoike Germany PokerStars Qualifier € 20,175
8 Nikola Ristivojevic Serbia PokerStars qualifier € 14,180

*Denotes three handed deal

You can catch up on all the final table action here and see each and everyone of the 127 in the money finishers here.

The next UKIPT event is the £500+£50 Super Series and it takes place at PokerStars LIVE! at The Hippodrome Casino August 31st-September 4th. Satellites will begin in early July, keep an eye on the @UKIPT twitter account for an announcement about those satellites.

But from all the team in Marbella we hope you’ve had a wonderful time at the UKIPT’s annual summer holiday. But for now buenas noches from Marbella.

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PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT6 Marbella: Marc Convey and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May and Rene Velli. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog

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UKIPT6 Marbella: Final table updates

UKIPT6 Marbella: Final table updates

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* CLICK TO REFRESH FOR LATEST UPDATES
* Largest UKIPT Marbella main event in history with 844 runners
* Play will continue until a winner is crowned!
* CLICK FOR LATEST CHIP COUNTS
* CLICK FOR PRIZE POOL INFORMATION

1:25pm: Every short stack gets aces at least once
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (10,000 ante)

The above statement was the quote from Arminl Zoike after he witnessed another one of his tablemates doubling up with aces, and again through chip leader Rodrigo Strong.

The action folded to Milos Skrbic in the small blind who completed and then snap called all-in for 1.425 million after Strong shoved from the big blind.

Skrbic: [ah][ac]
Strong: [kd][9d]

The board ran [2d][ac][qs][5d][6c] to see the aces hold up. Strong dropped down to 4.6 million. –MC

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The before I got aces look

1:10pm: Voytko continues to gather chips
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (10,000 ante)

It’s been a great level so far for Alexander Voytko as he’s won another couple of decent pots to climb to around 2,500,000.

In the first he re-raised all-in over the top of Armin Zoike’s 200,000 chip open. The German had about 1,300,000 back and elected to fold. He’s now the short stack.

A couple of hands later Michael Ozimek made it 160,000 to play but he too folded to aggression from Voytko as the Israeli’s three-bet to 500,000 was enough to earn him the pot. –NW

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Voytko is gathering momentum

12:58pm: Shortie got a double
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (10,000 ante)

Rodrigo Strong has suffered the first real setback in a long while after he doubled the shortest stacked player at the table, Alexander Voytko.

The Brazilian opened to 160,000 from under the gun and called after Voytko three-bet all-in for 925,000 from two seats along.

Strong: [3d][3c]
Voytko: [as][ad]

The board ran [6h][2h][5d][9c][6d] and Strong dropped to 6.1 million. –MC

12:40pm: Updated chip counts
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (10,000 ante)

As level 28 gets underway here’s how the players stack up:

Name Country Status Chips
Rodrigo Strong Brazil   7,030,000
Bob Janssens Netherlands PokerStars Player 3,845,000
Michael Ozimek Poland   3,280,000
Jonathan Schuman United Kingdom   2,125,000
Milos Skrbic Serbia PokerStars Qualifier 1,855,000
Armin Zoike Germany PokerStars Qualifier 1,760,000
Alexander Voytko Israel   955,000

12:25pm: Take a break
Level 27 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (10,000 ante)

For some reason the players have been sent on a 15 minute break at the end of level 27. They’ve only been playing 21 minutes! –NW

12:15pm: Nikola Ristivojevic eliminated in eighth place (€14,180)
Level 27 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (10,000 ante)

On the fourth hand of final table play we had the first exit. Alexander Voytko opened to 125,000 from the cut off and Nikola Ristivojevic then moved all-in for roughly 800,000 from the button. When action reached Bob Janssens in the big blind the Dutchman didn’t even ask for a count before moving all-in and Voytko folded.

Ristivojevic: [Ac][Ts]
Janssens: [9d][9s]

The [Jc][6s][5c][Jd][4c] board kept Janssens in front and he’s up to around 3,800,000 whilst Ristivojevic is now on a watching brief as he tries to rail his buddy (Milos Skrbic) to victory. –NW

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Ristivojevic is out in eighth place

12:03pm: Shuffle up and deal
Level 27 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (10,000 ante)

Cards are out for the final day’s play. There’s still 21 minutes left of level 27 on the clock. Who’s your money on? –MC

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The elated eight

11:50am: Final day about to begin
Level 27 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (10,000 ante)

Can you feel the tension in the air? Probably not where you are but there’s a little bit here in Marbella where just eight players remain in the biggest Main Event in the four year history of the PokerStars Marbella Festival.

The finalists are here and are having their photos taken before cards will fly into the air around midday. Everyone is now guaranteed €14,180 but the big bucks are up top where the winner will win €151,350 to take home a minimum of Here’s a reminder of how’ll they’ll line up:

1. Bob Janssens, Netherlands – 2,810,000
2. Armin Zoike, Germany – 1,655,000
3. Milos Skrbic, Serbia – 2,090,000
4. Rodrigo Strong, Brazil – 7,235,000
5. Mikal Ozimek, Poland – 2,610,000
6. Alexander Voytko, Israel – 1,370,000
7. Nikola Ristivojevic, Serbia – 850,000
8. Jonathan Schuman, United Kingdom – 2,325,000
–MC

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Can anyone stop Strong?

PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT6 Marbella: Marc Convey and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May and Rene Velli. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog

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Rodrigo Strong hangs tough, leads UKIPT Marbella final table

Rodrigo Strong hangs tough, leads UKIPT Marbella final table

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A strong performance from Rodrigo today

Fifty-five players returned today and while we could only guess at which eight would make the final table, from a long way out it seemed a near certainty that Rodrigo Strong would be amongst them.

The overnight chip leader went from strength to strength today and never lost top spot on the leaderboard as he powered his way to the final table. A cooler of a hand against Janina Burger, in which they both flopped trips, meant he had almost a quarter of the chips in play with 22 players left and he further increased his stack to end the day on 7,2350,000. Good for 34% of the chips in play. The LAPT9 Chile champion is having a fantastic year and just as in March, when he won his LAPT title, he’ll start the final day as chip leader.

Final table chip counts:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seat Name Country Status Chips
1 Bob Janssens Netherlands PokerStars Player 2,810,000
2 Armin Zoike Germany PokerStars Qualifier 1,655,000
3 Milos Skrbic Serbia PokerStars Qualifier 2,090,000
4 Rodrigo Strong Brazil   7,235,000
5 Michael Ozimek Poland   2,610,000
6 Alexander Voytko Israel   1,370,000
7 Nikola Ristivojevic Serbia PokerStars Qualifier 850,000
8 Jonathan Schuman United Kingdom   2,325,000

The following is about Strong from our LAPT blog in March: “he scored knockout after knockout, winning nearly every all-in encounter he found himself involved in en route to ending the night with the eight-handed chip lead.” 


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That quote is equally apt today as Strong barely put a chip wrong and to highlight just one hand, he made quads to eliminate Alejandro Vazquez in 12th place. He almost always had double the chips of whichever player occupied second place. In short, he crushed it. 

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A good day for Janssens

It’s a cosmopolitan final table with no less than seven nationalities represented and unlike Strong, who knows what it’s like to win a major poker tournament, the vast majority of those who line up behind him are still waiting for their breakout result. 

While Strong’s path to the final table was serene and untroubled the same can’t be said of Bob Janssens. Over nine hours of play he scrapped his way to the final table. What’s more his day should’ve been done on the first hand of play. He got his 20 big blind stack in with [Ac][Jc] and rivered a jack to beat Nick De Groot’s pocket nines.

He never looked back and a crucial hold with jacks against ace-king with 14 players left means the Dutchman goes into tomorrow’s final table as Strong’s nearest challenger.

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Feriolo finished ninth

The Dutchman secured that spot by scoring the final knockout of the day when he eliminated Romain Feriolo in ninth. He’s so old school he final tabled the first ever EPT Grand Final. He finished fourth in that event earning €139,000. That’s not his only EPT final table though as he six months later he finished eighth at EPT2 Barcelona. The Spaniard was second in chips for large swathes of today but a mistimed bluff and an ace-king v kings cooler meant he started the unofficial final table of nine as the shortstack. He took his final stand with [Ad][Jd] but couldn’t beat the [Ac][Ks] of Janssens.

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Nikola Ristivojevic

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Milos Skrbic

That exit means there are actually no Spaniard’s at the final table. Not only that, but there are more Serbians than Brits at the final table, with Milos Skrbic and Nikola Ristivojevic both among the final eight. They both started Day 3 among the top five stacks so it’s not a massive shock that both are still in contention. They are room mates here in Marbella and travel the circuit together.

Ristivojevic doubled up Alexander Voytko during nine handed play so will start the day as the shortest stack while Skrbic enters the final table in fifth place.

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Armin Zoike

Germany’s representative at the final table is Armin Zoike. He had an eventful day, some of which occurred before he’d even played a hand. He was conspicuous by his absence when play got underway. On his way to the tournament he cut his head and it needed a little patching up before he could play. He turned his start of day 752,000 into 1,655,000 by play’s end. 

Despite cashes in the Aussie Millions main event and at EPT Campione regardless of where Zoike finishes tomorrow it’ll be his largest live tournament cash to date

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Voytko – needed some luck

I think we can all agree you need a healthy slice of luck (as well as skill) to capture a poker tournament and if Alexander Voytko is victorious tomorrow he’ll likely look back on a hand against Nikola Ristivojevic as a big momentum swinger. With nine players left the 2012 Israeli poker champion was all-in and at risk with [Qh][9c] and needed help against Ristivojevic’s [As][8h]. A queen on the flop kept his interest in this tournament alive and he’ll start tomorrow in seventh place. 

Voytko might argue he’s due some luck as if you cast your mind back to Day 1A he lost a 120,000 chip pot at the death when a dealer erroneously mucked his cards.

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Ozimek’s the sole Pole left in

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Schuman is flying the British flag

Tomorrow will be a big day in the poker lives of Mikhal Ozimek and Jonathan Schuman. The Pole will score his biggest ever live cash should he manage seventh of better. And if Schuman follows suit he’ll, at the very least, double his lifetime live poker earnings. The pair will start third and fourth respectively.

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Sapiano lit up the tournament

To make the final table of eight we needed to lose 47 players today and it was with some sadness that the final table won’t be enlivened by the presence of Albert Sapiano. He exited in 15th place and his final hand was a microcosm of his personality. He’d complained of being card dead and finally found a hand with which to raise – the mighty [3s][2c] as it happened – on a [Ks][3d][6d] flop he open shoved and ran into Armin Zoike’s slowplayed aces. A few f-bombs followed as he made his exit stage left. He’ll be missed but not forgotten.

Other players who had to hop into side events today if they wanted to play more poker were: June Jenkins (53rd), Yannis Liperis (48th), Gareth De Groot (44th), Kevin Monroe (29th), Janina Burger (23rd) and Kjell Lindqvist (16th). 

You can see the comprehensive list of in the money finishers by clicking here, while you catch up on all today’s action if you click right here. We’ll be back at noon to bring you final table coverage. There’s the small matter of € 151,350 and the trophy to play for. 

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PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT6 Marbella: Marc Convey and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May and Rene Velli. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog

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UKIPT6 Marbella: Day 3 Live Updates

UKIPT6 Marbella: Day 3 Live Updates

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* CLICK TO REFRESH FOR LATEST UPDATES
* Largest UKIPT Marbella main event in history with 844 runners
* Day 3 plays until a final table is reached
* We’re in the money! 55 of 844 players remain
* CLICK FOR START OF DAY 3 CHIP COUNTS
* CLICK FOR DAY 3 SEAT DRAW
* CLICK FOR PRIZE POOL INFORMATION

12pm: Shuffle up and deal
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

Cards are in the air. Here’s a reminder of the top ten chip counts heading into the day:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Name Country Status Chips
Rodrigo Strong Brazil   1,184,000
Nikola Ristivojevic Serbia PokerStars Qualifier 1,026,000
Marko Simic Germany   1,002,000
Milos Skrbic Serbia PokerStars Qualifier 914,000
Albert Sapiano United Kingdom   911,000
Michael Ozimek Poland   760,000
Armin Daniel Zoike Germany PokerStars Qualifier 752,000
Juan Jose Iglesias Mora Spain PokerStars Qualifier 704,000
David Greene United Kingdom PokerStars Qualifier 692,000
Francisco Javier Zufia Tamayo Spain PokerStars Qualifier 684,000

11:50pm: Race to the final is on
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (2,000 ante)

Welcome back to the penultimate day of the PokerStars Marbella Festival. Just 55 players remain but, by the end of the day, just eight finalists will be left. Play will stop if that point is not reached after ten levels of play, but we think we’ll be okay on that front.

All returning Spanish players will be happy after their team beat Turkey last night. The poolside party where the game was played on a big screen was a great success and the mood can be summed up by the below picture. — MC

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PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT6 Marbella: Marc Convey and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May and Rene Velli. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog

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UKIPT6 Marbella: Kevin Monroe climbs highest on Day 1B

UKIPT6 Marbella: Kevin Monroe climbs highest on Day 1B

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Monroe hit all the right notes today

Who needs sand, sunshine and sangria when you’ve got cards, chips and a chair? Not 409 poker players from around the world who all took part in the second of three starting flights of UKIPT Marbella.

A total of 39 countries were represented today and whilst the UK, Ireland and Spain accounted for 249 of their number there were players from as far afield as Algeria and Uruguay at the felt today. When the allotted dozen 45-minute levels had been played it was the karaoke king Kevin Monroe who claimed the chip lead.

The Irishman enjoyed a incredible day running up his starting stack of 25,000 to a bag busting 321,000 by the time the final whistle blew. 


Want to start your own UKIPT campaign? Sign up for PokerStars and start your journey. Click here to get an account.


Just like in the England v Wales game it was a close run contest right up until the end of play. Just pipped into second was Albert Sapiano who finished the day on 319,400. “I got lucky a couple of times,” was his deadpan response to his day at the tables. A raft of other players increased their stack handsomely with David Greene (237,700), James Mitchell (224,600) and June Edwards (213,400) all well placed to make a deep run at the money.

UKIPT6_Marbella_day1b_albert_sapiano.jpgA successful day for Sapiano

Speaking of which, at this point we’ve usually got the prize pool information, total number of runners and the overnight seat draw to hand. But, for the first time on a UKIPT we’re trialling something that’s worked well on other PokerStars tours, a turbo Day 1C. It’s a flight that’s only open to anyone who busted Day 1A or Day 1B and won’t wrap up until around 2.30am CET. 
 
As a result we can’t bring you the Day 2 seat draw just yet, but keep an eye on the @UKIPT and @PokerStarsBlog twitter accounts for that information, which will be available before play starts tomorrow.

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Moreira de Melo will have to try again if she wants to make Day 2

One player who’ll almost certainly play Day 1C is Team PokerStars SportsStars Fatima Moreira de Melo. She got as high as 49,000 at one point today but the blinds and antes began to eat away at her stack and she exited three quarters of the way through the day.

Other familiar faces who may well be back for Day 1C include: Kuljinder Sidhu, Renee Xie, Chris Dowling, Mateusz Moolhuizen and David Clarkson. That talented quintet all tried and failed on the first attempt today.

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Good day for Gomez

Whilst some of the big names faltered they’ll be plenty of notables in the Day 2 seat draw tomorrow all looking to get themselves a Spanish Flag. The assorted talents of: Diego Gomez (150,200), Lam Trinh (122,300), Kjell Lindqvist (72,500) and Niko Koop (65,000) will return tomorrow.

UKIPT6_Marbella_day1b_leo_margets.jpgA tough day for Leo

Also through is De Melo’s best bud, Leo Margets. The two were seated at adjacent tables at the start of the day and that made for a jovial atmosphere in their part of the room. Margets will return tomorrow with a stack of 43,200 and work to do.

You can catch up on all the Day 1B action here, Day 2 starts at noon tomorrow and that’s when we’ll pick up the action again. We’ll bring you a brief overview of what happened during the turbo Day 1C as Day 2 kicks off. But for now, goodnight from Marbella.

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PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT6 Marbella: Marc Convey and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May and Rene Velli. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog 

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UKIPT6 Marbella Day 2: Live updates

UKIPT6 Marbella Day 2: Live updates

PS_Marbella_Festival-100_Location.jpg

* CLICK TO REFRESH FOR LATEST UPDATES
* Largest UKIPT Marbella main event in history with 844 runners
* 241 of 844 players remain (127 get paid)
* CLICK FOR SELECTED CHIP COUNTS
* CLICK FOR PRIZE POOL INFORMATION
* CLICK FOR START OF DAY SEAT DRAW

12:25pm: Gieles goes first, Whelan almost joins
Level 13 – Blinds 1,200/2,400 (300 ante)

Luuk Gieles was first player to depart today. The Dutchman came back with only 17,000 and they were sucked up by Janina Burger.

Moments later Kevin Whelan thought he was out too. The Liverpool man opened to 10,600 from second position and then called after Daniel Gomez moved all-in for 46,700 from the next seat.

Whelan: [kc][qc]
Gomez: [as][qs]

The board ran [6h][9h][9s][qh][6s]. Whelan was heading off but he was called back as he still had 2,000 chips left.

Minus his 300 ante, he moved all-in for 1,700 the very next hand and managed to quadruple up with [jc][7c] on a [4c][3h][jd][7d][kd]. The comeback is on! — MC

12:10pm: Cards are in the air
Level 13 – Blinds 1,200/2,400 (300 ante)

Play has started. We’re told that today will consist of seven levels. We’ve upped the clock to one hour levels now so that should mean play ends around 8pm. Plenty of time for the players to eat and get ready for the player party which begins at 8.30pm and will involve a big screen showing the Spain v Turkey match that starts at 9pm. –NW

12pm: Moving day is here
Level 13 – Blinds 1,200/2,400 (300 ante)

Welcome back to Day 2 of what is officially the biggest ever UKIPT Marbella main event. 151 players entered last night’s turbo Day 1C to take the total number of runners to 844, eclipsing last year’s record of 841.

The likes of Kuljinder Sidhu, Renee Xie, Vicente Delgado and Mateusz Moolhuizen all got through at the second attempt and take their place among 241 Day 2 runners. Over half of those players will get paid with 127 players earning at least €1,700 whilst the winner will take home €151,350.

You can see all the pertinent Day 2 information below. Cards are in the day at noon and we expect the usual ferociously fast day of poker as stacks are built and dreams dashed on what we call ‘moving day’. Follow the coverage right here.

Seat Draw
Chip counts
Prize pool

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UKIPT6 Marbella Day 1B: Live updates

UKIPT6 Marbella Day 1B: Live updates

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12:03pm: Shuffle up and deal
Level 1 – Blinds 50/100

Cards are in the air for Day 1B. –MC

11:50am: Welcome back for Day 1B
Level 1 – Blinds 50/100

Yesterday was so much fun, let’s do it all over again. Actually, let’s do it twice today. It was trailed on the Eureka Poker Tour and now it’s come to the UKIPT/ESPT. There is a Day 1C Turbo flight taking place later tonight that offers players a second chance to make Day 2, only open to players who busted on Day 1A yesterday, or Day 1B today. That’s for later though, there’s the little matter of Day 1B to take care of first.

Cards will be in the air at midday CET and more than 300 players are expected to through the doors of Casino Marbella. It may be the Spanish summer but no shorts in here please. Don’t worry, they’ve got you covered with air conditioning.

One of the players taking centre stage today will be Team PokerStars SportStar Fatima Moreira De Melo. It one of her favorite stops of the year and she’s dragged Leo Margets along with her. We’ll bring you news of all the other notables once play is underway. –MC

Key UKIPT6 Marbella Facts:
– 25,000 starting stack
– Blinds starting at 50/100 for 250 big blinds
– Levels are 45 minutes on Day 1 and they’ll be 12 of them. From Day 2 onwards levels increase to 60 minutes. 
– Day 1A was yesterday (read about it here), Day 1B takes place today and there’s also a turbo Day 1C at 10pm tonight. That opening flight is only open to players who’ve busted on Day 1A or Day 1B.
– The field will then combine for the first time on Friday. We’ll reach the money during the eight levels of play on Day 2 and then play down to a final table on Saturday. Sunday is all about the final. Cue mad celebrations and swigging of sangria from the trophy (possibly). 
– Full UKIPT5 Marbella schedule here.

PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT6 Marbella: Marc Convey and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May and Rene Velli. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog

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UKIPT6 Marbella Day 1A: Live updates

UKIPT6 Marbella Day 1A: Live updates

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* CLICK TO REFRESH FOR LATEST UPDATES
* First of three starting flights (Day 1C only open to players who bust 1A or 1B)
* There will be a dozen 45-minute levels today
* Players: TBC

1:25pm: Good game
Level 2 – Blinds 75/150
The tournament board is showing that 226 of 230 entrants remain. The four fallers are: Jose Manuel Nunez Fernandez, Samvel Oganesyan, Igor Pihela and Joey Lovelady. –NW

1:14pm: Garcia squeezes value
Level 2 – Blinds 75/150

Antonio Entrena Garcia almost got three streets of value with pocket kings but a scary river card shut down the action.

Gary Bluston had opened to 375 from second position, and was called by Remy Bruno Cogno in the next seat, before Garcia squeezed to 1,225 from the cutoff. Both opponents called to see a [9d][3s][8d] flop where they checked it over to Cogno. He wasted little time in continuing for 1,550, a bet that was only called by Bluston. He check-called another 2,300 on the [4h] turn before both players checked the [td] river. Bluston opened [ac][9c] and lost out to Garcia’s [ks][kh]. –MC

1pm: Holke limps, wins
Level 2 – Blinds 75/150

From early position Tom Holke limped, it folded to Oscar Ingelmo Hernandez, who was on the button, and he bumped it to 375 total. The small blind made the call and so did Holke. 

So three to a flop then and it came [8d][Ac][2d]. Holke led for 675 and Hernandez was the only caller. The [Ad] turn and [5d] river were both checked through and Holke turned over [Qs][Td]. Hernandez smiled and flashed the [9d] as he mucked. –NW

12:50pm: Early happenings, in brief
Level 2 – Blinds 75/150

– Tom Holke’s stack has dropped to 21,000 after he seemed to value bet himself on the river. He bet 3,500 with [4d][4h] with a board showing [7s][6d][3d][3s][2s] and was called by a neighbour holding [7d][9h].
– Neil Raine’s playing position well early on. Thomas Bingham raised to 325 from the hijack and Raine was the only caller on the button. The flop fanned [9s][6h][7s] and Raine bet 400 when Bingham checked to him. Fold.
– Jan Combes, mother of British pro Charlie Combes and a former ladies champion on the EPT, ran into aces and lost almost a fifth of her stack. “It happens!” she said. –MC

12:35pm: More names
Level 1 – Blinds 50/100

The number of runners is going up by the minute and one of Spain’s finest players has just taken his seat. Vicente ‘vicenfish’ Delgado has racked up over $2,300,000 in online cashes and is a constant presence in the online satellites to UKIPT events.

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Traut is about

Heinz Traut is also in the field, he was the ESPT Player of the Year in Season 5, in part due to a third place finish in ESPT5 Madrid. So no title for Traut, but one man who does have a ESPT main event title to his name is Nicki Vestergaard. The Dane won in Madrid in Season 6 and is playing today. 

He’s one of 180 players who’ve opted to play Day 1A. — NW

12:30pm: Who’s about?
Level 1 – Blinds 50/100

The clock says that 150 are registered for Day 1A so far. With the England vs Wales game scheduled for tomorrow we’re expecting a lot of British players here to enter today. Neil Raine, Joey Lovelady, Dan Carter and Seun Oluwole have all taken their seats.

Germany also have their second game tomorrow and Tom Holke – the Eureka5 Hamburg champion – has all the German regalia on his person already. To say he’s a proud German is an understatement. — MC

12:15pm: Dinner cancelled!
Level 1 – Blinds 50/100

That headline is a bit misleading to be honest. A 60-minute dinner break was in the schedule for the end of Level 8 but that’s been taken out and we’ll push n through and finish up around 9:30pm CET. The reason? Euro 2016 of course!

The France vs Albania game kicks off at 9pm and the powers that be want to get those interested in the game out so they can watch the second half. There’s four 15-minute breaks in the schedule still and players can order food to the table as well. — MC

12:05pm: The clock is running
Level 1 – Blinds 50/100

Play has started. –NW

11:55am: It’s the UKIPT’s annual summer holiday
Level 1 – Blinds 50/100

Ludovic Geilich, Rodrigo Espinosa, Isidoro Barrena, ?.

Once again the UKIPT and Estrellas poker tours have combined as one to bring you the Marbella Poker Festival. Over the next five days we’ll add another name to the list of UKIPT Marbella champions. It’s 2-1 to Spain at the moment, can the UK and Ireland find the equaliser?

Follow updates every step of the way right here, via the @UKIPT and @PokerStarsBlog twitter accounts. If Spanish is your bag then you need to head to the Spanish language PokerStars Blog.

Play is due to start at midday. 


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Key UKIPT6 Marbella Facts:
– 25,000 starting stack
– Blinds starting at 50/100 for 250 big blinds
– Levels are 45 minutes on Day 1 and they’ll be 12 of them. From Day 2 onwards levels increase to 60 minutes. 
– Day 1A is today, Day 1B takes place tomorrow and there’s also a turbo Day 1C at 10pm tomorrow. That opening flight is only open to players who’ve busted on Day 1A or Day 1B.
– The field will then combine for the first time on Friday. We’ll reach the money during the eight levels of play on Day 2 and then play down to a final table on Saturday. Sunday is all about the final. Cue mad celebrations and swigging of sangria from the trophy (possibly). 
– Full UKIPT5 Marbella schedule here.

PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT6 Marbella: Marc Convey and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May and Rene Velli. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog

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Usman Siddique crushes all-comers to claim UKIPT6 London title

Usman Siddique crushes all-comers to claim UKIPT6 London title

Very few people come to play poker at Hippodrome Casino and don’t fall in love with the place. The UKIPT has made its London home here and it’d be hard to imagine playing anywhere else in this fine city now. At midday today there would’ve been 10 players who agreed with those sentiments. Seven hours later, at least one person would still agree.

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Siddique – champion!

That’s all it took for start of day chip leader Usman Siddique to dismantle the hopes of nine very capable opponents. Siddique might’ve allowed himself to dream of the title from as early as midway through yesterday’s play when he won a 2 million chip pot courtesy of an obvervational mistake by an opponent. That pot alone was good for a final table average stack and it gave the 23-year-old the ammunition to boss every table he was at from then on. He ended Day 2 as chip leader and, despite a short while today when Warren Russell overtook him, never let go of his grip on the tournament.

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Heads up battle

On his huge pots yesterday, Siddique had this to say: “Yes it was really important but there were two stages. Firstly someone 5-bet ripped pocket jacks into my kings for 500,000 so that put me up to a million – then another player decided to get it in versus me in that huge pot.”

The last man he had to get through was the man who started off the day on fire. French primary school teacher David Gassian picked up kings in the opening moments of the day and used them to oust Anatolis Jevtejev in tenth place. The Lithuanian was unlucky as he had picked up a hand as well with jacks. That exit meant all players resided on one table and it was soon the official final table of eight when Gassian used pocket kings once more to Jack Hardcastle in ninth. That hand was also a cooler as the Portmouth native held ace-king but failed to find the three-outer he needed.

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Gassian – 2nd place

Gassian won another two big hands – once with aces and another with quads – and that helped keep him alive as Siddique destroyed all players around him. His luck ran out when he was heads up though. He was very short and moved all in with king-deuce; Siddique looked down at ace-six, made the call and went on to make two pair.

The official final table kicked off with the exit of Scottish pro David Docherty. This was the second time he’s made a UKIPT final table (the other being Dublin, Season 2) and the second time he’s been first out. Not much he could do with pocket aces though. Jack Salter had raised with queen-ten and called the three-bet shove before warning Docherty he was very lucky. He wasn’t wrong and had the aces destroyed by the turn with a straight.

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Docherty – 8th place

The only Norwegian to feature on the final day was next to go. Morten Halvorsen flopped overs and a straight draw, made his move, but was called by Siddique who had flopped top pair and an open-ended straight draw. The turn and river bricked to see six remain. Siddique also took out the next player – the dangerous Salter – and that, along with the seat draw, was key for him as he alluded to later.

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Halvorsen (picking up his coat) – 7th place

“The table draw was really important – having Jack Salter and the other big stack on my right meant I had the nut table position. That and coming in as a big stack meant I was able to apply pressure at the right stages.

Also the big stack I had meant I could pass up some marginal spots and look for some bigger edges.”

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Salter (left) 6th place

Winning the flip versus Jack, who I thought was the most dangerous opponent, was crucial. ” Salter had a big hand with ace-king but couldn’t hit to dislodge Siddique’s pocket fives.

The one hand that Siddique seemingly wasn’t involved in saw Daniel Harwood go in the fourth. The Cheltenham lad had been making lots of moves all day but wasn’t getting called when he had it, and then when he made a move with a middling hand he ran into a big hand – his eights failing to come from behind to crack the jacks of Gassian.

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Harwood – 5th place

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Russell – 4th place

The tournament ticked over into Level 29 and a dinner break was scheduled at the end of it, but Siddique had it all wrapped up in 30 minutes. First he took out the dangerous Warren Russell, who was the only man who really threatened him today, playing his first ever tournament in Europe after relocating to London five weeks ago for work reasons. He held ace-ten but Siddique wasn’t planning on losing any races today and his sevens navigated a bricky board with ease. Moments later Joe Hindry was his next victim. He pushed with ten-nine and Siddique called with ace-five, which went on to make two pair. That gave him an almost insurmountable leads heads up and he made light work of Gassian before enjoying all the post victory formalities.

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Joe Hindry – 3rd place

Siddique played well and ran really well – a dangerous combination. “It was just golden like a dream really. I ran really pure throughout the tournament. I kept expecting to get a beat somewhere along the line but it never really happened!” he said.

Here’s the official final results:

POS NAME STATUS COUNTRY PRIZE DEAL
1 Usman Siddique   United Kingdom £84,100  
2 David Gassian   France £51,930  
3 Joe Hindry   United Kingdom £37,110  
4 Warren Russell   Canada £28,450  
5 Daniel Harwood   United Kingdom £22,540  
6 Jack Salter PokerStars Player United Kingdom £17,550  
7 Morten Halvorsen   Norway £12,780  
8 David Docherty PokerStars Qualifier United Kingdom £8,731  

Spring is in full flow here in the UK with summer around the corner, and you know what that means? Yep, summer holiday time! For the fourth year in a row the UKIPT is going on its summer holidays, once more meeting up with it’s Spanish cousin, the Estralles Poker Tour (ESPT). Qualifiers are running online at PokerStars now, so get involved and join us June 14-19 in Marbella for sun, parties and a little bit of poker.

For now, this is us signing off from the centre of London. Thanks for reading all week and see you all in June!

Thumbnail image for UKIPT5_Marbella_TobyStone&DavidCurtis.jpg

These jesters (Toby Stone & David Curtis) will be in Marbella to entertain

PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT6 London: Marc Convey and Jack Stanton. Photos by Mickey May. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog


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UKIPT6 London: Final table player profiles

UKIPT6 London: Final table player profiles

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Seat 1. Daniel Harwood, United Kingdom – 1,302,000

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27 year-old Daniel Harwood comes from Cheltenham and has been playing poker for six or seven years. He is currently making the transition to poker pro.

Although he likes playing both online and live, recent times have seen him focus more on the live game. It is paying dividends as he secured his UKIPT London seat in a live satellite here at The Hippodrome Casino.

His biggest win came for £22,500 at DTD last year in a £300 deepstack and says playing chess has really helped his game.

Harwood was good at chess as a youngster and after playing (and beating friends, poker seemed like a good fit.

“The game came naturally to me – it just clicked!” he said.

Seat 2. David Gassian, France – 2,234,000

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45-year-old David Gassian has lived in London for the last ten years, though he originates from Bordeaux. He works as a head teacher at a primary school and although he loves poker, he loves his job even more. “I’m a rarity,” he joked.

Gassian mainly plays live, both cash games and tournaments, and he has notched up several big scores, winning the 2014 Hippodrome Winter Classic for £12,500 as well as €30,000 at a Partouche tournament in 2012.

“Poker is a great opportunity to meet up with old friends,” he told us, explaining his love of the game.

Seat 3. Jack Salter, United Kingdom, PokerStars Player – 886,000

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29 year-old professional poker player Jack Salter needs no introduction, having had a scintillating poker run over the last few years, notching up over $3 million in tournament winnings. Most notably he was runner-up at the 2014 EPT Grand Final for over a milion dollars. Salter prefers live poker as it doesn’t feel as much like a job and he feels that his success is built on taking everything into consideration at the table, not just poker theory.

Asked about his chances today, Salter was upbeat. “I’ve only got a half average stack but I’m pretty good at allins!”

Seat 4. Warren Russell, Canada – 3,961,000

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Warren Russell is a 30 year old Canadian hailing from Vancouver. He works as a Sales Consultant, having transferred to the London offices 5 weeks ago. He’s been playing poker for 12 years, having previously been an avid online gamer – playing Starcraft and War craft 3. It proved a successful transition, Russell going on to win $121,513 at the British Columbia Poker Championships in 2008 – his biggest result to date.

Seat 5. Usman Siddique, United Kingdom – 4,132,000

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23 year-old Usman Siddique is a 23 year-old student, currently on a break. Siddique resides in London and has been playing poker for around 4 years. Siddique’s biggest win was a $69,000 score online – where he has most of his playing experience. Siddique puts his success partially down to his knowledge of mixed games. “In mixed games you have to adjust to each individual game. This helps in MTTs where the dynamics are constantly changing.”

Siddique is confident going into the final. “I’m chip leader so I’m happy!”

Seat 6. Joe Hindry, United Kingdom – 1,327,000

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Joe Hindry is a 21 year old professional poker player from Portsmouth. He’s played the game for many years, turning pro at the age of 18. At first he played mainly online but these days plays a lot more cash games – primarily at The Hippodrome Casino.

Wherever Hindry finishes here at the final table, this will be his largest ever cash. He revealed he is drawn to poker through a “natural pure love for the game” and he is really looking forward to the final table.

Seat 7. David Docherty, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier – 1,531,000

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David Docherty is a 29 year-old professional poker player from Glasgow. It’s been a big week for him having celebrated his birthday during Day 1B of the tournament. Docherty plays mainly online, although his biggest result came live at the 2009 WSOPE where he collected $35k after a deep run.

Docherty feels his calm approach might give him an edge at the felt. “I see other players getting more worked up about bad beats and things. I feel like I can take the difficult times at the tables more in my stride.”

Docherty is confident about his chances on the final. “Yeah I feel good. We’ll see if my temperament holds up today!”

Seat 8. Morten Halvorsen, Norway, PokerStars Player – 732,000

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Morten Halvorsen is a 50 year-old Norwegian who lives 20km from Oslo. He works as a financial controller for a company that sells construction equipment. Halvorsen likes playing both live and online and he came down to the UKIPT with a twelve-strong group of other local players, who’ve been supporting each other with gusto. His biggest result came at a live tournament for around $30,000 but he has had plenty of success online, winning a number of packages for events on PokerStars.

“I have a funny feeling about the final. If I come 8th I don’t mind but I feel pretty good about today!” he explained.


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UKIPT6 London Final Day: Live updates

UKIPT6 London Final Day: Live updates

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* CLICK HERE TO REFRESH FOR LATEST UPDATES
* 9 players (from 644) remain
* Final day starts at midday

12.24pm: Table re-draw
Level 23- Blinds 15,000-30,000 (4,000 ante)

Here’s how the players are seated now we’re down to one table:

Seat Player Country Status
1 Daniel Harwood United Kingdom  
2 Jack Hardcastle United Kingdom  
3 David Gassian France  
4 Jack Salter United Kingdom PokerStars Player
5 Warren Russell United Kingdom  
6 Usman Suddique United Kingdom  
7 Joe Hindry United Kingdom  
8 David Docherty Scotland PokerStars Qualifier
9 Morten Halvorsen Norway PokerStars Player

–JS

12.15pm: Anatolis Jevtejev eliminated in 10th place (£5,640)
Level 23- Blinds 15,000-30,000 (4,000 ante)

Well, it didn’t take long to get down to one table, with Anatolis Jevtejev busting on the second hand of the day, and it was a cooler that did for him.

David Gassian opened from late position and snap called after Jevtejev three-bet all in from the blinds.

Jevtejev: [jc][jd]
Gassian: [ks][kh]

The board ran [kc][ah][6s][3c][jh] to make both players sets. The players are being re-drawn on to one table of nine and we’ll post the details once we have them. — MC

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Anatolis Jevtejev – gone in 10th

12.13pm: That didn’t take long!
Level 23- Blinds 15,000-30,000 (4,000 ante)

We’ve already lost a player so the clock is paused while we re-draw for one table. Details of the bust-out are coming shortly. –JS

12.10pm: Better late than never
Level 23- Blinds 15,000-30,000 (4,000 ante)

Well, we didn’t quite kick off the action at 12pm, but ten minutes later and the cards are now in the air. Tournament Director Luca Vivaldi has just informed the players that they’ll become one table of nine when we lose our first player. –JS

11.50am: Welcome back to UKIPT6 London final day!
Level 23- Blinds 15,000-30,000 (4,000 ante)

We are just nine exits away from crowning a brand new UKIPT champion and the first of Season 6. Yesterday was an action-packed day where the field was whittled down from 176 players to the few heroes we have left today. The 11 levels offered up so much great action – even losing a player on the last hand of the night – so we’re hoping for similar drama today.

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Jack Salter starts 5th in chips

There’s a great mix of experience, talent and stack sizes on show today and the the final nine seat draw could go a long way to deciding the title. We’re still on two tables of five for now and this is how they’ll line up to start with:

NAME COUNTRY STATUS Table SEAT CHIPS
Jack Salter United Kingdom PokerStars Player 1 1 1,231,000
Usman Siddique United Kingdom   1 3 4,337,000
David Docherty United Kingdom  PokerStars Qualifier 1 4 1,283,000
Joe Hindry United Kingdom   1 6 1,622,000
Jack Hardcastle United Kingdom    1 8 365,000
           
Warren Russell United Kingdom   3 2 3,894,000
David Gassian France    3 3 820,000
Daniel Harwood United Kingdom   3 4 1,220,000
Morten Halvorsen Norway  PokerStars Player 3 6 720,000
Anatolis Jevtejev Lithuania    3 7 636,000

Join us back here midday when play is due to get underway. –MC

Key UKIPT6 London Facts:

– 25,000 starting stack
– Blinds starting at 50-100 for 250 big blinds
– Levels are 60 minutes, and the plan is to a winer today
– Full UKIPT schedule here.
– Other tournaments today include Day 2 £330 London Cup starting at 1pm and a Ladies Event starting.

PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT6 London: Marc Convey and Jack Stanton. Photos by Mickey May. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog


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UKIPT6 London: Usman Siddique leads final 10 at the end of Day 2

UKIPT6 London: Usman Siddique leads final 10 at the end of Day 2

We started with 176. We ended with just 10. Welcome to the day of execution known as Day 2 of UKIPT6 London.

Whittling 176 players down to 10 in just 11 levels of play in a well-structured event like the UKIPT might have seemed far-fetched at the beginning of the day, but that’s exactly what happened. And those remaining 10 players are a talented bunch indeed. Of course, only eight can make the official final table, so we’ll have to lose two players before the big money jumps come into force.

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Usman Siddique is our chip leader going into tomorrow’s final day of play with 4,337,000, but for the last level it was a toss up between him and Warren Russell, who’s not far behind with 3,894,000.

Siddique had quite a remarkable day. He became the chip leader a couple of levels into the day and from then on he always had one of the room’s biggest stacks. He even won the hand of the day, which we simply have to tell you about in a bit of detail later in this report (you can read the full hand at 8.29pm in our Day 2 live updates).

The biggest name left in our field is that of Jack Salter with 1,231,000, the man who finished 2nd at the EPT10 Grand Final for €765,000. He’s had an excellent past 12 months, notching up live cashes of more than $700,000, so it’ll be interesting to see if he can bag his first UKIPT title.

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Jack Salter’s a happy man


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Joe Hindry and Jack Hardcastle are both through to our final day, but what’s interesting about the two up-and-comers is that they’re actually good mates from the same town in Portsmouth. Hindry ended play with 1,622,000 while Hardcastle is our short stack with 365,000. Hindry found a double up in one of the very last hands of the night when his pocket aces held up against Xiaoyang Luo’s pocket queens. Luo busted in 11th shortly after for £5,640.

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Play up Pompey! Hindry and Hardcastle

They’ll be joined by Scotland’s David Docherty – who celebrated his 29th birthday yesterday – with 1,283,000, Daniel Harwood with 1,220,000, David Gassian with 820,000, Morten Halvorsen with 720,000, and Anatolis Jevtejev with 636,000.

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Docherty’s going for the birthday win

The original plan was to either play 10 levels or down to a final table of eight, but as the night went on and we got closer and closer to that final table goal, an extra level of play was added in to the mix.

Day 2 is obviously the first time we have the entire field in the same room at the same time, meaning all Day 1 chip leaders could mix together to create some massive pots. There was an abundance of those today – Richard Kellett flopped quads and Simon Dryan made a royal flush!

Iceland’s Daniel Palsson won’t be getting any sleep tonight, that’s for sure. In the hand of the day, Palsson tried to isolate a small all-in player by moving all-in himself for 940,000 – a big stack at the time. However, he’d misread who was in the big blind – thinking it was another short-stacked player, when it was actually chip leader Siddique who woke up with aces. Needless to say the aces held and eliminated both players. It was a dramatic hand and a crushing blow for Palsson, but it set Siddique up for the rest of the day.

The bubble burst at the beginning of Level 16 when we hit 95 players. Some of the notable names who managed to make the money included breakout player of the year nominee Rainer Kempe (83rd – £1,300); former November Niners Antoine Saout (80th – £1,300) and Felex Stephensen (77th – £1,300); Lithuania’s Matas Cimbolas (70th – £1,470); PokerStars staff member Richard Connolly (65th – £1,470); Spain’s Leo Margets (61st – £1,470) and Diego Gomez (46th – £1,660); former Irish Open winner James Mitchell (17th – £3,780), and British pro Richard Kellett (16th – £3,780).

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James Mitchell – when he had chips

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Richard Kellett finished in 16th

Here’s how our final ten players will be sitting when they return tomorrow:

NAME COUNTRY STATUS Table SEAT CHIPS
Jack Salter United Kingdom PokerStars Player 1 1 1,231,000
Usman Siddique United Kingdom   1 3 4,337,000
David Docherty United Kingdom  PokerStars Qualifier 1 4 1,283,000
Joe Hindry United Kingdom   1 6 1,622,000
Jack Hardcastle United Kingdom    1 8 365,000
           
Warren Russell United Kingdom   3 2 3,894,000
David Gassian France    3 3 820,000
Daniel Harwood United Kingdom   3 4 1,220,000
Morten Halvorsen Norway  PokerStars Player 3 6 720,000
Anatolis Jevtejev Lithuania    3 7 636,000

It was a crazy day of action, particularly during the last level of the night. That means we’re set up for an incredible day of poker right from the off tomorrow – you won’t want to miss it. Play kicks off at 12pm so make sure you join us here on the PokerStars Blog.

PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT6 London: Marc Convey and Jack Stanton. Photos by Mickey May, who will do a very high-pitched squeak right in your ear if you steal her photos. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog

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UKIPT6 London Day 2: Live updates

UKIPT6 London Day 2: Live updates

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* CLICK HERE TO REFRESH FOR LATEST UPDATES
* 176 players remain
* Currently playing Level 13

11.04am: And they’re off!
Level 13 – Blinds 1,200-2,400 (300 ante)

It might be the Grand National today, but here in the Hippodrome we’re racing towards the bubble. Cards are officially in the air, so place your bets! –JS

10.45am: All set for Day 2!

Day 2 is an exciting day here at the UKIPT6 London; it’s the first time our entire field of 176 players will be in play at the same time, and at the end of the day we’ll have a much clearer idea of who our finalists will be. Heck, we might even reach our final table today!

Here’s the plan. We’re going to play 10 one-hour levels, or stop play when we reach eight players – whichever comes first. There’s a chance an extra level will be added on at the end of play if we’re nearing the eight-player mark, just so we can get into the final table as quick as possible tomorrow.

Our chip leaders coming into the Day 2 are the players who topped Day 1C, Day 1A and Day 1B respectively. Xiaoyang Luo leads the pack with the 320,900 stack he amassed yesterday, followed by Xizhe Yuan with 286,000 and Irina Nikolaidi with 277,900.

Notable names coming through to play today include Jack Salter (265,000), David Docherty (161,500), James Mitchell (154,800), former November Niners Antoine Saout (114,800) and Felix Stephensen (113,500), Leo Margets (78,000), and breakout player of the year nominee Rainer Kempe (76,000).

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One November Niner – Antoine Saout

We’re predicting the bubble will burst during Level 15 or 16, resulting in all remaining players locking up a min-cash of £1,300. However, they’ll all have their eyes set on the £84,100 first-place prize.

It’s going to a day chock full of action – you won’t want to miss it. –JS

Key UKIPT6 London Facts:

– 25,000 starting stack
– Blinds starting at 50-100 for 250 big blinds
– Levels are 60 minutes, and the plan is to play 10 levels today
– The bubble is likely to burst during Level 15 or 16, and then play down to a final table, which will take place on Sunday.
– Full UKIPT6 London schedule here.
– Other tournaments today include two starting flights for the £330 London Cup starting at 12pm and 6pm, as well as a £550 NL Holdem turbo at 10pm

PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT6 London: Marc Convey and Jack Stanton. Photos by Mickey May. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog


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UKIPT6 London Day 1C: Xiaoyang Luo leads all heading into Day 2

UKIPT6 London Day 1C: Xiaoyang Luo leads all heading into Day 2

If yesterday was ladies day then today was get a seat wherever you can day. After registration closed at the end of Level 6, 337 players had made Day 1C their home for the day, or part of it. At one point, the Hippodrome Casino has tables in five separate areas on three different floors. It felt like if you opened a cupboard door you’d find a table in there. It may have been busy but everybody who wanted a seat got a seat.

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Luo leads all heading to Day 2

Those 337 players added to the Day 1A (146) and Day 1B (161) fields helped bring the final number of players for UKIPT6 London up to 644 (Prize pool details below). The final flight was whittled all the way down to 100 payers by the end of the day, and they are led by Xiaoyang Luo who bagged up 320,900. He’s the only player who passed 300k and will be overall leader heading into Day 2, where 176 players will return.

Other players who made it through the day with big stacks and/or a reputation to preserve are: Lucas Reeves (269,400), Premysl Spacil (249,900), Usman Siddique (249,200), Frank Baston (213,000), Peter Charalambous (203,700), Antoine Saout (114,800), Felix Stephenson (113,500), Tom Hall (87,100), Vicente Delgado (77,800), Rainer Kempe (76,000) and Diego Gomez (70,500). Click for the full start of Day 2 counts and Day 2 seat draw.

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Tom Hall came late, bossed some poses and made Day 2

Abalsteinn Karlsson set the early running today. He was the first past 100,000 and almost made it to 200,000 before the wheels came off. The Icelander is part of a group of players from his home country who love the tour and travel en mass to play. Karlsson made his mark on the tour at the recent UKIPT5 Dublin. His style and demeanour made him a favourite and he entered the final table as chip leader only to fall in fourth place. He told the blog at the beginning of the day that he really hoped for another deep run.

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Karlsson’s swingy day ended in defeat

For a long while that looked odds-on but he lost a huge race in the latter stages to bust. He cold five-bet all in with pocket jacks and was called by Luo who held ace-king. Luo went on to make two pair and after the dust had settled on the hand, his stack had jumped up to massive 285,000, good for a clear chip lead (at the point) that he never relinquished.

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Cody couldn’t make his magic work today

Joining Karlsson on the rail today were: Lawrence Bayley and Carlo Citrone – who busted in a same hand cooler; Team PokerStars Pro Jake Cody; PokerStars Live at the Hippodrome Ambassador Kelly Saxby; Ben Winsor, Richard Milner, Dara O’Kearney, Martins Adeniya, Leo McLean and JP Kelly.

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Saxby trying her luck in the side events

The remaining players will return for Day 2 at 11am tomorrow where the levels will be extended to 60 minutes apiece. Ten of them are scheduled and all of them will be played unless we reach the final table of eight before then.

What will they be playing for though?

A £454,300 was amassed and the top 95 players will be in the money with a min cash being worth £1,300. Make the final table and £8,731 is guaranteed and will grows all to the winner who will receive £84,100. For full details of the payouts click here. We’ll make the money for sure tomorrow but might not make it all the way to the final table. Either way, tomorrow promises to be exciting day and we invite you to join the PokerStars Blog as all the action plays out.

If you’ve missed any of the action from the three starting flights then click the following links:

Day 1A Day 1BDay 1C
Day 2 seat draw will be posted on the blog as soon as the details are passed

Until tomorrow, it’s good night from London’s West End!

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PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT6 London: Marc Convey and Jack Stanton. Photos by Mickey May, who will turn you into her least favourite fish (anchovies) if you steal her photos. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog

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UKIPT6 London Day 1C: Live updates

UKIPT6 London Day 1C: Live updates

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* CLICK HERE TO REFRESH FOR THE LATEST UPDATES
* Day 1C players (139 of 140 remain)
* Day 1A is over – 37 players advanced
* Day 1B is over – 39 players advanced
* End of day chip counts are available on the right panel

11.55am: Remembering Femi Fakinle
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As well as being busy and exciting, today the UKIPT is also a little sad and reflective as we remember one of our own, Femi Fakinle.

Femi, who would have turned 32 today, was one of the early stars on the tour and took down UKIPT Killarney in Season 1. His journey on this earth came to a tragic end last year and everyone involved on the UKIPT has him, his young family and friends in our minds and our hearts today.

Fakinle showed a huge amount of skill and heart as a player and by all accounts, the day he won in Killarney was a fabulous day. The Wexford man took home €63,400 for his win and out-lasted tour regulars Mike Hill and Peter Barrable from that final table en route to victory.

Read all about his win that day by clicking here. — MC

11.45am: Blinds up
Level 2 – Blinds 75-150

That’s one level in the books already! Eleven more to go. –JS

11.40am: A few of the notables
Level 1 – Blinds 50-100

Players are arriving all the time, but here are a few of the faces we can see in the field right now.

Leo McLean is here, without his famous yellow hoody covering his face. The Brit, who finished 3rd at EPT10 London for just shy of £250,000, is fresh off a big £83,500 live tournament score in February, and will be looking to ride that wave of good form to a result in this event.

McLean’s friend and UKIPT regular Richard Milner has cards in front of him right now, as do other stalwarts on this tour including Jerome Bradpiece, Dave Stonehouse and Ali Zihni.

Daiva ‘BalticBlonde’ Barauskaite, another UKIPT regular who has a scattering of cashes from stops-gone-by, will be looking to continue the trend set by the ladies here on Day 1B, who dominated the chip lead all day long. You can read more about ‘ladies day’ in our wrap up of Day 1B’s action here. –JS

11.20am: Where am I sitting?
Level 1 – Blinds 50-100

This is a question being asked a lot this morning. As we alluded to in the opening post, today is a busy day. So busy, in fact, that four different rooms/areas are packed with tables in anticipation of the busiest starting flight.

One of the areas – the first to break thankfully – is all the way over the other side of the casino, and up the stairs that transcend through the middle of the amazing Helliot Steak House. The walk is not a problem, getting back without stopping for a steak is! — MC

11am: Shuffle up and deal
Level 1 – Blinds 50-100

Cards are in the air!

10.45am It’s busy busy busy on Day 1C

Morning all! Entering the glorious Hippodrome Casino in London’s Leicester Square this morning, there’s a hustle and bustle about the place which we haven’t seen so far. We’re poised for a big field here on Day 1C of UKIPT6 London, and there’s going to be some big names in there too.

Team PokerStars Pro Jake Cody will be amongst the action today, as will last year’s London winner Rapinder Cheema, tour regular Angelo Milioto, PokerStars Live at the Hippodrome’s ambassador Kelly Saxby, and European Poker Awards nominee Rainer Kempe.

Dara O’Kearney and Patrick Clarke will be repping the Irish contingent, while Diego Gomez is flying the Spanish flag (via the UK). Lawrence Bayley, who finished 3rd in the High Roller on Wednesday night, will also be taking his Main Event seat today.

All will be trying to build a big stack that they can take with them into tomorrow’s Day 2 – which is currently led by Xizhe Yuan (286,400) and Irina Nikolaidi (277,900), our Day 1A and Day 1B end-of-play chip leaders.

It’s sure to be a great day of action, so make sure you keep hitting the refresh button for all the latest . –JS


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Key UKIPT6 London Facts:

– 25,000 starting stack
– Blinds starting at 50-100 for 250 big blinds
– Levels are 45 minutes on Day 1 and they’ll be 12 of them. From Day 2 onwards levels increase to 60 minutes. 
– Day 1A and Day 1B are over. The field will then combine for the first time on Saturday for Day 2. We’ll reach the money during the 10 levels of play on Day 2 and then play down to a final table, which will take place on Sunday. 
– Full UKIPT6 London schedule here.
– Other tournaments today include a £210 NL Holdem Turbo at 8.15pm.

PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT6 London: Marc Convey and Jack Stanton. Photos by Mickey May. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog

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UKIPT6 London: Irina Nikolaidi bags ‘ladies day’ chip lead on Day 1B

UKIPT6 London: Irina Nikolaidi bags ‘ladies day’ chip lead on Day 1B

“At major horse race meets across the UK, you’ll find that Thursdays are traditionally branded as Ladies Days. They help bring a touch of grace and elegance to an industry that’s (normally) very male dominated. Sound familiar?

There are seven (out of 80) ladies in the field today and that’s enough for us to (unofficially) name today Ladies Day on the UKIPT.”

That’s what my colleague Marc Convey wrote at the beginning of Day 1B, and boy (or should I say girl) was he right.

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Day 1B chip leader Irina Nikolaidi

The women in this field today dominated the chip lead all day, and in the end four of that seven bagged and tagged their chips ready for Day 2. In the end though, it was Irina Nikolaidi who secured the chip lead with 277,900. Nikolaidi led for portions of the day before winning a big pot right at the end to secure the pole position.

A total of 161 players registered to play today, and in the end only 39 survived.

But back to the ladies for a moment. Those who survived were a talented bunch indeed; Leo Margets will be taking 78,000 through to Day 2, while Maria Lampropoulos bagged up 63,800, fresh off her 2nd place finish at Eureka6 Rozvadov for €95,404.

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A good day for Leo

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Maria Lampropoulos going strong

It was Sirilux Ho who came from nowhere to be a dominant chip leader earlier – at one point having 300,000 when the average was just 50,000! According to one of her table mates, she made seven straights in a row! She ended the day with 203,400. We look forward to seeing all four back for Day 2 on Saturday.

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Seven straights in a row for Sirilux Ho

Some of the more well-known names who survived the day include James Mitchell (194,800), Louis Salter (32,400), David Docherty (161,500), and Team PokerStars staff member Richard Connolly (131,500). When it came to the biggest stacks at the end of the night, the players who most-closely followed were Paul Romain (232,900) and Daniel Palsson (225,700). For full end of day counts click here.

Where there are survivors though, there must be players who didn’t make it, and we had plenty of those. PokerStars Team Online’s Mickey Petersen unfortunately couldn’t get much going today, while former November Niner Andoni Larrabe also failed to reach the end of Level 12.

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Mickey couldn’t make it

The great John Gale also joined us for most of the day too. The two-time WSOP bracelet winner made his return to poker last year following a two-year absence caused by serious medical issues (notably a brain tumour), only to win a bracelet! Unfortunately, he couldn’t hold on to come back on Saturday.

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No luck for John Gale

Other players who won’t be joining us on Day 2 include Deborah Worley-Roberts, Chris Yong, Steve Watts, Marcin Milde, and Neil Raine.

It’s been a great day of action though (check out all the live coverage here), and we’re expecting an even bigger turnout tomorrow – full of big names and maybe even a PokerStars Team Pro or two (wink wink).

So join us back here on the PokerStars Blog for Day 1C at 11am tomorrow. Until then, salut!

PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT6 London: Marc Convey and Jack Stanton. Photos by Mickey May, who will not take lightly to you serendipitously stealing her photos! Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog


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UKIPT6 London Day 1B: Live updates

UKIPT6 London Day 1B: Live updates

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* Day 1B is playing today and will end at 9.45pm.
* Day 1A is over – read a full report of the day here.
* Day 1B Players (64 of 64 remain).
* Day 1C starts tomorrow at 11am.

11.54pm: Official High Roller final table results
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Linus Loeliger – winner

We informed you earlier that Linus Loeliger from Switzerland took down the High Roller event this morning for a cool £55,650. The final table was super-deep and the final day took over 13 hours to be completed. Below are the official final table results. — MC

Position Name Country Prize
1 Linus Loeliger Switzerland £55,650
2 Luis Rodriguez-Cruz Spain £37,600
3 Lawrance Bayley United Kingdom £24,430
4 Benjamin Winsor United Kingdom £20,230
5 Andrew Christoforou United Kingdom £16,320
6 Jack O’Neill United Kingdom £12,870
7 Carl Peter Leo Nordin Sweden £9,840
8 Niall Murray United Kingdom £7,410

11.46am: Blinds up
Level 2 – Blinds 75-150

11.45am: Mitchell arrives
Level 1 – Blinds 50-100

James Mitchell has taken his seat here on Day 1B. The British pro has $1.7 million is live earnings, with his biggest score coming from a win in the Irish Open for €600,000. Mitchell also has wins from other UK poker tours, plus plenty of deep runs in EPT and UKIPT events. He even came 11th here in London back in 2011 for a not-too-shabby £35,000, so he’ll be hoping to go even deeper this time around. –JS

11.37am: Strong start for Gale
Level 1 – Blinds 50-100

The man we just wrote about – John Gale – has got off to a very nice start. Picking up the action on a [th][jd][qh][qc] board, two players checked to Gale and he put out a bet of 2,100 into a roughly 3,000 pot. One of the other players then made it 6,000 to go, resulting in one fold but a call from Gale.

The river was the [3d] and both players opted to check. Gale flipped over the [8s][9d] for a flopped straight, while his opponent’s [ac][ts] was no good.

A great first orbit for Gale, who’s up to about 36,000 already. –JS

11.35pm: Green wins some green
Level 1 – Blinds 50-100

Josh Green barely had an eye on a hand he was playing, as he was rapidly typing into his phone, but it didn’t matter as he still took a pot down without showdown.

Green called a raise to 250 along with three other players and all took to a [ks][7c][3c] flop. The action was checked to Green who bet 600 after peering up from his device. Only the original raiser called but he took folded to a 1,000 bet on the [6s] turn. — MC

11.26am: A Gale just blew in…
Level 1 – Blinds 50-100

One player in today’s field who needs no introduction is Mr John Gale – but we’re going to give him one anyway.

Gale is something of a British poker legend, and one of the first faces this writer remembers from poker on TV when he won the PCA Main Event back in 2005 for $890,000. Gale has gone on to amass an incredible $3.8 million in tournament winnings, including two WSOP bracelets – the second of which he won last year.

Now, there wouldn’t normally be anything surprising about that; great players win bracelets every year. But the thing is that Gale had been away from the poker world for three years, dealing with several serious medical issues including a brain tumour.

His triumphant return at the WSOP resulted in him getting back on the felt in his homeland, playing his first ever UKIPT event in Bristol back in August. He told my colleague Marc Convey back then how much he enjoyed the event, and how well run he thought UKIPTs were. He clearly meant it, because he’s in the action here today.

Make sure you stick around to see how Gale gets on throughout this Day 1B. –JS

11.15am: Guys are no time keepers
Level 1 – Blinds 50-100

How do you guarantee a person will be late? Ensure they’re male and play poker.

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The lovely (prompt) ladies

It’s not surprising that (with an 11am start time) the field is a little thin on players this AM. A couple of players to turn up bang on time though were Leo Margets and Deborah Worley-Roberts. And wouldn’t you know it, they’ve been drawn in seats next to each other on table ten.

“This is the best looking table in the room!” remarked Worley-Roberts after Margets sat down to her right. — MC

11am: Shuffle up and deal
Level 1 – Blinds 50-100

Cards are in the air for Day 1B!

10.45am: Day 1B to start shortly
Welcome back to PokerStars Live at the Hippodrome Casino for the second of three UKIPT6 London starting flights. Day 1B is due to start at 11am where another twelve 45-minute levels are scheduled for play. That’s what the Day 1A players did yesterday and a target has been set for today’s players.

Xizhe Yuan just beat Jack Salter to the top spot after ending the day with 286,400. The challenge for today’s players is not to just beat it, but to try and pass the 300k mark. Those registered for today and maybe up for the challenge are: Team PokerStars Jake Cody and Mickey Petersen; Robert Haigh, Neil Raine, David Docherty, Rainer Kempe and Jerome Bradpiece.

The High Roller event was concluded in the early hours of this morning and was taken down by Linus Loeliger. He defeated long-time chip leader Luis Rodriquez heads-up to claim the trophy and £55,650 top prize.

Key UKIPT6 London Facts:

– 25,000 starting stack
– Blinds starting at 50/100 for 250 big blinds
– Levels are 45 minutes on Day 1 and they’ll be 12 of them. From Day 2 onwards levels increase to 60 minutes.
– Day 1B is today, Day 1C takes place tomorrow, and the field will then combine for the first time on Saturday for Day 2. We’ll reach the money during the 10 levels of play on Day 2 and then play down to a final table, which will take place on Sunday.
– Full UKIPT6 London schedule here.
– Other tournaments today include a £110 NL Holdem Freezeout Satellite to the UKIPT Main Event.
PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT6 London: Marc Convey and Jack Stanton. Photos by Mickey May. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog

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UKIPT6 London Day 1A: Xizhe Yuan leads first of three starting flights

UKIPT6 London Day 1A: Xizhe Yuan leads first of three starting flights

London has been part of the UKIPT since the very beginning – be it as a normal stop or as a Grand Final wrapped up as an EPT (Season 1) – so it seems as right as place as any to kick off the sixth season of one of the most successful and respected tours around. A total of 54 trophies have been given out over the first five seasons, and today, the journey towards the 55th ceremony started.

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Yuan the man to catch

The trophy will be given out this coming Sunday after five long days of poker. Luckily for the survivors of Day 1A, they have two days off now, and will be back for Day 2 on Saturday. A total of 146 players turned up to PokerStars Live at the Hippodrome Casino today with the hope of contesting twelve 45-minute levels. When the dust settled on the last of those levels, 39 remained and were led by Xizhe Yuan who amassed 286,400.

Jack Salter almost pipped him to the post in the last level of the day after a massive hand against Jamie O’Connor. The PokerStars Blog caught up with O’Connor after the hand, and despite it being “a massive blow” he was more than happy to kindly walk us through the action.

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Salter in second place (where have we heard that before?)

He’d opened to 4,000 before facing a 3-bet to 10,800 from Salter. O’Connor said he flatted with [ts][8s], and the flop came king-jack-four rainbow with one spade. He check-called another bet of 10,800, leading to a non-spade seven on the turn. O’Connor checked again, and Salter made it 25,000. O’Connor then made a big shove with his gutshot – clearly thinking he could get Salter off his hand – but that turned out to be ace-king, and Salter went nowhere except up the leader board.

Other big stacks included: Nicholas Hennessey (219,600), Alfie Adam (207,500), Richard Kellett (187,200), Steven Herron (176,500) and Matas Cimbolas (147,300). Kellett had a very eventful day. He came back for Day 2 of the High Roller, busted 13th for £3,980, built a big stack in the Main Event, lost most of it with kings versus ace-king, laughed it off, and rebuilt to a big stack again by close of play. Full counts will be posted shortly.

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Kellet got value of the game of poker today

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Sidhu had a rare off day today

Kully Sidhu was one of the most in-form players in the field today, coming here on the back of his third-place finish at EPT12 Dublin for €250k, but every dog has his off day, and today was Sidhu’s. He was one of the first players out when he ran pocket aces in to the set of Fabian Deimann. He was joined on the rail by such notables as: reigning EPT Grand Final champion Adrian Mateos; UK legend Albert Sapiano; the only current UKIPT champion (Dublin) Vladas Tamasauskas; Team PokerStars Live at the Hippodrome’s Chris Gordon and “Mad Turk” Yucel Eminoglu.

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Mateos was defeated today

Today also saw Day 2 of the High Roller play out. The final 28 players returned hoping to (at least) make the final 17 (min cash) and beyond. Simon Appleby was the unfortunate bubble boy after his full house was beaten by Luis Rodriguez and his bigger full house. That pot put Rodriquez in a commanding position and he rode the wave all the way to the final table and beyond. He was still in with two players remaining – the situation the tournament had reached by the end of play in the Main Event (check tomorrow’s blog for the final results).

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The High Roller final eight

Day 1A started at 2pm today but the start times are going to jump forward for the next three days. To make sure enough space is freed up for the evening side events on the festival schedule, the powers that be have moved the Day 1B,C and Day 2 start time to 11am. So join us back here in the morning where another twelve 45-minute levels await, and a whole new bunch of faces will appear. For now though, read through all today’s action by clicking here.

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PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT6 London: Marc Convey and Jack Stanton. Photos by Mickey May, who will permanently watermark you if you steal her photos! Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog

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UKIPT6 London Day 1A: Live updates

UKIPT6 London Day 1A: Live updates

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* CLICK TO REFRESH FOR LATEST UPDATES
* Day 1A consists of twelve 45-minute levels – currently playing level 1
* Registration is still open

2:45pm: Blinds are up
Level 2 – Blinds 75-150

Well that went fast! It was a pretty timid first level here, but then they so often are. The blinds have moved up to 75-150, so hopefully we’ll start to see some big pots brewing. –JS

2:35pm: Can we get to four figures?
Level 1 – Blinds 50-100

Most UKIPTs have two starting flights but, seeing as the Hippodrome Casino is a little snug, three starting flights have been scheduled to make sure everyone can find a day to play. Saying that though, 30 poker tables are operational and Tournament Director Toby Stone indicated that up to 350 players can be accommodated each day.

Some of those being accommodated today include: four-time UKIPT casher Mike Pantelli; EPT11 Prague third-place finisher Jon Wong; EPT12 Dublin third-place finisher Kully Sidhu; along with UKIPT regulars Albert Sapiano, James Morris and Marco Vasconcelos. — MC

2:12pm: So, who’s here?
Level 1 – Blinds 50-100

We’re starting to scope out our Day 1A field, but one table caught our eye from across the room. It features the UK’s Jack Salter (best known for finishing 2nd at the EPT Grand Final in 2014 for €765,000), as well as Jamie O’Connor – known as ‘Ship It 2010’ on PokerStars (who has an impressive $1.6 million in total online winnings). We look forward to seeing how these guys clash throughout the day. –JS

2:03pm: Cards in the air!
Level 1 – Blinds 50-100

The players have taken their seats here on Day 1A and our dealers have shuffled up. Let the first hand commence! –JS


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1:40pm: Welcome to the big smoke!

Afternoon all! We’re here at the beautiful Hippodrome Casino right in the heart of Leicester Square to kick off the Main Event of UKIPT6 London – the first stop of the Season 6 tour. It’s a late kick-off time today, with play starting at 2pm; but we’re sure you won’t find any of the players complaining about their lie-in!

It’s not the first event of the festival though – the £2,200 High Roller kicked off at 6pm last night (Tuesday 5th), and drew a massive, star-studded field of 140 players. It’s the biggest ever standalone UKIPT High Roller, and here’s a run down of just some of the names playing here in the capital:

Team PokerStars Pros Liv Boeree, Jake Cody; German (and Russian) wizards Tobias Reinkemeier, Igor Kurganov and Fabian Quoss; not to mention Victoria Coren, Pierre Neuville, Oliver Price, Jack Salter, JP Kelly, and Dara O’Kearney.

That’s one stacked line-up. Only 28 players remain in that event and they’ll play down to a winner today, so stay tuned for more info. You can be sure they’ll all be in the Main Event at some point, whether it’s here on Day 1A, or in Thursday’s Day 1B or Friday’s Day 1C.

Back to the Main Event, though. It was the UK’s own Rapinder Cheema who took down the Season 5 UKIPT London Main Event for a first place prize of £78,825, after a deal was made heads-up with Spain’s Fernando Marin (who qualified for the tournament online at PokerStars). They shared the final table run with tour regulars including Lawrence Bayley (4th) and Brett Angell (7th) – the latter of which won this very event in Season 4 for £115,083. We’d be shocked not to see them all returning to the Hippodrome felt this week.

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Rapinder Cheema – Season 5 London champ

So sit back, relax, and get ready for all the great action from UKIPT6 London. –JS

Key UKIPT6 London Facts:

– 25,000 starting stack
– Blinds starting at 50/100 for 250 big blinds
– Levels are 45 minutes on Day 1 and they’ll be 12 of them. From Day 2 onwards levels increase to 60 minutes.
– Day 1A is today, Day 1B takes place tomorrow, and Day 1C takes place on Friday. The field will then combine for the first time on Saturday for Day 2. We’ll reach the money during the 10 levels of play on Day 2 and then play down to a final table, which will take place on Sunday.
– Full UKIPT6 London schedule here.
– Other tournaments today include a £110 NL Holdem Freezeout Satellite to the UKIPT Main Event, and a £110 NL Holdem Turbo Deepstack.

PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT5 Dublin: Marc Convey and Jack Stanton. Photos by Mickey May. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog

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UKIPT6 takes centre stage for season opener in London

UKIPT6 takes centre stage for season opener in London

There was a time when the United Kingdom and Ireland Poker Tour played the role of the understudy. It was new, exciting, full of energy, but always in the shadow of its older, bigger, more glamourous European cousin, the one that had more money and boasted about spending spring on the Riviera.

But after patiently filling in while the EPT was on repose, the UKIPT is finally recognised as the main feature it really is. No longer an understudy the UKIPT is its own main attraction, and we’re excited to say it returns for a sixth season next month.

What’s more, you can win your way through to the Season opener in London, with a West End run from April 5 to 10 at London’s Hippodrome Casino.

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If you haven’t played at the Hippodrome Casino before you soon realise why it’s among the best poker venues in the UK. A converted theatre, it combines performance and hospitality with five bars, a restaurant, live music and cabaret, a shisha terrace (you’ll have to google that) and three floors of gaming. That’s just inside the Hippodrome. Outside there’s even more.


Join us at UKIPT London by qualifying on PokerStars Click here to open an account.


London is one of Europe’s premier poker destinations. In some ways it’s perfect. While it offers even the most eclectic of interests the perfect distractions during downtime, it will, like a good friend, help you celebrate your high points, and comfort you in your low points.

Not that Rapinder Cheema would know about the low points. He won the Main Event last time around, collecting £78,825 ahead of a field of more than 700 players. That’s a high point in anyone’s book. The best of British are expected to play, including Team Pro Jake Cody.

His success came in the Main Event, which this year has the same £700 + £70 buy-in. Of course you can earn that seat for as little as £1.10 in any number of online satellites now running on PokerStars. And if you prefer your satellites to have chairs and actual chips, there will be a £100 + £100 live qualifier at the Hippodrome Casino on Tuesday 5 April and Wednesday 6 April.

It’s not just the Main Event that captures attention and imagination. There’s a £2,000 + £200 High Roller on the schedule as well as the £300 + £30 London Cup which this season will feature the familiar voices of Joe Stapleton and James Hartigan (along with their faces), who are registered to play.

You can find all the key information about the London festival on the UKIPT Homepage, with details about events and satellites. Everything else you’ll find out when you get there.

We’ll see you in London.


Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.

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Vladas Tamasauskas wins UKIPT5 Dublin and €176,900

Vladas Tamasauskas wins UKIPT5 Dublin and €176,900

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Vladas Tamasauskas – champion

After a one-day hiatus the final UKIPT Main Event of Season 5 came to a conclusion today. After nearly seven levels of exciting play, Vladas Tamasauskas from Lithuania became the latest champion on the tour. He had a tricky period and had to win a race to survive when seven-handed but as the day progressed, so did his confidence along with his stack, and thoroughly deserves the trophy and the €176,900 that goes with it.

“I felt that I could beat him; the chip lead helped!” said Tamasauskas of his heads up battle with Dave Pollock, but it was two hands before than, involving aces, that really went a long way to helping him take a dominating chip lead into their duel, a position he would never give up.

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Dave Pollock – runner up

Four-handed he five-bet all in with pocket aces and scored a huge double up via Pollock who four-bet called with ace-queen. That gave the Lithuanian over half the chips in play and he cemented his position event further when, three-handed, he cracked Mark Reilly’s aces to send him home (details below). Pollock fought valiantly and aggressively heads up and got his opponent off some better holdings, but his last aggressive move was one too many. He moved all in with ace high on a board containing two fives and was snap called by Tamasauskas who had flopped trips. Game over.

He said he was both a little tired after the three days of poker, and also “very happy with my achievement, even though I might not look it!”

About the UKIPT itself: “The structure was great, the dealers and staff are great – I couldn’t say a bad word about it.”

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Heads up on the EPTLive stage

The final commenced at 12:30pm and the only British player represented at the table was the first player out. Marc Foggin indicated he was going straight to the bar to get drunk, rather than parlay his money into the EPT Main Event. His fourth final table of the year ended in defeat after his big-slick failed to find a pair on a queen high board. The Geordie has opened from under the gun before Samuel Vousden three-bet with pocket jacks. He did so for value and called when Foggin shoved and leapt into the chip lead as a result.

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Marc Foggin – eighth place

It took over two hours for the next player to depart as a pattern of chip passing around the table emerged. There were plenty of big hands matching up but none decisive enough to send a player to the rail, until Jelcides Monteiro found himself all in. He can speak six languages but numbers are the same in all of them, and his odds were bad. He moved all in with ace-five and Pollock called with ace-queen, hitting his kicker to decide the hand.

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Monteiro – seventh place

It only took a few more minutes to lose our next player, Quentin Dellis. He had left himself shallow after three-bet-folding a short while earlier. Tamasauskas set him all in with king-three from the small blind, and he called after looking at pocket eights in the big blind, but got unlucky when the board ran king high.

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Dellis – sixth place

Vousden came into this final table as many people’s favourite, due to his Sunday Million and SCOOP wins on PokerStars, but he became the third victim of the level, and another player to fall to Tamasauskas. He was down to 10 big blinds when he called all in with [qd][8d] from the big blind. Unfortunately for the Finn, Tamasauskas opened a flush-dominating [ad][7d], and he hit the rail after a blank board appeared.

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Vousden – fifth place

The slender chip leader coming into the final was Adalsteinn Karlsson and he departed in fourth place. The 2015 Icelandic Poker Champion’s aggressive game got him to the final in pole position but a similar approach cost him in the early stages today. Once short, he never lost heart and took on Tamasauskas in many pots whilst out of position – a period that defined the middle stages of the final. It wasn’t to be for him in the end though and his exit hand had an interesting run out, and it inevitably involved Tamasauskas. He moved all in with queen-eight and his Lithuanian nemesis called with pockets eight. Karlsson grabbed the lead on a queen-high flop only for the case eight to appear on the turn to extinguish his hopes.

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Karlsson – fourth place

Mark Reilly’s story today was dominated by the amount of big hands he found in the hole. For the most part he used them to make profit but it was the biggest pair of all that cost him his tournament life in third spot. Tamasauskas had limped in from the button with jack-ten and he called after Reilly raised with pocket aces from the small blind. Tamasauskas flopped top two pair and got Reilly all in, and soon all out.

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Reilly – third place

The last two players needed a breather after hard fought battle to get heads up, so they went off for a 75-minute dinner break. They came back fresh and had the tournament wrapped up in less than an hour. To read back through all the action as it happened in (almost) real time, click here.

Here’s a reminder of how much each player won today:

POS NAME COUNTRY STATUS PRIZE DEAL
1 Vladas Tamasauskas Lithuania PokerStars player € 176,900  
2 Dave Pollock Ireland PokerStars qualifier € 107,010  
3 Mark Reilly Ireland   € 75,230  
4 Adalsteinn Karlsson Iceland PokerStars player € 56,470  
5 Samuel Vousden Finland PokerStars player € 43,440  
6 Quentin Dellis Belgium   € 31,880  
7 Jelcides Monteiro Luxembourg   € 23,520  
8 Marc Foggin UK   € 16,840  

This UKIPT Main Event attracted 1,002 players from 50 counties from around the world and Dublin has been an ever-present stop on the tour since the beginning over six years ago. It’s hard to think of a better place to bring another amazing season to an end. Thanks to everyone that has played, read the updates and been involved in the best grassroots tour in Europe. Also congratulations to all the Season 5 champions featured below:

London: Rapinder Cheema

Series 1: Chris Young

Nottingham: Sam Mitten-Laurence

Series 2: Giovanni Canali

Marbella: Isidoro Barreña

Bristol: Pierrick Tallon

Isle of Man: Dan Stacey

Super Series: Dale Garrad

Edinburgh: David Gomez

Series 3: Elliott Panyi

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Many a trophy has been handed out this season

No need to worry about missing the tour too much as Season 6 of the UKIPT is just around the corner. Keep an eye on the UKIPT.com homepage for all date announcements but we can tell you that PokerStars LIVE! at The Hippodrome Casino will host the first leg, April 5-10. See you all there! Satellites start as soon as Thursday on PokerStars.

Photos courtesy of Mickey May

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UKIPT5 Dublin: Final table player profiles

UKIPT5 Dublin: Final table player profiles

Seat 1: Mark Reilly, Ireland – 845,000
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Mark Reilly, 36, has been a poker pro for the last 11 years, mainly playing medium stakes PLO, both cash games and tournaments. The €16,840 he’s now guaranteed for making the UKIPT Dublin final table will be the third biggest cash of his live poker career – and brings his lifetime live tournament winnings to nearly $200k. His best live result to date was winning the $1k NL Hold’em Championship at Binions during the World Series in 2014 for nearly $41k. His best result at a PokerStars live event was tenth in a €1k event at EPT Prague in December. Online, he has a Sunday Warm-Up victory under his belt. He said: “I also final tabled a SCOOP or WCOOP event – I actually can’t quite remember which!”

Seat 2: Dave Pollock, Ireland (PokerStars Qualifier) – 4,335,000
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Dave Pollock, 40, has been commuting (with the exception of last night) back and forth from his hometown Cork in order to participate in the UKIPT Main Event. He’s no stranger to a streamed final table, having finished 2nd in the Irish Open in 2014 for €130,500 (although tomorrow’s top prize exceeds that). Pollock, a factory worker, has been playing poker for 10 years (live tournaments), and still competes weekly with friends in Cork, although says, “I can’t seem to win there, against them. They know me too well!” Here on a UKIPT final table, he says he is more comfortable, and comes back as one of four very close top stacks.

Seat 3: Adalsteinn Karlsson, Iceland (PokerStars Player) – 4,420,000
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Adalsteinn Karlsson, from Husavik, Iceland, started playing poker in 2010, first on Full Tilt Poker and then on PokerStars. He’s been learning the game since then and only recently started to play live poker. He became the Icelandic Poker Champion in November 2015, beating a field of 140 players for more than £9,000, and this enabled him to take his game on the road. Karlsson competed at UKIPT5 Edinburgh and came third in the Edinburgh cup for £5,225. Away from poker Karlsson is a self-taught computer programmer and likes to travel. He’s able to work from his laptop so can take his job on the road. He’s been living, on and off, in Thailand for past four years, training in Muay Thai and enjoying life there.

Seat 4: Jelcides Monteiro, Luxembourg – 1,025,000
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Jelcides Monteiro will be celebrating not only his first live final table on Sunday, but his first ever live cash. The 28-year-old has been a full time poker player for the last three years but mainly plays cash games. He was born in Cape Verde, a volcanic archipelago lying 500km off the coast of West Africa, but moved to Luxembourg when he was four years old (and now speaks six languages fluently). This isn’t his first PokerStars live event – he also competed in the EPT and Eureka Prague Main Events in December but failed to cash. He’s had considerable success online though including a deep run in the Sunday Million last week. A few months ago, he finished fourth in the Hot $109, and was then runner-up the following day.

Seat 5: Vladas Tamasauskas, Lithuania (PokerStars Player) – 4,255,000
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Vladas Tamasauskas is a 21 year old Lithuanian poker pro who cut his teeth online playing the unusual combination of No Limit tournaments and Razz, before heading out on the live tour. He’s only made two trips so far, the first being to the Bahamas (where he could legally play poker before his 21st birthday). At Eureka5 Prague he finished 11th for €19,460 and now here in Dublin he’s about to cash for at least €16,840. Tamasauskas intends to stay for the full EPT Dublin Poker Festival (which runs until the 20th February). He may be new to the non-virtual felt but having found friends in Lithuania to discuss strategy with early on, he’s comfortable heading into the final a close third in chips.

Seat 6: Marc Foggin, United Kingdom – 2,220,000
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Marc Foggin, 32, was supposed to be flying to Las Vegas tomorrow for his friend’s birthday and some deep-stack tournaments, but has had to cancel after making the UKIPT Dublin final. Foggin is a semi-professional poker player based in Newcastle who runs a property business with his dad – whom he is debating flying over to watch the final live on Monday. Foggin found the poker room in a casino while trying to hide from a friend of his one night, and having sat down at a table found the game suited him; he has almost $400,000 in live tournament cashes from America to Australia.

Seat 7: Quentin Dellis, Belgium – 4,150,000
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Quentin Dellis, a 27 year old poker professional, came to Dublin for the UKIPT and its side events (the PokerStars Cup and High Roller) but has only been able to concentrate on the Main Event. It’s worked out well for him; he’ll soon add a UKIPT final table prize to his five cashes in EPT side events so far in the last year. Dellis was introduced to poker by friends, thought it was fun, and gradually became intrigued by its intricacies. He’s been playing for 5-6 years, professionally for three (mainly tournaments) and although he is a fan of Turbo online tourneys, “can be more patient” when it’s called for.

Seat 8: Samuel Vousden – 3,675,000
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Born in Hong Kong, Samuel Vousden grew up in Salo, south Finland. He flew under the radar until last December, when he fell just shy of the EPT12 Prague final table finishing 14th and earning €45,930 – his biggest live result to date. Vousden has played only a few live tournaments just and on Monday he’ll experience his first ever live final table. However, he’s arguably one of the most experienced players among the final eight; he’s been crushing the online realm for several years. Vousden has earned opponents’ respect on PokerStars, having a Sunday Million title as well as a SCOOP title under his belt. Away from poker, he’s a Manchester United supporter, and a big fan of David Beckham.

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UKIPT5 Dublin Final Table: Level 27 (cont) updates (30,000 – 60,000, ante 10,000)

UKIPT5 Dublin Final Table: Level 27 (cont) updates (30,000 – 60,000, ante 10,000)

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12:45pm: UKIPT Season 5 set for thrilling finale
Level 27 – Blinds 30,000-60,000 (10,000 ante)

Today we bring the curtain down on Season 5 of the UKIPT, but it won’t be going quietly. The final table of the final event of Season 5 will play out on the EPT Live TV table, with cards up coverage on a one hour delay.

In real life the action is already under way as play was due to start at 12.30pm, you’ll have to wait to 1.30pm to get moving pictures but as well as reading about it here you can watch it in the following places:

PokerStars.tv
YouTube
Facebook
Twitch

And you can get involved in the conversation by contacting @PokerStarsBlog and @EPTLive on Twitter.

A reminder that the winner of this event will pick up €176,900 and when play starts Adalsteinn Karlsson is in the box seat, although it’s very close at the top as the chip counts below show:

Seat Name Country Status Chips
Seat 1 Mark Reilly Ireland   845,000
Seat 2 David Pollock Ireland PokerStars qualifier 4,335,000
Seat 3 Adalsteinn Karlsson Iceland PokerStars player 4,420,000
Seat 4 Jelcides Monteiro Luxembourg   1,025,000
Seat 5 Vladas Tamasauskas Lithuania PokerStars player 4,255,000
Seat 6 Marc Foggin UK   2,220,000
Seat 7 Quentin Dellis Belgium   4,150,000
Seat 8 Samuel Vousden Finland PokerStars player 3,675,000

UKIPT5_Dublin_day4_final_table_group_shoot.jpg

The elite eight

And a reminder of what’s left to play for:

POS NAME COUNTRY STATUS PRIZE DEAL
1       € 176,900  
2       € 107,010  
3       € 75,230  
4       € 56,470  
5       € 43,440  
6       € 31,880  
7       € 23,520  
8       € 16,840  

Live coverage will begin at 13.30 GMT, see you then.

PokerStars Blog reporting team on the UKIPT5 Dublin Main Event: Marc Convey and Nick Wright. Photography by Mickey May. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog.

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Adalsteinn Karlsson leads UKIPT5 Dublin final table

Adalsteinn Karlsson leads UKIPT5 Dublin final table

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Adalsteinn Karlsson, final table chip leader

When play began today Adalsteinn Karlsson was right in the middle of the pack, in twelfth spot of the 24 remaining players. After a quick fire Day 3 in the UKIPT Main Event he tops the lot. In no small part that’s thanks to eliminating Adam Owen, who was the overnight chip leader. The king is dead, long live the king!

That pot played out with 16 players remaining, all the chips went in on a [Ad][5s][4s] flop with Karlsson holding [As][Kc] and Owen the superior [Ah][4s]. A king on the turn gave Karlsson a pot worth over 5,300,000 and left Owen a little shocked. Given that Karlsson starts the final table with less than that pot was worth, it shows just how crucial that hand was.

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Nasty turn of events for Adam Owen

It’s incredibly tight at the top of the chip counts, with Karlsson’s lead from David Pollock under 1.5 big blinds and the top four separated by fewer than five big blinds. When they resume on Monday they’ll be 20 minutes and 24 seconds left in the 30,000 – 60,000 (ante 10,000) level.

Seat Name Country Status Chips
Seat 1 Mark Reilly Ireland   845,000
Seat 2 David Pollock Ireland PokerStars qualifier 4,335,000
Seat 3 Adalsteinn Karlsson Iceland PokerStars player 4,420,000
Seat 4 Jelcides Monteiro Luxembourg   1,025,000
Seat 5 Vladas Tamasauskas Lithuania PokerStars player 4,255,000
Seat 6 Marc Foggin UK   2,220,000
Seat 7 Quentin Dellis Belgium   4,150,000
Seat 8 Samuel Vousden Finland PokerStars player 3,675,000

Our chip leader is 28 and became the Icelandic Poker Champion in November 2015, beating a field of 140 players to win more than £9,000. This money enabled him to take his game on the road, he competed at UKIPT5 Edinburgh and came third in the Edinburgh Cup for £5,225. He might be going further afield if he takes this one down for €176,900.

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A royally good day for Pollock


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The man who’ll start second when play resumes at 12.30pm on Monday, looked for much of the day like he’d be the one bagging up the biggest stack. Back to back hands against Benjamin Saada propelled him towards the chip lead just 30 minutes into the day.

The Irish PokerStars qualifier has shown throughout that he’s not afraid to play big pots and was often the one putting other players to the big decisions and he also made a royal flush today! He and Karlsson clashed in a few pots late on, it’s a rivalry to keep an eye on when the final table starts, especially as they’re in adjacent seats.

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Vladas Tamasauskas

In contrast to Pollock, Vladas Tamasauskas didn’t show his hand to late on, very late on. He eliminated Christophe Bouziane on the final hand of the day to ascend to third in the chip counts. He’s no stranger to success on PokerStars’ regional tours having finished 11th in Eureka Prague in December 2015. Not bad for a 21-year-old who’s only played a handful of live tournaments.
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Dellis does (well in) Dublin

The Lithuanian isn’t the only player at the final table who had some success in Prague in December. Quentin Dellis cashed four times for a combined €26,293. Dellis’s day basically came down to two big hands where he had big pairs. He doubled through David Pollock with jacks against ace-king and knocked Patrick Rooney out in tenth with queens against eights.

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Vousden – bringing his online skills to the live arena

Another player who had some success in Prague is Samuel Vousden. The professional poker player was born in Salo, south Finland and finished 14th in the EPT Main Event in the Czech capital. He has played only a few live tournaments, however, he’s arguably one of the most experienced players among the final eight, he has a Sunday Million title as well as a SCOOP title under his belt, to name just a few of his numerous online achievements. 

Apart from when he eliminated James Akenhead with kings against jacks, Vousden seemed to run fairly bad in all-in situations today, but each time he got knocked down he built back up again, winning many pots without going to showdown. If that trend continues on Monday he may well be the one posing for the winner’s photos.

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Marc Foggin prays for aces

There’s some drop off between the chip stacks of the top five and the other three players at the final table. Leading the charge for the ‘have nots’ is Marc Foggin. He was supposed to be on a plane home tomorrow, not back to England, but to to Las Vegas for his friend’s birthday and some deep-stack tournaments.

Those plans have been cancelled and it continues what’s already been some year for Foggin. He came second in a $2,000 side event at The PCA – winning over $45,000 – and finished seventh in a £1,000 event in London at the end of January, good for another $37,000.

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Jelcides Monteiro – fluent in six languages and poker

Only two players are in what could be deemed short stack territory, Jelcides Monteiro will start the final table with 17 big blinds and it’s hard to know if he’ll be happy or down in the dumps. He had far more at one stage and far less at another. In the end he’s ended up somewhere in the middle. The player from Luxembourg, who’s fluent in six languages, is still in with a shot at the title and that’s what really matters though.

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Marc Reilly

Mark Reilly is the second player from Ireland at the final table and whilst he’ll start as the shortest stack he’s shown he’s got the patience to wait for a spot and turn that stack into something more workable. Throughout today he played a patient game and players seemed to respect his all ins when he was forced to put his tournament life on the line.

We’ve had the final table short stack come back to win before (Nicolau Villa-Lobos did it in Edinburgh) so don’t count Reilly out.

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Another fine run from Finneran

Twenty-four into eight doesn’t go of course and as well as James Akenhead and Adam Owen, more fine players found their journey to the UKIPT final table derailed today. Thomas Finneran was looking to win a second UKIPT Main Event title but he had to settle for 17th place whilst Jeffrey Brouwer was looking to make a second UKIPT final table. He fell short in 12th place.

To see who finished where and to catch up on all today’s action click on the links below. We’ll be back from 13.30pm on Monday for the final table. You can watch that on EPTLive.com, YouTube, Facebook and right here on the blog. They’ll be another live final table before then though as the €25,000 High Roller final table plays out tomorrow on EPTLive.com. You can follow updates from that one right here.

Prizepool and payouts
Levels 23-27

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All photos are copyright of Mickey May.

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UKIPT5 Dublin Day 2: Level 19 updates (5,000 – 10,000, ante 1,000)

UKIPT5 Dublin Day 2: Level 19 updates (5,000 – 10,000, ante 1,000)

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* CLICK TO REFRESH FOR LATEST UPDATES
* CLICK HERE FOR LATEST CHIP COUNTS
* LIVE UPDATES of the €25,000 High Roller can be found here.
* Day 2 of the UKIPT Main Event – we’re in the money!
* Day 2 consists of ten 60-minute levels – currently playing level 19
* Players remaining: 70 of 1,002 (average stack is 357,500)
* Top 151 players get paid, payouts can be viewed here

8:10pm: Four more levels
The final 70 players are back in their seats for level 19, and they will play four more levels for tonight. Play should end around around 12:25am. One player who won’t be back is PokerStars Live at The Hippodrome Casino Team Pro Chris Gordon, who busted in 90th place. — MC

@PSLive_Hippo busted in 90th. Got my last 6 bigs in a5 vs k3, ace in the window but still couldn’t hold. #greatsupport #ukiptdublin

— Chris Gordon (@CCG_85) February 12, 2016

PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT5 Dublin: Marc Convey and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog

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UKIPT5 Dublin: Stefan Schillhabel tops Day 1B field on record breaking day

UKIPT5 Dublin: Stefan Schillhabel tops Day 1B field on record breaking day

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Schillabel showed his skill to lead the way

We love breaking records on the UKIPT and we smashed two of them out of the park today. A massive 788 players turned up to play Day 1B of this event, eclipsing the previous single day attendance record for a UKIPT Main Event of 736 (set at UKIPT4 London 2).

Add them to the 214 who put their faces above the parapet on Day 1A and it meant the total number of runners in this huge UKIPT Main Event was 1,002, some 142 more than pitched up at UKIPT4 Galway, our previous best on Irish soil.


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All told those 1,002 players created a prize pool totalling € 971,940. Over the next four days that’ll be split 151 ways with the winner collect €176,900. You can see the full payout structure here.

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It was a busy day in Dublin

There was actually a third record broken today, but we didn’t break it, Stefan Schillhabel
did. His gargantuan end of day stack of 352,000 is a UKIPT Day 1 record, just eclipsing the 351,200 tht Neil Van Der Merwe bagged up in Bristol earlier this year. The 28-year-old German, who finished fourth in the EPT11 Malta Main Event hails from Dusseldorf and started playing poker in 2006 with friends and is still a recreational player. He is currently studying for a Masters in sociology and also has a part-time job in sales.

Other players who turned 25,000 into substantially more today include:

Thomas Boivin, 342,400
Olivier Ferrero, 315,500
Adam Owen, 252,900
Adam Milewski, 232,900
Thomas Finneran, 216,000
James Akenhead, 182,500
Padraig O’Neill, 181,700

UKIPT5_Dublin_day1b_james_akenhead.jpg

A good day for Akenhead

If you searched hard enough in the huge Day 1B field you’d have found half a dozen players sporting various versions of the famous PokerStars Red Spade.

Representing Team Pro were ElkY and Eugene Katchalov. Neither will be back for Day 2 though. The Frenchman ran kings into aces to bust #sosick.

UKIPT5_Dublin_Eugene_Katchalov_Bertrand_Grospellier.jpg

Not a good day at the office for this pair of poker sharks

Team Pro Online’s sole representative proved he can cut it in the live arena too. That should come as no surprise given his name’s Mickey Petersen. EPT champion Mickey Petersen. The Danish online tournament beast looked like he was going to reach Day 2 but busted on the final hand of the night.

Still going strong though is Felipe Ramos. It was easy to miss people in this hectic day, the Friend of PokerStars flew under the radar but flew he did as he’d turned his 25,000 starting stack into 78,200 by the time play ended.

UKIPT5_Dublin_Felipe_Ramos.jpg

Ramos is through

We saw a new type of patch on the tour today, one that read, ‘PokerStars Live at The Hippodrome Casino Team Pro’. The Hippodrome Casino in London’s West End is PokerStars home in the UK and they recently sponsored two players to reprensent them at poker tournaments.

Both are tour regulars but it was a case of contrasting fortunes for the pair as Chris Gordon navigated the choppy UKIPT waters to finish on 88,700, whilst Kelly Saxby, who had a deep run at UKIPT Bristol earlier in the season, busted during level eight.

UKIPT5_Dublin_day1b_andrew_chen.jpg

EPT11 London High Roller champion Andrew Chen

With so many well known players in the field today – there were 10 EPT champions just for starters – it’s no surprise that plenty of them will be back for Day 2. Among the sharks hungry for UKIPT cash on Day 2 will be:

Charlie Carrel, 157,200
Andrew Chen, 149,900
Jeff Madsen, 138,900
Nick Newport, 125,400
Patrick Leonard, 83,000
Jamie Sykes, 76,400
Dara Davey, 71,200
Dara O’Kearney, 57,000
Surinder Sunar, 53,000
Gareth Chantler, 44,700
Keith Johnson, 24,600

Of course for some their tournaments went the other way. EPT11 Malta champion Niall Farrell was pretty vocal about the early 10am start time not being to his liking (not the only dissenter to be fair) and he was even more vocal about the bar not opening until 3pm. He busted out shortly after midday and tweeted – in jest – the reason for his quick exit.

Was forced to bust the UKIPT immediately in protest of the late bar opening. Stand with me brothers.

— Niall Farrell (@Firaldo87poker) February 11, 2016

He wasn’t the only EPT champion who found the UKIPT a tougher nut to crack. Sebastian Pauli, Kevin MacPhee, Jannick Wrang, Ognyan Dimov, Dominik Panka, David Vamplew and Anton Wigg all busted out.

UKIPT5_Dublin_day1b_kevin_macphee.jpg

Kevon MacPhee – all ten EPT champions in today’s field busted

You could also set fire to the tournament slips of Chris Moorman, Ben Heath, Chance Kornuth, Max Silver, Matthias De Meulder, Jude Ainsworth and Fergal Nealon. As the day progressed, they did not.

Around 222 players made it through the day, add them to the 52 who advanced from Day 1A and somewhere in the region of 275 players will be back to play Day 2 from noon tomorrow. The march to the money begins in earnest then. We’ll be back as we burst the bubble and move towards the final table during 10 one-hour levels.

Join us then, you can catch up on all today’s action via the links below, and overnight chip counts and the seat draw will be posted shortly. Keep an eye on the widget to the right (or at the bottom if you’re on mobile) and the @PokerStarsBlog and @UKIPT accounts for that information.

Until tomorrow good night from Dublin.

Levels 1-7
Levels 8-12

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All photos are copyright of Mickey May

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UKIPT5 Dublin Day 1B: Level 1-2 updates (75-150)

UKIPT5 Dublin Day 1B: Level 1-2 updates (75-150)

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* CLICK TO REFRESH FOR LATEST UPDATES
* Day 1B consists of twelve 45-minute levels – currently playing level two
* Day 1B players (515 so far)
* Late registration is open until the end of level 6 (approx 3:15pm)

11:14am: Aces and faces
Level 2: Blinds 75-150

As you would expect plenty more known faces have joined the party and they include: Kevin MacPhee (fresh in from the other side of the planet), Joey Lovelady, Anton Wigg, Anton Saout, Seth Webber and Ian Simpson.

Simpson had a few extra cups of coffee this morning hoping it would help him with the early start time, but he hasn’t gotten off to the best of starts. Maybe the caffeine has made his calling hands a little twitchy.

He and Robert Beer were heads up to the river of a [qd][7s][jd][5d][9d] board and around 4,500 lay in the centre of the table. Simpson checked from under the gun and tank called when Beer bet 5,000. He was shown [ad][ac] for a flush and mucked his hand to dropped to 15,300. — MC

11am: Keep ’em coming
Level 2: Blinds 75-150

Over 515 players have now taken their seats on this bumper Day 1b and the big names just keep on coming. Due to the bigger buy-in events on the schedule – there’s a €25,000 event tomorrow for instance – there are some well known players here that you’d never normally see on this tour. Like Chance Kornuth and Andrew Chen. Regulars on the EPT yes, the UKIPT, not so much.

A player who battles against them on the EPT regularly, but is a UKIPT regular, is Max Silver. He’s also a Dublin native but due to a tram strike he drove to the venue today. He had to park someway from the venue though and was delighted to learn that the first break was 20 minutes long, rather than 15, as it gives him more time to move his car. If Silver has a Day 1 anything like he did last time the tour was in town, he’ll likely be the chip leader.

He ran up a stack of 311,700 in Season 4, slightly more than Vladimir Velikov (301,500) managed yesterday, but in four fewer levels, unbelievable! Silver went on to finish runner-up to Kevin Killeen, almost adding to the UKIPT title he won here in 2010. Another UKIPT champion who’s come close to a double is Brett Angell, he’s also playing today as are:

Richard Hawes
Ben Winsor
Andrew Sweeney
David Clarkson
Neil Rawnsley
Jon Wong

10:40am: Earphones needed for Saxby?
Level 1: Blinds 50-100

Deborah Worley-Roberts and Kelly Saxby are great friends and hang out at many UKIPTs. The table they normally share is close to a bar but today, chips and cards have replaced the glasses and wine bottles as they have been drawn together.

Worley-Roberts is known for her quiet and shy demeanour at the table…..not! Her vocal ability is already being tested to its limits and Saxby, looked up at the blog and said in jest, “All day. All day!” — MC


Want to start your own UKIPT campaign? Sign up for PokerStars and start your journey. Click here to get an account.


10:25am: Who’s about? Part two
Level 1: Blinds 50-100

Forgive us, but we’re about to do some more name dropping. Those spotted in t’other half of the room include:

Jamie Sykes
James Akenhead
Tom Hall
David Hills
Nick Newport
Andrew Hulme
Gareth Chantler
Keith Johnson
Mike Hill
Ari Engel
Alex Goulder

10:15am: Who’s about? Part one
The tournament is growing minute by minute and smoke must be coming off the ticket machines at registration desk. The day has swelled to almost 500 entries players at the time of publishing.

Confirmed sightings in one half of the tournament room: PokerStars’ Filipe Ramos, Mickey Petersen and Jen Shahade; Dan Charlton, Dara O’Kearney (after he faked playing Day 1A), Chris Gordon, Dan Charlton, Fergal Nealon, Vojtech Ruzicka, Tim Reilly, Kerryjane Craigie and Balazs Botond. –MC

Me and most of my fellow players at #UKIPTDublin today, gl all! https://t.co/gtBI6nCqym

— Mickey Petersen (@mickeydp) February 11, 2016

10am: Cards are in the air!
Level 1: Blinds 50-100

Day 1B has gotten underway.

9:45am: Bumper Day 1B about to commence
Day 1A attracted 214 players yesterday and today promises to be a lot bigger. The first ever champion here, back in Season 1, was Max Silver, and he’ll be in attendance today. He tried to come and play yesterday but getting out of one’s own bed (Silver lives in Dublin) tends to be a lot harder than a strange hotel bed. Back in 2010 Silver had a day job working for Full Tilt Poker, but the €72,000 he won was partially behind his decision to go pro, and what a good decision that’s been – the Brit has more than £2.3 million in winnings on his poker resume now! Will another Silver-type case be born in Dublin this week?

Team Online’s Mickey Peterson has been spotted in the RDS over the last 24 hours and is expected to be in the field today. Social media had also been flooded with photos of players making – or trying – to make their way to Dublin. Many added holidays on to the PCA and a fair few have made/are making the long trip back from the Aussie Millions, including the champion Ari Engel.

Cards will be in the air at 10am.

ukipt dublin_day 4_max silver winner shot.jpg

Silver looking for a double on home soil

Key UKIPT5 Dublin Facts:

– 25,000 starting stack
– Blinds starting at 50/100 for 250 big blinds
– Levels are 45 minutes on Day 1 and they’ll be 12 of them. From Day 2 onwards levels increase to 60 minutes.
– Day 1B takes place today, the field will then combine for the first time on Friday. We’ll reach the money during the 10 levels of play on Day 2 and then play down to a final table on Saturday. Sunday is a rest day, and then on Monday the final table will play out on the TV table on EPTLive with cards-up coverage and bring Season 5 of the UKIPT to a close. Cue mad celebrations and swigging of champagne from the trophy (possibly).
– Full UKIPT5 Dublin schedule here.
– It’s not all about the poker here in Dublin. There are plenty of #StarsFun activities including Dodgeball Trampolining. Yes, you read that right Dodgeball Trampolining.

PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT5 Dublin: Marc Convey and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog

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Vladimir Velikov streaks clear of UKIPT5 Dublin Day 1A field

Vladimir Velikov streaks clear of UKIPT5 Dublin Day 1A field

UKIPT5_Dublin_Vladimir_Velikov.jpg

That’s what a 300k smile looks like

The second day of the EPT Dublin festival took place today and central to the day’s festivities was Day 1A of the UKIPT Main Event. The tour is in its fifth season and Dublin has been an ever-present stop, producing four champions in the shape of Max Silver, Joeri Zandvliet, Richard Evans and Kevin Killeen.

The latter was one of the 214 players to take to the felt today and by the end of twelve 45-minute levels, 52 remained. Vladimir Velikov has the overnight bragging rights of being chip leader after he amassed an impressive 301,500, 12 times more than starting stack. He was potentially the leader before he cracked an opponent’s aces at the death when he flopped a straight with jack-nine. The Bulgarian is no stranger to success as he’s a former Sunday Million winner and at December’s Eureka Prague he scored a €170,180 payday by finishing second in the High Roller event.

Other big stacks and notables to make Day 2 were: Joao Simao (253,600), David Pollock (240,000), Vladas Burneikis (199,800), Ranno Sootla (191,300), Dan Carter (186,600), Peter Eichhardt (170,300), Domenico Vivolo (169,500), Erik Olofsson (160,600), Scott Margereson (123,600), Dermot Blalin (111,200), Chris Dowling (103,800) and reigning champion Kevin Killeen (48,000)

UKIPT5_Dublin_Day1a_Kevin_Killeen.jpg

Reigning champ Killeen safely through

Mr UKIPT himself Jake Cody played today but had one of those days at the tables. He busted midway through the day but a lot of the damage occurred earlier when he turned two pair only for his opponent, Sean Prendiville, to river a straight. No doubt we’ll be seeing the Team PokerStars Pro in the UKIPT High Roller and EPT Main Event, two of the marquee tournaments of a festival that promises to be Ireland’s biggest and richest ever.

UKIPT5_Dublin_Day1A_Jake_Cody.jpg

Cody was, as ever, philisophical in defeat

Cody wasn’t the only player to find it a struggle today. Former champions Nick Abou Risk and Josh Hart both got off to a good starts but busted with decent holdings; Steven van Zadelhoff recently won a triple crown online but couldn’t transfer that hot streak over to the live arena; Andy Black was back on vocal form but the cards didn’t fall his way; Marc Macdonnell’s aces couldn’t hold against an opponent’s queens and former EPT Grand final champion Mohsin Charania went from big stack to out after losing big pots with kings and ace-king in quick succession.

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Andy Black’s look says it all

Other notables to hit the rail included: Emil Patel, Jack Sambrook, Rasmus Agerskov, Senh Ung, Jason Wheeler, Emmett Davis, Aaron Gustavson, Jared Jaffe, Dietrich Fast, Jacob Bazeley and November Niner Pierre Neuville.

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The poker wheels will keep turning for Jason

This UKIPT stop has been predicted to have a big turnout by the powers that be, so a packed room is expected tomorrow as the tournament aims for four-figure status. The 10am GMT start time stays in place for one more day so that should help stagger the flow of hopefuls. Another 12 levels will be played out before all survivors will convene for Day two on Friday.

Join the blog back here then, but for now, click the links below to catch up on the day’s action:

Level 1-8 updates
Level 9-12 updates

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PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT5 Dublin: Marc Convey and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May. She’s been dosing up on Penicillin for the last five days so is ready to fight any bacteria who try to steal her pictures! Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog

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UKIPT5 Dublin Day 1A: Level 9 updates (500-1,000, 100 ante)

UKIPT5 Dublin Day 1A: Level 9 updates (500-1,000, 100 ante)

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* CLICK TO REFRESH FOR LATEST UPDATES
* Day 1A consists of twelve 45 minute levels – currently playing level 9
* 120 of 214 players remain
* Late registration is closed
* You can catch up with Level 1-8 coverage here

5:45pm: Dinner break
Level 9: Blinds 500-1,000, 100 ante

The remaining players are now on a 75 minute dinner break. Play will re-start at roughly 7pm. –NW

5:40pm: Defending champion still in
Level 9: Blinds 500-1,000, 100 ante

There’s been a few good UKIPT title defences in Dublin on the UKIPT and Kevin Killeen, who triumphed last time the tour was in town, is still going strong on Day 1A this time round. He’s got about 28,000. After he won his UKIPT title he moved to Mexico but is back in Ireland at the moment.

“Living here at the moment, I’ll stay here to after the Irish Open at least,” he told us. “After that probably Vegas and then maybe back to Mexico. We’ll see.”

As reported below the other UKIPT Main Event winners in the field today – Nick Abou Risk and Josh Hart – are both out. However, we do still have an EPT champion in the field in the shape of Mohsin Charania. He’s got around 71,000. — NW
4:55pm: Long dinner break for….
Level 9: Blinds 500-1,000, 100 ante

Those who failed to make the upcoming dinner break included: John Hanaphy, Anders Overland, Sean Prendiville, Rasmus Agersov, Counstrain-Jean Edmond, Bruno Lima, Eldon Orr, Vaino Nevanlinna, Cesar De Leon, Victor Pastor, Jussi Nevanlinna, Senh Ung, Gareth Jennings, Andy Black, Chris Simpson, Josh Hart, Laurence Ryan, Steven van Zadelhoff, Miguel Suarez, Ezequiel Lebed, Matis Ruzzi, Jason Wheeler (pictured)UKIPT5_Dublin_Jason_Wheeler.jpg, David Burke, Keith Brennan, Anthony Ainscough, Guillaume Nolet, Emmett Davis, Jochen Kaiser, Dan Borlan, Ryan McEathron, Alexandre Schifa, Ricardo Ibanez, Burak Kavas, Donal Kennedy, Alan White, Ronan Gilligan, Pierre Neuville, Sszoto Merceron, Frederic Bertrand and Mark Ballesty. — MC

5:30pm: There’s a new chippie in town as Abou Risks busts
Level 9: Blinds 500-1,000, 100 ante

Nick Abou Risk will not become a three-time UKIPT champion in his hometown after he busted in a big pot that made Ranno Sootla the (likely) new chip leader.

Sootla told the blog that Abou Risk raised from under the gun and he defended his big blind to head to a [k][j][5] flop that contained two hearts. A four landed on the turn and Sootla bet 18,000 (into what he thought was 23k) and called when Abou Risk shoved for 30,000.

UKIPT5_Dublin_Day1a_Ranno_Sootia.jpg

Sootla leading the way

Sootla opened king-jack and survived a blank river against Abou Risk’s ace-king.

Ranno Sootla, 160,000
Nick Abou Risk, eliminated
— MC

5:15pm: Cody can’t stop the rot
Level 9: Blinds 500-1,000, 100 ante

At the very end of level eight we lost Team PokerStars Pro Jake Cody. Sadly for him is stack only went in one direction today. Still he’s got the chance to bounce back tomorrow – literally – as he’s going to be taking part in the Dodgeball Trampolining.

Gg either ran into it a lot or got run over #UKIPTDublin

— Jake Cody (@JakeCody) February 10, 2016

5pm: End of the road for Ruzzi
Level 9: Blinds 500-1,000, 100 ante

I arrived at the table to see the cards already on their backs, it was Matias Ruzzi who was all in, the Argentinian had [Ah][Js] whilst Amgd Nadr had [As][Qc].

The [6c][7h][6s][Kh][Qh] board eliminated Ruzzi and boosted Nadr to 70,000. –NW

Key UKIPT5 Dublin Facts:

– 25,000 starting stack
– Blinds starting at 50/100 for 250 big blinds
– Levels are 45 minutes on Day 1 and they’ll be 12 of them. From Day 2 onwards levels increase to 60 minutes.
– Day 1A is today, Day 1B takes place tomorrow, the field will then combine for the first time on Friday. We’ll reach the money during the 10 levels of play on Day 2 and then play down to a final table on Saturday. Sunday is a rest day, and then on Monday the final table will play out on the TV table on EPTLive with cards-up coverage and bring Season 5 of the UKIPT to a close. Cue mad celebrations and swigging of champagne from the trophy (possibly).
– Full UKIPT5 Dublin schedule here.
– There’s a boat load of other events today including a €5,000 (!) Hold’em event and two live satellites to the Main Event tonight. Those satellites start at 16.00 GMT and 21.30 GMT.
– It’s not all about the poker here in Dublin. There are plenty of #StarsFun activities including Dodgeball Trampolining. Yes, you read that right Dodgeball Trampolining.

PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT5 Dublin: Marc Convey and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog

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UKIPT5 Dublin Day 1A: Level 1 updates (50/100)

UKIPT5 Dublin Day 1A: Level 1 updates (50/100)

09:50am: Top o’ the mornin’ to ya
Good morning! It’s a brisk sunny winter’s day here in Dublin and an earlier start than usual on the UKIPT. For most folk 10am would be considered a late start but in the world of poker 10am is positively the crack of dawn.

The UKIPT Main Event is the first of the big events in the 67 tournament schedule that makes up the UKIPT/EPT Dublin festival that runs until the 20th February. Whilst the EPT last touched down in Dublin in October 2007, the UKIPT has been heading to Dublin on the regular and was last here at the end of February 2015.

There have been some memorable final tables in Dublin, Max Silver obliterated the competition in four hours, Joeri Zandvliet won his second UKIPT title here and last year we had, perhaps, the most memorable UKIPT final table of all time.

In the red corner was Max Silver, he just loves playing in Dublin on the UKIPT, one win and a fourth prior to last year and he was chasing his second UKIPT title in his home city, a win that would put him in exalted company.

Ukipt5_dublin_main_event_day1_kevin_killeen.jpg

Killeen’s friends carried him to victory

In the blue corner was Kevin Killeen, one of the bright young things of Irish poker and a tour regular who’d not had a big result on the UKIPT…yet. Backed by a vociferous rail, who were all dressed in onesies, they sung their man to victory: “We don’t take silver we only take gold,” was the chant that lives long in the memory.

Over the next six days we’re hopeful this edition of UKIPT Dublin will more than match those that have gone before.

Key UKIPT5 Dublin Facts:

– 25,000 starting stack
– Blinds starting at 50/100 for 250 big blinds
– Levels are 45 minutes on Day 1 and they’ll be 12 of them. From Day 2 onwards levels increase to 60 minutes.
– Day 1A is today, Day 1B takes place tomorrow, the field will then combine for the first time on Friday. We’ll reach the money during the 10 levels of play on Day 2 and then playing down to a final table on Saturday. Sunday is a rest day, and then on Monday the final table will play out on the TV table on EPTLive with cards-up coverage and bring Season 5 of the UKIPT to a close. Cue mad celebrations and swigging of champagne from the trophy (possibly).
– Full UKIPT5 Dublin schedule here.
– There’s a boat load of other events today including a €5,000 (!) Hold’em event and two live satellites to the Main Event tonight. Those satellites start at 16.00 GMT and 21.30 GMT.
– It’s not all about the poker here in Dublin. There are plenty of #StarsFun activities including Dodgeball Trampolining. Yes, you read that right Dodgeball Trampolining.

PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT5 Dublin: Marc Convey and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May

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Elliott Panyi powers to UKIPT Series win and £16,590

Elliott Panyi powers to UKIPT Series win and £16,590

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Elliott Panyi – UKIPT5 Series Champion

There’s a quote that’s displayed prominently on Elliott Panyi’s twitter page from UFC champion Conor McGregor that says: “Doubt is removed by action. If you’re not working then that’s where doubt comes in.”

The 24-year-old professional poker player wasn’t a UFC guy until he discovered McGregor, but he definitely shares a trait with him. He’s also a work your socks off kind of guy and tonight that paid off handsomely as he won the UKIPT5 Series 3 and £16,590. “I’m playing seven days a week at the moment,” he told us after his victory. In fact he was off to play in a cash game shortly after he’d posed for the winner’s photo.

UKIPT5_Series3_day2_elliot_panyi4.jpgPanyi – working 5-9

It’d be a disservice to Panyi’s opponent’s that victory was never in doubt but with 17 players left he picked up aces at the same time as opponents found kings and jacks. The result was a double knockout that left him with over 25% of the chips in play and a stack of 1,800,000. To give you some idea of how dominant that was, only two players – other than Panyi – would surpass that mark during the tournament.

By the time the final table was reached he had 2.3x the chips of his nearest rival and he only briefly lost the chip lead throughout the final table. When heads-up play began normal service had been resume as Panyi had an eight to one advantage over Azarya Levy.

UKIPT5_Series3_day2_azarya_levy.jpgAzarya Levy

His Israeli opponent had just a handful of big blinds and you sensed this wasn’t going to be a marathon heads-up. The short stack had tried – unsuccessfully – to convince his opponent’s this was his first live tournament so you knew he had some moves. But, although Levy scored one double up on the next occasion he was all in his [Jh][6c] lost out to Panyi’s [Kd][4c].

UKIPT5_Series3_day2_poker_room.jpgThe Matcham Room at The Hippodrome Casino

When play began at noon there were 106 hopefuls all hoping to fill one of the top 47 places to secure a return on their investment. It took just over two hours to reach the bubble by which time Dominic Wells, Jeff Barron, Daniel Bland and Tim Wright, amongst others, had been sent home empty handed.

UKIPT5_Series3_day2_shane_d'moriah.jpgShane D’Moirah (standing left) watches on

We had two all ins on different tables on the stone bubble. After Robbie O’Brien – who had been forced all in blind – survived it was time to see what would become of Shane D’Moirah. He was all-in on the turn of a [9s][Ad][7d][8h] board with [9c][8c] and in good shape against Jay Samani’s [Ac][Th]. That is until the [Td] fell on the river. That left the 47 remaining players in the money.

That hand propelled Samani to the chip lead, a spot he’d hold until he lost a big pot to Samuel Hunt, who became the first player to cross the million chip mark. Samani then busted in 23rd and was followed out the door shortly afterwards by Chris Gordon, who finished 20th. It was a fine performance by the Team PokerStars LIVE at The Hippodrome Casino sponsored player. A standard lost race with [As][Td] against pocket eights his downfall.

UKIPT5_Series3_day2_chris_gordon2.jpgAnother good game by Gordon

The likes of Vincent Moses (19th), Day 1 chip leader Andrew King (18th) and Samuel Hunt (12th) all made deep runs but missed out on the final table. With just over 7,000,000 in play and a big blind of 50,000 by the time the final nine was reached this was never likely to be a drawn out war of attrition.
UKIPT5_Series3_day2_final_table.jpgThe elite eight

Nine were cut down to four in 80 minutes as Marco Erasmo (9th), Dean Perry (8th), Nicholas Case (7th), Michael Matar (6th) and Gerald Candy (5th) were sent packing. Panyi had almost half the chips in play at this point but with each pot causing a big swing the field began to close with William Funnell even overtaking Panyi briefly. Then the two of them played a huge pot.

UKIPT5_Series3_day2_william_funnell.jpgFunnell – more ladders than old tights

It was total cooler with Panyi holding pocket queens to Funnell’s [Ah][Qs] when both men had around 13 big blinds each. The pair held and when the stacks were counted down Panyi had Funnell covered by less than half a big blind. It was some performance by Funnell though as the youngster hadn’t been over 15 big blinds at all on Day 2 until there were six players left.

A couple of hands later Panyi won a race to eliminate Kwokwah Man in third spot to take that huge chip lead to heads-up.

The rest is history.

UKIPT5 Series 3:
Buy-in: £250+£25
Entrants: 351:
Prize pool: £87,750
Places paid: 47

POS NAME COUNTRY STATUS PRIZE
1 Elliott Panyi United Kingdom   £16,590
2 Azarya Levy Israel   £10,540
3 Kwokwah Man United Kingdom   £7,900
4 William Funnell United Kingdom   £6,390
5 Gerald Candy United Kingdom   £5,040
6 Michael Matar United Kingdom PokerStars Qualifier £3,850
7 Nicholas Case United Kingdom   £2,830
8 Dean Perry United Kingdom   £2,088

All photos are copyright of Mickey May

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UKIPT5 Series 3 Day 2: Level 15 updates (2,000-4,000, 500 ante)

UKIPT5 Series 3 Day 2: Level 15 updates (2,000-4,000, 500 ante)

65 players remain, 47 get paid. You can see the current chip counts right here.

1:10pm: Lots of exits; 72 players left
Level 15, Blinds 2,000-4,000(500 ante)

Many exits to tell you about now. For fans of: Mirko Mostaccio, Leslie Lamnea, Tom Dickenson, Mark Jefferies, Onur Guven, Thomas Bloomfield, Rahim Tadj-Saadat, Rob Munro, Fernando Berlanga, Anthony Wickert, Karol Podsiadio, Chris Gilbert, Philip Marcu, Noel Broadbent, Stuart Bayford, Steven Mayne, Steve Goose, Justin Kyrakidas and Barry Warden as they’re all out.

65 players remain.

1pm: Huge double for Stoupis
Level 14, Blinds 1,500-3,000(300 ante)

Day 1A chip leader Samuel Orledge just took a big hit that in the process doubled Fotis Stoupis to almost 200,000.

Orledge opened to 6,600, Stoupis re-raised to 24,000, Orledge tanked and then moved all in and Stoupis snap called.

Orledge: [Ad][Jc]
Stoupis: [Ac][Ah]

The Greek player was all in for 95,800 and the aces held on the [7h][2h][7d][Jd][9d] board. Orledge had gained some chips today but drops back to around 105,000 as a result of that hand.

12:50pm: Funnell felts Taylor
Level 14, Blinds 1,500-3,000(300 ante)

Down to just 21,700 Simon Taylor moved all in from middle position for 21,700 and William Funnell – who was to his immediate left – re-raised all-in for about 50,000 and everyone else folded.

Funnell: [Qd][Qh]
Taylor: [8s][7s]

Both players stood as the [Kh][9d][7c][3c][Td] board came down and they shook hands as Taylor departed.

12:40pm: More fallers
Level 14, Blinds 1,500-3,000(300 ante)

There was no way back for Luke Cameron after he doubled up William Funnell (see 12:10pm post). He’s one of the early fallers here on Day 2 and joins: Mark Williamson, David Barnes, Ricky Davies, John Lucarotti, Jamie Pugh, Andrea Scappazzoni, Chaminda Tennakoon, Rob Crawford and Joshua Varghese on the rail.

12:30pm: Ace double for Rees
Level 13, Blinds 1,200-2,400(300 ante)

In level one of this tournament George Rees caught lightning in a bottle when he made a royal flush. In level 13 he found aces to double up.

Shane D’Moriah opened from the hijack, Rees shoved for 38,500 from the cut-off and when it folded back to D’Moriah he called with pocket eights. The [3c][9h][Js][6d][Kc] board kept the aces in front and kept Rees in the tournament.

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Aces kept Rees in it

12:20pm: Exits
Level 13, Blinds 1,200-2,400(300 ante)

The start of Day 2 is usually carnage and in the opening 20 minutes 10 players have been eliminated. They include: Jeff Barron, Line Olsen, Carl Davies, Philip Baker and Adriano Soares.

12:10pm: Funnell gets chips
Level 13, Blinds 1,200-2,400(300 ante)

From early position John O’Donnell opened to 5,500, Luke Cameron then three-bet to 12,500 and action passed to William Funnell. He asked Cameron how much he was playing and then moved all-in for 28,800, That got rid of O’Donnell but Cameron thought for a bit before making the call.

Funnell: [As][Ac]
Cameron: [9h][9c]

The board came [Kd][2d][Ks][7h][7c] and Funnell more than doubled up to around 65,000 whilst Cameron is down to about 17,000.

“Were you thinking about folding?” asked Funnell.
“I was, but I was priced in,” replied Cameron.

12:02pm: Action is go
Level 13, Blinds 1,200-2,400(300 ante)

Almost bang on time the action has started.

11:50am: The Series is about to get serious
The prelims are over, this is the real thing. Sure the 106 players who’ve made it to Day 2 can give themselves a pat on the back for outlasting the 245 players who’ve been eliminated but that’s about it. 59 of those who’re back today will suffer the same fate, that is they’ll leave empty handed.

For the other 47 they’ll have some financial reward for their efforts, a minimum of £480, rising all the way to £16,590 should they be the last man or woman sitting. You can see the You can see the entire payout structure here.

The man who’s sitting in pole position right now is Andrew King. He won a 160,000 chip pot on the final hand of Day 1B to finish on 201,600. He was the only player to break the 200,000 chip mark, but others who’ll be back today include: Sam Orledge (170,900), Chris Gordon (148,000) Elliot Panyi (139,300) and Daiva Barauskaite (78,700).

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Chris Gordon

Cards are in the air at noon.

Fancy playing a UKIPT? There are always plenty of online satellites, click here to get an account.

PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT Series: Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May

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UKIPT5 Series 3 Day 1A: Level 1 updates (25/50)

UKIPT5 Series 3 Day 1A: Level 1 updates (25/50)

1:55pm: The final Series event of Season 5
Season 5 of the UKIPT is almost done, but before we head off on our holidays there are two more events to entertain you with. In less than a fortnight we’ll all be heading over the Irish Sea to Dublin, but this weekend the action is coming to you from PokerStars LIVE! at The Hippodrome Casino.
This is the fourth and final ‘Series’ event of the Season and after October’s Super Series, which carried a £550 buy-in which Dale Garrard won – it’s back to a plain old ‘Series’ event. The buy-in is a reasonable £250+£25 and if the qualifier numbers are anything to go on it’s going to be big. There were 27 online qualifiers and 16 players earned seats in a live satellite last night.

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Dale Garrard – UKIPT Super Series champion

UKIPT5 Series 3 key facts:
– 20,000 starting stack
– Blinds starting at 25/50 for 400 big blinds
– Levels are 30 minutes throughout and they’ll be 12 of them on Day 1A, which is today and Day 1B, which is tomorrow.
– The field then combines and plays to a winner from noon on Sunday.
– No re-entry here, this is an old school straight freezeout.

Fancy playing a UKIPT? There are always plenty of online satellites, click here to get an account.

PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT Series: Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May

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Superb performance from David Gomez sees Spaniard win UKIPT5 Edinburgh and £49,660

Superb performance from David Gomez sees Spaniard win UKIPT5 Edinburgh and £49,660

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The Spaniard put on a superb show of poker and was a worthy winner

I think we can put the myth of the ‘curse of the chip leader’ well and truly to bed. In this tournament David Gomez was the Day 1B chip leader, was still top at the end of Day 2 and now he’s won it all and is the latest UKIPT champion. “It’s amazing. In Spain, not too many people have this type of trophy so it’s special,” he said after he’d won.

For most of the final day’s play a victory for the Spaniard had seemed the most likely outcome as he held the chip lead for all but a brief period. However, he could never have predicted the spectacular finish to this tournament. There was no heads-up play in this event as the final hand took place with three people still at the felt, with the Spaniard a commanding chip leader.

He opened the pot with pocket kings, Angelina Rich three-bet with [Ad][Kd], Ben Burnhill – who was the shortest of the three – committed his chips with [Jc][Js], Gomez shoved over the top and after a brief think Rich called all-in.

The [7d][Th][Tc] flop was as safe as they come for Gomez but the [8d] turn gave Burnhill a straight draw and Rich a flush draw. There was still one out – the [Jd] that would see the tournament continue three handed – but the [2c] fell on the river to give Gomez the victory. Rich had Burnhill covered so finished runner-up and so for the second season in a row we had a female finish second in Edinburgh. (Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree was runner-up in Season 4)

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Rich – runner-up

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Ben ‘firaldo’ Burnhill – third

As alluded to above there was little that went wrong for Gomez today. Play began with 11 players left and the Spaniard, who now calls Manchester home, in the chip lead. He was basically playing every pot and by winning more than he lost he soon extended his lead. He wasn’t involved in any of the hands that saw Thomas Prean (11th), Dara O’Kearney (10th) and Alan Brown (9th) eliminated though and so when the official final table of eight was set it was close at the top between Gomez, Alex Lynskey and Burnhill, who was being referred to as ‘firaldo’ by Dean Hutchison’s rail due to his passing resemblance to EPT12 Malta winner Niall Farrell.

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Another great run from Hutchison in Edinburgh

At the other end of the chip counts sat Hutchison, aka the defending champion. There have been some amazing title defences on the UKIPT over the years (Max Silver, 4th UKIPT2 Dublin and Brett Angell, 7th UKIPT5 London) have come the closet and back to back final tables in his home UKIPT was a fine achievement in itself by the 28-year-old Scotsman.

When play was still eight handed he got a lucky double with a dominated ace against Gomez and it looked like his title defence might go all the way. But, the Poker Gods decided to even out the variance, he got it in with queens against the [As][Qc] of Rich but an ace on the flop sent him out in fifth. The UKIPT double winners club total still stands at four for now.

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Gary Laing – eighth

The elimination of the defending champion was the fourth exit in a hectic opening two hours of the final table. First out of the elite eight was Gary Laing. He turned top pair to go with an open ended straight draw and called off against Rich, who had flopped a set. He missed the river and was out in eighth earning £6,038. It was the latest in a string of impressive results for the Fife man who won his seat to this event in a Pub Poker league.

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McGee made a deep run before busting in seventh

Next to go was Michael McGee who was left with less than five big blinds after being coolered by Lynskey. Again it was Rich who played the role of executioner, setting him in with [Kc][7h] from the small blind and holding against McGee’s [Jh][5d] which didn’t improve. It was an assured performance from McGee though and you wouldn’t bet against the Scot – who until recently lived with UKIPT3 London winner Robbie Bull – from making another UKIPT final table down the line.

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Another Elliot at a UKIPT final table

From flatmate bragging rights to the brotherly kind. Dode Elliot’s brother – Willie – made the final table at UKIPT4 Nottingham where he finished fourth. Unfortunately for Dode it’s Willie who retains the bragging rights as Elliot ran [Ah][Qc] into Burnhill’s pocket aces to bust in sixth place. Willie though was in reflective mood as his brother had earlier hit a three outer to survive and there were no complaints from either party.

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Fancy meeting you here

After Hutchison’s exit the main story of this final table was that we had a couple amongst the final four as Lynskey and Rich are partners. At this stage it was Rich who was in the lead with almost four million of the 9,400,000 chips in play. The tournament would turn though on a fantastic call from Gomez in a huge pot against her.

She raised with [Jc][Th] and bet every street of a [7s][Qd][9d][2c][Ah] board setting Gomez in for a pot sized bet of around 1,400,000 on the river. The Spaniard tanked, tanked and tanked some more before making an excellent call with [Qc][Ts]. That pot was a real momentum swinger as it gave Gomez back the chip lead he’d lost and Gomez said of that hand “She was the chip leader, and everyone else had fairly even stacks, so I considered she might bluff open-ended straight draws and flush draws. If I win that pot, now I can open a lot of pots, so it’s risky, but it paid off!”

Minutes later though the momentum was with Burnhill when he eliminated Lynskey in a cooler of a hand. The Aussie found [Ah][Qs] and three-bet shoved, Burnhill had pocket jacks and flopped a set for good measure.

Ukipt5_edinburgh_main_event_day3_alex_lynskey.jpg

Lynskey – fell in fourth

So then there were three! Three handed play lasted for around 40 minutes with Gomez always in the ascendency and he had almost 60% of the chips in play when that final spectacular hand took place.

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Vamos!

Below is a reminder of how much everyone won at today’s final table. While they took the lion’s share of the prize pool, 55 players shared £49,660. For a full breakdown, please click here.

POS NAME COUNTRY STATUS PRIZE (£)
1 David Gomez Spain PokerStars Qualifier 49,660
2 Angelina Rich USA PokerStars Qualifier 31,490
3 Ben Burnhill United Kingdom PokerStars Qualifier 22,760
4 Alex Lynskey Australia PokerStars Qualifier 18,410
5 Dean Hutchison United Kingdom PokerStars Player 14,570
6 Dode Elliot United Kingdom   11,210
7 Michael McGee United Kingdom   8,340
8 Gary Laing United Kingdom   6,038

You can catch up on all today’s action by clicking here and here, but that’s it for the UKIPT in 2015. Our next event takes place in Dublin, February 10th-14th and online qualifiers to that event will commence on Tuesday. Thanks for reading, we’ll be back in 2016 for the final event of Season 5.

All photos are copyright of Mickey May

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UKIPT5 Edinburgh: Final table player profiles

UKIPT5 Edinburgh: Final table player profiles

Seat 1: Ben Burnhill, United Kingdom (PokerStars Qualifier)

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Ben Burnhill

Ben Burnhill is a 29 year old local player who fits poker around his job as a business analyst for an investment bank here in Edinburgh. He’s played since university (12 years ago), starting off in the Edinburgh Poker Society, then graduating to APAT and then larger events. This is his second UKIPT Main Event, although his memory of the first one is hazy as there was probably some “horrible bad beat story” to tell, even though he remembered the tour for its fantastic structure. Burnhill’s final table appearance represents his biggest live result to date, and he says he’ll be running on adrenaline as he’s, “More mentally knackered than I’ve ever been.”

Seat 2: David Gomez, Spain (PokerStars Qualifier)

Ukipt5_edinburgh_david_gomez.jpg

David Gomez

David ‘huelesabusto’ Gomez is one of a number of professional poker players who call England home. The 25-year-old lives in Manchester and says he plays a “bit of everything,” focusing mostly on cash games but also Spin and Gos and tournaments especially on Sundays. In October he finished runner-up in the Sunday Million winning $131,422. All told, that was a great month poker-wise for the Spaniard, who’s originally from Leon in the north of Spain, as he also finished fourth in the IPT Main Event at EPT12 Malta, which earned him a further €54,570. Before poker he studied telecommunications but needs to do a final project to end his degree; outside of poker he enjoys athletics and running, and when he was younger he competed in the discus at the Spanish championships.

Seat 3: Dode Elliott, United Kingdom

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Dode Elliot

Poker runs in Dode Elliott’s family – his brother Willie made the final table at UKIPT Nottingham this year, finishing 4th for £67,000. Now it’s Willie’s turn on the rail, watching his brother, who qualified for this event in a live satellite, take his shot at a UKIPT title after having come back from one big blind in his qualifier. Elliot, 44, from Galashiels, Scotland, has fond memories of the UKIPT Edinburgh, as he picked up his biggest cash here (£13,000 for winning the £330 Edinburgh Cup in Season 3). Elliott caught the poker bug from C4’s Late Night Poker, and is now a professional player.

Seat 4: Gary Laing, United Kingdom

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Gary Laing

Gary Laing is a 46-year-old site shift manager who lives in Fife and is currently enjoying a rich vein of poker form. At the end of October he won a £200 tournament in Dundee for £7,100 and is completely freerolling this event after winning not one, but two seats in satellites. The first was won in his regular pub poker league and the second on Tuesday night when he came to the casino to buy into this event. He hopped into a £55 satellite and won another seat! Laing’s been playing poker for around seven years and became interested after he saw it on TV. He says he plays more live poker than online and wherever he finishes today he’ll be back playing his pub poker game as usual. However, should he win today then he says he, the wife and their extended family, who number seven children, will spend some of the money on a holiday.

Seat 5: Alex Lynskey, Australia (PokerStars Qualifier)

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Alex Lynskey

Alex Lynskey, 25, hails from Australia where he’s racked up numerous live tournament cashes, including a 10th place finish in the $10,000 Aussie Millions Main Event back in January. His biggest prior result, however, came in July when he came 6th in a WPT Main Event for $135,504, and he’s spent the last two years travelling the world playing poker. Lynskey started off playing online, moving into live tournaments and has been a professional for three years. A fan of the 60-minute Day 2 clock on the UKIPT, Lynskey said of being seated next to his partner Angelina Rich, “It’s absolutely ridiculous!” In a good way, surely – they’re both guaranteed at least £6,038 for this stop on their ongoing world tour having qualified online on PokerStars.

Seat 6: Angelina Rich, USA, PokerStars Qualifier

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Angelina Rich

Angelina Rich, 25, is a professional poker player originally from Seattle, but currently on perma-tour of the world’s live poker events with her partner Alex Lynskey. Rich began playing poker while travelling in Australia, meeting some players who taught her the game – so well she soon went pro. Rich’s live results span seven countries over the last two years from Macau to Berlin, with her most recent cash recorded at EPT Malta in October. Her biggest live result to date came after a Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza win this June for $215,000. She has position on Lynskey and a stack which could be problematic for him, although both of them qualified online on PokerStars and are looking at a healthy return on investment.

Seat 7: Michael McGee, United Kingdom

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Michael McGee

Professional online poker player Michael McGee hails from Edinburgh where he specialises in 6-max cash games. He began playing poker with friends in high school before taking the play-money introduction to online poker and discovering the power of the learning buddy – in his case fellow Scotsman and UKIPT4 London champion Robbie Bull, with whom he flat-shared until quite recently. He also busted Bull in this very event earlier on! McGee found the game fascinating from the start and has turned an initial learning experience into a job which is mainly screen-based but has prepared him well for a shot at his first live title.

Seat 8: Dean Hutchison, United Kingdom (PokerStars Player)

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Dean Hutchison

Professional poker player Dean Hutchison, 28, is attempting a feat never before seen on the UKIPT – a title defence. Last year he picked up £93,900 for the win here in Edinburgh, and hopes for a repeat victory today. Residing in Glasgow, he makes local casino cash games his bread and butter, although is only recently back from Atlantic city. Rarely leaving the cash tables, Hutchison’s live tournament record is enviable; besides his win here last season he cashed in three other UKIPTs since and is playing this event as part of a prize package picked up when he won last season’s Champion of Champions event in London.

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David Gomez leads final 11 heading into UKIPT5 Edinburgh final day

David Gomez leads final 11 heading into UKIPT5 Edinburgh final day

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Gomez likes to lead from the front

That’s Day 2 of UKIPT Edinburgh in the books. It was a long one with ten one-hour levels and by the time the journey ended, 11 remained, ever so close to the final table. As the day rolled on a couple of great stories emerged and a bubble was burst, but first to the chip leader.

On Day 1B David Gomez used a fortunate start to help propel him to the end of day summit. Today the blog witnessed the other side of poker in his game. He snatched the lead off Alex Lynskey when the two battled in a pot in the dying moments but it was a pot he played on the bubble that stood out amongst all others today.

He raised to 8,500 and was only called by Chris Fox in the small blind. The flop fell [3c][9s][4d] and Fox led out for 18,000. Gomez called to the [4c] turn where he bet 38,000 when Fox checked to him. Fox called and then led for 58,000 on the [5d] river but was soon shoved for his remaining 230,000. When Fox folded Gomez couldn’t help himself and opened [ah][6c] for ace high. That’s poker right there, folks. He’ll take 1,540,000 through to tomorrow and leads the following players:

Name Country Status Chips
David Gomez Spain PokerStars Qualifier 1,540,000
Alex Lynskey Australia PokerStars Qualifier 1,341,000
Benjamin Burnhill United Kingdom PokerStars Qualifier 1,144,000
Alan Brown United Kingdom   995,000
Gary Laing United Kingdom   720,000
Angelina Rich USA PokerStars Qualifier 706,000
Michael McGee United Kingdom   693,000
Donald Elliot United Kingdom   687,000
Dean Hutchison United Kingdom PokerStars Player 631,000
Thomas Pearn United Kingdom   472,000
Dara O’Kearney Ireland PokerStars Qualifier 408,000

The last time the UKIPT was in town was in January 2014, for Season 4’s Scottish leg, it was won by Dean Hutchison to keep the title on home soil. In the tour’s history no player has come back and defended his title, although there’s have been some near misses, but Hutchison has that chance tomorrow. He’s below average but we all know that anything can happen in this game.

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Can Hutchison make history tomorrow?

Alex Lynskey made a good fist at topping the end of day counts once the tournament was drawn onto it’s last two tables. Up until that point, he and girlfriend Angelica Rich – who are up from Australia and have been travelling around Europe for the past two months – had been kept apart. Rich was the first player to pass a million chips but her stack dipped once Lynskey was on her right, let’s hope he’s doesn’t have to sleep on the floor tonight!

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A head up couple battle would make for interesting viewing!

The bubble bust in the third level of the day and, despite some interesting hands that almost ended in showdown, the first all in and call got the job done and made 55 players in the room happy. Benjamin Burnhill opened from early position with ace-ten and Ross Findlay called all in with ace-seven. The flop ran blank and Findlay shook his opponent’s hand, welcomed the round of applause he received and made his exit.

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Findlay (left) took bubbling well

The next few hours of play saw a steady stream of players busting, winning more and more money as time passed. Overnight chip leader Kevin Whelan found life at the baize more tricky today but he secured a cash, busting in 43rd; Dominik Nitsche recovered from a micro stack to cash before going in 39th; Jamie Ellwood, Jonathon Prested and Ben Jenkins all enjoy each other’s company so decided to bust 36th, 34th and 33rd; Kyle Maguire was sent on his way by buddy Hutchison and Andrew Teng got lucky to double once but not a second time, and went in 20th.

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Nitsche cashed on ‘home’ soil

The final day starts at midday once more tomorrow and play will continue until a winner is crowned. Here’s how much the players who make the official final table can win:

POS PRIZE (£)
1 49,660
2 31,490
3 22,760
4 18,410
5 14,570
6 11,210
7 8,340
8 6,038

To catch up on all today’s exciting action, click on the links below:

Level 13-18 updates.
Level 19-22 updates.

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All photos are copyright of Mickey May. Her new camera has features you don’t want to know about, so you better credit her if you use her pictures.

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UKIPT5 Edinburgh Day 2: Level 19 updates (5,000/10,000 ante 1,000)

UKIPT5 Edinburgh Day 2: Level 19 updates (5,000/10,000 ante 1,000)

8:45pm: Hoong left out in the cold
Dode Elliot was kind enough to fill the blog in on the unfortunate demise of Oliver Hoong in 23rd place.

Apparently he completed in the small blind with seven-five and Dean Hutchison checked his option in the big blind with [8h][4h]. The flop fell 5-6-7 with two hearts. Obvious carnage ensued and the turn and river were bricks.

The defending champion’s stack grew to around 460,000 after that gift from the poker gods. — MC

8:35pm: Wu’s queens cracked, Rich now the richest in the room
There’s never been a female champion on the UKIPT, but Angelina Rich might just break that hoodoo as she’s the chip leader here in Edinburgh.

She assumed that position by eliminating Colin Wu in a pot worth just over 400,000. The action was started by Christopher Fox, he made it 22,000 but then paid more attention to his phone than the rest of the hand. He was flat called by Rich and Wu then moved all-in for 204,000 on the button.

Back on Fox he flicked his cards into the muck and after getting a count, Rich made the call.

Rich: [9h][9s]
Wu: [Qd][Qh]

The [7c][6c][9d][4d][Kd] board eliminated Wu and left Rich feeling a touch sheepish, she’s up to 1,050,000 after that hand. Meanwhile Oliver Hoong and Valerie Gray have also been eliminated. 21 players remain. –NW

8:25pm: Seat draw for the final 24

Table Seat Name
1 1 Roberto Morelli
1 2 Christopher Robertson
1 3 Thomas Pearn
1 4 Alan Brown
1 5 Dara O’Kearney
1 6 Valerie Gray
1 7 Lukas Dimsa
1 8 Harry Lodge
     
Table Seat Name
2 1 Chris Fox
2 2 Mike McGee
2 3 Thomas Pearn
2 4 Angelina Rich
2 5 Andrew Teng
2 6 Colin Wu
2 7 Gary Laing
2 8 Benjamin Burnhill
     
Table Seat Name
3 1 Oliver Hoong
3 2 Dean Hutchison
3 3 David Gomez
3 4 Xiao Yang Luo
3 5 Alex Lynskey
3 6 Dariusz Marcinkowski
3 7 Javier Rodriguez
3 8 Dode Elliot

8:10pm: Chip counts
Here are the chip counts of the final 24 players in the UKIPT Edinburgh Main Event

Name Country Status Chips
David Gomez Spain PokerStars Qualifier 850,000
Michael McGee United Kingdom   785,000
Benjamin Burnhill United Kingdom PokerStars Qualifier 680,000
Donald Elliot United Kingdom   620,000
Alex Lynskey Australia PokerStars Qualifier 580,000
Gary Laing United Kingdom   518,000
Angelina Rich USA PokerStars Qualifier 495,000
Chris Fox United Kingdom   470,000
Colin Wu United Kingdom   452,000
Dariusz Marcinkowski Poland PokerStars Qualifier 450,000
Javier Rodriguez United Kingdom PokerStars Qualifier 435,000
Dara O’Kearney Ireland PokerStars Qualifier 405,000
Dean Hutchison United Kingdom PokerStars Player 365,000
Roberto Morelli Italy   315,000
Lukas Dimsa Lithuania   255,000
Thomas Pearn United Kingdom   250,000
Oliver Hoong United Kingdom   240,000
Paul Corrigan United Kingdom   215,000
Alan Brown United Kingdom   210,000
Christopher Robertson United Kingdom   210,000
Andrew Teng United Kingdom   210,000
Valerie Gray United Kingdom   195,000
Xiao Yang Luo China   170,000
Harry Lodge United Kingdom PokerStars Qualifier 76,000

8:05pm: Tomasz Raniszewski out in 25th; three table redraw
Tomasz Raniszewski has had another deep run on the UKIPT but it’s just ended in 25th place and like Christopher Irvine he lost two pots in quick succession to bust.

In the first he opened to 20,000 with [Ad][Th] and was priced in to call when Xiao Yang Luo shoved for 80,000 total. Unfortunately for him Luo had [Ah][Qs] and the dominating ace stayed in front on the [Td][4h][Qc][5s][4d] board.
This left Raniszewski with about 65,000 and they went in soon after with [8s][5s] but it was a case of swing and a miss as Oliver Hoong took him out with [Kd][Th] on a [2h][8d][3c][Jc][Ts] board.
There will now be a short break whilst the tournament staff conduct a redraw of the final 24 players. –NW

8:02pm: Irivne out to Fox
Christopher Irvine just lost back to back pots to Chris Fox to bust in 26th place. In the first it was Fox at risk, he three-bet shoved for 189,000 with [7s][7h] and Fox, who had raised to 20,000, called off the extra with [Ad][Qh]. The [4h][3s][2d][8s][6c] board stayed the right kind of low for Fox.

That left Irvine with about 80,000 and this time it was he who three-bet shoved over an open and Fox who called off the extra. Irvine was at risk with [Th][8h] and needed some help against Fox’s [Ac][5c]. Unfortunately for him the [4c][Qd][Ah][7h][5s] board didn’t bring it. – NW

8pm: Payouts so far
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Kyle Maguire – 29th place

POS NAME COUNTRY STATUS PRIZE (£)
28 Marc Bedwell United Kingdom PokerStars Qualifier 1,765
29 Kyle Maguire United Kingdom PokerStars Qualifier 1,765
30 Dominik Fabjanczuk Poland PokerStars Qualifier 1,765
31 John Aitken United Kingdom   1,765
32 Einar Einarsson Iceland PokerStars Player 1,510
33 Ben Jenkins United Kingdom Full Tilt Poker Ambassador 1,510
34 Jonathon Prested United Kingdom   1,510
35 Aaron Spence United Kingdom PokerStars Qualifier 1,510
36 Jamie Ellwood United Kingdom   1,510
37 Kristian Johansson Sweden PokerStars Qualifier 1,510
38 Kim Clay USA PokerStars Qualifier 1,510
39 Dominik Nitsche Germany   1,510
40 Neil Irving United Kingdom PokerStars Qualifier 1,255
41 Tom Noble United Kingdom   1,255
42 Chris Fiedler Austria   1,255
43 Kevin Whelan United Kingdom PokerStars Qualifier 1,255
44 John McDevitt United Kingdom   1,255
45 Yew Kah Ooi United Kingdom PokerStars Qualifier 1,255
46 Patrick Weifels Germany PokerStars Qualifier 1,255
47 Paul Fowler United Kingdom PokerStars Qualifier 1,255
48 Orpen Kisacikoglu Turkey   1,255
49 Mateusz Zbikowski Poland PokerStars Player 1,255
50 Paul Otto United Kingdom   1,255
51 Denis Rosanov Marinov Bulgaria   1,255
52 Grant Smith United Kingdom   1,255
53 Esben Gunther Norway   1,255
54 Gavin McGuire United Kingdom   1,255
55 Joseph McGinley United Kingdom PokerStars Qualifier 1,255

7:50pm: Play resumes with a happy Elliot
The players are back in their seats for the last four levels of the day. One man who must’ve enjoyed his dinner more than most was Dode Elliot,after scored a huge double up to around 600,000 just before the break started.

He opened to 18,000 (bb 8,000) from middle position before Dean Hutchison three-bet to 42,000 from the small blind. Colin Wu was in the big blind and called before Elliot four-bet to 150,000. Hutchison folded but Wu set Elliot all in for his 281,000 and was snapped off.

Wu: [9c][9s]
Elliot: [ad][ac]

The board ran [6d][kd][2s][6c][4d] and Elliot breathed a sigh of relief. — MC

UKIPT_Edinburgh_Generic_2015_MickeyMay_83099.jpg

Fancy playing a UKIPT? There are always plenty of online satellites, click here to get an account.

PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT5 Edinburgh: Marc Convey and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May

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UKIPT5 Edinburgh Day 2: Level 13 updates (1,200/2,400 ante 300)

UKIPT5 Edinburgh Day 2: Level 13 updates (1,200/2,400 ante 300)

12:30pm: Good start for Whelan
Being chip leader after Day 1 is often said to be a curse but overnight chip leader Kevin Whelan is off to a good start on Day 2 and has already eclipsed the 300,000 chip mark. He’s built his start of day stack of 272,000 up to 315,000 during the opening 30 minutes of play. –NW

12:20pm: Andrew Beuken and more depart
As always on Day 2, the start is filled with dealer calls of, “Seat open, table…”

Andrew Beuken heard that cry from table 11 after he was eliminated by Anthony Singh, the player who caused his opponents all sorts of troubles on Day 1A.

Mudasser Hussain opened to 5,000 before Beuken three-bet all in for 34,000. Sing was in the big blind and snap called after looking down at his hand. The speed of the call was enough for Hussain to fold sevens.

Beuken: [ad][kc]
Hussain: [as][6s]

The board ran [9s][jh][6h][6d][8s] to make Hussain trips.

Other to feel that pain today are: Noel Donaldson, Michelle Bennett, Philipp Oehmke, Edgaras Barisauskas, Paul McHenry and Toby Hariefeld. — MC

12:05pm: Chantler finds decent spot; busts
Gareth Chantler was the first player to exit today but as he explained, his exit hand played itself and he said: “It was a decent spot.”

It was Dean Hutchison – the defending champion – who did for him, the Scotsman opened with pocket sevens, Chantler shoved for 27,700 with [A][Q] and was drawing dead after a [8][7][2] flop. — NW

12:02pm: Shuffle up and deal
Cards are in the air the air for Day 2.

11:50am: The march to the money begins
Despite a light dusting of snow falling last night in Edinburgh there was a request earlier this morning from a player asking if he could wear shorts in the card room. You see, whilst it might be cold outside, inside it’s going to be clement. Day 2 is always moving day on the UKIPT as stacks grow and people sweat the bubble.

101 players still retain an interest in this tournament and 55 of them with cash for a minimum of £1,255. Stacks currently range from 110+ big blinds to less than two, and whilst Kevin Whelan’s chip leading stack of 272,000 is mightily impressive at the end of today’s 10 allotted levels that will equate to just over 11 big blinds. There are plenty of notables still in the field, including Team PokerStars Jake Cody who’s got a stack of 62,600.

Ukipt5_edinburgh_main_event_day1b_jake_cody.jpg

Cody is chasing an eleventh Main Event cash

In short today we expect lots of action, plenty of big pots and some heartbreak along the way. You can see the start of day seat draw here and the overnight chip counts here. Play is due to start at noon.

Fancy playing a UKIPT? There are always plenty of online satellites, click here to get an account.

PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT5 Edinburgh: Marc Convey and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May

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David Gomez off to fast start at UKIPT Edinburgh as he tops Day 1B field

David Gomez off to fast start at UKIPT Edinburgh as he tops Day 1B field

Ukipt5_edinburgh_main_event_day1b_david_gomez.jpg

David Gomez – Day 1B chip leader

If Day 1A was the amuse-bouche, Day 1B was definitely a much anticipated starter as 260 poker players hungry for a UKIPT title rocked up to the Genting Club casino in Edinburgh for 12 levels of spicy action. Between them, the two no shows and the 115 players who entered this tournament on Day 1A they created a juicy prize pool of £255,983. The powers that be ran the numbers through the Centrally Automated Stars Hub (C.A.S.H Machine) and it was decreed that min-cash in this event will be worth £1,255, that the loser of the final hand on Sunday will collect £31,490 and the winner of this event will take home £49,660, a trophy and don’t forget about the novelty cheque. You can see the entire payout breakdown here. Ukipt5_edinburgh_main_event_day1b_Dariusz Marcinkowski.jpg

A marvellous day for Marcinkowsk

As the saying goes, you can’t win a tournament on Day 1, but whilst that’s unequivocally true when a tournament is four days long, you can undeniably build a great platform for a deep run during the opening stanza. No one enhanced their chances of being here at the business end of the tournament today better than David Gomez. He ended the day with a bag-busting 262,700, which is slightly less than Day 1A’s chip leader Kevin Whelan, who amassed 272,000. The Spaniard cracked aces with kings early on and never looked back as he built and built throughout the day. The likes of Denis Rosenov Marinov (218,400), Javier Rodriguez (208,600) and Dariusz Marcinkowski (175,000) will also sleep soundly tonight, as they all put in a decent shift at the tables and were handsomely rewarded for it. Ukipt5_edinburgh_main_event_day1b_jake_cody.jpg

An up and down day for Cody

There was just one representative of Team PokerStars in the field today and it was Mr UKIPT himself as Jake Cody flew the flag with pride. With 10 cashes in UKIPT/UKIPT Series Main Events he’s second only to Thomas Ward in that chart (Ward also played today). Despite that impressive record it’s fair to say that Cody has enjoyed a number of frustrating opening days on this tour in recent memory where he’s found himself constantly grinding a shortstack. Today though was not one of those days.


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He quickly grew his starting stack of 25,000 to 30,000 and padded it further until he lost a 100,000 chip pot. “I got it in with the nut flush draw against top pair and a flush draw on a [Js][8s][6s] flop and missed,” he told the PokerStars Blog. The triple crown winner later won two flips to recover to an end of day 62,600 and chasing a 11th Main Event cash. The aforementioned Ward, who has 12 to his name so far, will also be back with a stack of 57,300. Other notables who made it through include: Andrew Ferguson (109,600), Alex Lynskey (86,800), Andrew Teng (79,000), Seth Webber (70,800), Ben Jenkins (56,600), and Gareth Chantler (28,000). Ukipt5_edinburgh_main_event_day1b_kev_butler.jpg

Butler – led the way for a while

Of course not everyone was as lucky, good – or more likely a combination of the two – as those above. It looked for a while like we might have a fairytale story on the UKIPT as Kev Butler stormed into an early lead, growing his stack to 135,000 at the mid-point of day after picking up queens and knocking out two opponents who both had ace-king. The PokerStars qualifier had got into this event for just £10 in a 3x-Turbo re-buy satellite and had managed to win his seat without re-buying or adding on. A hat tip to Ward for unearthing this story and letting the PokerStars Blog know about it. Unfortunately for Butler his stack came crashing down and he was eliminated before the end of play. He was in good company though as in the final throws of the day EPT12 Malta champion Niall Farrell was knocked out whilst earlier on the likes of Ludovic Geilich, Thomas Dunwoodie, Jamie O’Connor, Alan Gold, Steiner Edduson (one of ten players from Iceland in the field today!), Tom Hall, Chris Ferguson, Owain Carey, Jack Ellwood, Dan Stacey, Deborah Worely-Roberts, Kelly Saxby, Gordon Huntly, Pablo Gordillo, Fraser Macintyre, Vicente Delgado, Max Silver and two-time UKIPT champion Nick Abou Risk were also knocked out. Ukipt5_edinburgh_main_event_day1b_nick_abou_risk.jpg

Risk – might be back for tomorrow’s high roller

The 72 who did make it through will join the 29 survivors from Day 1A when play starts at noon on Saturday. The plan will be to play 10 one-hour levels which should get us down to the final two tables if not the final table. The overnight chip counts and seat draw will be posted on the blog overnight and also tweeted from the @PokerStarsBlog account. You can catch up with all today’s action by clicking on the links below, but for now so long, see you tomorrow. Levels 1-7 Levels 8-12 All photos are copyright of Mickey May, she hasn’t had her daily dose of Nandos today (other chicken based restaurants available) so will go clucking mad should you steal them without permission. Credit her and her eggcellent images if using them please.

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UKIPT5 Edinburgh Day 1B: Level 8 updates (400/800, ante 100)

UKIPT5 Edinburgh Day 1B: Level 8 updates (400/800, ante 100)

8pm: Teng’s stack almost tufat
Andrew “tufat’ Teng has emerged as one of the big stacks in the room since dinner break. He’s up to 158,000.

“I got them off him,” said Teng pointing at fellow British pro Jack Ellwood. The latter paused awkwardly for a moment and then broke into a smile. Ellwood only has 10,000 chips to play with so will be making moves sooner rather than later. — MC

7:55pm: Kelly Saxby doubles through Kev Butler
When you’re all-in and at risk, standing up always works (apart from when it doesn’t work) and it just proved successful for Kelly Saxby.

The American shoved for 10,300 from early position with [As][9h] and she got it through all but Kev Butler in the big blind who made a trivial call with pocket kings.

At this stage Saxby stood up, clocked that the PokerStars Blog was on the scene and jokingly ribbed that we were going to get her exit hand. The [Ah][9s][2d] flop connected squarely with her hand and Alex Ferguson playfully said: “Sit down.”
“It’s not over,” replied Saxby.

“Sit down,” echoed Deborah Worley-Roberts from an adjoining table (I don’t think she could even see the cards). The [6s] turn and [Ad] river further improved Saxby’s hand and she did now sit down. “You should never celebrate early,” said Saxby as she stacked her chips.

That hand drops Butler down to around 60,000, which is someway from his peak of 135,000. However, whatever happens it’s been a remarkable UKIPT Edinburgh already for Butler as he qualified for just £10 in 3x-Turbo re-buy satellite and managed to win his seat without a single re-buy or add-on. -Where else can you have this much fun for £10? — NW

Ukipt5_edinburgh_main_event_day1b_kelly_saxby.jpg

Saxby hit a house to survive

7:47pm: The king is dead, long live the king
The most recent UKIPT winner, Dan Stacey, is no more, so they’ll be no back-to-back champion here in Edinburgh.

The action folded to him in mid position and moved all in for around 8,500. Reece Barnes was sat on the button and only had twice as much as the Isle of Man champion but found a hand to move all in with as well. The blinds folded and the cards were flipped up.

Stacey: [qs][jh]
Barnes: [ac][kd]

The board ran [4c][9s][8h][7h][5h]. Stacey left without a word spoken. –MC

7:30pm: Winner of UKIPT Edinburgh to receive £49,600
A total of 260 players elected to play Day 1B of the UKIPT Edinburgh Main Event, add them to the 115 who played yesterday and two players who were no shows and the total number of runners for this event is 377.

Between them they created a prize pool of £255,983 which will be shared between the top 55 finishers. The winner will take home £49,600 whilst a min-cash is a not to be sniffed at £1,255. You can see the full payout structure below.

POSITION NAME COUNTRY STATUS PRIZE
1       £49,660
2       £31,490
3       £22,760
4       £18,410
5       £14,570
6       £11,210
7       £8,340
8       £6,038
9       £4,890
10       £4,050
11       £4,050
12       £3,510
13       £3,510
14       £3,100
15       £3,100
16       £2,790
17       £2,790
18       £2,530
19       £2,530
20       £2,530
21       £2,275
22       £2,275
23       £2,275
24       £2,020
25       £2,020
26       £2,020
27       £2,020
28       £1,765
29       £1,765
30       £1,765
31       £1,765
32       £1,510
33       £1,510
34       £1,510
35       £1,510
36       £1,510
37       £1,510
38       £1,510
39       £1,510
40       £1,255
41       £1,255
42       £1,255
43       £1,255
44       £1,255
45       £1,255
46       £1,255
47       £1,255
48       £1,255
49       £1,255
50       £1,255
51       £1,255
52       £1,255
53       £1,255
54       £1,255
55       £1,255

Ukipt5_edinburgh_main_event_day1b_chips.jpg

Win all of these, win the tournament. Simples.

UKIPT5 Edinburgh key facts:
– 25,000 starting stack
– Blinds starting at 50/100 for 250 big blinds
– Levels are 45 minutes on Day 1 and they’ll be 12 of them. From Day 2 onwards levels increase to 60 minutes.
– A total of 29 players made it through Day 1A. The field will then combine for the first time on Saturday, before (hopefully) playing down to a final table and then to a winner on Sunday. Cue mad celebrations and swigging of Iron Bru from the trophy.
– No re-entry here, this is an old school straight freezeout.
– Full UKIPT5 Edinburgh schedule here.

Fancy playing a UKIPT? There are always plenty of online satellites, click here to get an account.

PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT5 Edinburgh: Marc Convey and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May

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UKIPT5 Edinburgh Day 1B: Level 1 updates (50-100)

UKIPT5 Edinburgh Day 1B: Level 1 updates (50-100)

12:40pm: Meanwhile in the secondary area…
As mentioned below play is split over two areas, we put a lot of thought into what to call the ‘other’ area and after much debating settled on ‘secondary area’! Genius!

Anyway, there are currently 11 tables in use in what is a brightly lit and spacious part of the casino (got to keep the photographer happy) and that will likely continue to grow as players take advantage of late registration, which is open until the end of level four which will be around 3.30pm.

Dotted amongst the tables are a host of familiar names, there’s online wizard Vicente Delgado, part of a strong Spanish contingent who live in London, a couple of tables along you’ll find Ben Jenkins. The Brit is resplendent in shirt and tie (top button still done up).

The liveliest table is though the one that contains Jonathan Rees, Andrew Ferguson and Deborah Worley-Roberts. The American usually has a booming voice that you can’t help but be drawn to, However she’s decidedly croaky today due to a recent work trip. The three players were discussing the players hotel – which is right next to Edinburgh Zoo – and Ferguson, who lives in the city said: “It’s nice to be near the pandas and all, but I wouldn’t even class that area as being in Edinburgh!”

Elsewhere in that section Harry Lodge and Mike Panteli are settling in for a day at the tables. — NW

12:30pm: It’s a biggie today
The tournament room at the Genting Casino here in Edinburgh is split over two different areas and both are in use today due to the larger field size. At the start of play yesterday only seven tables in the main tournament were in use. All 15 are in use at the start of play and have been organised in a way that makes it much easier to navigate around, making everyone a lot happier.

A few faces already in their seats include Thomas Ward, Kelly Saxby, Alex Ferguson, Diego Gomez and Scott Katelan, who’s come all the way from Seattle. — MC

12:15pm: Shuffle up and deal
Cards are in the air for Day 1B. — MC

11:55pm Start delayed
The start of play has been pushed back until 12:15pm.

11:45am: Welcome to UKIPT5 Edinburgh Day 1B
A total of 115 players played on the first flight yesterday, but judging by the line at the registration desk this morning, that number should be a lot bigger for today’s second flight.

Kevin Whelan ended Day 1A as chip leader on a massive 272,000, closely followed by Michael McGee on 269,600. The only other player over 200k was Roberto Morelli (204,700) and if anyone Day 1B players hope to reach that mark they’re going to need a fair bit of skill, sprinkled with a dusting of luck.

8G2A9611_EPT12MAL_Niall_Farrell_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Farrel after his big win

The skill part we have covered. You want EPT champions? We’ve got them in the shape of Team PokerStars Pro Jake Cody and Niall Farrell. The latter is the most recent EPT champion after he won the Malta stop last month for €534,330 and “Firaldo87” kept up the good form by coming sixth in this week’s Super Tuesday for $21,420. You want UKIPT champions? We’ve got those covered too. Buddies, Max Silver and Nick Abou Risk, are travelling over from Dublin together and have three tour, and a High Roller title, between them. Those four will be joined by a bunch of other players all capable of reaching those dizzy heights.

Up bright and early for #UKIPTEdinburgh day1b!

— Jake Cody (@JakeCody) November 20, 2015

Cards will be in the air in 15 minutes so join us back here then. — MC

UKIPT5 Edinburgh key facts:
– 25,000 starting stack
– Blinds starting at 50/100 for 250 big blinds
– Levels are 45 minutes on Day 1 and they’ll be 12 of them. From Day 2 onwards levels increase to 60 minutes.
– A total of 29 players made it through Day 1A. The field will then combine for the first time on Saturday, before (hopefully) playing down to a final table and then to a winner on Sunday. Cue mad celebrations and swigging of Iron Bru from the trophy.
– No re-entry here, this is an old school straight freezeout.
– Full UKIPT5 Edinburgh schedule here.

Fancy playing a UKIPT? There are always plenty of online satellites, click here to get an account.

PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT5 Edinburgh: Marc Convey and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May

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UKIPT5 Edinburgh Day 1A: Level 8-9 updates (500/1,000 ante 100)

UKIPT5 Edinburgh Day 1A: Level 8-9 updates (500/1,000 ante 100)

7:50pm: Kane drops some
Michael Kane, who’s fuelled up with Nandos (other spicy chicken outlets available), has dropped some chips since returning from dinner break. He just ran into ace-king and dropped to 21,500.

Michael Mcgee opened from the cutoff and Kane peeled from the big blind to see a [7d][ks][td] flop appear. McGee continued for 1,800 and Kane check-called to the [jc] turn where he faced a 4,900 bet. Kane called again before both players checked the [8s] river. Before Kane had the chance to open, Mcgee showed [ad][kc] and Kane mucked. Mcgee saw his stack rise to around 65,000.

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 500/1,000, 100

7:35pm: Ng takes down first event of the festival
Whilst the Main Event won’t finish until Sunday, there’s already been one champion crowned here in Edinburgh. A £150 six-max NLHE turbo kicked off the festival last night and it attracted a total of 53 runners. When all was done and dusted Stephen Ng reigned supreme, taking the title, trophy and £2,431. Seven players got paid including Gordon Huntly and UKIPT4 Edinburgh champion Dean Hutchison.

UKIPT5 Edinburgh Event #1
Event Name: UKIPT5 Edinburgh 6-Max Turbo
Buy-in: £150 + £15
Players: 53
Total prize pool: £7,711

Results:
1. Stephen Ng, £2,431
2. Richard Visser, £1,750
3. Gary Gracey, £1,120
4. Mark Wood, £850
5. Michael McMahon, £655
6. Gordon Huntly, £500
7. Dean Hutchison, £405

Ukipt5_edinburgh_main_event_day1a_stephen_ng.jpg

Stephen Ng – pictured in today’s Main Event

7:25pm: Kennedy gets one through
Little action of note to report but Dennis Kennedy just got a shove through not one, not two but three opponents.
In the hand in question there was a raise from under-the-gun, Rhys Silverstein smooth called from the cut off, the small blind came along too and Kennedy then shoved for 19,200 from the big blind.

He didn’t have to sweat too hard as all his opponent’s folded their cards fairly swiftly. — NW

7:20pm: They gone
Defeat was tough to digest for: Rupert Elder, Wai Kiat Lee, Stephen Ng, Omid Nikjeh, Richard Jones, Patrick Eagers, Richard Kaura, Leon Louis, Stuart McNally, Phillip Rohrer, Chris Ralston and Norbert Bobra.

7:10pm: Nice turn of events for Cheema
UKIPT5 champion Rapinder Cheema has reached the dizzying heights of 48,000 after he eliminated Sunil Moti in a hand that could hardly have gone any better for him.

He raised to 2,500 from hijack and Moti was the only caller from the small blind. The flop fell [qc][ad][ac] and both players checked to the [jc] turn. Moti led for 2,500 there and for 2,500 on the [2h] river. Cheema called the first bet and then set Moti all in for his last 12,000 on the river. Moti double-fist called, stood up and tabled [ah][9c] for trip aces. It wasn’t good though as Cheema opened [js][jd] for a turned full house and took the pot along with the scalp. — MC

6:55pm: Big stacks
As level eight gets under way these are the players who are currently ‘bossing it’ here in Edinburgh:

Kevin Whelan, 107,000
Anthony Sinott, 99,000
Grant Smith, 98,200
Davie Gallacher, 92,700
Roberto Morelli, 91,000
Kyle Maguire, 88,200
Mark Baxter, 81,300
Toby Hariefeld, 72,500
Dominic Nitsche, 71,000

Ukipt5_edinburgh_main_event_day1a_kevin_whelan.jpg

Whelan’s off to a fantastic start


Fancy playing a UKIPT? There are always plenty of online satellites, click here to get an account.


PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT5 Edinburgh: Marc Convey and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May

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UKIPT5 Edinburgh Day 1A: Level 1 updates (50/100)

UKIPT5 Edinburgh Day 1A: Level 1 updates (50/100)

12:15pm: Sevens tables to start
Seven tables are currently in use so far, but that number will continue to grow as players arrive and let their presence be known.

As we’ve already written, defending champion Dean Hutchison has already taken his seat, obviously keen to defend his title and, if he manages to do so, he’ll be the first player to do so on the UKIPT.
Leon Louis and Jacobus Visser had deep runs at UKIPT4 Edinburgh as well and are already sat down. Louis came 51st but Visser made it all the way to the final table where he finished 6th for £20,710. — MC

12pm: Cards in the air
Day 1A has started right on time, action is under way. –NW

11:50am: North of the border
We’re back in Edinburgh and it’s a new venue for the tour as the action this season will take place at the Genting Club Casino. Inside the casino there’s everything needed for a successful tournament and outside, should you bust, you’re right next to a Nandos. It’s a poker players dream location!

The Main Event carries a £700+£70 buy-in and this leg is a straight freezeout, no second chances here. But there could be a second win for Dean Hutchison, he’s already in the building and will be defending the title he won in Season 4. Back in January 2014, during heads-up play, he was one card away from elimination against Team PokerStars Pro’s Liv Boeree and we were one card away from the fastest UKIPT final table in history. The Scotsman rivered a straight though and the two then went back and forth for around two hours before Hutchison got over the line.

UKIPT_Edinburgh-8100_hutch.jpg

Hutchison and friends celebrate his victory

Day 1A is due to start at noon and will comprise of a dozen 45-minute levels meaning play should wrap up around 22.45 GMT.

UKIPT5 Edinburgh key facts:
– 25,000 starting stack
– Blinds starting at 50/100 for 250 big blinds
– Levels are 45 minutes on Day 1 and they’ll be 12 of them. From Day 2 onwards levels increase to 60 minutes.
– Day 1A is today, Day 1B takes place tomorrow, the field will then combine for the first time on Saturday, before (hopefully) playing down to a final table and then to a winner on Sunday. Cue mad celebrations and swigging of Iron Bru from the trophy.
– No re-entry here, this is an old school straight freezeout.
– Full UKIPT5 Edinburgh schedule here.
– There’s a live satellite to the Main Event tonight, it begins at 18.00 GMT and the buy-in is £100+£10

Fancy playing a UKIPT? There are always plenty of online satellites, click here to get an account.

PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT5 Edinburgh: Marc Convey and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May

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The UKIPT reaches Edinburgh

The UKIPT reaches Edinburgh

We’ll let our players decide which their favourite PokerStars events are. But few would doubt how magnificent a place Edinburgh is to play.

It’s with that back drop of culture and architecture which the UKIPT rolled into the Scottish capital today, with the festival opening with an undercard featuring a low stakes Turbo and a £100 + £10 freezeout into the Main Event, to be played at the Genting Club Casino at the Fountain Park Entertainment Centre.

For its part the Main Event, with a buy-in of £1000 + £100, begins tomorrow at 12 noon. That’s when Day 1A players will start their bid to repeat what Dean Hutchison did a little more than 18 months ago.

UKIPT_Edinburgh_heads_up_18nov15.jpgHeads up at UKIPT Edinburgh back in Season 4

That was the most recent visit the tour made to Edinburgh, back in January 2014. It proved a finale fitting an event with a £500,000 prize pool and a field of 427 players.


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It came down to a heads-up encounter between Hutchison and Team Pro Liv Boeree, one in which Hutchison found a miracle river card to turn the outcome upside down. Hutchison denied Boeree a second major title of her career, while picking up a winner’s check worth £93,900.

This will be the fifth visit for the festival, and a little digging around our UKIPT coverage page will lead you to results and stories from previous incarnations.

That coverage will commence tomorrow and the Main Event gets underway, continuing through to the final table on Sunday. Stay tuned to the PokerStars Blog for all the action.

That freezeout satellite we mentioned earlier starts at 8pm UK time tonight by the way. If you hurry you still have time to make it.


Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.

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Dale Garrad storms to victory at UKIPT5 Super Series for £28,300

Dale Garrad storms to victory at UKIPT5 Super Series for £28,300

The Hippodrome Casino staged the final of the UKIPT5 Super Series today and in just four swift hours Dale Garrad blitzed his way to the title, defeating Frenchman Julien Rouxel heads up to win the plaudits, trophy and £28,300 in prize money.

SuperSeries_London_DaleGarrad_2015_MickeyMay_81363.jpg

Garrad laughed and joked as he tore up the field

“I feel exhausted but great,” he said with a beaming smile following his win. “It’s nice to get some recognition for being able to play poker.”

Three unrelenting days of poker preceding the final had condensed the field to 8 remaining players – lined up as follows.

Name Country Chipcount
Dale Garrad United Kingdom 1640000
Julien Rouxel France 1516000
Andrey Veselov Russia 1116000
Steve Critchley United Kingdom 786000
Alexander Kaczmarek United Kingdom 704000
Andy Purser United Kingdom 630000
Sebastien Jung France 421000
Jorge Barcelo Spain 408000

The previous days of poker at the Super Series had been characterized by high quality, aggressive play and the final was no different.

Barely a hand was checked down, the players keen to stamp their authority on the table whenever possible.

View image

No shrinking violets on this final table

During the early exchanges , eliminations were at a premium, mainly as the shortstacks were running well at showdown, but that was all to change.

Sebastien Jung was the first of a rush of eliminations, the Frenchman busting out in 8th spot for £3,555 – the first of Garrad’s victims on the final.

Julien Rouxel had been incredibly busy in the early levels and so it was no surprise he took the next scalp – sending Spanish computer programmer Jorge Barcelo Cortes on his way in 7th for £4,840 – Cortes unlucky his superior straight draw bricked out.

Steve Critchley had earned himself an early double -up and when he eliminated Andy Purser in 6th place for £6,590 with a pair of tens, he was starting to look a genuine threat for the title.

Alex Kaczmarek found the final table tough going – unable to find too many spots, he saw his challenge fade in a still highly-creditable 5th spot for £8,710 – Garrad doing the damage with a dominating ace once more.

Critchley’s ascent up the leaderboard was halted by Russian Andrey Veselov – the advertising executive spiking a backdraw flush draw to win a huge pot and cripple him – an anguished, strangled scream from Critchley audible evidence of his pain.

He found himself unable to recover from this setback – ultimately crashing out in 4th place for £11,105 as he became a member of the ever-increasing “Busted by Garrad” club.

There had seemed an inevitability that the two most aggressive players over the final table – Julien Rouxel and Dale Garrad – would end up the two men contesting the trophy and so it proved – Veselov blinding down to a relatively low stack before running his fours into Rouxel’s pocket tens.

£13,760 was the Russian’s reward – leaving Rouxel and Garrad to blast it out between them.
“I get the feeling this won’t last long,” joked Garrad near the start of the heads-up and this slice of wisdom proved prescient as in less than one level he had turned round his starting deficit to best Rouxel and take the trophy down – Rouxel collecting £18,800 for his runner-up berth.

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Rouxel showed immense skill in his thrilling deep run

“He was a very good player,” Garrad said of his beaten opponent. “I just had to try and keep control of him.”

Asked about his plans later, Garrad was honest.

“I’m toying with the idea of getting drunk. I think that idea will win out!”

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Dale almost didn’t play – UKIPT history hinging on that momentous decision

It’s been an incredible four days here at The Hippodrome Casino. We’ve had a really exciting tournament, a riveting inferno of a final table and as usual the staff have played a huge part – putting in a massive effort to ensure the players have enjoyed their stay.

Huge congratulations to Dale Garrad – whose good humour and affability have won him many friends – and whose poker skill has won him many shekels.

We’ll be back on the tour for the Edinburgh leg of the UKIPT 19th November – 22nd so if you fancy trying to emulate Garrad’s achievement, there’s your opportunity.

That’s it from us for now though – thanks for following our coverage. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

To read updates from the final table, click here.

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UKIPT5 Super Series London Final Table: Level 23-24(15,000/30,000/4,000)

UKIPT5 Super Series London Final Table: Level 23-24(15,000/30,000/4,000)

1.35pm: Rouxel applies pressure
Unperturbed by losing that early big pot versus Dale Garrad, Julien Rouxel has turned into a betting machine, applying pressure in a variety of spots and forcing folds from almost everyone entering a pot with him.

It’s interesting as the players know if they get in a tangle with the Frenchman, their tournament life could well be on the line…

1.32pm: Champagne reception
The players have all been given a glass of champagne to celebrate their final table appearance. Bottoms up!

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 10,000-20,000-3,000

1.15pm: First blood Dale
You sense Dale Garrad and Julien Rouxel will have some intense battles out there today. The pair were at each other’s throats yesterday and the early going suggests more of the same is in the offing.

Moments ago, Garrad limped in from the small blind on Rouxel’s big blind. Check from the Frenchman.

The [As][Kc][3d][4s][Qs] board saw Garrad lead for 25,000 flop, 42,000 turn and 81,000 river, where Rouxel suddenly raised to 305,000.

Many people would have baulked at calling such a large portion of their stack but Garrad is made of sterner stuff than most, insta-calling with [As][8c] for top pair.

ROuxel tabled [Kd][7c] having turned his second pair into an unsuccessful bluff.

“Nice snap-call,” said Rouxel with a wry smile.

“It’s too early for that!” Garrad replied. Garrad up to 2 million, Rouxel takes a hit – down to 1.1 million.

1.06pm: Cards in the air
The players have been buffed, photographed, and are on their way.

Let’s see how this final plays out…

The Final Table
Welcome to The Hippodrome Casino for the final table of the UKIPT5 Super Series London!

We’ve seen three fierce days of poker play out – the 291-strong field whittled down to these final eight competitors ready to vie for the trophy.

Here’s how those players will line-up at the start of play.

Name Country Chipcount
Dale Garrad United Kingdom 1640000
Julien Rouxel France 1516000
Andrey Veselov Russian Federation 1116000
Steve Critchley United Kingdom 786000
Alex Kaczmarek United Kingdom 704000
Andy Purser United Kingdom 630000
Sebastian Jung France 421000
Jorge Barcelo Cortes Spain 408000

Dale Garrad will lead the finalists by a slender margin from Frenchman Julien Rouxel, though the stacks are in close enough proximity that any of these players could easily make a chage at the title with a fair wind behind them.

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To view full profiles of the final tablists, click here.

We’re moments away from the start. Good luck to all the combatants. May the best man win!

PokerStars Blog reporting team at PokerStars UKIPT5 Super Series: Rod Stirzaker. Photos courtesy of Mickey May.

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UKIPT5 Super Series Day 2: Dale Garrad heads final table

UKIPT5 Super Series Day 2: Dale Garrad heads final table

Day 2 of the UKIPT5 Super Series held the promise of a rich day of poker full of incident and so it proved – a classic day’s poker unfolding before our eyes as Dale Garrad, friend of PokerStars LIVE! at The Hippodrome Casino, translated his start of day chip lead into an an end of day chip lead – an impressively consistent performance.

92 players returned to The Hippodrome Casino’s poker arena with hope in their heart, a glint in their eye and swagger in their step but precious few would survive the frenzied start that saw a third of the field perish in the wake of the first few levels.

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Back to back end of day chipleader Dale Garrad

With the waters of variance frothing like a group of frenzied sharks feeding in a bubble bath, player after player was sent flying to the rail, the field shorn apart in quicksmart fashion during this tumultuous period.

39 players would receive monetary compensation for surviving the carnage the players became naturally more reluctant to commit their chips as the payment cut-off point approached.

Eventually Ergo Kalamees was the man to miss out on payment by the slenderest of margins – one of Julien Rouxel’s many victims of the day. Once the unfortunate Estonian had claimed the bubble for his own, the shackles were off and all-out war was resumed once more.

Jake Cody had come into the day with a shortish stack, but with the help of some useful cards and his usual high calibre of play, he began to look like a threat for the title.

His charge up the leaderboard took him well into the money but faltered prior to the latter stages. EPT commentator James Hartigan was another to make hay during the day and he too earned a berth within the cashspots before busting with a smile on his face.

“I thoroughly enjoyed it,” he beamed as he sauntered over to collect his hard-earned payday.

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Hartigan proving he can walk the walk

It was a less enjoyable experience for Chaz Chattha, the hitsquad member looking like making a run at the chip lead before a flush versus flush cooler against Julien Rouxel stopped him in his tracks 2 spots off the money.

Once the payments were assured, the earlier high attrition rate continued unchecked and in no time, the players found themselves nine-handed.

With the official final table just one elimination away, Kai Brown was the man to miss out – Russian Andrey Veselov polishing him off with aces.

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Rouxel will provide stern French resistance on the final table

That left the remaining eight players lined up as follows, Dale Garrad snatching the lead from fellow big stack Julien Rouxel right at the death:

Name Country Chip Count
Dale Garrad United Kingdom 1640000
Rouxel Julien France 1516000
Andrey Veselov Russian Federation 1116000
Steve Critchley United Kingdom 786000
Alex Kaczmarek United Kingdom 704000
Andy Purser United Kingdom 630000
Sebastian Jung France 421000
Jorge Barcelo Spain 408000

The final table will play out tomorrow at 1.00pm. The players will have the luxury of 50 minute levels to engage in and it should be an absorbing tussle for the title.

A UKIPT champion will be crowned and we can’t wait to see who it is. Join us as we find out who the latest man to taste UKIPT glory will be.

To read updates from levels 13-17, click here.

To read updates from level 17 onwards, click here.

For all the confirmed payouts and the final prize structure, click here.

PokerStars Blog reporting team at PokerStars UKIPT5 Super Series: Rod Stirzaker. Photos courtesy of Mickey May.

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UKIPT5 Super Series London Day 1B: Level 9-12 Updates(800/1,600/200)

UKIPT5 Super Series London Day 1B: Level 9-12 Updates(800/1,600/200)

7:13pm: Slipping on banana skins
As we enter the last level of Day 1B, Yue Tu and Dimitrios Leventis are the latest players to slip up just shy of the end of the day.

It’s a minefield out there. You can’t get away from the destiny fated for you.

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Anything can happen out there on the floor

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 1000-2000-300

6.55pm: End of days
We saw yesterday that the final level of the day can be a brutal affair with the blinds large – the stakes high and some aggressive players at the felt.

There are 41 players remaining as we head into the final level of Day 1B and we anticipate a fiery end – not least because some players will look at the potential of re-registering for Day 1C (beginning immediately after the end of this level) as a useful safety net should they fall afoul of the poker gods during this 30 minute period.

Hold tight – a storm may be brewing.

6:40pm: Top of the tree
Here are some of the players with big stacks at this stage –

Andrey Dimitrov Bulgaria 155000
Yin Ohn United Kingdom 98000
Nicholas Trattou United Kingdom 88000
Xiaoyang Luo China 82000
Chaz Chattha United Kingdom 75000
Andrew Purser United Kingdom 75000
Kelly Saxby USA 70000
Christopher Yong United Kingdom 67000
Dominic Wells United Kingdom 54000

6:22pm: Heroes at the felt
Kelly Saxby – Kelly goes from strength to strength – she’s up to 73,500 now, having sent David Wellings to the rail.

Wellings found himself short and jammed on Saxby’s big blind – Saxby calling with [As][6s].

“Oh that’s not good,” she pointed out as Wellings flipped queens, before a flop of [Ad][Th][3s][Ac][Ah] saw her make quads to send a laughing Wellings on his way with a rueful smile.

Andrey Dimitrov is the man everyone is chasing right now, the Bulgarian having accumulated a gargantuan 142,000 in chips – roughly three times average.

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Dimitrov likes chewing gum and stacking chips and he’s all out of gum

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 800-1600-200

6.03pm: All that glitters….
…is not Gould-en. Alex Goulder has just departed – his tale of woe delivered in typically upbeat fashion by the young British Pro.

Having lost a chunk of his stack with eights versus Queens, he found kings on the button and a sweet spot to increase his 10,000 stack.
The cut-off raised, Goulder re-raised and a player in the blinds now found ace-king, committing his chips.

Goulder made the call but on this occasion his luck didn’t hold, his opponent winning the 30% showdown to leave Goulder high and dry.

“No problem!” he cheerily noted as he melted into the cold October air.

5.45pm: Recent fallers
The following horses have all been gently shepherded toward the entrance of the glue factory.

Good game all.

Benjamin Heath
Jonas Ferrut
Benjamin Morrison
Vincent Pritchard
David Clarkson
Alejandro Perez Torres
Javier Gomez Zapatero
Philip Gregg

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 500-1000-100

Welcome back to the Hippodrome Casino for level 9 of the UKIPT Super Series Event.

There is a neat symmetry to the day, we are 2/3 of the way through and 1/3 of the players have been eliminated with 64 of the initial 100 starters still in contention.

Numbered amongst those still in contention are Jake Cody with a slightly sub-average stack of 28,000, Dominic Wells, who is showing why he has a string of results ehre at The Hippodrome Casino – he has 62,000.

Also going well is UKIPT regular Kelly Saxby – her 51,000 chips giving her a well above average stack at this point.

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Saxby knows her way round a UKIPT field.


To read updates from levels 1-8, click here.

PokerStars Blog reporting team at PokerStars UKIPT5 Series 2: Rod Stirzaker. Photos courtesy of Mickey May.

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UKIPT5 Super Series London Day 1A: Level 1-2 Updates(75/150)

UKIPT5 Super Series London Day 1A: Level 1-2 Updates(75/150)

8:10pm: The floor rules
There was a minor procedural dispute early on. Two players were heads up on the turn and the second player had bet out of turn.

“Floor” called the dealer and the Floor manager was called to adjudicate.

“The first player can make any bet, but if it is anything other than a check, ie the action changes, then the full range of options becomes open to the second player.”

There was some disagreement from the out of position player at the table but the rule was repeated and stood.

(He ended up folding to the bet after checking.)

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 75-150

7:55pm: Spotted in the crowd
Poker journalist cum editor cum talented grinder Duncan Wilkie has taken his place at the tables after a short sabbatical from the game.

From the fiery look in his eyes, it seems as though the old passion for the game has returned. Table 6 beware!

Also present is Hitsquad member Chaz Chattha. Chaz has an outstanding poker record peppered with impressive scores from around the globe. Can he add to his $1.3 million in tournament winnings here at the Hippodrome?

7.46pm: Fast and furious
25,000 chips may sound like a veritable mountain. No-one can go broke in the early levels surely?

Well, stranger things have happened. A set over set/ flush versus flush or similar cooler can put paid to someone’s chances in the blink of an eye. Those poker gods are unforgiving arbiters of fortune at times. In fact we have already lost one player! Details of this bustout as they arrive. Watch your backs players…

7.30pm: Cards in the air!
That’s it the dealers have been primed and the players have engaged battle. Good luck one and all!

UKIPT Super Series in effect!

Welcome to The Hippodrome Casino on this crisp autumn evening. As usual the West End of London is awash with wide-eyed tourists snapping selfies, revellers looking for a pre-weekend slice of fun amidst the bright lights and of course a slew of keen-as-mustard poker players looking to test their luck and skills at the felt here at this UKIPT Super Series.

Some of the more eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed an additional word slipping stealthily into the title of the event – the Super there to denote the fact that the buy-in is double that of the standard UKIPT series events.

Double the buy-in, double the prizes, double the drama. Yes we anticipate twice as much fun as a usual UKIPT Series event and there will be a fascinating four days ahead of us as we navigate our way through the tournament.

SuperSeries_London_2015_MickeyMay_78906.jpg

At this point, let’s run over some of the salient information:

The buy-in, as stated, is double that of the usual UKIPT Series events – £500, which should ensure a healthy prize pool once the full list of entrants are booked in and tallied.

There are three starting days – note that tomorrow, Friday 16th October has the honour of hosting two of these in their entirety – the first starting – XXX and the second at XXX – convenient for those who want to join in the fun without missing out on any time at their day job.

Cramming two full poker days into one standard earth day might seem to be a logistical task of gargantuan proportions, but it is made possible by the breezy 30 minute-levels. Play will be fast and snappy with no room to hide as the blinds circle the table chasing chips like pacman after dots.

Note however that day 2 will see the blinds rise to 40 minutes whilst the final will consist of 50 minute blinds – the structure accordioning out as the stakes rise – very fair.

The players all start with 25,000 chips – a giant stack allowing plenty of space to showcase their full range of poker skills.

We’re moments away from the scheduled 7:30pm start – with 57 players registered and rising…

The dealers and players are seated, the baton is raised and the orchestra are about to start playing.

Let this ride begin…

PokerStars Blog reporting team at PokerStars UKIPT5 Super Series: Rod Stirzaker. Photos courtesy of Mickey May.

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The UKIPT Super Series returns to London’s Hippodrome

The UKIPT Super Series returns to London’s Hippodrome

We’ve said this before but there’s no harm in saying it again: the Hippodrome Casino in central London is a great place to play cards.

It’s not just the quality of the poker room, complete with plush interior and top class dealers, it’s the place itself – a former theatre where your celebration or commiseration drink at the bar takes place against a backdrop as dramatic as the West End shows that used to pack the place to the rafters.

Hippodrome_pokerstars_7oct15.jpgThe Hippodrome in Central London

It’s why we like to keep the PokerStars Live room busy, and next week is no exception, with another UKIPT Super Series homepage event, starting on Wednesday.

Running from Wednesday to Sunday (14 to 18 October), the UKIPT Super Series features a £500 + £50 Main Event, as well as a £1,500 + £150 High Roller. Not only that we’re introducing a Women’s Event for the first time ever at a UKIPT Series event, with a £150 + £15 buy-in. Some might say that’s a small addition, but some of us prefer to take that to mean there’s a small place in the history books up for grabs.

If previous events are anything to go by Series events are a perfect place to play competitive poker, in a great poker room, for some great prizes. What’s more the Main event has three flights. If it doesn’t go well the first time you can play the second one (and the third if necessary), with players allowed to enter up to three times.

And if you’d rather go a slightly more affordable route there are satellites running on PokerStars, starting at as little as £1, details of which you can find in the PokerStars lobby.

It all takes place in the middle London in the Hippodrome in Leicester Square. Take the weekend to think about it but be ready for Wednesday. Find all the details you could possibly need on the UKIPT Super Series homepage. And if you need a PokerStars account to enter some of those satellites, you can sign up for one here.


Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.

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Dan Stacey wins UKIPT5 Isle of Man and £24,170

Dan Stacey wins UKIPT5 Isle of Man and £24,170

UKIPT5_IOM_Dan_Stacey_champion.jpg

Dan Stacey – your champion

Today’s UKIPT Isle of Man final table was a tale of two halves. The three-and-a-half hours it took to get from eight to two players and the four-and-a-quarter hours from there to crown a winner. When the dust settled 25-year old Dan Stacey came out on top after making a great comeback to claim the title and £24,170. Paren Arzoomanian represented all staff members well with a top performance and took home £19,000 for his runner-up finish.

When heads up play began Stacey only had a little more than 1.3 million chips (to 7.5 million) but quickly doubled with a set versus two pair. It was at that point that Arzoomanian offered an even chop deal even though he had more than twice his opponent. They’d both be guaranteed £19,000 and leave £5,170 to play for. It came as no surprise to see Stacey immediately accept the deal.

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Heads up play lasted over four hours

Arzoomanian stretched further clear again but he couldn’t finish off his opponent. Stacey doubled with pocket sixes versus ace-king and the stacks were close to even for the first time. The battle was back and forth for the next couple of hours – neither player could win when they had their opponent all in. Something had to give and it finally did just before 8pm local time.

The chips went in on the turn of a hand with Arzoomanian holding a straight to Stacey’s two-pair. The river made Stacey a full house and he shouted out in delight. The (mainly) Arzoomanian supporting crowd gave both players a big round of applause which was thoroughly deserved. Stacey spoke with the PokerStars blog shortly after his victory.

On being so far behind when heads up play began, “Things turned round and I got more confident.”

Stacey came sixth here two seasons ago and is growing fond of the place, “It feels like I should live here!”

This time he managed to finish off the job, “I wanted the trophy dead bad.”

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Arzoomanian so close to have the ultimate office bragging rights

Back to the start of the day and Arzoomanian came tearing out of the blocks and extended his lead. Elliott Hayes ran into his full house and that left him in a position with not a lot of wriggle room. He got his chips in with pocket sixes on an eight-high flop but Michael Fletcher was sat with pocket jacks, made the call, and eliminated Hayes.

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Elliot Hayes – eighth place

That exit opened the floodgates. Next to depart, just moments after, was James Walsh. The Irishman came into the final as the shortest stack and had just a few big blinds left when he moved all in with ace-jack. Arzoomanian woke up with pocket eights, called, and sent Walsh on his way after a blank board.

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James Walsh – seventh place

The extra chips gave Arzoomanian the license to open up and he used his stack very effectively, soon gathering half the chips in play. The one player willing to take him on was Stacey. The two tangled in a few pots with honours just about even. After they dominated the table’s play for a couple of orbits, there was another elimination before the first break and then three quick ones in a short space of time after the break.

Day 1B chip leader Chris Swinden was the first of the bunch to go. He flopped second pair in a three-bet pot against Stacey and decided to move all in. His timing was off though as Stacey had flopped top pair and made an easy call to send him to the rail. Swinden got a generous round of applause from the local crowd (in to play the day’s side events) but it was nothing compared to the reception John Lawson got after he busted.

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Chris Swinden – sixth place

He three-bet all in with ace-six but, unfortunately for him, Arzoomanian had opened with ace-queen and made the call. He went on to make two pair and Lawson seemed genuinely touched seeing a whole room of players put their hands together for him. He must be a damn good taxi driver round the local roads! A lovely side story is that Lawson has now won enough money to join his partner on her trip back to the Philippines to see her family – a promise he made if he made the final table.

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John Lawson – fifth place

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Rodger Reynolds – fourth place

Rodger Reynolds failed to get much going today and the first time he was all in he was all out. Stacey had opened the button with pocket sevens and he called after Reynolds moved all in with ace-three from the next seat. He failed to catch up and left with a five-figure payday for his troubles. Fewer than ten minutes later and the tournament was a heads-up affair after Fletcher was eliminated. He got his chips in with ace-ten in a battle of the blinds with Arzoomanian, who went on to make quads with his pocket sixes!

UKIPT5_IOM_Michael_Fletcher_FT.jpg

Michael Fletcher – third place

That’s all for the UKIPT’s visit to the homeland, the next stop will be the always-popular Edinburgh, taking place from 19-22 November. The UKIPT Super Series will be taking place before that though, once again being hosted by The London Hippodrome from 14-18 October. Satellites are already running online for both events so get involved.

We’ll leave with a highlights video that shows some of the fun things that have happened during our time here this week. Also, you’ll see who earned what today and a link to today’s coverage.

Position Name Country Status PRIZE
1 Dan Stacey United Kingdom PokerStars Qualifier £24,170
2 Paren Arzoomanian United Kingdom PokerStars Staff £19,000
3 Michael Fletcher United Kingdom   £12,560
4 Rodger Reynolds United Kingdom   £10,170
5 John Lawson Isle of Man   £8,020
6 Chris Swinden Isle of Man PokerStars Player £6,120
7 James Walsh Ireland PokerStars Player £4,500
8 Elliott Hayes United Kingdom   £3,307

Full payouts and all today’s action.

Photos copyright of Mickey May. Steal her pictures and she’ll take you up Snaefell and leave you there

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UKIPT Isle of Man Final table: Level 22 updates (cont, 10,000/20,000, ante 3,000)

UKIPT Isle of Man Final table: Level 22 updates (cont, 10,000/20,000, ante 3,000)

12:20pm: The rich get richer
Paren Arzoomanian just won the first significant pot of the day and as a result he’s extended his chip lead over the field.

He raised to 40,000 from mid-position and Elliott Hayes called from the cut-off. On the [Ad][Th][5d][2h][Ac] board Arzoomanian bet every street and Hayes called bets of 65,000, 130,000 and 250,000 on the flop, turn and river respectively.

At showdown Arzoomanian showed [Ah][5c] for a full house and Hayes mucked. — NW

12:07pm: Shuffle up and deal
Cards are in the air for the UKIPT Isle of Man final!

There are 24 minutes left of level 22 and then the players will head straight into level 23. — MC

11:55am: Eight into one doesn’t go…quietly
Eight players remain but only one can become UKIPT5 Isle of Man champion and scoop the first prize of £26,600. If you were a betting man (yes you!) your money today would be on Paren Arzoomanian. The 31-year-old who’s originally from Sydney, now calls the Isle of Man home as he works for PokerStars in the Poker Room Management department.

The former poker pro leads a final table that shapes up like this:

Seat Name Country Status Chips
1 Christopher Swinden Isle of Man PokerStars Player 515,000
2 Elliott Hayes United Kingdom   1,033,000
3 John Lawson Isle of Man   1,210,000
4 Daniel Stacey United Kingdom PokerStars Qualifier 1,714,000
5 Rodger Reynolds United Kingdom   715,000
6 Michael Fletcher United Kingdom   911,000
7 James Walsh Ireland PokerStars Player 220,000
8 Paren Arzoomanian United Kingdom   2,257,000

Check out these final table profiles we made earlier

Ukipt5_IOM_main_event_day2_paran_arzoomanian.jpg

Catch him if you can

There are a number of intriguing story lines at this final table. Dan Stacey finished sixth here in 2013 and will be looking to do better today, whilst John Lawson and Christopher Swinden will be hoping to keep the trophy on the Isle of Man. Whatever happens it’s going to be interesting.

Cards are in the air at noon, keep it right here for updates. — NW

PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT5 Isle of Man: Marc Convey and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May

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Paren Arzoomanian leads UKIPT5 Isle of Man Final Table

Paren Arzoomanian leads UKIPT5 Isle of Man Final Table

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Paren Arzoomanian leads the elite eight

If you’ve been in the Isle of Man this week you’ll know that this tournament has been billed as ‘PokerStars Official Home Game.’ Tomorrow there’s a strong possibility that the UKIPT5 Isle of Man Main Event trophy will not only be staying on the island, but also taking up residency in PokerStars HQ.

Three players in the final eight call the Isle of Man home and they include the chip leader. When play restarts at noon tomorrow Paren Arzoomanian, who works in Poker Room Management for the company, will be the one sitting with the biggest stack. He’ll start with 2,257,000 and a lead of some 25 big blinds over his nearest challenger.

The 31 year-old, who is originally from Sydney, is no office boy who dreams of giving up the day job to play poker, this is a professional poker player who gave up the day job to work for PokerStars. Before he did though he’d ticked off the ‘win a major poker tournament’ lifetime achievement. In 2009 he won the ANZPT Sydney Main Event for a staggering A$ 246,500 ($174,186). He played this tournament last year too and finished 35th for £2,000. If he wins tomorrow he’ll cash for over 13 times that as first prize is £26,600. He’s not the first PokerStars employee to go deep in this event with Chris Jonat (4th, 2013) and Ian Marmion (11th, 2014) the standard bearers.

This is how the final table shapes up:

Seat Name Country Status Chips
1 Christopher Swinden Isle of Man PokerStars Player 515,000
2 Elliott Hayes Jersey   1,033,000
3 John Lawson Isle of Man   1,210,000
4 Daniel Stacey United Kingdom PokerStars Qualifier 1,714,000
5 Rodger Reynolds United Kingdom   715,000
6 Michael Fletcher United Kingdom   911,000
7 James Walsh Ireland PokerStars Player 220,000
8 Paren Arzoomanian United Kingdom   2,257,000

To learn a bit more about the final eight click here.

The nearest challenger to Arzoomanian when play begins at noon tomorrow will be a player who knows what it’s like to make a final table in this event. Back in 2013 Dan Stacey finished sixth here and will be hoping to do better than that tomorrow. He was near the top of the chip counts for much of the day and had that potent combination of winning lots of small pots and then holding up in the big pots that mattered.

His aces held in a sizeable pot against Scott Byron’s pocket kings and he won a 1,600,000 pot with tens against ace-king pot to eliminate Nick Smith in 13th place. He was the first player to breach the two million chip mark before falling back to an end of day 1,714,000.

Ukipt5_IOM_main_event_day2_daniel_stacey.jpg

Another deep run for Stacey on the UKIPT

With ten one hour levels scheduled today the general consensus was that play would probably end with around 10-12 players left, but despite play being deep throughout when the final level of the night started just 11 players remained. That soon became nine when Christopher Knights (11th) and Joe Grech (10th) were eliminated.

When the unofficial final of nine started it was James Walsh who was the shortest. The Irishman had just over seven big blinds to his name, whilst Craig Sewell was next in the firing line with a stack of 17 big blinds and it would be he who blinked first.

His open shove with pocket eights was called by Michael Fletcher with [As][Qh] the [Qd][4d][7s][Jc][9c] board connected with Fletcher’s overcards and ended play for the day.

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Craig Sewell – out in ninth

The exit of Sewell in ninth was, of course, the second important bubble to burst today in the Main Event and Sewell would be involved in both incidents. At noon local time 97 hopefuls returned knowing that only 47 of them would be leaving with something to show for their efforts. By the time the tournament was down to the bubble, the likes of Christin Maschmann, Kelly Saxby, Daragh Davey, Dara O’Kearney, Team PokerStars SportStars Fatime Moreira de Melo and Team PokerStars Pro Chris Moneymaker had hit the rail.

Moreira de Melo’s exit meant that she was denied a UKIPT5 Isle of Man hat-trick, having finished in the money in both previous Isle of Man Main Events.

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It was third time unlucky for Moreira de Melo

The clock was paused with 48 players left but there would be no painful wait for those clinging to a few big blinds as on the very first deal of hand for hand play Dylan Coady, who works for PokerStars as the VIP Club Manager, lost a coin-flip to exit in the most painful spot in a poker tournament. The Canadian three-bet all-in with [Ac][9c] but lost the race against Sewell’s pocket sixes.

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Coady (seat six, seated) watches on as his fate is dealt

The bubble burst at 3:20pm local time but it would take over eight hours to reach the final table during which plenty of names and notables cashed but crashed: Luke Staudenmaier, a former poker pro turned PokerStars employee, was first out in the money earning £770. He was followed shortly later by Diego Gomez, the enigmatic Spaniard picked up the same payout for his 45th place finish. The last UKIPT champion in contention was also the last UKIPT champion as Bristol winner Pierrick Tallon battled his way to a 31st place finish, which earned the Belgian an Isle of Man flag and £990.

Ukipt5_IOM_main_event_day2_Pierrick_tallon.jpg

You can’t win them all Pierrick

It was also two UKIPT Main Event cashes in a row for Deborah Worley-Roberts. The American, who now lives Brighton, followed up her 18th place finish in Bristol with another deep run before busting out in 28th place for a cash of £1,057.50. Adrian Filiczkowski started in pole position today and the Day 1 chip leader managed to make the money but not the final table as he finished 26th, David Clarkson secured his fourth UKIPT Main Event cash of the Season but he’d probably trade them all for one deeper run as he added a 25th place finish to previous 42nd, 31st and 42nd place cashes on the tour.

David Hill was the Isle of Man’s best performer in Season 4 as he finished third in the Main Event and he racked up another cash this time round before falling in 20th. The Irish contingent has been a bit thin on the ground at this event but one of their best, David Lappin, scored another UKIPT Main Event cash and his highest finish to date before departing in 19th.

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Every cash counts Debs!

To catch up on all today’s action click the links below, join us for Sunday’s final table which starts at noon, here’s a reminder of what they’re playing for:

Position Prize
1 £26,400
2 £16,770
3 £12,560
4 £10,170
5 £8,020
6 £6,120
7 £4,500
8 £3,307

Levels 13-16
Levels 17-22
Prize pool and payout information

UKIPT_IsleOfMan_Firework_2015_MickeyMay_77038.jpg

All photos are copyright of Mickey May, don’t steal them, it’s bad for your hygge.

Fancy joining us on the UKIPT but not got a PokerStars account, Click here to sign up.

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UKIPT Isle of Man Day 2: Level 17-18 updates (4,000/8,000, ante 1,000)

UKIPT Isle of Man Day 2: Level 17-18 updates (4,000/8,000, ante 1,000)

You want chip counts? We’ve got chip counts! You’ll find them here.

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 4,000/8,000, 1,000

5:35pm: Worley-Roberts making players her ….
Deborah Worley-Roberts is back up to 153,000 after getting Michael Fletcher off his hand post flop.

He raised to 12,000 from second position and then called after Worley-Roberts three-bet to 25,000 from the cutoff. The flop fanned [5s][3c][9d] and Worley-Roberts shoved for over 90,000 after Fletcher checked dark.

“So annoying,” said Fletcher looking at the flop and his holding.

“Don’t be a pussy!” said a goading Worley-Roberts.

He eventually folded and then said he had [ac][4c] when Worley-Roberts asked him.

“You were my B%@%H!” said a horse sounding Worley-Roberts. — MC

5:20pm: Galloway can’t believe it
Anthony Galloway was left ruing his luck when overnight chip leader Adrian Filiczkowski got lucky (again, see below) to stay in this tournament.

The former open to 17,000 with [Ks][Qd] and called when Filiczkowski three-bet all-in for just 38,000 with [Qh][Th]. The [Ts][3s][5d] flop was the cause of Galloway’s consternation and it didn’t get any better for him on the [3c] turn or [8s] river. –NW

5:10pm: Filiczkowski doubles through the Champ
A battle took place between the overnight chip leader Adrian Filiczkowski and reigning UKIPT5 Bristol champion Pierrick Tallon. The former’s day has not een going as well as Day 1A and his needed a big slice of luck to double through the Belgian.

Tallon opened to 12,000 from the hijack and called after Filiczkowski three-bet all in for 38,000 from the small blind.

Filiczkowski: [kd][td]
Tallon: [ts][tc]

The board ran a Polish flavoured [kh][2d][5d][jd][2s] to make Filiczkowski a flush. Tallon’s still going ok on 237,000. — MC

4:55pm: Corkhill croaks
Christopher Corkhill is the latest player to exit from the Main Event and as the old saying goes ‘you’ve got win your races’.

He three-bet shoved for 117,000 with [As][Kd] and the original raiser – Pasquale Egisto – made the call with pocket nines. A [4d][9h][Qh] flop gave Egisto a stranglehold on the hand and there was no miracle suck out on the [2c] turn or [8s] river. — NW

4:45pm: Full chip counts
Here are the counts of the 36 remaining players as level 17 gets under way. Daniel Stacey, who finished sixth here in 2013, leads the way. Pierrick Tallon is the only remaining UKIPT champion left in.

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Stacey leading the way

Name Country Status Chips
Daniel Stacey United Kingdom PokerStars Qualifier 715,000
Christopher Swinden Isle of Man PokerStars Player 591,000
John Lawson Isle of Man   560,000
Craig Sewell United Kingdom   550,000
Elliott Hayes United Kingdom   490,000
Michael Fletcher United Kingdom   415,000
Jordan Johnson United Kingdom PokerStars Qualifier 350,000
Joseph Grech United Kingdom   340,000
Anthony Galloway United Kingdom PokerStars Qualifier 285,000
David Clarkson United Kingdom   255,000
Robert Campbell Isle of Man   225,000
Rodger Reynolds United Kingdom   205,000
Mark Taylor United Kingdom   200,000
David Hill Isle of Man PokerStars Player 189,000
David Lappin Ireland PokerStars Player 180,000
Nick Smith United Kingdom   180,000
Pasquale Egisto Australia   180,000
Gregory Brew Isle of Man   174,000
Pierrick Tallon Belgium   170,000
Deborah Worley-Roberts USA   165,000
Adam Chochola Czech Republic PokerStars Qualifier 164,000
Paren Arzoomanian United Kingdom   150,000
Martin Stuart United Kingdom   145,000
Dawid Białas Poland PokerStars Qualifier 140,000
Jan Kacur Slovakia PokerStars Qualifier 125,000
Christopher Knights United Kingdom PokerStars Qualifier 125,000
Scott Byron United States   120,000
James Walsh Ireland PokerStars Player 120,000
Christopher Corkhill Isle of Man   115,000
John Cozens United Kingdom PokerStars Qualifier 110,000
David Longmate United Kingdom   110,000
Johan Bakketeig Norway PokerStars Qualifier 107,000
Luke Fern United Kingdom   80,000
Paul Quirk Isle of Man   75,000
Adrian Filiczkowski Poland   62,000
Ian Chadwick United Kingdom   60,000

4:45pm: Some of the payouts so far
Play is back under way in the Villa Marina. There are 36 players remaining, here are some of the in the money finishers so far:

Place Name Country Status Prize
40 David Allott United Kingdom   £770
41 Frederick Field United Kingdom   £770
42 Ankit Ahuja India   £770
43 Michael Jones United States PokerStars Qualifier £770
44 Gareth Mcintosh Isle of Man   £770
45 Diego Gomez Spain   £770
46 Ian Otobo United Kingdom   £770
47 Luke Staudenmaier United States   £770

The business end of the tournament is approaching and some important local people have come down to see what all the fuss is about. Below you can see a photo of Tour manager David Curtis, Group Director of the Sefton Group Adrian Brockhouse and Chief Minister of the Isle of Man Allan Bell.

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David Curtis, Allan Bell and Adrian Brockhouse

PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT5 Isle of Man: Marc Convey and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May

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UKIPT Isle of Man Day 2: Level 13 updates (1,200/2,400, ante 300)

UKIPT Isle of Man Day 2: Level 13 updates (1,200/2,400, ante 300)

11:40am: Welcome back for Day 2
Day 2 of the UKIPT5 Isle of Man Main Event is almost upon us. The field has been whittled down to double digits as just 97 players remaining from the two starting flights. Leading the way is Day 1A chip leader Adrian Filiczkowski with 247,600, closely followed by Day 1B chip leader Chris Swinden on 245,200. The only other player over the 200,000-mark is Shane Henry on 211,500.

PokerStars’ Chris Moneymaker (188,700) and Fatima Moreira De Melo (30,400) are the only Team Pros who made it through, the former with chips to play with, the latter with work to do.

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Show me the Moneymaker

David Clarkson (177,100), Joe Grech (174,100), Pierrick Tallon (170,000), Dan Stacey (159,300), Kelly Saxby (145,900), Dara O`Kearney (133,500), Adam Owen (166,700), Deborah Worley-Roberts (114,300) and Mike Panteli (110,400) are other tour regulars with six-figure stacks and high hopes for today. For a full list of the counts, click here.

No more 45-minute levels. Today they are extended to 60 minutes and ten are scheduled to be played out, unless we make the final table of eight in quick time. Before we make the final table though, there’s the little matter of the bubble to navigate and get into the top 47 who will make the money and be guaranteed £770. Full payout details can be viewed by clicking here.

PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT5 Isle of Man: Marc Convey and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May

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Chris Swinden soars to the summit on Day 1B of UKIPT5 Isle of Man

Chris Swinden soars to the summit on Day 1B of UKIPT5 Isle of Man

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A last level surge took Swinden to the top on Day 1B

There aren’t many hard and fast rules in poker tournaments, but along with the blinds steadily rising and someone ending the tournament with all the chips, it seems to be the law that the second of two starting flights will always attract more runners than the first.

With late registration and late risers it’s often a case of a mini-game of the tortoise and the hare as the Day 1B numbers slowly creep towards Day 1A’s total before inevitably overtaking it and speeding on ahead. But, there was no chase here at the Villa Marina as before a card had been pitched 141 players were in their seats ready for 12 levels of no-limit Hold’em, eclipsing the 111 Day 1A entries from the off. By the time late registration closed that number had risen to 238, courtesy of 218 unique players and 20 re-entries and took the total number of entries in this £400+£40 tournament to 349.

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Packing them in on the Isle of Man

A short time later the tournament staff had crunched the numbers and it was announced to the players that the winner of the UKIPT5 Isle of Man Main Event will take home £26,400, the player who loses the final hand will have £16,770 reasons to be cheerful, whilst 47 players in all will have at least £770 to show for their efforts this week. You can feast your eyes on the entire payout structure here.

Whilst the curse of the chip leader is a well worn poker maxim, Chris Swinden has laid firm foundations for a deep run in this tournament. Thanks to a last level surge when time was called on Day 1B it was the Isle of Man native who had made most headway, bagging up a chip leading stack of 245,200. Others who laid the groundwork for a tilt at a UKIPT title today include: Shane Henry (211,500), Daniel Best (177,700), Johan Bakketeig (177,500) and David Clarkson (177,100). They’ll all be back at noon tomorrow for Day 2 with a spring in their step.

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Pagano – found the UKIPT a tougher nut to crack than the EPT

Sadly the same can’t be said of those representing Team PokerStars Pro today who one by one were ceremoniously despatched from proceedings. First to go was Luca Pagano. The Italian holds the record for most cashes and most final tables on the European Poker Tour but his second shot at this tournament went the same way as the first. He flopped top two pair against Deborah Worley-Roberts on a [3h][5d][4d] board when the American had [Ad][3d] for ‘everything’ as Pagano put it. Whilst Worley-Roberts might have feared an attack of ‘too many outs’ syndrome a third three on the river saw Pagano tripped out of the tournament.

Whilst it was a rare appearance on this tour for him at least Liv Boeree and Jake Cody, who were both playing for the first time today, know they won’t have too long to wait for another shot at a UKIPT title having both come close in the past to winning a UKIPT Main Event.

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The cards didn’t fall for Cody

For Cody his demise was a case of the best hand failing to hold…twice. His first stack disappeared at the end of level three when he moved all-in with [Qd][Td] on the turn of a [3d][Qs][Tc][2c] board and got a call from Jeanne David who held [Ac][Qc]. The [Kc] river meant it was off the the registration desk for Cody as he quickly re-bought.

The second bullet was far more of a grind as around seven levels later he still had his starting stack of 25,000 when he got in a flip with tens against ace-jack which he lost. That left him on fumes and another lost race with pocket sixes against [Qd][Jd] (queen on the flop) meant Cody was not only left potless but also out of pocket to the tune of $100 thanks to a last longer bet with Chris Moneymaker.

In comparison to Cody’s day, Boeree’s Main Event experience was far more benign until her exit hand when a failed river bluff shove with ace high, on a seven-high board, was picked off by an opponent who held pocket queens.

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Boeree – busted

It was much the same story for a couple of famous Isle of Man athletes who were both playing with a PokerStars patch today. Conor Cummins is a Manx motorcycle road racer who suffered a huge crash on his home roads in 2010 but made a full recovery and is back competing at the top. Whilst Zoe Gillings-Brier is a professional British snowboarder and a veteran of three Olympic games. Both of their tournaments came crashing down today though with Gillings-Brier now the proud owner of the ‘aces cracked to bust a tournament’ poker badge as her pocket rockets were cracked by kings, all in pre-flop.

Her exit is far from the end of her association with PokerStars though as it was announced today that PokerStars is going to be sponsoring her by playing a significant part in her Olympic programme by supporting her to train and compete towards the biggest competition of her career to date – the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, which is being held in Pyeongchang; South Korea.

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Gillings-Brier was cold decked

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The wheels came off for Cummins

They were in good company on the rail though as the likes of: Paul Newey, Fintan Gavin, Simon Trumper, Alli Mallu and Katja Spillum Svendsen were all eliminated and bragging rights in the PokerStars Isle of Man office will not belong to Chris Straghalis, Rick Dacey, Rebecca McAdam, Matthew Hilger or Eoin Kennedy.

A total of 65 players did advance to Day 2 though and will join the 32 who made it through from 1A. The Day 1B survivors include those listed below who are notable for the size of their stack, the reputation behind it or both:

Paul Moran, 176,100
Joe Grech, 174,100
Pierrick Tallon, 170,000
Dan Stacey, 159,300
Kelly Saxby, 145,900
Luke Fern, 145,400
Adam Owen, 116,700
Deborah Worley-Roberts, 114,300
David Hill, 113,100
Michael Panteli, 110,400
James Walsh, 84,000
Luke Staudenmaier, 55,400
Diego Gomez, 49,800
Dylan Coady, 43,200

Ukipt5_IOM_main_event_day1b_kelly_Saxby.jpg

The beat goes on for Saxby

To catch up on today’s action and to see the overnight chip counts and seat draw click on the links below. The PokerStars Blog will be back from noon tomorrow for what, if history is anything to go by, will be a hectic day of poker.

Levels 1-5
Levels 6-12
PokerStars.tv feature interviews
Start of Day 2 chip counts
Start of Day 2 seat draw

Photos copyright of Mickey ‘mayo’ May and Danny ‘cucumber’ Maxwell

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UKIPT Isle of Man Day 1B: Level 1-2 updates (75-150)

UKIPT Isle of Man Day 1B: Level 1-2 updates (75-150)

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 75/150

12:40pm: It happens to the best of us
The poker world is littered with tales of missed flights, poker players aren’t the most organised bunch you know. Some of the best poker players are the worst at organising their lives in this way. Before you say anything, I didn’t mention Jake Cody’s name!

The curse of the missed flight has struck down one of the tour’s big character’s this morning.

“In all of my years of travelling I have never missed a plane train or automobile…….. Until now! FML!!! So IoM is off the cards, what to do?”

These were the words that appeared on Sam Acheampong’s Facebook page a couple of hours ago. He can’t get another flight to be here on time so has decided to cancel his trips. Sad times all round. — MC

12:20pm: B is for bigger
Before the first card was pitched today the Day 1B field had already surpassed the Day 1A total. When shuffle up and deal was announced 142 players were already in their seats eclipsing the 111 who entered the fray yesterday.

That number was boosted by a number of players who did play yesterday – this tournament is a re-entry – and among those back for their second, or in some cases third shot are: Paul Newey, Chris Straghalis, David Clarkson, Kelly Saxby and Tony Poulengeris.

Whilst the likes of Chris Gordon, Katja Spillum Svendsen, Rebecca McAdam, Rick Dacey and Harry Lodge are among those taking their seats for the first time today. The latter qualified online and will have fond memories of this stop as he finished fifth here in 2013 earning £27,600. He’s in form too having recently won £60,000 for taking down a £500 six-max event in the UK.

Late registration is open until the end of level four so expect that number to keep on rising until then. — NW

12:15pm: Local sport stars looking to perform
PokerStars has had a lot of close links with local sports stars in the ten years it’s been based on the island and two of the most high profile are playing the Main Event today.

Zoe Gillings is a professional British snowboarder and a veteran of three Olympic games. Her highest finish in her event – Snowboard Cross – was 8th in 2010 and she was also awarded British Olympic Association Athlete of the Year by Snowsport for the 2007/08 season.

Conor Cummins is a Manx motorcycle road racer, who rides the British Road Racing Circuit, with the most famous race being the Isle of Mann TT of course! Cummins suffered a huge crash on his home roads in 2010 but made a full recovery and is back competing at the top.

Gillings and Cummins have played on the UKIPT before but both have failed to cash so far. Being as competitive as they are they’ll want to put that record straight today and over the weekend. — MC

12pm: Shuffle up and deal
The Day 1B show is on the road as cards are in the air! — MC

11:45pm: Day 1B set to begin
Welcome back to the Villa Marina for Day 1B of the UKIPT Isle of Man. A total of (including re-entries) 111 entries took part on Day 1A and that number is expected to be eclipsed today. Adrian Filiczkowski ended yesterday as chip leader with 247,600, a high benchmark for those to aim at today.

Luca Pagano busted yesterday but he’ll be trying agin today and joining fellow Team Pros Jake Cody and Liv Boeree, who’ll be trying for the first time. We’ll also be welcoming tour regulars Chris Gordon, Dan Stacey, Fintan Gavin, Neil Raine, Mike Panteli and London Hippodrome Poker Room manager Kerryjane Cragie.

A number of PokerStars staff will be in the field today, looking for office bragging rights as much as a nice Autmn windfall. Rick Dacey, who used to be a key contributor to this blog, will be hoping to continue the good form that got him all the way to the final table of the staff tournament yesterday.

Cards will be in the air at 12pm BST, so join us back here then.

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Catch the 3d light show at 8 &9 pm

UKIPT5 Isle of Man key facts:
– 25,000 starting stack
– Blinds starting at 50/100 for 250 big blinds
– Levels are 45 minutes on Day 1 and they’ll be 12 of them. From Day 2 onwards levels increase to 60 minutes.
– Day 1B takes place today, the field will then combine for the first time on Saturday, before (hopefully) playing down to a final table and then to a winner on Sunday. Cue mad celebrations and swigging of champagne from the trophy and jumping in the sea (possibly).
– This is re-entry event with players able to re-enter once per day.
– Full UKIPT5 Isle of Man schedule here.
– It’s not all about the poker here in the Isle of Man there’s an amazing 3D light show happening at the Villa Marina too.

Fancy playing a UKIPT? There are always plenty of online satellites, click here to get an account.

PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT5 Isle of Man: Marc Convey and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May

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UKIPT5 Isle of Man Day 1A: Filiczkowski fills up on chips to lead

UKIPT5 Isle of Man Day 1A: Filiczkowski fills up on chips to lead

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Filiczkowski – the chip daddy

The UKIPT is in Season 5 and visited “home” for the third time in its history this week – a special week for the island and PokerStars. It was ten years ago that the company decided to call the Isle of Man home and set up it’s head office here. The two parties embraced each other’s presence and have never looked back.

So the Day 1A number may be low at 111, of which 11 were re-entries, but the atmosphere, if it could be quantified, was record-breaking. Many residents from the island joined players and staff at 8pm for an amazing 3D light show that was projected onto the outside of the historic Villa Marina. The show will be repeated tomorrow at 8pm and 9pm, so be sure to catch it if you’re around.

Polish players have become more of a force on the European poker circuit over the past couple of years and one leads the 32 that made it through to Day 2. Adrian Filiczkowski bagged up 247,600 after leading for all of the second half of the day. One of the biggest pots he won was when he eliminated Marc Hunter. The two made it to the river of a [jh][2s][jd][kh][6c] board where Filiczkowski over-bet the pot when setting Hunter all in. The latter called with big-slick but Filiczkowski open king-jack for a full house and raked in the 110,000-pot.

Notables and big stacks that will be chasing him on Day 2 include: Paren Arzoomanian (184,100), Phillip Corion (170,400), Martin Stuart (141,700), Dara O`Kearney (133,500), Scott Byron (113,900), Daragh Davey (88,100), Senh Ung (73,900), David Lappin (33,000) and Christin Maschmann (18,300).

PokerStars employee Chris Straghalis, a colourful character who likes to wear a card-themed shirt at the table, was one of the players who busted two bullets today but probably had the most fun while doing so. After busting the first time, he was allotted a seat right next to Chris Moneymaker and the two entered a lively battle that only was only ever going to see one winner.

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The two Chris’ played a hard, fun brand of poker

The Team Pro got the best of the battle, largely thanks to his jack-four connecting with a flop (after a squeeze play) to beat out the employee. The fun-filled battle epitomised many similar battles that were popping up all over the room. David Lappin knocked out Miss Finland (Sara Chafak) and then claimed her crown and wrote an acceptance piece on Twitter. Maybe this island plays tricks with one’s mind!

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Lappin’s (Miss Finland) chip bag

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Can Moreira de Melo go deep again?

Moneymaker, Fatima Moreira de Melo, Luca Pagano and Jenifer Shahade were the four players representing the Red Spade today and half went home happy, half will try again tomorrow. Moneymaker’s antics have been documented and he made it through with 188,700, alongside Moreira de Melo who bagged up 30,400. A few early wins – including a set-over-set hand – got her into early profit and she rode that wave before dropping back in the last level of the night.

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Saxby outlasted Pagano, neither made it through though

Pagano was going well but he was forced to move all in with ten-deuce, after being reduced to fumes, and was taken out by UKIPT Season 4 Player of the Year Daragh Davey, who held ace-nine. The Italian will be back for another attempt tomorrow but that might be it for Shahade due to the Combined Chess & NL Holdem tournament taking place tomorrow at 6pm BST.

Other players we hope to see entering again tomorrow, along with Saxby, include: Simon Trumper, Deborah Worley-Roberts, Paul Newey, Marc Hunter, Johannes de Vries and Adam Owen.

Day 1B will start at 12pm BST where another twelve 45-minute levels will be played out. Join us back here then but for now, read back through the Day 1A action and peer at the overnight counts by clicking on the links below:

Levels 1-5
Levels 6-12
End of Day 1A chip counts

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Ten years, baby!

Photos are copyright of Mickey May. Her Viking ancestors conquered this island centuries ago (not really), so steal her pictures at your peril.

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UKIPT5 Isle of Man Day 1A: Level 6-7 Updates (300/600, ante 75)

UKIPT5 Isle of Man Day 1A: Level 6-7 Updates (300/600, ante 75)

5:20pm: Come back and try again tomorrow, folks
The following made way for empty spaces: Sean O’Connell, Chris Straghalis, Daniel Hall, Jamie Cleaver, Edward Quinn, Joseph Grech, Gregory Humphries, Thomas Ross, Thomas Wiesner, David Clarkson, Johaness de Vries and PokerStars Mind Sports Ambassador Jennifer Shahade. — MC

5:05pm: Local lads
There’s always a strong contingent of local players at this stop and last year David Hill fared best of all, finishing third for £30,200. He’s back again today and he got in on the cheap, winning a live satellite here on the Isle of Man.

It wasn’t just any old satellite though but one held last Thursday as part of #LadsNightIn in aid of Prostate Cancer UK. –NW

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David Hill, Isle of Man’s best performer in Season 4

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 300/600, ante 75

4:50pm: Frustrations at Table 4, seats 4,5 & 6
The happiness levels in the mid-range seats at Table 4 have hit an all-time low (not really). Sara Chafak was trying to bluff in a three-way pot but it didn’t work out and David Lappin is worried about where his going to eat his tea – something that PokerStars staff member, Christin Maschmann, is trying to sort out, with little success.

Jacob Hicklin raised to 600 from under the gun and was called Rodger Reynolds before Chafak squeezed to 1,200 off the button. Both opponents called to see a [td][qs][6d] flop where Chafak continued for 3,650. Reynolds was the only caller before both checked the [7s] turn. Reynolds led for 3,650 on the [8s] river and a glum looking Chafak dwelled before folding.

Lappin still doesn’t know where he’s going to eat his tea:
— MC

@DKLAPPIN & @DavinaDarr caption this? pic.twitter.com/rKOm82cKli

— Danny Maxwell (@MannyDaxwell) October 1, 2015

@MannyDaxwell @DavinaDarr *frustration spills over at the table as Christin fails to get a dinner reservation to yet another restaurant*

— ♠️ David K Lappin ♠️ (@DKLAPPIN) October 1, 2015

4:40pm: More for Moneymaker
Chris Moneymaker’s stack continues to trend upwards and he just won a three-way pot to climb to 47,000.

The PokersStars Pro opened to 1,100 from early position and both David Hill (button) and Vladislav Donchev (big blind) called. On the [Qs][4c][As] flop Moneymaker fired out a continuation bet of 1,200 and Donchev was the only caller.

Fourth street was the [9s], neither player bet and the [Tc] was the final community card. Action once again checked to Moneymaker, he reached into his stack, bet 2,000 and was quickly called by Donchev. The American showed [Ad][Kc] and it was good enough to win the pot. — NW

4:30pm: The Chris’ continue to battle
Chris Straghalis and Chris Moneymaker tangled in another big pot that left one of the Chris’ short.

There was an under the raise to 800 and call from Straghalis before Moneymaker squeezed to 2,575. Straghalis was the only caller to a [6h][2c][jd] flop where the chips quickly went it. Moneymaker’s 14,600 was only covered by a 1,000 chips and he opened [jh][4h]. Straghalis opened [9c][9s] and failed to improve.

Straghalis went all in the very next hand and Moneymaker raised to 2,000 to isolate. Everyone else folded. Straghalis erupted in delight when he saw his [as][7c] was dominating Moneymaker’s [7h][6s].

The board ran out [jc][3d][ac][qd][3c] and Straghalis survived. — MC

Thumbnail image for Ukipt5_IOM_main_event_day1a_chris_moneymaker.jpg

Chris having fun with Chris

UKIPT5 Isle of Man key facts:
– 25,000 starting stack
– Blinds starting at 50/100 for 250 big blinds
– Levels are 45 minutes on Day 1 and they’ll be 12 of them. From Day 2 onwards levels increase to 60 minutes.
– Day 1A is today, Day 1B takes place tomorrow, the field will then combine for the first time on Saturday, before (hopefully) playing down to a final table and then to a winner on Sunday. Cue mad celebrations and swigging of champagne from the trophy and jumping in the sea (possibly).
– This is re-entry event with players able to re-enter once per day.
– Full UKIPT5 Isle of Man schedule here.
– There’s a live satellite to the Main Event tonight, it begins at 18.00 BST and the buy-in is £60+£5
– It’s not all about the poker here in the Isle of Man there’s an amazing 3D light show happening at the Villa Marina too.

Fancy playing a UKIPT? There are always plenty of online satellites, click here to get an account.

PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT5 Isle of Man: Marc Convey and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May

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UKIPT5 Isle of Man Day 1A: Level 1-2 Updates (75/150)

UKIPT5 Isle of Man Day 1A: Level 1-2 Updates (75/150)

12:50: Thanks for the job, Chris
There have been many reasons offered up over the years, as to why the poker boom happened, and what triggered it.

The rise of the internet is an obvious one; amazing platforms to play on (such as PokerStars.com) is another one. The poker economy is very much dependant on new money coming into the game and very few will spend that money if they don’t think they have a chance to win. Back in 2003, one man showed the world that anyone can win on their day.

Chris Moneymaker took down the WSOP Main Event as an amateur that year and nothing has been the same since. Twelve years on and Moneymaker still has that infectious enthusiasm for the game and he’s here to join in the revelry this week.

For all of us who have benefited from employment in the poker industry, thanks for the job, Chris! — MC

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 75/150

12:30pm: Strong start for Owen
Whilst Adam Owen is, by admission, a mixed games specialist he dabbles in hold’em and is playing the UKIPT Main Event today. He’s sat to the left of Chris Straghalis, a PokerStars employee who has played this event the past two years, enjoying a deep run the first time out when he finished 19th.

The two players just clashed in a pot with Owen getting the better of Straghalis. We picked up the action on the turn and with a board of [Ac][6h][Qc][7h] on the felt Straghalis checked, Owen bet 750 and Straghalis made the call. The [2h] fell on the river, again Straghalis checked, Owen bet 1,900 and after a brief dwell Straghalis flicked in two 1k chips to signify a call. Quick as a flash Owen rolled over [Ah][Th] for the nuts and Straghalis mucked his cards. — NW

12:15pm: Early birds
Around 70 players have taken their seats so far in level one but registration doesn’t close until 3:15pm so that number will grow with new entrants and re-entrants.

Team SportsStars Fatima Moreira de Melo has found her spot and will be looking to go one better than her second-place finish two seasons ago. She has super high-roller Paul Newey for company and is representing the fairer gender, along with Deborah Worley-Roberts and Kelly Saxby.

Newey’s friend Senh Ung has also arrived as have David Lloyd, Daragh Davey, Dara O’Kearney, Adam Owen and Diego Gomez. — MC

12pm: Shuffle up and deal
Cards are in the air for Day 1A!

11:55am: Let the home game begin
Hello and welcome to the UKIPT Isle of Man for PokerStars’ unofficial home game. We’ve called the Isle of Man home for 10 years now and this is the UKIPT’s third visit to the island. The last UKIPT Main Event was won by Josh Hart, who defeated a field of 402 and a tough final table that included Fintan Gavin, Ludovic Geilich and Thomas Ward. Last year’s tournament though might be best remembered for PokerStars founder Isai Scheinberg taking down the High Roller.

The first time the UKIPT touched down here was equally as memorable as we witnessed the start of Duncan McLellan’s UKIPT story as he defeated Team PokerStars SportStar Fatima Moreira de Melo heads-up to claim the title.

ukipt5_Iom_day1a_chips_and_cards.jpg

With the addition of PokerStars staff members, who are allowed to play in this event, this stop of the UKIPT is always played with a smile and the atmosphere is more jovial than some other stops on the tour. Play is about to start here and the plan today is to play 12 levels which means play should finish around 22.45.

UKIPT5 Isle of Man key facts:
– 25,000 starting stack
– Blinds starting at 50/100 for 250 big blinds
– Levels are 45 minutes on Day 1 and they’ll be 12 of them. From Day 2 onwards levels increase to 60 minutes.
– Day 1A is today, Day 1B takes place tomorrow, the field will then combine for the first time on Saturday, before (hopefully) playing down to a final table and then to a winner on Sunday. Cue mad celebrations and swigging of champagne from the trophy and jumping in the sea (possibly).
– This is re-entry event with players able to re-enter once per day.
– Full UKIPT5 Isle of Man schedule here.
– There’s a live satellite to the Main Event tonight, it begins at 18.00 BST and the buy-in is £60+£5
– It’s not all about the poker here in the Isle of Man there’s an amazing 3D light show happening at the Villa Marina too.

Fancy playing a UKIPT? There are always plenty of online satellites, click here to get an account.

PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT5 Isle of Man: Marc Convey and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May

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UKIPT in 3D as festival celebrates annual home game on Isle of Man

UKIPT in 3D as festival celebrates annual home game on Isle of Man

If you happen to be walking around Douglas, Isle of Man this week, be ready to see the city in a whole new way.

This week, the UK & Ireland Poker Tour is back on the Isle of Man for the third consecutive year, and the celebration will be bigger than ever. This year, PokerStars celebrates ten years of being on the island, and part of that celebration is an insanely cool (and free-to-see) 3D projection and light show.

PokerStars Interim CEO Michael Hazel said, “PokerStars have had a great 10 years on the Island. We are extremely proud to be part of the local community and are delighted they can share in our celebrations. Here’s to continuing to work together into the future.”

PokerStars and all of its employees have long been grateful to the people of the Isle of Man, and this year’s UKIPT festival is just one way to say thank you for ten years of hospitality. There will be 3D projection and lighting spectacular shows in the Villa Marina gardens with the theme of celebrating the Isle of Man as a nation. The shows, which will run for around five minutes and will be repeated each night of the upcoming UK & Ireland Poker Tour Isle of Man, will be open to the public and free. Here are the showtimes:

Wednesday, September 30th @ 8pm
Thursday, October 1st @ 8pm and 9pm
Friday, October 2nd @ 8pm and 9pm
Saturday, October 3rd @ 8.30pm (this performance will end with a three-minute firework display)

3d_ukipt.jpg

Of course, there will also be poker. This year’s festival has 13 tournaments, including the £440 No-Limit Hold’em Main Event beginning October 1. Just as it did last year, the festival will overlap with the PokerStars Isle of Man International Chess Tournament (we’ll have more on that later this week).

PokerStars Mind Sport Ambassador, Jen Shahade said, “It’s great to see the Isle of Man International Chess Tournament returning for another year. I think having the two festivals running simultaneously is fantastic as it really demonstrates the similarities of the skills and strategies that make both games so competitive and interesting; I am really looking forward to playing in both on PokerStars’ Isle of Man 10-year anniversary.”

In addition to everything else, PokerStars is also hosting its annual invitational charity tournament on the Saturday evening. All donations will be matched by the company’s Corporate Giving Programme, Helping Hands, with the entire amount being donated to local charity, Craig’s Heartstrong Foundation.

If you can’t be in Douglas this week, the PokerStars Blog will have full coverage of the tournament in our dedicated UKIPT coverage section.


Ready to sign up for PokerStars? Click here to get an account.


is the PokerStars Head of Blogging.

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UKIPT set to host annual home game on Isle of Man

UKIPT set to host annual home game on Isle of Man

It’s no secret that PokerStars calls the Isle of Man its home, and now it’s time to play PokerStars’ grandest home game of the year. The people of PokerStars are welcoming all comers to the Isle of Man October 1-4 for the UK & Ireland Poker Tour’s stop.

Situated along the Irish Sea coast and just down the road from PokerStars HQ, the UKIPT’s Isle of Man stop is hosted in the beautiful and historic Villa Marina. The £440 buy-in event has two flights, and you can re-enter once per day, so you have a chance to fire four bullets if you need to!

For the next two Sundays, you can win seats online. PokerStars is running a five-seat guarantee satellite with a £100 buy-in this Sunday the 20th and next Sunday the 27th.

Want to qualify? Click here to get a PokerStars account.

isle_of_man_ukipt_prom.jpg

The UKIPT already has seats reserved for Liv Boeree, Chris Moneymaker, Jake Cody, and Jen Shahade, the latter of which will undoubtedly be a popular face at the Isle of Man International Chess Tournament and combined poker and chess event.

As if that wasn’t all enough, every player in the Main Event will get a Manx National Heritage pass to explore all the heritage sites on the island for free.

UKIPT_IOM_2015.jpg

For full information on the festival, visit the UKIPT Isle of Man page.


Ready to sign up for PokerStars? Click here to get an account.


is the PokerStars Head of Blogging.

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Pierrick Tallon wins UKIPT Bristol and £53,000

Pierrick Tallon wins UKIPT Bristol and £53,000

Ukipt5_bristol_main_event_day3_pierrick_tallon.jpg

Pierrick Tallon – UKIPT champion

After four fantastic days of poker it’s Pierrick Tallon who’s emerged victorious to win UKIPT Bristol and £53,000 whilst Chris Brice’s second place finish is worth £42,000 after the two players struck a deal heads-up.The 23-year-old becomes the second Belgian to win a UKIPT Main Event, emulating Gilles Augustus who triumphed at UKIPT1 Coventry. Amazingly, Brice was also at that final table, finishing seventh. “I feel really happy. I can’t really find the words to describe it. I don’t think I realise what has happened yet,” said Tallon after he’d won.

To say the result was never in doubt would be pure hyperbole, this is poker after all, but Tallon entered the final table as chip leader and it was not until heads-up play that he lost that advantage for the first time. “No one gets shoved on more than you,” said Chi Zhang to the Belgian at one point during the final table and it did seem that Tallon was involved in more than his fair share of all-ins and decisions about calling all-ins.

Ukipt5_bristol_main_event_day3_heads_up.jpg

Heads-up play gets under way

That his record in those he did play, prior to heads-up play, was won three, lost four it’s clear that Tallon didn’t triumph at this final table simply by running good in all-ins. Indeed his methods for winning big pots included picking off bluffs, eliciting hero calls, inducing bets and good old aggressive poker to force his opponent to fold. The key hand heads-up is a nice combination of the two pillars that the foundations of his victory were built on. Having re-raised from the big blind with pocket nines he continued on the nine high flop and managed to get Brice to move all-in with bottom pair, a hand that had just 0.4% equity.

That was the biggest pot of the tournament and despite Brice doubling up once Tallon finished him off when his [Ah][3s] held against Brice’s [Kh][4h]. “I felt the final table went my way when I needed it to,” explained Tallon after he’d got his hands on the trophy. “I lost some pots also but the luck was on my side,” he said.

UKIPT5_Bristol_final_Christopher_Brice.jpg

Brice battled his way to second

If Tallon’s route to heads-up had been relatively smooth, Brice’s was anything but. He began the final table with over 60 big blinds but his chipstack began a slow dribble downwards until he was involved in a series of all-ins.

In the space of 60 minutes he doubled through Tallon, doubled up Chi Zhang, doubled through Joseph Lalor, knocked out Lalor and then doubled through Tallon again. At that point play was five handed and Brice was vying for the chip lead with 3,300,000. It was almost the same amount he’d take to heads-up play, but despite taking the lead briefly during heads-up play he ultimately couldn’t mount a comeback from the ten to one chip deficit he was faced with after losing that huge pot. Still, £42,000 is a great result for the Radiology Manager.

Ukipt5_bristol_main_event_day3_brett_angell.jpg

Another top performance from Angell

When play began at noon there were 11 players left in contention for the title, all eyes were on Brett Angell though as the ‘Boro boy was going for his second UKIPT title and third final table in four UKIPT Main Events. However Angell would fall short in tenth place when he lost a classic race to Ben Winsor with ace-king against jacks. His exit followed that of Andrew Fleming (11th) and proceeded Hak-Mann Lee’s (9th) and after ninety minutes of play the official final table was set.

UKIPT5_Bristol_final_table.jpg

The elite eight

Lee Mulligan and Les Packer were the two shortest stacks when cards got in the air and neither could ladder up. Mulligan fell at the hands of Otto Richard in a three-way all-in that also featured Zhang and Packer also fell to the mercurial Frenchman. Originally from Paris, Richard now calls Brighton home and he was a curious presence at the table. He was studiously jotting notes throughout the tournament, which wasn’t a problem, it was more the time he took to make decisions even when there was no action in front of him. Twice he had the clock called on him, once in a pre-flop situation where he was facing a regular three-bet.

Ukipt5_bristol_main_event_day3_ben_winsor.jpg

Winsor good at sports betting and poker

Next to go was Ben Winsor, the professional online sports betting trader had played a steady game throughout but saw it all unravel in two hands in quick succession against Tallon. First he had a bluff picked off and then the rest went in with a dominated ace that stayed that way. He went out in sixth for £12,900 and we finally got a look at his footwear.

Ukipt5_bristol_main_event_day3_winsor_shoes.jpg

Pretty in pink…and orange

Fifteen minutes later five became four when Joe Lalor lost back to back pots to Brice (A3 vs QQ and KJ vs AQ) to bust in fifth. The 55-year-old computer software writer is no stranger to final tables as he’s final tabled the Sunday Million twice.

Four handed play lasted over an hour until Richard busted. He got it in good against Zhang and lost half his chips and then got the rest in bad against Tallon and although he had two live cards neither hit.

Ukipt5_bristol_main_event_day3_joseph_lalor.jpg

Lalor – another final table for the Irishman

Ukipt5_bristol_main_event_day3_otto_richard.jpg

Richard will be remembered

So that left start of day chip leader Zhang as the shortest of the three with about 25 big blinds, they would all go to the eventual winner. A hero call gone wrong dented the maths students prospects and Tallon trapped him with an overpair for the rest. It was a composed performance from the 20-year-old, who was well supported on the rail throughout the final, and with the talent he has he’s odds on for another big score in the future.

UKIPT5_Bristol_final_table_Chi_Zhang.jpg

Zhang – third place

At this point it looked like we might have a wire to wire winner of a UKIPT Main Event, but although Tallon briefly lost the lead there would be no denying him the title. The Belgian, who plays poker for a living has no concrete plans for the money earned this week: “I’m going to try and be reasonable with the money but I’ll probably spend a bit more than usual the next few days and then get back to my normal games,” he told the PokerStars Blog.

Below is a reminder of how much everyone won at today’s final table. While they took the lion’s share of the prize pool, 63 players shared £302,834. For a full breakdown, please click here.

POSITION NAME COUNTRY STATUS PRIZE
1st Pierrick Tallon Belgium PokerStars Qualifier £53,000
2nd Christopher Brice United Kingdom PokerStars Qualifier £42,300
3rd Chi Zhang United Kingdom PokerStars Qualifier £26,500
4th Otto Richard France   £21,000
5th Joseph Lalor Ireland PokerStars Qualifier £16,000
6th Ben Winsor United Kingdom   £12,900
7th Leslie Packer United Kingdom   £9,700
8th Lee Mulligan United Kingdom   £6,900

You can catch up on all today’s action here and here, but that’s it from UKIPT Bristol. The next UKIPT stop takes place in the Isle of Man 30th September – 4th October and satellites are running now on PokerStars.

All photos are copyright of Mickey May.

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UKIPT5 Bristol: Day 3: Level 27 updates (30,000/60,000 ante 10,000)

UKIPT5 Bristol: Day 3: Level 27 updates (30,000/60,000 ante 10,000)

5:45pm: Chris Brice doubles through Pierrick Tallon
Pierrick Tallon never stood a chance of eliminating Chris Brice the latter cleverly used his one time!

The Englishman three-bet all-in for 1,340,000 and Tallon, who’d opened to 120,000 said: “It’s better than king-queeen,” referencing the pairs last all-in, to which Brice said: “I’ve got better than threes!”

After thinking it over Tallon called and showed [As][Jh] which was behind to Brice’s [Ts][Td]. “I’d like to use my one time please,” said Brice as the dealer prepared to roll out the community cards. “It’s a good time to use it,” said Chi Zhang.

Indeed it was as the [3c][Kh][7d][5s][4s] board kept Brice in front and he doubled to around 1,790,000 whilst Tallon slips to 4,600,000. –NW

5:30pm: Joe Lalor eliminated in 5th place (£16,000)
Joe Lalor lost two pots in a row to Chris Brice and it cost him his tournament life.

Firstly, he doubled up Brice when he raised to 125,000 with [ah][3d] and called his shove for 535,000. Brice tabled [qs][qh] and survived the [6s][9d][tc][4h][2h] board.

UKIPT5_Bristol_Lalor&Brice.jpg

Lalor (L) & Brice (R) played hard, but fair

That put Lalor down to 385,000 and they went in the very next hand. Brice shoved to isolate and the cards were on their backs.

Lalor: [ks][jd]
Brice: [as][qc]

The board ran [6s][th][qh][8d][5h] to make Brice top pair. The last Irishman in the field left to a generous round of applause. Brice moved up to around 1.9 million. — MC

5:15pm: Ben Winsor eliminated in sixth place (£12,900)
No sooner had we had one all-in then there was another, but this time the short stack wouldn’t survive.

Pierrick Tallon opened to 120,000, Ben Winsor shoved for 1,095,000 and after getting a count Tallon made the call. Winsor opened [Ad][Jh] but he was behind to Tallon’s [As][Qd]. The [8s][9s][3c]8d][7h] board meant the dominating ace held and Tallon now has over half the chips in play. — NW

Ukipt5_bristol_main_event_day3_ben_winsor.jpg

Winsor – out in sixth

5:10pm: Zhang doubles
“I run good!” said Chi Zhang to Christopher Brice after he flopped big to double through him.

The action folded around to Brice in the small blind and he raised to 155,000 and then called after Zhang shoved for 655,000 from the big blind.
Brice: [ks][jd]
Zhang: [as][qh]

The board ran [ad][ac][9s][8c][ts] to make Zhang trips. Brice dropped to 555,000. — MC

5pm: Chip counts
As the six remaining players take their seats for level 27 this is how they stack up. As he has for the entire final table it’s Pierrick Tallon who leads. The Belgian has more than double his nearest rival.

Ukipt5_bristol_main_event_day3_pierrick_tallon.jpg

The Belgian is the big stack

Name Country Status Chips
Pierrick Tallon Belgium  PokerStars Qualifier 4,710,000
Otto Richard France   2,335,000
Christopher Brice United Kingdom PokerStars Qualifier 1,320,000
Benjamin Winsor United Kingdom   1,075,000
Joseph Lalor Ireland PokerStars Qualifier 970,000
Chi Zhang United Kingdom  PokerStars Qualifier 685,000

PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT5 Bristol: Marc Convey and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May

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UKIPT5 Bristol: Level 23 Updates (12,000/24,000, ante 3,000)

UKIPT5 Bristol: Level 23 Updates (12,000/24,000, ante 3,000)

12pm: Shuffle up and deal
Cards are in the air!

11:50am From 11 to a winner on the final day
Shola Akindele Deadman busted on the very last hand of level 22 last night, meaning just 11 players return for what is the final day of the UKIPT5 Bristol festival here in the West Country.

A mixture of good play and good timing helped Chi Zhang to the end of day chip lead yesterday, although it’s quite tightly bunched at the top so no one’s assured of making the official final table of eight. Here’s how they line up:

Table Seat Name Country Status Chips
1 1 Andrew Fleming United Kingdom   547000
1 2 Christopher Brice United Kingdom PokerStars Qualifier 12190000
1 3 Lee Mulligan United Kingdom    404000
1 4 Pierrick Tallon Belgium PokerStars Qualifier 1420000
1 5 Joseph Lalor Ireland PokerStars Qualifier 1376000
           
2 1 Hak-Mann Lee Sweden   1010000
2 2 Chi Zhang United Kingdom PokerStars Qualifier 1804000
2 3 Brett Angell United Kingdom   752000
2 4 Leslie Packer United Kingdom   850000
2 5 Benjamin Winsor United Kingdom   1036000
2 6 Otto Richard France   674000

UKIPT_Bristol_2015_BrettAngell_MickeyMay_72187.jpg Brett Angell – looking for his second title

Cards will be in the air at midday BST. — MC

PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT5 Bristol: Marc Convey and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May

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UKIPT5 Bristol: Final table player profiles

UKIPT5 Bristol: Final table player profiles

Seat 1: Chris Brice, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 1,813,000

Ukipt5_bristol_main_event_day3_chris_brice.jpg

Chris Brice

Although he says his poker is mainly played “socially,” Chris Brice, 37, has been playing the game for 15 years and has been a regular attendee at the WSOP and the UK circuit, finalling UKIPT Coventry in 2010 for £6,600. His biggest live win to date came here in Bristol (£16,500 for a 3rd place finish in a £500 event) but this final table represents a shot at more than double that. Brice manages to fit in a lot of NL tourneys considering he has two children and a full time job as a radiology manager, and simply says, “I like to play poker!” His games of choice are no limit hold’em tournaments and Pot Limit Omaha, and he qualified for UKIPT Bristol online on PokerStars.

Seat 2: Chi Zhang, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier,1,775,000

Ukipt5_bristol_main_event_day1b_chi_zhang.jpg

Chi Zhang

Chi Zhang is the youngest finalist, who, at 20 is honing his online poker skills at the same time as studying maths in Birmingham. Hailing from Nottingham, Zhang has known how to play poker for around four years, but has recently been building experience and improving due to “lots of volume.” Keen on the UKIPT, Zhang intends to put in future appearances (he’s already built up over $50,000 in live cashes in the last year alone) and is aiming to top his previous live record (£6,250 in a six-max event at Dusk Till Dawn) here in Bristol.

Seat 3: Joseph Lalor, Ireland, PokerStars Qualifier, 1,390,000

Ukipt5_bristol_main_event_day2_john_lalor.jpg

Joseph Lalor

Joseph Lalor is a 55-year-old computer software writer who lives in Dublin. He got into poker at school although back then it was draw and stud poker. However, he started playing online intermittently about ten years ago and began taking it more seriously about five years later. Since then he’s had much success (his largest online score is $130,000) and he’s made the final table of the Sunday Million twice – once when it was a WCOOP event. He’s in Bristol with his wife visiting the in-laws and when not playing poker he enjoys hiking and doing cryptic crosswords. Should he win the £58,500 first prize he says his wife will get half to do whatever she wants with and the rest will be spent frivolously!

Seat 4: Les Packer, United Kingdom, 575,000

Ukipt5_bristol_main_event_day3_les_packer.jpg

Les Packer

Cardiff resident Les Packer, 43, has been playing poker for four years, starting out in his local club and progressing to playing online. On the virtual felt he’s amassed over $186,000 in winnings including a $62,573.50 cash in the Sunday 500 on PokerStars last year. He is in business in renewable energy, but finds time to play on the UKIPT and picked up a cash in the UKIPT Nottingham Main Event back in April worth £1,760. Although one of the shorter stacks on the final table, his online experience will be of benefit as he tries to best his top result.

Seat 5: Otto Richard, France, 594,000

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Otto Richard

Otto Richard, 31, moved to Brighton four years ago from Paris when all of the casinos in his hometown shut, forcing him to look further afield to play live poker (at which he was doing well – he won a €1,000 side event for €48,280 back in 2007). His regular occupation, however, is the online variety and after ten years of playing has found his favourite game to be limit heads up hold’em. Another of the shorter stacks coming to the final, the intently-focused Richard has been jotting notes throughout the tournament, reminiscent of Gus Hansen with his Dictaphone a few years ago.

Seat 6: Lee Mulligan, United Kingdom, 283,000

Ukipt5_bristol_main_event_day3_lee_mulligan.jpg

Lee Mulligan

Lee Mulligan, 39, hails from Cirencester and considers the Rainbow Casino here in Bristol as his local where he specialises in live cash games and MTTs. He’s played poker in one form or another for a long time, but picked up online in 2005 and considers that a starting point of sorts, for taking the game more seriously. Mulligan, who plays regularly on the UK circuit (up to as far north as Dusk Till Dawn) has a string of live cashes to his name but this final table represents his biggest score. “I love the UKIPT,” he said, “as the structure is so good. With a one hour clock I have the opportunity to recover from my mistakes!”

Seat 7: Pierrick Tallon, Belgium, PokerStars Qualifier, 2,707,000

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Pierrick Tallon

Pierrick Tallon came to Bristol for a holiday (more poker-themed than his friend who accompanied him would have liked) after winning a non-transferable package online, but has enjoyed his time in the UK and put his satellite win to good use – he comes to the final table as chip leader. The 23 year old left his college course in September and has been focusing more on online poker, spicing up the MTT grind with 5-card Omaha. Win or lose (he intends to see how the flow of the final goes before adapting his play), after the Main Event he will be off to see the sights here before heading back to Belgium (his friend, uninterested in the final, is already out seeing them today!).

Seat 8: Ben Winsor, United Kingdom, 1,953,000

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Ben Winsor

Professional online sports betting trader Ben Winsor at 27 has already been playing poker for nigh on a decade. The last four years have seen him rack up an impressive $234,638 in live cashes and his progress to the final here in Bristol has appeared smooth (no limit hold’em being his favourite game). Hailing from Broadstairs in Kent, Winsor has bagged himself a package to UKIPT Edinburgh by ending up the last man standing in the UKIPT Hotels Last-Longer, and is also guaranteed at least £6,900 for his final table appearance.

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Chi Zhang leads last 11 heading into the final day of UKIPT Bristol

Chi Zhang leads last 11 heading into the final day of UKIPT Bristol

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Chi Zhang on top

The remaining 126 players returned for Day 2 today, ripped open their bags and went about their business of trying to (first) make the money and (second) make the final table, if the ten one-hour allotted levels would allow. By the end of those levels, 11 players remained, just three short of the official final table of eight.

It was looking like 12 players were heading for the final day but Shola Akindele Deadman busted on the very last hand of the night to leave 11 men standing and ready for battle tomorrow. She got her chips in with pocket fours on a five high flop but Joseph Lalor had flopped trip deuces and took the lot to climb to second in the counts.

Top of the pile sits Chi Zhang. He came in to today fifth in the counts and impressively pushed opponents around and picked up big hands at the right time and managed to make them pay for him. One such hand happened to be on the bubble (see below). He leads a final 11 that looks like:

Name Country Status Chips
Chi Zhang United Kingdom  PokerStars Qualifier 1804000
Pierrick Tallon Belgium  PokerStars Qualifier 1420000
Joseph Lalor Ireland PokerStars Qualifier 1376000
Christopher Brice United Kingdom PokerStars Qualifier 1219000
Benjamin Winsor United Kingdom   1036000
Hak-Mann Lee Sweden    1010000
Leslie Packer United Kingdom   850000
Brett Angell United Kingdom   752000
Otto Richard France   674000
Andrew Fleming United Kingdom   547000
Lee Mulligan United Kingdom    404000

Hand for hand play on the bubble only lasted three hands and it was a cooler that cost David Milby his first ever UKIPT cash. He opened with pocket kings and then called all in for 16 big blinds after Zhang set him in. The latter opened pocket aces and 62 people in the room were happy to see the board run queen high.

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David Milby busting on the bubble

The eliminations, as expected, came thick and fast after all the players had secured a minimum £1,350 payday. Start of day chip leader Neil Van Der Merwe, Robertas Vaitkevicius, Joe Grech, Lucas Blanco, David Clarkson, Nik Persaud, James Atkin, Dan Stacey, Kelly Saxby, Mike Panteli, Deborah Worley-Roberts and Jake Cody were all familiar faces who busted in the money today.

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Worley-Roberts (R) went deep before Tallon (L) busted her

Cody was in the middle of creating another great poker story before his day was cut short by a cooler. The Team PokerStars Pro entered the day second bottom in the counts but, being the positive soul that he is, refused to give up on his tournament. He doubled early on and then ground his way through the bubble and amassed a stack 1.5 times the average before his exit hand. He five-bet jammed with pocket queen but ran into the aces of Lee Mulligan and failed to catch up.

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Great (if temporary) comeback by Jake Cody

Some players who returned today but failed to cash included: Robbie Bull, Gareth Chantler, Gerald Ringe, Lawrence Bayley, Chris Day, Daragh Davey, Dan Carter, Remigiusz Wyrzykiewicz, Richard Kellett, Paul Vas Nunes, Neil Raine, David Lappin and Angelo Milioto.

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Poker pro Gareth Chantler failed to spin up his short stack

Play will resume at midday BST on Sunday and will continue until the second ever UKIPT Bristol champion is crowned and handed a cheque (do they still exist?) for £58,500. The day promises to be an exciting one, just as today was. To relive all the key moments, why not click on one of the links below. There’s also a link to the prize pool and payout page if you want to see who finished where in the money.

Levels 13-16
Levels 17-22
Prize pool and payouts

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All photos are copyright of Mickey May. She knocked a tray of carrots out of a waitress’ hand earlier (we were too scared to ask why), so stealing her photos in on you.

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UKIPT5 Bristol Day 2: Level 13-14 updates (1,500/3,000 ante 400)

UKIPT5 Bristol Day 2: Level 13-14 updates (1,500/3,000 ante 400)

1:25pm: Leaders of the pack
Both end of Day 1 chip leaders were drawn to the same table today and in fact sit just two seats apart. It’s Day 1A chip leader Javed Ullah who’s fared the better so far today as he’s ran his stack up to 275,000, whilst Neil Van Der Merwe is down to 260,000. –NW

1:15pm: Young busts in a strange spot
David Young was just knocked out in a very strange hand at table one.
After an open to 6,000 from Alan Brown there was a three-bet to 21,000 from Jiye Zhang, who was in the one seat and getting a massage at the time. Action was now on Young and he said call, but hadn’t seen Zhang’s three-bet and thought he was calling the 6,000. Because he’d said the word call, rather than putting out chips, Young was now forced to call the 21,000. He’d only started the hand with around 50,000 so it was a significant portion of his chips.

Action passed back to Brown and he now had a decision, he elected to three-bet to 48,000, Zhang passed and Young said: “It’s a horrible way to go out but I can’t pass now,” he moved all-in and Brown matched the bet. He showed pocket jacks, which were well ahead of Young’s threes and it stayed that way on the [Kc][Ah][Kh][6h][8c] board. –NW

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 1,500/3,000, ante 400

1pm: Anthony spills his chips
Antony Spillings lost a button versus big blind race to bust early on here in Bristol.

The action folded around to him on the button and he raised and called off his sub 40k stack after Otto Castle set him in.

Spillings: [9c][9h]
Castle: [kh][jc]

The board ran [ah][jd][2s][tc][6d] to pair Castle’s jack. — MC

12:55pm: More bust outs
The first level on Day 2 is well known as a level of carnage where players can often bust at the rate of one a minute. Shuaida Cheng, Gareth Chantler, Michael Finan, Daragh Davey, Dan Carter, Arvydas Merfeldas, Dominic Mitchell, Remigiusz Wyrzykiewicz, Melonie Finan, Keith Boniface, Tri Vu, John Patten and Pablo Nerro are the latest exits on Day 2. –NW

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Gareth Chantler

12:50pm: Short Day after classic race
Chris Day’s stack has dropped to 46,000 after a he lost a classic race to Steve Russell, who doubled to 112,000. The chips went in preflop and the cards were on their backs.

Day: [qh][qd]
Russell: [ac][kh]

The board ran [7s][4c][6d][ad][7c] to make Russell two pair. — MC

12:35pm: Bayley busts
“Aces don’t beat tens,” said Lawrence Bayley to the PokerStars Blog as he exited the tournament room. He went on to tells us that he was down to nine big blinds at that point as a result of a hero call gone wrong and added. “My exit hand played itself,” it was Mike Panteli who had the tens. — NW

12:30pm: Stonehouse enters the right code to double through Morse
David Stonehouse flopped better than Andy Morse to double to around 106,000.

There had been significant action preflop flop before a [ac][qc][8s] flop appeared. Stonehouse checked to Morse who asked him how much he had. Stonehouse lifted his hands to show he had 34,300 behind.

“All in,” announced Morse.

“Call,” came the immediate response.

Stonehouse: [ah][qd]
Morse: [kd][kc]

The board ran out [8h][5c] and Morse dropped to around 111,00. — MC

12:20pm: Early double for Cody
Team PokerStars Pro Jake Cody is up to 40,000 after doubling up in the opening orbit against Dan Carter.
The latter opened to 5,000 with pocket threes, the small blind called and Cody then moved all-in from the big blind for around 17,000 with [Ax][7x] and Carter looked him up. The flop was safe for Carter but Cody turned an ace to double up. — NW

12:10pm: Six players snap bust
Six players busted within the first few minutes of play. They are: Anh-Tuan Hoang, Marc Hunter, Reza Vand, Richard Swatton, Gerald Ringe and Robert Bull. — MC

12pm: We’re off
Day 2 is under way. –NW

11:50am: It’s moving day in Bristol
When play starts at noon they’ll be 126 hopefuls all hoping to enhance their chances of winning this tournament and the £58,500 first prize. Come the end of play today there may well only be eight left standing, or more accurately, sitting. The plan today is ten levels or reach the final table of eight, whichever comes first. Chances are reaching the final table will have to wait until Sunday.

One man who’ll have his sights set on being here on Sunday is current chip leader Neil Van Der Merwe. The 30-year-old hails from Cambridge and used to work in sales but has called poker his profession for the past four years. He begins the day with a 351,200 which gives him a lead of over 125,000 from Dan Williams (224,900). “I ran really well, had a lot of aces, kings and even quads,” he told the PokerStars Blog when play ended yesterday.”

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Neil Van Der Merwe

Whilst plenty of Day 1 chip leaders have failed to make the money – 63 get paid – Van Der Merwe’s huge stack means he’s already got an average stack for when just 32 players remain. The likes of Ryan Spittles (171,100), Kelly Saxby (164,100) and David Clarkson (134,500) are well placed to make a run at this, whilst Team PokerStars Pro Jake Cody (19,900), David Lappin (20,000) and Gareth Chantler (21,200) are among those who’ve got work to do.

You can see the full overnight chip counts here and the start of Day 2 seat draw here. Play is set to start at noon.

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PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT5 Bristol: Marc Convey and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May

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Van Der Merwe is clear leader heading into Day 2 of UKIPT Bristol

Van Der Merwe is clear leader heading into Day 2 of UKIPT Bristol

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An almost perfect day for Van Der Merwe

If B stands for Big then Day 1″B” of UKIPT 5 delivered on that front. A total of 306 players rocked up to the Rainbow Casino today, more than double the 140 that entered yesterday. By the end of 12 levels of play 89 remained and one player – Neil Van Der Merwe (351,200) – stood tallest and will take the overall lead heading into Day 2, where 128 will return.

His remarkable day gathered traction just before the dinner break when, holding pocket aces, he eliminated two players in one fell swoop. A lot of that was thanks to flopping a full house but, even though that was a big pot that helped him pass 100k, it will not be remembered as the hand that defined his day.

Fast-forward two-and-a-half hours and bring Chun Man into the fray. He called Van Der Merwe’s preflop four-bet to see a [7c][7s][2s] flop where he called a 12,000 c-bet. The turn was the [4h] and Van Der Merwe bet another 25,500 before calling when Man shoved for 63,000. Both had big pairs but the kings of Van Der Merwe had Man’s jacks dominated and it stayed that way on the [th] river.

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Chiang thrived at the ‘table of death’

Other players who’ll head into Day 2 with positive vibes after good days include: Dan Williams (224,800), Chi Zhang (207,000), Jen-Yue Chiang (195,400), Pierrick Tallon (191,200), Jiye Zhang (178,300), Kelly Saxby (164,100) and Deborah Worley-Roberts (147,900).

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Debs was dangerous today

Notables who’ll be joining them are: Team PokerStars Pro Jake Cody (19,900), Nik Persaud (91,400), Dan Stacey (90,600), Brett Angell (56,600), Dara Davey (49,200), Tomaz Raniszewski (108,800) and 77p online qualifier Marcell Gottshalk (69,300).

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Cody has work to do tomorrow

Registration for the event closed today and the 446 players created a £302,834 prize pool. The players coming back tomorrow will, first of all, have their eyes on making the top 63 and securing a minimum £1,350 payday, but who would blame any one of them thinking about getting their hands on the £58,500 top prize on offer.

Those players who will have to find their fortune elsewhere, like in the many side events on offer this week, include: Kevin Killeen, Niall Farrell, Dean Hutchison, James Noonan, Team Pro Online’s Alex Millar, Paul Zimbler, Antoine Saout, Mick Graydon, Sin Melin, Richard Hawes, Alex Lindop, Rhys Jones and Tom Hall. Some talent on that list and all Day 2 players will be pleased to know they can’t be drawn at their table tomorrow.

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Millar might go back to concentrating on his online game

That Day 2 starts tomorrow at noon BST. The plan for the day is to get down to the final table of eight players or ten levels of play, whichever comes first. If we were betting men, which we obviously are, buckle in for the full ten levels.

Until then though, click on the links below to relive some of today’s main talking points:

Levels 1-5
Levels 6-12

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All photos are copyright of Mickey May. She’s been practising ninja yoga this week, so steal her photos and she’ll bend you in ways you won’t recover from

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UKIPT5 Bristol Day 1B: Level 1 updates (50/100)

UKIPT5 Bristol Day 1B: Level 1 updates (50/100)

12:40pm: John Gale makes his UKIPT Debut
John Gale is playing his first ever UKIPT today and he told the PokerStars blog that he very happy to be here.

Gale’s first ever-recorded cash was at the 2005 PCA, which he won for $890,600! That result was no one-off though as he went on to achieve enormous success for the following few years, racking up six more six-figure cashes (including a WSOP bracelet).

Unfortunately for Gale, illness struck him down for a good while and he was forced into the shadows. Thankfully his illness was temporary and he’s been able to show in 2015 that class in permanent. He cashed five times over the summer in Las Vegas, including winning his second career bracelet and another $298,290.

A poker resume is not worth the paper it’s written on though without a UKIPT cash, so Gales in Bristol to try and settle that one. — MC

12:30pm: In for a penny but not in for a pound
The direct buy-in for this event is £770 but thanks to the satellite system there are plenty of players in for far less today. One of those is Marcell Gottshalk and his journey to this tournament is quite remarkable.

He played the six-max side event here on Wednesday night and having busted that went home and found he had some loose change in his PokerStars account. So, he entered a £0.77 UKIPT Bristol satellite feeder and won his way into a £27 re-buy satellite that had at least 1 seat guaranteed to the Main Event. A few hours later he’d won that as well and had qualified to the Main Event for the princely sum of £0.77. — NW

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A marvellous run for Marcell

12:15pm: Name dropping
Play is split over two rooms here currently in Bristol with most players in the cardroom/River View Suite and around five tables in use in an area to the left of the bar. Rapinder Cheema, who won UKIPT5 London, is one of those players in the secondary area and there are more tables there which aren’t in use right now.

There are more familiar faces in the main cardroom, Robbie Bull – another UKIPT London winner – and Mark McCluskey are sharing a table. The former has form here too having finished third when the UKIPT was last in town in 2012. Paul McTaggart walked past McCluskey and said hello as he took his seat at an adjoining table.

Elsewhere you’ll find two more UKIPT winners as Duncan McLellan and Brett Angell are playing and there’s a slew of players who’ve made a UKIPT final table but couldn’t quite get over the line. They include: Deborah Worley-Roberts, Raj Verma and Luke Perrott. And just to round things off two of the UK’s best tournament players – Simon Deadman and Ben Jenkins – are down the far end of the room, albeit at separate tables. –NW

12:05pm: Shuffle up and deal
Play is under way here in Bristol, 180 players are already in their seats. — NW

11:40am: The hoards arrive for Day 1B
The sun is out and shining in Bristol – and for a city commonly known as Brizzle – that’s a big deal. So what better way to spend it than in a windowless casino! There’s not many other places we’d rather be though. The sun will always shine another day, good luck finding another UKIPT Bristol to enter this year.

At least double the 140 that played yesterday are expected today with many of the UK and Ireland’s top pros expected to be in attendance. A total of 39 players made it through – a high casualty rate due to the twelve 45-minute levels played – and a similar percentage will fall today.

Cards will be in the air at midday and players already seen include double bracelet winner John Gale; newly-married Simon Dedman; top Scots Ludovic Geilich, Dean Huchinson and Niall Farrell; Sin Melin and Team Pros Jake Cody and Alex Millar.

UKIPT5_Bristol_balloon_festival.jpgIf you bust you can always head out to enjoy the Bristol Balloon Festival

PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT5 Bristol: Marc Convey and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May

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UKIPT5 Bristol: Level 1-2 updates (75/150)

UKIPT5 Bristol: Level 1-2 updates (75/150)

1:05pm: Man down
It’s never nice to bust a poker tournament and it’s always nasty when you’re the first one to do so. That walk of shame today belonged to Jeremy Pantin who lost out to Tri Vu in a huge pot towards the end of the first level.

We didn’t catch the hand live but our thanks to Jonathon Rees who told the PokerStars Blog what happened and it was one of those blind on blind battles that escalated until all the chips were in the middle. It was Pantin who had position and he three-bet to 750 from the big blind after Vu had raised from the small, call from Vu.
The flop was [2][3][7] with two diamonds, Vu checked, Pantin bet 1,000, Vu check-raised to 3,500 and Pantin smooth called to create a chunky 8,500 chip pot by the time the [3s] fell on the turn. Vu continued his aggression betting 5,500 but Pantin went nowhere as he stuck around to see the river. As Rees told it, before the fifth and final community card came down, which was the [As], Vu shoved dark, although Rees described it as ‘semi dark’ suggesting that the ace might have been on the table as Vu shoved.

His actions sent Pantin deep into the tank, “he eventually called it off with Jacks,” said Rees, Vu though had rivered two pair with [A][7] to take the pot and the first scalp of the tournament. — NW

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 75-150

12:45pm: The Irish double act are in town
Dara O’Kearney and his sidekick, David Lappin, have arrived and taken their seats.

O’Kearney always seems to be referred to as PokerStars Online Qualifier of the Season, a title he won last season (4), but 2015 is turning out to be a breakout year in the live arena for the Irishman. Over the summer in Las Vegas, he notched up a career-high score of $262,502 with a runner-up finish in a $1,500 bracelet event and will be hoping to bring that form back to Europe.

Lappin avoided the WSOP and took a leaf out of his pal’s book by causing havoc in the UKIPT online satellites:

Couldn’t resist depriving one last @UKIPT Bristol hopeful of a seat! pic.twitter.com/OS10ajiRFG

— David K Lappin (@DKLAPPIN) August 4, 2015

— MC

12:30pm: Taxi to Bristol
We often talk of the UKIPT being a breeding ground for bigger tours such as the EPT (see, Silver, Max) but it should also be noted that the UKIPT Series, which carries a buy-in of £250, is in its own way a satellite tour for the UKIPT proper.

One such player who’s had success in those events and the equivalent ‘Classics’ that PokerStars LIVE! at The Hippodrome Casino is Stuart Green. The London based player has made back to back final tables there. He left his bid to play here late, very late in fact, as he snagged a seat in a satellite just last night.

He’s playing today and such was the success of last night’s satellites, which were planned to be the last, PokerStars has decided to run one more online satellite, it’s a £100 freezeout and it starts at 21.00 BST. — NW

12:20pm: Who’s about?
The answer is not that many right now. Ten tables are currently in use but that number will grow as players file in during the day. Poker players have never been known for their punctuality!

Top marks then for Gary Clarke, Ben Martin, Dan Carter and Jonathon Rees who were all here when the register was called by sir (Luca Vivaldi). — MC

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Jonathon Rees

12:05pm: Shuffle up and Deal
Cards are in the air for Day 1A!

11:50am: Back in Bristol
The UKIPT is back in Bristol after a two and a half year absence. The last time we were here was in November 2012 and whilst Barack Obama was busy getting re-elected, Wojtek Barzantny was scoring his own double as the German player took down two UKIPT titles in a week. First he defeated end of level boss Chris Moorman to claim the UKIPT Online title and then he blasted his way through a field of 550 to win the Main Event.

Since then he’s only had one further UKIPT cash, to be fair he hasn’t played many of them, but we have it on good authority that he’s heading back here to defend his title this week. Everyone else might as well not bother then right? Well thankfully this game we love has a habit of being predictably unpredictable, so whilst we don’t know exactly what’s in store over the next four days we at least know that it should be entertaining.

Play today is scheduled to start at 12pm and finish around 10.30pm. Welcome back Bristol.

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Wojtek wins…again

Key UKIPT5 Bristol Facts:
– 25,000 starting stack
– Blinds starting at 50/100 for 250 big blinds
– Levels are 45 minutes on Day 1 and they’ll be 12 of them. From Day 2 onwards levels increase to 60 minutes.
– Day 1A is today, Day 1B takes place tomorrow, the field will then combine for the first time on Saturday, before (hopefully) playing down to a final table on Saturday and then to a winner on Sunday. Cue mad celebrations and swigging of champagne from the trophy (possibly).
– Full UKIPT5 Bristol schedule here.
– There’s a live satellite to the Main Event tonight, it begins at 18.00 BST and the buy-in is £100+£10
– There’s also a last chance saloon online satellite too. That’ll cost you £100 to play and starts at 21.00 BST. Feeders from just £1.65 are running to that from 17.00 BST.
– It’s not all about the poker here in Bristol. Should you bust out then the folks at UKIPT Hotels have got you covered with Footgolf, a Hot Air Balloon experience and more. They’ve got a welcome desk here at the Rainbow Casino where you can find out more.

PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT5 Bristol: Marc Convey and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May

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Last chance to qualify for UKIPT Bristol

Last chance to qualify for UKIPT Bristol

You want to play UKIPT Bristol. I know you do. I can see it right there in your eyes next to the spot where you were hoping for a biscuit. You want it.

So, make it happen, cap’n, because if you want to qualify online, you don’t have much longer.

UKIPT Bristol runs August 6-9 and will mark its return after a two-year absence from the schedule. The £700+£70 buy-in Main Event will be the highlight of the tourney at Rainbow Casino inside Bristol’s Harbourside, but it’s not the only thing going on.

Side events include the £2000+£200 (rebuy) High Roller, the £300+£30 (rebuy) Bristol Cup with a £300+£30 buy in.

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The Bristol stop will be about more than poker tournaments. We’re told there will be 24/7 cash games running, not to mention opportunities to play Footgolf, ride in a hot air balloon, play five-a-side football, and race go-karts.

So, you want to…even more than you want a biscuit, I’d bet.

So, visit UKIPT.com for more details.


is the PokerStars Head of Blogging

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Karl Mahrenholz takes a look at London’s new casinos

Karl Mahrenholz takes a look at London’s new casinos

The packed Schedule in London allowed me the chance to visit two of the capital’s newest poker hotspots. Neither the Hippodrome or Aspers disappointed. The contrast of the two venues is quite stark. The Hippodrome has carved a casino out of a building very much still identifiable as an old theatre. The maze-like layout has…

The post Karl Mahrenholz takes a look at London’s new casinos appeared first on PokerPlayer365.com.

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Isidoro Barreña battles to UKIPT5 Marbella crown

Isidoro Barreña battles to UKIPT5 Marbella crown

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The final eight

What a week it’s been! The PokerStars Marbella festival – a joint collaboration between the ESPT and UKIPT – was back for its third edition this past week and proved more popular than ever with most tournaments beating previous attendance records. The Main Event attracted a record 841 players and at 12:15pm CET on Sunday, the final eight took their seats with dreams of a €150,800 payday still intact.

The final table was a tale of two halves. It took only slightly less than four hours to get down to heads up and about the same time again for a winner to be crowned. It looked as if the day would be over in record time and then it looked as if the heads up battle might go on for a record amount of time.

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Isidoro Barreña – champion

Isidoro Barreña and Jose Angel Latorre were the last two standing and the latter had a three-to-one chips lead after dominating the final up until that point. We say up until that point because Barreña became a different beast when faced with only one opponent. Multi-way he looked unsure and nervously handled his chips; heads-up he looked decisive and in control.

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Just before head up play began

It helped that at the start of their duel he made hands and had Latorre consistently betting in to him – an aggressive tactic that had served him so well thus far – and before he knew it, Barreña had a near six-to-one advantage. Latorre stayed calm though and fought his way back to evens. The players kept trading the lead as the increased blind levels made the swings larger. Barreña had around a four big blind advantage when the final hand of the tournament came about. He four-bet all in with ace-queen and Latorre called off with ace-jack. A queen fell on the turn and it was all over.

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Jose Angel Latorre – 2nd place

Let’s take the action right back to the beginning of the day where Latorre entered with more than 25% of the chips in play and double that of his nearest competitor. He’s known by many as the best Sit and Go player in Spain and that meant he was at home and knew what strategy to employ. He pressurised his opponents from the off and sucked up as many chips as he could.

The first player to put their tournament at risk was PokerStars qualifier Sam Grafton. He shoved with deuces over a couple of limps but Juan Bautista had trickily limped with queens and made the call. Fate can be cruel though and a deuce appeared on the flop to crush Bautista and his stack and he busted to Latorre shortly after.

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Juan Bautista – 8th place

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Jeffrey Brouwer – 7th place

That was good news for Jeffrey Brouwer who came into today with the only sub one-million stack and would’ve been looking to ladder as high as possible. He earned an extra €6,000 by surviving until seventh. He shoved with ace-eight but ran into Latorre’s ace-queen that went on to make a dominating two pair.

Latorre’s charge was in full-flow by that point and none of his opponents had an answer as the Supernova Elite gathered half the chips in play into his welcoming arms. It was surprising then that didn’t have a hand in the third exit of the day.

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Sam Grafton – 6th pace

Grafton had fewer than 12 big blinds when he shoved from the small blind with queen-five. The Brit then had to suffer while Barreña took several minutes to call with king-nine and then when a couple of his tablemates over-celebrated the sight of a king flopping to send him on his way.

The unassuming David Vedral was soon behind Grafton at the payout desk after he ran ace-ten into Latorre’s pocket aces after three-betting all in. Rodrigo Rosales was also involved in the hand but (wisely) folded the on the turn. That meant an all-Spanish final four but Latorre was in no mood to play friendly. He went into overdrive winning almost every pot en route to owning 75% of the chips in play.

Ukipt5_marbella_main_event_day4_david_vedral.jpg

David Vedral – 5th place

It was going to take one of the other three players finding big hands to make them risk their tournament lives, and that’s exactly what happened. Dario Carrion found pocket queens under-the-gun and moved all in; Barreña looked down at ace-jack in the big blind, made the call, and went on to make a full house.

UKIPT5_Marbella_final_Dario_Carrion.jpg

Dario Carrion – 4th place

Rodrigo Rosales was probably the best-supported player at the final table today and his support carried him to a third-pace finish after a swingy day. The man who hails from Burgos, and is a barrow boy by trade, finally succumbed to Barreña after he three-bet all in to his ace-jack whilst holding ace-five. The €64,600 he earned was, by far, the biggest he’d ever won at the poker table and we’re sure he and his supportive girlfriend will spend it wisely (or not).

UKIPT5_Marbella_Rodrigo_Rosales_final.jpg

Rodrigo Rosales – 3rd place

Below is a reminder of how much everyone won at today’s final table. While they took the lion’s share of the prize pool, 128 players shared €807,360. For a full breakdown, please click here.

Position Name Nationality Status Payout
1 Isidoro Barreña Spain   € 150,800
2 Jose Angel Latorre Spain PokerStars Player € 91,500
3 Rodrigo Rosales Spain PokerStars Qualifier € 64,600
4 Dario Carrion Spain PokerStars Qualifier € 48,400
5 David Vedral Austria PokerStars Qualifier € 38,200
6 Sam Grafton United Kingdom PokerStars Qualifier € 28,600
7 Jeffrey Brouwer Netherlands   € 20,100
8 Juan Bautista Spain   € 14,100

The UKIPT says goodbye to the ESPT for another year and returns to the British Isles for the next leg of Season 5 in Bristol. The fun and games will take place August 6 – 9 where we, and the two jokers pictured below, hope to see you there. Satellites are already running on PokerStars so get involved!

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Toby Stone & David Curtis

Pictures copyright of Mickey May

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UKIPT5 Marbella Final Table: Level 26 updates (25,000/50,000 ante 5,000)

UKIPT5 Marbella Final Table: Level 26 updates (25,000/50,000 ante 5,000)

12:15pm: Jose Angel Latorre leads final eight
Hello and welcome to the final table of the UKIPT5 Marbella Main Event. Just eight remain in the hunt for the title. The man looking most likely to take the title right now is Jose Angel Latorre, the Spaniard, who is a Supernova Elite on PokerStars has more than double his nearest rival.

Seat Name Country Status Chips
1 Dario Carrion Spain PokerStars Qualifier 3,305,000
2 Jose Angel Latorre Spain PokerStars Player 6,950,000
3 Rodrigo Rosales Spain PokerStars Qualifier 3,175,000
4 Sam Grafton UK PokerStars Qualifier 1,035,000
5 Isidoro Barreña Spain   1,570,000
6 David Vedral Austria PokerStars Qualifier 1,920,000
7 Jeffrey Brouwer Netherlands   850,000
8 Juan Bautista Spain   1,750,000

Ukipt5_marbella_main_event_day3_jose_angel_latorre.jpg

Latorre leads the way

You can learn a lot more about the final eight right here, courtesy of our final table player profiles.

And here’s a reminder of what they’re playing for:

Position Name Nationality Status Payout
1       € 150,800
2       € 91,500
3       € 64,600
4       € 48,400
5       € 38,200
6       € 28,600
7       € 20,100
8       € 14,100

Cards are now in the air and there are nine minutes remaining in the current level.

PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT5 Marbella: Marc Convey and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May

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Supernova Elite Jose Angel Latorre leads UKIPT Marbella final table

Supernova Elite Jose Angel Latorre leads UKIPT Marbella final table

Ukipt5_marbella_main_event_day3_jose_angel_latorre.jpg

Latorre leads by a long way

We have reached the final eight in the UKIPT5 Marbella Main Event and as always with these events we’ve a varied line-up which should make for a great final table. Perhaps the 833 players who have already fallen might not feel that way but for any neutrals, following the fortunes of the final eight should make for compelling reading.

There’s Jose Angel Latorre, the chip leader, who is a Supernova Elite, accrued over 3,000,000 VPPs last year on PokerStars. You ‘only’ need 1,000,000 to make Supernova Elite, however it takes most players who shoot for that target an entire year of locking themselves in their room to get over the line. Lattorre did that three times over, it’s a bit like sprinting past a very fast runner whilst running backwards and giving them a cheeky little wave. The Spaniard, who now calls London home, hit that milestone mostly by playing high stakes Sit andGo’s, although given he also has a TCOOP title to his name he’s not exactly a tournament novice.

Then there’s Sam Grafton, the gregarious Brit who is making a habit of running deep in this tournament. Last year he had a big stack but bubbled the final table in ninth place. This year he found himself in a very different spot as one of the shorter stacks from two tables out. He battled through though and after numerous deep runs (25th, 9th, 43rd, 33rd, 15th, 14th) over the five Seasons of the UKIPT Grafton takes his place among the final eight for the first time. Few, if any, will begrudge him that achievement .

Ukipt5_marbella_main_event_day3_sam_grafton.jpg

Grafton – going for gold tomorrow

Whilst they might be the headline acts the remaining six players representing Spain (four), Holland and Austria all have a chance to make a name for themselves and claim a first prize of €150,800 whilst doing so.

They’ve already locked up €14,100 for their efforts this week and the final table was set just after 9pm tonight when Aleksandar Abutovic’s [Kc][Qc] lost out to David Vedral’s [As][4s]. This is how the final eight will line-up tomorrow when play restarts tomorrow.

Seat Name Country Status Chips
1 Dario Carrion Spain PokerStars Qualifier 3,305,000
2 Jose Angel Latorre Spain PokerStars Player 6,950,000
3 Rodrigo Rosales Spain PokerStars Qualifier 3,175,000
4 Sam Grafton UK PokerStars Qualifier 1,035,000
5 Isidoro Barreña Spain   1,570,000
6 David Vedral Austria PokerStars Qualifier 1,920,000
7 Jeffrey Brouwer Netherkands   850,000
8 Juan Bautista Spain   1,750,000

UKIPT5_Marbella_Day3_Aleksander_Abtovic.jpg

Abtovic – bubbled the final table

Ukipt5_marbella_main_event_day3_david_vedral.jpg

Vedral – his bustout set the final table

They will be in Level 26, with blinds of 25,000-50,000 and a 5,000 ante (for another eight minutes), that makes the average stack 51 big blinds right now and 42.5 when the blinds next go up. There is still plenty of play left in this one.

The best way to recap how we went from 61 players to the final table of eight is to check out today’s updates here and here but the short version of the day goes like this.

The start was fast, very fast. The field was cut down to the final 24 inside the first four levels and the likes of Mateusz Moolhuizen (27th), Daniel Price (29th), Tomeu Gomila (33rd) and Jesus Javier Bustos (53rd) had departed and Latorre had risen imperiously to the top of the chip counts. He would never let that lead slip.

Ukipt5_marbella_main_event_day3_daniel_price.jpg

Price – his deep run ended today

It took another four levels to go from 24 to eight and it was during this period that Latorre went into overdrive hoovering up chips at every opportunity. He had over 20% of the chips in play with 16 players left and when he won a big pot against Rodrido Rosales and then eliminated Andreas Schillinger in 12th place he had damn near 33% of the chips in play. Had he not doubled up Rosales at the unofficial final table of nine we might have been looking at a chip leader with 50% of the chips with eight left.

Ukipt5_marbella_main_event_day3_andreas_schillinger.jpg

Schillinger – one of Latorre’s many victims

As it is the other players are still in with a chance of overhauling him, follow the coverage right here from 12.15pm CET to see if anyone can stop Lattore going wire to wire. Until tomorrow good night.

UKIPT_Marbella_2015_MickeyMay_66580.jpg

Photos copyright of Mickey May and Rene Velli

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UKIPT5 Marbella Day 3: Level 19 updates (5,000/10,000 ante 1,000)

UKIPT5 Marbella Day 3: Level 19 updates (5,000/10,000 ante 1,000)

12:29pm: Grafton doubles Razab-Sekh
Pocket queens seems to be the lucky hand of the day so far as Stieven Razab-Sekh used them to double through Sam Grafton.

A preflop raising war saw both players’ hands flipped up:

Sekh: [qc][qd]
Grafton: [ts][td]

The board ran [2h][js][4s][8d][2d]. After a count, Grafton paid over 162,000 chips and dropped to around 300,000. — MC

12:20pm: Bibikova busts in classic race
The last lady standing (or sitting) had busted in the most classic of races.

Ekaterina Bibikova was down to 136,000 when she moved all in from under the gun. David Vederal asked for a count from the cutoff and announced a call. Alejandro Galiana showed pocket fives in the big blind but mucked his hand.

Bibikova: [ah][ks]
Vederal: [qs][qh]

The board ran [7h][8c][4d][3d][6c] to send the pit the way of Vederal. Galiana, meanwhile, was nudging his neighbour to point out he would’ve made a straight. — MC

12:10pm: Double up for Trujillo
After paying the ante Carlos Alberto Trujillo only had 7.5 big blinds to his name and so when he was dealt [Qc][Qh] on the button that was more than enough of a hand to see him commit his chips. The small blind folded but when Steinar Edduson looked down at [Ah][2c] he called to put Trujillo at risk.

The [3d][9s][6d][6s][7c] board was clean as far as Trujillo was concerned and he doubled up. — NW

12:05pm: Early exit for Symes
Players were still taking their seats as John Symes was leaving his. On the first hand of play it folded to him on the button and he moved in for 121,000 total. Daniel Price was in the small blind and he pushed out a stack of T25,000 chips to indicate a call and Rodrigo Rosales folded from the big blind.

Symes: [Ah][Kh]
Price: [Ad][Qd]

The [9d][Td][3c] flop was the just the sort of flop Price was looking for and Symes seemed to know what was coming as he was out of his seat before the [5d] turn gave Price a lock on the hand. The meaningless [3s] completed the board. — NW

12:02pm: Shuffle and deal
Cards are in the air for Day 3!

11:30am: The final 61 return with Carrion leading
It’s very rare that you get deep into a poker tour without taking on a big flip at least once. Dario Carrion – the chip leader entering today with 967,000 – took that flip on in the last level yesterday. He won, has three times the average and most probably high hopes of making the final table.

That final table, with or without Carrion, will consist of eight players – the number the tournament will play down to today. Those who make it should get a nice early night but those who bust can celebrate/commiserate at the player party, taking place at 10pm at Guey restaurant just five minutes walk from the casino.

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Sam Grafton one of the big names left in

Sam Grafton is the headline name chasing Carrion. He’ll be hoping to get at least as deep as he did lady year when he went from chip leader to out on the final table bubble. Other players still in the hunt include: Richard Pearson, Tomeu Gomila, Ruben Nils Pleijster, Neil Mackay and Mats Sjoblom.

Cards will be in the air at Midday CET but for now, check out the Day 3 seat draw:

Table Seat Name Country Status Chips
1 1 Dimitry Vrnovitskiy Russia   149,000
1 2 Jesus Javier Bustos Spain   223,000
1 3 Jaime Floid Molina Bellver Spain PokerStars Player 80,000
1 4 Daniel Sochanek Sweden PokerStars Player 414,000
1 5 Alejandro Martínez Carrasco Spain   260,000
1 6 Dario Carrion Morenilla Spain PokerStars Qualifier 967,000
1 7 Pascual Sanchez Lopez Spain PokerStars Qualifier 309,000
1 8 Ruben Nils Pleijster Netherlands   434,000
           
2 1 Neil Mackay UK   211,000
2 3 Daniel Sisa Cura Spain   350,000
2 4 Ramon Antonio Miranda Puente Spain PokerStars Player 124,000
2 5 Victor Gimenez De-Houting Spain PokerStars Qualifier 572,000
2 6 Carlos Alberto Trujillo Spain   76,000
2 7 Inocente Gomez Bordonado Spain   263,000
2 8 Steinar Edduson Iceland   663,000
           
3 1 Jeffrey Brouwer Netherland   737,000
3 3 Alejandro Galiana Ramos Spain   250,000
3 4 Ekaterina Bibikova Russian Federation   140,000
3 5 Noel Cortina Spain PokerStars Qualifier 131,000
3 6 Vizsnyiczai Zsolt Hungary PokerStars Qualifier 312,000
3 7 David Vedral Austria PokerStars Qualifier 303,000
3 8 Isidoro Barreña Spain   733,000
           
4 2 Javier Mateos Spain   453,000
4 3 Roi Pereira Conde Spain PokerStars Qualifier 423,000
4 4 Borja Gross Fernandez Spain PokerStars Qualifier 570,000
4 5 Mateusz Moolhuizen Netherlands PokerStars Qualifier 329,000
4 6 Fabien Parisel France PokerStars Player 334,000
4 7 Scott Franklin UK   256,000
4 8 Aki Taisto Olavi Pyysing Finland   120,000
           
5 1 Julio Marino Carvalho Ribeiro Portugal PokerStars Qualifier 247,000
5 2 Pablo Galache Spain   783,000
5 3 Gabriel Barba Godino Spain   200,000
5 4 Fausutus Karl Korn UK   244,000
5 5 Dawid Andrej Grabinski Sweden   307,000
5 6 Richard James Pearson UK   142,000
5 7 Estefano Pastore Benisty Spain   368,000
5 8 Jose Antonio Benedi Lahuerta Spain PokerStars Qualifier 318,000
           
6 1 Jonathan Neale Cantle UK   419,000
6 2 Aleksandar Abtovic Germany   600,000
6 3 Niko Kettunen Finland   670,000
6 4 Tomeu Gomila Spain   179,000
6 5 Anh Tuan Hoang UK   369,000
6 6 Mateo Sempere Torres Spain   378,000
6 7 Andreas Schillinger Germany   516,000
6 8 Bernardo Miguel Baptista das Neves Portugal   119,000
           
7 1 Dominic Carle Evans UK PokerStars Qualifier 289,000
7 2 Jose Angel Latorre Marina Spain PokerStars Player 324,000
7 3 Philipp Schimmerl Austria PokerStars Qualifier 249,000
7 4 Mats Sjoblom Sweden PokerStars Qualifier 275,000
7 5 John Alexander Symes UK   122,000
7 6 Daniel William Price UK   575,000
7 7 Felipe Gonsalves Costa Brazil PokerStars Qualifier 107,000
7 8 Rodrigo Rosales Manso Spain PokerStars Qualifier 188,000
           
8 1 David Tovar Lasierra Spain PokerStars Qualifier 240,000
8 2 Gardar Geir Hauksson Iceland PokerStars Qualifier 470,000
8 3 Stieven Razab-Sekh Netherlands   166,000
8 4 Rafael Rembert Malta   188,000
8 5 Andrei Vlassenko Russia   260,000
8 6 Juan Bautista Mecho Spain   217,000
8 7 Juan Carlos Ramos Martin Spain PokerStars Qualifier 130,000
8 8 Sam Grafton UK PokerStars Qualifier 463,000
  • PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT5 Marbella: Marc Convey and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May
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    UKIPT5 Marbella Day 2: Carrion holds lead heading into Day 3

    UKIPT5 Marbella Day 2: Carrion holds lead heading into Day 3

    Day 2 on the UKIPT is always a frantic one and today proved no different. The 351 survivors from Days 1A and B combined for the first time and were spread high and wide due to play starting nine-handed. A large number of bust outs happened early on in proceedings due a higher than normal Day 1 survivor rate. Then there was the bubble to deal with and the usual mass exodus once it burst.

    As you can see the waters were choppy but Dario Carrion had a vessel to cope and its bowels had storage enough to pack in 967,000 chips after eight one-hour levels. He didn’t sail over the horizon and out of sight though as close to his stern you’ll find Pablo Galache (783,000), Jeffrey Brouwer(737,000), Isidoro Barreña (733,000), Niko Kettunen (670,000), Aleksandar Abtovic (666,000), Steinar Edduson (663,000), Victor Gimenez (592,000) and long-time Day 2 chip leader Daniel Price (575,000).

    UKIPT5_Marbella_day2_Dario_Carrion.jpg

    Will Dario be able to Carrion his form tomorrow?

    Many of Carrion’s chips were earned in the last level of the night when he five-bet shoved with pocket eights and got a call out of Daniel Perkusic holding ace-jack. Neither player connected with the board and no prizes for guessing who’ll be the happier tonight.

    Other players who sailed through to Day 3 include: Sam Grafton (463,000), Tomeu Gomila (175,000) and Richard Pearson (142,000). Around 61 players made it through the day.

    Thumbnail image for UKIPT5_Marbella_Day2_Sam_Grafton.jpg

    Grafton also made Day 3 last year

    Hand for hand play in a tournament can really eat into valuable time so it was nice to see that avoided today. Rolf Tomas was unlucky to bust in 129th place after running kings into aces and before Tournament Director Luca Vivaldi could initiate hand for hand play, three players busted almost simultaneously.

    UUkipt5_marbella_main_event_day2_the_bubblejpg

    The three (bubble) amigos

    Alex Ferguson, Salvador Mosteiro, Lukasz Jankowski all departed and split 128th and 127th place between them, meaning each took away €1,130 apiece for a €30 profit! Ferguson also won a last longer he was in too and that netted him another €800.

    Fatima Moreira de Melo had an unsettling day due to many table changes. She said she found it hard to get used to her opponents and what they were up to. It certainly had an affect on her accruing chips but she managed to squeeze into money, busting in 116th place for €1,775. That’s almost enough money for the €2,200 High Roller event and that’s exactly where the Team PokerStars SportStar headed.

    UKIPT2_Marbella_Day2_FatimaMoreiraDeMelo.jpg

    Moreira de Melo all in and awaiting her fate

    Katja Spillum Svendsen came third here last year but she won’t be able to repeat that this year but can be proud of her 93rd place finish for €2,020. Other players who fell but secured cashes were: Lasse Frost (100th – €1,775), James Atkin (82nd – €2,020), Lewis Swift (105th – €1,775) and overnight chip leader Julian Cabello (73rd – €2,020).

    More than half today’s field left disappointed after failing to secure a cash and they included: Jack Stanton, Alexander Stevic, Malte Moennig, Ognyan Dimov, Dan Stacey, Sebastian von Toperczer, Pieter de Korver, James Mitchell, Olga Iermolchevad, Tobias Peters and Paul McTaggert.

    Thumbnail image for UKIPT4_Marbella_Day2_Olga_Lermolcheva.jpg

    Olga Iermolchevad

    Tomorrow is a new day for the remaining players and they’ll be setting themselves a new target. Actually, one simple target will be at the forefront of their minds: make the final table! As long as play doesn’t slow down too much, the field should be whittled down to eight within another eight levels meaning everyone will be able to attend the official players party that kicks off at 10pm at Guey restaurant five minutes walk from the venue.

    Play restarts at Midday CET tomorrow but for now, why not check out all the action from today by clicking the links below:

    Levels 11-14.
    Levels 15-18.

    UKIPT_Marbella_2015_MickeyMay_68257.jpg

  • All photos copyright of Mickey May.
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    UKIPT5 Marbella Day 2: Level 15 -16 updates (2,500/5,000 ante 500)

    UKIPT5 Marbella Day 2: Level 15 -16 updates (2,500/5,000 ante 500)

    6:06pm: Cortina runs well, one owner from new
    Noel Cortina has eliminated another player and just 130 players remain now.

    Andrei Vlassenko opened to 11,100 from early position before Bengt Eddeland moved in for 45,000 from the cutoff and Cortina did likewise for 96,600 from the button. Vlassenko asked for counts but ultimately folded after some thought.

    Eddeland: [as][qd]
    Vlassenko: [ah][ad]

    The board ran [td][3d][7h][2h][6s] to send the Swede home four off the money. — MC

    6pm: So close…
    Hard lines to: Jose Alberto Auslander, Alain Goldberg, Ciancanelli Teresio, Diego Redondo, Magnus Karlsson, Francisco Javier Minguez, Victor Herrezuelo, Joaquin Delgado, James Mitchell, Pedro Inglés García, Dominic Mulhall, Christian Grundtvig, Francisco Carrasco and Manuel Cortada who are all out.

    132 players remain, 127 get paid. — NW

    5:50pm: You might remember me form such UKIPT final tables as…
    Katja Spillum Svendsen and Fatima Moreira de Melo have both made a final table on the UKIPT and they’re now sat side by side, albeit separated by a dealer. It’s Spillum Svendsen who’s in better shape as she’s got 190,000 to De Melo’s 58,000. Should the Olympic gold medallist hang on to cash though it would represent her fifth UKIPT Main Event cash. — NW

    LEVEL UP: BLINDS 2,500-5,000, ante 500

    5:42pm: Grafton no Urban child
    Sam Grafton found a good spot to double up although it wasn’t without its risks.

    The action folded around to David Urban in the small blind and he set Grafton (big blind) in for his last 5,800. Call.

    Urban: [ad][2d]
    Grafton: [as][qc]

    The board ran [jc][8h][9c][3d][ac]. Urban was left with 115,000. — MC

    UKIPT5_Marbella_Day2_Sam_Grafton.jpg

    Grafton is pretty damn Urban actually

    5:40pm: Emergency avoided for Jiminez
    Just 135 players remain but it should be 134 as Rodrigo Jimenez just got lucky to survive. He was all-in for just 27,000 with [Ac][9s] and was in trouble against Lukasz Jankowski who held a dominating [Ad][Kh]. The [7h][2d][9h][9c][9d] board ruled decisively in Jiminez’s favour as he runner-runner quads!

    Still 135 left then. — NW

    5:30pm: Lots of chips in Iceland
    Steinar Edduson looks to have taken the chip lead, the Icelander is sitting on a very healthy stack of 630,000. — NW

    Ukipt5_marbella_main_event_day2_steinar_edduson.jpg

    Steinar Edduson

    5:25pm: Sosa runs into them rockets
    Jose Alberto Auslande fell just over ten players short of the money after he ran in to aces when making a move with pocket fives.
    He was down to around 40,000 when he three-bet all in over the top of an 8,000 raise from Noel Cortina in the hijack. The board ran [6h][js][6s][jd][tc]. — MC

    5:10pm: A stressful time
    An orange, a toy train, a picture with your kids on it. All three have been used as a card protector but this tournament is the first time we’ve ever seen someone with a stress ball at the poker table. Paulos Patsis, a Greek PokerStars qualifier is constantly playing with one at the table and it appears to be stressing everyone else at the table out.

    When action gets to him he bounces the ball numerous times before taking any action, He’s got a decent stack of 230,000 so this seems to be about routine more than any actual stress he may be under as he’s not short on chips. — NW

    Ukipt5_marbella_main_event_day2_paulos_patsis.jpg

    Balling out of control

    5pm: The not so secret seven
    As the bubble approaches (141 left, 127 paid), these seven players (the only ones over 300k) will be looking to utilise the dynamics to add even more chips to their stacks:

    Name Country Status Chips
    Daniel Price UK   460,000
    Pablo Galache Spain   430,000
    Dario Carrion Spain PokerStars Qualifier 380,000
    Steinar Edduson Iceland   367,000
    Gabriel Barba Godino Spain   355,000
    Jose Antonio Benedi Lahuerta Spain PokerStars Qualifier 348,000
    Gardar Hauksson Iceland PokerStars Qualifier 340,000

    4:50pm: Eight max
    This tournament is now an eight-max affair. As a result the tournament floor staff are working their way around the room and removing a chair from each table. Will it speed up the action? Only time will tell. –NW

    4:36pm: Busted before halftime
    Players are back in their seats for the second half of today’s play. The names below won’t be joining them:

    Ognyan Dimov, Josep María Galindo, Manuel Saavedra, Roberto Perez, Asier Urruzmendi, Andrzej Kozikowski, Alfonso Cara García, Isabelo Gómez, Sylvie Van Den Bergh, Oscar Martinez, Traian Nechiti, Dennie Sormani, Alejandro Rodríguez, Cesar Omar Pino, David Laka, Moises Pastor, Carlos Andres Duran, Jose Mellado, Simon Chamoun, Joan Fabregas, Tamu-Petri Kero, Jose Luis Calero, Mathias Maasberg, Juan Jose Sanchez, Sergio Roberto Bloeme, Alberto Salinas, Grzegorz Grochulski, Israel Lao, Antonio Battaglia, Juan Jose Ramos, David Suarez, Filipe Briga Claro, Patrice Brandt, Dheni Vodegel, Patrick Clarke, Joao Carlos Carreira Marcelino, Guillermo Sánchez, Jonathan Matthews, Patrik Mitzner, Gregorio Diez, Mark James, Dmitrii Pcheliakov, Khazret Nebezhev, Mario Perez, Leonid Sidelkovskiy, Ivan Macias, Pedro Monteiro, Bakazs Szalavics and Seun Oluwole. –MC

    Ukipt5_marbella_main_event_day2_seun_oluwole.jpg

    Oluwole – out

    PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT5 Marbella: Marc Convey and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May

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    UKIPT5 Marbella Day 2: Level 11 updates (800/1600 ante 200)

    UKIPT5 Marbella Day 2: Level 11 updates (800/1600 ante 200)

    12:45pm: No UKIPT champs but a couple of EPT winners
    In our Day 2 prelude we mentioned that there would be a new UKIPT/Estrellas winner come the end of this tournament as there were no former champions remaining. But, whilst this tournament might be bereft of those sort of winners we do have two EPT champions still in the mix.

    Alexander Stevic is the original champion having won the very first EPT in Barcelona way back in September 2004. He collected €80,000 for that victory in a tournament that cost €1,000 to enter. Fast forward ten and a bit years and Ognyan Dimov was posing for a winner’s photo having taken down EPT11 Deauville. He collected € 543,700 for that victory.

    Coming into Day 2 it was Stevic who had the edge in terms of chips though as he began the day with 71,500 to Dimov’s 33,500. — NW

    12:35pm: Not you too, Jack
    Jack Stanton didn’t have the best day yesterday and finished with around half starting stack. He told the blog he was never all in but not for want of trying.

    He found a spot to get all in just now, with king-queen, but he too ran into aces behind him. Andrey Chizman was the man with rockets and made the call to send Stanton into orbit. — MC

    12:25pm: No Angel for Acero
    The dealer at table 34 might not have had his morning coffee today as a few of his basics are off, but not to worry, as Fatima Moreira de Melo is there to make sure he got an ante from everyone and that the player on the button actually got two cards to play with.

    Once all that was sorted, Jose Angel Acero – who only had just over starting stack – moved all in from early position and was called by Jonathan Matthews in the small blind.

    Acero: [kh][qc]
    Matthews: [as][ad]

    The board ran [7s][5h][2s][jh][ts] meaning it was all over by the turn for Acero. — MC

    12:05pm: Shuffle up and deal
    Cards are in the air for Day 2.

    11:55am: Let the march to the money begin
    841 entered, 351 remain and 127 get paid. The first order of business today is clear for all to see, make the money. We expect the bubble to burst sometime around level 15 so there’s going to be around four hours of tense poker action before an even more nervous period of play in and around the bubble.

    Before then stacks will be built, stacks will be bust and the dreams that go along them will soar or dissipate. One thing that we know for sure already is that whatever happens over the next three days they’ll be a new name on the trophy come Sunday as no former champions remain. There are a few left in who’ve made a final table though as the likes of: Alex Ferguson (124,200), Luke Perrott (104,200), Marcin Barwinski (31,300), Katja Spillum Svendsen (25,900) and Daniel Stacey (17,400) look for a return to the big stage. As will Team PokerStars SportStar Fatima Moreira de Melo who brings a healthy stack of 68,300 into Day 2.

    Ukipt5_marbella_main_event_day1a_fatima_moreira_de_melo.jpg

    Fatima Moreira de Melo has a superb record on the UKIPT

    They – and everyone else – are looking up at Julian Cabello who leads the way with 201,600. You can see all of the chip counts from Day 1A and Day 1B by clicking on the links and the Day 2 seat draw is here.

    It’s almost time to shuffle up and deal.

    PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT5 Marbella: Marc Convey and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May

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    Daniel Sochanek leads after Day 1B of biggest ever UKIPT Marbella

    Daniel Sochanek leads after Day 1B of biggest ever UKIPT Marbella

    With 349 players having entered the opening flight of the UKIPT Marbella Main Event on Wednesday the gut instinct of those involved behind the scenes was that this could and should be the biggest ever UKIPT Marbella Main Event. When late registration slammed shut halfway through Day 1B they’d been proved right. A further 492 poker hopefuls hit the felt today to take the total number of runners to 841. That number eclipsed the total in both 2013 (762) and 2014 (750) and created a prize pool of €807,360.

    The majority of that won’t be divvied up until Sunday but when it is there’s going to be one very happy person holding a novelty oversized cheque worth €150,800, a small price to pay for being asked to pose for numerous winners photographs I think you’ll agree. Anyone who makes the final table of eight will have locked up €14,100 for three days work and 127 players will secure a cash of at least €1,695. The full payout structure can be seen here.

    Ukipt5_marbella_main_event_day1b_daniel_sochanek.jpg

    It was Swede dreams for Sochanek on Day 1B

    Over 60% of the field are dead money – so to speak – as they’ve already been eliminated but one player who’s very much alive is Daniel Sochanek, the player from Sweden bagged up 167,200 after a fine day at the felt. He didn’t eclipse Day 1A chip leader Julian Cabello (201,700) though, nor Pablo Galache (188,100) or Heikki Juhani Piira (171,300) who all advanced from Day 1A with more chips, but the Scandinavian is in fine shape heading into Day 2.

    Other players who saw their starting stack of 25,000 swell to considerably more during the opening 10 levels of play were: Juan Jose (155,700), Daniel Fernandez (142,700) Alex Ferguson (124,200) and Manuel Saavedra (122,300). They’ll all be in the upper echelons of the chip counts when play restarts on Friday.

    Ukipt5_marbella_main_event_day1b_sam_grafton.jpg

    The gregarious Grafton grinded it out

    Whilst there were no players sporting the Red Spade in combat today – Fatima Moreira de Melo advanced yesterday with 68,300 – there were no shortage of big name players looking to follow suit. Dotted amongst the field there was a EPT winner, a UKIPT champion, the UKIPT Season 4 leader board winner, an Irish Open winner, a WCOOP bracelet holder, an EPT presenter and a Eureka Poker Tour High Roller champion.

    Not all advanced, but the Day 2 field won’t be easy as: Vicente Delgado (97,700), Tobias Peters (87,500) James Mitchell (60,200) and Sam Grafton (39,100) did navigate the 10 levels of play and will be searching for another big result to add to their poker C.V. here in Marbella. They’ll be joined by the likes of Luke Perrott (104,200), Marcin Barwinski (31,300) and Daniel Stacey (17,400). All three of those players know what it’s like to final table a UKIPT Main Event.

    UKIPT5_Marbella_Gaelle_Garcia_Diaz.jpg

    Unfortunately you can’t fire two bullets at this one Gaelle

    The Poker Gods care not for reputation of course and plenty of big names fell to earth. UKIPT4 Edinburgh champion Dean Hutchison was an early casualty and UKIPT1 Coventry fourth place finisher Dan Carter was another who was out before the half-time oranges were served. Carter got it in pre-flop with the best hand in hold’em but couldn’t hold against the pocket queens of Luis Joaquin Ruiz. Gaelle Garcia Diaz lasted until the final level of the night but she too ended with zero chips as did UKIPT4 leader board winner Dara Davey.

    Ukipt5_marbella_main_event_day1b_all_In.jpg

    We’re all in for UKIPT Marbella

    Overnight chip counts and the seat draw will be uploaded to the PokerStars Blog when available but this will be well before play begins at noon local time on Friday. Also keep an eye on the @UKIPT twitter account as links to that information will be made available there too. Thanks for reading today’s coverage, you can catch up on today’s starter for ten here. For now so long, see you tomorrow.

    All pictures are copyright of Mickey May

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    UKIPT5 Marbella: Cabello shines brightest on Day 1A

    UKIPT5 Marbella: Cabello shines brightest on Day 1A

    The British and Irish have had a love affair with Spain since the 1950s when the very first package holidays starting appearing on the market. More than half a century later and that bond remains strong with the counties more connected than ever. The last decade has seen a poker boom emerge in Europe and gave the counties, and more specifically the premier poker tours (ESPT and UKIPT) an excuse for a summer get together.

    Let’s be honest, the conversation about where to host this collaboration was a pretty short one. Spain? Yes. On the coast? Yes. Marbella okay? Sure! And the PokerStars Marbella Festival was born two years ago and is in its third edition. This year could well be the most successful yet as 349 players took their seats today, up from 293 last season. A total number north of 800 is hoped for.

    UKIPT5_Marbella_2015_Julian_Cabello.jpg

    Chip leader Julian Cabello

    Day 1A played out today over ten 45-minute levels and the field was reduced to 136. PokerStars qualifier Julian Cabello made the most of them as he bagged up a mountainous 201,600. Other players through with big stacks include: Pablo Galache (188,100), Johnny Soerensen (151,900), Constantin Daniel Georgescu (137,200) Josep María Galindo (128,400) Mark James (120,600) and Jonathan Matthews (122,900).

    Ukipt5_marbella_main_event_day1a_leo_margets.jpg

    Leo Margets couldn’t win a vital flip

    The red spade was represented on two fronts today as friends and fellow Team Pros, Leo Margets and Fatima Moreira de Melo took to the felt with mixed results. Margets built from her starting stack but couldn’t maintain the trend. She ultimately busted two-thirds of the way through day when her ace-king couldn’t connect to overhaul David Tovar and his pocket jacks. Moreira de Melo also got off to a positive start before she too had to battle late on and was as low as 10,000 at one stage. The day ended on a positive trend for her though as she doubled up with tens versus ace-nine and bagged up 68,300.

    UKIPT5_Marbella_Fatima_Pieter.jpg

    Moreira de Melo & De Korver had each other for company late on

    Other notables advancing to Day 2 are: Pieter De Korver (73,600), Richard Pearson (44,800), Katja Spillum Svendsen (25,900) and Alexander Stevic (71,500). Full end of Day 1A counts can be seen here.

    Those who came, saw but failed to conquer in the sun included: UKIPT London champ Rapinder Cheema; David Lappin, David Clarkson, Morten Mortensen, Chris Wood, Thomas Dunwoodie, Georges Yazbeck, Martin Vallo, Neil Strike and Neil Raine.

    UKIPT5_Marbella_Georges_Yazbeck.jpg

    Georges Yazbeck amongst the many fallers

    A bumper field is expected tomorrow where the Day 1B players will play out another ten levels before all survivors will join together for the first time on Friday. Midday CET is the start time once more so join us back here then. For now, read back over many of today’s talking points by clicking here and check out the video below.

    PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT5 Marbella: Marc Convey and Nick Wright. In a past life, Mickey May once fled to Spain and is very well connected around these parts, so steal her photos at your peril!

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    UKIPT5 Marbella Day 1A: Level 1 updates (blinds 50/100)

    UKIPT5 Marbella Day 1A: Level 1 updates (blinds 50/100)

    12:50pm: More names
    Players continue to trickle in and take their seats, the tournament clock shows that their number currently totals some 250.
    Neil Raine, who was runner-up in the UKIPT3 leader board runner-up, was the first player to win a seat to this event via online satellites and he’s just sat down. The third placed finisher in the UKIPT4 leader board race is playing today, that’d be Tomasz Raniszewski of course. He finished three spots ahead of David Lappin and the member of The Firm is chasing more leader board points today.

    One man who’s chasing a second UKIPT Main Event title is Rapinder Cheema, he triumphed in London back in January and is now trying his luck in Spain. As is Chris Wood, he made his mark on the UKIPT in Season 4 when he finished third behind Max Silver and Kevin Killeen at UKIPT4 Dublin. — NW

    12:40pm: Who’s about?
    The tournament got under way a little late and players are filing in from the beach to take their seats.

    Good friends, and fellow Team Pros, Leo Margets and Fatima Moreira de Melo have already taken their seats. Katja Spillum Svendsen was also here from the start and looking to do well again this season. The Norwegian made it all the way to third pace last year for a career-high score of €58,700.

    An ever-smiling Pieter de Korver and Morten Mortensen from Denmark have also made their presence known and will be players to keep an eye on. — MC

    12:20pm: Shuffle up and deal
    A little late, but cards are in the air here in Marbella. –NW

    11:45am: Fun in the sun set to start
    Hello from sunny Marbella and welcome to the third event of Season 5 of the UKIPT. Once again the UKIPT and Estrellas poker tours have combined as one to bring you the Marbella Poker Festival.

    In 2013 Ludovic Geilich announced himself to the poker world when he outlasted 762 others to take the title and last year Rodrigo Espinosa ploughed through a final table, that included Team PokerStars Pro Jake Cody, in under five hours to finish atop a field of 720 players.

    Ukipt5_marbella_main_event_day1a_marbella_trophy.jpg

    Players will have to swim with the sharks to win in Marbella

    So the score then is UK 1-1 Spain, it’s possible that someone else will get on the scoreboard this season and we’ll find out over the next five days. Follow updates every step of the way right here, via the @UKIPT twitter account and on our Facebook page. If Spanish is your bag then you need to head to the Spanish language PokerStars Blog .

    Play is set to get under way at midday.

    Key UKIPT5 Marbella Facts:
    – 25,000 starting stack
    – Blinds starting at 50/100 for 250 big blinds
    – Levels are 45 minutes on Day 1 and they’ll be ten of them. From Day 2 onwards levels increase to 60 minutes.
    – Day 1A is today, Day 1B takes place tomorrow, the field will then combine for the first time on Friday, before (hopefully) playing down to a final table on Saturday and then to a winner on Sunday. Cue mad celebrations and jumping in the pool with the trophy (possibly).
    – Full UKIPT5 Marbella schedule here.
    – There’s a live satellite to the Main Event tonight, it begins at 17.00 CET and the buy-in is €150+€15
    – It’s not all about the poker here in Marbella. There’s some fun stuff too like an official party. That takes place on Saturday June 20th from 22.00 until late at Guey Marbella. Spots are limited and players need to contact info@estrellaspokertourhotels.com to sign up, wristbands are required for entry but the good news is there’s an open Bar for the first two hours of the party.
    – Players in Marbella will also be able to enjoy a wide-range of off the felt activities, including karting, water sports and more. Contact info@estrellaspokertour.com if you wish to book any activity.

    PokerStars Blog Repoerting Team at UKIPT5 Marbella: Marc Convey and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May

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    Giovanni Canali shows Italian flair to win UKIPT5 Series 2 London for £12,820

    Giovanni Canali shows Italian flair to win UKIPT5 Series 2 London for £12,820

    Giovanni Canali is the UKIPT5 Series 2 London champion, having defeated Otto Castle here at The Hippodrome Casino for £12,820.

    It was an emotional ride for Canali, who began the day with a shortstack.

    “I came in as a shortsack, but I always felt something better was round the corner, I had an inner peace,” the Italian Telecoms Managing Director said following his victory.

    UKIPTmini_London_May2015_MickeyMay_66514.jpg

    Canali was an enthusiastic winner

    The final day of the event began with 61 players hopeful of victory, though the swiftly augmenting blinds saw to it that this number was whittled down to a final eight in swift fashion.

    There was always likely to be carnage at the felt with aggressive poker and regular confrontations meaning every player was forced to run the gauntlet of showdowns with great regularity.

    Two men who had come into the day with high hopes of a deep run were Darren Murphy and Jonathan Bridges, two of the top three stacks overnight.

    Murphy was to see his fortunes wane dramatically – falling prior to the cash spots whilst Bridges had a calamitous ace-king versus aces confrontation with fellow bigstack Jerome O’Shea in the middle stages – barely surviving before squeaking into the money and perishing soon after.

    O’Shea however used that cooler to great effect, parlaying his fortune into a deep run to the final table.

    UKIPTmini_London_May2015_MickeyMay_66143.jpg

    Cool, calculating and occasionally acerbic – O’Shea was a real poker force

    The man no one wanted to be today was Mike Lee – reduced to a tiny stack he was forced to call his tournament life off on the bubble with 2-3 and this proved his final contribution – missing out on the cash spots by the slenderest of margins. The rail (composed primarily of interested parties) showed a combination of empathetic sympathy and self-congratulation as they secured a cash for themselves whilst recognising Lee’s misery.

    With the bubble burst, the relentless pace continued unabated – a slew of exits bringing about the final 8 players in the virtual blink of an eye.

    UKIPTmini_London_May2015_MickeyMay_65773.jpg

    Mike Lee suffered bubble boy pain

    Sandra Reid was the lady who ticked the box for the last standing female and the player who just missed out on the official final table.

    Her elimination left the remaining 8 players lined up on the final table as follows:

    Dahe Liu 1014000
    Otto Castle 759000
    Alexis Savvides 748000
    Giovanni Canali 659000
    Jerome O’Shea 572000
    Kevin Belvedere 534000
    Lee Hanlon 481000
    Ryan Reece 241000

    Given the incendiary pace of the rest of the day, it was somewhat surprising we had to wait nearly a full two levels before seeing the final table’s first casualty – Kevin Belvedere suffering misfortune and poor timing to run a re-steal into Dahe Liu’s pocket kings – £1,580 his reward for 8th.

    Jerome O’Shea was next to go, another re-steal attempt going awry as he crashed out in 7th spot (£2,165.)

    Lee Hanlon rode his luck on more than one occasion on the final – cracking Canali’s pocket aces along the way. Finally, though, the dam of good fortune broke and he was submerged in 6th spot for £2,960 – Alexis Savvides doing the crucial damage.

    Ryan Reece had played fast and loose with his stack – an approach that yielded great returns right up to his elimination. Liu again was the man who took his scalp – a bigger pair seeing off Reece’s bold challenge in 5th spot (£3,900).

    For a while Dahe Liu, formidably dressed in his white tiger jacket, looked the only man likely to win the title – his selectively aggressive approach keeping the other players off balance for the most part.

    UKIPTmini_London_May2015_MickeyMay_66308.jpg

    That is one beautiful, endangered jacket

    Savvides was the man most likely to stand up to Liu however and the Cypriot won several key confrontations before a now shortstacked Liu jammed pocket nines and lost out to Giovanni Canali’s ace-ten. Liu will surely be back, given the qualities he showed here and £4,940 was his reward for those skills on this occasion.

    Three-handed, Alexis Savvides was surprisingly the next to go – a cooler seeing him take an aggressive line with pocket sevens, only for Canali to pick him off with pocket tens.

    A set on the flop for Canali consigned Savvides to 3rd place for £6,090 – an impressive run from the talented Cypriot.

    UKIPTmini_London_May2015_MickeyMay_66290.jpg

    Savvides was a giggling danger man throughout

    The heads-up battle saw Canali take a 4-1 chip lead, Otto Castle struggling to find traction. Finally, thought it looked as though Canali may have made a misstep and Castle could make inroads into his lead.

    Promising Castle action on the next hand, Canali called Castle’s shove with [Jh][9h] running into Castle’s dominating [As][9s].

    Canali had said he was feeling it, however, and when he spiked a jack, that was the end of Castle’s circumspect and profitable run in 2nd place for £8,630.

    UKIPTmini_London_May2015_MickeyMay_66331.jpg

    Castle laddered the money spots with great aplomb

    In the final anaylsis, it was Canali who was left grinning into the cameras with the trophy, having secured the victory.

    “I’m ecstatic, really happy. It hasn’t sunk in yet. I’ll struggle to sleep tonight,” he told the blog afterward.

    When asked if his success here would act as a springboard for further UKIPT challenges, he explained he hoped so:

    “I’ve got 2 teenage children who are full of activity so when I’m not being a taxi driver for them, I’d love to play some more.”

    Giovanni was really a model ambassador for the UKIPT Series, pleasant and genial at the felt and really humbled and happy at his win.

    We hope to see him again in the future.

    UKIPTmini_London_May2015_MickeyMay_66519.jpg

    Canali enjoys his magic moment

    For now though, that was the end of this UKIPT Series event and though we are sad to go, the PokerStars Marbella festival is just round the corner from 15th-21st June, with the €1,000 + €100 main event running from the 17th-21st.

    Poker in the sun – chip up and work on your tan – is there anything better than that?

    We hope you’ll join us there or at least follow developments on the blog. It will be a riot – don’t miss out or you’ll regret it!

    To read updates from the final table, click here.

    For the full payouts from the event, click here.

    strong>PokerStars Blog reporting team at UKIPT5 Series 2 – London: Rod Stirzaker. Photos by Micky May.

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    UKIPT5 Series 2 London: Day 2 Level 21(8000/16000/2000)

    5:55pm: Buckland perishes in 10th
    Matthew Buckland has been patient since having his wings trimmed in unfortunate circumstances (A-K losing out to K-J)

    He was to prove unfortunate once more as he went for a double up with K-J and looked in great shape versus Alexis Savvides’ K-T.

    A board of [Ts][6c][3h][Qd][Th] however failed to comply with his desire to double through and he was left victim of one more crucial outdraw – hitting the rail in 10th place for £1,110.

    That hand left 9 players still in the running, meaning we are consolidating down to one table – although the official final table will only start when there’s 8 players left.

    So close now!

    5:46pm: Robert Tyley busts 11th
    Robert Tyley had less than ten big blinds when he found [Ks][Qc] and re-shoved over an opening raise, only for Belvedere Carmine to re-shove behind him.

    The opening raiser looked pained but laid his hand down – leaving Carmine to table pocket aces.

    The outlook was bleak for Tyley and a bricky board confirmed his demise – he busts 11th for £1,110, Belvedere up to 520,000..

    5:35pm: Tiltscher out in 12th
    A strange end to James Tiltscher’s tournament.

    First off Matthew Buckland jammed his shortstack into the middle for 150,000 (less than ten bigs) and Tiltscher folded A-Q offsuit.

    His table found this incredible laydown very amusing, Tiltscher defending his play by exclaiming “I don’t want to call of half my stack!”

    A few hands later he made a raise and picked up the blinds with 9-5os, showing his hand down again and claiming it was his favourite hand.

    Finally, he jammed for 150,00 0 on the turn of a [4h][3s][3c][5d] board, Alexis Savvides making the call with [Ah][5h] and winnning on the brick river versus Tiltscher’s [Qh][2c] semi-bluff.

    Exciting finale but Tiltscher busts in 12th for £990.

    5:25pm: Pre-break chip counts
    Here’s how the players stood at the end of the previous break(eliminated players italicized):

    Name Chips Two Tables
    Dahe Liu 739000
    Giovanni Canali 666000
    Alexis Savvides 652000
    Jerome O’Shea 581000
    Otto Castle 494000
    Carmine Kevin Belvedere 448000
    James Tiltscher 343000
    Sandra Reid 187000
    Lee Hanlon 184000
    Matthew Buckland 176000
    Ryan Reece 157000
    Hannah Tomlinson 132000
    Robert Tyley 116000
    James Conteh 88000

    UKIPTmini_London_May2015_MickeyMay_65843.jpg

    Often pictured stern-faced, O’Shea is more than capable of a smile

    5:23pm: Conteh crashes out 13th
    A desperate James Conteh jammed his final few chips with [Tc][5s] – up against chip leader Dahe Liu’s pocket sixes.

    A board of [9s][Ac][7d][Qh][As] saw Liu’s preflop equity edge maintained and we lose Conteh in 13th for £990.

    5:20pm: Liu doubles Tyley
    Robert Tyley just received a welcome boost to his stack – shoving his last 100,000 with [Ac][Kc] and picking up a quick call from Liu with [Qc][Qh].

    The board of [4h][Tc][3s][Ah][9c] was great news for Tyley – he wins the flip to spin up to over 200,000. Liu’s stack could afford to take the hit and he remains the chip leader.

    5:15pm: Tomlinson busts 14th
    A frustrating run of cards has seen Hannah Tomlinson bust in 14th for £895, having contended the chip lead earlier in the day.

    That leaves Sandra Reid as the sole remaining female player.

    5:00pm: Run-in to the final table
    With 14 left, the final is tantalisingly close – almost within reach.

    Here are the 14 players still contending the title:

    There’s everything to play for, it’s proved very hard to predict just who will rise from the pack and become a force so far in this tournament.

    The players are back from a twenty minute break and we are ready to resum. Good luck all!

    UKIPTmini_London_May2015_MickeyMay_SandraReid_65921.jpg

    Leading lady Sandra Reid

    To read updates from levels 17-20, click here.

    PokerStars Blog reporting team at UKIPT5 Series 2 – London: Rod Stirzaker. Photos by Micky May.

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    UKIPT5 Series 2 London: Day 2 Level 17-18(4000/8000/1000)

    3:20pm: Bridges busts 26th
    A day that started so brightly has dimmed considerably for Jonathan Bridges.

    After losing out with pocket sevens versus the pocket nines of Chris Van Kraayenburg, his final few chips were thrown in with [Qs][3s] versus Lior Shabtay’s pocket sixes.

    His hand dominated, the board didn’t come to his aid, running out [8c][Ts][Ac][4c][4h] to consign him to the list of nearly men with £595 his consolation.

    UKIPTmini_London_May2015_MickeyMay_65607.jpg

    Tumultuous day for tumbling Bridges

    3:15pm: Spadijer runs into nuts
    Another short stack Aleksandar Spadijer went for a double with 66 but ran into both Alexis Savvides’ reshove with king-queen and crucially Hannah Tomlinson’s fortuitously-timed pocket aces.

    He ended up losing to both players, the board running out [qh][th][9h][Ac][5s] – Tomlinson winning a huge pot to jump up over 300,000 whilst Spadijer ends up 28th for £535.

    Following him close out of the arena was Stuart Snowden, who busts 27th, winning $595.

    3:10pm: Sanchini loses head as snowmen melt
    A harsh elimination for Olmo Sanchini saw him go toe-to-toe with compatriot Giovanni Canali – holding a crucial advantage with pocket eights versus Canali’s sevens.

    The board seemed relatively safe till the rivee, peeling off [As][Kc][Kd][2s][7h] but that crucial spike sees Canali jump to 110,000 and Sanchini bust.

    That crucial and excruciating river card saw the hard done by Italian hit the table with his hand, utter several expletives referencing the faecal matter of a male cow and storm out of the arena.

    Bad luck sir – don’t forget to collect your £535 for 29th! We continue 28-handed…

    UKIPTmini_London_May2015_MickeyMay_65863.jpg

    Angry Sanchini bounced out

    LEVEL UP: BLINDS 4000-8000-1000

    3:00pm: Quickfire busts following bubble
    No surprise that the bursting of the bubble has precipitiated a rash of eliminations.

    Soon following Mike Lee out the door were Darren Fuller and Gary Wilson – the key difference being both secured a payout of £535 for their efforts.

    2:44pm: Bubble bursts – Mike Lee crashes out
    Mike Lee was sitting with 2 big blinds and looking down the barell so when Matthew Buckland min-raised from the hijack, he vacillated for some time – the rail grew – the clock was called…and he finally made the call for his tournament life.

    His reason for these extended deliberations was made plain as he turned over the paltry [2c][3s] which was live at least versus Buckland’s [As][Ks].

    The board however failed to provide deliverance – peeling off [4d][9s][8s][Qc][9c] – Buckland’s ace-high good at showdown and Mike Lee becomes the official tournament bubbler.

    He was also the last surviving “PokerStars LIVE! at The Hippodrome Casino”-sponsored player. Bad luck Mike.

    However that left 31 players with guaranteed remuneration – hooray!

    It’s fair to say we can expect a number of these to loosen up their raising requirements over the coming hands – expect carnage shortly…

    UKIPTmini_London_May2015_MickeyMay_65773.jpg

    The dramatic moment Mike Lee bubbles

    2:30pm: Back for the Bubble!
    32 players remain in contention, though one man or lady will be left with a sour taste in their mouth once we have our next elimination.

    Jerome O’Shea remains the out and out chip leader following that huge hand with Jonathan Bridges – his stack over 710,000.

    The next few hands should prove very interesting…

    ukipt cork_day 1a_cards.jpg

    To read updates from Levels 13-16, click here.

    PokerStars Blog reporting team at UKIPT5 Series 2 – London: Rod Stirzaker. Photos by Micky May.

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    UKIPT5 Series 2 London: Day 2 Level 13(1200/2400/300)

    12:00pm: Shuffle Up and Deal!
    We’re underway. Good luck all!

    11:55pm: Welcome back to the final day of UKIPT5 Series 2 London

    We’re back at The Hippodrome Casino for the final day – players are buzzing with anticipation, there’s a standard and strangely comforting drizzle dampening the streets of London – everything is as it should be and we’re primed and ready to go.

    We’ve had two dense and hotly contested days of poker leading up to this point – 12 superquick 30 minute levels each day have seen the 250 strong field shorn to less than 25% of its initial size – 61 players left still holding onto dreams of a financial return for their investment.

    Day 1B’s larger field produced the lion’s share of chip heroes – Jonathan Bridges the biggest hero of all – his 251,300 seeing him clear by over 50,000 from his nearest challengers – Dahe Liu and Darren Murphy.

    Murphy has shown his skills here at The Hippodrome before – a final table berth at the UKIPT Series in September 2014 evidence of this.

    That day his tilt at the title ended in 6th place for £3,900 and he’ll be looking to better that achievement here if the winds of fortune favour him,

    Liu will also be a threat for the title with three previous UKIPT cashes and nearly $120,000 in live tournament cashes to his name. He went about his business with inscrutable efficiency yesterday – watch out for this player.

    You can view the full chip counts from the start of the day here.

    Today will see the remaining 61 players play to a winner. That seems like a lot of poker to get through but the earlier start of 12:00pm and the sharply-increasing blinds mean we’ll see that bulky number whittled down to a single champion in next to no time.

    Before that, there’s some crucial poker to be played out though. We’ll be kicking things off momentarily so good luck one and all – let’s get this underway!

    UKIPT_Lon_2013_MickeyMay_46556.jpg

    The cards are shuffled, the players seated – let’s get ready to rumble!

    PokerStars Blog reporting team at UKIPT5 Series 2 – London: Rod Stirzaker. Photos by Micky May.

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    UKIPT5 Series 2 London: Day 1B Level 9-11(Blinds 800/1600/200)

    8:03pm: That’s just the way it is
    The home stretch is in sight and it remains Jonathan Bridges heading this field – his stack a fulsome 118,000. Given the smaller field yesterday generated a 180,000+ chip leader though, he is unlikely to remain at the head of the counts if he stays still.

    Use your strength young padawan!

    There are now 47 players left from the 131 who started the day.

    UKIPTmini_London_JonathanBridges__May2015_MickeyMay_65465.jpg

    Bridges has kept clear of troubled waters so far

    7:55pm: The Art of War
    Adhering to the principles laid out by the infamous general Sun Tzu in his much-lauded philosophical treatise will serve these players well as they enter this difficult part of the tournament.

    “Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder and crush him… Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance”- Sun Tzu , The Art of War.

    Draw your opponents into mistakes, mislead them about your hand strength, make them play to your tune. Battle is engaged now – each hand of blind and antes is significant to nearly every player.

    Who can display the skills and serendipity to finish the day atop the chip counts?

    LEVEL UP: BLINDS 800-1600-200

    7:48pm: Prizepool
    A quick reminder of the prizepool. The 250 total entrants will be playing for a combined total of £60,625, with a first prize payout of £12,820.

    Click here to view the full payout spots.

    7:30pm: The plot thickens as the field thins
    More eliminations I’m afraid. There has been a steady stream of players heading to the growing throng at the bar over the last six levels or so and this looks unlikely to abate anytime soon.

    Well played the following but your day is done:

    Ferenc Nadori, Peter Ali, Denis O’Mahony, John Crossan, Phillip Fetzer, James Thomson, Sebastien Jung, Peter Upton, Mats Rosen Pihl, James Edward Hall, Gary Brown, Benjamin Meyer, Donghong Yu, Antoine Erwan, Andreea Raluca Ciobanu, Robert Malvasi, Kwok Wau Li, Jill Scott and Ramzi Pekhazis.

    LEVEL UP: BLINDS 600-1200-200

    7:20pm: Leading Lights
    Here are some of the stacks heading the action at the moment, Jonathan Bridges looking like he’s clear of the field as we speak::

    Jonathan Bridges 110000
    Darren Scott Murphy 80000
    Cristian Iuga 65000
    Ms Buckland 60000
    James Conteh 58000
    Paul Damian 50000
    Dalius Balciunas 50000
    Leah Reeman 50000
    Dahe Liu 45000
    Andrew Craig 40000
    Naith Hanchard 35000

    UKIPTmini_London_May2015_PaulDamian__MickeyMay_65260.jpg

    Paul Damian enjoying a purple patch right now

    7.05pm: Missing in action
    Goodbye mes amis. Your arduous, hard-fought day is done. You have performed with grace and dignity and brought great honour to your prestigious houses.

    Enjoy your break brave warriors, for it is well earned:

    Ilana Belsky, Jesse Chambers, Thomas Drew, Georgios Kyriacou, Tal Mirezki, Benjamin Swans, Mario Trattou,Stephen Bridges, Christopher Yong, Mohammed Himedan, James Morris and Ramzi Pekhazis.

    6:55pm: Back for the final countdown
    What a day it’s been so far. We barely had the chance to mention Chris Wong – the defending UKIPT Series champ – having sat down and busted, unable to continue his recent successes here at The Hippodrome Casino.

    There have been myriad exciting hands played out today and we expect the action to ramp up another notch as the chunky blinds take another hefty rise.

    Good luck to the remaining 62 players as we play out the final four levels of the day.

    UKIPTmini_London_May2015_0503_MickeyMay_65422.jpg

    There’s been scant time for yawns and stretches during today’s compelling poker

    To read updates from levels 5-8, click here.

    PokerStars Blog reporting team at UKIPT5 Series 2 – London: Rod Stirzaker. Photos by Micky May.

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    UKIPT5 Series 2 London: Day 1A (Blinds 50/100)

    LEVEL UP: BLINDS 75-150

    2:20pm: 86 is the magic number
    Entries to the tournament are still being tallied and registration is open till 4:20pm (the end of level four) but right now there are 86 players officially in the running for this event.

    of those all 86 have survived the bulk of level 1 – congratulations!

    Welcome to The Hippodrome Casino for Day 1A of the UKIPT Series. This is an exciting phase of the poker year with the World Series just round the corner and a number of players nursing incipient dreams of winning one of those coveted gold bracelets in Las Vegas.

    Before booking your flights, planning your summer schedule and dreaming of what you’re going to spend your Main Event 1st place money on, it’s a good idea to make sure your poker chops are in good order and what better way to limber up for the summer than this £250+£25 buy-in event.

    A few notes on the structure for those unfamiliar with the UKIPT Series.

    – A healthy 20,000 in chips for every player.

    – Twelve 30 minute levels every day, starting at 2:00pm with a likely finish time of 8:45pm.

    – Two starting days today (Friday 29th and Saturday 30th.)

    – The Final day (start time 12:00pm – set those alarm clocks!) plays out Sunday 31st.

    It’s a lovely typical English summer’s day – wet, windy and a little cold – which really makes for perfect poker weather as you don’t need to worry about missing out on any fun outside – all the fun’s going to take place here inside The Hippodrome Casino – mark our words.

    We’re expecting the usual influx of poker talent pouring through the doors to contest the tournament – seasoned locals, hopeful youngsters and veteran grinders looking to emulate Chris Yong’s achievement in winning UKIPT5 Series 2.

    We’re moments away from the start and the players are taking their seats so good luck one and all, let’s get this tournament underway!

    UKIPTMINI_Lon_2015_MickeyMay_59348.jpg

    Chris Yong wins UKIPT5 Series 1

    PokerStars Blog reporting team at PokerStars UKIPT5 Series 2: Rod Stirzaker. Photos courtesy of Mickey May.

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    UKIPT heading to Marbella (just off the southern coast of England)

    marbella_beach_14may15.jpgThe beautiful Marbella beach

    Well, there’s no other way to say it, because it’s a lie. But as far as lies go, it has to be the one that most poker people are prepared to overlook. It is this. Marbella is in the United Kingdom.

    It’s true. I know, you thought it was a small town on the southern coast of Spain. You’re wrong. We consider it to be a small town just off the coast of southern England, albeit 1,400 miles off the coast of southern England. You may argue, but there it is.

    None of which changes the fact that UKIPT Marbella is fast approaching, and we’re giving you plenty of reasons to get to this, hehem, typically English seaside resort.

    As always the Estrellas Poker Tour and the UKIPT are teaming up to host another enormous festival at this popular destination, which all takes place in the Casino Marbella from June 15-21.

    Last season some 750 players made the trip to this place that is usually a beacon for players wanting a combination of great action at the tables, and plenty of entertainment off it. This year the plan is to make it even better.

    First off there’s a busy tournament schedule, with something for everyone regardless of stakes. They’ll be a High Roller, nightly turbos, live satellites, and of course the €1,000 + €100 Main Event.

    But they’ll also be the familiar party atmosphere the town is known for, with PokerStars laying on various activities for the player at rest.

    That means you can try your hand at karting, flyboarding, hoverboarding, parasailing, water scootering, wakeboarding, pedal boating and trawling. Frankly, we’d never heard of half of those, but they sound terrific. They’ll also be a beach party to celebrate the festival, open to all players and including drinks and entertainment. That’s on June 20.

    What else do you need for a UKIPT? We’ll tell you. Nothing more than a willingness to overlook the fact that Marbella is nowhere near “UK”, or “I” for that matter. But it is a great “PT”.

    For more details check out the UKIPT Marbella. See you there.

    ** Just in case, let me assure you that this event takes place in Marbella, Spain.

    Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.

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    PokerStars Qualifier Sam Mitten-Laurence wins UKIPT5 Nottingham and £182,000

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day3_sam_mitten_laurence.jpg

    UKIPT Nottingham Champion Sam Mitten-Laurence

    When the final 37 players returned to play to a winner at noon today at Dusk Till Dawn the title could’ve been won by a former UKIPT winner, a UKIPT leader board winner, three players who had previously final tabled a UKIPT or any of three players who have done likewise on the EPT.

    But, in the end this tournament was won by a 24-year-old online qualifier playing only his second ever live tournament. Whilst Sam Mitten-Laurence, who qualified for £160 and tonight is £182,000 better off, might be green at the gills when it comes to bricks and mortar poker he was no fish out of water and he’s a veritable veteran on the online felt. He turned pro at age 18 and since then he’s clocked up over 22,000 tournaments on PokerStars under the screename ‘KevinThorn’. “I’ve really enjoyed the whole week, especially since it’s been so long since my last live tournament,” he said when the tournament was over. “It’s been a great experience. I definitely plan on playing more UKIPT events, and I’ll probably travel for some EPTs too.”

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day3_sam_mitten_laurence.jpg

    The boy can do it in the live arena too

    As you’d expect from someone who’s experience is vastly tilted towards the online game, Mitten-Laurence flew under the radar for most of today before the final table was reached. When we did see him in action he was busy getting it in good and knocking out players in the process. He took care of Michiel Jonker (23rd), Foyzul Hussein (17th) and Ben Vinson (12th). By the time the final table of eight was set he was third in chips. In typical fashion though he had the chip lead by the time the first break rolled around and all without playing a big pot of note.

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day3_patrick_clarke.jpg

    Clarke – dominated the opening half of the final table

    This was no steamrollering of a final table though, indeed for much of the first half of the final table it looked like Patrick Clarke was going to win the second major title of his career.

    Within 40 minutes the Irish Open winner took care of Luke Perrott in eighth ([Ah][Ks] vs [Ac][Jc]), Kuljinder Sidhu in sixth ([Ad][Kh] vs [Kh][5s]) and Krzysztof Jacyk is fifth ([Kh][Td] vs [8s][6s]). At that point Clarke had half the chips in play and Mitten-Laurence had only clung onto his coat tails by eliminating Sunil Pancholi in seventh ([Jh][Jd] vs [Qs][Ts]).

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day3_luke_perrott.jpg

    Perrott perished in eighth

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day3_kuljnder_singh.jpg

    Sidhu was sunk in seventh

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day3_sunil_pancholi.jpg

    Pancholi was pole-axed in sixth

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day3_krzystof_jacyk.jpg

    Jacyk jogged on in fifth

    You might have spotted a pattern by now, the best hand in all-in situations was holding up! However that was all about to change as Clarke’s downfall and Mitten-Laurence’s ascent to the title hinged on a couple of races where Mitten-Laurence needed to hit to win. He had already taken the chip lead by the time he eliminated Patrick Clarke in fourth place. Clarke three-bet shoved for around 28 big blinds with pocket twos, Mitten-Laurence called with [As][Qd] and flopped an ace to send the talented Clarke home.

    “When we were four-handed there were two or three pots I played with Patrick Clarke where I really kept chipping him down and that was important as he’s a tough player,” Mitten-Laurence reflected afterwards. “I was pretty confident at four-handed but when Clarke was eliminated I felt as long I didn’t make any silly mistakes I could get it done,” he added.

    ukipt5_nottingham_day3_Richard_Jones.jpg

    Jones’ journey ended in third place

    So three-handed Mitten-Laurence was in total control with over half the chips in play and he added more when he eliminated Richard Jones in third. Again he needed to hit with overcards against a small pair and again he hit his ace on the flop as the Londoner’s [Ah][Ts] bested Jones’s pocket fives.

    UKIPT_Nottingham_2015_day3_headsup.jpg

    Heads-up play begins

    A word now about his head-up opponent Trevor Pearson. He finished third in this very tournament last May and if you’d have offered him that at the start of the final table he’d have bit your hand off. He was almost permanently the short stack throughout but ducked, dived, stole enough to stay alive all whilst winning the hands that really mattered. “I’ve had no ammunition to work with, I’ve just been scraping along,” he told us.

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day3_trevor_pearson.jpg

    Second, but still the happiest man in Nottingham

    But ultimately you can only bring a knife to a gun fight for so long before you get fatally wounded and a three to one chip deficit heads-up was too much to overcome. Just a few hands into heads-up play his 27 big blind three-bet shove with [As][Jh] was snapped off by Mitten-Laurence with [Ah][Kh] the best hand held and Mitten-Laurence could start planning a knees up. “I’ve nothing too crazy planned for the money – other than a massive party obviously,” he told us. “Other than that, I’ll probably take a nice holiday with my girlfriend and put some towards a house.”

    UKIPT5 Nottingham
    Entrants: 1,026
    Prize pool: £1,000,000
    Places paid: 151

    1st. Sam Mitten-Laurence, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifer, £182,000
    2nd. Trevor Pearson, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifer, £110,000
    3rd. Richard Jones, United Kingdom, £77,400
    4th. Patrick Clarke, Ireland, £58,100
    5th. Krzysztof Jacyk, Poland, PokerStars Qualifier, £44,700
    6th. Kuljinder Sidhu, United Kingdom, £32,000
    7th. Sunil Pancholi, United Kingdom, £24,200
    8th. Luke Perrott, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, £17,320

    To read about how we got to the final table of eight click here, you’ll find the final table updates here and you can see a list of all 151 in the money finishers here.

    The tour now moves onto sunnier climes as it heads to Marbella in June, satellites to that event are already running on PokerStars and can be found under Live Events>Europe>PokerStars Marbella Festival.
    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day3_sam_mitten_laurence.jpg

    Our newest UKIPT champion

    All photos are copyright of Mickey May

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    UKIPT5 Nottingham: Final table profiles

    Seat 1: Krzysztof Jacyk, Poland, PokerStars Qualifier – 2,830,000

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day3_krzysztof_jacyk.jpg

    Krzysztof Jacyk

    Krzysztof Jacyk, 28, has been playing poker for about five years, professionally for the last two. He plays mostly online tournaments, specialising in satellites, and it’s no surprise that his entry into the UKIPT Nottingham Main Event came with online qualification on PokerStars. He began playing with friends from school in Poland, but has now found travel to live events to offer opportunity for holidays with his girlfriend. This final table represents his first big cash in a major live tournament and he describes this trip as “strictly work.”

    Seat two: Kuljinder Sidhu, United Kingdom – 5,010,000

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day3_kuljnder_singh.jpg

    Kuljinder Sidhu

    Kuljinder Sidhu hails from Birmingham, and has been playing poker for seven years. His playing socially, as he puts it, hasn’t stopped him from racking up a good number of cashes around Europe, including an 8th place finish at EPT London in 2013 for £60,640. Sidhu also cashed in this event last year, although he’s already far surpassed his 173rd place finish. He takes time from his clothing business to attend poker festivals where his live tournament experience has shown in his steady rise to the chip lead on the final table.

    Seat three: Luke Perrott, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier – 2,310,000

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day3_luke_perrott.jpg

    Luke Perrott

    Luke Perrot started to play poker online four years ago, and makes it a priority to try to satellite into bigger tournaments and live events. His story of UKIPT Nottingham qualification: “I qualified in a £1 rebuy which took me to the £55 satellite. I didn’t even have to re-buy or add-on in that as I had so many chips, so all in all I’m in this event for just £5.” Now he’s guaranteed at least £17,320. The 23 year old works as a bartender and plays regularly (his biggest score so far is $7,500 online), his experience giving him confidence to play what he describes as “good, solid poker.” As far as the final table line-up goes, he appears to be happy to have Kuljinder Sidhu on his right.

    Seat 4: Patrick Clarke, Ireland – 2,770,000

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day3_patrick_clarke. jpg

    Patrick Clarke

    Patrick Clarke shot to live poker fame with a victory in the Irish Open in 2014, netting him €200,000 meaning that only the top prize will exceed his prior biggest win. The live cash pro, 27, can be found more often playing Pot Limit Omaha in the Fitz in Dublin. His results on the UKIPT are already solid (he’s played five, cashed four), and he’s finding recent success online, too, recently winning a major for $28,000. After a first time trip to Vegas last year, Clarke intends to head out again this summer, maybe stopping off at the EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo on the way.

    Seat 5: Sunil Pancholi, United Kingdom – 2,305,000

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day3_sunil_pancholi.jpg

    Sunil Pancholi

    Sunil ‘Sunny’ Pancholi has been a lively presence at the table from Day 1a, where he ended the first flight as chip leader. He’s stayed confidently above average through two more days’ play in his first ever Main Event, being focused more usually on running his own business. Pancholi won his UKIPT Nottingham seat as a free bonus for finishing in the last six of a £50k tournament here at Dusk Till Dawn, and has already spun up a reward of at least £17,320 for his efforts. Eschewing online poker, Pancholi concentrates his efforts on the live game and hopes to continue his smooth ascent on the final table.

    Seat 6: Sam Mitten-Laurence, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier – 3,570,000

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day3_sam_mitten_laurence.jpg

    Sam Mitten-laurence

    Sam Mitten-Laurence, from London, has been a poker professional since the age of 18, but the UKIPT Nottingham Main Event represents only his second ever live competition (the first being UKIPT Edinburgh). The London-based Mitten-Laurence favours No Limit Hold’em tournaments, and has had success in the Big $109 among others. He, too, qualified online on PokerStars and with a hefty first live cash already guaranteed, plans to go on holiday and attend more live events with his winnings.

    Seat 7: Trevor Pearson, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifer – 975,000

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day3_trevor_pearson.jpg

    Trevor Pearson

    This is Trevor Pearson’s second straight UKIPT Nottingham final table, after he came third here last year for £89,900. The 57 year old commodities trader told us last time that his job, self-employed and in a round-the-clock partnership with his wife, had prepared him for the test of risk and endurance which a 1,026-runner poker tournament represents. First involved in the private cash game side of poker, Pearson now focuses on online tournaments, and qualified on PokerStars for this event.

    Seat 8: Richard Jones, United Kingdom – 4,570,000

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day3_richard_jones.jpg

    Richard Jones

    Our elder statesman at the final table is 62-year-old Birmingham based business owner Richard Jones. He’s a keen tournament player online and often plays in private cash games live. Jones has had great success on PokerStars playing under the screenname ‘dickler1’, finishing third in the Super Tuesday for just under $55,000 and 19th in last year’s WCOOP Main Event. When not playing tournaments online you’ll often find him playing high stakes sit and gos. He enjoys poker for the banter and should he win today he says he’ll use the money “sensibly.” Away from the table he enjoys a spot of snooker but says his life revolves around his business (and poker), often playing in Switzerland when travelling for work.

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    UKIPT5 Nottingham Day 3: Level 28-31 updates (100,000/200,000 ante 30,000)

    12:45am: It’s all over – Sam Mitten-Laurence wins UKIPT5 Nottingham for £182,000
    After a very short heads up battle, we have a winner: PokerStars Qualifier Sam Mitten-Laurence. The final hand played out as follows:

    Mitten-Laurence raised to 700,000 and it was three-bet by Trevor Pearson to 1,200,000. Mitten-Laurence quickly announced all-in and Pearson called just as swiftly and put his entire 5,550,000 stack on the line. The all-in was called and it was [ah][kh] for Sam against Trevor’s [as][jh]. Trevor would need help from the Poker Gods to survive but it didn’t come. The board was [ac][5h][2d] [6c][kd] and have our UKIPT5 Nottingham Main Event champion – Sam Mitten-Laurence. Congratulations Sam. –JS

    UKIPT_Nottingham_2015_day3_Sam_Mittenlaurence.jpg

    Sam Mitten-Laurence with Dusk Till Dawn’s Simon Trumper (left) and PokerStars’ Toby Stone (right)

    12:40am: Trevor Pearson eliminated in 2nd place for £110,000
    Play has come to an end, we’ll publish the final hand details shortly.

    12:30am: One for each
    No massive pots yet but one decent win for each player.

    Trevor Pearson narrowed the gap when he called a pre-flop raise of 600,000 and then a bet of 800,000 on a [Jd][2c][Jh] flop. There was no betting on the [2d] turn, but when Pearson bet 500,000 on the [Th] river Sam Mitten-Laurence folded.

    Pearson didn’t hold onto those chips for long though. Two hands later Mitten-Laurence raised to 600,000 on the button and Pearson called. The [4c][Kd][Tc] flop was checked through. The [Jd] hit the turn, Pearson bet 400,000 and Mitten-Laurence smooth called. On the [Qc] river Pearson bet a stack of greens – it looked to be in the 1,200,000 – 1,500,000 range – and Mitten-Laurence instantly called and turned over [As][6d]. It was good and he took the pot.

    12:20am: Heads-up chip counts
    Sam Mitten-Laurence has a near three to one chip lead as heads-up play gets under way:

    Sam Mitten-Laurence, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 18,900,000
    Trevor Pearson, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 6,560,000

    No sign of a deal yet so this is what’s on the line:

    1st. £182,000
    2nd. £110,000

    UKIPT_Nottingham_2015_day3_headsup.jpg

    Heads up is underway

    12:10am: Richard Jones eliminated in 3rd (£77,400)
    We have our third place finisher and the man in question is Richard Jones. The hand itself was a classic race: Sam Mitten-Laurence raised to 700,000 on the button, Jones made it 2,200,000 in the big blind, Mitten-Laurence shoved and Jones called off for 5,115,000 total. It was [5c][5h] for Jones against the two overs [ah][ts] of Mitten-Laurence. The board ran out [8s][ad][7h] [3s][qd] and Jones lost this bout. Still, he was in good spirits and so he should be as a great run has earned him £77,400. –JS

    ukipt5_nottingham_day3_Richard_Jones.jpg

    Jones (right, with Trevor Pearson, left) is out in 3rd

    12:10am: Mitten-Laurence’s lead getting eroded
    Sam Mitten-Laurence’s chip lead is getting chipped away at with Trevor Pearson the latest to dent it. Pre-flop Mitten-Laurence raised to 600,000 and Pearson smooth called from the small blind.

    On the [7s][kc][3c] flop Mitten-Laurence c-bet 800,000 only for Pearson to jam for around 6,000,000. Mitten-Laurence gave it a think but elected to fold, Pearson showed [Ac][Ah] as he took the pot.

    Rough chip counts are:

    Sam Mitten-Laurence, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 10,300,000
    Trevor Pearson, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 8,000,000
    Richard Jones, United Kingdom, 7,000,000 –NW

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day3_sam_mitten_laurence.jpg

    Sam Mitten-Laurence still leads

    12:05am: Still three handed somehow
    Quite a few spectators commentated that they weren’t sure how the chips hadn’t gone in pre-flop in the following hand…

    Sam Mitten-Laurence raised to 600,000 from the button and both Trevor Pearson and Richard Jones just called. There was no betting at all until Pearson fired for 500,000 on the river of the [Qc][5s][9c][2c][5h] board. Jones was the only caller, Pearson showed [As][Kd] whilst Jones had pocket eights. Both players only started the hand with around 30 big blinds. A lucky escape for Pearson then who could quite easily have been felted in this hand. –NW

    12am: Walkies!
    There have been a few walks during three-handed play but the players must have incredibly good reads on each other – or had incredibly bad hands – as Trevor Pearson showed kings when he received a walk and Sam Mitten-Laurence had aces when he got one. –NW
    11:50pm: How’s the family?
    Correct us if we’re wrong, but we think we may have just had our first family pot of the entire final table three-handed. Richard Jones opened on the button to 475,000 and both Sam Mitten-Laurence and Trevor Pearson called. The flop was [5h][ad][7d] and it was checked around, leading to a [2c] turn. It was checked around again but only as far as Jones who bet 750,000. Mitten-Laurence called but here’s when Pearson became the black sheep of the family. He bumped it up to 2,100,000 and both players folded. That nice pot for Pearson might have nudged him into second in the chip counts. –JS

    11:30pm: Chip counts
    As level 31 gets under way these are how the final three stack up. Sam Mitten-Laurence has over half the chips in play, whilst Trevor Pearson has now equalled his performance in UKIPT4 Nottingham.

    Sam Mitten-Laurence, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 13,130,000
    Richard Jones, United Kingdom, 7,280,000
    Trevor Pearson, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 5,070,000

    The pay jumps are getting big now, this is what’s still up for grabs.

    1st. £182,000
    2nd. £110,000
    3rd. £77,400

    Blinds up: 100,000/200,000, ante 30,000

    11:30pm: Patrick Clarke eliminated in fourth place (£58,100)
    Patrick Clarke had dropped some chips after losing a chunky pot to Sam Mitten-Laurence with sevens against [Kd][Qs] on a [Ad][Qs][9h][Kd][Ts] board and he’d also been pushed off pots by Trevor Pearson and Richard Jones.

    So, he was down to 4,375,000 by the time his final hand rolled around. It was Mitten-Laurence who would again doing the damage. He raised to 475,000 with [As][Qd] and then called the Irishman’s shove. Clarke had pocket twos but the ducks couldn’t hold as the board ran [5h][5c][Ah][Kd][8c].

    Mitten-Laurence has a sizeable chip lead now, full counts coming during the break as the players are now taking 15. — NW

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day3_patrick_clarke.jpg

    Clarke – out in fourth

    11:20pm: That’s some speedy shoving
    Richard Jones doesn’t mess about when it comes to decision-making. After opening to 575,000 under the gun, Sam Mitten-Laurence bumped it up to 1,480,000 from the small blind. Jones quickly called and the two saw a flop of [ah][9c][3c]. Mitten-Laurence checked and Jones couldn’t have moved all of his chips into the middle faster if his life depended on it. Well, in this case his tournament life depended on it, but after much consideration Mitten-Laurence folded, showing the table his [kh][ks]. Jones took pity and showed [ad][qd] to put Mitten-Laurence’s mind at ease. –JS

    11:00pm: Don’t steal Trevor Pearson’s big blind…again
    Sam Mitten-Laurence has been warned by Trevor Pearson to his left “Watch it.”, as in don’t push your luck and try and steal my big blind again. Pearson folded to Mitten-Laurence’s 505,000 bet from the small blind, flashing the [as] as he did so. Next time he might fight back. –JS

    10:50pm: Chip counts
    Despite doubling up Trevor Person, Ireland’s Patrick Clarke still have a sizeable chip lead over his three opponents.

    Patrick Clarke, Ireland, 9,400,000
    Sam Mitten-Laurence, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 6,800,000
    Richard Jones, United Kingdom, 4,200,000
    Trevor Pearson, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 3,600,000

    10:40pm: Trevor Pearson doubles through Patrick Clarke
    Trevor Pearson was the shortest stack of the remaining four and despite doubling through Patrick Clarke that’s still the case. After Clarke raised to 350,000 from the button, Pearson defended from the small blind.

    On the [5c][Qd][5d] flop Clarke shoved for an effective 1,435,000 and Pearson called it off. Clarke had [9d][2d] whilst Pearson held [Qc][Th]. The [4s] turn and [6c] river kept Pearson in front and in the tournament. “Now I know what you’re raising with,” said Pearson to Clarke. “You fold if you don’t hit the queen,” replied Clarke. –NW

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day3_trevor_pearson.jpg

    And the winner of the happiest man in Nottingham goes to…

    Blinds up: 80,000/160,000, ante 20,000

    10:30pm: Krzysztof Jacyk eliminated in 5th (£44,700)
    And then there were four…

    Kryzsztof Jacyk had been left short when he doubled up Trevor Pearson (see 10:15pm post) and shoved his remaining 540,000 (4.5 big blinds) in with [8s][6s]. Patrick Clarke called with [Kh][Td] and stayed in front on the [8h][Qh][Kc][Qs][7d] board. — NW

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day3_krzystof_jacyk.jpg

    Jacyk – ejected in fifth

    10:25pm: Kuljinder Sidhu eliminated in 6th (£32,000)
    We’re down to five at the final table. Kuljinder Sidhu has been eliminated after ripping it all in out of the small blind for roughly 3,200,000 with [kh][5s] and getting called by Patrick Clarke who held [ad][qc]. The board ran out [ah][7c][6c][6d][tc] and that was all she wrote for Sidhu. He’ll take home £32,000, whilst the remaining five players are now all guaranteed £44,700. –JS

    Thumbnail image for Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day3_kuljnder_singh.jpg

    Sidhu hits the rail

    10:15pm: Pearson doubles; Jacyk on fumes
    Trevor Pearson – the man who has made back-to-back UKIPT Nottingham final tables – is sitting far prettier now that he has doubled up through Poland’s Krzysztof Jacyk. Pearson shoved for roughly 1,600,000 on the button and Jacyk called out of the big with [ah][kc]. He was dominating the at-risk Pearson’s [kh][jc] until the flop came [ks][jh][8c] giving him two pair. The [ts] and [9s] that joined the board changed nothing and Pearson doubles, meanwhile Jacyk’s stack has been decimated and he now sits with 650,000. –JS

    10:10pm: Pancholi out in 7th place (£24,200)
    There’s been another elimination, and the man no longer present at the felt is Sunil Pancholi. He shoved his 1,085,000 stack from under the gun and was looked up by Sam Mitten-Laurence sat under the gun+1. It folded around and the players tabled [qs][ts] (Pancholi) and [jh][jd] (Mitten-Laurence). Sunil couldn’t find any help as the board fell [th][8d][7h] [9d][ks] and it was the end of a great run for Pancholi. He’ll take home a handsome £24,200. –JS

    9:55pm: An interested spectator
    Super-middleweight boxing World Champion Carl Froch is one of the spectators watching this final table. He played this event earlier this week but busted on Day 1. — NW

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day3_carl_froch.jpg

    The Cobra watches on

    9:50pm: Luke Perrott eliminated in eighth place (£17,320)
    The first player out at the final table is Luke Perrott and his exit has also seen the chip lead change hands again.

    Kuljinder Sidhu opened to 300,000 from the hijack, Perrott shoved for 1,300,000 from the cut off and Patrick Clarke then shoved all-in for around 5,000,000 from the button. That forced a fold from Sidhu and it was time for the reveal. Perrott had [Ac][Jc] but he was dominated by Clarke’s [Ah][Ks]. The [Kd][7c][9h][Ts][Tc] board kept Clarke in front and boosted him to around 6,500,000. — NW

    9:40pm: Double up for Jones
    Getting dealt aces on a major final table? It’s the dream situation, and one that Richard Jones just experienced. After Sunil Pancholi opened to 375,000, Jones three-bet to 725,000 from the small blind. Pancholi made the call and we saw a flop of [9d][qh][5h]. Jones shoved all in for 1,610,000 and was called by Pancholi who held [ad][qc] – far behind Jones’ [as][ac]. The turn was the [kh] and the river the [8c] giving Jones a much needed double up and leaving Pancholi with around 1,500,000.

    After he won that hand Jones came up for us and asked us to say that he sends his love to his wife Lyn, who’s reading the updates. Hi Lyn! -JS

    9:30pm: Updated chip counts
    Stacks were counted on the break and here’s an update of how everyone is faring:

    Sam Mitten-Laurence, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 6,000,000
    Patrick Clarke, Ireland, 5,100,000
    Sunil Pancholi, United Kingdom, 3,960,000
    Kuljinder Sidhu, United Kingdom, 3,625,000
    Richard Jones, United Kingdom, 1,925,000
    Krzysztof Jacyk, Poland, PokerStars Qualifier, 1,855,000
    Luke Perrott, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 1,640,000
    Trevor Pearson, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 1,380,000

    –JS

    Blinds up: 60,000/120,000, ante 20,000

    9:20pm: Break time
    The players are now on a 20 minute break, whilst they recharge why not read these final table profiles we made earlier. — NW

    9:10pm: Luke Perrott doubles through Richard Jones
    Down to just 745,000 Luke Perrott moved all-in and Richard Jones gave him a spin from the big blind.

    Jones: [Kc][Qc]
    Perrott: [Ks][9c]

    When the flop fell [8s][6d][7s] Jones let out a laugh, perhaps he knew what was coming as the [Ts] completed Perrott’s straight and just for good measure he hit the [4s] on the river to make a flush. –NW

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day3_luke_perrott.jpg

    Luke Perrott is now (relatively) flush with chips

    9pm: Patrick Clarke on the move
    Patrick Clarke is closing in on the chip lead after winning sizeable pots against Krzysztof Jacyk and Sunil Pancholi.
    In the first Clarke raised to 225,000 and Jacyk called from the big blind. Both players checked the [Kh][4d][8c] flop and the [6h] fell on the turn. Jacyk led for 325,000 and Clarke called. The [7s] completed the board again Jacyk bet and again Clarke called, 425,000 being the bet this time. Jacyk showed [As][Jd] for just ace high, whilst Clarke had [Ks][Td].

    Soon after, he raised from the small blind and Pancholi defended his big blind. Again the flop was checked through but on the turn of a [9h][Qd][Qs][Qc] board Clarke bet 150,000 and Pancholi called. The [Td] finished things off and Clarke check-called a bet of 370,000, Pancholi announced ‘ace’ but Clarke had [Ts][3h] and won the pot.
    He’s up to around 4,900,000 whilst Pancholi is down to around 5,300,000. — NW

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day3_patrick_clarke.jpg

    Clarke is chipping up

    8:50pm: We have a new chipleader…
    There’s a new man leading the field and his name is Sunil Pancholi. The man he took it from, Kuljinder Sidhu, opened to 250,000 and Pancholi wasted no time shoving all in for 2,750,000 – equivalent to 27.5 big blinds. Sidhu snapped and turned over [kh][ks], ahead of Pancholi’s [ac][jc]. Not for long though – the board ran out [as][qc][6c] [9d][qh] and Pancholi is now out in front with 5,850,000. –JS

    8:40pm: Movers and Shakers
    Whilst there haven’t been any enormous pots to report, there have been a few worth mentioning. One notable hand took place between chipleader Kuljinder Sidhu and second biggest stack Richard Jones. Sidhu had made it 250,000 from under the gun and Jones peeled from the small blind. The flop fell [tc][5s][6s] and Jones checked to Sidhu who continued for another 250,000, which got another call out of Jones. The turn was the [5c] – Jones checked again and this time the bet got bigger – 475,000 from Sidhu, and another Jones call. The action stopped on the [3s] river and both players checked. It was [4s][4c] for Jones but Sidhu’s [td][9d] was the winner of a pot worth more than a million.

    Sunil Pancholi has remained active. He’s tangling a lot with Richard Jones, and they’re pretty much sat opposite each other in seat 1 and seat 4 respectively. Jones limped and Pacholi checked out of the big blind. The [kh][ts][3d] flop fell and both players checked. On the [kd] turn Pacholi took the betting lead, firing out 150,000 which was called. The [2h] came on the river and encouraged a 460,000 bet from Pacholi. Jones folded and a nice pot slid Sunil’s way. –JS

    8:20pm: Final table set
    The final table of eight is now set and will start shortly. The seat draw and chip counts are as below

    Krzysztof Jacyk, Poland, PokerStars Qualifier, 2,830,000
    Kuljinder Sidhu, United Kingdom, 5,010,000
    Luke Perrott, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 2,310,000
    Patrick Clarke, Ireland, 2,770,000
    Sunil Pancholi, United Kingdom, 2,305,000
    Sam Mitten-Laurence, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 3,570,000
    Trevor Pearson, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 975,000
    Richard Jones, United Kingdom, 4,570,000

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day3_sunil_pancholi.jpg

    Sunil Pancholi

    PokerStars Blog reporting team at UKIPT5 Nottingham: Jack Stanton and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May

    Read More

    UKIPT5 Nottingham Day 3: Level 22-23 updates (12,000/24,000 ante 3,000)

    2:05pm: Break time
    The remaining 24 players are now taking their first break of the day. We’ll be back with some interesting hands from the last level and all the chip counts shortly. –JS

    2pm: Doubles for Perrott and Benito
    Two all ins and two double ups to tell you about now…

    First Luke Perrott got it in with [Tc][Th] for his final 409,000 and was up against Kuljinder Sidhu’s pocket sevens. The [2c][Ks][4c][3c][8s] board doubled him to 850,000 and dropped Sidhu to 1,750,000.

    On an adjacent table Juan Benito three-bet shoved for 316,000 with [Qc][Jd] and Richard Jones looked him up with [Ac][Qs]. The [8h][Js][2c][4d][8s] board favoured the Spaniard and he stayed alive, whilst Jones slipped to 1,800,000. — NW

    1:55pm: Raul Martinez out in 26th
    It’s fair to say Kestutis Kristapaitis is getting a bit of a reputation for being a bit ‘crazy’ a bit of an oddball if you like. For one he keeps on asking for all his chips to be in the big denominations – 100K chips are now in play – and is badgering the tournament staff to colour up all his chips to the green 100K chips.

    More than one player has come up to us to tell us to watch ‘the crazy Lithuanian’ so we did and we weren’t left wanting.
    Raul Martinez moved all-in 370,000 from the cut-off with [Ad][4s] and Kristapaitis called very quickly with [7d][5d]. A [3c][2c][7h][6h][9h] board saw the pot go to the Lithuanian. He’s now up to 1,675,000. — NW

    1:45pm: Perrott put to the test
    PokerStars Qualifier Luke Perrott was just facing an agonising decision for his entire tournament – and while he lives to fight another day, he ultimately made the wrong one.

    Having just doubled up when his [ax][jx] held against Raul Martinez’s [ax][7x], Perrott immediately put his new chips to use by raising to 60,000 on the button. Martinez, left short with 260,000 and in the small blind, shoved before Kestutis Kristapaitis re-shoved from the big. Perrott was really going through the motions as he debated calling or folding, and he eventually opted for the latter after the clock was called. Martinez tabled [ah][7s] and Kristapaitis the [as][js]. The board fell [qd][8h][qh][3h][8s] and the players chopped it up with two pairs and an ace kicker each.

    Afterwards, Perrott told the table he’d threw away [ax][qx], which would have almost tripled his stack. He has around 400,000 remaining. –JS

    1:35pm: No presto moment for Blacklock
    We’re down to 26 players now as Richard Blacklock has become the latest player to exit the tournament. In his exit hand Dara Davey opened to 51,000 from middle position, Adam Kossew flat called from the small blind and Blacklock then moved all in for 317,000 from the big blind. Davey passed his hand but Kossew said call and showed [Jd][Jh].

    The former Kidderminster Harriers goalkeeper needed help as he had [5h][5d] but none arrived on the [Ad][Ts][2s][9d][Tc] board. They’ll be a complete re-draw when we’re down to 24. — NW

    1:25pm: Peachy for Pearson
    With blinds now at 12,000/24,000, Trevor Pearson made it more than than three times the big blind to go from under the gun – 76,000 to be exact. It was folded around to Juan Benito in the big blind who decided to put Pearson to the test and move all in. It wasn’t necessarily a confident call by Pearson, but with just 356,000 behind he did indeed make it and it was his [ah][9h] against Benito’s [tc][td]. It didn’t long for Pearson to jump out in front in emphatic style – the first three community cards were [as][ad][6c]. The board completed with the [3c] and [2c] and it was a nice double for Trevor who is now playing around 770,000. –JS

    1:15pm: Morten Mortensen mort
    The very capable Morten Mortensen has just been eliminated from this tournament by Patrick Clarke. The Irishman raised and then called Mortensen’s shove of 230,000 with [Kh][Qh] and was racing against the Dane’s pocket sevens.

    The [9s][Qd][Kc][5s][5d] board meant Ireland won this battle of Europe and Mortensen was eliminated in 30th place earning £4,330. — NW

    EPT11_malta_main_event_final_table_morten_mortensen.jpg

    The Dane’s day is done

    1:15pm: Déjà vu for Clarkson
    Anyone who’s played poker knows that whilst it’s an exhilarating game it can also be very cruel and the curse of the chip lead has struck down David Clarkson again. At UKIPT5 London in January he went from chip leader to out in 42nd place in the space of two hands. He was the start of day chip leader here in Nottingham but he’s just exited this tournament in 31st place.

    His exit hand was fairly spectacular as it involved a three-way all-in. He’d lost a lot of his stack already today, when his kings were cracked by queen-ten, and opened from a stack of 25 big blinds, Kestutis Kristapaitis flat called on the button and Foyzul Hussein then moved in for around 13 big blinds (288,000). Back on Clarkson he was tanking and as he did Kristapaitis picked up his cards as if he was going to muck should Clarkson shove. Clarkson did isolate all-in but Kristapaitis snap called his shove to create a three-way showdown.

    Clarkson: [9d][9s]
    Hussein: [Qd][Qh]
    Kristapaitis: [Ad][Ah]

    The [Tc][Qc][Kh] flop gave Hussein the lead and he held onto it on the [Th] turn and [5c] river. He’s now up to 1,000,000 whilst Kristapaitis broke even on the hand and has 1,400,000. — NW

    Blinds up: 12,000/24,000, ante 3,000

    1:05pm: Could Jones have got more?
    We’ve just kindly been informed of a fun hand that took place at table 11 before it broke. Chris Gordon opened to 45,000 and found a caller in Richard Jones to his left. It was then three-bet by Jimmy Cinquemani to 107,000 and the original raiser got out of the way, leaving just Jones to make the call. We went to a flop of [jh][tc][6c] and both players checked, resulting in the [qc] on the turn. Jones checked and Cinquemani led for 120,000, only to see Jones had planned a check-raise – an enormous shove of 1,600,000. Cinquemani went deep into the tank and made an agonising fold. The players were talking after the hand and Jones’ revealed he’d turned a flush whilst Cinquemani had folded [ax][kx] for a turned straight. Could Jones have got more had he played it a bit slower? We’ll never know. The players have now been moved to separate tables. –JS

    12:50pm: Moss rivered
    A cruel river has seen Robert Moss exit the tournament in 32nd place. He three-bet shoved for 380,000 with [Ac][Kc] and Kuljinder Sidhu looked him up with [Td][Tc]. A [8d][Ad][Qd] gave Moss the lead but provided Sidhu with flush outs to go with the tens. He got there the hard way as although he missed the [3s] turn he hit the [Ts] river to eliminate Moss and climb to 1,300,000.

    The latter took his exit incredibly well and indeed he took out his phone to snap a picture of the board. Remigiusz Myrzykiewicz and Algernon Buchanan are also out. — NW

    12:50pm: I had to do it
    It folded round to Zeljko Adzaga in the small blind and he moved all in for around 180,000, the decision was now on Robert Moss and although he had Adzaga covered the call represented around half his stack.

    It seemed like he had a marginal decision as he began talking to Adzaga, he and the Croat engaged in some good natured back and forth for a while before Moss folded. Adzaga showed [Js][7d] and said: “I had to do it,” as he took the pot. –NW

    12:40pm: Longstaff wins the race
    After Ben Longstaff had min-opened, Marc Hunter three-bet and Longstaff four-bet his entire 400,000 stack. Hunter counted out the chips but was hesitant to call at first – “I think you’ve got ace king” he said, but eventually the chips were in the middle and it was Hunter’s [5s][5c] against Longstaff’s [ah][jc] for the latter’s tournament life. The board ran out [8c][6s][js][qc][7s] and with around 40 big blinds Longstaff has a bit more breathing room. –JS

    ukipt5_nottingham_day2_mark_hunter.jpg

    Hunter on Day 2

    12:30pm: Taylor at the centre of the action
    There’s been lots of action on table 13 and it’s all revolved around Guy Taylor. In the first significant hand Soleiman Masud opened to 51,000 from the cutoff, Taylor shoved for 446,000 from the button with pocket threes, only for Krzysztof Jacyk to wake up with aces in the small blind and call all-in for 388,000. Algernon Buchanan now had a big decision, he eventually folded and said: “Don’t put an eight out there dealer,” the board came [5c][9d][6c][Qd][5d] and Jacyk doubled to around 850,000 whilst Taylor was left very short.

    Two hands later Masud again opened to 51,000, Taylor then shoved for his remaining 43,000 only for Daniel Merrilees to move all-in for 310,000 total. Back on Masud he had a look of ‘this can’t be happening again,’ before shrugging and calling.

    Masud: [Qs][Qd]
    Merrilees: [Th][Ts]
    Taylor: [Kc][7s]

    “Let’s see if I can bink my two bigs,” said Taylor and bink he did as the board ran [Ac][Kd][8s][9h][Jc]. So a triple up for Taylor, but Masud had Merrilees covered and he was out in 36th place. He’s the second player out today as Andrew Hulme is also out.

    Edit: despite this miraculous treble up Taylor couldn’t repeat the trick and is now out. — NW

    12:20pm: Chips are moving
    There certainly isn’t any fear of playing big pots early here today. Adam Kossew’s delayed c-bet of 50,000 on a [7c][4s][9c][qs] was called by Jeremy Betts, who had called a min-open pre-flop on the button. The [7h] came on the river and a 125,000 bet was enough to take the pot down for Kossew. Meanwhile, on another table Lithuanian player Kestutis Kristapaitis has been getting involved, too. His 220,000 bet on a [ac][4s][js][5h][9c] board was called by the chipleader coming into the day, David Clarkson, and his [kc][6c] for the flush caused Clarkson to muck. –JS

    12:10pm: Hulme getting busy
    Coming into the day with 210,000 was enough for Andrew Hulme to be the second lowest stack, but the talented Brit known as ‘stato_1’ online has wasted no time in trying to improve his position by moving all in and raking in the blinds and antes. –JS

    12:05pm: First hand double up for Moss
    Pocket kings on the very first hand of the day? Don’t mind if I do. Robert Moss has just doubled up with [kh][kc] against Krzysztof Jacyk’s [ac][js]. The board ran out [5d][9c][8c][ts][2c] and as Moss started the day as the shortest stack with 142,000, he’s now up to 330,000. –JS

    12pm: 37 to 1
    Welcome back to the final day of UKIPT5 Nottingham. This tournament began four weeks ago and over four start days 1,026 entered and now 37 remain. The phrase ‘the cream rises’ springs to mind as amongst the final 37 we have a UKIPT winner (Sergio Aido), the UKIPT4 leader board winner (Dara Davey), an Irish Open winner (Patrick Clarke), three players who’ve final tabled a UKIPT Main Event in this venue before (Ben Vinson, Trevor Pearson and Juan Benito), and three players who’ve final tabled an EPT (Morten Mortensen – 8th EPT7 Snowfest, Kuljinder Sidhu – 8th EPT10 London, and Remigiusz Wyrzykiewicz – 8th EPT11 Malta). One of them may well win or we could see another player have their breakout result.

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day2_sergio_aido.jpg

    UKIPT champ Sergio Aido

    Chief amongst them is chip leader David Clarkson, he leads the way right now although it’s tough at the top and tight. The chasing pack isn’t too far away. The full seat draw is below and play is about to start.

    Table 0
    Adam Kossew, United Kingdom, 706,000
    Richard Blacklock, United Kingdom, 523,000
    Ben Longstaff, United Kingdom, 344,000
    Jeremy Betts, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 1,040,000
    Dara Davey, Ireland, PokerStars Player, 820,000
    Patrick Clarke, Ireland, 1,404,000
    Marc Hunter, United Kingdom, 1,291,000

    Table 11
    Remigiusz Wyrzykiewicz, Poland, 726,000
    Ben Vinson, United Kingdom, 1,114,000
    Andrew Hulme, United Kingdom, 210,000
    Chris Gordon, United Kingdom, 466,000
    Richard Jones, United Kingdom, 1,465,000
    Jimmy Cinquemani, United Kingdom, 1,100,000
    Morten Mortensen, Denmark, 369,000

    Table 12
    Juan Benito, Spain, PokerStars Qualifier, 922,000
    Trevor Pearson, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 435,000
    Adam Bilcock, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 828,000
    Nicolas Mclellan, United Kingdom, 700,000
    Sergio Aido, Spain, 669,000
    Sunil Pancholi, United Kingdom, 557,000
    Prassanna Suryanarayanan, United Kingdom, 547,000

    Table 13
    Soleiman Masud, United Kingdom, 524,000
    Guy Taylor, United Kingdom, 352,000
    Kuljinder Sidhu, United Kingdom, 416,000
    Krzysztof Jacyk, Poland, PokerStars Qualifier, 615,000
    Algernon Buchanan, United Kingdom, 538,000
    Daniel Merrilees, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 400,000
    Zeljko Adzaga, Croatia, PokerStars Qualifier, 231,000
    Robert Moss, United Kingdom, 142,000

    Table 14
    Luke Perrott, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 466,000
    David Clarkson, United Kingdom, 1,715,000
    Raul Martinez, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 828,000
    Kestutis Kristapaitis, Lithuania, 623,000
    Sam Mitten-laurence, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 495,000
    Foyzul Hussein, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 372,000
    Usman Siddique, United Kingdom, 1,113,000
    Michiel Jonker, Netherlands, 367,000

    Read More

    UKIPT5 Nottingham: David Clarkson shifts into top gear to lead final 37

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day2_david_clarkson.jpg

    David Clarkson has the overnight chip lead

    We often refer to Day 2 of a UKIPT as moving day and the reasons for this can be summed up in one word – maths. Depending on how many levels you play on Day 1 around 45-55% of the field will advance to Day 2 whilst typically less than 10% advance from Day 2 to Day 3. Today 380 returned and just 37 made it through.

    All the survivors have locked up a cash of at least £3,760 but whilst that’s a decent return on their investment it’s tomorrow when the big money will be won. The player looking most likely to take home the £182,000 first prize right now is David Clarkson, who ended the day on a massive 1,715,000. His biggest hand of the day came when he eliminated Rob Tinnion in a 1,600,000 chip pot. Clarkson flopped a flush with [Qs][Js], Tinnion had the [Ks] and a straight draw come the turn and the chips went in. “I closed my eyes and hoped,” said Clarkson of the moment before the river blanked. The 26-year-old who describes himself as “pretty much a pro,” plays live cash games and online tournaments. He’s got form in the latter having won a TCOOP in January. He satellited into this event online but is on his second bullet.

    He’s not bad in the live arena either; Clarkson’s two for two in UKIPT5 Main Events having finished 42nd in London. He had the chip lead in that one before going from hero to zero in just two hands to bust. “I’m good at getting the chip leads in these, but even better at punting them off,” he joked at the end of the day. He’ll be hoping that doesn’t happen tomorrow, especially as his girlfriend Clara is travelling up to rail him.

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day2_ricahrd_jones.jpg

    It was a happy day for Jones

    He wasn’t the only player to breach the 1,000,000 chip barrier; nine players bagged up seven figures and all of Richard Jones (1,465,000) Patrick Clarke (1,404,000), Marc Hunter (1,291,000) and Ben Vinson (1,114,000) will be more than pleased with their day’s work. In particular Vinson’s rise was most impressive given he started with just 24,300. Below is a full list of survivors – they’ll all be back at noon to play down to a winner.

    David Clarkson, United Kingdom, 1,715,000
    Richard Jones, United Kingdom, 1,465,000
    Patrick Clarke, Ireland, 1,404,000
    Marc Hunter, United Kingdom, 1,291,000
    Ben Vinson, United Kingdom, 1,114,000
    Usman Siddique, United Kingdom, 1,113,000
    Jimmy Cinquemani, United Kingdom, 1,100,000
    Jeremy Betts, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 1,040,000
    Juan Benito, Spain, PokerStars Qualifier, 922,000
    Raul Martinez, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 828,000
    Adam Bilcock, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 828,000
    Dara Davey, Ireland, PokerStars Player, 820,000
    Remigiusz Wyrzykiewicz, Poland, 726,000
    Adam Kossew, United Kingdom, 706,000
    Nicolas Mclellan, United Kingdom, 700,000
    Sergio Aido, Spain, 669,000
    Kestutis Kristapaitis, Lithuania, 623,000
    Krzysztof Jacyk, Poland, PokerStars Qualifier, 615,000

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day2_sergio_aido.jpg

    The UKIPT double is still on for Aido

    Sunil Pancholi, United Kingdom, 557,000
    Prassanna Suryanarayanan, United Kingdom, 547,000
    Algernon Buchanan, United Kingdom, 538,000
    Soleiman Masud, United Kingdom, 524,000
    Richard Blacklock, United Kingdom, 523,000
    Sam Mitten-laurence, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 495,000
    Chris Gordon, United Kingdom, 466,000
    Luke Perrott, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 466,000
    Trevor Pearson, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 435,000
    Kuljinder Sidhu, United Kingdom, 416,000
    Daniel Merrilees, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 400,000
    Foyzul Hussein, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 372,000
    Morten Mortensen, Denmark, 369,000
    Michiel Jonker, Netherlands, 367,000
    Guy Taylor, United Kingdom, 352,000
    Ben Longstaff, United Kingdom, 344,000
    Zeljko Adzaga, Croatia, PokerStars Qualifier, 231,000
    Andrew Hulme, United Kingdom, 210,000
    Robert Moss, United Kingdom, 142,000

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day2_richard_blacklock. jpg

    The de-bearded Richard Blacklock

    The prospect of another UKIPT double is on as Sergio Aido, who won UKIPT3 London, is still in. We also have the UKIPT4 leader board winner (Dara Davey), an Irish Open winner (Patrick Clarke), two players who’ve final tabled a UKIPT Main Event in this venue before (Vinson and Juan Benito), and three players who’ve final tabled an EPT (Morten Mortensen – 8th EPT7 Snowfest, Kuljinder Sidhu – 8th EPT10 London, and Remigiusz Wyrzykiewicz – 8th EPT11 Malta). In short, this field is still stacked.

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day1d_jake_cody.jpg

    There was to be no spin up for Cody

    When play got under way at a little past noon local time there were two members of Team PokerStars Pro left in and one paid up member of Team Blog still in the mix. Just 15 minutes later we were 0 for 3. Leo Margets went first and Jake Cody followed soon after when he missed a straight and flush draw after jamming into a made straight.

    Getting it in good didn’t seem to help either. European Media Person of the Year winner Marc Convey can often be found commentating on the EPT and blogging on this very tour, and had his exit hand played out on EPT Live there’d have been a classic race symbol lit large. His jacks couldn’t hold against ace-king and that was that for ‘The Conv’.

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day2_chuck_Khuu.jpg

    Busting hurts, bubbling really hurts

    Their exits set the tone for the day as it appeared everyone had a meeting to be at or a bus to catch as the bust outs continued at a ferocious pass until the bubble was reached during level 16. There would be no protracted bubble, indeed hand for hand play wasn’t required. Chuck Khuu was the last to leave empty handed when his three-bet shove with ace-jack went awry as Ben Longstaff called with queens and the ladies held.

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day2_leon_louis.jpg

    Louis busted in the final level

    From there the numbers continued to drop and plenty of talented players took a trip to the cash desk to pick up their winnings: Rory Brown (137th), Kevin Allen (129th), Charlie Combes (124th), Yucel Eminoglu (118th), Michael Graydon (114th), Ben Dobson (102nd), Leo McClean (92nd), Jason Tompkins (84th), Ludovic Geilich (78th), Paul Jackson (75th), Matas Cimbolas (68th), Robert Tinnion (60th), Neil Raine (54th), Dean Hutchison (47th) and Leon Louis (41st) all made the money but not Day 3. For a full list of payouts head here.

    ukipt5_nottingham_day2_ludovic_geilich.jpg

    Another deep run for Ludo

    You can catch up on all today’s exciting action by clicking here or here, we’ll be back from noon to cover the business end of this huge £1,000,000 guaranteed event, but for now goodnight.

    All photos are copyright of Mickey May

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    UKIPT5 Nottingham: David Clarkson shifts into top gear to lead final 37

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day2_david_clarkson.jpg

    David Clarkson has the overnight chip lead

    We often refer to Day 2 of a UKIPT as moving day and the reasons for this can be summed up in one word – maths. Depending on how many levels you play on Day 1 around 45-55% of the field will advance to Day 2 whilst typically less than 10% advance from Day 2 to Day 3. Today 380 returned and just 37 made it through.

    All the survivors have locked up a cash of at least £3,760 but whilst that’s a decent return on their investment it’s tomorrow when the big money will be won. The player looking most likely to take home the £182,000 first prize right now is David Clarkson, who ended the day on a massive 1,715,000. His biggest hand of the day came when he eliminated Rob Tinnion in a 1,600,000 chip pot. Clarkson flopped a flush with [Qs][Js], Tinnion had the [Ks] and a straight draw come the turn and the chips went in. “I closed my eyes and hoped,” said Clarkson of the moment before the river blanked. The 26-year-old who describes himself as “pretty much a pro,” plays live cash games and online tournaments. He’s got form in the latter having won a TCOOP in January. He satellited into this event online but is on his second bullet.

    He’s not bad in the live arena either; Clarkson’s two for two in UKIPT5 Main Events having finished 42nd in London. He had the chip lead in that one before going from hero to zero in just two hands to bust. “I’m good at getting the chip leads in these, but even better at punting them off,” he joked at the end of the day. He’ll be hoping that doesn’t happen tomorrow, especially as his girlfriend Clara is travelling up to rail him.

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day2_ricahrd_jones.jpg

    It was a happy day for Jones

    He wasn’t the only player to breach the 1,000,000 chip barrier; nine players bagged up seven figures and all of Richard Jones (1,465,000) Patrick Clarke (1,404,000), Marc Hunter (1,291,000) and Ben Vinson (1,114,000) will be more than pleased with their day’s work. In particular Vinson’s rise was most impressive given he started with just 24,300. Below is a full list of survivors – they’ll all be back at noon to play down to a winner.

    David Clarkson, United Kingdom, 1,715,000
    Richard Jones, United Kingdom, 1,465,000
    Patrick Clarke, Ireland, 1,404,000
    Marc Hunter, United Kingdom, 1,291,000
    Ben Vinson, United Kingdom, 1,114,000
    Usman Siddique, United Kingdom, 1,113,000
    Jimmy Cinquemani, United Kingdom, 1,100,000
    Jeremy Betts, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 1,040,000
    Juan Benito, Spain, PokerStars Qualifier, 922,000
    Raul Martinez, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 828,000
    Adam Bilcock, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 828,000
    Dara Davey, Ireland, PokerStars Player, 820,000
    Remigiusz Wyrzykiewicz, Poland, 726,000
    Adam Kossew, United Kingdom, 706,000
    Nicolas Mclellan, United Kingdom, 700,000
    Sergio Aido, Spain, 669,000
    Kestutis Kristapaitis, Lithuania, 623,000
    Krzysztof Jacyk, Poland, PokerStars Qualifier, 615,000

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day2_sergio_aido.jpg

    The UKIPT double is still on for Aido

    Sunil Pancholi, United Kingdom, 557,000
    Prassanna Suryanarayanan, United Kingdom, 547,000
    Algernon Buchanan, United Kingdom, 538,000
    Soleiman Masud, United Kingdom, 524,000
    Richard Blacklock, United Kingdom, 523,000
    Sam Mitten-laurence, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 495,000
    Chris Gordon, United Kingdom, 466,000
    Luke Perrott, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 466,000
    Trevor Pearson, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 435,000
    Kuljinder Sidhu, United Kingdom, 416,000
    Daniel Merrilees, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 400,000
    Foyzul Hussein, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 372,000
    Morten Mortensen, Denmark, 369,000
    Michiel Jonker, Netherlands, 367,000
    Guy Taylor, United Kingdom, 352,000
    Ben Longstaff, United Kingdom, 344,000
    Zeljko Adzaga, Croatia, PokerStars Qualifier, 231,000
    Andrew Hulme, United Kingdom, 210,000
    Robert Moss, United Kingdom, 142,000

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day2_richard_blacklock. jpg

    The de-bearded Richard Blacklock

    The prospect of another UKIPT double is on as Sergio Aido, who won UKIPT3 London, is still in. We also have the UKIPT4 leader board winner (Dara Davey), an Irish Open winner (Patrick Clarke), two players who’ve final tabled a UKIPT Main Event in this venue before (Vinson and Juan Benito), and three players who’ve final tabled an EPT (Morten Mortensen – 8th EPT7 Snowfest, Kuljinder Sidhu – 8th EPT10 London, and Remigiusz Wyrzykiewicz – 8th EPT11 Malta). In short, this field is still stacked.

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day1d_jake_cody.jpg

    There was to be no spin up for Cody

    When play got under way at a little past noon local time there were two members of Team PokerStars Pro left in and one paid up member of Team Blog still in the mix. Just 15 minutes later we were 0 for 3. Leo Margets went first and Jake Cody followed soon after when he missed a straight and flush draw after jamming into a made straight.

    Getting it in good didn’t seem to help either. European Media Person of the Year winner Marc Convey can often be found commentating on the EPT and blogging on this very tour, and had his exit hand played out on EPT Live there’d have been a classic race symbol lit large. His jacks couldn’t hold against ace-king and that was that for ‘The Conv’.

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day2_chuck_Khuu.jpg

    Busting hurts, bubbling really hurts

    Their exits set the tone for the day as it appeared everyone had a meeting to be at or a bus to catch as the bust outs continued at a ferocious pass until the bubble was reached during level 16. There would be no protracted bubble, indeed hand for hand play wasn’t required. Chuck Khuu was the last to leave empty handed when his three-bet shove with ace-jack went awry as Ben Longstaff called with queens and the ladies held.

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day2_leon_louis.jpg

    Louis busted in the final level

    From there the numbers continued to drop and plenty of talented players took a trip to the cash desk to pick up their winnings: Rory Brown (137th), Kevin Allen (129th), Charlie Combes (124th), Yucel Eminoglu (118th), Michael Graydon (114th), Ben Dobson (102nd), Leo McClean (92nd), Jason Tompkins (84th), Ludovic Geilich (78th), Paul Jackson (75th), Matas Cimbolas (68th), Robert Tinnion (60th), Neil Raine (54th), Dean Hutchison (47th) and Leon Louis (41st) all made the money but not Day 3. For a full list of payouts head here.

    ukipt5_nottingham_day2_ludovic_geilich.jpg

    Another deep run for Ludo

    You can catch up on all today’s exciting action by clicking here or here, we’ll be back from noon to cover the business end of this huge £1,000,000 guaranteed event, but for now goodnight.

    All photos are copyright of Mickey May

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    UKIPT5 Nottingham Day 2: level 17 updates (3,000/6,000 ante 1,000)

    7.30pm: Glittering cash prizes
    Everyone left in has locked up £1,820, we’re keeping track of who finishes where over on the payouts page. The likes of Rory Brown, Kevin Allen and Tim Davie have all cashed but crashed out of this tournament. — NW

    7.25pm: More counts
    Loads of names and notables left in the final 127 here in Nottingham. Last time we were here Duncan McLellan nabbed his second UKIPT title and Sergio Aido, Ludovic Geilich and Dean Hutchison are still in with a shot of matching him. — NW

    William Dorey, United Kingdom, 395,000
    Tim Chung, United Kingdom, 393,000
    Remi Wyrzykiewicz, Poland, 310,000
    Ben Winsor, United Kingdom, 310,000
    Sergio Aido, Spain, 300,000
    Uzzol Miah, United Kingdom, 280,000
    Philippe Souki, United Kingdom, 280,000
    Leon Louis, United Kingdom, 268,000
    Rob Tinnion, United Kingdom, 265,000
    Juan Benito, Spain, PokerStars Qualifier, 258,000
    Daniel Charlton, United Kingdom, 240,000
    Ian Gascoigne, United Kingdom, 228,000
    Neil Raine, United Kingdom, 220,000
    Morten Mortensen, Netherlands, 210,000
    Jamie O’Connor, United Kingdom, 198,000
    Dara Davey, Ireland, PokerStars Player, 183,000

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day2_sergio_aido.jpg

    Two times?

    Matas Cimbolas, Lithuania, PokerStars Qualifier, 155,000
    Michael Welland, United Kingdom, 145,000
    Max Ladbrooke, United Kingdom, 140,000
    Ludovic Geilich, United Kingdom, 131,000
    Jason Tompkins, Ireland, 120,000
    Andrew Hulme, United Kingdom, 105,000
    Seun Oluwole, United Kingdom, 105,000
    Leo McClean, United Kingdom, 86,000
    Ben Dobson, United Kingdom, 85,000
    Paul Jackson, United Kingdom, 85,000
    Osman Mustanoglu, Turkey, 75,000
    Dean Hutchison, United Kingdom, 75,000
    Yucel Eminoglu, Turkey, PokerStars Qualifier, 73,000
    Lee Taylor, United Kingdom, 73,000
    Mick Graydon, Ireland, PokerStars Qualifier, 66,000
    Charlie Combes, United Kingdom, 22,000

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day2_matas_cimbolas.jpg

    Matas Cimbolas

    7.15pm: Big stacks
    The players are back from dinner and ready once more to play cards. Should any on the below slip into a carb induced coma then it wont matter that much as they’re the big stacks in this tournament:

    David La Ronde, United Kingdom, 725,000
    Patrick Clarke, Ireland, 605,000
    Ben Longstaff, United Kingdom, 585,000
    Richard Blacklock, United Kingdom, 571,000
    Usman Siddique, United Kingdom, 500,000
    Ian Bosley, United Kingdom, 455,000
    Raul Martinez, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 451,000
    Ben Vinson, United Kingdom, 440,000

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day2_david_la_ronde.jpg

    David La Ronde

    PokerStars Blog Repoerting Team at UKIPT5 Nottingham: Jack Stanton and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May

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    UKIPT5 Nottingham Day 2: level 17-21 updates (8,000/16,000 ante 2,000)

    12:45am: Day 2 is done
    It’s all over here on Day 2 and chips are being bagged as we speak. We’ll be back shortly with a full round-up of all the day’s action, including the chip leaders going into the third and final day tomorrow. –JS

    12:38am: Last three hands
    There’ll be just three more hands tonight – will there be any last-minute bust outs? Stay tuned. –JS

    12:30am: Gutsy bluff gets through
    It’s late in the day but play is as lively as ever. Usman Siddique opened to 33,000 pre-flop under the gun, and found only one caller in the man to his right – Lithuanian player Kestutis Kristapaitis. The flop came [9s][ac][9h] and both players checked. The [5s] fell on fourth street and it was checked to Kristapaitis who bed 62,000, which Siddique called. The river brought the [jh], and after checking again Kristapaitis moved all in for 317,000. It was clearly a tough decision for Siddique, who counted out the chips. Eventually, though, he folded showing the [js] – and in return, Kristapaitis showed his hand: [7c][4s]. The big bluff got the job done. –JS

    12:10am: Vinson sniffs out the bluff
    There have been some great calls in this tournament for large amounts of chips, and the one we just witnessed is certainly up there. PokerStars Qualifier Foyzul Hussein min-raised from under the gun and found a caller from Ben Vinson in the big blind. The flop was [7h][3s][8s], which Vinson checked to the raiser. Hussein made it 30,000 but now Vinson raised – a check-raise to 93,000. The bet was called and we saw the [2h] on the turn, which both players checked. Vinson checked again on the [5c] river and Hussein put out a chunky bet of 127,000. In hindsight, Vinson really didn’t take long to call – and as soon as he did Hussein flicked his cards into the muck. Vinson tabled [kh][qs] for just king-high, but it was the winning hand. –JS

    12am: Top of the chip charts
    As the last level of the day got under way these were the stacks of the chip leaders, it’s still David Clarkson who leads but Jav Fernandez and Richard Jones are hot on his heels.

    David Clarkson, United Kingdom, 1,550,000
    Jav Fernandez, Spain, 1,500,000
    Richard Jones, United Kingdom, 1,300,000
    Patrick Clarke, Ireland, 970,000
    Adam Bilcock, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 950,000
    Jimmy Cinquemani, United Kingdom, 900,000
    Kuljinder Sidhu, United Kingdom, 860,000
    Daniel Merrilees, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 820,000
    Usman Siddique, United Kingdom, 780,000
    Prassanna Suryanarayanan, United Kingdom, 750,000
    Soleiman Masud, United Kingdom, 750,000
    Oliver Waters, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 720,000

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day2_ricahrd_jones.jpg

    Richard Jones

    11:53pm: Back at it
    The 44 remaining players are back in their seats for the final level of the day. — NW

    Blinds up: 8,000/16,000, ante 2,000

    11:43pm: Break time
    The players are on their final break of the day. — NW

    11:42pm: Can anyone keep up with Jones?
    Richard Jones is up to 1,600,000 and is basically tied for the chip lead with David Clarkson. The reason for that is because it was Jones who eliminated David La Ronde and Jones said: “You miss all the good hands,” to the PokerStars Blog before filling us in on what happened.

    In the hand in question Jones raised with ace-jack and La Ronde called with [Qh][2h]. The flop came [Ah][Jh][Jx], Jones bet and La Ronde called. The [4h] turn completed La Ronde’s flush and this is where Jones got sneaky. He checked, La Ronde bet, Jones raised, La Ronde moved all-in, Jones called and La Ronde was drawing dead.

    Patrick Clark is also at that table and has close to 1,300,000. — NW

    11:40pm: All in for Suryanarayanan
    Just as in our 11:10pm update, this is another case of a hand playing itself. Prassanna Suryanarayanan opened to 56,000 and Marten Martensen three-bet to 125,000. That didn’t scare Prassanna, however, as he shoved all in for 321,000 and got a quick caller in Mortensen who turned over [jd][js]. It was a race, and the initial raiser would need either an ace or a king (or running cards) to win with his [as][kc]. Lucky for him, the first card out the window was an ace and the board fell [ad][7s][8s][7h][8d]. It’s a nice double up, and Suryanarayanan is now sitting with about 660,000. –JS

    11:35pm: No double for Dean
    UKIPT4 Edinburgh champion Dean Hutchison has just been sent tumbling out of this tournament in 47th place, long time chip leader David La Ronde is also out, he finished 46th. Both collect £3,200. — NW

    11:30pm: Louis at the double
    Leon Louis was down to just 64,000 when he moved all-in from the big blind over the top of Andrew Hulme’s 25,000 open, Hulme instantly called off the extra and it was time for showdown.

    Hulme: [Jd][Td]
    Louis: [Ks][6h]

    A [9h][9s][3s][6c][2d] board gave Louis the win, he’s up to around 150,000 whilst Hulme slips to 215,000. — NW

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day2_leon_louis.jpg

    Louis is down but not out

    11:10pm: Blind on blind battle leads to exit for Stanway
    You can file this hand under ‘it was always going in’. The action folded to Daniel Stanway in the small blind and he moved all-in for 185,000 – around 15 big blinds – and Foyzul Hussein made a quick call from the big blind – he covered Stanway but not by much.

    Hussein: [Ac][Jh]
    Stanway: [As][Td]

    The five community cards failed to help Stanway and he was on his way in 50th place, earning £3,200. — NW

    11:05pm: A frustrating lack of action for Pancholi
    After limping in late position, Sunil Pancholi saw the small blind complete and the big blind check. The flop fell [7h][kc][8d] and Kestutis Kristapaitis and Richard Jones checked it over to Pancholi, who readied 32,000 of his chips and pushed them into the middle of the felt. Both players called and the turn was the [2c]. It was checked to Pancholi again and this time he made it 50,000 to go. Both Kristapaitis and Jones threw their cards away and Pancholi frustratingly tossed his into the muck – but not without flashing pocket sevens for a flopped set. –JS

    10:55pm: Raine and Winsor sent packing by Jones
    Double elimination! Our thanks to Neil Raine and Ben Winsor for telling us about the huge pot that saw them both eliminated from this tournament and in the process boost Richard Jones to a stack of over 1,100,000.

    Pre-flop Raine raised to 32,000 from under-the-gun from a stack of 400,000 with [A][Q], he picked up three callers, Jones – who was under-the-gun+1, Winsor (small blind) and Kestutis Kristapaitis (big blinds).
    The [A][Q][8] flop looked decent enough for his hand and Raine c-bet, Jones flat called and Winsor then moved all-in for 260,000 total. Back on Raine he moved all-in over the top and Jones then called both shoves. Winsor had [J][T], whilst Jones had flopped a set of eights.

    The board bricked off and Raine and Winsor exited in 54th and 55th place respectively. –NW

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day2_ben_winsor.jpg

    Knot Winsor’s day

    10:45pm: Two monsters for Taylor
    In just two hands Guy Taylor has rocketed himself into a big stack. The first hand – his [js][jd] all-in pre against an opponent’s [9s][9c] – shot him up to 500,000. Now, after cracking aces with [th][ts] to knock out Michael Welland, Taylor is up to around 780,000. –JS

    Blinds up: 6,000/12000, ante 2,000

    10:35pm: Longstaff lays down jacks
    Oliver Waters raised to 24,000 from under-the-gun and Ben Longstaff then three-bet to 50,000 from the cut-off. Next to act Chris Gordon four-bet all-in for 281,000 total and it passed back to Walter. He folded fairly quickly, Longstaff tanked before he too folded, showing [Js][Jh] as he did so. — NW

    10:25pm: We have a new chipleader
    David Clarkson has just won a massive pot of 1,600,000 – good enough for the chiplead.

    Rob Tinnion is the player who has boosted Clarkson’s stack. Both players started the hand with around 800,000, and Tinnion led for 70,000 on the [2s][7s][ts] flop, but was raised by Clarkson to 170,000. After making the call, the turn was the [8c] and this is when Tinnion decided to shove his remaining chips – around 500,000. Clarkson made the call with [qs][js] for a flopped flush, whilst Tinnion needed a lot of help to improve his [ks][jd]. A spade didn’t come on the river – it was the [ac] – and Clarkson has catapulted into the lead.

    Tinnion will collect £2,710 for his 60th place finish. –JS

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day2_david_clarkson.jpg

    David Clarkson

    10:10pm: Chip counts
    Below are the counts of some of the names and notables left in the field:

    Dean Hutchison, United Kingdom, 550,000
    Ian Bosley, United Kingdom, 440,000
    Dara Davey, Ireland, PokerStars Player, 400,000
    Morten Mortensen, Denmark, 360,000
    Juan Benito, Spain, PokerStars Qualifier, 350,000
    Richard Blacklock, United Kingdom, 255,000
    Ben Longstaff, United Kingdom, 250,000
    Michael Welland, United Kingdom, 245,000
    William Dorey, United Kingdom, 200,000
    Andrew Hulme, United Kingdom, 90,000

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day2_will_dorey.jpg

    Will Dorey

    10:05pm: Martinez gets there
    Guy Taylor was stewing after Raul Martinez rivered him in a big pot. Taylor bet 95,000 on the river of a [6s][6c][Th][7c][4c] board and was surprised when Martinez raised to 220,000.

    He spent a long time thinking about his decision, checking his cards on more than one occasion and separating the chips needed to call from his stack. And call he did, Martinez showed [4d][4s] for a full house and Taylor looked disgusted as he mucked his cards. He’s down to 300,000 whilst Martinez is up to 530,000. — NW

    9:55pm: One-two knockout punch for Tim Chung
    A couple of brutal hands in a row for Tim Chung have seen him exit this tournament. In the first there was unknown betting action on a [8s][4h][Td][3d][7d] board, at this point Chung bet 60,000 and Dean Hutchison raised to 160,000 total. Chung near insta-folded [Js][9c] face-up.

    That left him with around 100,000 (10 big blinds) and they went in the next hand with [Ad][4d], Michiel Jonker had [As][Td] and held on a [2d][Js][Th][3c][Js] board. — NW

    9:45pm: Updated payouts
    You’ll find an updated list of the prizes and payouts here. –JS

    9:30pm: Stacked
    The players are back in their seats for the final two levels of the night, David La Ronde still leads and has broken through the million chip mark too. “I’ve just been picking my spots and putting pressure on people without playing any massive pots,” he told the PokerStars Blog during the break.

    David La Ronde, United Kingdom, 1,100,000
    Adam Kossew, United Kingdom, 920,000
    Richard Jones, United Kingdom, 780,000
    Uzzol Miah, United Kingdom, 700,000
    Soleiman Masud, United Kingdom, 700,000
    Leon Louis, United Kingdom, 690,000
    Sergio Aido, Spain, 690,000
    Zeljko Adzaga, Croatia, PokerStars Qualifier, 670,000
    Nik Stylianou, United Kingdom, 630,000

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day2_david_la_ronde.jpg

    There’s no stopping the ‘DLR express’

    Blinds up: 5,000/10,000, ante 1,000

    9:20pm: Last break of Day 2
    We’re on the final break of the day. 64 players remain. –JS

    9:10pm: Chipleader takes a hit
    David La Ronde has been an overwhelming chipleader for the past few levels, but it’s not all smooth sailing. On a board of [9d][td][7s][tc], DLR bet 29,000 and got a call from Ben Winsor. The river came the [2c] and La Ronde checked over to Winsor, who shoved all in for 116,000. It’s worth noting there was already around 60,000 in the pot going to the turn, so add the 58,000 and it was practically a pot-sized shove from Winsor. DLR made the call but his [6c][6h] were no good against his opponent’s [ks][9s].

    Will David La Ronde still top the chip counts? We’re about to find out – check back shortly for an update. –JS

    9:10pm: So many diamonds
    Dusk Till Dawn regular Ian Gascoigne has just been eliminated in 76th place and was kind enough to fill us in on his exit hand from this tournament and it was definitely one to file under ‘brutal’. Playing a stack of 250,000 he min-raised to 20,000 from under-the-gun with [6d][5d] and found a caller in the shape of UKIPT4 Edinburgh champion Dean Hutchison, who was the big blind.

    The [8d][7d][Ad] flop looked like gin for Gascoigne and a series of bets saw all the chips go into the middle, Hutchison though had [Td][9d] and Gascoigne was in worse shape than he can ever have imagined. The board bricked out and as Gascoigne said: “that’s poker,” before adding. “I’ve loved this comp though, when’s the next one?”

    Well Ian we can tell you, the next one takes place in Marbella June 15th-21st.

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day2_ian_gascoigne.jpg

    Gascoigne’s diamonds turned to rhinestones

    8:55pm: Miah vs Judgedredd13
    Daniel ‘judgedredd13’ Charlton, a feared online player with more than $1.7 million in tournament winnings, min-opened and got three-bet by Uzzol Miah to 36,000. Charlton moved over the top and bet enough to put Miah all-in. Naturally it wasn’t a decision he was going to make lightly. He went deep into the tank but found a call a few minutes later with [qh][qd]. Judgedredd13 had the [9h][9d] and found no help on the flop, turn or river, so it’s a nice double up for Miah to 663,000 – one of the room’s largest stacks. Charlton is still in the mix, mind. –JS

    8:50pm: Two hands, two exits
    All ins all over the place to tell you about…

    Kestutis Kristapaitis opened to 16,000 from early position, Brynjar Bjarkason three-bet shoved to 158,000 total and Sunil Pancholi tanked before folding what he later said was ace-queen. Kristapaitis though had enough of a hand to call with, did just that and showed [As][Js]. It was ahead of Bjarkason’s [Qh][9h] and despite a sweat, stayed ahead on the [Td][4h][6h][Ah][2c] board. Kristapaitis is now up to 580,000.

    Meanwhile on the adjacent table Hak-hyun Lee was all-in with pocket tens and in good shape against Robert Machin’s pocket sixes. The Poker Gods had other ideas though as the board ran [7c][7s][Qh][Kc][6h] to eliminate him. Machin climbs to 380,000.

    72 players remain. — NW

    8:40pm: Sound the three-way all in klaxon!
    Action, action and more action as we just witnessed a three-way all-in. It was Uzzol Miah who got the action going, raising to 16,000 from middle position. James Dorrance then shoved from the cut off for 40,000 and Juan Riera then overshoved from 116,000 from the small blind. Back on Miah he got a count and then called.

    Riera: [Kh][Qc]
    Dorrance: [Qh][Jh]
    Miah: [Jd][Td]

    The board came [Js][Ac][4d][4s][Jc] giving both Miah and Dorrance a house and eliminating Riera. Although the main pot was chopped, Miah took the side pot. — NW

    8:30pm: Tompkins out – and he’s not alone
    We just witnessed a big three-way all-in pot which knocked out both recent SCOOP winner Jason Tompkins and his table-neighbour Luke Haward. The two were all-in pre-flop and called by Sergio Aido, who had [jc][jd]. Neither Tompkins’ [6s][6h] nor Haward’s [as][js] could improve and both were sent to the cashier to collect £2,280 each. Aido is now one of the big stacks in the room with 666,000. –JS

    8:25pm: No derailing the DLR today
    Despite just losing a small pot to Kestutis Kristapaitis, where he folded to a river bet, David La Ronde is still the overwhelming chip leader in this event. He’s got 920,000 which is almost three times the average stack, which is currently 296,000. He’s at the same table as Patrick Clarke and the Irish Open winner is the second biggest stack in the room with 760,000. If they go to war that could create one humongous stack. — NW

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day2_patrick_clarke.jpg

    Patrick Clarke

    Blinds up: 4,000/8,000, ante 1,000

    8:15pm: Double up for Davey
    Ireland’s Dara Davey has just doubled up to around 180,000. He got his [ks][kh] in against Richard Blacklock’s [9s][9h] pre-flop, and the [3d][2s][3s][ac][jc] was a safe one. –JS

    8pm: Well done Jamie Wilson
    They say that only the person who wins a poker tournament is ever happy, but they’ll be at least two contented poker players at the end of this tournament. A big hand and well played to PokerStars Qualifier Jamie Wilson, who just finished 111th in the Main Event, cashing for £2,030. That’s some return on his investment as Wilson qualified for just £8 and was delighted to make the money.

    Although he’s been playing poker for 10 years this is 34-year-old Wilson’s first big live tournament. “I played a £2 re-buy and spent £8 in that and then won my seat in a £162 satellite,” the Bournemouth based finance worker told us. “I didn’t realise it was for a tournament like this though,” he added. Despite a brutal exit where he ran kings into aces Wilson is determined to qualify for another UKIPT and play more live events. “I’m going to use some of my main winnings to play more qualifiers for sure,” he said.

    Well played Jamie, we hope to see you at another UKIPT event soon. — NW

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day2_jamie_wilson.jpg

    Jamie Wilson

    8:00pm: Dobson heads to the rail
    We heard an ‘all-in and a call’ chant from the dealer over at table 11 and turned around to see Ben Dobson up and out his chair. We caught up with the man known as ‘f3nix35’ online as he was waiting at the cashier’s desk and he kindly, and succinctly, ran us through his final action.

    “I shoved [ax][tx] and got called by [7x][7x]. He flopped a [7x], and that was that.” –JS

    7:55pm: No gift for the Greek
    A further 20 players have busted during the first half of level 17 and Greek PokerStars Qualifier Demetrios Nikolaidis is one of them. He three-bet shoved for 70,000 with [Kd][Jd] and Adam Block – who was the original raiser – called with [Kh][Qh]

    The [7d][4s][Ad] gave Nikolaidis a ton of outs but neither the [5h] turn or [As] river connected with his hand. Others to have hit the rail during level 17 include: Seun Oluwole, Osman Mustanoglu, Mick Graydon, Neville Gothold, Yucel Eminoglu, Thomas Somerville, Lee Taylor and Charlie Combes. — NW

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day2_neville_gothold.jpg

    Neville Gothold

    7:40pm: Miah floats to victory
    Calling a bet with air in order to try and take it down on a later street – called floating – is a much-used poker technique; it obviously works best when you hit your card on the very next street, though.

    Uzzol Miah had checked over to Razvan Naghiu on a [7h][9d][7d] flop, and Naghiu bet 27,000. Miah made the call and we saw an [as] on the turn, and the same pattern followed – check and bet, this time for 36,000, which was again called. The board was completed by the [2c] and after a check Naghiu moved all in for 60,000 on the nose. An appropriate amount of reflection was given but Miah did end up making the call. He had [ad][ts] and had made his hand on the turn, whilst Naghiu’s [kh][9s] hand was to be his last. Still, he’ll collect a very nice £2,030. –JS

    7.30pm: Glittering cash prizes
    Everyone left in has locked up £1,820, we’re keeping track of who finishes where over on the payouts page. The likes of Rory Brown, Kevin Allen and Tim Davie have all cashed but crashed out of this tournament. — NW

    7.25pm: More counts
    Loads of names and notables left in the final 127 here in Nottingham. Last time we were here Duncan McLellan nabbed his second UKIPT title and Sergio Aido, Ludovic Geilich and Dean Hutchison are still in with a shot of matching him. — NW

    William Dorey, United Kingdom, 395,000
    Tim Chung, United Kingdom, 393,000
    Remi Wyrzykiewicz, Poland, 310,000
    Ben Winsor, United Kingdom, 310,000
    Sergio Aido, Spain, 300,000
    Uzzol Miah, United Kingdom, 280,000
    Philippe Souki, United Kingdom, 280,000
    Leon Louis, United Kingdom, 268,000
    Rob Tinnion, United Kingdom, 265,000
    Juan Benito, Spain, PokerStars Qualifier, 258,000
    Daniel Charlton, United Kingdom, 240,000
    Ian Gascoigne, United Kingdom, 228,000
    Neil Raine, United Kingdom, 220,000
    Morten Mortensen, Netherlands, 210,000
    Jamie O’Connor, United Kingdom, 198,000
    Dara Davey, Ireland, PokerStars Player, 183,000

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day2_sergio_aido.jpg

    Two times?

    Matas Cimbolas, Lithuania, PokerStars Qualifier, 155,000
    Michael Welland, United Kingdom, 145,000
    Max Ladbrooke, United Kingdom, 140,000
    Ludovic Geilich, United Kingdom, 131,000
    Jason Tompkins, Ireland, 120,000
    Andrew Hulme, United Kingdom, 105,000
    Seun Oluwole, United Kingdom, 105,000
    Leo McClean, United Kingdom, 86,000
    Ben Dobson, United Kingdom, 85,000
    Paul Jackson, United Kingdom, 85,000
    Osman Mustanoglu, Turkey, 75,000
    Dean Hutchison, United Kingdom, 75,000
    Yucel Eminoglu, Turkey, PokerStars Qualifier, 73,000
    Lee Taylor, United Kingdom, 73,000
    Mick Graydon, Ireland, PokerStars Qualifier, 66,000
    Charlie Combes, United Kingdom, 22,000

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day2_matas_cimbolas.jpg

    Matas Cimbolas

    7.15pm: Big stacks
    The players are back from dinner and ready once more to play cards. Should any on the below slip into a carb induced coma then it wont matter that much as they’re the big stacks in this tournament:

    David La Ronde, United Kingdom, 725,000
    Patrick Clarke, Ireland, 605,000
    Ben Longstaff, United Kingdom, 585,000
    Richard Blacklock, United Kingdom, 571,000
    Usman Siddique, United Kingdom, 500,000
    Ian Bosley, United Kingdom, 455,000
    Raul Martinez, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 451,000
    Ben Vinson, United Kingdom, 440,000

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day2_david_la_ronde.jpg

    David La Ronde

    PokerStars Blog Repoerting Team at UKIPT5 Nottingham: Jack Stanton and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May

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    UKIPT5 Nottingham Day 2: Level 11-12 updates (1,000/2,000 ante 300)

    1:30pm: The 100 club
    In the opening two level we had 100 eliminations. Members of that unwanted club include: Camilla Reventlow, Paul Nunes, John Eames, Ben Jackson, Tom Middleton, Jon Wong, Jack Salter, Padraig O’Neill and Bryn Kenney. –NW

    1:15pm: Trattou put to tough decision
    A curious hand just played out at table 38 it lasted about 10 minutes and at the end Mario Trattou was put to a decision for his entire stack.

    The action was started by James Tomlin, who raised to 4,500 from under-the-gun, two seats along David Urban capped his cards took a long look around the table and then sat still for so long you wondered if he realised the action was on him. Evidently he did as he three-bet to 10,700, Trattou called this bet from the hijack and when it folded back to him so did Tomlin.

    The flop fell [3s][8c][7s] and three checks followed and the dealer burned and turned the [3h], both players then checked to Trattou, he bet 11,300 and only Urban called. The [6h] completed the board, Urban checked, Trattou fired out a bet of 17,000 and Urban responded with a check-raise all-in. This stunned Trattou, he counted out his remaining stack – about 85,000 – and then tank folded. Pot to Urban. — NW

    1:10pm: Combes calls correctly
    We arrived at the scene as Charlie ‘JIZOINT’ Combes, one of the UK’s most successful online tournament players, faced a healthy river bet. The board read [8c][2s][jh][7d][3s] and Aleks Dimitrov had fired out 18,500 back to Combes, who studied the board and thought intently for a minute or so. He ended up making the call, and when he turned over [ac][kd] for just ace high, Dimitrov mucked. Nice call Charlie. –JS

    1:05pm: Blanco doesn’t get a blank board
    All in and at risk of being eliminated Lucas Blanco needed his pocket nines to hold against Sunil Pancholi’s [As][Qs]. The [Qc][Kc][3c][8d][7s] board favoured the big stack though. “You can’t miss,” said one of Pancholi’s tablemates. He was already a big stack at the start of play and his roll is continuing. — NW

    Blinds up: 1,000/2,000, ante 300

    12:50pm: Knocked-out names
    The players who have made swift exits here on Day 2 include:

    Rapinder Cheema
    Mark McVey
    Frank Romanello
    James Atkin
    Christopher Brammer
    Nic Markou
    James Walsh
    Liam Duffy
    Thomas Dunwoodie
    Charles Denton
    Oliver Classen

    –JS

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day2_chris_brammer.jpg

    Not Bram-dogs day

    12:40pm: Day 2 curse continues for Convey
    The bust-outs are coming thick and fast during the first level of play. One player who didn’t make it to Level 2 is EPT commentator and member of the PokerStars Blog Marc Convey, who walked us through his brief Day 2.

    “I’d lost a big pot to Diego Gomez and was down to about 20,000, but it was a hand I could have gone broke in. Then there was a limp from under the gun and seat three (Robert Moss) raised to 5,000. I had pocket jacks and we got it in – he had ace king and sadly it wasn’t to be. My curse of Day 2s continues.”

    Unlucky Marc – good game. –JS

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day2_marc_convey.jpg

    The Conv has left the building

    12:35pm: Cody can’t get there
    Jake Cody only came back with a touch over 10 big blinds and sadly the spin up did not go well. He told the PokerStars Blog: “I got it in with a straight flush draw but missed,” further investigation unearthed the fact that Cody had [As][5s] on a [9][6][4][7] two spade board but his opponent held [10][8] for the straight.

    It’s been a bad level for Team PokerStars Pro as Leo Margets is also out. — NW

    12:20pm: Mixed feelings around the room
    Making it through to Day 2 in any tournament is always exciting, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t any trepidation. Some players pray to the Gods:

    Day 2 of #UKIPTNottingham about to begin. May the poker gods help me run good.

    — Edmund Yeung (@edmundrafael) April 18, 2015

    Others curse their table draw:

    Day has gotten worse as I am pretty sure I have drawn the toughest table in the room. #UKIPTNottingham

    — Chris Yong (@cyong24) April 18, 2015

    And others regret last night’s decisions:

    Day 2 of #UKIPTNottingham got @rorydowntown for company. Wish I let him go on the piss last night now

    — Marc Macdonnell (@sluglife87) April 18, 2015

    –JS

    12:10pm: Team Pros unite
    With 383 players and a completely random seat draw process, what are the chances that the two remaining PokerStars Team Pros would end up on the same table? We’ll leave the maths to you – but that’s exactly what’s happened as Jake Cody and Leo Margets are both seated together at the beginning of Day 2. –JS

    12:05pm: Let’s go for Day 2
    For the last four days eyes have been glued to the tournament screen waiting for it to tick to 1,000 and reach the guarantee on this £1,000,0000 event. Today eyes will be glued to it waiting for the number to drop lower. The magic number everyone is waiting for is 151. That’s how many people will get paid in this event. A total of 381 players return today and we think we’ll reach the money sometimes around level 15. We’ll be playing 11 levels in total today so will get well beyond the bubble bursting, even if we don’t get to the final table.

    Team PokerStars Pro is represented by Jake Cody and Leo Margets today, play has just started, expect plenty of early bustouts. — NW

    Ukipt5_nottingham_main_event_day1d_leo_margets.jpg

    Leo Margets

    PokerStars Blog Repoerting Team at UKIPT5 Nottingham: Jack Stanton and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May

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