UKIPT5 Series 2 London: Day 1B Levels 1-4(Blinds 150/300/25)
4:05pm: Break Time
Well that's four closely-contested levels played through and we've seen 10-12 players lose their entire 20k starting stacks already.
At the moment we have 127 official entrants, though there is room yet for that number to rise. You've got twenty minutes of late reg to sign up if you fancy it.
The players meanwhile will be using that 20 minute break to recharge. We'll see you back here shortly.
4:00pm: Dancing girls
If you need any encouragement to forego the sunshine and various attractions on offer in London on this beautiful weekend, consider that some of those attractions are happening right here in The Hippodrome Casino, not least of which are the dancing girls who appear with regularity every night to a fanfare of music.
Little tip - if you are thinking about stealing the blinds - doing so to coincide with the appearance of theser scantily-clad young ladies will increase your chances of getting the steal through by at least 300%.
3:50pm: Mission of Attrition
Yesterday, we saw 89 players manage to lose their 20,000 starting stacks over the course of the day. This doesn't happen by accident but design. The rapidly escalating blinds take meaty chunks out of the players stacks and scope to make sophisticated plays and already we have seen this is starting to bite.
Gone are Afloarei Constantin and Zayed Al Rufaie - the latest victims of this increasingly onerous blind pressure.
There are a host of shortstacks looking to blast their way to a double or follow them sharply out of the doors so expect many more eliminations incoming.
3:42pm: Max the King slayer
A quick detail from earlier - Max Johnson was the man who delivered the final blow to Andrew King's tournament hopes - that hand helping boost Max's early hopes.
Unfortunately for Johnson, variance has seen him slide back down the chip standings in the interim period - he now is sadly shuffling a small handful of chips and looking wistfully into the distance.
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 150-300-25
3:23pm: Shown the door, early doors
The following players have seen the lights go out in the opening few levels. It can be tough out there on the felt sometimes. We suggest finding someone to hug and possibly buying some fries. Fries always cheer you up.
Good game Christopher Allen, John Earle and Gary Taylor.
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 100-200-25
3:00pm: Royal Retreat
Long live the King - the King is dead.
Not literally of course, but Andrew King's tournament has drawn to a close. Perhaps still feeling discombobulated following that incredible hand moments ago - King went for a double-through with an aggressive shove with A♠9♦.
His opponent in the hand made the call - a dejected King knowing this meant he was almost certainly behind.
"I should have 30%," he said glumly and indeed he did as he was shown A♣K♥.
A board of J♠6♥Q♦T♣7♥ swiftly reduced that equity to 0% however - his opponent making broadway to send King to the rail and end a miserable morning for him.
2:52pm: Dynamic hand dethrones King
As set ups go, this hand was pretty special.
We joined the hand with Kamil Stankiewicz having made a big 7,000 raise from the blinds preflop and Andrew King pondering his decision.
"You really don't want to see a flop," he said before finally moving all-in and showing down pocket queens.
Unfortunately for him, Stankiewicz had him in bad shape - holding a dominating pair of kings.
At this point, the poker gods decided to have a little fun.
BOOM! The flop fell Q♠5♣5♥ to give King a huge advantage with a flopped full house. The turn fell the 8♣ and Kamil began gathering his belongings.
Not so fast young man. BOOM! (again!)
The K♣ spiked on the river to give Stankiewicz a winning full house and a 34,000 stack. Naturally he was all smiles and wide-eyed joy following the hand.
"I was just out the door!" he said laughing in disbelief. King is left short-ish with around 7,000.
2:45pm: Mystery man revealed
Martin Hogarty is the man who suffered that early elimination on table nine. Bad luck sir!
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 75-150
2:36pm: First elimination
We're still awaiting the full player lists so I can't confirm the identity of the first elimination just yet but table 9 has seen a bustout.
There were hushed rumours of a flush versus full house confrontation - more details as they come in.
"That was quick!" one of the players commented regarding this hasty elimination to murmured general assent from the surrounding players.
2:25pm: That's number-wang!
Early numbers suggest there are 105 or so entrants at the moment. With four levels (plus twenty minutes) of late registration however, this number should rise considerably.
We're going to make a guestimate at the final number of entrants being 133. The big question is whether the hot ribbons of golden sunshine beaming down on London Town will dissuade some players from playing - declining the opportunity to play poker in favour of a day throwing bread at ducks in the park.
2:15pm: The Fast and the Furious
With twenty thousand strong stacks, there may be a temptation to either splash around in a surfeit of pots, or rock up waiting for the perfect opportunity to present itself.
Both approaches could prove costly if what we saw yesterday is replicated here on Day 1B.
Whilst the stacks are relatively deep, the whip-quick thirty minute levels do just fly by - blind pressure accelerating quickly so sitting back and waiting is only a viable strategy for so long.
Equally splashing around in a variety of pots can be a costly venture. Lose those 4,000 playing a little too liberally and your double through (if it arrives) will only yield 32,000 instead of 40,000 - a pretty sizeable difference.
Mastering both your table, other players tendencies and the structure will be key to whoever manages to surf those choppy waves of variance with greatest aplomb.
2:00pm: Cards are in the air
TD Luca's dulcid Italian tones have informed the players that we are underway. Clicking chips, gentle chatter and focused faces abound.
Day 1B is GO GO GO!
1:58pm: Day 1B of the UKIPT5 Series 2 London
Welcome back to The Hippodrome Casino for day 1B of the PokerStars UKIPT5 Series 2 London. For those wondering what all the numbers secreted liberally around the title of the event mean - this is the UKIPT's 5th season and it's the second series event of that season.
All the reasons the UKIPT has flourished over five seasons were on show yesterday as a a healthy 119-strong field packed into the casino to play out twelve highly-entertaining levels. Jerome O'Shea was the man who made hay most effectively, climbing to the top of the chip standings once the 30 remaining stacks were reckoned at the end of the day.
Today is a sunny, bright, beautiful day. It's also the weekend and the second of two starting days. All these elements are working synchronistically toward today's field being even more fulsome, a bonanza of poker lurking in wait for our plucky entrants.
A quick rundown of the format. We'll be playing out 12 thirty-minute levels, starting with 20,000 stacks. There will be two twenty minute breaks following levels 4 and 8 and an expected finishing time of 8:45pm or so.
That's it! We're moments away from the start - good luck all.
PokerStars Blog reporting team at UKIPT5 Series 2 - London: Rod Stirzaker. Photos by Micky May.