UKIPT Galway: And they're off...
Updates from day 1, level 1&2 of UKIPT Galway, brought to you by Rick Dacey.
After a brief announcement to mark the beginning of the UKIPT the players have made their way to the seats filling up some 23 tables so far. Late registration is running for two hours and from a quick perusal of the tables an early runner for the table of death has jumped out featuring EPT Baden winner Julian Thew, tournament regular Woody Deck and previous Irish Poker Championship winner Kieran Walsh. Blinds are starting at 25/50 with a deep 20,000 starting stack so early knockouts should be minimal. Should be...
The mercurial Andy Black is holding court and I would say as normal but it's not. The World Series of Poker final table finisher has a young spectator watching and learning over his shoulder. It turns out it's his son. Odds of Black junior winning the Main Event within 20 years? Anyone?
5.08pm: The first to hit the deck
My predictative qualities are astounding. The table of death has had the first faller of the tournament and it's Woody Deck who made a check-raise bluff on the turn and an even bigger all-in bluff on the river. By the way, the table of death also has Jerome Bradpiece on it who was previously hidden from my sight by the dealer and his cap.
The pot had been multi-way limped to Jimmy Wan who pumped it up to 375 and was called in 3 spots by none other than Bradpiece and Woody Deck. On a 4♥ 7♠ T♣ board Wan makes it 1020 over the top of Bradpiece's powder shot of 20! Only Deck calls.
The Js on the turn doesn't slow Wan down who now makes it 1250. Deck check-raises to 2500 and is called before the K♣ on the river sees Deck ship in the rest of his stack, which is somewhere in the region of 15,000. Wan has a short think before calling with a set of jacks while Deck shows 5♣ 7♥. Bluff or misread hand? It doesn't matter. Deck is out and Wan has an early double up.
Level 2: 50/100
5.25pm: Kelly meets Smyth
Team PokerStars Pro JP Kelly is sat directly to the left of WSOP bracelet holder and Poker Million winner Marty Smyth. They've engaged in a couple of small pots but nothing major as of yet. Kelly has swiped Smyth's big blind with an under the gun raise and Smyth has taken it back and a 100 more showing pocket 6's on a dry board. On the table next to them Andy Black is coasting along having lost some and won other in early skirmishes. Always a favourite to go deep in any tournament, Black is one to watch.
And the table of death, which with this many mentions is going to get its own acronym: TOD, has just got worse. When Deck was KO'd he was swiftly replaced by the 7ft tall (or close to) Karl Marenholz who has some $742,000 tournament winnings to his name. He quickly flops a set of deuces to score a small pot.
6.06pm: The Pros get grinding
Irish Team PokerStars Pro Jude Ainsworth aka j.thaddeus is up to some 39,000 despite having British grinder Jeff Kimber to his left. Kimber is looking unexcited which is no surprise as he hasn't moved from his original starting stack. Meanwhile fellow Team PokersStars pro John Duthie is strolling along on around 17,000 and seems happy to play most pots if he can get in cheaply enough. He clips away a small pot on a K♠ 8♠ 8♦ Q♦ board after firing the flop and turn before turning back to an on looking Neil Channing who is jokingly bemoaning his treatment at the hands of the Irish, 'I've limped one pot under the gun and check-folded the flop.'