UKIPT Galway: Day 1, levels 3&4

ukiptthumb.JPGUpdates from day 1, level 3&4 of UKIPT Galway, brought to you by Rick Dacey.

6.30pm: Time to break over
Breaktime is a wonderful thing. You get to step outside to enjoy some fresh air, nip to the bar to pick up that pint the cocktail waitress forgot to bring you or, if you're a sponsored pro, get hassled by a blogger like me. Team PokerStars Pro JP Kelly fell into the latter category. 'I was going well on 25,000 but just played the worst hand of my life calling someone Hollywooding on the river with Ace Jack [on a jack-high board]. They had the straight,' he said. Despite that he's still got plenty of time to get grinding with 16,000.

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blinds: 75/150

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Back to the tournament for the players - and the bar for the spectators

6.58pm: Walsh seizes the chip lead
Kieran Walsh is one of the key players on the TOD (table of death) and has just claimed a scalp and a whole of chips flopping a set of 9's versus Ciaran Furey. Furey had raised preflop with Aces and must have been relatively happy to see a 2♦ 9♠ Q♣ board. Walsh gave him some action on the flop and then led out on the 7♥ turn enough to induce the shove with his Aces. Walsh snap called and Furey was gone. Walsh is sat on 59,000 and must be the chip leader at this early point. He won the Irish Championship a couple of years ago and is setting out his stall early to regain his crown.

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6.58pm: Walsh indulging the 'short stacks'
Chip leader Walsh is peeling a lot of flops and turns with his big stack in an attempt to felt another player or grab a nice chunk of chips anyway. Julian Thew, probably isn't the easiest of targets but the pair go to the flop with Walsh in position after Thew's 400 raise. Both check the 5♦ 2♥ 2♦ turn but Thew's 500 lead into the 6♣ turn forces Walsh to muck.

The clock's ticking towards level 4 as the player count is confirmed at 259 all-in, making a heaving €471,380 prize pool.

blinds: 100/200

7.48pm: ROYAL FLUSH ALERT!
Irishman Bill Tully has taken his stack up to 32,000 after turning a royal flush with J♠ T♠ on a A♠ Q♠ 5♥ K♠ board AND had his opponent betting into him. It's a dream situation. Poker, it's an easy game...

7.58pm: Stat Attack
For those stat fans out there... (Come on, there must be some)

There are:
147 players from Ireland
52 players from the UK
And a total of 22 countries represented from as far away as Canada and Brazil.

8.30pm: The dinner bell is rung
The players break for dinner with some rushing to the buffet and other shuffling their feet. Irish poker legend Padraig Parkinson is one of those that is looking for a bit of buffet revitalisation with just 13k. Surinder Sunar is just a stone's throw away and is also on 13k. Grab your sandwiches - we'll be back in two shakes of a sausage. So to speak.

Rick Dacey
@PokerStars in UKIPT