UKIPT Galway: Day 1, level 1, 2 & 3 updates (blinds 75-150)
3.40pm: End of level
3.32pm: Brammer and Brindley beaten back
Chris Brammer and Roy Brindley are at the table and have both lost small pots in the last orbit. Brindley's 425 steal from the cut-off was insta-mucked to a three-bet from the big blind while Brammer took a knock post-flop. The UKIPT Leaderboard champ raised pre-flop to 375 and was called by Marc Convey. Brammer led 475 into the J♣4♣K♥ flop and Convey swiftly popped it up to 1,500. Brammer wasted no time in passing. -- RD
3.25pm: Some more exits
Among those who've failed to make it to the antes stage are Eddie Landy, Frederic Crenerinne and Bobby Bennett. The tournament software is telling us that 247 of 256 players remain. Registration is open for another 65 minutes. -- NW
3.15pm: Thew finds a fold
I'm seeing quite a few multi-way pots right now and Team PokerStars Pro Julian Thew just got involved in one such pot.
From under-the-gun+1 a player made it 425 to play, next to act Thew flat called as did two other players including Jonathan Campbell from the big blind. All four players checked the 4♣K♥2♥ board. The turn was the 6♠ it checked to Thew who bet 925 and Campbell was the only caller. The 3♥ river saw Campbell change tact as he led for 1,550. Thew gave it a think but tossed his hand into the muck. -- NW
3.05pm: Greedy Graydon
Jason Herbert opened from early position for 400 and picked up two callers before the action reached Mick Graydon in the blinds. BigMickG then three-bet to 2,000 and took down the pot unopposed. Graydon finished fourth here in Galway last year and will want to do just as well this time around. -- RD
2.50pm: Random re-draw throws up mostly bores
Ok so we'd been a little spoiled by some of the initial table draws due to the lack of randomness, but it seems the computer has worked extra hard to spread out the familiar faces far and wide in the re-draw.
There doesn't seem to be a table of death as such, although Marc Convey might be concerned about being stuck in the middle of a Chris Brammer and Roy Brindley sandwich. Two of Ireland's bright young things, Owen Robinson (winner of player of the year at The Irish Poker Awards) and Mick Graydon - Ireland's first Supernova Elite - are at the same table. -- NW
2.45pm: Has the world gone mad?
There are some things in this world that remind you that all is well in the world and one of those constants is that Liam Flood, much like Marcel Luske, will always be wearing a suit at the poker table. Because of that we could hardly believe it when Flood, a legend of the Irish poker scene, suddenly appeared in a PokerStars hoodie. A hoodie?!? He's an online qualifer, don't you know, and perhaps is trying to get down with the kids - he'll be five-bet shoving with T♦7♣ next. -- RD
2.40pm: Risk misclick pays dividends
During the break Marc 'The Conv' Convey told us about Nicky Power's exit hand. Power and Nick Abou Risk had reached the turn of a [J][x][x] board and Risk had meant to bet 1,600 but a live mis-click saw him bet 6,100 instead.
Convey said: 'The shock on Nick's face told you that it was a genuine mistake and he'd bet the wrong amount, Power realised this and moved all-in. Nick called and he'd turned a set of threes to Power's pocket queens.' During the break Abou Risk's friend Max Silver backed this up: 'It was 100% a genuine mis-click and not an angle at all.' -- NW
2.30pm: Back from break
"Well, well, well. That's another fine mess you've got us into, Stanley." In a Laurel and Hardy turn of events the first break of the day revolved around an enture tournament redraw as there had been some issues with the randomness of the draw (which is what had led to some ludicirous tables of death as noted below). On the upside the situation was spotted, addressed and resolved and players are now in their new seats. Carry on, ladies and gentlemen. -- RD
2.10pm: Break time
Players are now on a 20 minute break.
1.55pm: Half dozen sent home
In the opening two levels six players have busted, they are: Nicky Power, Henrik Lyngmark, Stuart Brownson, David Cleary, Mick McCloskey and Vinny Earls. -- NW
1.40pm: Grafton grinding up
Sam Grafton was a familiar face during the first season of the UKIPT, making two deep runs at UKIPT Coventry (14th) and UKIPT Brighton (15th). The London based player has got off to a good start today winning a chunky pot from Paul Rieger.
I joined the action as the dealer was spreading a 5♥3♦9♣ flop. There was 1,850 in the pot which suggested a three-bet pot. Rieger led for 1,750 from the small blind and Grafton called from the button. The 4♠ hit the turn and Rieger checked it over to Grafton who bet 1,750, Rieger made the call. The J♥ completed the board and Rieger checked once more and a 1.050 bet from Grafton won him the pot. -- NW
1.10pm: Where's the champ?
Last year's winner Padraig Parkinson is in the field today (along with 245 others, overlay alert!) but he's yet to take his seat. -- NW
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 50-100
1.05pm: Doom scattered round the room
Table 30 - the one containing all the Team PokerStars Pros, was indeed the first to break and the respective talents of messers Thew, Ainsworth, Boeree and Philip have been dispersed around the room. Darn it, make our job that much harder! -- NW
1pm: No friends on the felt
Nick Abou Risk (Edinburgh) and Max Silver (Dublin) won back to back UKIPT events in season one. The two of them are sharing a table here in Galway and they just clashed in a small pot. I joined the action on the turn of a 6♣Q♠7♣3♥ board to see Silver betting 200 into a pot of 400 and Abou Risk making the call. The river was the 9♣ and Silver fired another bullet, betting 525. Abou Risk never really looked like doing anything but calling and call he did. Silver showed Q♦[10c] to claim the pot and the initial bragging rights.
12.50pm: Early boost for 'The Conv'
Not in one hand mind, but the PokerStars blogger, who won his seat in a satellite last night, is up to 29,000. He told me that he got his biggest boost when he had aces and Nicky Power bet all three streets with king high into him, with Convey picking off the bluff. Convey dropped by the press desk and said: 'Dermot Blain who won APPT Macau is sat to my right which means I've got three PokerStars champions next to me.' -- NW
12.40pm: Girl on Girl action
Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree and poker journalist Shelley Rubenstein are good friends off the felt (they went to see Harry Potter together last night) and they just clashed in a pot on it. Team PokerStars Pro Jude Ainsworth limped under the gun (big blind Roy Brindley was absent), Boeree called from middle position, as did Rubenstein from the small blind.
The flop of 6♥5♠2♣ saw the action checked to Boeree who bet 200, only Rubenstein called. The 7♠ turn saw Rubenstein check-raise Boeree's bet of 300 to 800 and the EPT San Remo winner call. The K♥ completed the board and Rubenstein bet 1,200. After a bit of tank time Boeree made the call and showed pocket eights, which bested Rubenstein's 4♥2♥. 'I thought it was a good turn card to check-raise,' said Rubenstein. 'Yeah it's a great turn card for you,' said Boeree.
12.25pm: Chipping up
We're still waiting on a player list to import into the chip counts page but for the moment you cab assume that everyone is pretty much on the 20,000 starting stack that they began with. Don't pull your hair out people, you know how these early levels are. -- RD
12.20pm: Leaders of the pack
Just behind the aforementioned table of doom sits another tough table. The top three from season ones leaderboard - Chris Brammer, Owen Robinson and Mike Hill - are sat in a row and a couple of seats along from them is David Vamplew winner of EPT London and the UKIPT Champion of Champions and Sam Grafton is also seated there. Ouch. Elsewhere table 13 contains two UKIPT Season 1 champions in the shape of good friends Max Silver and Nick Abou Risk, PokerStars blogger Mark 'The Conv' Convey is also at that table as is Irish favourite Nicky Power. -- NW
12.15pm: Table of doom
Quite frankly the 'random' table draw has thrown up one of the most ridiculous table draws we've ever seen at a UKIPT event. Sat in a row on table 30 (which we think might be first to break) are Team PokerStars Pro Online Dale Philip, poker journalist Shelley Rubenstein, Roy Brindley and Team PokerStars Pros Jude Ainsworth, Julian Thew and Liv Boeree. Only Thew and Boeree have taken their seats of those mentioned and the latter said: 'Are you joking?' when I informed her of her tablemates. Sorry Liv, we're not. -- NW
12.05pm: We have lift off
Fintan Gavin, the head honcho over here for the UKIPT, has announced shuffle up and deal. Cards are in the air and my colleague, Nick Wright, is currently poring over the table draw to pick the best of the bunch to follow. -- RD
PokerStars Blog reporting team at UKIPT Galway (in order of illness): Rick Dacey (recovering) and Nick Wright (depths of hacking and coughing). Photos by Mickey May.