UKIPT Cork: Day 1A, level 1 & 2 updates (blinds 50-100)

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4.15pm: Vamplew rivered
EPT London champion David Vamplew is down to 2,600 after getting it in with 3♥3♠ on a 5♣A♦9♣3♦ board to 6♦7♦. The board spiked the 4♣ and Vamplew was left to puff out his cheeks, raise an eyebrow and pass over most of his stack. Break time, back in 15 minutes. Join us in a new post. -- RD

4.05pm: Exits
Recent exits include: Christy O'Rourke, John Keown and James Jorel O'Dell. -- NW

3.52pm: Kelly off to a flier
Team PokerStars Pro JP Kelly is off to another flying start having nearly doubled his stack up to 29,000. As well as being a great player* Kelly has the bonus of being absolutely fearless at this level and is willing to apply maximum pressure to his opponents, as just highlighted when he raked in a 7,500 pot in a battle of the blinds. Not the player that you want on your left. -- RD

* He's got two WSOP bracelets, it's not us being partisan.

3.40pm: Two pair good for Owen
Owen Robinson and the UKIPT get on pretty well. The Irishman has final tabled two events and narrowly missed out on another in Killarney where he finished 13th. He's off to a good start here having just won a sizeable pot.

A late position raise to 225 opened the pot, which Robinson flat called from the small blind and Eamon McSweeney flicked in the extra 125 from the big blind. On a flop of Q♣4♣3♠ both blinds check-called a c-bet of 500, the turn was the 9♥ and both Robinson and McSweeney check-called again - this time for 1,000. The river was the K♥ and all three players checked. Robinson showed K♣Q♠ to drag the pot, both his opponents showed a queen. -- NW


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Owen Robinson


3.25pm: Aces cracked
Micheal O'Brien is up to around 22,000 after flopping a set of eights and getting value from Andrew Laurie's pocket aces. Nice way to start the day. -- NW

3.15pm: State of play
The tournament clock is showing that 260 players are playing today although I expect that figure to rise. Tournament director Toby Stone has just told the players that they'll be playing 11 levels today; it's going to be a long one - stay with us. --NW

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 50-100


3.05pm: TV time
Like many of the UKIPT events, this one is being filmed and will be broadcast on Channel 4. The focus of many of the TV cameras in the room is currently fixed on Team PokerStars Pro JP Kelly, who's just taken his seat. The Brit went deep in the last UKIPT event finishing fifth, that event can be seen on Channel 4 this Tuesday. -- NW

3pm: The unluckiest man in town
As well as being a fantastic tour in its own right, the UKIPT is a brilliant breeding ground for players stepping up to bigger tours. Nicholas Newport is one such player. The Irishman just missed out on the final table in Killarney and I've since seen him play some great poker on the European Poker Tour. Unfortunately for him variance has jumped up and bitten him on the behind twice where he's all but bubbled twice (see 9.50pm: Newport in a storm (again)). Maybe that variance will swing back now he's back on home soil. -- RD

2.45pm: Also here
I've also spotted UKIPT side event specialist Dan Morgan (who still doesn't look like he's old enough to be playing poker), Mick McCloskey - whose trademark hat seems to be lacking a few badges today - and Phil Baker. -- NW

2.38pm: Vamplew in haircut shocker
And by that we don't mean that David Vamplew has a shocking haircut, more that it is news that he is sporting a new lean, not-so-mean hair style. Gone is the curly mop of hair that topped his noggin on the way to his EPT London win at the end of last year, a sleek crop in its place. Will the dynamic new look help him on his way to another final table? -- RD

2.25pm: Who's here?
The first sweep of the room has unearthed a few familiar faces. Amongst those hoping to not do in 300 big blinds in the first level are: Owen Robinson, Chris Brammer, Nicky Power, David Vamplew and Luke Fields. -- NW


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Last year's UKIPT leader board winner, Chris Brammer


2.12pm: ...and we're off
Play has begun. Well signalled by an early guttural roar from deep in the corner of the tournament floor. -- RD

2.10pm: ...and now sitting
Most of the tables now have at least a couple of players at them. The overly loud PA system has blasted out that eight stacks are to be pushed out at the moment. -- RD

1.55pm: Players entering
The tournament doors have opened and the players have started entering en masse. All of whom are now staring, a little disconcertingly, above my head at the seat draw. As per usual, a late start is expected. -- RD

1pm: History comes knocking
Today is an historic day. Cavalcades are descending upon Cork and phalanxes of press are elbowing their way into every nook and cranny to get a good eye on the action. While the world at large may think all the excitement and attention is to do with the British Monarchy's visit to Ireland's second largest city, we know the truth. It's all to do with the UK and Ireland Poker Tour's inaugural visit to Cork - and it looks like it's going to be a belter.

The tournament is being held at the Rochestown Park Hotel, a short drive from Cork's city centre. The tournament floor is large, spacious and equipped with chairs fit for a king (as long as said King likes a sturdy, well cushioned chair without armrests). Over the next four days, as well as crowning a new UKIPT champion, we'll be playing out the €500 UKIPT main event as well as a €300 side event, a €1,500 high roller, a €100 charity bounty and a poker triathlon. Yes, you have to swim a mile, run five then you can start playing... Okay, maybe that's not true, but if you want to find out more about the poker triathlon then click this link here. It looks like a lot of fun.

And just in case you're reading, Queenie, I'm sure PokerStars will comp you in for the €500 buy-in for the main event. The action is due to start at 2pm. -- RD


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The action is soon to start


PokerStars Blog reporting team in Cork (in order of Irish heritage): Rick Dacey (great-grandfather was from Cork) and Nick Wright (English and German hybrid). Photos by Neil Stoddart.

Rick Dacey
@PokerStars in UKIPT