UKIPT Manchester: Day 1B, level 4, 5 & 6 updates (blinds 150-300, ante 25)
6.48pm: Dinner break
All Day 1B players are now on their own 60 minute dinner break. Let's hope the greedy Day 1C players have left some food at the buffet. One of the players not making it that far was our featured PokerStars qualifier Sam Acheampong. -- MC
6.48pm: Some exits
All of the below have exited the tournament: Mick Graydon, Rob Sherwood, Alex Martin, Jamie Burland and Brett Angell. -- NW
6.45pm: Ainsworth grinding
It seems Team PokerStars Pro Jude Ainsworth has been stuck in grind mode all day, he currently has a stack of 10,000: "I haven't played too many pots or picked up hands. It's been a quiet day, I've just been slowly losing chips." -- NW
6.40pm: Houghton down on his luck
Laurence Houghton has carved a fearsome reputation out for himself, playing under his online "rivermanl" moniker but he is cutting a somewhat disconsolate figure at present, sadly shuffling his chips repeatedly. It isn't taking him long to complete each shuffle, given he only has around 5,250 chips - or about 7 chips.
Expect boom or bust from rivermanl anytime soon. -- RS
6.25pm: Kelly starting to shine
JP Kelly has shown his "mad skillz" again and again with bracelet wins on both sides of the Atlantic and few people will be glad to see him sharing the felt with them.He started slowly but he's accelerating nicely now, most recently seen calling a raise of 750 preflop before checking the J♣9♣6♦ board back.
Come the 2♠ turn, Kelly called a 2.3k bet and the pair went heads-up to the T♦ river.
Checked to, Kelly now led out for 2.7k and when his opponent called, he turned over a rivered set of tens that was good for the pot. Up to 42k now, Kelly is starting to look a threat. -- RS
6.10pm: Ladies Taylor made for Kirsty
I joined the action to see a flop of 8♣J♦[10h] it looked like an action flop and sure enough there was a bet of 5,025 in front of Kirsty Taylor. Down the other end of the table Terrance Owens slid out a tower of chips to set Taylor all-in. After a brief dwell Taylor called the all-in.
The board filled out with the K♦ and the K♠, Taylor's stack was counted down and she had 21,750, despite losing the pot Owens still has a healthy stack of around 30,000. -- NW
5.45pm: Casualties of war
The nature of poker means that sadly we have to lose some of our feisty combatants and some of the latest to fall include William Martin and Andrew Hulme.
Doing better is Rupinder Bedi, who has risen quietly and efficiently to 25k. -- RS
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 150-300, ante 25
5.30pm: Sherwood Birt's off more than he can chew
Michael Birt raised to 775 from under-the-gun+1, Dean Clay flat called from the button and Rob Sherwood then three-bet to 2,375 from the small blind. After a dwell Birt made the call and Clay folded. On a flop of J♥7♦6♦ Sherwood c-bet 2,875 and Birt called. The turn was the 5♦ and both players checked to see the A♦ fall on the river. Sherwood checked again and Birt bet 7,125. This sent Sherwood into the tank and he counted out the call and looked at what he'd have left (around 10,000). Eventually he called and Birt showed 8♦9♦ for a straight flush. -- NW
5.25pm: Owston flush with success
Alex Martin has a healthy 40k stack and was seen sweeping up yet another pot as we approached his table. He made a motion of throwing out a fishing rod and reeling it in, before enthusiastically telling us about Dan Owston's fortunes.
"Ask Owston how he got his chips. He played it really well. He three-bets all-in on a king-high flop. The other guys got a set of kings, but Owston's backdoor flush draw got there."
A sheepish Owston nodded his bowed head - but any shame he feels at this fortuitous double-through is probably mitigated by the size of his very impressive 48k stack. -- RS
Damned internet again
Our sincere apologies for the lack of updates. Serious internet problems have kept us all offline. We now have a dongle and will try to catch up as soon as possible. -- MC
5.10pm: Sam's down
Sam Acheampong is down to a bowl of rice after doubling-up David Thompson. The two were heads-up to a Q♦3♠5♠ flop and all the chips went in. Acheampong tabled 6♠6♦ but was behind to Thompson's A♣Q♠. The 9♥A♦ turn and river failed to help Acheampong and he's got a lot of work to do with his 1,500 stack. I guess being a featured qualifier doesn't guarantee success. -- MC
4.55pm: Martin, Kimber and Kelly Watch
Grouped together for no other reason than we have chip counts for all - here's how these three were placed at the break.
Alex Martin - 40,000 - "I got them fishing. Quote me on that." Your wish etc, Alex.
JP Kelly - 30,000 - "Won a lot of mid-level pots." Much more sensible assessment from Kelly.
Jeff Kimber - 24,000. "It's going alright." -- RS
4.45pm: Cracking on
The flood of players pouring out of the bar area and coalescing back at the tables indicates level 5 is in effect and we are back at the felt. Good luck all! -- RS
LEVEL UP : BLINDS 150 300
4:25pm: Break It Up
All good things must come to an end and an exciting level 4 is done and dusted. Time for a twenty minute break. See you shortly! -- RS
4:20pm: Where have all the cowboys gone?
The aptly-named Gary Whipp is the only man we have seen so far wearing a cowboy hat and he's been whooping and a-hollering like an extra from "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" over the last few hands. Reduced to a mere few big blinds, he moved all-in for his last few chips, picking up two callers - Steven Van Den Oord and Fraser Barrett - who checked down the 8♠6♦6♠J♦5♥ board.
The pair turned up A♠5♣ and A♥3♠ respectively, although one more loud whoop and a swish of a cowboy hat signalled the fact that Whipp had trebled up to 17,500 with his K♦8♥.
"How many lives does a cowboy have?" inquired tablemate Helen Brett.
"Eight!" came the confident reply, although the next hand proved scientifically that cowboys have less lives than cats as Whipp shipped it into the middle with queen-deuce only to find Filip Tsen lurking behind by queens. No surprises and we were one cowboy down, Gary Whipp left riding off into the sunset to find some hard drinking liquor to drown his sorrows. - RS
Knowing when to pull the trigger is a vital skill in poker tournaments. A judicious three-bet or well-timed bluff can yield some great results however if your timing's out then you can be left cleaning egg off your face.
That was what happened to Daniel Cochrane moments ago, who raised it up from late position only to find himself three-bet to 1,675 by the small blind. He very quickly picked up a stack of chips - approximately 10k and plonked it in the middle in a show of force.
The small blind held pocket kings however and was going nowhere - getting the rest of his chips into the middle and leaving a sheepish Cochrane to turn up T♦8♦. "Cheeky move, eh!" he announced before bricking the 6♠4♦9♥4♣4♥ board and leaving his opponent to sweep up the 24k pot. Cochrane down to 18,000. -- RS
4.10pm: A story of woe from Sam
Our "featured qualifier of the day" Sam Acheampong is still hovering around the 7,000 mark. He had grown his stack beyond that point but just made a big and ultimately wrong lay down when faced with making a call for his tournament life. He explained he called a min-raise with ten-seven from the big blind after two other players had also called. The flop came [t][t] and Sam Acheampong check-called Richard Horton's c-bet along with Alexandra Jacksonpalin.
The turn came a seven giving Acheampong the nuts. He check-called Horton's 1,500 bet and so did Jacksonpalin. The river came a jack and Acheampong led for 3,000 only to face a raise to 10,000 from Horton. Jacksonpalin called yet again and after a lot of deliberation Acheampong let his hand go, putting one of his opponent's on ten-jack. Horton did have a full house but it was with his holding of pocket threes. Jacksonpalin folded and Acheampong is now looking at Horton's 45,000 chip stack and thinking what might've been. -- MC
4pm: Mario meets his Bowser
Andrews Kenneth John had seen his stock, stack and chances plummet during the early levels but he won back some ground moments ago, moving all-in for 4,325 into a 3,200 pot with A♥Q♥ on a very helpfulA♣K♥2♥ board for top pair and the nut flush draw.
His opponent in the hand, Mario Trattou, took a few moments out to have a mini conversation with himself. Something he said caused John to flip him the bird, causing a chorus of chuckles from the table. Then... he called.
Trattou held the decidedly less pretty-looking looking A♦7♦. No bad beats - the turn and river came the 9♦ and 4♥ and John was back up to 11,850 with Trattou down to just under 10,000.
3.46pm Lewis stunned by straight flush
Toby Lewis certainly loves the action. We learned that his early rise was as a result of flopping a set of treys which he bet-called on the flop - then check-called a turn bet and a river shove. A cannily played pot that boosted him over the 40k, although he was to lose many of these chips during level two, after running the nut flush into a painful straight flush in the hands of Oliver Noonan.
Unperturbed he was back into action shortly afterward, betting 350 on a J♠4♣5♠ board - getting a relatively quick call from Lam Van Trinh. Lewis fired again on the 6♠ turn for 1,500 this time.
This time Van Trinh made a more considered decision, eventually calling. Come the Q♣ river, Van Trinh quickly checked and once again Lewis fired - a bet of 3,300 - and the third barrel caused Van Trinh to throw his hand away, leaving Lewis to repair some of the damage done by that straight flush/ nut flush disaster.
Lewis on 28,500, Van Trinh 17,200. -- RD
3.31pm: Electric Avenue
The riddle of the young UK Pros absence has been solved - JP Kelly revealing the boys hit the town of Manchester in force yesterday - 5th Avenue being the venue of choice. Slightly bleary-eyed but focussing hard, JP Kelly is fighting his way through the early levels with a broad smile on his face - back up to 14,500 right now. -- RS
3.27pm: Level 4 begins
No break here, it's straight on to level 4. -- MC
PokerStars Blog reporting team in Manchester (in order of which league our football resides in):Rod Stirzaker (Liverpool - Premier League) Marc Convey (Crystal Palace - The Championship) and Nick Wright (Exeter - League One)