UKIPT Newcastle: Day 1A, level 1 & 2 updates (blinds 50-100)
4.20pm: Break time
The first two levels are done and dusted and the players are on a 15 minute break. You'll find level three updates in a new post shortly.-- NW
4.10pm: Chip counts
Here are the chip counts of some of the notables in the field today: Gareth Walker (11,100), Martin Mulsow (12,000), Brett Angell (12,350), Thomas Dunwoodie (13,950), Mateusz Warowiec (8,300), Piotr Majewski (23,700), Richard Hawes (16,425), Ben Crellin (14,750), Jeffrey Burke (22,525), Jon Lundy (24,000), Mark Trett (11,400), Oliver Schaffmann (18,000) and Stephen Dunnett (11,000). Keep an eye on the chip counts page throughout the day for updates. -- NW
3.53pm: Angell of the north
Brett Angell finished second to Gareth Walker at UKIPT Nottingham for £68,700, but he's currently a long way away from a second final table. He's sat looking slightly miserable with around 12,500 in front of him for a slight degrade of his initial 15,000 starting stack. -- RD
3.45pm: More notables
Another sweep of the card room has unearthed a few more familiar faces who were either late taking their seats, bought in after the tournament started or we missed the first time around. Among those are Gareth Walker (winner UKIPT Nottingham), Oliver Schaffmann (2nd UKIPT Nottingham, Season 1) and Thomas Dunwoodie (3rd Irish Open, 2008). -- NW
3.25pm: Action (or lack of) from upstairs
I went in search of action in the upstairs poker room but after 10 minutes of gazing no pot of real significance had yet brewed. Perhaps this shouldn't be too surprising given the stack-to-blind ratio during these opening levels but whilst I was watching that pot-that-never-boiled I jotted down this information about the 45 or so players in the upstairs room.
• Five players wearing baseball caps
• Two players wearing beanies (surely soon to be chased out of Newcastle for wearing unnecessary layers of clothing)
• One female player
• Zero pairs of Beats by Dr Dre headphones -- NW
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 50-100
3.15pm: Frost frozen by fear of the nuts
"I thought you might be sitting there with the ace," said Paul Frost as he tabled K♦K♠. His opponent, Stephen Dunnett, showed T♦T♠ for a smaller flush on the J♦6♦7♦4♥5♦ board. Frost had fired 500 at the flop, 700 at the turn but had followed Dunnett's lead on the river by quickly checking behind.
Dunnett looked relieved not to have been put to the test on the river. Frost looked to have missed out on some value with the second nuts. -- RD
3pm: Not giving up the day job
Pictured below is Piotr Majewski. The Pole is a somewhat familiar face on the UKIPT, having first come to our attention when finishing sixth at UKIPT Nottingham in Season 1. When he's not playing poker he can often be found blogging and writing about it and will be doing so on the other side of the felt next week at the PokerStars Eureka Poker Tour event in Bulgaria. -- NW
2.50pm: Scores on the door
Whilst we don't have an official player list yet. There are 21 tables in use downstairs, another six upstairs and with play being mostly ten-handed there's likely going to be around 250-275 runners today (late registration is still open). There are a lot of players packed into the downstairs tournament area which is going to make accessing tables one through to eight tough to report on. -- NW
2.35pm: Early faller
Nicol Macpherson is a very early faller here in Newcastle after losing all of his 300 big blind stack (15,000 at the 25-50 level) to Chris Christiensen. Thanks to Stephen Dunnett who filled me in on the hand.
The [q]Q♦7♦ flop had started the action with betting and raising taking place between Christiensen and Macpherson. Further three-betting escalated on the blank turn. Christiensen then led into the diamond river and called the ensuing shove with top trips, weak kicker. Macpherson mucked his hand and left the table. -- RD
2.30pm: Some notables
A few of the notable players who are currently riffling their starting stack of 15,000 are: Mateusz Warowiec (2nd UKIPT Manchester), Brett Angell (2nd UKIPT Nottingham), Martin Mulsow (3rd UKIPT Cork), Piotr Majewski (6th UKIPT Nottingham, Season 1) and Jeffrey Burke. -- NW
2.25pm: Shuffle up and deal
Cards are in the air. -- NW
2.15pm: Two floor poker club
When play starts (soon, we hope) the players will be split over two floors. The vast majority of entrants are sat downstairs on tables one through twenty-one in the main poker room. If you head upstairs - next to the press room - you'll find another nine poker tables situated close to the Mahjong room, where play has definitely started as we can hear the clickety-clack of the tiles. We're hoping that noise will be drowned out by the riffling of chips imminently. -- NW
1.55pm: Whistle soon to blow
Many players are in their seats ready for play to begin while those that registered most recently - before they could be added to the seat draw scrolling on the monitors - are being led to their seats by tournament staff. -- RD
1.20pm: UKIPT Newcastle is go, go, go (almost)
Welcome to Newcastle, the heart of the North-East, for the fourth stop of the PokerStars.com United Kingdom and Ireland Poker Tour. Given that's quite a mouthful we'll simply refer to it as the UKIPT from now on.
It's a fine day here in the middle of Newcastle, far from the cold and blustery image most southerners have of the place (i.e. me). The £500 main event is set to start at 2pm and with a good number of pre-registrations for Day 1A it doesn't look like the World Series clash will stop this five-day event from getting a lot of runners. Stay with us through it all. -- RD
PokerStars Blog reporting team in Newcastle (in order of enthusiasm about walking to casino): Rick Dacey (pack on back, would have carried a walking stick given a chance) and Nick Wright (looked longingly at taxi, glared at Dacey). Photos by Mickey May.