UKIPT Nottingham: Day 1a, level 1 & 2 updates (blinds 50-100)
2.10pm: End of level
The players depart for their first 15-minute break of the day, there should be four more after levels four, six, eight and ten. By Odin's beard, this is going to be a long day. -- RD
2.05pm: Schaffmann hoping to go one better than second
UKIPT Nottingham season one runner-up Oliver Schaffmann is in the field today. The Aberdeen based player is doing his chances of going one better no harm at the minute and is in a jovial mood: "I'm on about 18,000 he said," as I walked passed. On his immediate left is Adam 'Snoopy' Goulding he's not faring as well as he's down to around 10,000 from his 15,000 starting stack. -- NW
2pm: Demetriou (almost) doubles
Maria Demetriou is up to 26,000 and she passed on the details of her near double up. "It was a strange hand," she said. "He (Ali Emrani) opened to 300, I made it 800 with pocket aces, he made it 3,000, I five-bet to 8,000 and he flat called leaving 4,000 back." A little odd, she suggested.
"The flop was queen-high and all spades," she continued, 'I didn't have the ace of spade. He checked to me and there's not a lot I can do apart from set him in, so I did. He had pocket jacks with no spade which was a relief as a fourth spade came.' Emrani is one of the early casualties. -- NW
1.48pm: Familar faces of the UKIPT
UKIPT Manchester winner Joeri Zandvliet was one of the heroes of UKIPT Season 1. As well as taking down the Manchester leg he finished fourth in Edinburgh, coming close to winning an elusive second title (which Nick Risk managed to achieve in the first leg of this season). He's sat just a couple of seats around from Mike Hill, who finished third to Zandvliet in Manchester and second overall to Chris Brammer in the UKIPT Leaderboard race.* Zandvliet has picked up a small amount of chips and is up to 17,000. Not much movement from Hill who is freerolling here as his Leaderboard finish gave him free entries to a large handful of UKIPT events.
Both players are genial sorts (which, of course, shouldn't get confused with genital sorts) and I wouldn't be surprised to see either of them going deep in this tournament. -- RD
* Correction: Mike Hill finished third in the leaderboard, Owen Robinson was second.
1.35pm: Not so secret draws
It's hard to stay incognito when you've got a big poster bearing your likeness adorning the tournament arena. Despite that Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree has made a quiet start to her tournament and is on damn near her starting stack, you can follow her progress on twitter as well as here on the blog. -- NW
1.30pm: Four EPTs and counting
We have four European Poker Tour champions here; Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree, Kevin MacPhee, Will Fry and David Vamplew. -- RD
*Make that five, Julian Thew won EPT Baden as well.
1.25pm: Half a dozen done and dusted
In the opening level six players busted out, amongst them the wonderfully named Marius Zaganevicius. -- NW
1.22pm: Secret draws
As a journo that has covered poker for a good few years now, as well as the last couple of EPT seasons, you get to know many of the players that, while may not be as recognisable as the likes of Negreanu, you certainly wouldn't want at your table. There are quite a lot of those faces here in this UKIPT field and I just stumbled across one that had two on; Kevin Williams and Jack Ellwood.
Williams is a close friend of UKIPT Brighton winner Jamie Burland and Owen Robinson and, so I've been told, is a pretty solid player. Ellwood was one of the most understated stand out players. He followed up a second place finish at the UKIPT Manchester with a slew of massive online cashes totalling $1.5 million.
Their tablemates include Andrew Garland, Mindaugas Breskus, Ignotas Vainoras, Steven Warburton, Hugh Black, Stephen Wilsdon and Victoria Tooley. I wonder if they know how much their draw sucks? -- RD
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 50-100
1.10pm: Satellite spin up
Whilst the alternates wait patiently to get in, plenty of others only won their seat at the last minute. Seven players satellited their way in online on PokerStars last night and a further 22 won seats in a live satellite at Dusk Till Dawn last night.
PokerStars blogger Marc 'The Conv' Convey was one of those and when I went to check on his progress all his chips were in the middle on a J♥5♠7♠ flop against Jake O'Leary. The betting on the flop had gone O'Leary 1,125, Convey 2,800, O'Leary 6,000, Convey all-in (c.15,000). This final bet won Convey the pot, he now has around 21,000. -- NW
12.55pm: Running good
Rob Angood is your early chip leader as he's eliminated Steven Watts who has the unwanted distinction of being first out of UKIPT Nottingham - good news for the queue of alternates. I didn't catch the action first hand but was informed that Watts had A♥K♥ and Angood pocket aces. -- NW
12.50pm: Live adjustments
While surveying the scenes of the coming carnage here at Dusk Till Dawn, I asked UKIPT host Nick Wealthall what he thought some of the causes of the big early mistakes would be.
"Adjusting," he said, "Good online players sometimes have trouble adjusting to live players, which is something the likes of Jake Cody have become great at doing. You can actually make some really tight folds against some live players. You raise queens under the gun and instantly get raised in the next seat then you know your queens are no good."
In his time Wealthall has interviewed a lot of the best players in the world and he recalls a grilling of Mike 'Timex' Macdonald. The young Canadian had said that good online players should aim to win small and big pots when playing live and forget about the medium-sized ones. "There's just no point trying to move some people off their top pair in these early levels, he told me, but said that you can also make some huge value bets," said Wealthall. If you're playing Day 1B there are some lessons to be learnt here. -- RD
12.40pm: How do you like them potatoes?
Idaho is a long way from Nottingham and £500 is considerably less than the €5,000 Kevin MacPhee stumped up when he won EPT Berlin in March 2010. However, the American is making his UKIPT debut today, I just saw him lose a small pot to Christos Patras. Nothing to worry about yet. -- NW
12.30pm: Packing them in
The aforementioned Jamie Burland and Max Silver are sat at one of four tables that are located in the bar area of Dusk Till Dawn. The latter just won a small pot to get his tournament going in the right direction.
I joined the action on the turn to see a board of K♥5♠[10s]A♣ and Silver (cut-off) checking to Arnoud Van Der Werf (button). Van Der Werf fired out a bet of 125 into a pot of 225 and Silver called. The J♥ completed the board and Silver checked again. Van Der Werf wasted little time in betting 275, Silver tanked even saying, 'Sorry guys,' to the table as he did so. Eventually he tossed in the call and Van Der Werf mucked his hand, Silver asked the dealer if he had to show (he didn't) and he raked in an early stack booster. -- NW
12.20pm: Table mates
Table draw is totally random but as usual the computer has spat out a few interesting ones. Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree and Matt Perrins, two players who know what it's like to win a live PokerStars tournament, are sat side by side with Perrins having position. Elsewhere two UKIPT season one champions Max Silver and Jamie Burland are sharing a table, you might have seen them on TV on Tuesday night as the UKIPT Champion of Champions event kicked off channel 4's coverage of the UKIPT. -- NW
12.10pm: Talk of record fields as UKIPT Nottingham begins
We're looking nailed on to break the record for biggest UK field with, most likely, over 1,000 runners come tomorrow. Dusk Till Dawn is well known for a venue that starts tournaments on time, one of the few, but even they have had trouble with the numebrs today. Ten minutes late still isn't bad. -- RD
12.05pm: Owen Robinson wins the button
UKIPT regular Irishman Owen Robinson is just one of the many players sat in seat eight which has been designated as the opening position for the button. -- RD
11.40am: UKIPT Nottingham set for a monster field
Welcome to UKIPT Nottingham, the second stop of the second season of Britain and Ireland's biggest poker tour. We're going to do our best to avoid any reference to Robin Hood, Sherwood forest or cutting people's eyes out with spoons (come on, you must remember Alan Rickman's sheriff of Nottingham). Swerving such comments is going to be made a lot easier by the fact that today is looking like a mammoth field for this £500 event. We're going to be awfully close to the big one thousand, people.
"We're at the doorstep of history, men," said UKIPT host Nick Wealthall, swanning by in a two-tone scarf, which I think was aimed to make things sound grander still. But you can never tell with him; sardonic to say the least. Wealthall hosts the UKIPT show on the telly box alongside Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree, who won the Sunday Warm Up last weekend. Must be nice.
Walking through the glorious Dusk Till Dawn poker club we've been smothered by the good, bad and ugly of the British poker scene. Too many to mention right now, but it's all the players that you'd imagine and more. Check our chip count page (using the widget on the right of the page) to find out some of the big names. There is going to be a lot to follow and we'll do our best to follow the big action and pass on a flavour of what it's like to be here. Day 1A is set to start shortly - it's going to be four looooong days here in Nottingham. Hold tight. -- RD
PokerStars Blog reporting team in Nottingham (in order of breakfast time arrival): Rick Dacey (10.08am for sausages, mushrooms, toast and coffee) and Nick Wright (10.25am for fruit, yoghurt, tea and apple juice).