UKIPT Nottingham: Day 1B, level 3 & 4 updates (blinds 100-200)


4.25pm: Break
It's our second break of the day and we'll be entering the twilight zone of the split dinner break in the next two levels. Half the field will fight the buffet at the end of level 5 while the other half plays level 6 and then they'll swap over. -- RD

4.22pm: Eames out
John Eames, who one of the bloggers usually picks to win the event before it starts, is out. No details, I'm afraid. -- NW

4.18pm: Coren chugging along
Team PokerStars Pro Vicky Coren seems to be chipping up nicely and is up to 32,000. I was having difficulty seeing whether it was one or two 5,000 chips at the bottom of her pile for a 32,000 or 37,000 stack, but it turned out to be a solo. Twitter can be informative... Her update also said that she expects things to get fast and furious later on today. Indeed they will.

Yesterday saw 478 players condense down to 100 and there'll be a similar squash later today. -- RD

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4.07pm: Blake, Boon and Dowling
We had a request from a blog reader by the name of 'tonytats' for chip updates on three players. Well, Tony here you go: Tim Blake has 12,000, Kevin Dowling has 15,200 and Robert Boon has 8,000. I saw the latter double up to this amount with [Q][J] against Gary Tomney's [Q][10]. All still in but none making any great waves at the moment. -- NW

3.58pm: Troublemakers
"Everywhere you go you cause trouble," said Fintan Gavin to Mohammed Suhail. If you know what the gregarious Irishman can be like you could say it's the pot calling the kettle black.

"I asked politely," said Suhail, who by now had demanded a ruling and then cancelled it after Gavin had refused to show him his stack. The Irishman had already truthfully declared to have Suhail's remaining 20,000 covered.

Suhail had claimed that he needed to know how many chips he had to assess how much of gambling Gavin might be willing to do on the 7♠9♦6♥ flop. Both players checked before Gavin, claiming to be kind, bet an ace on the turn to finish the hand. The argument quickly moved from heated discussion to farce to laughter.

I'd only gone over to sat hello to Marius Lietuvninkas, one of last season's more successful regulars. He's on 18,600 but seemed to be more interested to tell me a bad beat story from last weekend. Actually, it was fairly grim. He had his aces cracked by queens for a monster chip lead in a chunky tournament with fourteen players left. Oucher. -- RD

3.50pm: Dempsey doing the business
Earlier James Dempsey's stack was pretty much cut in half to around 8,000. I wandered past his table to find that he's now packing 23,000: "I had a bit of a recovery," he proffered. -- NW

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James Dempsey' t-shirt reads: "Gym? Who's he...

3.40pm: Motoring along
Jon 'Skalie' Kalmar sits 27th on the all-time Great Britain and Ireland moneylist, in no small part due to his fifth place finish in the 2007 WSOP Main Event which netted him over $1,250,000. He's looking like he might add to that haul here in Nottingham as he's up to 31,500. As per usual Skalie is rocking a rock t-shirt, Motorhead his band of choice for today. -- NW

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Kalmar is off to an ace (of spades) start

3.30pm: Sedate start for Flood
Liam Flood just proved why he's known as The Gentleman. It's incredibly tight on the top tier of Disk Till Dawn and as I let him through to get back to his seat he offered a very polite: "thank you young man," in my direction. Flood who satellited in online to a couple of UKIPT events last year (but not this one) is currently on 12,575.

On his direct right is another gentleman of the UK poker scene Tom 'Red-Dog' McCready, curator of one of the finest moustaches in poker and perhaps the best we've seen since Bill Seber's at UKIPT Brighton. He's on around 13,200. I'd wager no one else at the table is over the age of 25. -- NW

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Flood is having fun in Nottingham


3.20pm: The worm continuing to wriggle
Micky Wernick has been on the scene for years and has ground out over a million tournament dollars in his time at the tables. He's already cashed in two UKIPTs, Season 1's Coventry and Nottingham, but hasn't managed to go deep yet.

Some think he's tight, some think he's loose. At the moment he's verring towards teh latter playing style as he seems to be playing almost every pot at the moment, but I do keep walking past his table when he's in late position.

He just took a pot away from Pawel Walczak, who was in the small blind, after calling a 1,200 lead on the 5♣T♦5♦ flop from the cut-off and then firing 2,500 into the 2♦ turn. Had it or representing? Doesn't matter, Walczak passed. -- RD

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Micky Wernick looking for his third UKIPT cash

3.10pm: A strange hand
An odd hand just played out on Jeff Kimber's table. There was a limp for 150 under the gun from Harprit Singh Gurnam, next to act Barrie Cooper made it 700 to play and was flat called by James Glossop, Jeff Kimber and Andrew Miles (big blind). Gurnam then called as well

The flop was A♥[10s]2♥ it checked to Gurnam who bet 300, everyone called. The turn was the 6♦ Miles and Gurnam checked to Cooper who bet 2,700 everyone except Gurnam folded. The river was the Q♦ and it checked through with Cooper showing A♦J♠ which was good. -- NW

3pm: Chip counts
I've been busy gathering chip counts, they're just a guesstimate of course, but I got my eye in during Day 1A so they won't be far off. Best placed notables at the moment are Fintan Gavin and Jude Ainsworth. -- NW

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Gavin is off to a good start

2.52pm: Grafton on the grapevine
According to the word on the street Sam Grafton is out. I've heard it from a couple of sources so I think we can give it the rubber stamp. Photographer Neil Stoddart said he overheard JJ Hazan telling someone on a table "something about having aces beaten by a flush and then getting in a raising war with ten-six against jacks." Sounds like Grafton. -- RD

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News of Grafton's demise came courtesy of JJ Hazan (pictured)

2.45pm: Reigning champ moving in the right direction
Andrew Couldridge has started well and is on around 21,000. He just bet 500 into a small pot on a T♥2♦7♦ flop and took it down. Onwards and upwards for last year's champion. -- RD

2.35pm: Smooth sailing in the sea of faces
Team PokerStars Pro Vicky Coren has got off to a good start, she tweeted: "Fairly smooth sailing in the UKIPT poker tournament for me so far, we started with 15k, I've got about 22k. The right direction anyway." And Coren for one is delighted some of the old guard have shown up. "Amid the sea of bright young faces in hoodies and iPods, nice to see Devilfish over there with The Worm." You can follow Coren's twitter updates here. -- NW

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Vicky Coren swimming amid a sea of hoodies and iPods

2.25pm: Spew
During the break all you could hear were snippets of poker conversation: "So I raised to 225 under-the gun with pocket eights," interspersed with: "I keep on having trouble with hands like king-queen in the big blind." I also caught up with Dominic Kay who told me: "I've already spewed off a bit of my stack." --NW

2.15pm: A fresh start for Piper
Michael Piper is instantly recognisable thanks to an audacious handlebar moustache. Or rather, he was. A new clean shaven Piper has emerged from a two month poker hiatus and I caught up with him at the end of last level.

"I've been playing poker full time for four years and the months after Vegas were tough. I was running bad and playing bad and went through half of my roll," he told me honestly. "I thought it was probably time to take a break."

The time away seems to have done him good and he's already up to 20,000. He opened a pot for 325 and picked up three callers before the short-stacked big blind, Anthony Kennedy, moved all-in for 1,850. Piper came back over the top for 4,325 and folded every other player out of the hand.

Piper: 8♣8♦
Kennedy: K♦9♣

Piper's pair held up as he raked in the pot. It's been a while since his €345,000 score at San Remo last year, we'll see quite how much that break helped in a couple of days. -- RD

2.20pm: Broken a thousand
The board is showing over 1,000 now. History in the making. The players are returning to their seats to start level 3. -- RD

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Michael Piper: looking to a brighter future

PokerStars Blog reporting team in Nottingham (in order of poker ability as defined by SharkScope): Nick Wright (90 out of 100) and Rick Dacey (84 out of 100). Snapper Neil Stoddart also deserves a shout out (82 out of 100) as does fellow PokerStars reporter Marc Convey who is actually through to Day 2 with 41,100 (56 out of 100, 'Super Tilt').

Rick Dacey
@PokerStars in UKIPT