UKIPT Nottingham: Day 3, level 24 & 25 updates (blinds 20,000-40,000, ante 4,000)
We've got an end of level break for 15 minutes during which we are desperately trying to sort out some kind of feed from the final table. We can't hear the announcer, TV technical issues are barring the usual PA from being used and we're not allowed access to the cordoned off set. All in all, pretty problematic. Fingers crossed we get this feed through soon. -- RD
6.30pm: Cagey start
Flops have been rare and showdowns positively extinct in the opening 20 minutes of nine handed play. Gareth Walker has perhaps been the busiest, but it's backfired. He three-bet from the small blind after Chris Dowling opened on the button but check-folded the flop. And he was raised off a flop by Tim Bettingen a few hands later. -- NW
6.15pm: Play restarts
6.05pm: Pizzo leads the final table
Romano Pizzo currently holds the chip lead with almost 3 million to his name. The pre-final table break continues. That said, we've been playing eight-handed all the way since Day 2 so I'm guessing that we have one more bust before the 'official' final table.
Seat one: David Heaton - 1,560,000
Seat two: Brett Angell - 829,000
Seat three: Gareth Walker - 1,419,000
Seat four: Ian Gilchrist - 930,000
Seat five: Tim Bettingen - 2,434,000
Seat six: Chris Dowling - 1,864,000
Seat seven: Mike Hill - 2,018,000
Seat eight: Thomas Rolfe - 1,658,000
Seat nine: Romano Pizzo - 2,996,000
It's a good draw for Mike Hill who has fellow big stacks Bettingen and Dowling to his right. The only other big stack, Pizzo, he seemed to be getting the better of yesterday. -- RD
5.50pm: Khoa Nguyen eliminated in 10th place (£5,800)
He was down to around 350,000 and from the big blind he shoved over the top of Chris Dowling's 100,000 open-raise. Dowling made the call.
The board of J♠4♥5♦J♦8♠ was decisive. The remaining nine players will now combine to one table, although it'll take another elimination before we have the official final table. -- NW
5.45pm: Clash of the big stacks
Mike Hill opened to 100,000 from the cut-off and was three-bet by Gareth Walker to 275,000 from the big blind. Hill made the call in position. Walker led 175,000 into the T♣A♦8♣ flop and Hill quickly moved all-in. Walker went deeo into the tank before passing to leave himself with 1.3 million.
"I had a small ace so I was either dead or up against a big draw," said Walker. "The only times I saw you move in yesterday was with a set or a monster draw." Hill back up to 1.85 million. -- RD
5.35pm: Slade out in 11th (£4,500)
Nick Slade start the day as the short stack so was always likely to suffer an early exit. Tournament director Toby Stone told me at the rail that Slade had been forced to get it in with  but had been unlucky enough to find Tim Bettinggen with [a][q]. Slade failed to overtake his German opponent and leave the UKIPT Nottingham one exit away from the final table. -- RD
5.30pm:Thomas Rolfe doubles through Mike Hill
The action is definitely happening on the outer table right now. Gareth Walker got this party started by opening to 88,000 on the button. From the small blind Thomas Rolfe moved all-in for 733,000. After a think of perhaps 30 seconds Mike Hill flat-called the all-in, Walker folded.
The board of K♦Q♦2♠5♣J♠ saw Hill send about a third of his stack to his right hand neighbour. -- NW
5.20pm:Brett Angell doubles through Ian Gilchrist
Brett Angell moved all-in for his last 233,000 from the button and Ian Gilchrist called from the small blind.
"My god how many hands do you get?" said Angell when he saw Gilchrist's holding. Still he was live and he duly connected with the Q♥8♣J♥9♥9♠ board to double up. -- NW
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 20,000-40,000, ANTE 4,000
5.15pm: Steven Fitzpatrick eliminated in 12th place (£4,500)
From under-the-gun Ian Gilchrist opened to 75,000 and Steven Fitzpatrick moved all-in from the small blind for a total of 611,000. Gilchrist asked for a count and then called:
Before the flop was dealt Fitzpatrick was out of his chair and standing by the dealer, the board of 9♦8♥4♣4♥J♥ wasn't what he was looking for and he rushed away from the table.
He then sat down at an empty table and rested his head in his hands before returning to retrieve his jacket. He's young and talented though so I'm sure he'll make another deep run soon. -- NW
5.05pm: Fitzpatrick out
First exit of the day. Details to come. -- RD
4.55pm: Gilchrist and the fallen Angell
I think this is the worst suck out I've seen in the late stages of a tournament. When you're 98.69% to win you understandably think that you've got a lock on the hand. Not so.
Ian Gilchrist opened under-the-gun for 70,000 and was called by Mike Hill on the button and Brett Angell in the big blind. Gilchrist c-bet the 3♠A♠9♥ flop for 81,000, Hill quickly passed and Angell pushed forward a stack of 500,000 to set Gilchrist all-in.
Gilchrist looked a bit lost at sea and followed the if-in-doubt-call-and-see-what-happens line.
Gilchrist: A♣8♠ for top pair, weak kicker
Angell: 9♠9♣ for middle set
The 8♠ brought Gilchrist the possibility of a disgusting backdoor draw, remember that only an ace on the river would give him a bigger full house. The A♦ on the river completed that 1.3% outdraw. Angell was left slack jawed; "Jesus wept," he stammered, not quite believing that he could have lost that hand for a one million pot just off the final table.
"That's literally the only hand I'm putting it in with there, a set," said Angell, still flabbergasted that Gilchrist made that runner-runner. Angell is left with 350,000. -- RD
4.45pm: Bettingen being active
First Tim Bettingen got bashed up in a pot, then he bashed back bigger!
Hand one: He raised the button to 61,000 and got three-bet to 166,000 by small blind Chris Dowling. Bettingen then four-bet to 346,000 only for Dowling to move all-in for 1,400,000 and force him to fold
Hand two: Bettingen raised to 61,000 from under-the-gun and both blinds Khoa Nguyen and David Heaton called. On a flop of 5♠6♦8♥ Bettingen wagered 104,000 and was check-raised to 300,000 by Nguyen, a bet he called. The turn was the 7♠ and both players checked. On the 8♣ river Nguyen bet 300,000 and Betingen tanked hard. He eventually elected to call and Nguyen tapped the table to indicate his call was good, Bettingen showed pocket aces to win the pot. -- NW
4.35pm: A tale of two tables
There are two tables at the moment; the feature table and the outer table. The feature table is the one that we can't get at it, reporting will be difficult from there until the final table when card calling will begin. It's been chosen as to be filmed as its players are more aggressive and have been stacks.
The outer table is accessible but is currently nitty as you like. Of the eight hands I viewed six were raise and takes; one to Gareth Walker, Mike Hill, Ian Gilchrist and Brett Angell and two to Steven Fitzpatrick. Thomas Rolfe won the other two hands, both of which went to a flop after he was called by Steven Fitzpatrick and Brett Angell in the big blind in consecutive hands. A continuation bet worked in both incidences and Rolfe picks up an additional 150,000. It's cagey stuff at that outer table. Yet to see a three-bet. -- RD
4.25pm: Walker makes a good start
Gareth Walker has won two showdowns in the opening 10 minutes to boost his stack. In the first hand Steven Fitzpatrick raised to 61,000 from the cut-off and Walker defended his big blind. The flop was 6♦Q♥Q♠ and Walker bet 61,000 and Fitzpatrick called. Both players checked the J♣ turn before Walker bet 88,000 on the [10h] river. Fitzpatrick made the call but mucked when Walker showed Q♦9♣
In the second Walker raised to 70,000 from the button and was called by Thomas Rolfe in the small blind. Both players checked the K♦3♣6♠ flop before Walker bet 61,000 on the 7♥ turn a bet Rolfe called. On the 7♣ river Rolfe took the lead, betting 75,000. Walker pondered for a brief moment before calling. Rolfe flipped A♠8♠, Walker showed pocket queens to claim the pot. -- NW
4.20pm: Dowling makes a big bet
First blood of today to Chris Dowling, he made it 62,000 to go and was flat called by Khoa Nguyen before David Heaton made it 140,000 to play. Dowling then four-bet to 862,000 (leaving around 300,000 back), Heaton tanked for over four minutes before laying down his hand. -- NW
4.15pm: Play starts
Dealing are shuffling and play has begun. -- RD
4.10pm: Players have been called to their seats
The title says it all; the players have been called to their seats. Action is about to start as we play down to the final table. Nick Slade is the player most at risk with 16.66 big blinds while Mike Hill 2.4 million gives him over 80 (well down on the bb breakdown, NW). -- RD
3.45pm: Table re-draw
There's been a re-draw of the remaining 12 players and here's what the computer has produced:
Khoa Nguyen, UK, 1,708,000 (56.93 big blinds)
David Heaton, UK, 1,893,000 (63.1 BBs)
Nick Slade - 500,000 (16.66 BBs)
Tim Bettingen, Germany, PokerStars Qualifier, 1,908,000 (63.6 BBs)
Chris Dowling, Ireland 1,172,000 (39.06 BBs)
Romano Pizzo, Italy, 1,673,000 (55.76 BBs)
(total chips on table 8,854,000)
Thomas Rolfe, Uk, 888,000 (29.6 BBs)
Mike Hill, UK, 2,422,000 (80.73 BBs)
Steven Fitzpatrick, UK, 1,103,000 (36.76 BBs)
Brett Angell, UK, PokerStars Qualifier, 555,000 (18.5 BBs)
Ian Gilchrist, UK, PokerStars Qualifier, 580,000 (19.33 BBs)
Gareth Walker, UK, 1,320,000 (44 BBs)
(total chips on table 6,868,000)
There are significantly more chips on the feature table than outer table and chip leader Mike Hill was happy with his table draw and said: "I'm just going to try and get to the final table and take it from there. But if any nice situations should present themselves..."-- NW
3.30pm: TV shenanigans
Before things can get started here the players are being whisked off to do TV work; interviews, green screen photograph for those floating head moments and profile interviews. All part of the modern game, ladies and gentlemen. We expect things to start at around 4pm. Table draws are on their way. -- RD
PokerStars Blog reporting team in Nottingham (in order of final table preparation): Rick Dacey (burst of bad daytime TV) and Nick Wright (sleeeep).