UKIPT Nottingham: Day 3, level 28 & 29 updates (blinds 60,000-120,000, ante 10,000)
12.30am: Chip counts of the fantastic four
Here's how the remaining riders rack up:
Romano Pizzo - 7,025,000
Brett Angell - 4,560,000
Tim Bettingen - 2,125,000
Gareth Walker - 2,030,000
All four have got here in different ways, it's been an impressive grind from Walker and Angell who've rarely, if ever, been above average at the final table. Whilst Bettingen and Pizzo have had license to splash around a bit more during the final. To some extent Bettingen and Angell have now had those roles reversed. -- NW
12.25am: Break Time
The players are on a 10 minute break, we're getting chip counts whilst they relax and will post them shortly. -- NW
12.20am: Gareth Walker doubles through Romano Pizzo
From the button Romano Pizzo made it 325,000 to play and then Gareth Walker moved all-in for 965,000, Pizzo asked for a count and then after some deliberation he called.
The flop of 5♥5♣J♠ heightened the possibility of a chop, but the 8♣K♠ river kept Walker in front as Pizzo doubled up his second player in quick succession. -- NW
12.18am: Strange hand goes to Pizzo
Romano Pizzo limped and Brett Angell checked behind. Pizzo bet 200,000 blind and the flop fell A♣Q♣Q♠. Angell called. Pizzo bet again, this time after seeing what he was betting at, the Q♥ turn, and Angell passed.
"I had eighth-three of clubs, so you were ahead. The queen was a horrible card for me," said Angell. -- RD
12.10am: Brett Angell doubles through Romano Pizzo
Brett Angell opened to 300,000 and was three-bet to 1,000,000 by Romano Pizzo. Angell then four-bet all-in for 2,430,000 total, after getting a count as to how much it was to call, Pizzo did indeed call.
Before any community cards were dealt, Pizzo said: "You're going to win the hand, I can feel it." The dealer burned and turned the [10h]4♥K♦ giving Angell some more outs. He missed them all on the 2♣ turn but connected with the Q♠ river to double through to a shade under 5,000,0000. Pizzo now has around 6,750,000. -- NW
>12.05am: Cookies and milk to table one?
Despite being from Germany Tim Bettingen has got the largest and most enthusiastic rail. His rail are sat at a nearby table having a game of cards. Every now and then you can hear a cry of 'cookies' ring out. They may well be young but they don't want something to go with milk. No the cry is in honour of Bettingen as the word 'cookies' forms part of his screename on a popular poker forum.
Despite his strong showing here Bettingen has got some way to go if he wants to overtake TJ Cookier as the most famous cookie in poker. -- NW
11.55pm: Angell takes one from Bettingen
Tim Bettingen opened to 255,000 from the button and was called by Brett Angell from the big blind. On the 5♠[10d][10s] flop Angell check-raised all-in over Bettingen's 390,000 c-bet. -- NW
11.50pm: Pizzo piling on the pressure
Romano Pizzo has a commanding chip lead and he's putting pressure on the others and with the big money jumps it appears to be working. Just now he re-raised to 1,060,000 after Tim Bettingen had opened to 250,000. As it stands Pizzo only has to risk around 10% of his chips to make any other player effectively play for all of his. -- NW
11.44pm: Pizzo huge leader, Hill out in 5th (£24,350)
Mike Hill has just busted in fifth place after slamming a huge bluff into Romano Pizzo's riverd full house. Pizzo now has a huge chip lead four-handed.
Hill had limped the small blind and Pizzo had checked behind. Both players checked the J♦5♥5♣ flop. Hill led 300,000 into the T♠ turn and Pizzo called. Hill moved all-in on the 8♦ river and Pizzo snap-called with 5♠8♠ for a full house. Hill, if our announcer is to be believed, showed down 4♠9♠ for an air ball.
Hill takes home £24,350 and a lot of precious UKIPT Leaderboard points. -- RD
11.33pm: Angell shows bottom pair
Brett Angell found himself being limped into for the second orbit on the bounce. Romano Pizzo had made a pair last time with his [j] and had checked it all the time. This time it was Angell who made a pair on the T♣2♣6♠ flop showing the 2♦ after Pizzo passed to a 165,000 bet. -- RD
11.25pm: Limp re-raise from Hill
It folded to Mike Hill in the small blind who completed, Romano Pizzo then raised to 450,000. Hill then moved all-in for around 2,000,000. Pizzo said, "I'm beating you," before folding K♦Q♥ face up. -- NW
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 60,000-120,000, ANTE 10,000
11.15pm: Bettingen pushes down Hill
Tim Bettingen opened for 225,000 and was called by Mike Hill. A 335,000 c-bet into the 4♦8♣7♦ flop took the pot down. -- RD
11.12pm: Pizzo piling on the pressure
Romano Pizzo has around a third of the chips in play and is pushing them around with glee. The action folded to him in the small blind and he raised to 750,000 into Brett Angell, daring him to move all-in. He didn't. -- RD
11.05pm: Chris Dowling eliminated in sixth place (£19,050)
Wow what a hand! It started off by Romano Pizzo folding thinking he was under-the-gun when he was in fact big blind. The actual under-the-gun player - Brett Angell - then raised to 275,000, a bet that Chris Dowling moved all-in over the top of for 1,440,000. Angell asked for a count - he had Dowling covered just - and then made the call.
It looked like a chop (each player had just a 2.17% chance of winning the hand) but the board of K♥4♥9♥[10h]Q♣ meant a sick exit for Dowling. Earlier in the day Angell had suffered an horrific outdraw against Ian Gilchrist when he was a 98.7% favourite to win the hand, poker has a way of leveling itself out. -- NW
11pm: Thomas Rolfe is eliminated in 7th (£13,750)
The stack are such at the moment that most bets are all-in pre-flop. The action just folded to Gareth Walker in the small blind and he instantly moved all-in for 1.4 million.
The next hand Thomas Rolfe moved all-in for 1.6m and was called by Romano Pizzo in middle position. Rolfe showed 6♥6♣ and Pizzo tabled A♥Q♥.
The T♠2♣A♦ flop was enough for Pizzo who chips up to nearly 6 million. Rolfe busts in 7th for £13,750. -- RD
10.55pm: We're in the dark too
Romano Pizzo completed from the small blind and Brett Angell checked his option. Pizzo then checked in the dark before the flop and Angell followed suit, so the dealer spread5♦7♠J♥ and then the [10h] Pizzo checked to Angell and as he went to bet Pizzo said: "You can have it," and folded. -- NW
10.45pm: Walker four-bets all-in
Thomas Rolfe got the chain of events started by raising to 200,000 from the cut-off, Brett Angell then three-bet to 360,000 from the small blind, only for Gareth Walker to move all-in for 980,000 total. Rolfe got out of the way but Angell asked for a count before he too folded. Walker added nearly 60% to his stack without a showdown. -- NW
10.40pm: Angell doubles through Bettingen
Brett Angell shoved from early position for 905,000 and was called by Tim Bettingen.
Angell was saved by the river on a 2♥Q♦Q♠8♦K♠ board to double up. Angell three-bet shoved on Bettingen a couple of hands later to move up to 2.1 million. -- RD
10.30pm: Mike Hill doubles through Chris Dowling
Mike Hill was down to his last eight big blinds and so it was a good time to pick up aces and even better that he found a call from Chris Dowling who had A♦9♠, no, horrific suck-out occurred and Hill doubled up. He's been using his stack to good effect since and is now up to around 2,500,000. -- NW
10.25pm: Back from dinner
The final table has returned to from dinner, many of them were in Nando's. Rock and roll, people. -- RD
Final table profiles
Seat 1: David Heaton
David Heaton, 30, from Rotherham, plays both live and online regularly, his favourite brick-and-mortar venues being in Sheffield or Nottingham's Dusk Till Dawn. This event represents both his largest live tournament and his best cash finish (he's guaranteed at least £7,950 for making the final) although he has played a large number of smaller buy-in tournaments and qualifies for tournaments through satellites online. If he wins the top prize today he's keen to play more live events and said he, "May even consider buying in to the World Series this year..."
Seat 2: Brett Angell
Brett Angell, 27, from Middlesbrough, qualified for this event online at PokerStars.eu. He has dipped a toe in occasional live events in the UK but this final table represents his biggest result to date. He played a Nottingham leg side event last year, but this is his first Main Event. Angell comes to the final table as the shortest stack, but not for want of trying. Earlier today he suffered an outdraw at the hands of 9th place finisher Ian Gilchrist which left him gasping for breath (99 vs. A8 on a 3-A-9 flop; runner-runner Aces) but ground the short stack all the way to the final eight and cannot be discounted.
Seat 3: Gareth Walker
Gareth Walker, from Newcastle, is a 28 year old web developer who has made most of his live tournament money in Dusk Till Dawn, Nottingham, where the UKIPT is taking place. He finished 8th in the Main Event here last year for £7,600, and is looking forward to improving on that result in 2011. He plans to tackle the whole UKIPT circuit this year, and if he takes down the £109,000 first prize he intends to finance his poker - after buying a new car.
Seat 4: Tim Bettingen
Tim Bettingen at 18 is the youngest player on the final table and the starting chip leader with nearly double the stack of 2nd place. He has travelled to UKIPT Nottingham from Germany, and first came across the tour last year when he played UKIPT Brighton (he busted out in the fifth level). Making this final table represents an improvement on this finishing position by a long way and he's planning on playing more UKIPT stops this year. He has yet to score any major live cashes, but is a keen participant in online tournament series like WCOOP and SCOOP. With his dominating chip lead going into the final stage of the tournament, Bettingen has a good chance at his first title.
Seat 5: Chris Dowling
Chris Dowling, 32, from Kildare, Ireland, has been playing around four years. His best live result has been for €90,000 at the Irish Poker Championship in Galway in 2009 - but the top prize of £109,000 here would pip it. So far his best UKIPT result is a 2nd place finish in the €320 side event in Galway in 2009 for €5,000. He works in business development and with two young children does not have as much time to devote to poker as some of his fellow finalists, but his results so far speak for themselves.
Seat 6: Mike Hill
Mike Hill, 48, has played more UKIPT Main Events than any other player at the final table, only missing out on one last season. His best result has been a 3rd place finish in Manchester for £23,500 and he also made the Killarney leg's final table (finishing 8th). He has been a professional bookmaker for 20 years but has continually played poker profitably since entering the live arena in 2008. He has a skiing enthusiast of a 9-year old son, and also enjoys warmer holidays to Fuerteventura every year.
Seat 7: Thomas Rolfe
Thomas Rolfe is a 23 year old local from Nottingham who has been playing professionally for three years. He has not only final table experience at this level, however, but victory experience - he won €80,000 in Killarney beating a 700-runner field in 2009. Having played a handful, Rolfe is looking forward to entering more live events and perhaps heading to Las Vegas for the first time. His regular games are No Limit Hold'em and Pot Limit Omaha cash at the $2/$4 level, and when not at the tables he is a golf aficionado, having discovered the green of the golf course before the green of the poker felt.
Seat 8: Romano Pizzo
Romano Pizzo, 52, originally hails from Italy but now resides in London. His biggest live result was for £22,000 at the GUKPT London in 2009, a festival in which he also made the final table of the £300 No Limit Hold'em event, but he doesn't attend live poker tournaments very often. When asked if he had any interests outside of poker, he paused momentarily before announcing, "Coronation Street and Eastenders." He currently lies second in chips, but has two other similarly sized stacks to contend with.
PokerStars Blog reporting team in Nottingham (in order of surprise upon finding out that Chiquitos was booked out for Valentine's day): Nick Wright (Really? I pity those poor women) and Rick Dacey (Unsurprised).