UKIP Galway, Day 1B: Levels 1-2 updates (50-100)
2.05pm: Break time
And that's the end of level two, taking the players to their first 20-minute break of the day. Join us in another post shortly.
2pm: The end for Enda, tamed by Teng
Andrew Teng has just taken down a decent pot, sending Enda McGearty out and building his stack to about 22,500. All the action happened away from our eyes, but the showdown was clear. McGearty flipped 7♠6♠, having rivered a straight on a board of 4♦[10c][10s]5♠3♦.
But little did he know that the three on the river was actually the worst card he could possibly have seen. Teng already had him drawing dead, holding 5♥5♣. -- HS
1.55pm: The brothers Boatman
Both Ross and Barny Boatman are playing today and it's Ross who is faring the better at the moment. The younger brother is up to 30,000 whilst Barny is down to around 9,000. The latter started on the same table as Team PokerStars Online Mickey Petersen (21,500) and has now been moved to the same table as Grzegorz Mikielewicz (20,900) another Team PokerStars Online member. -- NW
1.45pm: Heard the one about the Englishman, Irishman and the German?
Don't worry this post doesn't contain anymore bad puns or even bad beat stories but it does contain news of yet another tough table, number 15 to be precise. Sat together on that table are Tim Slater (English, 5th UKIPT Newcastle), David O'Connor (Irish, 2nd UKIPT Cork) and Tim Bettingen (German, 4th UKIPT Nottingham). -- NW
1.30pm: Slater and Hughes on the up
With a few players having departed, a few others are already north of double their starting stacks. One is Timothy Slater, who has at least 32,000 already and seems to have taken care of Richard Pearson in the opening stages today.
Adam Hughes is another player well stacked up already, and the man to fall from his table was Alex Ferguson. (Not that one.) Hughes is continuing to put his chips to good use, and just took down another decent-ish pot.
This one started when Richard Lawlor opened to 250 from early position and picked up David Cleary, who called from the cut off. Hughes raised to 1,000 from the big blind, but both opponents came along to the flop.
That fell A♥A♦8♥ and they all checked. The turn was 6♠ and Hughes bet 1,500 at it, which only Lawlor called. The river was 6♠, which might have been either touch-paper or action killer. Hughes soon found out. He bet 4,000 and Lawlor mucked instantly.
Still, he has something like 25,000 now, which is more than enough at this early stage.
Much like yesterday exits have been thin on the ground thus far, two to tell you about though. Earlier my colleague reported that player 2304 was first out, we now have a seat draw and can tell you that the dishonor of first exit fell to Szilárd Kele, there's been just the one elimination since then, Alex Ferguson is also out. -- NW
1.15pm: MacPhee tries his lucksac in the Emerald Isle
One suspects that Kevin MacPhee's motives for visiting Galway this week extend beyond his love for the west coast of Ireland in a rainy February or, indeed, the chance to play a €770 buy in hold 'em event. As one of the poker's most celebrated and moneyed young stars, he certainly has the bankroll to play his poker wherever he likes at whatever stakes.
However he is also the committed other half of Liv Boeree and, as the jewel in Team PokerStars Pro's crown, Boeree is not going to miss an event on her home tour. MacPhee is over with her, and while here he might as well play.
And, of course, he's going to play properly too. He has just taken a decent early pot from Wes Farrell, who fired 475 at a board of A♥5♣9♠2♠9♣. MacPhee raised to 1,850 and Farrell called. But he mucked quickly when MacPhee tabled his [10c]9♦ for rivered trips.
MacPhee moved up to about 24,000. He has a massage therapist working on his back and is clearly here for the long-haul.
Meanwhile Andrew Teng has now moved to table Silver, Jarvis, Bedi, Crute. -- HS
1pm: Boeree and bits and bobs
Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree has had a prosperous first level, her stack of 16,400 is trending upwards, she's sharing a table with Jonothon Butters. One table over is Brett Angell, perhaps his chips have magically migrated over to Boeree's table as he's down to 13,600.
More stacked tables are coming to our attention all the time, two-time UKIPT winner Nick Abou Risk is seated at the same table as David Docherty who finished eighth at UKIPT Dublin and they've also got Simon Deadman for company. And Richie Lawlor and Alex Ferguson who've both made deep UKIPT runs but not quite got there yet are seated together. -- NW
LEVEL UP. PLAYING BLINDS OF 50-100 IN LEVEL TWO
12.50pm: Friends and opponents
Even given the monstrous field and random table draw, there will always be some interesting match-ups in any day one field. Right in front of media row, we have perhaps the most stacked table: Max Silver (former UKIPT champion and two-time WSOP final table-ist) sits with the British pros Ross Jarvis and Rupinder Bedi, as well as Jonathan Crute, the online superstar.
Neighbouring them is a table featuring Kevin MacPhee and Sam Grafton, who are deep in conversation. Mickey Petersen is sitting on the same table as Barny Boatman. And for the first half a level, Andrew Teng was sitting with Sam Holden. Their table has broken already, but chances are they'll find some decent company wherever they scatter to. -- HS
Sometimes you wander out to the tournament floor and can't fail to see a big pot, other times you wander around fruitlessly for 20 minutes witnessing Texas fold 'em. My last venture was of the latter kind. Thankfully though there is Twitter and tweets to help us bloggers out during dry spells.
So thanks to the wonder of the Internet I can tell you that Sam Razavi (@Sam_Ravazi) is down to 8,000. 'Lost big pot early. Of course my ak cant beat aq. Dwn to 8k.' -- NW
As well as the aforementioned Nick Abou Risk and Max Silver there are a couple more UKIPT Champions playing today and they're both freerolling the entire third season of the UKIPT.
Last May, about two and a half hours south of Galway, Sam Razavi bested a field of 602 entrants to win UKIPT Cork. That win, as well as cashes in Nottingham, Manchester and Edinburgh meant Ravazi won the UKIPT leaderboard and entry to all the stops on season three.
And sitting quietly on table three with his trademark green hat is Richard Sinclair, winner of UKIPT Newcastle in June last year. But, Sinclair is here thanks to a tournament he won in December, one you won't find on his Hendon Mob database record. The Scot took down the UKIPT Champion of Champions event beating Razavi along the way and that too carried with it a prize of entry to all the events of season three. -- NW
12.25pm: The detective work begins
We lost a player within the first orbit today, although all we know about him at the moment is that he sat in seat 2304 for his brief stay. Our attempts to ascertain more about his elimination were thwarted by the fact that the player who knocked him out, Mr 2307, had decided to rest on his laurels and head away from the table too. He is nowhere to be seen. It's not yet clear whether he intends now to blind away through the day. One suspects not but it would be a novel approach to tournament play. -- HS
12.10pm: And we're off
The tournament started damn near bang on time and there's a lot of UKIPT regulars and big names in the field today. Amongst those that we've spotted are: NIck Abou Risk, Andrew Teng, Sam Holden, Sam Grafton, Max Silver, Kevin MacPhee, Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree and PokerStars Team Online members Mickey Petersen and Grzegorz Mikielewicz. -- NW
12 noon: A lot, and then more than that
Welcome back to the UKIPT Galway, and the final preparations for day 1B. Yesterday, if you recall, we had 298 players but today will be monumentally bigger. Extra tables have been brought into the ballroom and there's an additional chair around each one. It'll be ten-handed to start with, and much like Spinal Tap's amps, we have been told we may even go to 11. Goodness me.
Even with all those additional bodies, officials are confident that we'll start on time. Indeed, the clock is already ticking down to the big off, so stick with us for the next nine hours.
That, by the way, is the order of the day. We'll play eight one-hour levels, with 20 minute breaks at the end of every other level. That will take us to about 9pm, when we'll know exactly who we have left.
Strap in, because this is going to be a big one.
Tournament reporting team in Galway: Howard Swains and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May.