UKIPT Dublin, S3: Day 1A, level 1-4 updates (blinds 100-200)


4.25pm: He can't be serious, surely?
We just heard Sam Razavi enquiring as to whether he could play the €50 win the button turbo while playing the €770 main event. The answer seemed to be yes but the real question perhaps should have been, "Why do you want to?"

"I'm chasing the leaderboard points," said Razavi, who won the UKIPT Leaderboard last year.

And news just in, he's jumped into the turbo at the break. That's the end of level 4, join us in the new post . -- RD

4.20pm: Gone
David Docherty is one of the latest exits, he tweeted: "Kings into QJ on QJ4. Was never getting there today."

And, there's no easy way to say this but if: Charalampos Lappas, Vincas Tamasauskas, Adrian Murray, Amanda Sidark, George Stoddart, Colin Hammond, Gregory Benjamins, Patrick Kennedy, Feliczi Krisztián, Tim Davie, Bob Mcgrath, Fraser Bellamy, Mantas Visockis, Declan O'Connell, Sven Schieke or Mark Flannagan are still playing tournament poker it's because they've jumped into a SCOOP event online or they're playing the €55 NL - Holdem Turbo 'Win the Button' side event that's just started. -- NW

4.10pm: Ainsworth chipping up
Jude Ainsworth is up to 24,000 after taking on Chistopher Czilinsky. An early position raise had been called by both Aisnworth (hijack) and Czilinsky (cut-off). The original raiser had check-folded to an Ainsworth 1,000 bet on the 4♥6♥K♠ flop, Czilinsky made the call.

Ainsworth barreled 1,800 into the T♥ turn and Czilinsky, curiously wearing leather bands on both wrists, made the fold. Ainsworth still on for the first ever 'Online simul-crown' (see below, 3.05pm: Catching up with Ainsworth). -- RD

4pm: Chip counts
Team PokerStars Pro Jude Ainsworth has picked up 10,000 since we last spoke to him (see 3.05pm post) and now has a stack that is just bubbling over 24,000. Also on the up are Robert Csire (30,000), Thomas Hall (31,000), Thomas Ward (25,700) and Richard Haile (25,000). Meanwhile, David O'Connor (13,000) and Surinder Suanr (12,000) have dropped below starting stack. -- NW

3.52pm: McGrath wins monster
Fergal Nealon beckoned me over excitedly to his table as a massive three-way all-in had just taken place between Stephen McGrath, Ross Boatman and Dicky Whiteside.

I arrived to see the dénouement of the hand. The full board was 9♠A♦4♠6♣6♥ and the money had all flown in on the flop, here's why:

McGrath: 4♥4♣ - bottom set
Boatman: [A][9] - top two
Whiteside: A♠3♠ - top pair and the nut flush draw.

McGrath, who had 13,500 to start the hand, was the shortest stack and took the main pot to treble up to 40,500, Boatman won the sidepot and was left with 7,500 whilst Whiteside was down to dust, left with just 2,000. -- NW

3.48pm: Jarvis comeback continues
Ross Jarvis' terrible tournament start has turned around. He was down to 5,300 a short while ago. Now he's over his starting stack.

"Wheeee x2! 20.5k now - it feels like 200k after that awful start. Bet, bet, bet vs fish and he call, call, called," tweeted Jarvis.

Final player numbers for today should be confirmed shortly but it's looking like 198 entries for Day 1A. -- RD

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Ross Jarvis: loves a potato

3.40pm: Freezing conditions
UKIPT Dublin is taking place at the Citywest Hotel, a conference, leisure and golf resort on the outskirts of Dublin. It's a huge place. Nestled on 380 acres of parkland grounds, there are several floors of hotel rooms, multiple meetings rooms and bars, and of course the high-ceilinged convention centre where the poker is taking place. It can't be an easy place to keep heated, especially when the heating has been turned off. Players never take long to complain of running cold, this was no different.

The heating wasn't turned off due to sadistic floor staff - not saying that they don't exist - but because the vent was affecting the cards on two of the tables. Thanfully a solution has been found: move the tables. We now have Sam Razavi's table just over
our right shoulders. -- RD

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Sam Razavi

3.35pm: Three is not the magic number
There's no easy way to see this but for: Hector Garcia, John Law, Niall Murray, Campbell Foggo, Pietro Sciascia, Ian Ronan, Hendrikus Heesbeen, Jonatan Westerberg, Sean Prendiville, Reg Corrigan, Glenn Eriksson and Martijn Boerenbrink three was definitely not the magic number as they all exited during the last level. -- NW

3.25pm: Ward wamboozles Garcia
It's a good job Thomas Ward put put in a four-bet pre-flop otherwise he might well have lost a chunky pot to Rob Yong.

The action was started by Yong who raised to 450 from under-the-gun, it passed to Hector Garica on the button who moved all-in for 3,100. After the small blind folded, Ward elected to isolate, raising to 8,000 total and Yong got out the way.

Ward: A♣A♥
Garcia: Q♦Q♥

Before the flop was dealt Yong said: "Put a nine up there," insinuating that he'd folded pocket nines and as if by magic the flop fell 4♦J♣9♠. Perhaps Garcia should've requested a queen but he didn't and the board ran 7♥4♥ to eliminate him. -- NW


3.15pm: Three hands

Hand One: Ross Jarivs opened to 400 from early position, Rebecca McAdam flat-called two seats along only for Joel Beverley to bump it to 1,125 from the big blind. After a quick check of his cards Jarvis folded, but McAdam made the call.

The flop fell 5♠A♥2♥ Beverley led out for 1,400 but folded to McAdam's min-raise.

Hand two: It passed to David Docherty in the cut-off and he opened to 350, Dennis Henkes then three-bet to 825 on the button, Mark Buckley flatted from the big blind and Docherty left them to it.

On the flop of 9♠9♦7♠ Buckley check-called a bet of 950, it checked through on the K♦ turn and neither player fired on the 2♣ river. Buckley showed A♥J♦ which was good against Henkes showed [10d]8♦ for monster draw of a hand which missed.

Hand Three: Ross Jarvis doubled through Owen Robinson when the former squeezed all-in with pocket sixes and held against the Irishman's ace-king, Jarvis is up to 10,500 after that double, whilst Robinson is down to 6,000. -- NW

3.05pm: Catching up with Ainsworth
The UKIPT hasn't been too kind to Team PokerStars Pro Jude Ainsworth so far. He's been a frequent customer but all too often an early faller. In the wider sense of poker, it's only fair for Ainsworth to give everyone else a chance. The Irishman has racked up $3,371,433 in online tournament winnings at PokerStars, including a win in the SCOOP $10,300 main event in 2009 for $963,338. Right now, that win must seem like a million miles away.

"I've got my starting stack. I went up about 2k but then bluffed it off in one hand. I had a flush draw, missed and then bluffed the river," Ainsworth told us at the break.

Ainsworth has played 'at least ten' UKIPT events so far, but has cashed in just one, EPT London for £9,000. If you're only gong to make the money in one, at least he chose the biggest buy-in to do so. So how does it feel to be the donator for once?

"I know from online I can easily go twenty tournaments without cashing. I do it every month probably. It's just variance," said Ainsworth, failing to take the bait.

"I've got really unlucky in a couple of UKIPTs in Season 1 and 2. I'll break my way eventually. I'm still playing good, I'm not spewing or donking off. I'm happy with my play."

Online, however, is where 'j.thaddeus' really thrives. The name inspired by Saint Jude who he himself was named after: "He's the saint of hopeless cases so I thought it would be fitting for an online name," he explained.

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Jude 'j.thaddeus' Ainsworth

Ainsworth is pretty far from a hopeless case, even if he is slightly behind on his SCOOP campaign.

"I've a couple of cashes, one final table but I'm still down overall, not too much though. I've got the main event to play yet on Sunday. I have the iPad with me here so I'll be grinding at the table if needs be."

It could be spectacular if Ainsworth does go deep here in Dublin. He's qualified for the $10,300 main event - which he's won before, remember - for just $700. It could be the first ever 'Onlive simul-crown', winning an online title and live title simultaneously. Ridiculous title? Obviously. You read it here first.

"If I got a min-cash in the main I'd near enough be even in the SCOOP but I've had a good time in other tournaments so over the festival I'd still say I'm up. I won a $215 turbo (for $19,127) and made a couple of other final tables," said Ainsworth.

Ainsworth may have been first out in his SCOOP final table, the $2,100 double shootout, after losing a huge flip with ace-king to queens but considering his second largest online win came in April when he won the $1,050 Super Tuesday for $84,628 you can't say that things are go too bad for the guy. Humble as ever, Ainsworth plays on. -- RD

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Ainsworth talking to Irish grinder Nicky Power

2.45pm: Brutal
"That's so brutal, it's the only hand I'm not chopping with there," said Eamonn Blake after a river call did not reap the dividends he'd hoped for.

I joined the action live on the river to see a full board of K♦A♥[10d]A♠9♣. There was around 5,350 in the pot and it had been checked to Christopher Fox, on the button, who had fired out a bet of 3,100. The action was on Shyam Markus who deliberated before making the call.

It was now on Blake and he started reasoning the hand out loud speculating that Fox couldn't have a full house and that by flat calling neither could Markus. At this juncture the dealer reminded him that this was against the rules as there were three active players (including Blake) still in the hand. "I'm not going to raise," said Blake. "I'm just deciding if I'm calling or folding.

After another 20 seconds or so he flicked the chips into the pot in a manner that suggested he didn't think he had the winner but he couldn't fold either. On their backs:

Markus: A♦J♦
Blake: A♣5♣
Fox: mucked his hand without showing

For a few seconds Blake thought it was a chopped pot but Markus's kicker played and he scooped the pot, which left Blake bemoaning his luck that he hadn't at least chopped the pot. -- NW

2.35pm: Exits
There's no easy way to say this but if you'd logged to read updates about: Joe Cameron, Philipp Wiesinger, Mark Simpkin, Nathan Gallagher, Ciaran Carter and Ivan Tononi then this is the only one they'll be in as sadly they're all out. -- NW

2.25pm: Back in their seats
Bad beat stories, debatable folds and big pots were the likely fodder of the first break. Action is now back underway as level three begins. -- NW

2.10pm: Break time
The first two levels are in the books, players are now on a 15 minute break. -- NW

2.05pm: Was Boatman bluffing?
You can't buy experience, nous or card sense, three things that Barny Boatman has in spades and in this particular had the queen of spades.

The board was showing 2♠Q♣A♦5♠, Boatman fired out a bet of 1,500 and his lone opponent, William Champion, folded pocket kings face-up. As he took the pot Boatman tapped the table but showed just the Q♠ leaving everyone wondering if he had it or not. -- NW

1.50pm: More chip counts
Some Irish based chip counts now for you: Jason Tompkins, who's sat two to the left of Max Silver and finished fifth here last year has 18,800, the ever so consistent Dara O'Kearney has 13,000, satellite specalist Fergal Nealon, who is at the same table as Simon Trumper and Ross Boatman is up to 20,000 and the talkative Nicky Power is up to 22,000. -- NW

1.40pm: Chip counts
Although the tournament is only 90 minutes old there's been plenty of chip movement amongst the names and notables: Rob Yong (18,000), Owen Robinson (17,500), Rebecca McAdam (18,700), David O'Connor (17,000), Ross Jarvis (12,600), Richard Haile (15,800), Thomas Ward (15,600), Tom Hall (28,000) and Surinder Sunar (16,600).

And amongst the many latecomers is Team PokerStars Pro Jude Ainsworth, he's taken a couple of early hits and is down to 14,000. -- NW

1.30pm: Csire chips up
Only Joeri Zandvliet and Chuck Fabian bettered Robert Csire at UKIPT Dublin last year as the Hungarian finished third for a €30,700 payday. He's off to a good start as I just saw him double up through the wonderfully named Hendrikus Heesbeen.

I missed the pre-flop action but there was already 4,300 in the pot before the flop of 4♦3♥J♣ was dealt. From the big blind, Heesbeen led out for 2,600, Csire clicked it to 5,200, Heesbeen moved all-in and Csire made the call.

Heesbeen: A♥K♥
Csire: A♠A♦

The turn was the [10c] giving Heesbeen some slender outs, but the 7♣ completed the board to send the pot to Csire. - NW

1.20pm: Keep on chuckin'
Chuck Fabian finished runner-up to Joeri Zandvliet in this event last season. He's grinding away slowly in the corner, now up to 17,000 from his starting stack of 15,000. He's one table on from Max Silver's, a player from their local homegame. UKIPT Cork champ and international jet setter Sam Razavi is also quietly grinding, a most unusual state of affairs for the all-singing, all-dancing Brit. He tweeted: "Couple of clowns and couple of superheroes on my table. It's mamas old fashioned recipe for my fav dish: all the chips, or no chips #UKIPT." Talking of tweets, you can follow @PokerStarsBlog and we'll ping you level updates as they come.

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Last year's runner-up Chuck Fabian

"I'm up to 18,000, grinding properly," said Rob Jong, who had wandered over to media row to have a chat with some of the PokerStars staff.

Jong is owner of the Dusk Till Dawn poker club in Nottingham and is playing the event after that epic event last month. He's here with the club's poker director, Simon Trumper. Both players have increased their stacks. -- RD


1pm: Simon 'Aces, Aces, Aces' Trumper
"Who's doing the blogging? I've got a hand for you," said Simon 'Aces' Trumper as he approached media row. Indeed he did:

Under-the-gun opened to 125 with pocket sevens, Trumper then raised to 425 with pocket aces, he got flat called by another player (who later claimed ace-queen) and under-the-gun came along too.

The three of them saw a flop of [5][7][A] and this is where the action took off. The original raiser led out for 300, Trumper made it 700, this was flat called by the player claiming ace-queen, the original raiser then made it 3,000, Trumper raised to 7,000, the ace-queen folded, the original raiser moved all-in and Trumper, with the nuts, called.

There was no sick suck-out on the turn or river and with that set over set coup Trumper is up to 30,000 early doors. -- NW

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Simon Trumper

12.55pm: Nealon loses the battle, may yet win war
Fergal Nealon wins multiple seats to every UKIPT event and is usually a chatty presence at the table.

As I wandered past his table he was facing a bet of 800 on a flop of Q♠A♠4♣. "Will you show if I fold," he proffered but was met with stony silence. "How about we both show our hands that'll make it easier," he added.

He then tanked for about another 30 seconds before saying: "Ah it's too early for this s##t," and folded A♣[10c] face-up. "Ah, he had that beat," said a tablemate. -- NW

12.45pm: Ireland demographics
Tournaments here in Ireland are quite different from anywhere else in the world. We all know about the craic - perhaps the less said about that the better this soon after noon - but how else does it differ?

In comparison to the PokerStars European Poker Tour it's got a higher percentage of caps*, I can see 11 in the field of approximately 150. EPT grinders tend to favour the hoody or occasionally the Steve O'Dwyer-esque beanie. Unlike the EPT, the field is almost almost exclusively Caucasian male with, at the moment, just two female players; one of which is Rebecca McAdam (mentioned below). The part-time player was chip leader at this event for a while last year but finished 55th for a small cash.

In addendum to Nick Abou Risk's bust out, it sounds like he's had a very successful staking campaign in the first half of SCOOP, which included 5% of Sam 'SamSquid' Grafton who chopped SCOOP-2-H for $234,193. -- RD

*There are also two flat caps. They have not been included.

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Rebecca McAdam: surely that's not her poker face?

12.35pm: Abou Risk out - kings into aces
Two time UKIPT champion Nick Abou Risk is an early casualty of Day 1A here in Dublin. He told me: "I six-bet called it off with kings and he (Anthony Rodrigues) had aces. It smelt like aces but I couldn't fold."

Risk was not the first exit though; a few minutes earlier Laurynas Levinskas Shaun Hegarty. It was another aces versus kings all-in pre-flop match-up but Levinskas, who had the kings, spiked a third on the flop to score an early double up. -- NW

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"You're not smiling, you're not smiling, you're not smiling anymore...": Nick Abou Risk

12.20pm: Tasty tables
Most tables are only six or seven handed at the moment but that hasn't stopped some interesting match ups being created by the random table draw.

UKIPT champions Max Silver and Nick Abou Risk are on the same table, Risk was on the front cover of CardPlayer Europe this month. That interview was written by Rebecca McAdam who is also playing today. She's sharing a table with, amongst others, Owen Robinson and Ross Jarvis.

And two players who have form in the Irish legs of the UKIPT are seated together. Richard Haile (eighth UKIPT Galway S3) and David O'Connor (second, UKIPT Cork S2) are side by side with O'Connor having position.

The tournament clock is showing that there are 150 players but expect that figure to rise as there's a steady stream of latecomers at the registration desk. -- NW

12.10pm: And so it begins...
A little late, but play has begun. Chip riffling is already chirruping across the room. No aces versus kings on the first hand. -- RD

11.30am: Once more, just like before
Welcome back to sunny Dublin, the spiritual home of poker played at 3am with a drink in your hand and a song in your heart. Today begins an epic five days of poker with side events and cash games aplenty, all crowned, like that white slice at the top of a pint of Guinness, with the €770 UKIPT Dublin main event.

This is leg three of Season 3 and we will once again be playing two Day 1's, a proper grown up structure for a proper grown up tour. Here is the breakdown of the UKIPT structure upon which we'll be reaching the 300-600, ante 75; that's eight levels of fun/grind/painful folding. All that will be interspersed with three 20-minute breaks (and no dinner break). However, an O'Briens sandwich wagon is set up at the near end of the tournament floor (we've been told it's like Subways, just better - the Ballymaloe tangy relish is not to be missed) and there's a vending machine which dispenses cans of beer. What more could you want?

This event has traditionally been won by a UKIPT stalwart; three-time final tablist Max Silver won the inaugural event and last year was won by double winner Joeri Zandvliet. Will it be a have-a-go hero who joins them or yet another UKIPT reg? We'll find out on Monday.

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Who will be joining Zandvliet (foreground) and Silver (centre)?

The action is due to start at noon in the cavernous Citywest conference centre. Stay with us for the next nine hours or so for the early skirmishes, banter and inevitable bad beat stories (we will not publish the bad beat stories) as they come.

PokerStars Blog reporting team in Dublin (in order of arrival at breakfast): Rick Dacey (10.45am, several portions) and Nick Wright (didn't turn up, gave his ticket to someone else: "I had a banana!"). Photos by Mickey May (didn't make breakfast, just slept)

Rick Dacey
@PokerStars in UKIPT