UKIPT Galway, Day 1A: Levels 5-6 updates (150-300 ante 25)
6.45pm: Half a dozen done
The first six levels of the day have flown by and there's just two more to go. Join us in a new post in 20 minutes. -- NW
6.40pm: One out will Thew it
Lucky lucky Julian Thew. 'I hit a one outer," he told me. "A Dutch guy (Reinier Slabbekoorn) who'd been active raised and I moved all-in for 20 big blinds with [A], he called with pocket kings and I hit an ace, the other two had already been folded. I've got 16,200 and it feels like 100,000.' If a change of footwear doesn't do it a one outer certainly will. -- NW
6.35pm: Guinness is good for you
Przemysław Piotrowski was away from table 19 for a while, and when he returned, he was clutching a pint of familiar black liquid. "That cures bad beats," said his neighbour Paul McGovern, who may or may not have seen his Polish adversary just take a hit. -- HS
6.30pm: We're watching you watching us
A big hello to Dara O'Kearney, who takes the prize as the first player spotted in today's field reading PokerStars Blog updates on his smart phone. O'Kearney is currently on about 31,000 and has earned himself a place on our chip-count page where we'll track his progress. -- HS
6.25pm: Hill climbing
Mike Hill, who I believe is tied on three with Joeri Zandvliet for most UKIPT final tables, has had a bit of a boost but still finds himself below average on 19,000. "I won a flip," said Hill in a manner as unflappable as his playing style. -- NW
6.20pm: And one more
On the subject of chip leaders, Nick Bemmel has about 62,000, which probably puts him top of the tree. -- HS
6.10pm: Chip leaders
There are a few players approaching or over the 50,000 mark. Amongst them are Ross Johnson (51,000) and Phil Baker (47,000). I just saw Baker take down a pot with little resistance, having opened to 800 he picked up three callers, he then c-bet the 8♠4♣3♦ flop and got no action. Baker seemingly running over the table with his cards rather than his mouth today as he's unusually quiet. He's got Gavin O'Rourke for company at his table, he's on 29.750. -- NW
6pm: Flood sunk
Another notable name in these parts, Liam Flood, is now also out. He is now striding around the tournament area in his trademark suit and tie. He wants to be careful though: the floor-staff are also impeccably turned out here and he might well be called over to give a ruling. -- HS
Amongst the latest casualties are: Paul Lucey, Paul Delaney and Fergal Nealon. -- NW
210 players remain and the average stack is 21,285. -- NW
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 150-300 ante 25
5.45pm: Wright lays death's finger on Baldwin
No sooner has Nick Wright declared him PokerStars Qualifier of the Day than Alfie Baldwin is out. It truly is the kiss of death.
Here's how it happened:
Tomas Geleziunas opened from under-the-gun to 750 and Claas Stoob called. Damien Quinlan, who had only recently joined the table, moved all in for his last 5,500-ish and Baldwin then looked down at jacks in the big blind.
He moved all in over the top for about 16,000 but was in a bad way when Geleziunas instantly called. Stoob folded, so it was three of them left, all with pocket pairs.
Quinlan had the shortest stack, and had fives. Baldwin had the medium stack, and had jacks, but Geleziunas covered them both with his aces. Quinlan managed to survive, when he flopped a five. But the side pot went to the aces of Geleziunas, sending Baldwin out. -- HS
5.30pm: PokerStars Qualifier of the Day
Meet Alfie Baldwin, 31, from London. He's our adopted PokerStars Qualifier of the Day. The Londoner won his package to UKIPT Galway at the very last minute, snagging a seat in a qualifier just a week ago. He's got a hot hand at the moment though as in December he had his biggest ever cash in an event in Prague where he won $35,500. Alfie combines playing poker with his career as a picture editor and has one UKIPT cash to his name thus far.
At the moment our intrepid qualifier has just popped his head above starting stack and has 15,200. He's sharing a table with Andy Bradshaw, Annette O'Carroll (20,150), Claas Stoob (41,800) and Ernst Hermans (21,700). The latter is a player who Baldwin describes as 'tasty' and Hermans results back this up as he has more than $660,000 in lifetime winnings. -- NW
5.20pm: Walker doubles
Whilst some familiar names are going home, the sole surviving UKIPT champion in the Day 1A field has doubled up. Gareth Walker, who took down UKIPT Nottingham in Season 2 tweeted: 'Waited for aces, they came, got it in vs @RoscoJohnson AK and held.' Walker up to around 20,000 after that coup. -- NW
5.15pm: More stars are snuffed out
It's been a bad hour or so to be an established player here in Galway as Fintan Gavin, Mick McCloskey, John Kalmar and Mick Graydon have all bust, in addition to Jude Ainsworth. There will likely be some tasty cash games tonight. -- HS
5.10pm: Ainsworth ain't worth anything
Jude Ainsworth was the only Team PokerStars Pro in the field today, which makes him the first Team PokerStars Pro to hit the rail. Ainsworth has a PhD in biochemistry from the National University of Ireland right here in Galway, and he's going to have a few hours to catch up with his old lab mates after an early elimination from this tournament.
He opened from mid-position and was called in the big blind by Gavin Keana. The two of them were alone to a 6♥2♥3♣ flop, which Keana checked. Ainsworth bet 1,125 and Keana raised to 8,000, which was more than Ainsworth had behind.
Ainsworth seemed to be contemplating folding, but eventually called. However his 5♥5♠ was behind Keana's 7♥7♠ and he couldn't hit any of his outs on the A♠3♠ turn and river.
Vicky Coren and Liv Boeree, other members of Team PokerStars Pro from UK and Ireland, both beam out from posters on the edge of the tournament room, but it remains to be seen whether either will make an appearance on day 1B. -- HS
5.05pm: Graydon not flush with chips
I missed the pre-flop action but Mick Graydon (big blind) and John Keown (middle position) created a pre-flop pot of roughly 2,200 and the flop fell [10d]K♦9♦.
First to act Graydon led for 1,300, call from Keown. The turn was the 2♥ bet of 3,000 from Graydon, call from Keown. The K♥ completed the board, this time Graydon checked to Keown who bet 4,975 and after getting a count of the bet from the dealer Graydon tossed in a single blue 5k chip.
Keown revealed T♣T♠ and Graydon mucked his hand in frustration before saying words to the effect that he had a flush. After that hiccup Graydon is down to 4,500. -- NW
In the opening four levels we lost 50 players (roughly 17% of today's field) amongst the latest bust outs are: Fergus Beirne, Conor Murphy, Ramunas Skardzius and Andris Reševskis. -- NW
4.50pm: Premium hands, differing results
So, as promised here are a couple of hands from the end of the last level. Both involved big pairs against under-pairs, but the results were somewhat different.
First up, we passed by table four just as John Ward was betting all his 9,300 stack into a pot of 9,550. The board read [10s]K♦[10h]. Fergus Beirne was in the tank with an almost identical stack to that of Ward, and after a short while made the call. He turned over 9♦9♣ was in some pain against Ward's A♠A♥.
Nothing weird happened on turn and river and that was that for Beirne.
Moments later, there was a similar-seeming hand playing out on table 14. This time Andris Reševskis and Mark Southcott were the players involved, with stacks of close to 10,000 each, both in the middle.
The board was all the way to the river - 8♥9♣2♣4♥J♠ - and Reševskis was looking for the exit. His K♦K♣ had been outdrawn by Southcott's 2♦2♥. -- HS
4.45pm: Beyond half way
We've still got some action to report from the end of the last level, which we'll get to in a moment. But we'll kick off this new level with the following:
We've just had a word on media row with Colin Myott, who is going along nicely on day 1A here in Galway. He tells us there are folk following his progress from home, and we can report that he's currently sitting with about 18,000 chips. (Starting stack was 15,000.)
We know Graham Parkin also has some followers - thanks for the comment Tim Berry. Parkin is faring even better. He has 39,500, which is more than double his starting stack.
There were close to 300 players starting here today, so it's obviously impossible for us to keep updated with everyone at all times. However, if there's anyone in particular you'd like us to look out for, please leave a comment in the box below and we'll do our best to track their progress.
And if you have a bit of biographical information about them too, that's all the better to aid the coverage. We can also be bribed with Jaffa Cakes. -- HS
*Important legal point: this boy is not really playing.
Reporting team in Galway: Howard Swains and Nick Wright