UKIPT Galway, Day 4: Levels 26-30 updates (50,000-100,000)

ukiptthumb.JPG5.20pm: Emmett Mullin wins UKIPT Galway and €100,000
We have a champion and it's Emmett Mullin.

In the final hand Ronan Gilligan raised to 200,000 on the button and Mullin made the call.

The flop of 6♠3♦2♣ was where the fireworks went off. It was checked to Gilligan who c-bet 400,000 only for Mullin to check-raise to 950,000 total. After getting a count of this bet Gilligan announced all-in and Mullin almost beat him into the pot.

Mullin: 3♠3♥
Gilligan: 7♠7♣

Mullin was well ahead with his flopped set and both sets of fans were vociferous in their support for their man, alternating cries of 'seven, any seven,' and 'hold,' could be heard.

The turn card was the [10d] by this point Gilligan had come centre table so he could be the first to see the river which was the Q♣. Mullin had done it, the two players shook hands and Mullin then walked over to his rail (which included Stephen Devlin) and they embraced the newest UKIPT champion. -- NW


UKIPT Galway Champion Emmett Mullin

5.10pm: Back under way
The two heads up players have returned to the table and it's under way again. -- HS

4.55pm: Break time
That's the end of level 29 and players are on a 20 minute break. Join us right here for level 30. -- NW

4.45pm: Big pot alert
Well the spectators finally got the big pot they'd be craving.

Ronan Gilligan opened to 160,000 from the button and Emmett Mullin made the call, so far so standard. But it was on the flop of 3♠5♥2♥ that we got the first inkling that this pot might get big. Mullin check-raised Gilligan's c-bet of 250,000 to 750,000 and Gilligan quickly called.

The turn was the 6♣, Mullin checked to Gilligan who slid out two towers of chips which totaled 1,000,000 straight. Quick as a flash Mullin announced all-in (for 2,475,000) and Gilligan called.

Mullin: 2♦2♠ - flopped set
Gilligan: 4♠3♥ - turned straight

Ronan Gilligan was now one card away from a UKIPT title, the dealer burned and turned the 6♠. Mulllin's fans went wild, Gilligan's were silent and whilst Mullin took it all in Gilligan ran away from the table, we think to the toilet, but we wouldn't blame him if he instead went to punch a wall or went in search of a cat to kick.

Heads-up play continues, chip counts now of 6,420,000 for Mullin, 3,585,000 for Gilligan. -- NW


Heads up play in Galway

4.30pm: On we go
"One sixty."
"One sixty."

That's how the past 30 minutes of the final table have gone, with the only notable exception being the following hand.

Ronan Gilligan opened to 160,000 and Emmett Mullin three bet to 400,000. Gilligan called. (He does this more frequently than Mullin, who has tended to fold to a three bet today.)

They went to a flop of A♥[10c]4♥ and after Mullin checked, Gilligan bet 400,000, which was good enough.

Gilligan has opened up a lead now. He has slightly more than six million to Mullin's four. -- HS

4.10pm: The biggest pots so far
Lots of little jabs and ducking and diving so far in this heads up contest; here's the two biggest pots that have happened in the last 20 minutes:

Hand One: Ronan Gilligan made it 160,000 on the button and Emmett Mullin smooth called from the big blind. On the flop of [10h]Q♥5♦ Mullin check-called a bet of 300,000.

The two players then checked it down on the J♦ turn and 4♠ river with Mullin showing Q♦8♦ to claim the pot.

Hand Two: A min-raise from Mullin was flat called by Gilligan and the two of them took a flop of 2♣8♦7♥. It was checked to Mullin and he bet 100,000, Gilligan check-raised to 275,000 and Mullin called.

The turn was the 2♦ and Gilligan fired out a bet of 400,000, call from Mullin. The Q♦ completed the board, Gilligan slowed down checking to Mullin who bet 500,000. This bet disgusted Gilligan who said: 'You've done me before with queen rag today," eventually though he called, Mullin showed 8♠6♦, Gilligan 8♣5♦ for a split pot.

This heads-up hasn't ignited yet, chip counts are roughly 5,700,000 to Gilligan and 4,300,000 for Mullin. -- NW

4pm: Three bet called
The fact that a three bet was called pre-flop is justification enough for a post. It's been kind of quiet other than that.

In this hand, Ronan Gilligan opened for 160,000 and Emmett Mullin three bet to 450,000. Gilligan called. They went to a [10h]Q♣A♠ flop, which both players checked. The turn was 2♦ and after Mullin checked, Gilligan bet 350,000, which was enough. It earned a round of applause from the crowd who have packed in here to watch their boy.

Shortly before that, Mullin had got a walk in the big blind and showed aces. -- HS

3.50pm: Heads-up play under way
After a short break, heads-up play is under way with just two big blinds separating the players. No antes in heads up play.


Heads up in Galway. Emmett Mullin, left, and Ronan Gilligan, right

Ronan Gilligan has been here before as he finished second to Max Silver at UKIPT Dublin in season one. -- NW

3.40pm: Joe Roberts eliminated in third place (€51,900*)
And just like that we're heads up here in Galway.

From the button Emmett Mullin raised to 150,000, Joe Roberts then moved all in for around 1,300,000 and as soon as Ronan Gilligan's cards had crossed the line Mullin announced call. On their backs:

Roberts: K♠J♣
Mullin: J♠J♥

Roberts fans crowded round and said: "Any king will do," but none came on the 5♥A♦8♥6♠T♥ board and the last remaining Englishman in the tournament is now out. There will be an Irish winner on Irish soil.


Joe Roberts, with headphones, eliminated

As a result of that hand Emmett Mullin has a slight chip advantage over Ronan Gilligan but it's oh so close as the stacks are 5,060,000 plays 4,945,000.

*See post at 3pm for details of changes to the payout structure.-- NW

3.30pm: Gilligan trims some from Roberts
These three are doing a pretty competent job of moving the same handful of chips around themselves, although there has been the occasional variation. It's notable that they all have a different sized opening raise of choice: Joe Roberts usually makes it 120,000 to go; Emmett Mullin makes it 125,000 and Ronan Gilligan asks for 150,000 to see a flop with him. (Blinds are 30,000-60,000.)

The only pot of any note began with a raise from the button from Roberts, his statutory 120,000. Gilligan called from the small blind and Mullin folded. The flop was 7♥A♠4♦, which they both checked, and then the 3♥ turned.

Gilligan bet 175,000 and Roberts called, taking them to a [10c] river. Gilligan checked, Roberts bet 200,000 and Gilligan called pretty much straight away.

"I have a ten," said Roberts.
"I have an ace," said Gilligan, and showed his A♦2♦, which was good. -- HS

3.15pm: News in brief from three handed play
In the opening dozen hands of three handed play there's not been too much significant action, Ronan Gilligan has stretched his chip lead to about 4,600,000, the one who's suffered most is Joe Roberts he's slipped to about 1,700,000 whilst Emmet Mullin has remained fairly static.

It's evident though that the chip leader is the one who's forcing the action right now. -- NW

3pm: Three handed counts, prize-pool alteration
The three remaining players are sitting with the following chips:

Ronan Gilligan, Ireland, PokerStars Qualifier, 4,110,000
Emmett Mullin, Ireland, PokerStars Qualifier, 3,600,000
Joe Roberts, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 2,295,000

They have also decided to amend the top-heavy payout structure, so the revised prizes for the top three places are as follows:

1 - €100,000
2 - €73,650
3 - €51,900

That means that first is getting €14,900 less than previously published, and that amount has been split across the two other podium positions. Third gets €10,000 of it and second €4,900. -- HS

2.50pm: Craig Burke out in fourth, winning €30,750
We are down to three in Galway as Craig Burke's tournament has come to a close. He had been moving in his short stack with increasing regularity, but finally he ran into a better hand.

Emmitt Mullin opened from the small blind, making it 125,000. Burke shoved from the big and Mullin called.

Mullin: A♠7♠
Burke: A♥3♦

The bigger ace stayed ahead throughout a board of 2♥5♦Q♠K♣[10h] and Burke is sent to find his €30,750 fourth place.


Craig Burke, fourth in Galway

Mullinn is up to about 3.5m. -- HS

2.40pm: Chip counts
As level 28 begins here are the chip counts of the final four:

Seat one - Emmett Mullin, Ireland, PokerStars Qualifier, 2,300,000
Seat four - Craig Burke, Ireland, 850,000
Seat five - Joe Roberts, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 3,100,000
Seat nine - Ronan Gilligan, Ireland, PokerStars Qualifier, 3,900,000


Ronan Gilligan, chip leader again

Ireland's Ronan Gilligan - who certainly has the largest cheering section - is back in the chip lead, although it's only Burke who's in any imminent danger of the rising blinds. -- NW

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 30,000-60,000 5,000 ante

2.30pm: Gilligan takes one from Mullin
The early exchanges of four handed play had been relatively tight and tense but Ronan Gilligan and Emmet Mullin just played the first significant pot of four handed play.

From under-the-gun Gilligan raised to 100,000 and then called when Mullin three-bet to 225,000. They saw a 5♥2♦9♣ flop, check from Gilligan, bet of 165,000 from Mullin, raise to 375,000 from Gilligan, call.

This created a pot of around 1,200,000 before the 7♦ came on the turn, Gilligan slowed down, checking it over to Mulllin who bet 380,000, call from Gilligan. The 4♦ completed the board, Gilligan checked quickly, Mullin dwelled for 30 seconds before following suit and rapping the table. Gilligan showed 4♠4♣ for a rivered set, although a pair of fours would've done it as Mullin had K♠6♣. -- NW

2.20pm: Aleksandras Rusinovas out in fifth, winning €24,150
Aleksandras Rusinovas has just bust, making this UK and Ireland Poker Tour event an entirely UK and Ireland affair.

The Lithuanian opened to 100,000 from under the gun and Emmett Mullin re-popped to 180,000 from the button. Rusinovas shoved for about 1,100,000 and Mullin, who covered his opponent, called.

Mullin also had the better hand with A♠Q♦ to Rusinovas's A♣[10c]. The flop came 2♦3♣4♥, giving a few chop outs. The turn 4♣ gave even more. (Any two, three, four or five would have chopped it.) But the A♥ decided it in favour of Mullin.


The end of Aleksandras Rusinovas's Galway adventure

Rusinovas wandered over to his vocal rail, leaving only those from the British Isles still in with a chance. -- HS


Aleksandras Rusinovas in happier times

2.15pm: Very quiet
After the elimination of John Willoughby, things have slowed again. Players are actually limping a lot pre-flop and then any aggression tends to take it.

Approximate counts:

Ronan Gilligan: 3,200,000
Joe Roberts: 2,800,000
Emmett Mullin: 1,800,000
Craig Burke: 1,200,000
Aleksandras Rusinovas: 1,100,000

2pm: John Willoughby eliminated in sixth place (€19,400)
Just two hands after losing that big pot John Willoughby moved all-in for 375,000 with A♠Q♦ from the cut-off and Aleksandras Rusinovas made the call from the button with A♦7♦. The flop of 7♣4♣3♣ saw the Lithuanian take the lead, and the K♥ turn and 8♣ river mean we're down to five players. -- NW


Willoughby - out in sixth

2pm: Ronan Gilligan doubles through John Willoughby
Start of day chip leader Ronan Gilligan had seen his chip stack cut in half during the opening 80 minutes of play but he just got a much needed double up that sends him, if not back to the chip lead, close to it.

He opening under-the-gun to 105,000, it folded to John Willoughby in the small blind and after a minute or so's thought he announced he was all-in, snap call from Gilligan.

Willoughby: 5♠5♥
Gilligan: K♦K♣

The board ran out J♦2♠9♥7♠[10c] Gilligan's all-in was for 1,245,000, whilst Willoughby is down to 390,000. -- NW
1.45pm: When big stacks go to war
Joe Roberts and John Willoughby were the players most willing to get involved in the opening level, although largely they stayed out of each other's way. That just changed, however, with a hand that went two bet, three bet, four bet, five bet jam and sent a sizeable pot to Roberts.

Willoughby got things started with a raise to 115,000 from under the gun. Folded to Roberts in the big blind, he three bet to 250,000. Willioughby then cut out 375,000 to four bet, but was later told by the dealer to make it 385,000 as the minimum.

He applied the extra 10,000, but it didn't seem to make much difference to Roberts. He announced all in, covering Willoughby, and forcing a fold out out of the Irishman. -- HS


Joe Roberts

1.35pm: Chip counts
During the break the tournament staff kindly did chip counts of the six remaining players. You can see them in seat order below or in chip order here.

Seat one - Emmett Mullin, Ireland, PokerStars Qualifier, 2,115,000
Seat four - Craig Burke, Ireland, 1,400,000
Seat five - Joe Roberts, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 2,295,000
Seat six - John Willoughby, Ireland, PokerStars Qualifier, 1,910,000
Seat seven - Aleksandras Rusinovas, Lithuania, PokerStars Qualifier, 1,030,000
Seat nine - Ronan Gilligan, Ireland, PokerStars Qualifier, 1,225,000

Players are back in their seats and play continues here in Galway. There's also PokerStars events going on in Copenhagen and Sao Paolo. In the latter a certain Daniel Negreanu has made the final table. -- NW

1.25pm: Break time
That's one level down and the players are now on a 15 minute break whilst tournament staff colour up and race off the yellow 1k chips. -- NW

1.20pm: Chip lead changes hands again
Joe Roberts is the new sheriff in town after winning a chunky pot against Ronan Gilligan. The latter got the action started by raising to 85,000 from under-the-gun+1. Roberts, from the small blind, was the only caller.

The two of them saw a flop of 4♦K♠6♣ and Roberts check-called a bet of 125,000. The J♦ turn checked through before Roberts fired out a bet of 258,000 on the J♠ river. The reaction of Gilligan was one of exasperation, nonetheless he counted out the calling chips from his stack and made the call in a manner that suggested he wasn't quite sure what else to do. Roberts turned over 6♥6♦, Gilligan nodded and mucked his hand.

After that hand Roberts now has around 2,400,000 whilst Gilligan, the start of day chip leader slips below a million. -- NW

1.10pm: Nick Abou Risk out in seventh, winning €14,700
Well the hat-trick dream will have to wait for another day as Nick Abou Risk has been sent to the rail in seventh. After Emmett Mullin opened to 80,000, Abou Risk moved all in for 605,000 and Mullin snapped with A♥J♣. Abou Risk had K♠J♥ and although he hit the K♦ on the flop, those first three cards also had the A♦ among them. The 5♥[10c]4♠ completed the board and Abou Risk was beaten. Out he goes in the unfamiliar position of seventh.


Nick Abou Risk, seated centre, is eliminated

Emmett Mullin takes over the chip lead. -- HS

1pm: Richard Haile out in eighth, winning €10,900
Well that didn't take long. Coming back to the "official" final, Richard Haile was the short stack (338,000) and he got it in with K♠Q♠ from under the gun. Craig Burke called with K♥K♣ - you would wouldn't you - and the board couldn't help Haile. It came 2♦J♥9♥5♠6♦.


Richard Haile, standing, out in eighth

Haile is the first out from the final, taking €10,900 for eighth. -- HS

12.56pm: Final eight
Read all about our finalists on our final table player profile page. And here they all are in a line:


Final table players in Galway (l-r): Richard Haile, Nick Abou Risk, Craig Burke, Emmett Mullin, John Willoughby, Ronan Gilligan, Joe Roberts, Aleksandras Rusinovas.

12.55pm: Joris Ruijs eliminated in ninth place (€7,800)
We're now down to the official final table.

It folded round to Joris Ruijs on the button, he announced that he was all-in and pushed his stack of just under 400,000 across the line. Chip leader Ronan Gilligan folded, but Emmet Mullin said call. As the crowd of some 40 or 50 moved closer to the action, Ruijs showed K♥5♠ whilst Mullin flipped A♠[10h]. The flop of ]7s]2♠A♣ all but killed the excitement and when the 2♣ fell on fourth street it was all over before the 4♥ completed the board.

The €7,800 Ruijs takes home is enough to play all the regular stops of the third season of the UKIPT. The remaining eight players are now on a short break as photos of the official final table of eight are taken and tournament staff do chip counts. -- NW


Joris Ruijs out in ninth

12.42pm: First four bet
We've just seen the first four bet of the "final" table. Joe Roberts opened to 80,000 from early position, Emmett Mullin made it 175,000 from the button, but Roberts' four bet to 360,000 got an insta-muck from Mullin. -- HS

12.40pm: Abou keeps the Risk to a minimum
Nick Abou Risk sat out the first 12 hands of play, which must be a record for him. He shoved on the 13th for 531,000 and got no callers. -- HS

12.35pm: More from Willoughby
John Willoughby has just picked up another chunk from Ronan Gilligan, again with connected spades in the hole. On this hand, he raised to 82,000 from the cut off and Gilligan defended his big blind with a call.

The flop was J♥A♦K♥ and Gilligan check-called Willoughby's 92,000 bet.

The turn was [10s], which was checked by both, and that took them to a J♣ river. Gilligan bet 125,000 and after Willoughby called, Gilligan seemed reluctant to table his cards immediately.

Willougby was less reticent, and turned over Q♠J♠ for the winning hand. Gilligan mucked. Willoughby is the big mover so far this morning.-- HS

12.30pm: Willoughby takes first pot of note
John Willoughby has taken the down the first pot of any real significance, earning about 400,000 from Ronan Gilligan. Willoughby opened to 82,000 from under the gun and Gilligan was the only called from mid position.

The flop came 6♠8♦A♥ and Willoughby bet 105,000. Gilligan called. That took them to a 9♥ turn, which Willoughby checked. Gilligan bet 175,000 and Willoughby called.

They both checked the J♣ river and Willoughby's A♠K♠ was good.

Willoughby has a big following on the Irish online poker forums, so here's a small one to chat about. Your man is looking especially comfortable beneath his Beats By Dr Dre white headphones. -- HS

12.25pm: Not the final eight
Nope, these are the final nine:


The "final" table that isn't a final table

12.20pm: Early inaction
The opening couple of orbits have been as expected here in Galway: tetchy. Both Joris Ruijs and Aleksandras Rusinovas have shoved already, but received no callers, and the only showdowns have been for tiny pots. Undoubtedly this will change very soon. -- HS

12.10pm: Starting
The players have unbagged their chips, the photos and preamble has been completed and cards are in the air. -- NW

11.50am: Final table time
Well, not actually the real final table, but close. There are only nine players left in Galway and they begin today crowded around one table in the Inis Mor Ballroom at the Radisson Blu Hotel.

The official final table on the UKIPT - in accordance with all PokerStars tours - only accommodates eight, so we need to lose one more until we publish player profiles and celebrate the real final table-ists, etc.

Here are the nine who will be jostling for those eight spots (chip counts alongside):

Ronan Gilligan - 2,489,000
John Willoughby - 1,382,000
Craig Burke - 1,283,000
Joe Roberts - 1,103,000
Emmett Mullin - 1,003,000
Aleksandras Rusinovas - 1,003,000
Richard Haile - 652,000
Nick Abou Risk - 647,000
Joris Ruijs - 440,000

Play is due to commence at noon, but there's no chance of that because it's almost that now and I can't see a single player. And no, that's not because I'm still in my room. Ho hum.

As soon as anything more meaningful occurs, details will be here. -- HS


Nick Abou Risk: Not actually at his third final table yet

Reporting team in Galway: Howard Swains and Nick Wright. Pictures by Mickey May.

Howard Swains
@howardswains in UKIPT