UKIPT3 Bristol: Day 1A level 1-4 updates (blinds 100-200)
4.28pm: End of the level
That brings us to the end of the first four levels of the day. Once again it's time for the players to take a short breather but we'll be back in 2 shakes of a lamb's tail (assuming the temporaral exchange rate to be around 10 minutes/lamb's tail shake.)
That's level 4 in the bag. Level 5 updates and beyond will be continued in a separate post.
See you soon. -- RS
4.22pm: Woodhead Severed
Stephen Woodhead has failed to conquer level 4, eliminated with just minutes remaining in the level. We joined the hand with Stephen Woodhead picking up his coat and leaving - A♠8♠ in front of him - his vanquisher Henrik Lyngmark showing down a dominating A♣K♥.
We had little details other than this, although two aces on the board the dealer was sweeping up suggested there may have been some justifiable post-flop action.
The upshot however means Woodhead departs and Lyngmark's stack is an impressive 25k. -- RS
4.20pm: Chip leaders
With almost four levels gone these players have more than or almost doubled their starting stack: Joe Grech (37,000), James Mitchell (33,000), Mark McCluskey (33,000), Thomas Ward (28,000) and Rich Trigg (28,000). -- NW
4.10pm: Owston out
It's not been a good level for the Welshman in this field as Dan Owston has also fallen prey to the tournament variance stick.
"I started the hand with 9,000," he told me. "There's been a raise under-the-gun to 350, a call and I make it 1,025 with 8♣7♣ from the hi-jack, the original raiser folded but the other player (Martin Hogarty) called. The flop was J-9-3 rainbow," he continued. "He check-called a bet of 1,450. The turn was the 2♣ - putting two clubs on board - and I moved in for about 6,500 and he called with [A][Q] which held." -- NW
4pm: Runner, runner....runner?
What we think* are Edward Ash and Kestutis Gecevicius just went to war preflop - the short-stacked Gecevicius calling a raise from Ash, which was then squeezed from the blinds.
Ash was going nowhere with pocket queens, moving all-in and Gecevicius felt there was enough value to make the call with T♦J♦
A flop of A♦5♠ left little room for Gecevicius to escape, though a 7♣ left a tiny chink in Ash's armour. That chink rapidly became a realistic possibility as the 9♣ turned to give him an inside straight draw.
It seemed almost inevitable that the poker gods would finish off the outdraw and they duly delivered with the 8♦ on the river.
"Runner, runner, runner," Ash observed glumly, down to 12k, whilst a fist-pumping Gecevicius swept up his newly promoted 8k stack.
*the seat order on the table may not be as we have it on our list. -- RS
3.50pm: Hawes saddled with regret
Richard Hawes' day has failed to pick up momentum as of yet - his rolling eyes speaking volumes as we approached his table.
"I'm playing rubbish," he revealed to us - although with 7k, this Hawes is not quite off to the glue factory just yet. -- RS
3.42pm: Dunwoodie done good-y
Recipient of most contrived pun of the day thusfar, Thomas Dunwoodie's stock has taken a sharp upturn courtesy of a hand contested with Richard Haile.
Dunwoodie limped in behind an early position limp from Victor Nosko, only for Haile to pop it up to 525 from the small blind.
Both players called, and they went 3 way to a flop of K♠4♠3♦.
Haile led out for 850 and was called by Dunwoodie once Nosko had thrown his hand in the muck.
The turn T♦ saw Haile check and Dunwoodie make a bet of 1850. Haile made the call.
Come the J♠ river, Haile now led out for 3,000, only for Dunwoodie to make a relatively quick and dramatic raise to 14,000, sending the chips down from on high like a Greek god raining fire upon humanity.
He had Haile covered but the decision took only a few moments to resolve, Haile calling for his tournament life, only to get the bad news that Dunwoodie had the nuts A♦2♦.
Sadly we didn't get to see Haile's cards, but that hand sees Dunwoodie raking in a very useful pot, propelling him to the lofty heights of 25,750 whilst Haile joined the growing rail on the sidelines. -- RS
3.35pm: The ramblings of Romanello
Roberto Romanello was kind enough to tell me about his exit hand and the hand before it as that was also key.
In the first of the two hands that led to his demise after a raise and a call, Romanello made it 1,450 with pocket kings, both players called the raise. They all checked an eight high flop and a nine came on the turn. It checked to Romanello who bet 1,600 and again both players looked the EPT champion up.
Another eight came on the river and when it checked to him Romanello bet 4,500, one player folded and then the other player moved all-in for 5,600 more. The Welshman folded face up and his opponent showed an eight.
So down to 9,300 on the next hand Romanello was dealt J♥9♥ and with two calls in front of him he made the call on the button. The flop came  with two hearts, the original raiser bet, Romanello raised to 2,400 and his opponent made the call.
An off-suit queen hit the turn, Romanello moved all-in and his opponent snap called with pocket queens to send him out of the tournament. -- NW
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 100-200
3.30pm: Smyth gaining a reputation
Niall Smyth has been attracting the attention of several of his tablemates, having shown a propensity to make a bluff or two in the early levels.
"Watch this guy," Richard Harris warned us. "Write down every hand he plays, he's at it all the time!"
"Couldn't bluff me though, I was too good for him," piped in Dave Oldacre, proudly showing off his 22k stack, having earlier picked off a Smyth bluff.
Smyth's tactics are paying dividends at this time, as he has risen to 24k... -- RS
3.25pm: One EPT champion down
Roberto Romanello is out of UKIPT Bristol, we missed his exit but he was seen walking out of the tournament room and down the stairs in search of a cash game. -- NW
The tournament board is showing that 220 of 233 entrants are left in this tournament. Late registration is still open for a few more minutes however. -- NW
3.10pm: Chip counts
A smattering of chip counts for you: David Lenz (14,200), Ben Jenkins (12,000), Kevin Williams (17,600), Martin Mulsow (18,500) and Paul McTaggart (19,000). -- NW
3pm: Raj Verma doubles up
From under-the-gun+1 Raj Verma raised to 350, he picked up two callers and the big blind then 'squeezed' making it 1,650 total. Back on Verma he wasn't done and re-raised to 2,900. The callers scarpered, but the big blind was going nowhere, he raised to 5,025.
This pot was now getting very serious, Verma decided to move all-in, it was 13,900 total and the action was back on the big blind. He now went into the tank, so much so that a couple of other players contemplated calling the clock. Eventually though he made the call, leaving himself about 5,000 back.
Big blind: A♥J♦
"Oh my god," "Wow," and "What," were just three of the reactions upon seeing the big blinds hand. The 2♥9♥6♥ flop though gave the big blind a boat load of outs, but he missed them al on the 9♦ turn and 7♦ river.
"You dodged half the deck," said Matt Dale to Verma. "Would you have taken a chop on the flop?" asked Jon Spinks of Verma, who is now up to almost 30,000. - NW
2.45pm: Trigger Firing Bullets
Rick Trigg was bemoaning his fortune earlier, but he has put his woes behind him, rising imperiously to 22,500, well above his initial starting stack.
He has done so despite the close attentions of the inimitable Viktor Nosko, seated to his direct left.
"This guy won't let me play my game. Can't put a chip in a pot without him jumping in!" Trigg told us.
"It's nothing personal. I like you," Nosko(13,750) added.
"I like you too," Trigg agreed.
An amiable but competitive relationship breaking out between these two... -- RS
2.30pm: Play back underway
Cards are back in the air here in Bristol. A quick trawl of twitter during the break informs me that Jamie Dale is on 19,600, Matt Crocker has 16,150 and Sam Holden has slipped to 6,500. -- NW
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 75-150
2.20pm: The curious incident of the pot in the daytime
I just saw one of oddest pots I've ever seen on the UKIPT, it involved a lot of table talk, a guest appearance from Roberto Romanello the masseuse and, sadly no showdown.
The action was started by Niall Smyth who made it 275 to go from under-the-gun, he was flat called by Martin Mulsow one seat along, only for a player known only as 'Richie', who was getting a massage at the time, to bump it to 675 from the cut-off. Both Smyth and Mulsow made the call.
The three of them saw a 7♠6♦5♠ flop, it was checked to Richie and he bet 1,525. Before either other player acted the table talk began. "If I get called I might check it down, it's a very scary board." Unperturbed by this speech wizardry Smyth made the call and Mulsow passed.
The [10c] came on the turn, Smyth checked to Richie who in 'poker player tells lie shocker' didn't check it down, but instead bet 3,525 and then went back into table talk mode. "I'm committed now, it's a big pressure bet. You've got to think if you call this bet, how much am I going to have to call on the river?"
Whilst Smyth was thinking it over another player said. "Do not let him get into your head." Eventually Smyth did indeed make the call. The pot was now fairly chunky and the Q♠ completed the board. Now Smyth changed tack leading out for 6,000, leaving just 4,000 back.
"Why so much?" asked Richie. At this point Roberto Romanello crept up behind Richie (a friend of his obviously) and decided to play a little prank on him by replacing the masseuse who was at the time massaging Richie's back. Now whilst Romanello may have 'sick poker tekkers' he's obviously not much cop as a masseuse as Richie soon twigged on the old switcharoo.
Perhaps because of this, or perhaps because of the gravity of the situation he then stood up and said: "Sorry guys," due to the time he was taking over his decision. Eventually though he passed his hand and Smyth raked the pot. -- NW
2.02pm: Break it down
Well, with two levels in the can, the players are getting their first 20 minute break of the day to swap stories, brag about success, smoke, and stretch their legs before knuckling down for another hard face-off across the felt.
We'll be back in 20 minutes... -- RS
1.57pm: Another one bites the dust
Table 24 has seen an early departure, seat 8 blasting his way out of the tournament Doyle Brunson style - though his move with T♠2♣ on a 3♣4♠5♣ board was somewhat less successful than the 10-time WSOP bracelet winner as the board bricked out over turn and river,
"Thank you, good game," he commented as he left with one or two open-gaped mouths bidding him farewell.
An update on his identity should be with us shortly. -- RS
1.52pm: Uphill battle For Moorman
Chris Moorman is still searching for that spark of inspiration to ignite his tournament here.
His stack has been reduced further to a paltry 7,500.
"It's like the old days!" Chris joked, referring back to those troubled times when he couldn't get a live result for love nor money, despite winning accolade after accolade online.
At least with only seven chips or so, Chris is not having any problems stacking his chips - sometimes his achilles heel.
A silver lining perhaps? -- RS
1.40pm: Another table of death
I stumbled across another table of death on my last round. At this particular table lurked Jon Spinks (9,700), he finished fifth at UKIPT Brighton in Season 1, won the High Roller at UKIPT Edinburgh in Season 2 and has two WSOP final tables to his name. To his immediate left is Raj Verma (11,500), runner-up to Richard Sinclair at UKIPT Newcastle in Season 2. A couple of seats further along you'll find Matt Dale (16,900), doyen of the Bristol poker scene and a dangerous and unpredictable customer.
Lastly two seats to his left sits Chris O'Donnell (19,000), UKIPT Brighton champion from Season 2. That's a tough table. -- NW
1.33pm: Straight from the Hawes' mouth
Richard Hawes gave us a quick chip count of 13,500.
"I was doing better but had a little accident ahem!" he revealed mysteriously... -- RS
1.28pm: Trigg's house crumbles
Rick Trigg has already seen his starting stack plummit to 8,500, unable to avoid losing half his stack with J-Q on a J-Q-5 board.
His opponent held K-J and over the course of a K turn and J river, Trigg managed to escape complete oblivion, but was dealt some early damage... -- RS
1.18pm Feasting on the action
All of the following chip counts are garnered from the tables situated in the restaurant area: Dan Owston (16,000), Fergal Nealon (17,000), Sam Holden (14,650), Joe Grech (15,600), Jack Ellwood (18,000), Thomas Ward (16,500) and Sam Grafton (17,000).
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 50-100
1.12pm: Carter bad beats the devil
Dan Carter is a positive young man and he'll be feeling even more upbeat after his combo draw of 7♦9♦ on a Q♦5♦6♠ board got there on the 8♣ turn versus his opponent's pocket queens to secure a juicy chip stack of 28,000.
"Glad I wasn't on the receiving end of that!" tweeted a jubilant Carter, who is now well-placed as one of the chip leaders... -- RS
1.02pm: Cooler weather predicted
Even with 15,000 stacks, it's pretty hard to avoid trouble when you are dealt pocket kings in the small blind and the big blind has the bad grace and good timing to find pocket aces.
That was exactly the situation at table 24, seats 2 and 3 tangling in this unfortunate face-off. We'll have details of the combatants involved as soon as we get a full seating list, or possibly sooner - suffice to say one player is now up to close to 30k and one player is on the cusp of elimination... -- RS
12.55pm: Plan for the day
Tournament director Toby Stone has just informed me that the plan for the day is to play eight levels, with a 15 minute break every two levels and no dinner break, meaning play should be done around 9.15pm.
He also told me tables are breaking high to low, which means that the table of death (see 12.35pm post) will be among the first table to break. -- NW
12.50pm: Looking for the repeat
There are two UKIPT champions playing today, both Richard Sinclair and Chris O'Donnell are looking for their second UKIPT title. Sinclair is on a complete freeroll this season, as he won the UKIPT Champion of Champions event in December to give him entry to all regular stops of Season 3 of the UKIPT. - NW
12.41pm: Less is Moor
We're only a few levels in, but already the man, the myth the legend Chris Moorman is...struggling.
We joined the table with Moorman having just lost a pot, grumbling good-naturedly "I folded the best hand there."
This didn't stop him raising it up and receiving one caller before leading for 225 on the 9♦ 5♦ 9♣ flop, getting called and firing for 500 on the 2♣ turn.
His opponent now raised it up to 1225, leaving Moorman hovering for a while before quietly mucking his cards.
"I feel a bit sorry for you, you're getting bullied a bit here!" commented one of his table-mates - Moorman laughing with his chip stack down to 13.9k.- RS
12.30pm: Three rooms
The players are spread across three areas here in Bristol.
In the main card room there are 14 tables, sharing one are Rich Trigg, Richard Haile and local legend Victor Nosko. The latter has been playing cards for longer than many of these players have been alive and has a cash from 1993 on his Hendon Mob database.
In the supplementary room - where the UKIPT Online final table was played - there are seven tables in use. Among the players situated in this area are Jamie Dale and Ben Jenkins.
Finally, on the other side of the casino in what is usually the restaurant, we find poker players seated at six tables - with another two empty ones should they be needed. It's here that I found an early contender for table of death: Sam Holden, Jack Ellwood, Joe Grech and Fergal Nealon are all on the same table. Yikes!
Interested or otherwise, Chris Moorman and Dan Owston will have a good view of any action at that table as they're playing on adjacent tables. -- NW
12.15pm: Star watch
The seasonal air outside may be cool and crisp, but it hasn't dissuaded a number of sizzling UK names from piling into Bristol for their shot at a UKIPT title.
Nikhil Persaud, Rick Trigg, Dan Carter, Dan Owston, Marc Wright, Sam Grafton, Chris Moorman and Wayne Bentley are just some of the names guaranteed to cause a few ripples in the tournament as the day proceeds. - RS
12.10pm: Cards are in the air
Play is underway here in Bristol. -- NW
12pm: Welcome to UKIPT Bristol
It's the fifth leg of UKIPT season three and for the last UKIPT of 2012 the tour has touched down at a new venue, the Gala Harbourside casino in Bristol no less. Players have been clamoring for a stop in the South West of England and they've finally got one.
Whilst the venue may be new to the tour, you can expect the same superb structure, 15,000 chips, one-hour clock, all the levels and a big field as we're expecting around 500 players across the two days.
Now we all know poker players like to moan, usually about non poker things like the buffet. But they've got no excuses this time round as the casino is located just a stones throw from the biggest restaurant in the UK, Za Za Bazaar and it's a buffet restaurant. Feast on that poker players.
The tournament is about to start there are at least 225 players registered so far, although Wojtek Barzantny, who won the UKIPT Online event yesterday will be playing Day 1B as will Team PokerStars pros Liv Boeree and Vicky Coren. If you missed it this is how Barazntny won UKIPT Online yesterday.
Let's shuffle up and deal.
PokerStars Blog reporting team in Bristol (and their favourite Bristolian phrase) :Rod Stirzaker (alright my lover) and Nick Wright (gert lush). Photos by Mickey May (Ow bist me babber).