UKIPT3 Dublin: Day 4, level 23-26 updates (blinds 20,000-40,000, ante 4,000)

ukiptthumb.JPG4pm: Break time
The five remaining players are now on a 20 minute break. You can find the level 27 updates by clicking through this link. -- NW

3.55pm: Graeme Crozier eliminated in sixth place (€16,400)
It's likely Graeme Crozier will be cursing both Stephen McGrath and ace-king tonight as that combo has done him in at this final table.

He raised to 90,000 from under-the-gun, next to act Stephen McGrath picked up a handful of turquoise 25k chips, looked like he was going to raise, looked at Crozier's remaining stack (about 700,000) and then elected to just call. Everyone else left them to it and they took a flop of A♦[10c]6♥.

First to act, Crozier fired out a bet of 140,000, McGrath first counted out a call, then went back for more chips and elected to raise to 290,000 total. Now Crozier took his time, looking at McGrath, looking back at his cards and then at his stack. After weighing it all up he moved all-in for around 700,000 total and McGrath made the call.

Crozier: A♠J♥
McGrath: A♣K♦

Crozier needed either running tens, sixes or one of two remaining jacks to stay alive, but the board ran 7♠[10h] to send him out in sixth place, McGrath meanwhile is now up to 3,100,000 and this final table has a clear chip leader for the first time. -- NW


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Crozier - out in sixth


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McGrath has over a third of the chips in play


3.40pm: Buis down to 10 bigs
It looks like the UKIPT3 Dublin title will be going to either the UK or Ireland as the only man who can prevent that, Dutchman Vincent Buis, is down to just 10 big blinds, making him the shortest stack by some margin.

He was reduced to that amount after losing a hand to Seamus Birt, the Irishman made it 90,000 from the hi-jack and Buis called from the cut-off. The two of them saw a flop of J♠Q♥Q♦, c-bet of 115,000 from Birt, call from Buis. The 8♣ fell on the turn, Birt bet 260,000 which was enough to force a fold from Buis.

That took him down to 440,000 and he then limp folded the next hand and now has just 400,000. -- NW

3.35pm: O'Neill slips as Crozier tries to bulldoze back in
Padraig O'Neill, who seems to spend half his time out of his seat talking to his rail, which includes Nicholas Newport and Dara O'Kearney, lost a pot to Stephen McGrath and didn't look too happy about it. O'Neill opened his button for 80,000 and then called McGrath;s three-bet of 160,000. McGrath led 150,000 into the 4♣3♠7♦ flop and O'Neill passed.

The hand after that O'Neill lost another pot after raising 80,000 from the cut-off and passing to Graeme Crozier's 700,000 button shove. That moves former chip leader Crozier back up to 860,000. -- RD

3.20pm: Evans takes one down
Richard Evans seems to be playing a cagey game here but it's certainly keeping his stack. Seamus Birt opened the button for 85,000 and Evans defended his big blind. The T♥6♣8♣ flop was checked by both players before Evans led 86,000 into the 9♦ turn. It was enough to win the pot. -- RD


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Riichard Evans: Welsh boy in action


3.15pm: Stephen McGrath doubles through Graeme Crozier
Disaster for start of day chip leader Graeme Crozier who now finds himself the short stack.

He opened under-the-gun to 80,000, next to act Stephen McGrath bumped it to 200,000, it folded back round to Crozier who made it 500,000, McGrath looked to the heavens then moved all-in for 910,000 and Crozier called.

Crozier: Q♠Q♣
McGrath: A♠K♣

The flop of 3♠2♣2♦ changed nothing. "That's bad, that's bad," I could hear McGrath's rail muttering just behind me. The turn was the 9♣, "Come on, come on," his rail urged. And sure enough the A♥ fell on the river, "That's amazing," they shouted, indeed from being one card away from elimination McGrath is now the chip leader with 1,900,000.

Meanwhile Crozier is down to 725,000 after that hand. -- NW


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Stephen McGrath


3.15pm: 'All-in and a call'
Those words have just floated over to the press desk. Details to come. -- RD

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 20,000-40,000, ANTE 4,000


3.05pm: Skirmishes
The blinds are about to go up and play will be increasingly shallow, an average of 35 big blinds. The money jumps are getting significant but everyone still seems willing to play, all but Vincent Buis who decides to leave the final table for a personal cigarette break. That's one way to handle the pressure.

Graeme Crozier wins a small one against Padraig O'Neill with pocket deuces and wins another raising from the cut-off. Seamus Birt gets a walk and then beats Buis check-raising a polarised 2♣3♣5♣ flop. -- RD

3pm: Chip counts
We're updating chip counts frequently on our UKIPT Dublin chip count page here's how it currently stands. There's no runaway chip leader or obvious short stack, Stephen McGrath, who's the current short stack, has over thirty big blinds.

Seat one: Padraig O'Neill, 1,575,000
Seat two: Graeme Crozier, 1,275,000
Seat three: Stephen McGrath, 1,050,000
Seat four: Seamus Birt, 1,525,000
Seat five: Vincent Buis, 1,300,000
Seat six: Richard Evans, 1,800,000


2.55pm: Beware the Birt
In the opening two a bit levels Seamus Birt has definitely been one of the quieter players, but when he has played a pot he's played it aggressively. Just now he opened to 75,000 from the hijack and Graeme Crozier gave him a spin from the big blind.

On the flop of A♣J♦4♣ Birt c-bet 80,000, Crozier check-raised to 200,000 only for Birt to slide out a tower of 25,000 chips to make it 600,000. This was too rich for Crozier and he mucked pretty swiftly. -- NW


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Seamus Birt


2.45pm: Buis gets there
The stacks are very bunched right now and that's creating a few multi-way pots, which is rare for final tables. In the latest example Stephen McGrath opened to 62,000 from middle position and Vincent Buis (button), Richard Evans (small blind) and Padraig O'Neill all called.

The flop fell K♥5♣J♦, it checked to McGrath who bet 65,000 only Buis called, McGrath fired 150,000 on the A♥ turn and again Buis called. The 8♣ completed the board, McGrath fired a third barrel, 225,000 this time and Buis swiftly called. McGrath showed Q♠J♠, whilst Buis revealed J♥8♥ for flopped second pair, turned flush draw and rivered two pair, McGrath gave a shake of the head at the outdraw he'd just suffered. -- NW

2.40pm: More for Evans
Although he's only got a slender chip lead Richard Evans just increased it. From the big blind he called a raise of 65,000 raise from Graeme Crozier and the two of them checked it all the way on a board of 4♣6♦[10d]A♠A♣, Evans showed a trappy A♥K♣. -- NW

2.35pm: Buis slides
There's a reason most players don't like to limp in, you just don't know what the big blind might have. Vincent Buis might remember that after this last flop. Buis limped for 30,000 and Graeme Crozier checked his big blind. Buis levelled a 35,000 bet at the J♣A♣6♣ flop and Crozier check-raised to 103,000. Buis made the call.

The rest of the action was checked down on the J♣A♣6♣A♠2♥ board with Crozier asking if he'd been counterfeited. He showed J♦6♠ to beat Buis' flushing K♣T♠. The Dutchman drops to 600,000. -- RD


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Fish and chips


2.30pm: A few hands
- Greame Crozier opens the button for 65,000, Seamus Birt defends. The action is checked to the Q♦7♣4♦Q♣8♠ river. Crozier wins with K♠8♦.
- Padraig O'Neill raises and takes from the hijack.
- Stephen McGrath raises and takes from the cut-off.
- O'Neill gets a walk in the big blind and flashes king-queen. -- RD

2.20pm: Did McGrath miss value?
Stephen McGrath continues to get the better of young Padraid 'Smidge' O'Neill in the pots they're playing against one another.

In their latest encounter O'Neill made it 60,000 on the button, McGrath three-bet to 130,000 from the big blind and O'Neill made the call. It was checked all the way to the river on a A♥K♦7♦7♠10d] board before McGrath bet 150,000, O'Neill swiftly called, only for McGrath to reveal a slow-played A♠7♣, O'Neill showed the A♦ and ruefully shook his head, suggesting perhaps that he had a pretty decent kicker to go with his ace and that McGrath could have got more. -- NW

2.10pm: Four-way action
Almost a family pot right now as four players took a flop. The action was started by Graeme Crozier who made it 65,000 to play, he got calls from Seamus Birt (button), Vincent Buis (small blind) and Richard Evans (big blind).

The flop of 5♣3♦2♣ was checked to Crozier who bet 175,000 both Buis and Evans called. The Q♣ turn was checked through as was the 4♣ river, Evans showed K♣3♣ for the second nuts, Crozier mucked and Buis showed 5♠4♠ as he folded.

That pot means Evans is probably now chip leader. -- NW

2pm: Play resumes
Six players remain. They're back at the final table with Seamus Birt on the button. Vincent Buis won the last two hands of the last level. Calling Padraig O'Neill's three-bet out of position with pocket queens and jamming a ten-high flop and then beating Graeme Crozier in a hand that played down to the river to chip him up to 894,000. Buis has pulled himself back into contention but still has work to do. -- RD


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Vincent Buis


LEVEL UP: BLINDS 15,000-25,000, ANTE 3,000


1.50pm: Chip counts
We're updating chip swings as they happen on our live UKIPT Dublin chip count page but the official counts from the break are here:

Seat one: Padraig O'Neill, 1,934,000
Seat two: Graeme Crozier, 1,846,000
Seat three: Stephen McGrath, 1,299,000
Seat four: Seamus Birt, 1,202,000
Seat five: Vincent Buis, 894,000
Seat six: Richard Evans, 1,406,000

And what they're playing for...

1st - €100,000
2nd - €59,200
3rd - €36,300
4th - €26,800
5th - €20,700
6th - €16,400

Some big money up for grabs here in Dublin. -- RD


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Padraig O'Neill holds a marginal chip lead, six remain


1.46pm: Break
Players are now on a 15 minute break. -- NW

1.45pm: Unconventional but effective
We've seen during the course of this tournament that Stephen McGrath is anything but conventional (he supports Everton for one) he often takes strange lines in hands, but for now, at least, they appear to be working, keeping his opponents guessing.

Richard Evans opened to 56,000 from the cut-off and McGrath smooth called from the big blind. On the flop of Q♦9♣6♠ McGrath led into Evans with a bet of 60,000, call from Evans. Both players checked the 3♦ turn before McGrath fired 100,000 on the A♠ river. After about 30 seconds thought Evans gave it up and McGrath tapped the table to indicate it was a good fold. -- NW

1.40pm: Squeeze
"We haven't seen one of these yet," said Fergal Nealon to me as Richard Evans slid out a bet of 164,000 from the small blind. The action had been started by Seamus Birt who made it 53,000 from the cut-off, Vincent Buis flat-called on the button and Evans then made his move from the small blind.

Back on Birt he quickly passed, but Buis dwelled before he too folded, showing the A♦ as he did so. -- NW

1.35pm: McGrath takes one down
There hasn't been that much three-betting so far at the final table but Stephen McGrath just pulled that club out of his bag to good effect.

It folded to Graeme Crozier on the button and he raised to 52,000, McGrath made it 125,000 from the small blind and Crozier made the call. The flop came down K♣7♠[8c and McGrath quickly slid out a bet of 175,000, there was no instant fold from Crozier though, he tanked for a couple of minutes before folding. -- NW

1.28pm: More for Crozier
Graeme Crozier came into the final table with the chip lead and doesn't look like he'd be satisfied just guiding his stack into the final few spots. Crozier opened his button and Seamus Birt made the call from the big blind.

Birt check-raised the flop from 58,000 up to 135,000 and Crozier made the call. Birt fired 130,000 into the A♥ turn and Crozier quickly raised to 335,000. Birt passed. Crozier now up to 2,000,000. -- RD


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Graeme Crozier


1.18pm: The stacks as they measure up
Seat one: Padraig O'Neill, 2,100,000
Seat two: Graeme Crozier, 1,750,000
Seat three: Stephen McGrath, 1,000,000
Seat four: Seamus Birt, 1,600,000
Seat five: Vincent Buis, 500,000
Seat six: Richard Evans, 1,400,000

Buis may be short stacked but he does not look the type to let himself blind to death. Should be interesting. -- RD

1.10pm: Crozier and McGrath tangle in the blinds
Graeme Crozier opened from the small blind to 54,000 and Stephen McGrath three-bet to 107,000 from the big. Crozier came back over the top for 216,000 and McGrath passed. Crozier looks in the zone. -- RD

1.06pm: Keith Swain out in 7th (€12,600)
A short stacked Keith Swain got it all-in for 140,000 over the opening raise of 62,000 from Vincent Buis.

"Call me if you want," said Swain.

Buis called and was a long way ahead with pocket fives to Swain's pocket threes. It was a good run from the man from Birmingham, but he couldn't find a trey to double up. Buis up to 500,000. -- RD


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Keith Swain: out in 7th


12.55pm: Swain getting short, Buis continuing to bully
Coming into this final table both Keith Swain and Vincent Buis had under 15 big blinds, definite short stack territory.

We've seen a different approach from the two of them during the first hour of this final table. The latter has been bullying his way back into contention, he's (mostly) been shoving his way back into contention and is now up to around 400,000. Whilst Swain, is now getting very short on chips, he's moved in once and got no takers but other than that he's yet to win a pot.

It doesn't help that whenever it folds to Padraig O'Neill in the small blind he's simply setting Swain all-in, card dead and spot dead, not a great combo. He's down to about six big blinds now. -- NW


LEVEL UP: BLINDS 12,000-24,000, ANTE 3,000


12.43pm: Atherton coolered into 8th place finish (€9,600)
What a grim start for Lee Atherton. Two huge coolers, one of which he was able to get away from, have sent him to the rail.

Cooler one: Richard Evans opens for 43,000 from middle position and Atherton announces a raise, but due to string betting rules it's stands as a min-raise to 66,000. Evans re-pops it to 176,000. Atherton calls with 552,000 behind. Evans hammers 240,000 into the A♣7♣K♦ flop and Atherton, groaning, makes the fold. Atherton has since told us that he held queens, Evans revealed that he flopped a set of kings.

Cooler two: Just one hand on and Padraig O'Neill opens to 40,000 from middle position. Atherton makes the call in the cut-off and Seamus Birt makes it up on the big blind. The 3♠J♥9♥ flop was c-bet by O'Neill for 63,000. Atherton raised to 140,000, leaving himself 365,000 behind and O'Neill jammed all-in. Snap call.

O'Neill: J♠J♦ for top set
Atherton: 9♠9♣ for middle set

"No one outer," said O'Neill.

There was no one outer and Atherton was sent to the rail. Absolutely torrid turn of events for Atherton. That's back to back deep runs for the man from Timperley, 8th here and 15th at UKIPT Nottingham. -- RD

12.30pm: Fourth street still waiting its turn
Flops have been rare, although there have been a couple, but no hand has yet reached the turn and we're a dozen hands into this final now. But here's a recap of the hands that have seen some post-flop action:

- Padraig O'Neill made it 40,000 to go from the hi-jack and Stephen McGrath called out of the big blind. The flop was Q♣A♠J♦ McGrath check-raised O'Neill's c-bet of 42,000 to 100,000 and O'Neill folded.

- Seamus Birt made it 43,000 to play from the small blind and Vincent Buis peeled from the big blind with only around 13 big blinds behind. The flop of 7♦A♣7♣ elicited a c-bet of 55,000 from Birt and Buis mucked his hand.

- From middle position Vincent Buis raised to 46,000 and both Lee Atherton (small blinds) and Graeme Crozier (big blind) called. So three-way to a flop of 3♥K♣5♠ both blinds checked to Buis whose bet of 78,000 won him the pot. The Dutchman has certainly been the most active player at the final table so far, whilst the other short stack, Keith Swain, is yet to play a pot. -- NW


12.20pm: Two apiece
The first four hands of the final table have passed without major incident with four raise and takes. Vincent Buis has moved all-in twice and got no takers, although the second time he did so Lee Atherton looked interested but after a dwell of about 10 seconds he too flicked his cards towards the muck.

The other two pots have gone to Stephen McGrath on the first he made it 65,000 to play and showed A♠Q♦ when everyone folded. -- NW

12.10pm: Play begins
Cards are in the air.

12pm: Final table profiles
It took just over 23 levels of play to whittle a field of 597 down to the elite eight. Five Brits, two Irish and one Dutchman will contest the final table with the UK's Graeme Crozier leading the way. The final table is due to start at noon.

Seat One: Padraig O'Neill, Ireland, PokerStars Player, 1,347,000
Padraig is a 23-year-old full-time poker player from Ireland who always plays the game with a smile on his face. "I've seen it all. There's no point getting upset if you get sucked out on, it's only a game isn't it," he said.

His biggest win to date is around $10,000 and he says making the final table is his greatest achievement in poker. He got into the game through playing in a home game and has been playing for around three and a half years. He mixes playing online tournaments with live cash.

Away from the felt he's a keen Gaelic Football fan and says that if he wins he'll probably go to Las Vegas.


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Padraig O'Neill



Seat 2: Keith Swain, United Kingdom, PokerStars Player, 282,000

He may have just over a tenth of the big stack on the final table, but Keith Swain has made a few final tables before and is cheerfully looking forward to a chance to play Day 4 in the hopes of lifting his first trophy. Swain hails from Birmingham, where he plays live once or twice a week, but he also plays on PokerStars.

Swain said of UKIPT Dublin, "It's a different level of poker compared to your £50 tournament. The standard here is excellent." He considers his strength in reading people to be an asset which he has put to use throughout the tournament, although admits that it "doesn't help if you're moving table regularly". That will no longer be a problem for the business owner, there's just one table left.


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Keith Swain


Seat 3: Lee Atherton, PokerStars Player, United Kingdom, 846,000
Last month Lee Atherton finished 15th at UKIPT Nottingham for £8,000. It was a nice pay day but not the UKIPT final table he'd been aiming for. Just one tournament on, he's made that next step. "It feels pretty awesome. I've felt for a few years that I've been capable of making this kind of final table. I've got some decent experience at this buy-in level so I'm feeling quite confident about tomorrow," he said.

Atherton, 39, has won a couple of live tournaments before, taking home £17,840 in a £1,050 six-max event and £9,080 in a £500 tournament. He's no slouch online either where his biggest score was for $25,000. Atherton, who is married with two boys; eight-year-old Alfie and five-year-old George, said that his wife has been "unbelievably supportive" of his poker career, which saw him play full-time for 18 months. He now plays part-time and works full-time as a software tester. Atherton starts with an average stack and is certainly a threat at the final table.


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Lee Atherton


Seat 4: Graeme Crozier, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 1,949,000
Going into the final as chip leader is 43-year-old tax advisor Graeme Crozier, who spent just €80 attempting to qualify for this UKIPT Main Event online. His last €10 satellite did the trick. A group of his friends, regulars at his local casino, have also been trying out the online satellite looking ahead to the next UKIPT event. "I was the guinea pig this time around," said Crozier, "If I win, I have to pay for the 10 of them to enter in Newcastle!"


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Graeme Crozier


Seat 5: Stephen McGrath, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 992,000
Liverpool's Stephen McGrath, an auditor for Jaguar, has final tabled his first ever UKIPT, having won his seat on PokerStars.co.uk. The 50-year-old is being cheered on by a Dublin-based relative who is delighted to follow the UKIPT first timer from the rail. McGrath is playing in his biggest ever live event, and has already guaranteed his biggest live cash.


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Stpehen McGrath


Seat 6: Seamus Birt, Ireland, 1,805,000
Seamus Birt, 54, plays poker a couple of times a week (No Limit Hold'em tournaments and PLO cash) and also manages his own small business. Birt enjoys the deep-stacked UKIPT festivals; he's played Cork, Galway and here in Dublin.

Birt bought in direct to the Main Event for "the craic and the chance to win a lot" although should he take down the €100,000 first prize - his biggest ever cash - he intends to help his daughter out buying a house. He has dedicated his event to his father's memory, and looks in good shape to contend for the top spot out of 597 entrants tomorrow. He comes in second to the final table.


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Seamus Birt


Seat 7: Vincent Buis, Netherlands, PokerStars Player, 253,000
31-year-old Vincent Buis from Opmeer in Holland decided to buy into UKIPT Dublin after his brother won a seat on PokerStars.co.uk. No stranger to live poker success, Buis won an event here in Dublin for €43,025 in February and is hoping to emulate that success today.

Buis used his February winnings to set up his own company, the Star Poker Travel Agency, and is still considering what he would do with a €100,000 first prize at UKIPT Dublin.


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Vincent Buis


Seat 8: Richard Evans, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 1,090,000
The 46-year-old from Portmeirion village in North Wales is only playing in his second live poker tournament, and has made his second live cash. After cashing in 65th place at UKIPT Nottingham Season 3, Evans is continuing his solid run by making the UKIPT Dublin final table.

Richard satellited into both events via PokerStars.co.uk, and has now turned a €44 satellite buy-in into a minimum €9,600 cash. Richard's friends and family are cheering him on back in Wales, and will be following all the action tomorrow. Evans was down to just two big blinds yesterday and rode an incredible comeback to get up to a million.


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Richard Evans


PokerStars Blog reporting team in Dublin (in order of whether they knew who ex-footballer David Speedy was): Nick Wright (yes, rattled off the clubs he played for) and Rick Dacey (no idea, some chuffer). Photos by Mickey May (no point even asking).

Rick Dacey
@PokerStars in UKIPT