UKIPT3 Newcastle: Day 1A, level 1 - 4 updates (blinds 100-200)
4.35pm: Break time
Unfortunately for them, these players will not be returning for level 4: Andreas Liljenberg, Sean Davey, D. Hutchinson, Jeff Burke, Robert Finlay, Saiful Choudhury, David Taylor, Jeff Smith, Tariq Ahmed, James Ball, Eamonn Blake.
Level 5 updates will appear in a new post shortly. -- MC
4.25pm: Young left out in the cold, Lyall hovering
Richard Young thought that the J♥J♣Q♥ flop was ideal for his holding of king-jack. The problem was that a player was sat two seats along with ace-jack. The chips went in and it was bye-bye to Mr. Young.
As this hand was playing out, Dean Lyall was extracting chips from a neighbour on an adjacent table. His mid position raise was only called by the player in the hijack. Both players checked the 9♣A♦4♠ flop before Lyall went on to bet 525 and 2,025 on the 3♦Q♣ turn and river. His opponent called both times and mucked when Lyall opened A♣6♣. -- MC
4.15pm: McTaggart gets a double up
There's a large group of talented players who've made more than one deep run in a UKIPT without quite having that big bink. One of those is Paul McTaggert, the Scottish player has finished 16th and 19th respectively at UKIPT Edinburgh in the past two seasons.
He's had a good start here in Newcastle tweeting (@BobaFettdozer11): Doubled to 34.5k, shoved river with KT on QJ896 and got a call. -- NW
Still in and grinding/prospering are: Tim Bettingen (11,800), Alan Vinnicombe (14,200), Dean Lyall (16,500), Sam Holden (23,000) and Scott Shelley (19,000). You can feast your eyes on more chip counts here. -- NW
"I won a seat by accident," said Dean Lyall to me as I eyed up his chip stack (16,500). Sensing a story I stuck around. "I won a satellite to another satellite whilst playing at home. The next satellite clashed with a night out, so I played it on my phone whilst we were at a mates house having a few drinks before we went out."
3.48pm: Haile the chief
Richard Haile is enjoying life. Why wouldn't you when you turn the nuts and get maximum value from your hand?
Adam Matues raised from under the gun and was called by Haile on the button, and Thomas Dunwoodie in the in the big blind. Matues continued on the T♦8♠Q♠ flop and was called by both players.
From that point on Haile took over the hand and bet the A♣6♥ turn and river when Matues checked to him. Dunwoodie bailed out on the turn but Matues stayed to the bitter end. He took a long time to call on the river, but mucked very quickly when shown K♥J♥ by Haile, who is up to 31,000. -- MC
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 100-200
3.35pm: More Fallers
There comes a point in a tournament where the rate of eliminations accelerates. We've reached that point!
Those to have hit the rail include: Wayne Fletcher, Nadeem Riaz, Petros Malactos, John Mann, William Champion, Richard Sinclair, Mark Hawks, Alan Mason, Chris Greensmith, Peter Brackley, and Lee Mulligan. We can also confirm that Joeri Zandvliet is out. -- MC
The tournament board is now showing that 246 players have entered the tournament today. Thus far around 20 players have been eliminated. Tournament staff are breaking tables in the upstairs area, just four tables remain in use upstairs. -- NW
3.12pm: Table of doom
There are certain areas of the tournament floor that were very difficult to get to, but that issue was been eased during the break. We are now able to get all the way to table one in the far corner. Good job we can get to that table too as it's got some great players sat around it's rail.
Paul "Action-Jack" Jackson's son, Ben Jackson, is sat with 13,800 chips. He's seen as a real talent and is already starting to make waves on the UK poker scene.
Two to his left is Ben Jenkins. He is part of the up and coming group of British players and finished 13th at EPT London last season for £27,000. He has 16,200 chips.
Another one of that group is Sam Grafton. He has a formidable reputation online playing under the handle, "samsquid". It will not belong before he has a big score live, and he's doing well on 28,500. -- MC
3pm: Sinclair struggling
The defence of his title is not going to plan so far for Richard Sinclair. The Scotsman also took down the UKIPT Champion of Champions event, giving him free entry into all Season 3 stops (bar EPT London), but he's down to 7,500 here in Newcastle. He's often spotted wearing a brightly coloured hoody, but today is dressed in a white t-shirt and purple hat, meaning this reporter walked past him several times before realising it was him. -- NW
2.50pm: Chip counts
Here's a few chip counts I collected on my last lap of the room: Martin Mulsow (17,000), Devron Hasslenook (6,300), Keith Hawkins (24,000), Sinem Melin (23,000), Jon Lundy (17,000) and Jamie Dale (20,500). -- NW
2.45pm: Dutchman not flying
The field just got a bit softer as Joeri Zandvliet is out. No details but he was down to 5,000 and is no longer in his seat. -- NW
2.40pm: Word from Twitter on break
Jeff "@jeffkimberpoker" Kimber: "27k from 15 first break. Just seen @SquidPoker trying to order a drink, gna step in as translator after another 10 mins #UKIPTNewcastle."
Sam "@Sam_Holden888" Holden: "30850 after 2 levels in Newcastle. Started with 15k 75/150 next. 1 hour levels."
Gareth "@GazWalker" Walker: "21k at the first break... most of that from 1 hand before will post that in a sec.... #UKIPTNewcastle." -- MC
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 75-150
2.13pm: Break time
Two levels have passed and the players are on their first break of the day.
2.05pm: A curious hand
Three players including Eamonn Blake saw a flop of 6♣8♥A♦, it checked to an in-position Blake who fired out a bet of 300 into the pot of 775. From the small blind, Peter McGlen made the call, only for Pete Wrigglesworth to check-raise to 1,050 total. Blake folded, but McGlen made the call.
Both players checked the 8♦ turn card to see the 2♦ complete the board, check from McGlen, and Wrigglesworth then threw out a really small bet of just 500 into a pot of over 3,000. Regardless, it was enough for McGlen to release his hand and the spoils went to Wrigglesworth.
2.03pm: The early departed
Ashley Locker has the unfortunate title of being the first player out at this year's UKIPT Newcastle Main Event. He was soon joined by David Scothern and Anthony Rafter. Not what any of them would've hoped for this morning. -- MC
1.55pm: Heinzelmann Up, Zandvliet Down
Maximilian Heinzelmann has played a few UKIPTs before but is best known for his EPT prowess. He achieved incredible back-to-back runner-up finishes at EPT San Remo and Berlin in Season 7.
He's up to 18,000 chips today and seems to be mixing it up in a lot of pots. He took his neighbour off a pot on a 4♦6♥3♥9♣ board. The German had check-called a bet on the flop before he led the turn. His opponent took surprisingly little time to fold to the turn bet.
Joeri Zandvliet, on the other hand, is all UKIPT. A formidable force, he is only one of two players with two titles to his name (Nick Abou Risk being the other). He has a lot of work to do to add a third though. We bumped into him on he way to the toilet and he informed us he's already down to 5,000 chips. -- MC
1.40pm: More match ups
As late registrants, or just late arrivals take their seats, a few more tables of note are taking shape. Jon Lundy and Jamie Dale (third UKIPT2 Edinburgh) are facing off on the felt as are Jeff Kimber and Joeri Zandvliett. The Dutchman obviously finding an hour at the felt a tough ordeal as he's currently getting a massage.The former is off to a good start but it could've been better, Kimber tweeted: "1st time I played hold em in ages n it shows. Shoulda doubled up wi 99 v fairly obv AK on AQ9K but ck call 2 streets n blocked dangerous riv." -- NW
1.25pm: Old School, New Style
Keith Hawkins has been around poker since the early days of the scene here in the UK, and is one of the players who haven't been left behind as the game's evolved.
He's made it to PokerStars SuperNova Elite status in the past due to his prowess on the head up tables on PokerStars, and is still a SuperNova and a force to be reckoned with today.
He's off to a positive start here, a lot thanks to flopping a full house versus Devron Hasselnook. We didn't catch any of the action until the river where Hawkin's pocket nines beat his Dutch opponent's pocket queens on a [a][a][x][k] board.
Martin Mulsow, third in Cork in Season 2, just took his seat across from Hawkins, making table 12 the official table of death.
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 50-100
1.10pm: Don't I know you?
I'm kind of a big deal around here...
Some of the names and notables we've spotted so far include: Dean Lyall, Jack Elwood, Jeff Kimber, Jamie Dale, Martin Mulsow and Nick Newport.
1.05pm: Table mates
Plenty of familiar faces and big names in the field today, some of them getting up close and personal from the start, Scott Shelley and UKIPT champion Gareth Walker sharing a table as are Sinem Meilin, Keith Hawkins and Devron Hasslenook.
Lots of tables player six or seven handed right now. -- NW
1.00pm: Holden in the house
Sam Holden is best known for making the November Nine at the 2011 World Series of Poker, and following that up with a 55th place finish at this year's event. That is an incredible achievement, but around these parts he's known for taking down the 6-Max tournament here at last year's UKIPT Newcastle.
He's off to a great start in the main event today after taking a chunk of chips off Stephen Flannigan.
When we approached the table the two players were heads up to the turn of a Q♦7♠8♦9♥ board. Around 2,500 had made it into the middle and Flannigan checked from under the gun, and called when Holden bet 2,500 from mid position. The river fell Q♣ and Flannigan led for 3,000. Holden took his time and shoved for approximately 10,500. Flannigan took little time and mucked his holding. -- MC
12.45pm: No value in poker, everyone's Grafton
I bumped into Sam Grafton as he was making his way up the stairs to the upper tournament room. A fixture on the UKIPT circuit since season one, Grafton is one we've heavily tipped on the blog to make a deep run at one of these soon (14th is his best finish to date).
But, it could be another Grafton that beats him to it as his brother Ben is also playing today: "He taught me to play," Sam told me. "He's actually pretty good." And Ben's twin brother Tom completes a triumvirate of Grafton's. "Tom doesn't play though," says Sam. "We tried to convince him to put the £770 in drawing dead from the start but he wimped out."
Play is split into two areas, there are around eight tables in use upstairs with the rest downstairs. As well as Grafton, Tim Bettingen and Alan Vinnicombe are in the upstairs area.-- NW
12.35pm: The plan for today
The UKIPTs have an extra day (five days total) to play out each stop this season, meaning the schedule of play is more relaxed. This is the most sociable poker tour in the UK so the shorter days allow players to enjoy the local cultural sites of each stop. Who are we kidding? It gives them more times to hit the local bars, something that's not in short supply in Newcastle!
Today we are scheduled to play eight one-hour levels, and there will be no dinner break. Play should finish before 9.30pm then. -- MC
12.20pm: Play Underway
The reasons for the delays have been resolved, and play is underway at UKIPT Newcastle. -- MC
12.15pm: Slight delay
Although play was set to start at noon, cards are not yet in the air here in Newcastle. During this brief delay why not catch up with what's been going on in the WCOOP.
12.00pm: Talk of the Toon
After a summer hiatus, filled mostly with sport, the UKIPT is back and it's appropriate that it's in Newcastle, a city known for it's feverish support of the Toon. We're hunkered down here at Aspers Casino just a Alan Shearer bicycle kick away from St James Park and even closer to the bar named after the star striker turned fence-sitting football pundit.
Last year's gold medal winner - Richard Sinclair - is here to defend his title and is playing today. Others who'll be looking for a podium finish and start their quest today include: two-time EPT runner-up Max Heinzelmann, local lad Jack Ellwood, bracelet winner Scott Shelley and two-time UKIPT champion Joeri Zandvliet.
PokerStars Blog reporting team in Newcastle and their 'Olympic' event of choice Marc Convey (busting tournaments before the first break) and Nick Wright (running for buses). Photos by Mickey May (caesar salad eating).