UKIPT Cork: Day 4, level 26 & 27 updates (Blinds 25,000-50,000 ante 5,000)

7.15pm: Adios Cork, hola London
Stay tuned for the wrap of today's final table, which will be on it's way shortly. There's not long to wait for the next stop of the UKIPT, which takes place in London March 5th-10th. Until then that's all folks. -- NW

6.51pm: Thomas Finneran wins UKIPT Cork
It's all over here in Cork, Stephen McGrath will have to settle for a second runners-up finish on the UKIPT as he couldn't overcome the deficit.

He had shoved once, showing aces and when he shoved again Thomas Finneran made the call.

McGrath: 6♣5♣
Finneran: Q♠8♠

The 4♠8♣3♦8♥Q♣ board gave the Irishman a full-house and a €55,440 payday whilst McGrath pockets €45,600 for his second place finish. -- NW

ukipt cork_day 4_thomas_finneran.jpg

Finneran wins!

6.47pm: Finneran wins a big pot; McGrath down to seven big blinds
The pots big or small have continued to go Thomas Finneran's way and Stephen McGrath is now in real trouble. The biggest pot they contested played out like this...

Finneran limped from the button and McGrath checked his option.

Flop: 8♥Q♦4♥ - check, check
Turn: A♣ - check, check
River: 2♠ - bet of 75,000 by McGrath, raise to 375,000 by Finneran, call from McGrath.

Finneran: 5♥3♣ - for the rivered straight
McGrath: A♥[10h] - for the flopped flush draw, turned ace and one pair.

After that hand McGrath is down to just seven big blinds. -- NW

6.43pm: Finneran in control
The last 15 minutes has seen no big pots played out, just a series of small pots, and at least 90% of them have been won by the Irishman.

For the most part, if Stephen McGrath's limped Finneran raised him off his hand; if McGrath raised Finneran three-bet him off his hand; if the hand made it to showdown, Finneran's high-card was enough.

The one pot McGrath did win saw him call a raise and lead on a 5♦8♦T♠ flop. Finneran folded.

All that meant that McGrath dropped to around one million chips to Finneran's 4.7 million. -- MC

6.30pm: Passive play post-flop preserves chip stacks
There's been little chip movement over the last dozen hands with most betting and calling being done pre-flop with the players content, for the most part, to check hands down to the river.

In fact Stephen McGrath has been mostly limping on the button and thus far Finneran has been content to counter this strategy by simply taking free flops. The Irishman has been the more aggressive of the two, opening most buttons to 100,000, but post-flop he's been content to either see free cards or take small stabs at pots.

If anything he's edged slightly further ahead, but it's pretty much as you were. -- NW

Heads-up action at UKIPT Cork

6.15pm: Big loss for McGrath on the first hand
The first hand of heads up play has seen Thomas Finneran reclaim the chip lead.

He raised to 100,000 and Stephen McGrath called to see the 6♥8♦2♥ flop come down. He led out for 100,000 and Finneran called to the 4♠ turn where he faced a 200,000 bet. Finneran raised this up to 450,000 and McGrath was not to be budged and called.

On the river McGrath came out firing for a relatively small 150,000 and made the call with J♣8♥ when Finneran raised up to 750,000. McGrath's hand, which was basically a bluff catcher, was no good as Finneran had turned the straight with 7♦5♦.

Finneran -- 3,900,000
McGrath -- 1,700,000

6.05pm: Deal
The player's negotiated a deal of sorts during the break in play, they've evened up the payouts a little bit by taking €5,000 off the top prize and adding it to second, which means the payouts now look like this:

1st. €55,440
2nd. €45,600

Both Thomas Finneran and Stephen McGrath are back in their seats and play is back underway. -- NW

6pm: Heads-up chip counts
The players still aren't back in their seats for heads-up play but we've been handed official chip counts it's

ukipt cork_day 4_thomas_finneran.jpg

Thomas Finneran - 2,575,000


ukipt cork_day 4_stephen_mcgrath.jpg

Stephen McGrath - 3,050,000

5.50pm: Pawel Keller eliminated in third place (€24,960)
We're now heads-up here in Cork and the stacks are going to be pretty even as it was Stephen McGrath who eliminated Pawel Keller.

In what was to be the Pole's final hand in this tournament, he raised to 100,000 on the button and called when Stephen McGrath raised to 225,000 from the big blind.

On the K♥5♦5♣ flop McGrath bet 250,000 and Keller called, on the J♦ turn McGrath bet 300,000, Keller moved all-in for 992,000 and McGrath, who had 1,060,000 total made the call.

Keller: A♦7♦
McGrath: A♠K♠

Keller needed to make his flush on the river but the J♠ completed the board meaning the start of day chip leader is out in third.

There's now a short break before heads-up play commences. -- NW

ukipt cork_day 4_pawel_keller.jpg

Pole slid out in third place

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 25,000-50,000, ante 5,000

5.40pm: McGrath takes more from Keller and overtakes him
Pawel Keller asked and took an impromptu toilet break just now. It had the feeling of a snooker player leaving the Crucibal Theatre for a short break after loosing a frame of snooker he knew he should've won.

Keller raised to 80,000 from the button and called when Paul McGrath three-bet to 160,000 from the big blind. Both players checked the 3♣A♠3♦ flop to see the Q♦ turn. McGrath led for 200,000 there and 200,000 on the 8♥ river. Keller called both times and was shown A♥K♥ by the Brit.

He mucked and left at pace to the bathroom. He's down to 1.17 million chips and McGrath moved up to 1.61 million. -- MC

5.28pm: McGrath down further before doubling up part II
After getting looked up by Pawel Keller with third pair when he had a missed open-ended straight draw, Stephen McGrath then lost another big pot to the Pole.

From under-the-gun McGrath made it 100,000 to play, Keller called from the small blind and Thomas Finneran left them to it. The 3♥4♣7♦ flop was checked through, the K♦ fell on the turn and Keller check-called a bet of 75,000. The 9♦ completed the board, Keller checked to McGrath who fired out a bet of 225,000, after about five seconds thought Keller announced all-in, McGrath mucked and Keller showed A♥J♣ for a brave bluff.

Four hands later Keller opened from the small blind to 80,000, McGrath piled for 579,000 total from the big blind and Keller made the call.

McGrath: A♠Q♥
Keller: A♣2♥

The J♣[10c]J♥5♠9♠ board gave the pot to McGrath doubled to almost 1,200,000, whilst Keller dropped to around 1,600,000. -- NW

ukipt cork_day 4_stephen_mcgrath.jpg

McGrath up and down like a Yo-yo

5.15pm: McGrath down further before doubling up
It got gloomier for Stephen McGrath before the light shone back on him with a double up.

First up he lost a pot to Pawel Keller when he raised to 100,000 and called when the Pole three-bet to 220,000. Keller led for 200,000 on the J♣3♠A♦ flop and McGrath folded.

A couple of hands later Keller opened to 80,000 from the button and was called by Thomas Finneran before McGrath shoved for 603,000 from the big blind. Keller called and that was enough to force out Finneran.

McGrath: A♦2♠
Keller: Q♥T♥

The board ran 3♠2♦K♣9♦6♥.

Keller dropped to around 1.5 million after the loss. -- MC

5pm: McGrath,down but then back up again
Shortly after losing that big pot to Thomas Finneran, Stephen McGrath lost a small pot to Pawel Keller. The Pole raised to 80,000 from the button and McGrath defended from the big blind. The two players checked it down on a 8♥2♥6♠7♣Q♠ board, Keller showed pocket threes, the pair ahead of McGrath's J♣4♣.

However, it didn't take long for McGrath to get them back he moved all-in three hands in a row, firstly from the small blind, then from the button and the third time over the top of a button raise from Keller.

I'd estimate he's back up to around 750,000. -- NW

4.50pm: The cream rises further
Thomas Finneran has stretched further clear at the top and, as a direct result, Stephen McGrath has been cut further adrift at the bottom.

McGrath opened to 80,000 from the button and Finneran peeled from the big blind to see the 5♣K♦J♥ flop. McGrath continued for 80,000 and was soon check-raised up to 180,000. He tanked for a while and mutter a few words before he three-bet to 380,000.

In a flash Finneran announced he was all in. McGrath took a minute and folded to drop to 900,000 in chips. Finneran has broken the three million barrier and is up to around 3.3 million. -- MC

4.35pm: Irish cream at the top with just three left
There was little significant action in the five minutes prior to the end of level 25, with all three players winning their fair share of pots.

As we head into level 26 the chip stacks of the three players who remain are:

Pawel Keller, Poland, PokerStars Qualifier,1,934,000
Thomas Finneran, Ireland, 2,279,000
Stephen McGrath, United Kingdom, 1,410,000

So it's Ireland's Thomas Finneran who leads the way, but it's far closer than it has been for a lot of the final table. One double up for McGrath and he's the big chip leader, one double up for Keller and he'll have two thirds of the chips in play. Another elimination for Finneran and it's his to lose.

ukipt cork_day 4_thomas_finneran.jpg

Finneran leads the way

PokerStars Blog reporting team in Cork: Marc Convey and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May.

Nick Wright
@PokerStars in UKIPT