UKIPT Edinburgh: Day 1A, level 1 - 4 updates (Blinds 100-200)

4.22pm: Break it up in there
We've reached halfway point of the day and it's time for another break. Updates from here on in will be in new post. -- MC

4.15pm: More chip counts
Some more counts for you now: Brett Angell (34,000), Jamie Burland (21,000), Andrew Teng (17,600), Richard Sinclair (26,500), Thomas Hall (27,500) and Dara O'Kearney (12,250). -- NW

4.05pm: Chip counts
A few chip counts from around the tables: Thomas Ward (16,200), Fergal Nealon (29,000), Wojtek Barzantny (8,225) and Jamie Burland (12,900). -- NW

3.55pm: Numbers confirmed
Late registration closed at the end of level three and we've just had it confirmed that the total number of runners for Day 1A is 254. -- NW

3.52pm: The contract doesn't guarantee success or a nearby toilet
Dale "@Daleroxxu" Philip just tweeted: "Down to 10k at bb200. Bursting for a pee but toilets are miles away. Tablemate suggested using a bottle, he must be an online grinder #UKIPT"

The PokerStars Team Online member still has his sense of humour even if his stack is in the red. -- MC

3.45pm: Docherty downed by David
Yet another tough spot has ended David Docherty's UKIPT Edinburgh main event. I joined the table only for the dénouement but from that action and the post-hand analysis from Docherty and David Lappin I can tell you what happened.

On the river a full board of 5♠7♥3♦9♥2♦ was on the felt, there was 3,475 in the pot and Docherty, who had around 6,000 total, had led for 1,500 and had then been set all-in by Lappin. "You know exactly what I have," said Docherty. "Do you have a big overpair," shot back Lappin. "If so it's a pretty sick spot."

A bit more friendly banter followed, during which Docherty talked more to himself than Lappin, saying he'd had three or four similar spots like this and folded them all, that he was sick of folding, but also that he should fold in this spot.

After further deliberation, Docherty flicked the rest of his chips in, Lappin rolled over 9♦7♦ for two pair and Docherty showed pocket aces. "Sorry dude, that's a bit sick," said Lappin. The two then talked about the hand and if Lappin would've bet with a pair of tens had Docherty checked the river, with Lappin saying he could have turned a pair and a straight draw into a bluf.

"You know what's really sick?," added Lappin. "I hadn't noticed that you'd raised under-the-gun and thought I was opening."

Either way, Lappin wished him well and opined that the best player at the table (Docherty) had been very unlucky in Edinburgh. - NW

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David Docherty - had a tough day at the felt

3.40pm: Those we have liked
The following didn't hang around long enough to be loved by us:

Garry Porteous, Lesley Devine, Apostolos Vatselis, Fraser Bellamy, Gary Bertram, Andrew McKenzie, David L'Honore, Danny McHugh, Claas Eyke Segebrecht, Fintan Hand, Edward Marley, Jack Sambrook, Siu Fai Chan, John Paul Clements and Grigory Livshits. -- MC

3.30pm: Nick Wealthyhall
Nick Wealthall seemed to get full value from big-slick in a hand versus is neighbour Antonio Crolla.

We only approached the table on the river where the final board rested as 2♣A♠5♦4♥6♠. Wealthall led into Crollo for 3,700 and then revealed A♣K♦ after a tank-call. Crollo mucked and Wealthall stacked up and admired his stack worth around 34,000. -- MC


3.20pm: Lacken at the double
I joined the action at table 24 to see four players taking in a 6♥3♦9♦ flop, it was checked to Francis Lacken who fired out a bet of 625 into the roughly 1,500 chip pot. Both David L'Honore and Andreas Aristotelous called and the K♣ fell on turn.

This didn't slow Lacken down, he bet 1,550, L'Honore was the only caller and the two of them saw the flush completing 2♦ hit the river. Unperturbed, Lacken moved in for his final 4,075, sending L'Honore into the tank. "I have no idea what you have or what you're thinking of calling me with," admitted Lacken. "I have one pair," said L'Honore.

Eventually he announced call, Lacken showed 6♣6♦ for the flopped set and L'Honore, true to his word, did indeed have one pair as he showed Q♦9♠. -- NW

3.10pm: Third barrel shakes of Farrell
Niall Farrell was a very stubborn opponent in a heads up pot versus Manuel Zapf but finally admitted defeat on the river to drop to below his starting stack.

Zapf opened from the hijack and bet 450, 950 and 2,650 on each street of a K♥A♥2♦7♦8♠ board. Farrell was on the button and called all the way to the river where he snap-mucked to the bet. -- MC

3pm: Late arrivals
Andrew Teng and Jamie Burland are two players who have turned up and taken their seats for the beginning of level 3. Burland was sat in the seat vacated by Gordon Huntly, on a tricky table that includes Champion of Champions Richard Sinclair and online pro Niall Farrell.

Burland opened to 375 from under the gun but folded to a three-bet to 800 from Sinclair. "I haven't played a hand in more than two hours!" joked Burland. -- MC

2.50pm: Angell spreading wings
It's been a good start to the day for UKIPT Nottingham Season 2 runner-up Brett Angell, he's up to 25,000. -- NW

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Brett Angell

2.40pm: Rees exits with a little disbelief
Jonathan David Rees just busted with a full house but he seemed more perplexed by how the river action played out between himself and Patrick Murray, than his exit.

The two players had made it to the river of a 2♦7♦A♥7♣Q♠ board where Rees checked to face a 3,200 bet from his Irish opponent. Rees wasted little time in shoving for 4,700 as he must've thought the call would be automatic and quick in coming. That wasn't the case though as Murray took between 20 to 30 seconds to call. By this point Rees must've thought he was way ahead with 2♠2♣ for a full house. That wasn't the case though as Murray opened A♦7♥ for a bigger full house.

Rees was shocked and there were mumblings from table mates who offered sympathy and surprise in equal measure. Murray seemed oblivious to his river actions which make us think there was no menace in his actions. -- MC

2.20pm: Back from the break
Players are back in their seats, including Manig Loeser (24,000) and and PokerStars Team Online's Dale Phillip (17,000). -- NW

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Dale Philip

2pm: Break time
That's the first two levels done and dusted, players are now on a 20 minute break. -- NW

1.55pm: Exits
Joining Gordon Huntley in passing through the revolving door marked exit are: Simon Brooks, Thomas Partridge, Daniel Charlton and Richard Doonan. -- NW

1.45pm: Easy come, easy go for Rawnsley
Neil Rawnsley is a UKIPT regular and is a chap who seems to love to play and just be in the action. We witnessed him play two pots on the trot; one he won and the other he lost.

The first hand was four handed after his open to 300 was called in three spots on the way to an A♠A♥6♠ flop. The action was checked to Nadeem Younas on the button who bet 750. Both blinds moved out of the way before Rawnsley called. Both players checked the 8♥ turn before Rawnsley led for 1,200 on the J♥ river. Fold.

The next hand it was Rawnsley who was folding. He had made it to the turn of a Q♥Q♠9♦2♦ board where he check-called a 1,200 bet from Mark McCluskey. The final card came 6♠ and McCluskey's 3,000 bet was enough to force a check-fold from Rawnsley, who's back to his starting stack. -- MC

1.30pm: Two rooms
No not an ode to Elton John and Bernie Taupin's songwriting abilities, but more to emphasize that players are split into two rooms here at The Balmoral. There's 15 tables in the secondary rooms and there's quite a few interesting table draws.

At table two it's a tale of two David's - Docherty and Lappin. The former hasn't had much luck in UKIPT Main Event's and he's down to 8,300 early on here. He tweeted: "Fun start, got 9k after 40 minutes! Might have been able to save 600 of it?." Whilst Lappin is chugging along on starting stack.

On table three sit Thomas Ward (16,800), Fergal Nealon (18,000) and Paul McTaggart (16,000), whilst a couple of tables along is Nick Rainey. Whilst UKIPT champions Richard Sinclair (13,000) and Wojtek Barzantny (11,000) are not off to the best of starts. -- NW

1.15pm: Bloggers curse
As I was writing that post about Gordon Huntly, he was busy exiting the tournament. We noticed his seat was empty and Niall Farrrell informed us that he put 300 big blinds in with pocket queens only to run into the rockets of James Gavaghan.

At least he'll have time to see family and friends, as well as play the many side events on offer this week. -- MC


1.02pm: Who's here?
Some of the familiar names we've spotted during the first level include: Andrew Ferguson, Brett Angell, Dara O'Kearney, David Lappin, Fergal Nealon, Dean Lyall, Paul McTaggart, Jeff Kimber, Manig Loeser, Neil Rawnsley, Thomas Hall and Thomas Ward. -- NW

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Dara O'Kearney

12.55pm: Welcome home, wee lady
Gordon Huntly left his native Scotland many moons ago to seek his fortune in far-flung places. He settled in Asia and retired to Thailand after working hard for many years in that region. We write, "retired" but Huntly swapped the office environment for the poker room more than the golden beaches of his new home. He quickly found the same success he enjoyed during his working career.

His first big score came at an APPT event in Manilla in 2010 where he finished second for a cool $166,800. That was just the warm up as he claimed his first major title when he took down the ANZPT Sydney title less than a year ago for $238,832.

Huntly hails from Edinburgh and has come home to try his luck on home soil. He's sat at Niall Farrell's table today and we'll be keeping an eye on his progress today. -- MC

12.40pm: That man off the telly
UKIPT host Nick Wealthall is wearing tracksuit bottoms and a polo shirt. Hardly stop the presses, earth-shattering news, but much like if Marcel Luske was spotted in similar attire - which he was earlier today when I saw him checking in - you kind of do a double take as you're so used to seeing them smartly dressed.

The TV and Radio presenter is taking a break from those duties to play in a UKIPT event, he played UKIPT Newcastle earlier this season and he'll be hoping to go a bit better than he did there. "I really like Edinburgh," explained Wealthall. "I spend some time here each year for SCOOP and WCOOP radio, it's my favourite city in the UK."

He then asked if there were any big names playing in the event today, I pointed to the adjacent table at two-time UKIPT winner Wojtek Barzantny. "Oh," said Wealthall. "No one else has got a chance then!" And sat to Wealthall's immediate right is Jack Sambrook, seventh place finisher at UKIP Newcastle back in September. -- NW

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Wealthall and Sambrook

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Back-to-back Barzantny

12.30pm: Don't mess with a jet-lagged Farrell
There are many tired looking faces around the room (including yours truly) as a lot of us have made the long trek back from the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure that concluded in the Bahamas two days ago.

PokerStars qualifier Niall Farrell is one of those who made the trip but it hasn't numbed his instincts so far. He opened with a raise from mid position and was called by the big blind en route to a 9♥T♣7♠ flop. Farrell continued for 225 and called when his opponent check-raised up to 600. The turn fell as 8♣ and the big blind led for 800 only to face a raise to 2,100. He didn't take too long to muck his hand whilst shaking his head. -- MC

12.10pm: UKIPT Edinburgh is go
Cards are in the air here in Edinburgh, 223 players so far, but expect that number to rise. -- NW

12pm: Welcome to UKIPT Edinburgh
Happy New Year to all the loyal UKIPT Blog followers, the tour has moved more than 370 miles north from Bristol to Edinburgh for the only Scottish stop of Season 3. There's also been a change of venue as we're now ensconced in the Balmoral Hotel, slap bang in the centre of Edinburgh.

If the past two seasons are anything to go by the cream will rise as Nick Abou Risk and Fintan Gavin took down the title in Seasons 1 and 2 respectively. They'll be plenty of players amongst the 550 who are expected who fit that description.

Hoping to keep the title in Scotland will be (among others): EPT London champion David Vamplew, David Docherty, UKIPT Champion of Champions Richard Sinclair, and Alex Ferguson (not that one).

However, can anyone stop Wojtek Barzantny from the three-peat? The back-to-back UKIPT Bristol champion is playing today as is UKIPT Brighton Season 1 champion Jamie Burland and PokerStars Team Online's Dale Phillip.

The players are in their seats here at the sumptuous Balmoral Hotel and whilst it might be Edinbrrrrrugh outside (it's 0 degrees) stay right here for some hot poker action over the next five days.

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Fintan Gavin pictured winning UKIPT Edinburgh in Season 2

PokerStars Blog reporting team in Edinburgh (and their favourite type of whiskey) : Marc Convey (Irish) and Nick Wright (Rye). Photos by Mickey May (Hot).

Nick Wright
@PokerStars in UKIPT