UKIPT Series 2: Day 1B, level 1-6 updates (200-400 ante 50)

5.25pm: Six down, six to go
The players are now halfway through the day and like the first six levels this post is done. You'll find level seven updates in a new post

5.15pm: Hartigan's got heart if not chips
Unfortunately for James Hartigan his stack has only gone in one direction during the opening six levels and it's downwards.

BLINDS UP: 200-400 ante 50

4.55pm: Blake's sevens
Dan Blake is one of the early chip leaders as he's got more than 45,000. He flopped set of sevens and got paid by ace high.

4.45pm: Good Job
I went to check on the progress of UKIPT3 Newcastle runner-up Alex Jobling and it proved good timing as he was involved in a big pot.

He raised it up to 700 from under-the-gun and picked up three callers. On the 5♣2♣Q♠ flop he c-bet 3,000, Wesley Oudshoorn moved all-in for around 20,000 and when it got back to Jobling he checked his cards then called all-in for around 15,000 total.

Jobling: 2♠2♥
Oudshoorn: K♠Q♦

Jobling was well in front and stayed there on the 4♥ turn and 8♠ river to double to around 33,000.

4.27pm: Cards back in the air
Level five is now underway, the tournament clock is showing that 210 of 215 players remain.

BLINDS UP: 150-300 ante 25

4.05pm: Break
The players are now on their first 20 minute break of the day.

4pm: Exits
Not as many players have exited in the opening four levels as yesterday but I can tell you that Harijs Broij, Luan Beciri, Lars Torngren, Chris Mccall and Jason Symonds are all out.

3.50pm: Stapleton, Van Brabander and Hartigan all take small hits
It's not been the best of starts for those representing the Red Spade today. Joe Stapleton is down to 19,600, which is more than fellow EPT Live commentator James Hartigan who has slipped to 17,200. The latter is sharing a table with Paul Zimbler who is up to 28,000.

Meanwhile Charlotte Van Brabander has slipped to 17,700, whilst Gaelle Garcia Diaz is up to 24,200.

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Stapes and Hartigan

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Garcia Diaz is off to a good start

3.40pm: The ups and downs of Asif Warris
Asif Warris is a familiar face on the PokerStars regional tours circuit, his latest 'flag' coming at Eureka Croatia in Dubrovnik at the end of May.

He'd ran his stack up to 42,000 after flopping two pair and rivering a full house and getting paid by the nut flush and a queen high flush. However, he's now back down to 27,000 after losing a big pot to Marco Vallortigara. In a limped pot pre-flop Warris called from the cut off with pocket threes and Vallortigara did likewise from the button with 7♦6♦. So the 3♦5♦8♣ flop connected quite nicely with both their hands.

The original limper bet 300, Warris flat called, Vallortigara raised to 1,000, it folded back to Warris who made it 2,500 and Vallortigara flat called. The turn was an off-suit queen, Warris bet 2,500 and Vallortigara again made the call. The A♦ completed the board, Warris check-called a bet of 7,500 and saw the bad news.

BLINDS UP: 100-200 ante 25

3.30pm: Kimber climbing quickly
One of the contenders for early chip leader is none other than Jeff Kimber. The experienced pro is in good form having finished second at GUKPT Reading last week. He's more than doubled his stack already and is up to 43,000.

3.20pm: Everybody loves a montage!
It's really the pictures that make this written blog come alive, yet I don't feel we get to showcase enough of PokerStars Blog's ace photographer Neil Stoddart's work. With that in mind here's a montage of his best shots from Day 1A.

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3pm: Triple Dutch
I had a quick chat with Joeri Zandvliet, the Dutchman who won UKIPT1 Manchester and UKIPT2 Dublin. He's currently studying in London and in the middle of his dissertation. But he's taking a break for a few days as a couple of friends are in town to visit. Both of his friends are in the tournament and he told me: "Arnoud (Van Der Werf) is probably one of the best players in the field," he had no comment on his other friend Wesley Oudshoorn though.

BLINDS UP: 75-150

2.45pm: Floor! Controversy on Table 4
I heard raised voices on Table four and a shout of, 'floor table four," shortly afterwards from the dealer.

Once the floor was called the situation was explained, on the river of a 5♦K♥3♦8♠8♣ board John McGrane had bet 3,600 and Sam Gana had called. At this point McGrane pushed his cards over the betting line face down, but they did not hit the muck. At this point he asked if he could see Gana's hand if he turned his cards over. Gana protested that McGrane's cards had already been mucked, but McGrane opined that they were still clearly visible and had not touched the muck.

The floor ruled that if McGrane turned his hand over he could see Gana's cards, so McGrane turned over 9♥3♠ but then said, "they weren't my cards," the farce was resolved by Gana showing his hand - [10h]5♥ - "you had the best hand, nice call," said McGrane, who finished 18th in the WSOP Main Event in 2005.

2.40pm: Big hands colliding already
Only 30 minutes in there's already been a few big confrontations such as these:

BLINDS UP: 50-100

2.30pm: Also spotted
A walk around the rooms - play is split between the Matcham Room and the Poker Deck - has unveiled a few notables dotted around the tables: two-time UKIPT main event winner Joeri Zandvliet, a Dutchman who calls London home is playing, poker journalist Adam Goulding is a couple of tables away from me, UKIPT3 Newcastle runner-up Alex Jobling has shown up to play as have Alfie Baldwin, Paul Zimbler, Adebayo Odetoyinbo, Dean Clay and Alex Martin.

2.15pm: Hey it's you off the telly
If you've ever watched an EPT Live Webcast then a couple of voices in today's tournament will be very familiar to even if the faces aren't. For the co-commentary team of Joe Stapleton and James Hartigan are both in the field today, as is Hartigan's father Brian.

They aren't the only tellybox heroes in the field today though as Gaelle Garcia Diaz, who hails from Belgium, is an EPT presenter when she isn't playing poker. She's joined in the field by fellow Belgian and Friend of PokerStars Charlotte Van Brabander.

2pm: Sold out Day 1B about to start
Hello and welcome to Day 1B of the UKIPT Series2 here at The Hippodrome in central London. There is not an empty seat in the house, well there are some because poker players like to show up late, but what I mean is there's not an empty seat that doesn't beling to someone.

Sometime yesterday afternoon this event sold out, some alternates will get in but that list is already pretty long. The 200 or so players will all start with 20,000 and play a dozen 30 minute levels. Their target, other than to make it through the day, is 200,800 as that's what James Thomson finished on to lead the 62 players who advanced from Day 1A.

The tournament director is just going through the rules and regulations play will be underway shortly.

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Photos copyright of Neil Stoddart.

Nick Wright
@PokerStars in UKIPT