UKIPT Series 2: Day 2, level 25-29 updates (blinds 60,000-120,000 ante 20,000)
11.25pm: Gabriel Dragomir wins UKIPT Series 2 (£16,480); Paul Zimbler second (£8,000)
On the final hand Paul Zimbler raised to 250,000 on the button, Gabriel Dragomir moved all-in and Zimbler made the call for his last 1,500,000.
The board stayed low coming [10h]2♠7♦5♦9♣ and the two protagonists shook hands and Draogmir's rail whooped in delight. Congratulations to the Romanian on winning UKIPT Series2 and congratudolances to Paul Zimbler on his second place finish. A full wrap of the day's play is on the way.
11.20pm: Dragomir in control
Gabriel Dragomir is in control of this heads-up match and is slowly grinding Zimbler down, the first signs of frustration have crept in to Zimbler now. He's down to around 2,200,000 and has open shoved once. "This is going to be over in about five hands," he predicted.
11.05pm: Dragomir drags first big pot of heads-up play
I reached the table to see a complete board of 2♣8♦6♠K♠6♦ on the felt and a bet of 1,000,000 even in front of Paul Zimbler (button), the pot was around 1,500,000 and after about 20 seconds Gabriel Dragomir announced call. Zimbler was slow to turn his hand over, a sure sign someone doesn't think they've won the pot. Indeed Dragomir showed 9♦8♠ and Zimbler tapped the table, "I said to myself give up, give up, but I couldn't," said Zimbler after the hand.
That pot means Dragomir has a roughly 6,800,000 to 2,800,000 chip lead.
11pm: Heads-Up chip counts
Chip counts are very close as heads-up play gets underway, Paul Zimbler has 5,000,000 and Gabriel Dragomir has 4,600,000.
Blinds Up: 60,000 - 120,000 ante 20,000
10.55pm: Patrik Meca eliminated in third place (£8,000)
Down to 20 big blinds Patrik Meca open shoved with K♠J♦, Paul Zimbler tanked before saying, "let's do it," he made the call and showed 3♦3♠. It looked a reckless one on the 6♣T♥K♣ flop but the 3♣ turn put him back in front and the 9♠ hit the river to eliminate Meca in third.
10.45pm: Craig O'Neill eliminated in fourth place (£8,000)
I joined the action on a A♣5♣4♦ flop to see a bet of 250,000 in front of Craig O'Neill, a call of 250,000 in front of Paul Zimbler and Gabriel Dragomir sliding a big tower of 25,000 chips out to signal that he was all-in, O'Neill swiftly called and Zimbler agonised before folding his hand.
The 5♠ was a brick but Dragomir got their the hard way as the 3♦ fell on the river to give him a straight.
10.40pm: A couple of small pots for Gabriel Dragomir
It's clear that Gabriel Dragomir and Paul Zimbler are the two most active players at the table and they just clashed in a couple of pots.
In the first Zimbler opened to 250,000 on the button and Dragomir called from the small blind. It was checked down on a 6♣7♦A♣[10s]2♠ board, at which point Dragomir bet 400,000 and Zimbler quickly called. Dragomir showed Q♦T♣ whilst Zimbler showed just the 7♣.
An orbit later Zimbler limped from the small blind and Dragomir checked his option. On the 6♥J♠3♠ flop Zimbler bet 125,000 and Dragomir made the call. The 7♠ checked through before Zimbler bet 225,000 on the A♦ river. In swift order Dragomir moved all-in and Zimbler said: "You played your flush well," before folding his hand.
10.30pm: Craig O'Neill doubles through Patrik Meca
From under-the-gun Patrik Meca opened to 250,000, Gabriel Dragomir called in the small blind, only for Craig O'Neill to move all-in for 590,000 from the big blind, Meca called but Dragomir folded. On their backs:
The 5♥J♥Q♦ flop gave O'Neill a flush draw and it completed on the T♥ turn rendering the Q♣ river meaningless.
10.25pm: Chip counts
100% accurate chip counts done by floor staff...
Patrik Meca, Czech Republic, 3,420,000
Paul Zimbler, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 3,150,000
Gabriel Dragomir, Romania, 2,230,000
Craig O'Neill, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 610,000
Blinds Up: 50,000 - 100,000 ante 10,000
10.15pm: Break time
The players are now on a 15 minute break.
10.10pm: Craig O'Neill doubles up
It was a good time to find aces for Craig O'Neill as he got his last 265,000 in with them and Paul Zimbler called him blind from the big blind. He'd have called anyway given that he had A♦7♦. The 7♠3♠5♣2♥6♦ board gave him a sweat but his hand held.
10.05pm: Huge near treble up for Gabriel Dragomir
From under-the-gun Craig O'Neill raised to 180,000, Ben Miller moved in for around 800,000 from the button, Gabriel Dragomir moved all-in for 1,065,000 and O'Neill called the all-in for three way action.
The 9♠2♥2♣8♦6♦ board eliminated Miller, near trebled Dragomir's stack to about 3,000,000 and left O'Neill with just 275,000.
9.55pm: Four all-ins no calls
Two a-piece from Gabriel Dragomir and Ben Miller, no calls though. Still five handed.
9.45pm: Current chip counts (rough)
Patrik Meca, Czech Republic, 2,500,000
Paul Zimbler, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 3,600,000
Benjamin Miller, United Kingdom, PokerStars Player, 600,000
Gabriel Dragomir, Romania, 800,000
Craig O'Neill, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 1,300,000
Blinds Up: 40,000 - 80,000 ante 10,000
9.35pm: Paul Zimbler doubles through Garbriel Dragomir twice
From the button Paul Zimbler raised to 160,000, it folded to Gabriel Dragomir in the big blind, he thought he had called but had actually put in an amount that meant he had to make the minimum raise to 260,000. Back on Zimbler he moved in for 780,000 and Dragomir called.
A 5♣4♥4♣A♠J♦ board later and Zimbler was up to around 1,800,000, whilst Dragomir slipped to 2,600,000.
The next hand Zimbler raised, Ben Miller called on the button and Dragomir did likewise from the small blind. On the Q♠8♥5♠ flop it checked to Zimbler, he fired a bet of 300,000, Miller folded, Dragomir jammed and Zimbler called all-in.
Zimbler held on the 3♠ turn and 5♥ river and is now the chip leader with around 3,600,000 whilst Dragomir is down to around 800,000.
9.25pm: David Radnor eliminated in sixth place (£8,000)
David Radnor didn't have a two million stack for long...
From the cut off Gabriel Dragomir raised to 125,000, Radnor three-bet to 350,000 from the small blind, Dragomir moved all-in for 1,580,000 and Radnor called.
The 7♦4♣T♦3♦4♦ board bought no help to Radnor and left him with 400,000. A couple of hands later they went in with pocket sixes but were out gunned by Ben Miller's K♥J♦ on a 7♣3♣K♠8♣4♠ board.
9.15pm: Michal Jaron eliminated in seventh place (£8,000)
And another one bites the dust...
Michal Jaron raised to 135,000 and David Radnor defended from the big blind. On the 7♠4♥9♦ flop Radnor checked, Jaron jammed for 600,000 and Radnor called.
The J♦ turn and Q♣ river kept Radnor in front and he's now got almost 2,000,000.
Blinds Up: 30,000 - 60,000 ante 10,000
9.05pm: Mark McCluskey eliminated in eighth place (£8,000)
From under-the-gun Mark McCluskey moved all-in for around 775,000 with J♠T♠ and received a call from Patrik Meca in middle position. The Czech player was in good shape as he had Q♣Q♥ but the 4♠3♠5♦ flop gave McCluskey plenty of outs. He missed them all on the K♣ turn and 3♥ river though and shook hands with everyone as he left the table.
9pm: Deal details
Some nine handed chops can be complicated, not this one! Everyone took £8,000, apart from chip leader Gabriel Dragomir who has locked up £10,000. And there is still £6,480 to play for.
8.50pm: Simon Griffin eliminated in ninth place
On the first hand post deal Simon Griffin was eliminated by David Radnor. The former opened to 100,000 with ace-jack, Radnor moved all-in with ace-queen and Griffin called all-in for 670,000.
There was no help for either on the board and there's now a short break whilst official final table photos are taken.
A deal has been done, I'll bring you full details of it when I can. Cards are back in the air.
8.35pm: Deal or no deal?
Given how close the chip stacks are during the break the players have been attempting to broker a deal and when they all returned from the break they sat down to discuss it further. They've got to leave a certain amount on the table to play for but I think they've come to a deal, the details of which I'll bring you soon.
Whilst the players have been talking this over UKIPT Host Nick Wealthall plugged the numbers into an ICM calculator (which doesn't take into account skill level or the amount they have to leave to play for) and according to ICM the biggest stack was worth £13,106.72 and the shortest stack £7,060.90. So the biggest stack was worth less than second place money and the shortest stack was worth more than fifth place money.
8.05pm: Unofficial final table seat draw
Although the official final table is eight handed there will not be a redraw when we lose one more player. So, the seat draw below is how it'll stay for the duration of this tournament.
Mark McCluskey, United Kingdom, PokerStars Player, 790,000
Simon Griffin, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 675,000
David Radnor, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 715,000
Patrik Meca, Czech Republic, 1,410,000
Michal Jaron, Poland, 905,000
Paul Zimbler, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 1,055,000
Benjamin Miller, United Kingdom, PokerStars Player, 845,000
Gabriel Dragomir, Romania, 2,040,000
Craig O'Neill, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 940,000
8.05pm: Anthony Flynn eliminated in 10th place (£1,885)
Down to just over five big blinds A♣K♦ more than qualified for Anthony Flynn to move all-in for his final 265,000. It passed to Ben Miller in the big blind and he mulled it over before making the call with K♥9♣.
The 6♣K♠4♦3♦9♥ board meant Miller spiked the river to win the pot and set up the unofficial final table.
The players have decided to dump the dinner break and instead have gone on a 15 minute break. I'll bring you the final table seat draw and chip counts when I receive them.
Blinds Up: 25,000 - 50,000 ante 5,000
7.58pm: Unofficial final table bubble
Despite being short on chips Madhavan Kasthuri was very late coming back from the break and apparently was out the first hand back, meaning there are just 10 players left and we're on the unofficial final table bubble.
7.55pm: Zimbler and Meca at the double
Paul Zimbler has got some of his chips back from Gabriel Dragomir, doubling up with K♦Q♠ against A♥9♥ on a 5♦9♣K♥K♠Q♣ board, he was all-in for 355,000 so is back up to around 730,000.
And on a 6♠9♠7♣ flop Anthony Flynn holding A♣8♥ and Patrik Meca holding pocket eights got 630,000 in each. The turn and river were blanks meaning Meca is up to around 1,400,000 whilst Flynn is down to dust.
7.50pm: McCluskey and Griffin double, Palfrey is out
Action and lots of it to tell you about...
First Mark McCluskey doubled through Anthony Flynn in a blind on blind battle. From the small blind Flynn set McCluskey all-in for 280,000 with K♣[10c] and McCluskey made the call with K♦Q♦. The board ran J♥9♠4♥6♦3♥ and McCluskey doubled.
On the other table Simon Griffin moved all-in for 255,000 from the button with J♠8♦ and Callum Palfrey made a good call with J♥T♥. But he wasn't rewarded as the 8♥K♣9♦2♠K♦ board connected better with Griffin's hand.
This left Palfrey with just a handful of big blinds and he was the very next hand when he shoved from the small blind with 7♠4♠ and couldn't get there against Calum O'Neill's Q♦T♠.
7.35pm: Huge pot as Dragomir doubles through Zimbler
The two chip leaders just played a near three million chip pot and as a result Paul Zimbler has gone from chip leader to one of short stacks.
I missed the exact action pre-flop and on the flop but Gabriel Dragomir raised pre-flop and Zimbler defended from the big blind.
By the turn the board was K♥7♠4♣9♠ Zimbler bet 80,000 and Dragomir called. On the 7♦ river Zimbler bet 320,000 (a near pot sized bet) and Dragomir moved all-in, after getting a count Zimbler made the call. Dragomir showed A♠7♣ whilst Zimbler flashed A♥K♣.
After that hand Dragomir is up to around 2,800,000 whilst Zimbler has dropped to 350,000.
7.25pm: Back from the break
The players are back in their seats and here's the lie of the land. It's Paul Zimbler who leads, the Marbella Kid has 1,670,000, but four of the five biggest stacks in the field are at his table so he could do a fair chunk of them in any one hand. There will be a one hour dinner break when the unofficial final table of nine is reached.
Gabriel Dragomir, Romania, 1,350,000
Callum Palfrey, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 490,000
Craig O'Neill, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 980,000
Paul Zimbler, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 1,670,000
Michal Jaron, Poland, 865,000
Simon Griffin, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 360,000
Anthony Flynn, United Kingdom, PokerStars Player, 825,000
Mark McCluskey, United Kingdom, PokerStars Player, 325,000
Patrik Meca, Czech Republic, 475,000
Madhavan Kasthuri, India, 405,000
David Radnor, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 560,000
Ben Miller, United Kingdom, PokerStars Player, 865,000
All photos are copyright of Neil Stoddart