UKIPT4 Isle of Man: Level 1-4 updates (100/200, ante 25)

All the cool kids are following the updates in this new post, you should probably do likewise.

4.20pm: Break incoming
We're about to hit the halfway point of the day and after the break we'll start seeing more players dropping as the blinds to stack ratio gets shallower. Players that look set to keep on truckin' include Team PokerStars Pro Leo Margets (37,000) and Sam Grafton (40,000). I've now got to cash in a ticket everyone wants: a game of table football versus Liv Boeree. It's an interview of sorts... -- RD

4.15pm: Get back to the booth
It's not been the best start for EPT Live Commentator and Poker Blogger Marc 'The Conv' Convey (please call him The Conv, he loves it). He's struggling for traction and has slipped below starting stack.

4.10pm: Making it Raine
Last season Neil Raine just got pipped to the UKIPT Leader Board title by his good friend Tom Hall, he still got four packages to UKIPT events in Season 4, but he qualified off his own back for this one. I just saw him scoop a big three-way all-in which led a tablemate to say, "back in the game," as he was stacking his spoils.

The action was started by Stuart Kinghorn who made it 400 to go, Raine called from the hi-jack and David Thommeny did likewise from the small blind. The flop fell 5♥4♣3♥, it checked to Raine, he made it 1,050 to go, Thommeny bumped it to 3,000, Kinghorn flat called and Raine then moved all-in for 7,100 total.

This pot was rapidly spiralling upwards and it only got bigger as Thommeny then moved all-in for 17,000 and Kinghorn tank called all-in!

Raine: 6♣6♦ - a pair and an open ended straight draw (27.46%)
Thommeny: 5♣4♦ - top two pair (37.87%)
Kinghorn: A♥7♥ - nut flush draw and a gutshot straight draw (34.33%)

There wasn't that much between the equities of the respective hands but it was the two pair that was most likely to scoop. As it happened the board ran 7♣A♣ which meant that not only did Thommeny lose the main pot to Raine's straight but Kinghorn made a better two pair on the river to win the side pot of some 15,000. After that hand Raine tripled to around 23,000 and Thommeny was left with just 2,700. -- NW

3.55pm: Haxton and co chew the fat
Just off the middle of the room there's an interesting little table with PokerStars sponsored players Ike Haxton and Fatima Moreira de Melo, Full Tilt Poker Tour Ambassador Sin Melin and EPT tour reg John Eames. There's plenty of table chat, but it's not your normal sports/poker/drinking chat. There's discussions about documentaries, where the closest ATM is (10 minutes away), whether you can get cashback on overseas debit cards, planning applications on the Isle of Man, and how the Manx tax system operates.

No big pots play out, but Melin does get remonstrated by the dealer for almost beating her opponent into the muck with calling down on the river. Tomasz Raniszewski (I think it was he) led into the river and was quickly called. He pushed his hand towards the muck and Melin followed suit incredibly quickly: the other cards were still moving. The dealer was aware of what happened and pushed the pot to Melin but not before, somewhat understandably, suggesting that she keep her cards until the pot had been awarded. Melin didn't seem to appreciate the helpful advice.

The chitter-chatter continued. Haxton up to 29,000, Eames 28,000, Moreira de Melo 27,000 and Melin, well, I couldn't see behind her hands. -- RD


Sin Melin: still hiding her stack...

3.45pm: Cody and Shapiro spar
Daniel Shapiro might have swallowed hard when he noticed that Jake Cody was sat to his direct left, but the two of them are getting on famously enjoying some 'bants', as the kids say, and this despite clashing in a big pot a short time ago.

The pot was opened to 450 by Shapiro, who held [A][7], Cody made it 1,200 to play with [A][Q], Shapiro made it 2,650 and Cody smooth called.

The flop fell [A][8][6] rainbow, Shapiro bet 2,300 and Cody smooth called. The [7] was, as Shapiro called it, "a lucky turn." He fired again, 4,600 was the bet and once again Cody called. A [5] completed the board and with four to a straight both players checked and Cody saw the bad news.

After that hand Cody is down to 26,000 whilst Shapiro has 38,500. -- NW

3.30pm: Battle of the double champions
Long time followers of the UKIPT will recognise the name Nick Abou Risk. The Canadian is one of just three players to have won two UKIPT titles and he was the man to do it first. He took down UKIPT Edinburgh in Season 1, then won UKIPT Galway in Season 2. He made a final table in Season 3, again in Galway, the only shock there was that he didn't win.

So far then it's one final table per season for Abou Risk, he's sharing a table with another double champion, Jason Mercier. The Team PokerStars Pro won two NAPT High Roller Bounty Shootouts but it's Abou Risk who's on top right now mainly because Mercier isn't at the table!

However, to use that as the only reason would be doing Abou Risk a disservice and I just saw him scoop a pot. Four players including Abou Risk took a 8♠9♣[10d] flop, Abou Risk, who was the big blind led for 625 and took the pot. -- NW

Blinds up: 100/200, ante 25

3.20pm: Dowling tries to double
After raising it up to 400 from early position Chris Dowling picked up four, yes four callers. That was before it reached the small blind, he made it 2,400 to go, Dowling then moved all-in for 11,350 and when it folded back to the small blind he tank called.
There was much hilarity when both players showed pocket nines, less hilarity when the flop came A♦Q♦2♦, Dowling was in possession of the 9♦ but the turn and river came [10c]8♣ and the pot was chopped, which everyone seemed to love. - NW

3.10pm: Party tonight, win a £1,100 UKIPT seat!
The UKIPT parties can be pretty lively affairs (but I can't see Dan Owston's name on the list, at least) and tonight there's an added Halloween twist. The best fancy dress costume - as chosen by PokerStars Heads of Poker Communications Lee Jones - will win a UKIPT Nottingham 6-max £1,100 Main Event seat. Team PokerStars Pros Jake Cody and Liv Boeree seem to be gearing things up.

Wristbands can be picked up at the information desk and the party will be taking place at the Tahiko Nightclub from 9pm until late. The free bar is scheduled to run up until 11pm so don't get there too late. -- RD

3.05pm: UKIPT Champion of Champions Richard Evans keeping the dream alive
There's a big Welshman most UKIPT stalwarts would recognise in the field today, Richard Evans. Not only did Evans win UKIPT Dublin with, quite frankly, the loudest celebration that I've ever heard (the guy's got some big lungs). but he followed it up by winning the UKIPT Champion of Champions tournament.


Richard Evans

Evans is friendly and humble, perhaps the stereotypical gentle giant, but he does take his poker seriously and not making the money in the opening three UKIPT events obviously rankles. I suggested that he was in a good position to be freerolling the season (he collected a Season 4 Main Event passport for his Champion of Champions win) and he took a deep breath.

"I don't like thinking about it like that. I feel I have to make some money out of it. I'm enjoying it. I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying it, but in the back of my head I keep thinking I have to profit. Any amount of money would be fine. Really I want to feel better about how I'm playing. That's more of a goal than anything else."

In terms of playing Evans appears to be doing okay for himself today, moving his starting stack from 20,000 to 25,000 in the first two levels, and he's certainly doing well on the enjoyment stakes. I should know: I saw him propping up the bar at the VIP Club Live party two nights ago.

"It's the only chance I've had to go to one so I thought, 'Why not?' Spend my FPPs," he said with a smile.

Evans is one of those players that it's difficult not to pull for. He loves the game and, despite the titles that he won last season, sits at the table knowing that everyone gets two cards with the same options ahead of them; call, bet, raise, and fold. He played with that ethos all the way through to winning UKIPT Dublin, an experience that he frequently looks back on.

"On the bad days I can re-watch the video and re-live it. It was emotional but I'm an emotional guy anyway. I've pretty much worn my heart on my sleeve my whole life," said Evans. -- RD

2.50pm: Short day for Negreanu
There was no miracle comeback for Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu who never really recovered from losing that chunky pot to Radu Zamostean (see 1.05pm post). He got his chips in good though with [A][10] against Stephen Woodhead's [A][9] and Anthony Nicholls.

We're not sure what Nicholls had but Woodhead spiked a nine to score a double elimination and the scalp of the current number one in the Global Poker Index Rankings. -- NW

2.40pm: More chip counts
There are more names and notables than you can shake a stick at in the field today, here's how another batch of them are getting on:

Alan Gold - 28,300
Barry Greenstein - 28,000
Dale Philip - 17,000
Kevin Iacafano - 21,600
Leo Margets - 22,000
Mick Graydon - 42,500
Sam Grafton - 24,000

We'll be updating the chip count page throughout the day so keep an eye on it. -- NW

2.35pm: Exits
Just half a dozen players were downed during the opening two levels, Gabriel Girigan, Alan Wilde, Paul Delaney, David Rees, Stephen Kane and Louis Hennessey those who've lost their chips.

Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu may soon join them on that list as he's down to just 1,500 in chips. -- NW

2.20pm: Play resumes
The players are making their way back to their seats for the third level of the day. Antes kick in next level. -- RD

Blinds up: 75/150

2pm: Break time
The players are now on a 15 minute break. -- NW

1.45pm: Chip counts
Not that much movement in the opening two levels but here's how some of the names and notables stack up:

Pierre Neuville - 14,700
Richard Evans - 25,400
Tom Hall - 17,200
Nick Abou Risk - 21,000
Jason Mercier - 20,250
Ben Jenkins - 19,800
Martins Adeniya - 19.700
Vanessa Rousso - 16,075
Nick Newport - 21,500
Sin Melin - 20,700
John Eames - 17,300
Fatima Moreira De Melo - 22,500
Ike Haxton - 27,500
Liv Boeree - 16,500

ukipt4_isle of man_day1b_vanessa_rousso.jpg

Vanessa Rousso

Fintan Gavin - 19,000
Karl Mahrenholz - 21,600
Jon Spinks - 17,600
Jack Ellwood - 20,300
Fraser McIntyre - 24,000
David Williams - 13,600
Felix Schneiders - 28,000
Jake Cody - 22,500
Daniel Negreanu - 2,650

ukipt4_isle of man_day1b_jake_cody.jpg

Jake Cody

1.35pm: "At least you're not dead"
"So, I looked up at Cummins and said the first thing that came to my tired mind: 'Well, at least you're not dead.'"

You know that special coverage Brad Willis is bringing? Well, there's some here and he starts by well and truly putting his foot in it. Read it by clicking here.-- RD

1.25pm: The Table of Death Lively
There's a table just in front of the stage, where the unoccupied TV table sits, with a ragtag bunch of players that wouldn't likely claim the title of that terribly overused poker cliché 'The Table of Death', but it would certainly have a shout to claim the tag of being the liveliest right now.

Team PokerStars Pro David Williams, poker blogger/commentator and semi-pro nipper* Marc Convey, PokerStars Senior VIP Relationship Manager Chris Jonat and Alex Lambrou are playing an expansive game. There are blind raises, floats and checking in the dark. You know, all the stuff that might normally take place in a home game rather than a tournament with a £500,000 guarantee.

*We are joking. Kind of.


The UKIPT Isle of Man TV table

On my first hand at the table Jonat - as he indicates after the hand - appeared to have flopped a set of sevens on a board that four flushed by the river to give Lambrou a flush with the 6♣ (it's since been pointed out to me by Convey that he took that pot with black eights for a larger flush). Pocket sevens worked out better for Convey on the next hand when he got Williams to call his raise on the river of a 9♦K♣Q♣Q♦7♥ board. The multi-way pot had been checked down to the river.

"One yellow," said Williams, betting a 1k chip.

"Two-and-a-half yellow," said Convey, quickly tossing in three 1k chips.

Williams called and showed a single king to Convey's 7♠7♦. He soon got a chunk of them back from Convey with the mighty eight-four offsuit on a 4♣J♦7♥8♣K♦ board, right around the time that Daniel Negreanu walked by putting on a plummy British accent to ask for water. A camera crew trailed behind him, which is pretty much a default situation for Kid Poker.

Jonat was the next to benefit after squeezing a blind under-the-gun raise from Williams to 900 (with the blinds at 25/50). He got two callers; Williams and Lambrou. Jonat fired two streets on the K♦T♦8♣2♣K♥ board for 1,200 and 2,600 before flatting Lambrou's 4,600 lead on the river.

"Don't make me look bad," said Lambrou when I asked his name. We wouldn't dream of it and when you're on a table which is opening blind with eight-four anything goes. -- RD

Blinds up: 50/100

1.05pm: An orbit with Daniel Negreanu
It's fair to say Daniel Negreanu is one of the most outgoing and effervescent poker players on the circuit and he's also one of, if not the most popular among fans of the game. Before he took his seat he took a walk round the poker room.

First he stopped to chat with Jason Mercier, who was standing by Ike Haxton's table, the Canadian playfully gave Mercier, who was decked out in white basketball shorts, trainers and a grey long sleeved t-shirt, a dig in the ribs whilst asking him what table he was sat at. Whilst all this was happening Full Tilt Poker Tour Ambassador Sin Melin joined Haxton's table, taking a seat to the right of John Eames.


Team PokerStars Online's Ike Haxton

Mercier wandered off to his table - he's sat three to the right of two-time UKIPT winner Nick Abou Risk - and Negreanu continued on his way. He stopped to have a brief tete-a-tete with Friend of PokerStars Pierre Neuville but like the littlest hobo he was soon on the move once more.

At this point I didn't know where Negreanu was seated and it was a bit like watching which table would win the Negreanu lottery. Next he was stopped to have a photo taken but with that duty concluded he passed by Sam Grafton's table and it looked for a moment as if he was going to stop here to take his seat. That would've been a contest I'd like to have seen, not for poker ability but for who could talk most. I'm not sure who'd my money would be on.

At the next table along, one that contained Alex Dreyfus, Negreanu evidently knew the dealer from the EPT circuit. It was her birthday today, she's 27 and he started singing happy birthday but thought better of it after one line. At the adjacent table he spotted fellow Team PokerStars Pro Leo Margets, eyed up her table and said: "Your table looks tough, they're all trying to win."


Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu

The Negrenau roulette table ball then settled on number 11 and he took his position in the two seat, a couple to the right of Fraser McIntyre. The Canadian wasted little time in getting involved as he made it 150 to play from the cut-off, Radu Zamostean then re-raised to 425 on the button, back on Negreanu he bumped it to 1,500. "Is that too big, all the kids would say my 4-bet sizing sucks wouldn't they?" Unperturbed by Negreanu's speech wizardry, Zamostean made the call.

The flop fell 4♣8♣2♠ and no sooner had it settled on the felt then Negrenau bet 2,500. "Is that too big?" he asked, "All the kids bet like 1,400 pre-flop then 1,100 on the flop." He then turned to address Zamostean, "Whatever you do I won't take it personally, I want the best for you."

A few seconds later Zamostean made it 7,000 total and Negreanu swiftly called. The 5♦ fell on the turn, Negreanu checked, whilst Zamostean was contemplating his action David Williams wandered over to chat to Negreanu and he showed Williams the cards he was holding. Indeed he held them high enough that Zamostean could have swivelled his neck to the right to get a peak. The dealer instructed Negreanu to return his cards to the felt and he did so. He was soon faced with a bet of 4,000 from Zamostean.

"That's smaller than the flop," said Negreanu before calling.

The 5♥ completed the board, both players checked Zamostean showed Q♦Q♠ which bested Negreanu's J♦8♠.

"Nice hand," said Negreanu, "You suckered me in with the small bet."

Hand over, Negrenau was off again... -- NW

12.45pm: Willis on the prowl
PokerStars Head of Blogging Brad Willis has made the transatlantic trip to the Isle of Man for the very first time and he's not wasting his opportunity to really dip deep. While we were grafting at the poker coalface of Day 1A, Willis was out and about the isle talking to PokerStars people, poking around the servers, peeking in drawers, looking round doors and generally sticking his oar in. Over the next few days you can read Willis' special PokerStars HQ coverage here. There's going to be some really interesting stuff. Take a look. -- RD

12.35pm: Table mates
When play started most tables were playing four or five handed, but in the opening 20 minutes a lot of latecomers have filtered in, taken their seats and for the most part tables are now reaching their full compliment.

One of the latecomers was Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree, she had a good excuse though as she was busy doing a pre-tournament interview. Boeree, who's proudly displaying a poppy on her turquoise sweater, took a seat to the direct left of Max Silver. He's a former UKIPT champion and finished runner-up to Vanessa Selbst in the UKIPT High Roller in London. They're sharing a table with another player who had a successful UKIPT London, Patryk Slusarek finished seventh in the Main Event.

Elsewhere Team PokerStars SportsStar Fatima Moreira De Melo is deep in conversation with Team PokerStars Online's Issac Haxton. Whilst a couple of seats to Ike's left sits John Eames, the Brit might have good skills when it comes to 2k side events but his breakfast skills leave a lot to be desired. I saw him put beans on his plate first when building his English breakfast earlier, for shame.

Three players who would probably ostracise Eames for his breakfast blasphemy are sharing a table as Full Tilt Poker Ambassador Ben Jenkins, Andrew Hulme and Mitch Johnson are seated together and Vanessa Rousso and Nick Newport will get the chance to study each other's game as they too are table mates. -- NW

12.20pm: Numbers moving up
The board is now showing "Players 200/200" and most of the seats in the room are looking pretty occupied. One seat that was vacant was Liv Boeree's. The EPT Sanremo winner was sat elsewhere being interviewed by a Manx camera crew. Boeree obviously turned on the charm but to the trained eye one could almost detect Boeree's underlying desire to get to her seat. You never know if you're missing the chance to flop a set.

The tables are covered with many EPT regs such as Chris Dowling, Mick Graydon and Jon Spinks. A face that you're less likely to see in the tournament action is the GPI's Alex Dreyfus who is looking relaxed in a hoodie. I've only ever seen him in a suit before. A double-take was needed. -- RD

12.10pm: Getting chipped up
We've set up a chip count page for named and notables here. We'll be updating it as the day goes on and big stacks start to present themselves. No one wins on Day 1. -- RD


Barry Greenstein breaking the no-educating-at-the-table rule, yesterday at a social event

12.02pm: Play has begun
Day 1B of the UKIPT Main Event has begun. The word from the floor - as delivered my mobile phone from Nick Wright - is that the board is currently showing 150 players for the day but those are spread across around 28 tables which are starting a little short-handed. Lots of players are still filtering in. All very usual for a Day 1B starting field. Prompt punctuality is not necessarily a key element of the professional poker player's skill set. -- RD

11.55am: What would Ike do?
So how does Team PokerStars Online's Ike Haxton prepare for a UKIPT Main Event? Does he multi-table $500/$1,000 heads-up action? No, he smashes up the $0.02/$0.04 Zoom tables. -- RD

11.35am: The Day 1B field readies itself for the chase
Day 1B of the UKIPT Isle Of Man Main Event starts at noon today and we expect it to be a packed field. Big names lined up to to sit down with a 20,000 stack include PokerStars Red Spades Daniel Negreanu, Jason Mercier, Barry Greenstein, Ike Haxton, David Williams, Jake Cody, Vanessa Rousso and Liv Boeree. They'll all be looking to follow in Dara O'Kearney's footsteps by ending the day with the chip lead. O'Keareny topped the field with 112,100, the largest of the 54 players who made it through from the 113 starting pack. Read last night's Day 1A wrap by clicking here.

We'll bring your names and numbers as they start filtering through. In the meantime you can take a look at the counts who got through yesterday: End of Day 1A chip counts.


Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree is among the Day 1B hopefuls

Key UKIPT Isle of Man facts
- 20,000 starting stack
- Blinds starting at 25/50 for 400 big blinds
- One hour levels (and we'll play eight)
- PokerStars employees are - for the first time ever - allowed to play a PokerStars Main Event. All will be duly patched up and have paid the entry fee out of their own pocket.
- Tomorrow the Day 1 survivors will merge for Days 2, 3 and 4 until a winner is crowned (cue winner's photo, trophy swinging around, celebrations in the bar).

PokerStars Blog reporting team at PokerStars UKIPT Isle of Man: and Nick Wright. Photos by Rene Velli.

Rick Dacey
@PokerStars in UKIPT