UKIPT4 Isle of Man: Level 5-8 updates (400/800, ante 100)

8.55pm: Done for the day
Play is done for the day, it appears Dara O'Kearney is the overnight chip leader with 112,100. A full wrap of the day's play is on the way. -- NW

8.40pm: Final five
The clock has been paused and players will be dealt five more hands before they are done for the day. -- NW

8.35pm: More exits
Just 58 players remain in the tournament as we approach the final 30 minutes. The latest exits include: Ronaldo De Oliveira, Linda Willix, Gerald McCann, Daniel Tighe and Nigel Holliday. -- NW

8.30pm: Everybody loves a chopped pot
Everyone apart from Miikka Anttonen who looked set fair for a double up until in his own words a "PokerStars river' completed the board.

But the turn of a J♠8♥Q♣K♦ board there was 12,000 in the pot and Anttonen managed to get his last 23,000 in against Marko Martinkovic. The Finn showed [10d]9♣ for a flopped straight, whilst Martinkovic had K♥[10c] for top pair and an up and down straight draw. He was actually drawing dead in terms of winning the pot, but he had an almost 16% shot at chopping the pot and that's what happened as the A♣ completed the board giving them both a broadway straight. -- NW

8.20pm: Brutal
Poker is a cruel game, the cards have no memory and have no favourites, something that Joan Hadley just found out to her cost.

She'd shoved for 12,150 (about two times the pot) on a Q♥J♠2♠ flop, her opponent in the hand was Christoffer Stahle and the Swede counted out the calling chips from his stack and set it to one side. He would be left with just 2,150 should he call and lose so it wasn't a decision he was about to take lightly. After mulling it over for a couple of minutes he pushed the chips over the line and the hands were turned over:

Hadley: Q♠J♦
Stahle: A♠J♥

Hadley was well ahead with her two pair, that was until the A♥ fell on fourth street to gasps from the table. She was long odds to suck out on the river and when it came the 6♠ she was eliminated. -- NW

8.15pm: Bullish market bad for Caicai Huang
It took Caicai Huang some time to call Robbie Bull's shove and when she did she found out that she was flipping. Bull had got his 34,500 stack in with J♥J♣ and Huang's A♥K♣ was looking good when the window card showed a king. The full board was less fortuitous though: K♦2♥7♥J♠7♦. Bull, who won £113,405 at UKIPT London earlier this month, has chipped up to 70,000 while Huang's 15,000 stack looks decidedly more perilous.

Jamie O'Connor is another player looking to break the 100,000 mark. He's up to 95,000. -- RD


UKIPT London champ Robbie Bull

8.05pm: Exits
We're down to about six tables here on Day 1a, that's largely because: Richard Baldwin, Mark Warnock, Maris Gelsbergs, Steven Rough, Mark Emmerson, Adam Saunders, Daragh Davey, Owen Shiels and PokerStars Team Online's Andre Coimbra have been eliminated.

That's bad news for a lot of people as the Portuguese grinder, who's trying to turn $100 into $100,000 for charity, offered 10% of his UKIPT Main Event winnings in a competition. He tweeted his exit for all to see...

8pm: Ward believes Dahl's story
Baard Dahl, is one of the Rational Group employees who has taken advantage of this unique opportunity to compete in a PokerStars event and it's thus far proven to be a wise decision. He just tangled in a big pot with UKIPT3 London runner-up Thomas Ward.

On the turn of a A♥K♦6♦5♠ board Dahl bet 4,000 and Ward made the call. The [10s] completed the board and a couple of seconds later Dahl announced that he was all-in. "So sick," said Ward as he lent back in his chair and contemplated his move. He elected to fold and intimated that he'd folded [A][10]. "That was a nasty one," he said, both he and Dahl have about 38,000. -- NW

7.50pm: Surging Sheridan chasing foaming Farrell
Niall Farrell and Caleb Sheridan are jockeying for the chip lead going into the final level of the day. Sheridan, a VIP Program Senior Manager for PokerStars, knocked out his colleague Dylan Coady, Team PokerStars Online's Andre 'acoimbra' Coimbra, and Kovacs Gergo to get up to 123,150. Some tough competition has arrived in the shape of two of this season's UKIPT champs, Ludo Geilich (48,000) and Robbie Bull (40,000).

Farrell is still out in front with "somewhere between 140,000 and 3,000,000" chips (it looks like 140,000 to me). Dominik Nitsche is on Farrell's right and James Browning on his left but closer to hand are two pints of lager.

"This is medicinal, man," said Farrell quite seriously.

Farrell had been up late and lively playing the opening £165 six-max event which he finished third in for £1,510. -- RD

Blinds up: 400/800, ante 100

7.35pm: The rich get richer
There's no stopping Niall Farrell at the moment, the runaway chip leader keeps on having to build new extensions on his house of chips, first world problems and all that though eh?

He built a new wing when he won a hand against James Browning and Paul McTaggart. From under-the-gun Farrell opened to 1,300, one seat along Browning made the call and McTaggart, who was the cut-off, did likewise. On the 5♣9♣J♦ flop Farrell c-bet 2,400 and both players tagged along. The Q♥ hit the turn, Farrell fired again, 5,600 this time, which was enough to get rid of McTaggart, but not Browning who stuck around to see the 9♠ complete the board.

As Farrell was deliberating his betsize, Dara O'Kearney took his seat to Browning's left, his table having recently broken as we're down to 63 players, eventually Farrell set Browning all-in for roughly 20,000 and Browning puffed out his cheeks before folding. -- NW

7.25pm: Out
There's no easy way to say this but: Daniel Johnson, Conor Cummins, Jacob Hicklin, Hasmukh Khodiyara, Oliver McDonald, Dylan Coady, David Crilly, Jonathan Weekes, Lee McCann, Marc Macdonall and David Hill can take tours of PokerStars HQ to their hearts content as they're out. -- NW

7.15pm: Table captains
A sweep of the tournament floor shows the following the top dogs:

Niall Farrell, United Kingdom, PokerStars Player, 123,000
Tim Michels, Germany, PokerStars Qualifier, 65,000
Caicai Huang, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 59,000
Caleb Sheridan, United States, Rational Group Staff, 58,750
Chris Straghalis, United States, Rational Group Staff, 54,000
Oliver Deacon, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 48,875
Thomas Ward, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 48,500
Dara O`Kearney, Ireland, PokerStars Qualifier, 46,500
Alexander Schilt, Switzerland, PokerStars Qualifier, 45,000
Sean O`Neill, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, 42,000
David Hill, Isle of Man, PokerStars Qualifier, 42,000
Darren Hope, Isle of Man, PokerStars Player, 40,000
Kovacs Gergo, Hungary, PokerStars Qualifier, 39,000
Richard Baldwin, Isle of Man, 39,000
David Yan, New Zealand, PokerStars Player, 38,000
James Browning, United Kingdom, 32,000

That's the top two stacks from each table, not the top 16 stacks. Either way they're doing pretty well.76 players remain. -- RD

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Does life taste good for Niall Farrell?

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Indeed it does

7.10pm: 'It's easy when you flop sets'
UKIPT Online Qualifier of the Year Dara O'Kearney is no slouch in the live arena, he was in the top 10 in chips at the break and after just winning a big pot against Tim Davie I'd wager he's now in the top five.

The Irishman opened to 1,200 from middle position, Tim Davie was in the small blind and the Brighton youngster was the only caller. On the 6♥5♥A♣4♠A♥ board O'Kearney bet every street, for 1,500, 3,250 and 6,500 respectively and Davie called all the way, taking progressively longer to do so though. At showdown O'Kearney opened 6♦6♣ for a flopped set and rivered full house. "It's easy when you flop sets," said UKIPT4/Estrellas Marbella champion Ludovic Geilich, "It's definitely not eight to one when I play," said Geilich referencing the odds you're to flop a set when holding a pocket pair.

7pm: Razavi ventures West
Sam Razavi has had an up and down day. It started badly but he's since pulled himself up by the bootstraps to 35,000, partly thanks to the elimination of Olympian snowboarder Zoe Gillings. Razavi has previously won an UKIPT and was the Season 2 Player of the Year but more recently he's been playing in Asia. So why the appearance back in the UK?

"When I won the UKIPT Leader Board I didn't come to three events so basically chucked those away, last month I won four packages for the UKIPT London month and didn't make it there. When I qualified for three packages here I thought, 'I can't let another donation go to the prize pool.' Also I've never been to the Isle of Man and I'm a bit of a, errr, how do you put it? Flag junkie?" said Razavi.

Razavi is based in Cebu where he lives with fiancee, with whom he's expecting a child. Cebu is, we hear, beautiful, but maybe, just maybe, recent events there are what made Razavi finally take the trip back West.

"It's just had a 7.5 earthquake there but I was in Manilla. There's been 3,000 aftershocks. and I thought I might just exit stage left," said Razavi.

Is that what it takes to budge Razavi? No wonder he runs deep in so many tournaments. -- RD


Sam Razavi (right)

6.50pm: Play resumes
Level 7 has begun meaning there's just two hours of play left today.

Blinds up: 300/600, ante 75

6.32pm: Break time
Six levels down, two to go and to prepare the players for that they've been sent on a 15 minute break. -- NW

6.30pm: Exits
There's no easy way to say this but: Scott Byron, Ben Grant, Robert Schulz, Christian Igbokwe and Paul McAteer are all on a permanent break from this tournament. -- NW

6.25pm: Chip counts
Niall Farrell is the clear chip leader as he has 108,000, below are selected chip counts. You can check them out on the chip count page which we'll be updating throughout the tournament.

Daragh Davey - 23,000
Dara O'Kearney - 25,750
David Yan - 37,600
Hasmukh Khodiyara - 8,300
James Browning - 30,700
Jonathan Weekes - 7,400
Lynne Beaumont - 29,000
Marc MacDonnell - 27,800
Paul McTaggart - 23,000
Robbie Bull - 34,000
Thomas Ward - 29,500
Tim Davie - 31,400
Mickey Petersen - 32,000
Sam Razavi - 32,000
Ludovic Geilich - 40,150
Dominik Nitsche - 15,800

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Dominik Nitsche (left) and Niall Farrell (right) share a joke

6.20pm: Jones can't keep up with Gergo
A classic race just went down between Michael Jones and Kovacs Gergo. The former was all-in pre-flop for a shade under 13,000 and had his tournament life on the line with A♠K♥, he was up against Gergo's pair of queens and the pair held on the 2♣3♣4♦2♠J♣ board. -- NW

6.10pm: Olmypian Gillings too kamikaze
British Olympic snowboarder Zoe Gillings is currently ranked number 8 in the world (and number 1 in the UK) but she'll not be breaking onto the PokerStars Tournament Leader Board anytime soon. She's just too much of a lunatic... in a lovely way, of course.

"There's quite a lot of similarities (between poker and snowboarding) to be honest. There's a lot of competition and adrenaline as well as having to figure out what your opponents are doing. I kind of have to restrain myself in poker a little bit. Even in the snowboarding world I'm one of the more reckless and want to go for it completely," said Gillings.

For a sport where you toss yourself headfirst down an icy mountain at breakneck speeds, while trying to cut up seven other lunatics who are equally as happy to pelt down 90-degree alpine ravines, that's really saying something. That refusal to slow up may have cost her today when she couldn't drop pocket queens when Sam Razavi had pocket aces, but that sounds like a cooler to us (no pun intended).

Gillings is set to compete for Olympic gold in 99 days' time at the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. We all wish her the best there. A longer interview with her will be published on the blog before too long, but I'm kind of tied up covering this Main Event to transcribe it all now. Keep an eye open for that. -- RD

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Gillings - sadly her chips went downhill as fast as she does

5.50pm: Pots for O'Kearney and Straghalis
A couple of sizeable pots that went to showdown to tell you about...

In the first Owen Shiels opened to 800 and an in position Dara O'Kearney was the only caller. On the 5♥J♦2♠ flop Shiels led for 800 and O'Kearney made the call. The K♣ fell on turn, this didn't slow Shiels down, he fired out a bet of 1,325 and again O'Kearney smooth called.

The 7♣ completed the board, Shiels emptied the clip firing a third barrel, this time the price for O'Kearney was 2,650. It didn't take the Irishman long to cut out calling chips, when he did call Shiels was slow to turn his hand over meaning O'Kearney likely had the winner and so it proved as when O'Kearney showed K♦Q♥ Shiels sent his cards into the muck.

As for Straghalis he dragged a chunky pot after betting 5,500 on the turn and 7,500 on the river of a 8♣6♣K♠[10d]J♦ board, he got action both times and showed Q♠9♣ for the rivered straight. His opponent, Kovacs Gergo, had hit the river too but not as hard as Straghalis as he had A♦J♥. -- NW

5.40pm: Lappin bounced by queen high
I saw David Docherty and David Lappin having a conversation away from the playing area which could only mean one thing, they were both out."Either of your exits bloggable?" I asked. There was a shake of the head from Docherty but Lappin said: "I guess mine's a bit weird," I clicked my pen.

"There was an open from under-the-gun, seat four (Jacob Hicklin) called and I called from the big blind with Q♥2♥. The flop was [7][8][9] with two hearts, I bet about 1.5 times the pot, roughly 4,500 into 3,500. Under-the-gun folded and seat four then asked me I wanted to gamble," said Lappin. "I said no," he continued. "But then he said, 'let's gamble anyway,' and put me all-in for my last couple of thousand.I called and he had [Q][10] for a better queen high. The turn and river were both bricks and his hand held up."

As for Docherty he said he was a great to play poker against an Olympian - he'd been sat to the left of Zoe Gillings all day - but that nothing went right for him today.

As well as Docherty and Lappin, Michael Fernley, Jason Wheeler, Michael Ray, Ross Marshall and Quentin Martin are all out. -- NW

Blinds up: 200/400, ante 50

5.30pm: O'Connor chipping up
Jamie O'Connor now has two tall stacks of chips in front of them, which makes it a little tricky to count but it's safe to say that he's likely the chip leader with what must be about 80,000. It's not hard to see how he's getting chipped up. Here goes...

Jonathan Lynas min-raised under-the-gun for 600. The action folded to Mark Emmerson who three-bet his button to 1,600. O'Connor cold four-bet from the big blind to 3,525 and took the pot. Big hands or big plays? Scott Byron, who passed his hand in the cut-off, sat shaking his head as O'Connor put his four-bet in. It's got all the elements for a big pot blow-up in the near future. -- RD

5.20pm: Exits
A few more exits to tell you about as William Champion, who was chip leader at the end of Day 1A in Dublin back in Season 3, Joseph Lalor and Zoe Gillings are all out.

The latter, who's an Olympic snowboarder, got pretty unlucky to bust as she ran queens into Sam Razavi's aces on a jack-high board. -- NW

5.10pm: More for Farrell
Niall Farrell already had one of the biggest stacks in the room and he just added another few thousand to it after winning a hand against Paul Hempseed. Action folded to Farrell, he was paying for a drink at the time and said: "Let me just see if I've got two good cards," he said to the waitress. Evidently he did as he raised it up to 700, he got one caller as Hempseed put in the extra from the big blind.
Both players checked on the 9♦6♥7♦ flop and the [10c] hit the turn. First to act Hempseed fired out a bet of 875, call from Farrell. The K♣ completed the board, Hempseed fired again, this time 1, 725. After getting a count of the bet Farrell made it 5,500 to go. "I guess queen-jack got there," said Hempseed to himself more than Farrell. Eventually after some posturing he let his hand go, Farrell is closing in on 60,000. -- NW

5pm: Chris Straghalis' amazing shirt
Just before the break I had the pleasure to speak to Chris Straghalis, another Rational Group staffer who's anted up the £1,100 to play this UKIPT. In terms of the poker there was nothing to phone home about yet: he was showing a meagre profit of 125 chips on his starting 20,000 stack. What was a lot more noticeable was the bright eye-jangling shirt he's decided to wear today. It really is a work of art. You know, like M. C. Escher's 'Relativity'. The longer you stare at it the less idea you have of what's going on (photographic evidence of this is below).


Chris Straghalis (left) and Jacob Hicklin (right)

"I've got fifty of these at home," Straghalis told me.

He could swap his shirt every blind level, which is a terrifying thought. Two players at his table who are currently better chipped to make that run are Jacob Hicklin and Kovacs Gergo. Gergo's up to more than 40,000 after winning a nice three-way pot with a flopped set against aces and top pair, while Hicklin took a big one with deuce-three offsuit. As you do.

Manz local Hicklin plays in a regular game with Straghalis and has been putting that knowledge to good effect to take the PokerStars Poker Room Management man's chips.

"He's won for the last year in cash games so it's a little justice," said Hicklin with a smile.

Well, I think he was smiling. I don't fully trust my eyes after staring at that shirt for too long. -- RD

4.55pm: One pair the right medicine for Doke
Dara 'Doke' O'Kearney is up to 23,000 after making a good call on the river. He was one of three players who took a 2♦3♦A♥ flop, all three checked and the 5♦ rolled off on the turn. First to act was Adam Saunders, the Isle of Man resident led for 1,025, Daragh Davey got out the way but O'Kearney made the call. The 3♥ completed the board, Saunders fired out 1,500 and after getting confirmation of the amount O'Kearney flicked in the requisite chips. "I've got a pair," said Saunders opening 9♠9♥, O'Kearney had him pipped though with pocket tens.

4.45pm: Chip leaders
Three players have separated themselves from the pack and lead the way here at The Villa Marina. Top dog at the moment is Jamie O'Connor, the Leeds based PokerStars Qualifier has 65,000. He's got a 30+ big blind lead over Niall Farrell and Daniel Tighe who both have around 55,000. -- NW

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"Dear mum, I've just bust." Dermot Blain is out.

4.40pm: Play resumes
We've crossed the halfway point of the day and we're now starting to see a slew of exits. Among the players falling are Full Tilt Poker Tour Ambassador Dermot Blain, Colin Gillon, Gary Whipp, Calum Morrissey and David Nuth. -- RD

PokerStars Blog reporting team at PokerStars UKIPT Isle of Man: rel="author">Rick Dacey and Nick Wright. Photos by Rene Velli.

Rick Dacey
@PokerStars in UKIPT