UKIPT Series 6 London - Day 1B - Level 1-4(100/200/25)
4.05pm: Break time!
A hard-fought four levels are in the bag and the players have stampeded out of the card room to avail themselves of the Hippodrome's multitudinous facilities. We'll be back in twenty minutes to resume on level five. See you then!
4.02pm: Exciting exiting
Poker these days is an aggressively played game. Twenty thousand chips is no guarantee you'll survive the early stages, as the following eliminated players have found out. Good game.
Alexander R Johnson
3.48pm: Winter(bottom) is coming
Patrick Winterbottom looks to be enjoying the early stages of the tournament - maintaining his stack over the opening levels. He just won a medium pot without showdown to push him into profit:
The opening of the hand saw Winterbottom raise to 575 preflop and pick up two callers.
His 1,500 continuation bet on the K♣3♠4♦ board thinned the field further - his opposition reduced to a single combatant before an additional 3,000 barrel on the Q♣ saw even this resistance evaporate - his opponent folding to leave Winterbottom up to 21,500.
3.35pm: Ante-s up!
The introduction of the antes is often a big catalyst for action - those extra chips sweetening the pot in the middle just enough to entice players to fight that bit more fiercely for their ownership.
We could see some blind scuffles breaking out over the next level. Keep 'em peeled poker fans.
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 100-200-25
3.22pm: Early fallers
Some players will be in this for the long haul - others however have failed to make it to the first break.
Here's some of those who have stumbled over the early hurdles:
Nicholas George Stylianou
Bad luck guys, enjoy your newly-liberated Saturday!
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 75-150
3.05pm: Bank of Sweden
Craig Sweden has lost a few of those chips he made earlier, although he feels like he still has a claim to those lost chips.
"They're just on loan," Sweden told his tablemate.
"Any interest or interest free?" his opponent jested back.
"Of course there's bloody interest!" Sweden thundered, enjoying the early banter at the table.
2.54pm: Mitchell chips up in Ernest
2010 Irish Open winner James Mitchell has had a bright start, picking up a decent pot versus Ernest Jakub Waczkow - without showdown.
Mitchell began the hand opening to 300 preflop, Waczkow calling from the blinds.
The board fell Q♦6♦5♥
Check, 600 from Mitchell, call from Waczkow.
The turned 3♥ saw Mitchell fire a second barrel of 1,100 when his opponent checked - only for Waczkow to spring into action, violently throwing out four 1,000 chips in a suprise check-raise.
Mitchell looked unperturbed, considering a few moments before re-popping to 10,000 himself. Waczkow looked unhappy at this development - rubbing his head several times before surrendering the pot.
Waczkow down to 15,000, Mitchell up to 25,000...
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 50-100
2.35pm: Trifonova goes supernova
The brightest stars burn for the shortest time they say. That being the case the star of Madlena Dimitrova Trifonova must be positively incandescent as she has busted out in the opening level.
We joined her exit hand with her having moved all-in on the river of a K♣Q♠K♦9♠T♥ board, holding T♣J♣ for the straight. Her enthusiasm for her hand however was dampened when Craig Sweden made a snap-call - showing her pocket kings for quads.
"Ooohhh," gushed the table at this stellar holding.
"Very nice," the polite Trifonova offered as she collected her things and left.
Meanwhile, Sweden is up to a chip-leading 40,000 in level one.
2.26pm: The naming of the shrew-dies
Some of the better-known players to have thrown their hat into the ring today include Full Tilt Poker Ambassador Martins Adeniya - winner of the previous UKIPT Series event, pundit and well-known face on the UK poker scene Carlo Citrone and two-time UKIPT winner Duncan McLellan, a handful for anyone unlucky enough to share his table.
2.16pm: Tournament wizardry
Demand to play this event is high and the poker room is packed with eager players. Despite this however the tournament director Luca has somehow managed to create space around the tables that didn't exist yesterday. We doff our hat to his mad logistic skills.
2.05pm: Cards in the air
We're off! Good luck one and all.
1.55pm: Welcome to the Hippodrome - UKIPT Series 6 Day 1B
Yesterday, The Hippodrome Casino saw 163 players arrive to contend the UKIPT Series 6 title, and after 12 lightning-fast levels, this number had been whittled down to just 48 contenders in quicksmart fashion.
Darren Murphy was the man who found himself atop the pile once the sun had set on Day 1A, his 220,300 setting him well apart from his closest contenders.
Click here to see how the rest of the field was arrayed.
Today, for day 1B we expect an even bigger field to be crammed into the playing arena and this opens up the exciting possibilities of even more big pots, shocking developments and general poker drama to play out here in London.
The players will be allocated a generous 20,000 chips to start with but with the blinds set to rise every half hour, that huge stack dwindles faster than you'd think. The last four levels yesterday saw hordes of players streaming to the rail in the latter stages and there's no reason not to expect a similar maelstrom as today reaches its denouement.
Play is scheduled to start at 2.00pm, we're close to cards being in the air. All the major developments will be detailed for you here in the blog, but don't forget to check our twitter (follow @ukipt) and the PokerStars facebook page for further information about how the day is progressing.
Good luck to all the players, it's going to be an interesting day ahead!
PokerStars Blog reporting team at UKIPT Series 6 - London:Rod Stirzaker. Photos by Neil Stoddart.