UKIPT Series 6 London - Level 1-4(100/200)
4.00pm: End of Level 4; 20 minute Break
Four speedy levels have just whizzed by - we've had around 10 exits - news of those shortly, but for now, the players are taking a hard-earned twenty minute break. We'll be back shortly.
3.45pm:Bastow loses cool
Just as the blinds are rising inexorably - so are certain tempers. Most recently, Frank Barstow engaged in some verbal warfare that threatened to spill into something more serious if left unchecked.
A disagreement over table etiquette with a tablemate had apparently escalated into personal abuse claimed Bastow when the tournament director arrived to calm everyone down. Bastow had been on the verge of issuing physical threats when he "self-deported" himself from the table to calm down.
In his absence the rest of the table made light of the confrontation, giving out prices on who they thought would have come out on top if the pair had come to blows. General consensus was that Barstow would have been a 3-1 dog.
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 100-200
3.29pm: Panteli's snowmen melted
Michael Panteli has not had a fun day. Finding himself short, he made a move with pocket eights, only to run smack bang into a dominating pair of tens.
A board of A♥9♠3♥3♦Q♣ failed to save his tournament and he flew from the poker room like an angry wasp.
So fast was his exit that he forgot to collect his mobile phone - it was duly despatched back to him to prevent his day from becoming even more disastrous.
3.18pm: Bradpiece settling into variance junkey mode
Jerome Bradpiece looks as placid a character as you'll find at the poker felt. His stack hovering around the 19,000 mark suggested a quiet start but he told us quite the opposite was true.
"It's been up and down you know, early days though." Bradpiece's demeanor is one of someone who has seen it all and done it all before. This man doesn't panic. If his head was on fire he'd politely ask the waitress for a glass of water.
3.05pm: Logbo on the rise
An early riser in the midst of the field is Alain Bissai Logbo. Having led for around 1,000 on the turn of a Q♠5♠T♣7♣ board, he received no less than three callers!
The 8♣ on the river looked menacing - flushes and several straight draws had got there. Logbo swiftly checked back his K♣T♠ second pair - only for the other three players to all check leaving Logbo to receive the unexpected news that his hand was the best!
"Wow," commented a tablemate at that relatively meagre holding scooping a decent-sized pot.
"I was going to bet," lamented one of the gun-shy players in the pot.
Logbo up to 24,750...
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 75-150
2.44pm: Legends new and old
Leicester square is filled with historic monuments - on a separate note the venerable WIllie Tann has arrived to add his prestige (and buy in) to the field. Willie Tann was winning WSOP bracelets whilst many of these young whipper snappers were staring wide-eyed at Devilfish and the like on Late Night Poker back in the day.
One such whipper snapper is PokerStars very own Marc Convey, who has put down his usual updater/ commentator hat to take to the felt. A quiet start for Convey has seen him maintain his starting stack over the opening level.
2.35pm: Cagey opening
With 20,000 in chips, the players have ample time to pick their spots and we can expect few bustouts in these early stages. The players should note the 30 minute clock however - what looks like a veritable mountain of chips may have shrunk to a small hillock by the time they make their moves - adapt and survive, the key to tournament poker!
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 50-100
2.20pm: Form horse Cody canters into view
As expected the serendipitous timing of the event means some stellar names have launched themselves into the mix. One such luminary is Team PokerStars Pro Jake Cody, fresh from final tabling the last UKIPT event in Marbella, as well as the proud owner of the fabled triple crown of EPT,WSOP and WPT titles, Cody has to start as one of the favourites for the title.
He shouldn't expect a cakewalk from this field though - a number of talented individuals including the fiery Sin Melin and the contrastingly laconic, laid back Jerome Bradpiece just two of those who will have their own designs on the title as the tournament progresses.
2:00pm: UKIPT Series 6 in effect
Warm greetings from the Hippodrome Casino here in the busy heart of Leicester Square, London.
We may be well into September but the summer is refusing to go quietly into the night, summoning its last vestiges of strength to deliver us a beautiful bright day in London. Of course, the hungry droves of poker players champing at the bit to sit down and start their journey toward glory and riches will be hoping the only use their sunglasses get is to mask tells rather than shield them from UV rays.
The last man to best the Series field and write his name into the annals of history was Full Tilt Poker Ambassador Martins Adeniya, who rode the waves of variance like a seasoned veteran to sweep to the title. His story can serve as an inspiration to any players who find themselves struggling today as he came into the final day 29th of 29 before his fortunes turned and he found himself smiling into the cameras clutching the trophy.
We'll be bringing you regular updates throughout the day as to how it is going along with a player list and chip counts as the day proceeds.
Good luck one and all!
PokerStars Blog reporting team at UKIPT Series 6 London: Rod Stirzaker. Photos by Neil Stoddart.