UKIPT Series 6 London - Level 9-12(1000/2000/300)
To read updates from levels 5-8 click here.
9.20pm: Darren Murphy heads field at close of Day 1A
The day has come to a close and Darren Murphy was the man who survived the conditions best - finishing the day bagging up 220,300 in chips, well ahead of second-placed Willie Tann (170,400) and third-placed Dean Perry(150,300).
For the full and final chip counts, click here.
A mammoth 163 players had stormed into the Hippodrome Casino, London earlier today with cash in their wallets and hope in their eyes. By the time the day had played out, most of those had emigrated from their seats at the table to a seat at the bar - just 48 making it through a tough day of no-holds-barred poker.
Some big names arrived to test their fortune but out of Triple Crown Winner Jake Cody, former professional footballer Lawrie Sanchez and London poker stalwart Willie Tann - Tann was the only man to survive the day, using every ounce of guile and experience at his disposal to bag up an impressive 170,400 at the close - despite having twice folded what would have been a winning hand in a huge pot!
Sin Melin proved her mettle, turning a bad start round, dipping perilously close to elimination with 8,000 chips before rising up phoenix-like to a respectable 69,300 at the close of play.
It was a fascinating day's poker and we can expect bigger and better things tomorrow as we anticipate an even larger field.
We'll rejoin you then for the 2.00pm start as we continue the quest for glory on Day 1B with a host of new faces. See you there!
8.40pm:End of Day 1A
Level 12 has ended and that means so has Day 1A. The players are currently bagging and tagging and we'll have a short resume of the day to come shortly.
8.30pm: Chip leaders
With the end of the day closing in, here are some of the men topping the charts as we speak:
Darren Murphy - 175,000 (having just knocked out Leighton Thomas AK v AT)
Clyde Rimando - 160,000
Victor Victorovich Ilyukhin - 150,000
Dean Perry - 140,000
Willie Tann - 98,000
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 1000-2000-300
8.15pm: Cody jacks it in
One of the marquee names in attendance has just been struck from the list of potential champions here. Jake Cody lost a big pot running jacks into aces, and the smouldering remains of his shortstack were polished off soon afterward.
Just 60 remain now as we head into the last level of the day.
8.10pm: Roll-call of the damned
The attritional rate is reaching seismic proportions now; a tsunami of busted players washing out of the poker room as the rising blinds continue to take their epic toll on the numbers. Just 63 remain from those who started the day. Here are the latest men to see their attempt to win the trophy fall on stony ground:
Michael Thomas Welland
7.50pm: Cody's squeeze gives Tann the giggles
Having seen a raise to 3,200 from early position, called by WIllie Tann - Jake Cody made a move to chip up, shoving for 20,000 or so.
The early position raiser now tanked - "I've got two overs I think, I worked hard for these chips" - eventually folding to leave Willie Tann (now in hysterics) to insta-fold.
"Two unders!" announced Willie Tann. "I've got five high. How can I call!"
Cody sweeps up the pot to move to 28,000.
"You'll get me eventually Willie," offered Cody quietly.
7.45pm: Robertson Stu'ed
Stuart Robertson has just perished - a cooler seeing his 9♠3♠ face off against his opponent's pocket kings on a K♣9♥3♦ board.
With almost no way to escape the noose he began gathering his belongings and when the turn and river bricked, he was on his way - no money in his pocket but a broad smile across his face.
7.31pm: Melin correction
We underestimated Melin's stack - she actually had more blue 5k chips nestling away in her winnings and is up to 70,000 - rapidly becoming a force in the tournament.
7.25pm: Melin baller
The PokerStars blog bump has given Sin Melin a boost at just the right time.
We joined the hand on the river of a K♣8♣5♦Q♣T♠ board, Melin holding pocket tens and her disappointed opponent leaving the felt with a glum expression betraying his inner thoughts.
We think the chips went in on the flop, suggesting Melin had a fair amount of fortune in this hand - although with 40,000 now, she is well placed to use this fortune to make a tilt at the title.
An interested and significantly shorter-stacked Jake Cody looked on with interest - we think there may be some last longer side action between the pair. More to come on this later.
7.15pm: Sinkers and swimmers
Sin Melin and Jake Cody are both relatively short-stacked but they are biding their time, waiting to pounce for a double-up. These players however have been unceremoniously bounced out of contention to spill onto the streets of London and enjoy the insane multitudes that populate Leicester Square on a Friday night. Enjoy!
Mark David Thomas
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 600-1200-200
7.02pm: Barrett out-kicked and kicked out
Every dog has its day, but today was not the day for Scott Barrett to win with a dog.
Holding A♥7♣, he jammed over the top of a Darren Murphy raise to 2,100, Murphy making a quick call with A♠K♣.
It looked bleak for Barrett and he held little hope for the future. "That's it for me, you win," he said. "Not yet," warned Murphy continuing the pessimistic ambience the pair had created.
"I'd take a king right now," Murphy commented - his wish coming true as a board of K♦8♥5♥ peeled off. "Oooh hearts though," said Murphy - despondent gloom pouring out of him at the prospect of a backdoor flush draw arriving.
He needn't have worried - though the 9♥ on the turn was one of the worst cards in the deck - Barrett's flush and straight draws missed on the 8♠ river and Murphy moves to 38,500. Barrett hits the rail.
6.45pm: Back from the break
The pace is now fast and furious and we can only expect it to accelerate from here on out.
Just 100 players remain from the initial 163 who sat down. A frenetic finish to the day is all but guaranteed. Hold tight!
PokerStars Blog reporting team at UKIPT Series 6- London: Rod Stirzaker. Photos by Neil Stoddart.