UKIPT Series 6 London Day 2 - Level 18-21(8,000-16,000-2,000)
5.31pm: Break time!
With 19 players left, the end of level 21 means the players have fifteen minutes to gather their thoughts and lock their targets on that final table.
We'll be back shortly!
5.25pm: Majewski double
Mario Trattou is seemingly in every pot right now.
Most recently he tangled with Piotr Majewski, the Pole calling his shove on a 9♠8♣6♦ board with 9♦7♦.
Trattou could only table A♠8♥ for second pair and when turn and river bricked, he was left handing over 271,000 of his stack to his foe - Majewski up to 550,000+ Trattou down to 280,000...
5.18pm: Murphy bowsers Mario
Mario Trattou just raised the cut-off with A♠T♣, only for Darren Murphy to move all-in for 309,000.
Trattou vocalised his potential decisions before making a peach of a call with a slim edge - Murphy turning up K♥Q♦.
A board of Q♠2♣2♦6♠8♦ was met with an angry table thump from Trattou as he was outdrawn. Murphy quietly stacked his new 625,000 stack.
"How can you shove K-Q there?!" asked Trattou.
"Well you took the gamble," Murphy replied. Trattou wasn't pushing up the daisies just yet though and recovered some of those chips, knocking out Michael Lee AK v A6 a few hands later. Trattou still has 380,000...
WIth 24 left, Luca is re-drawing the remaining players onto three 8-handed tables. Normal service will be resumed shortly...
4.56pm: The next echelon
These players pipped the men below, having squeezed through to the higher cash tiers. That's an extra few drinks they can enjoy in celebration. 26 players remain now...
32nd Farhan Khan £550.00
33rd Clyde Rimando £550.00
34th Eric Laboreux £550.00
35th Joseph Craig £550.00
36th Willie Tann £550.00
37th Gladys Long £550.00
38th Simon Randall £550.00
39th Sandiep Khosa £550.00
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 8,000-16,000-2,000
4.42pm: Faces and places
Here are the first men to line up and claim their booty from the cash desk. Well played sirs!
40th Mark Thomas £500.00
41st Michael O'Brien £500.00
42nd Kelvin Mullis £500.00
43rd Sundeep Sandhu £500.00
44th Daniel Toffel £500.00
45th Nicolas Berry £500.00
46th Thomas Grundy £500.00
47th John Crouchley £500.00
4.28pm: Awesome Wells caning citizens
Dominic Wells has just scooped a mighty pot to send him thundering up the leaderboard with a 400,000 stack in tow.
A four way pot preflop saw him duke it out with Niazi Suleman (K♠8♠), Leon Campbell (K♣J♣) and a third player holding pocket fives. Wells though had A♥A♣ and although he was about to take a dip in the murky waters of variance, he re-surfaced safe and sound over the 7♣3♥8♥J♠3♦ board.
"I was waiting to pick the perfect spot," said Wells as he collected his bounty. Meanwhile Suleman bowled over to the cash desk telling everyone he'd have won the pot if aces and king-jack had folded. Good game!
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 6,000-12,000-2,000
4.10pm: Chiang - fours to be reckoned with
Jen-Yue Chiang just swerved potential elimination. Having shoved for 95,000, the big-stacked Juan Ignacio Sanchez flat-called with around 400,000 behind.
This sent Mario Trattou into consternation. He clearly wanted to get involved but was wary about tangling with a fellow big stack, eventually folding pocket jacks.
When Chiang opened pocket fours and SanchezA♠J♠, it turned out he would have been in great shape, but having folded it was left to Chiang to collect the pot over the 9♦7♦3♦T♥T♠ board.
Chiang doubles to 220,000 and with Trattou debating his fold, Chiang offered some words of encouragement.
"You made the right decision," he said with a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye.
4.01pm: Majewski on the up
Piotr Majewski is showing his fellow shortstacks how to turn an uneviable shortstack into something challenging as he has risen to around 350,000 in recent times. Winning flips helps of course...
First off he removed a chunk from Farhaan Khan when his T♥T♦ held versus Khan's A♣J♣ on a worrying-looking-but-ultimately-safe board of 5♥4♥2♣9♣K♦ Khan lasted only a few more hands before being eliminated.
Next up Majewski saw Eric Laborieux on his way - isolating the Frenchman's shove with A♣Q♦ and besting his pocket threes when an ace hit the flop.
Good times for the Pole - the poker gods love him right now.
3.35pm: The floodgates have opened
The pressure is off, the sword of Damocles no longer hangs over the shortstacks with some form of cash payout assured. As a result they are gambling with gay abandon, looking to chip up and give themselves a shot at the bigger payouts on offer or go home.
Sundeep Sandhu and Kelvin Mullis are two who have succumbed recently - both of them to the rampaging Spaniard Juan Ignacio Sanchez, who is accumulating an ever-increasing stack (around 460,000 at present).
Sandhu shoved A♥4♠ and lost out to Sanchez' A♠J♣ over a 8♥6♦3♦3♠7♣ board whilst Mulllis was unable to flip the right side of variance - his A-Q losing out to Sanchez' pocket eights on a baby board.
Good game, both can return home with a tangible cash for their efforts.
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 4,000-8,000-1,000
3.23pm: Rob Ayton bubbles
Sadness for Rob Ayton, contrasting cheers from the remaining competitors, all of whom are getting paid!
Ayton's exit was somewhat cruel, having shoved his last 36k into the middle with A♣7♦ and been called by A♠J♦, he looked to have slipped the noose, the board peeling off 8♦8♣4♥7♥ - leaving him looking at a welcome double-through.
"Ooooh" the crowd gushed as that seven spiked to apparently save him. More drama was to come however as the J♣ arrived on the river to scupper his attempted recovery. The crowd were stunned.
The ignominy of 48th spot for Ayton then and the rest of the field are happy to be getting paid. Congratulations all!
2.58pm: Dewan delivered painful exit
Karun Dewan has just departed in painful circumstances. Having shoved with pocket K♥K♦, he found Rahul Sachdev calling in the blinds with A♣5♦.
"Don't worry, you'll hit your ace," Dewan told Sachdev and this proved prophetic as the board fell J♥2♣5♥6♣A♦ - elimination delivered with the last card.
Dewan walked away shaking his head.
"It's always the way isn't it. The rag ace always hits the river!" a tablemate commented, echoing the lament of a million poker players worldwide.
That hand leaves us with just 48 players left. Just one more elimination till the money and we are now hand for hand...
2.55pm: Jordana crushed
Joel Visa Jordana has also missed out on the payouts, going for broke with pocket jacks and succeeding when Khashayar Zarghampour called him with aces.
A board of 4♠2♥9♠8♠K♣ saw the Spaniard hit the rail in 50th spot. Ouch, so close
2.52pm: Bad times for Wright and Waters
Nick Wright and Brent Waters have both busted just shy of the money - Wright departing when his ace-king lost out in a flip to Aleksandar Spadijer's pocket eights whilst Waters desperate shortstack shove with J♠9♠ was picked off by Farhad Jahanshahi's Q♠T♦.
No improvement for both sees us draw ever closer to the money. Just 50 remain now with 47 paid...
2.44pm: Back at the felt. Let's get paid!
This is one of the tensest periods of a poker tournament. 53 players remain but just 47 will be paid. The short stacks will be silently hoping they can negotiate this period into the money and the big stacks will likely be wielding their chips like sledgehammers, applying maximum pressure to the medium and short stacks.
To read updates from levels 13-16, click here.
PokerStars Blog reporting team at UKIPT Series 6- London: Rod Stirzaker. Photos by Neil Stoddart.