UKIPT4 Marbella2 Day 1A: Level 1-4 updates (100/200, ante 25)
The halftime whistle has been blown. After a short break the players will come back and swap ends. You can find level 5 updates here. -- MC
4:10pm: Beach time
The entrants for Day 1A had risen to 293, with registration open until the beginning of the next level and around 33 of those have already busted. Some of those off to the beach include:
Carl Croucher, Miguel Monton, Juan Manuel Cubero, Ian Nelson, Ian Murray, Luis Garcia, Pedro Baret, Abdellatif El Afrahi, Tudor Purice, Roberto Vientimilla, Heinz Traut, Mohamed Razab Sekh, Kyrre Dyregrov, Francis Lacken, Fonsi Nieto, Marcos Moreno, Roberto Ruiz, Viktor Leonov, Luis Caballero, Carlos Gonzalez, Alex Norden, Juan Dominguez, Jiri Horak, Richard Pearson, Andre Blanco, Tom Middleton, Marco Pacini, Ismael Benboufares, Peter McLen and Alvaro Amoros
3:55pm: Barrable hoping to avoid poker car crash
One of the great things about poker is that it's perhaps the most open 'sport' in the world and attracts people from all walks of life and as long as you've got the buy-in doesn't discriminate against anyone.
One of the more interesting UKIPT regulars is Peter Barrable because his day job is about as far removed from the calm serenity of a poker room as is possible. Because you see Barrable is a rally driver! But he's not too bad at this poker lark either and he's had three deep runs in UKIPT Main Events. On the day England lost to Germany in the 2010 World Cup Barrable was busy finishing fourth at UKIPT Killarney and whilst that's his best result to date he's also finished 13th and 14th at UKIPT2 Galway and UKIPT2 Machester respectively.
He's one of the players who've late registered this event and as a result there's not been too much movement in his stack but he's climbed slightly to 21,000 and he's sat to the direct left of Vlad Lache. The Romanian, who plays mid to high stakes heads-up sit and gos for a living, has a couple of results on the Eureka Poker Tour but none on the UKIPT as yet. He's still got his starting stack of 20,000. -- NW
3:45pm: Elliot showing discipline
It takes a lot of discipline to fold on the river after flopping a set; especially when there are only a couple of hands you lose to.
Willie Elliot, star of UKIPT Nottingham a few weeks ago, dropped down to 12,000 after folding with a set of queens to a river bet from Lee Dixon. Elliot had squeezed pre flop before betting turn and river. Dixon stuck with him before he led on the river with a rested board of [a][q]9♥6♥4♥.
Elliot said to Dixon that the only hand he can have is A♥K♥ and folded. Although Dixon's hand was never exposed, he insisted Elliot made the right call. -- MC
3:30pm: Not the Year of Romania?
Another player has filled Tudor Purice's seat. Maybe the Romanian busted because he didn't want to be on show with the below hat after losing a prop bet to Patrick Leonard. - MC
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 100/200, ante 25
3:20pm: Leonard loses a strange hand
If we were to ask you who the highest ranked UK player is in online tournaments right now and you answered Chris Moorman, Toby Lewis or Chris Brammer then, whilst it'd be a fine guess, it'd be wrong.
Right now that honour belongs to Patrick 'Pleno1' Leonard. He's climbed to number three overall in the world on the back of consistently excellent results including chopping the Sunday Warm-up and final tabling the PokerStars 8th Anniversary Sunday Million.
He's not got off to the best of starts in Marbella though as he's down to just 6,300 and his latest bump in the road came in a very strange hand indeed. I only saw the action from the turn but with around 2,700 in the pot and a K♠9♠K♣4♥ board on the felt his opponent, who was in the small blind, checked and Leonard followed suit.
The Q♠ river was where it got interesting though, his opponent checked it to Leonard who began contemplating his decision. He was twirling a chip in his hand and the dealer thought that he'd checked as he instructed the small blind to open his cards which he did showing A♣9♣. At this point Leonard said: "I didn't check," and the dealer realised his error and called the floor.
The floor arrived and the situation was explained with the dealer admitting his error, the floor ruled that action was frozen due to the error not being on the part of the player so the small blind should not be put at such a disadvantage. This meant that there would be no more betting, Leonard peaked at his cards before pushing them to the muck as he was unable to top A♣9♣. "I was going to bet 800," said Leonard to his opponent who intimated he'd have called the bet. So a frustrating end to the hand for Leonard but ultimately one that saved him precious chips. -- NW
3:08pm: Lennaard at the top, Middy at the bottom
Ken Lennaard and Tom Middleton are having very different days.
Middleton was just seen raise-folding to drop down to around 4,000 chips, whereas Lennaard made a flush on the river, got paid, and rose to 52,000.
The Swede raised to 2,500 on the turn and then bet 7,500 on the river of a 9♥Q♦J♠4♥7♥ board. He was called both times and opened up K♥J♥ for top pair that turned into a flush. His opponent mucked. -- MC
2:55pm: Chip counts
Here are a smattering of chip counts from around the room:
Dean Hutchison - 21,000
Lewis Swift - 26,500
Paul Foltyn - 20,500
Richard Milne Senior - 24,000
Thomas Dunwoodie - 8,000
Tomasz Raniszewski - 38,000
Willie Elliot - 24,000
Patrick Leonard 6,300
Vlad Lache - 19,500
Michael Kane - 37,000
Juan Benito - 13,500
Keep an eye on the chip counts page as we'll be updating it throughout the day. -- NW
2:40pm: Kane and a couple of ables
Michael Kane, who finished seventh at UKIPT Edinburgh, got sat with two Spanish celebrities today even if he didn't know it.
Fonsi Nieto was a professional motorcycle rider but now spins wheels on decks as he turned to DJing. He'll have to go back spinning records though as he's already spun his stack down to dust.
Miguel Abellán is the other famous face and he has direct position on Kane. Abellán's day job is to fight bulls no less. Be careful of bluffing him, Mr Kane! -- MC
2:25pm: How Ferguson fell
Alex Ferguson popped by media row to inform the blog how he was unfortunate to bust during the last level.
He opened to 250 with pocket kings from in position and was three-bet to 650 by the big blind. Ferguson came back with a four-bet to 1,850 and called when five-bet to 3,600.
The flop fanned K♣Q♣4♣ and the big blind led for 4,800. Ferguson shoved and was snapped off by his opponent who held 7♣5♣ for a flopped flush. The Scot failed to fill up and headed off to a cash game to try and earn the money back. -- MC
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 75-150
2:05pm: Break it up
No siestas allowed, just a 15-minute break for one and all.
1:50pm: Bad beat leaves Mason short
At most UKIPT events you'll find Jen Mason working behind the scenes in her role as Media Coordinator, however she's a talented player in her own right and has swapped player registration cards for playing cards at this event.
Sadly, it seems her day will be a short one as she is down to 1,000 chips after getting outdrawn in a huge pot. Holding pocket twos in a multi-way pot she connected nicely with the  flop, Mason bet 450 only to get check-raised to 2,700 a bet she just called. On the Q♥ turn her opponent bet 6,000, she shoved for 14,000 and her opponent called with . The river though was another queen to give her opponent a bigger full-house. -- NW
1:45pm: Foltyn outfoxes Benito
UK tournament titan Paul 'Pab' Foltyn is sharing a table with Juan Benito and the two of them just clashed in a pot that went to showdown.
On the turn of a 5♥J♥3♣2♥ board Foltyn bet 1,200 and Benito smooth called. The Q♠ fell on the river and both players declined to add any more chips to the pot, Foltyn turned over K♦K♥, Benito looked back at his cards - the universal poker sign for 'I can't beat that - and showed A♦J♣. Pot to Foltyn.
1:35pm: Great start for the champion, not so for Ferguson
Ludovic Geilich took down this title last year and has made a cracking start as he tries to defend his title. The blog noticed he still had a large stack despite folding on the turn in a three-bet pot. He informed the blog that he doubles up the first hand he played!
In level one, he'd opened to 175 and called in position after an opponent three-bet to 450. The flop fell  and Ludovic bet 600 and called when check-raised up to 1,200. The turn came as a jack and he raised to 3,600 after he was faced with a 1,450 bet. Call.
The board completed with a four and Ludovic over-shoved for around 14,000 when his opponent checked to him and was called once more. Ludovic had a full house with pocket jacks, beating out his opponent's A♣J♣. He's sat behind 37,000.
Not having a great start was Alex Ferguson, who has busted already. He was seen leaving the tournament room in a hurry and not returning. He's one of five who have busted out of the 245-player field so far. -- MC
1:20pm: Back for more
Plenty of players are taking advantage of the ability to register anytime up until the start of level five. Among those to take their seats recently are two players who final tabled the last UKIPT in Nottingham. Willie Elliot and Juan Benito started that final table first and second in chips respectively, Elliot finished fourth, whilst Benito busted in sixth.
And Alex Ferguson, who finished ninth at UKIPT2 Brighton has also just taken his seat. -- NW
1:10pm: No power in the hat for Purice
Tudor Purice may be wearing an Angry Birds hat after losing a bet but he failed to harness its obvious powers in a hand and folded on the river to drop to around 15,000.
The Romanian opened from the hijack and was called by both players in the blinds. Purice bet the flop and turn and was called by the big blind both times. The board rested as 9♥2♦A♣5♣9♠ and the big blind led out for 1,100. Purice gave it a couple of minutes thought before releasing his hand. -- MC
Blinds up: 50-100
1pm: There's more to the UKIPT than poker
If ever there was a UKIPT to bust in level one then it's probably this one as those lucky enough to be in Marbella this week will have plenty to do should the poker not go as planned. There's of course a multitude of side events - including a €2000 + €200 High Roller that starts on Friday - but it's what happening off the felt that had a lot of the players at last night's welcome drinks excited.
Yes the UKIPT/ESPT will be throwing not one, not two but three parties during the festival. Two of those are based around the World Cup as both Spain and England play their opening fixtures during this tournament. So on Friday night at 9pm there's a Spain Match Experience party with free food, drink and a giant screen right here at the Hotel H10 Andalucia Plaza.
Then the powers that be are really ramping it up on Saturday as the Official Party - Open Bar and BBQ at the beach bar Chiringuito Los Espigones kicks off at 10pm and runs until 11.30pm. But then the party goes into extra time as the England Match Experience starts at midnight at the same venue. So the lock of the week is that they'll be some sore heads come final table time on Sunday.
Throw in the multiactivity experience, Flipout Freeroll extravaganza and a live stream of the final two days (Spanish language only) and you've got a worldie of a festival. -- NW
12:45pm: 200 and rising
The tournament board is showing that 200 players are currently registered and in their seats for Day 1A action. There's plenty of empty tables, each containing a dealer button and cut card but no players, so expect that number to rise before late registration closes at the start of level five.
Some players who are already betting, raising and folding are: Thomas Dunwoodie, Jen Mason, Sonia Padovani, Tomasz Raniszewski and Ken Lennaard. The legendary Swedish player, who with over $1,500,000 in lifetime earnings sits 15th on the all-time Swedish money list, lives out here in Marbella and is a regular fixture at the tournaments here. -- NW
12:35pm: Time for change
Paul Foltyn and Tom Middleton have made the trip out to Spain for a holiday, sorry, to play some poker. Middleton hasn't made it to the tournament room yet but Foltyn is already in his seat.
He told the blog he'd been to Las Vegas for the WSOP the last eight years and needed a break from it. He and Middleton plan to make a holiday out here if they bust from the Main Event.
It comes as no surprise to see Richard Milne Snr at a UKIPT. What was a surprise was not seeing the Scot at the welcome drinks that were held last night. He must've had a late flight, as this man never misses out on a free bar! -- MC
12:20pm: The plan for today
At UKIPT2 Nottingham the day ones were ten levels long to accommodate the masses that came through the door.
This event is still expecting a big number this week but, as it's the UKIPT on holiday and there are World Cup games to be played, the plan is to play eight one hour levels on both starting flights. Play should be wrapped up before 9pm local time then. -- MC
12:10pm: Shuffle up and deal
It doesn't matter where you are in Europe, if Toby Stone is the tournament director, cards will be in the air bang on time!
Many tables are starting short-handed as players pick up their player bags, register with the casino and find their way to their seats.
Dean Hutchison seemed keen to add a second title to UKIPT Edinburgh he won in January and was ready and waiting for the first card to be pitched at his table. Lewis Swift can be seen sat one more table along. He made a deep run at UKIPT2 Nottingham just a few weeks ago and been drawn out of position to Patrick Leonard, who's currently ranked number one for the UK in Pocket Fives online MTT rankings.
Leonard is happy after winning a prop bet against Tudor Purice. The latter's sat one more table along and is sporting a silly hat (pictures to come) after losing the bet against his friend and rival. -- MC
12pm: Fun in the sun about to begin
Let's get on tour! Yes the UKIPT has packed its bags and sun cream (factor 52 obviously) and popped back over to Marbella for another Season 4 summer holiday. We're once again ensconced at the wonderful Casino Marbella in the Costa del Sol and ready for five action packed days of poker.
If you include all the UKIPT Series events and the EPT London/UKIPT grand finals, then this is the 40th UKIPT event. We've had four double winners (Nick Abou Risk, Joeri Zandvliet, Duncan McLellan and Wojtek Barzantny) but, despite Max Silver coming close twice, never a double champion of the same event. That could finally happen here though as Ludovic Geilich - who won this event a year ago - is here and playing today.
We also anticipate the likes of EPT10 Grand Final runner-up Jack Salter, UKIPT3 leader board runner-up Neil Raine, UKIPT4 leader board winner Tom Hall and Team PokerStars Pro Leo Margets to take to the felt today.
It's approaching kick off, cards will be in the air soon.
Key UKIPT4 Marbella2 facts:
- 20,000 starting stack
- Blinds starting at 25/50 for 400 big blinds
- One hour levels and we'll play eight today.
- Two Day 1s then the Day 1 survivors will merge for Days 2, 3 and 4 until a winner is crowned (cue winner's photo, trophy swinging around, celebrations by the pool).
- There's a live satellite here at Casino Marbella tonight. It's a €150 +€15 freezeout and it starts at 6pm local time.
- The full festival schedule can be seen here.
PokerStars Blog reporting team at PokerStars UKIPT4 Marbella2: Marc Convey and Nick Wright. Photos by Danny Maxwell and Rene Velli.