UKIPT5 Bristol Day 1A: Level 1-5 updates (200/400 ante 50)

4:05pm: Break time
The players are taking a 15-minute break. Updates will continue in a new post, once they return.

4pm: Doubling through the ladies
Indre Stanaityte and Sheila Palmer were both cruising with big stacks but their good starts have been clipped back a little after both doubled up opponents.

Stanaityte and Adam Pikett took to a K♦5♥T♠ flop where the chips went flying in. Pikett, the all in player with 18950, had the goods with 5♣5♦ for a set. Stanaityte opened A♦K♣ and paid her opponent after the board ran out 8♣6♦.

Seconds later, Ryan Spittles was all in for 17,950 on a 5♣2♦9♥ flop, and was called by Sheila Palmer who opened A♠9♠. It was no good though as Spittles held J♠J♥. The board ran out 4♥7♥. -- MC

3:45pm: Cooler table gets colder
A short time ago (see 2:50pm post) Lawrence Bayley christened the table that James Atkin, Dara O'Kearney and himself are sat at as 'the cooler table' as Atkin won a big pot with the nuts against the second nuts.

Well, Atkin has been at it again, eliminating Stephen Broughton when another cold deck went in his favour. Thepre-flop action is unknown but four players still had cards in front of them as the 7♦4♦3♠ flop hit the felt. Broughton (small blind) led for 3,500 and Atkin (button) was the only caller. Both players checked the 3♣ turn and the K♣ completed the board. After a couple of seconds Broughton shoved for his remaining 9,100 and Atkin snap called, showing K♦K♥ for a rivered full house, Broughton showed 7♣7♥ for a hand that was winning all the way to the river and indeed had been two outered.

As the dealer prepared the deck for the next hand Atkin said: "I considered folding on the flop as it's a weird spot to lead without it." -- NW

3:35pm: From Los Angeles to Bristol for Aronson
Gerald Aronson landed at London Heathrow this morning and came straight down to play this event. He flew all the way from Los Angeles specifically to play here.

When asked why, he replied, "Never been here before, seems like a nice city too!"

He's sat next to Gary Clarke and the Irishman inquired about the gold bracelet-looking watch he's wearing.

"It's 55-years old," came the answer. "I have to wind it every day, but I like that and you know why?" Clarke shakes his head. "Because I know I'm still alive!"

"I won it in a card game too!" continued Aronson, who's sat behind 23,600 chips, for a little extra information. -- MC

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 200-400, ante 50


3:15pm: A numbers game
There's not long to go until late registration ends and the tournament board is showing that 136 players have entered today and 125 remain. We'll bring you a confirmation of the final number of runners when late registration closes shortly. --NW

3:05pm: Rees and others fall
Jonathan Rees informed the PokerStars Blog he busted when he moved all in on a [jx][7x][6x] flop with pocket sixes for a set. His opponent held pocket jacks for a bigger set though. Ouch.

He has company in the form of: Peng Wang, Andrew Rogers, Alvaro San Jose, Steve Patchett, Francesco Bigetti, Antonio Gonzalez, Oscar Iscala and Cuong Hung Nguyen. -- MC

2:50pm: Lots of chips on this Atkin diet
James Aktin has around 56,000 chips after his nut flush was best against Munaaf Ghumran's second nut flush.

Around 16,000 sat in the middle by the river, with the board reading 6♥T♦K♥4♥5♣. Ghumran led for 7,200 and called off his remaining 10,975 after Aktin set him in.

The latter opened A♥2♥, beating out the former's Q♥T♥.

"Cooler table!" commented Lawrence Bayley.

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Aktin off to a flier

2:35pm: Chip counts
As level three gets under way here are a few counts containing names, notables and big stacks, it's Kuljinder Sidhu, who finished seventh at UKIPT5 Nottingham, who currently leads.

Kuljinder Sidhu, 57,000
Remigiusz Wyrzykiewicz, 48,000
Ben Martin, 37,000
Richard Jones, 30,000
David Clarkson, 29,000
Neil Raine, 27,000
Fraser Macintyre, 24,000
Dara O'Kearney, 22,500
Ryan Spittles, 19,900
Phil Huxley, 19,000
Gary Clarke, 11,200
Jonathan Rees, 9,500

We'll be updating the chip count page throughout the day, whilst it won't have the stacks of every player it will contain the big stacks and big names.

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Sidhu has a stack already

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 150-300 ante 25


2:18pm: Break time
Three levels have passed, time for a 15-minute break.

2:12pm: Martin still flush with chips
Ben Martin still has 44,000 chips despite losing a 7,800-chip pot to Wei Yan in a battle of the blinds.

All the chips made it in the middle before the turn and river were checked down. The final board read 2♣8♣J♥2♠J♣ and Martin opened A♣K♠, losing out to Yan's K♣7♣ for a flush. -- MC

2:05pm: Sharks swimming in to town
James Atkin, Fraser MacIntyre and Ryan Spittles have all taken their seats during Level 3.

Atkin has taken a seat to the right of Dara O'Kearney; MacIntyre was welcomed by Jonathan Rees and Spittles was still wondering through the room in search of his table.

Sin Melin was also seen in the casino but she confirmed she will be playing tomorrow. -- MC

1:50pm: Chips for Carter
Ordinarily Dan Carter wouldn't have had far to travel to this tournament as he's a Cheltenham lad, but he's currently spending a lot of time in Holland so had to hop on a plane to get here. The lack of home advantage doesn't seem to have affected him though as he's already up to 35,000. -- NW

1:40pm: Bayley very happy
Lawrence Bayley is making a rare live appearance today and he'll be hoping it goes as well as the last one did. The SuperNova Elite, who plays at PokerStars under the moniker "bigstealer", final tabled UKIPT5 London back in January, finishing fourth for £31,000. "This is my second and last live tournament of the year," he told the PokerStars Blog with a grin.

Perhaps it's the rarity of his live appearances but, Bayley's demeanour and 'default setting' whilst playing poker is happy and chatty and the fact that he was grinning shortly after losing a four-way pot is testament to that.

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Lawrence 'bigstealer' Bayley

In the hand in question it was Bayley who started the action, raising to 500 from under-the-gun+1, he picked up calls from Stephen Broughton (hijack) and Mark Wates (cut-off) only for Dara O'Kearney to raise to 1,600 from the button. After both blinds folded Bayley asked to see O'Kearney's chips before he made the call and Broughton and Wates also called to create a four-way dance.

The 4♠3♦J♠ flop was tentatively checked through, no one wanted to bet the 2♠ turn either and the T♦ completed the board. First to act Bayley led for 3,500 and Broughton was the only caller, Bayley showed A♥J♥, but Broughton had flopped a set of threes. "Happy not to have lost more there," said Bayley after the hand, who also told us that the reason he's here playing in Bristol is that a couple of his friends (Conor Beresford and Marc Radgen) also wanted to play this event. Despite that dent Bayley is off to a good start as he's up to 39,000 -- NW

1:35pm: Bristol parking, huh!
Chris Gordon, who's already cashed twice in Season 5 on the UKIPT, has finally taken his seat after some parking issues:

--MC

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 100-200 ante 25


1:20pm: Lappin and Nealon run for the hills
Folding is actually the most profitable move in poker. If one played every hand, one would soon go broke. David Lappin and Fergal Nealon probably won't be feeling "in profit" after leaving chips in the middle.

Lappin opened to 375 from early position and was called by both blinds. The flop fell 8♦A♥J♥ and Lappin's 425 c-bet was only check-called by Steve Patchett in the small blind. The turn was the Q♦ and Patchett led for 1,100 which prompted Lappin to immediately fold.

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Nealon's bluff game off in this hand

A few minutes later, Nealon and two opponents took to a K♣A♣6♦ flop. The action checked to Nealon on the button and he bet 200 (into 525). The small blind folded but David Newman check-raised up 700. Call. The turn was the Q♦ and Nealon called another 800.

The board completed with the T♠ and Newman checked over to Nealon who bet 2,700. Newman took his time, called, and took the pot as Nealon mucked his hand. -- MC

1:05pm: Man down
It's never nice to bust a poker tournament and it's always nasty when you're the first one to do so. That walk of shame today belonged to Jeremy Pantin who lost out to Tri Vu in a huge pot towards the end of the first level.

We didn't catch the hand live but our thanks to Jonathan Rees who told the PokerStars Blog what happened and it was one of those blind on blind battles that escalated until all the chips were in the middle. It was Pantin who had position and he three-bet to 750 from the big blind after Vu had raised from the small, call from Vu.

The flop was [2x][3x][7x] with two diamonds, Vu checked, Pantin bet 1,000, Vu check-raised to 3,500 and Pantin smooth called to create a chunky 8,500 chip pot by the time the 3♠ fell on the turn. Vu continued his aggression betting 5,500 but Pantin went nowhere as he stuck around to see the river. As Rees told it, before the fifth and final community card came down, which was the A♠, Vu shoved dark, although Rees described it as 'semi dark' suggesting that the ace might have been on the table as Vu shoved.

His actions sent Pantin deep into the tank, "he eventually called it off with Jacks," said Rees, Vu though had rivered two pair with [Ax][7x] to take the pot and the first scalp of the tournament. -- NW


LEVEL UP: BLINDS 75-150


12:45pm: The Irish double act are in town
Dara O'Kearney and his sidekick, David Lappin, have arrived and taken their seats.

O'Kearney always seems to be referred to as PokerStars Online Qualifier of the Season, a title he won last season (4), but 2015 is turning out to be a breakout year in the live arena for the Irishman. Over the summer in Las Vegas, he notched up a career-high score of $262,502 with a runner-up finish in a $1,500 bracelet event and will be hoping to bring that form back to Europe.

Lappin avoided the WSOP and took a leaf out of his pal's book by causing havoc in the UKIPT online satellites:

-- MC

12:30pm: Taxi to Bristol
We often talk of the UKIPT being a breeding ground for bigger tours such as the EPT (see, Silver, Max) but it should also be noted that the UKIPT Series, which carries a buy-in of £250, is in its own way a satellite tour for the UKIPT proper.

One such player who's had success in those events and the equivalent 'Classics' that PokerStars LIVE! at The Hippodrome Casino is Stuart Green. The London based player has made back to back final tables there. He left his bid to play here late, very late in fact, as he snagged a seat in a satellite just last night.

He's playing today and such was the success of last night's satellites, which were planned to be the last, PokerStars has decided to run one more online satellite, it's a £100 freezeout and it starts at 21.00 BST. -- NW

12:20pm: Who's about?
The answer is not that many right now. Ten tables are currently in use but that number will grow as players file in during the day. Poker players have never been known for their punctuality!

Top marks then for Gary Clarke, Ben Martin, Dan Carter and Jonathan Rees who were all here when the register was called by sir (Luca Vivaldi). -- MC

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Jonathan Rees

12:05pm: Shuffle up and Deal
Cards are in the air for Day 1A!

11:50am: Back in Bristol
The UKIPT is back in Bristol after a two and a half year absence. The last time we were here was in November 2012 and whilst Barack Obama was busy getting re-elected, Wojtek Barzantny was scoring his own double as the German player took down two UKIPT titles in a week. First he defeated end of level boss Chris Moorman to claim the UKIPT Online title and then he blasted his way through a field of 550 to win the Main Event.

Since then he's only had one further UKIPT cash, to be fair he hasn't played many of them, but we have it on good authority that he's heading back here to defend his title this week. Everyone else might as well not bother then right? Well thankfully this game we love has a habit of being predictably unpredictable, so whilst we don't know exactly what's in store over the next four days we at least know that it should be entertaining.

Play today is scheduled to start at 12pm and finish around 10.30pm. Welcome back Bristol.

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Wojtek wins...again

Key UKIPT5 Bristol Facts:
- 25,000 starting stack
- Blinds starting at 50/100 for 250 big blinds
- Levels are 45 minutes on Day 1 and they'll be 12 of them. From Day 2 onwards levels increase to 60 minutes.
- Day 1A is today, Day 1B takes place tomorrow, the field will then combine for the first time on Saturday, before (hopefully) playing down to a final table on Saturday and then to a winner on Sunday. Cue mad celebrations and swigging of champagne from the trophy (possibly).
- Full UKIPT5 Bristol schedule here.
- There's a live satellite to the Main Event tonight, it begins at 18.00 BST and the buy-in is £100+£10
- There's also a last chance saloon online satellite too. That'll cost you £100 to play and starts at 21.00 BST. Feeders from just £1.65 are running to that from 17.00 BST.
- It's not all about the poker here in Bristol. Should you bust out then the folks at UKIPT Hotels have got you covered with Footgolf, a Hot Air Balloon experience and more. They've got a welcome desk here at the Rainbow Casino where you can find out more.

PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT5 Bristol: Marc Convey and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May

Nick Wright
@PokerStars in UKIPT