UKIPT5 Isle of Man Day 1A: Level 1-5 Updates (200/400, ante 50)

4:05pm: End of the level
Two more levels are in the books and the players are now taking a 15 minute recess. You'll find level six updates in a new post, here. --NW

4pm: Chip counts
Plenty of names and notables amongst the 111 unique entries on Day 1A here in the Isle of Man, below are the counts of the majority of those:

NameCountryStatusChips
Fatima Moreira de MeloNetherlandsPokerStars SportStar84,000
Senh UngUnited Kingdom 68,000
Adam OwenUnited Kingdom 58,000
Kelly SaxbyUnited StatesPokerStars Qualifier56,000
Daragh DaveyIrelandPokerStars Qualifier51,725
Luca PaganoItalyPokerStars Team Pro46,000
Dara O`KearneyIrelandPokerStars Qualifier38,000
Sara ChafakFinlandPokerStars Player35,800
Marc HunterUnited Kingdom 34,800
Deborah Worley-RobertsUnited KingdomPokerStars Qualifier25,400
David LappinIrelandPokerStars Qualifier24,800
Luke StaudenmaierUnited States 24,800
Christin MaschmannGermany 24,500
Simon TrumperUnited Kingdom 24,000
Paul NeweyUnited Kingdom 20,500
Chris StraghalisUnited States 14000
Chris MoneymakerUnited StatesPokerStars Team Pro11,800

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A great start for De Melo

3:45pm: Gomez mis-timed bluff on two counts
Day 1A is over for Diego Gomez after he bluffed off his stack one hand too late to enter again.

The action was three-way to an A♠2♦K♦ flop. Dara O'Kearney checked from the big blind as did original aggressor Stephen Charlton, but Gomez bet 1,750. Charlton called after a quick fold from O'Kearney.

The turn was the 8♣ and Gomez fired another 4,200 into the pot. Charlton check-called again and then checked to face an all in shove for 16,675 on the 6♣ river. He blew out some air, thought for 15 seconds and then said, "F**k it, I call!"

Gomez quickly opened Q♠T♠ for queen high and lost out to Charlton's A♥7♣. Gomez went off to try (but fail) to buy in again while a jubilant Charlton went back to the playground for his celebration - by spraying the table with bullets from his imaginary machine gun. -- MC

3:30pm: Exits
Deborah-Worley Roberts was out of this tournament but she's elected to fire a second bullet. "I made a brave move," she said sheepishly. She's not the only one to lose a stack though as: David Ottosen, Christoph Koehnen, Ronald Lawton, John Keown, David Longmate, Luke Staudenmaier, Sunil Moti, Paren Arzoomanian and Robert Campbell have all busted one bullet. We don't yet know if any of those players have chosen to re-enter. -- NW

Blinds up: 200/400 ante 50


3:20pm: Strag's sticking around
This is what the UKIPT is all about! A fun hand just played out between Chris Straghalis - a member of PokerStars Staff - and Team PokerStars Pro Chris Moneymaker.

It started innocently enough as Straghalis limped from the small blind, "let's bump it up," said Moneymaker as he made it 800 total. Straghalis is already on his second bullet today and despite being down to about 12,500 he wasn't going to let the 2003 World Champion push him around. Instead, he took on the role of aggressor, making it 2,000 to go and Moneymaker made the call. "I knew you were going to do that," quipped Straghalis. "I know," replied Moneymaker.

The flop was monotone as it came A♥Q♥8♥ Straghalis continued for 2,300 and Moneymaker wasted little time in calling. Both players checked the K♣ turn and both had eyes locked on each other as the T♣ completed the board.

"Is it a heart?" asked Moneymaker to Straghalis, neither player had yet looked at the board.
"You look at the board," said Straghalis.
"I'm not going to look at the board," said Moneymaker with a chortle.

This deadlock ended with Straghalis checking - having still not looked at the board - which Moneymaker could now do so and see that the river wasn't a heart. That meant that Moneymaker checked behind and Straghalis announced two-pair and showed K♦T♦. Moneymaker had a rueful look on his face that suggested he was probably good until the river.

Some much needed chips for Straghalis though who's back up to 16,000. -- NW

3:08pm: Saxby in tune
Sunil Moti and David Longmate have both departed from table 3, the second at the hands of Kelly Saxby. No details of that hand but she won another pot soon after and has a stack worth around 55,000.

Mark Baxter opened to 600 from under the gun and called after Saxby three-bet to 1,500 from the next seat. The flop fanned 6♥9♦7♥ and Baxter check-called 2,200 before both went on to check the 6♦ turn. The board completed with the K♥ and Baxter led for 2,600. Saxby raised to 6,000 and raked in the pot after Baxter open-folded pocket jacks. -- MC

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Saxby's stacking chips

3pm: Huge pot for David Nuth
Just before the break David Nuth won a huge 130,000 chip pot and eliminated two players in the process. For reference a stack of 130,000 would've put him 11th at the end of Day 1A in Bristol and he's still got nine levels to increase his stack. The last level of the day is 600/1200 ante 200 he'd have over 100 big blinds even if he just treads water between now and then.

All the money went in on a 8♣5♣9♥ flop, Nuth had 7♦6♣ for the nuts, Antonis Poulengris held pocket queens for an overpair and an unknown player had flopped top set. Neither the 4♦ turn or the 3♦ river paired the board meaning Nuth's hand held and he's jumped out to a massive chip lead. -- NW

2:55pm: Go pro
Another member of Team PokerStars Pro has joined the Day 1A field as Luca Pagano is in the house. The Italian, holds the record for most cashes and most final tables on the European Poker Tour.

Fellow Team Pros Liv Boeree and Jake Cody are slated to play tomorrow. -- NW

2:35pm: More for Moreira de Melo
Fatima Moreira de Melo is around 33,000 in the black after winning three nice pots.

First off, she won a three-way pot involving herself, Carl Harris and Paul Newey. All three made it to the river of an ace-high board where the Team SportsStar led out for 2,700. Newey folded but Harris called with pocket kings, losing out to Moreira de Melo's ace-nine for a flopped two pair.

A short while after, she made to another river of an ace high board. Paren Arzoomanian was her opponent and he mucked after his bet was check-called. Moreira de Melo took the rest of his chips just before the break and it was a cooler. She four-bet called his shove on a Q♣9♥5♣ flop holding top set with queens; the unlucky Arzoomanian opened pocket nines and failed to make quads.

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 150/300, 25


2:15pm: Break time
Level three has just ended which means the players are on their first 15 minute break of the day. Late registration is still open, but closes at the end of the next level. --NW

2:10pm: Saxby takes one down
Kelly Saxby had a deep run at the last UKIPT, finishing 26th in Bristol, and the American did her chances of another one no harm as she just took down a pot against Mark Baxter. The latter opened to 600 from middle position and Saxby - who was on the button - was the only caller.

She called bets of 800 and 1,250 on the flop and turn of a T♥2♦6♦8♠ board before both players checked the 5♠ river. Saxby showed A♥8♦ and it was good, Baxter very briefly showed his cards and it looked like he had K♦3♦ for a missed flush draw. --NW


2:05pm: Two men down
PokerStars Qualifier Carl Harris (details of how he lost some of his chips coming up) and staff member Chris Straghalis were the first two players to bust today. It remains to be seen whether they'll re-enter or not. -- MC

2pm: If at first you don't succeed...
Most UKIPT Main Events are freezeouts but not this one! It's a re-entry tournament with the option of re-entering once per day. So it means that if you really wanted to, and got deeply unlucky, you could fire four bullets at this tournament for a total spend of £1,720. Whilst we won't know the payout structure until tomorrow evening, looking at last year's payout structure if numbers were similar it's likely that any player who did that would have to make the final three tables to show a profit.

A question that gets asked time and time again is, in a tournament with multiple starting days which starting day should you play? Whilst we can't conclusively answer that question we can state that the field on the last start day is usually the toughest. We say usually because in a re-entry tournament that isn't necessarily the case as those who can afford to fire multiple bullets - in other words the pros - play Day 1A so they have the option to re-enter should they go bust on the initial start day.

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Money's not tight

It's somewhat backed up today by the likes of Chris Moneymaker, who's opted to play Day 1A. The Team PokerStars Pro doesn't exactly 'nit it up' when he plays on the UKIPT and true to form he was the one driving the action at his table when we passed by. Guy Phillips had opened to 500 from under-the-gun, but that didn't deter Moneymaker from putting in a three-bet, he raised it up to 1,500 and after getting confirmation of the sizing Phillips made the call. A c-bet from the 2003 World Champion on the 2♥6♠Q♥ flop earned him the pot as Phillips elected to fold. -- NW


1:40pm: Americans rejoice
If you haven't already heard, Amaya sent out a press release today to confirm that the PokerStars and Full Tilt brands have finally been given permission to offer real-money online gaming in the US regulated market of New Jersey.

"Have you heard?" PokerStars' Mind Sport Ambassador Jennifer Shahade asked the blog, referring to the news. "All us Americans in room are excited at the news!"

That would be all Americans except the two sat closest to her, Kelly Saxby and Chris Moneymaker.

"What! When did this happen?" he asked

Those close to Moneymaker inquired how he didn't know and he went on to blame poor internet connection.

"You must be the only Team Pro who hasn't tweeted about it yet!" teased Shahade. -- MC

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 100/200, ante 25


1:30pm: Miss Finland sparks big pot
It's the law that if you mention Sara Chafak you must also mention she was Miss Finland in the same sentence. She announced herself on the poker scene with that bluff and she's off to a decent start today as her stack is up to 36,000 from the start of day 25,000.

She just lost a little bit of her stack back though and sparked a big pot in the process. After she opened to 300 from early position, Johannes De Vries three-bet to 825, Jamie Cleaver smooth called and when it folded back to Chafak she did likewise.

So it was three to a flop which fell 9♥2♥6♣, De Vries bet 1,525 and Cleaver was the only caller. The Dutchman continued his aggression on the 3♣ turn as he bet 3,100, Cleaver gave it a good old think before electing to fold. -- NW

1:15pm: Show me the money
Kenneth Chih-Hung battled with Chris Moneymaker in the blinds but ended up giving up three streets of value to him.

The board ran out T♠K♠K♣6♣2♥ with the Team Pro betting 525, 1,200 and 3,000 on the flop, turn and river. Chih-Hung called all the way but mucked upon seeing Moneymaker's K♦2♦ for a full house. His stack rose to 29,000. -- MC

12:50pm: Thanks for the job, Chris
There have been many reasons offered up over the years, as to why the poker boom happened, and what triggered it.

The rise of the internet is an obvious one; amazing platforms to play on (such as PokerStars.com) is another one. The poker economy is very much dependant on new money coming into the game and very few will spend that money if they don't think they have a chance to win. Back in 2003, one man showed the world that anyone can win on their day.

Chris Moneymaker took down the WSOP Main Event as an amateur that year and nothing has been the same since. Twelve years on and Moneymaker still has that infectious enthusiasm for the game and he's here to join in the revelry this week.

For all of us who have benefited from employment in the poker industry, thanks for the job, Chris! -- MC

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 75/150


12:30pm: Strong start for Owen
Whilst Adam Owen is, by admission, a mixed games specialist he dabbles in hold'em and is playing the UKIPT Main Event today. He's sat to the left of Chris Straghalis, a PokerStars employee who has played this event the past two years, enjoying a deep run the first time out when he finished 19th.

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Chris Straghalis

The two players just clashed in a pot with Owen getting the better of Straghalis. We picked up the action on the turn and with a board of A♣6♥Q♣7♥ on the felt Straghalis checked, Owen bet 750 and Straghalis made the call. The 2♥ fell on the river, again Straghalis checked, Owen bet 1,900 and after a brief dwell Straghalis flicked in two 1k chips to signify a call. Quick as a flash Owen rolled over A♥T♥ for the nuts and Straghalis mucked his cards. -- NW

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Adam Owen

12:15pm: Early birds
Around 70 players have taken their seats so far in level one but registration doesn't close until 3:15pm so that number will grow with new entrants and re-entrants.

Team SportsStars Fatima Moreira de Melo has found her spot and will be looking to go one better than her second-place finish two seasons ago. She has super high-roller Paul Newey for company and is representing the fairer gender, along with Deborah Worley-Roberts and Kelly Saxby.

Newey's friend Senh Ung has also arrived as have David Lloyd, Daragh Davey, Dara O'Kearney, Adam Owen and Diego Gomez. -- MC

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

11:55am: Let the home game begin
Hello and welcome to the UKIPT Isle of Man for PokerStars' unofficial home game. We've called the Isle of Man home for 10 years now and this is the UKIPT's third visit to the island. The last UKIPT Main Event was won by Josh Hart, who defeated a field of 402 and a tough final table that included Fintan Gavin, Ludovic Geilich and Thomas Ward. Last year's tournament though might be best remembered for PokerStars founder Isai Scheinberg taking down the High Roller.

The first time the UKIPT touched down here was equally as memorable as we witnessed the start of Duncan McLellan's UKIPT story as he defeated Team PokerStars SportStar Fatima Moreira de Melo heads-up to claim the title.

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With the addition of PokerStars staff members, who are allowed to play in this event, this stop of the UKIPT is always played with a smile and the atmosphere is more jovial than some other stops on the tour. Play is about to start here and the plan today is to play 12 levels which means play should finish around 22.45.

UKIPT5 Isle of Man key 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 and then to a winner on Sunday. Cue mad celebrations and swigging of champagne from the trophy and jumping in the sea (possibly).
- This is re-entry event with players able to re-enter once per day.
- Full UKIPT5 Isle of Man schedule here.
- There's a live satellite to the Main Event tonight, it begins at 18.00 BST and the buy-in is £60+£5
- It's not all about the poker here in the Isle of Man there's an amazing 3D light show happening at the Villa Marina too.

Fancy playing a UKIPT? There are always plenty of online satellites, click here to get an account.

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

Nick Wright
@PokerStars in UKIPT