UKIPT5 London Day 1B: Level 1-6 updates (200/400 ante 25)

3:22pm: End of level 6
We have played through level 6 meaning we are half way through today's play. We estimate around 215 out of the initial 244 players who entered remain.in contention.

Anyway, another three levels mean it's time for the players to take a breather. They'll be back in 15 minutes after cigarettes and coffees as will we.

Updates from levels 7 onwards can be found here.

See you shortly. -- RS

3:20pm: Shy of a million, but table 16 on the spin up
There was a three or four way conversation going on about table 16 and the subject was...poker. First it was seating scripts but it soon moved onto Spin and Gos. "For $5 you might win a million and one person has," said a player at the table. "Three people have!" replied another informing the first player that two more people had hit the jackpot.

"So sick to be freerolling $100,000," said Gabriel Carter. "But you'd be devastated if you lost heads-up," replied Benjamin Raven. "Absolutely devastated because you've just lost $900,000," he added.

No deals are allowed in Spin and Gos but Carter said he'd definitely try and negotiate one if he could. "I'd definitely be trying for a chop, getting my opponent's details if I could."

Whilst no one on table 16 is approaching millionaire status in terms of chips, there are a few players who've chipped up since the start of play. Adam Owen is up to 45,000 and Carter has 48,000. -- NW

3:10pm: One random pwner
Not everyone can be a superstar. But everyone can potentially be a superstar in the making. David Crane may be tucked away on the outer tables of the tournament but he has been an efficient chip gatherer thus far, his stack rising to over double it's initial size - up to 52,000.

Maybe he will be the next Phil Ivey. Who knows? -- RS

3pm: Vanquished but remembered
The blinds continue to grow in size and significance, with more and more casualties falling as they battle their evermore oppressive pressure.

These are the most recent players to have been run down by variance. Sorry guys, it was not to be your day.

John Phillip Small
Vincenzo Taliercio
Christopher Kyriacou
Robin Fisher
Giulio Mascolo
Mark Shepherd -- RS

2:40pm: Meanwhile, up on the Poker Deck
Whilst late registration might be closed the turnout today of roughly 244 players has meant that there are two tables in use up on the Poker Deck. That's the permanent poker area here at The Hippodrome Casino and where the cash games usually take place.

But for now it's a tournament only zone and it's possible the current high stack is among the two tables currently in use up in the gods. Dave 'Dubai' Shallow has a stack of roughly 70,000 and that's good for the lead right now. He's also got UKIPT4 London 7th place finisher Patryk Slusarek (19,000) at his table and Morten Mortensen (13,200).

Whilst the latter is yet to cash on the UKIPT he's got over $700,000 in lifetime earnings and can boast a EPT and WSOP final table amongst his achievements. -- NW


LEVEL UP: BLINDS 200-400-25


2:35pm: Catt falls but lands on feet
Edmund Catt has had a good start to the day, up to over 40,000 it's been relatively plain sailing so far.

Moments ago however he did slip up, check calling all three streets of a A♦5♦5♣2♥7♥ board for 600, 1,700, then 3,200 only to muck upon being shown his opponent's 4♥5♥ for trips.

A 5,500 dent in his stack then, but he remains well placed with 38,000. -- RS

2:15pm: Felt Snapshot
Here's news from some of the larger names scattered around the arena.

Jerome Bradpiece has been a fixture on the poker circuit for many years now. Bradpiece has been there, done that, got the t shirt, his witty laconic drawl instantly recognisable.

Things have gone slowly for him so far here today. He's down to 20,000 and even worse, his cup of tea was delivered without milk. Outrageous!

Ludovic Geilich plays the kind of fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants poker that makes him such a compulsive character to watch. He plays a multitude of pots from all sorts of positions in unorthodox ways and is a really tough man to tame, as evidenced by his recent heroics at UKIPTs and EPTs. So far his LAG style is paying great dividends. He's up to 50,000 and was last seen celebrating this by ordering a coffee...

Then there's Kevin Allen, playing poker with slicked-back hair and a swagger, he too has managed to bolster his stack to the tune of 45,000. --RS

2:10pm: Chip counts
As level five gets under way here's how some of the names and notables stack up:

Tamer Kamel - 39,000
Stuart McDonald - 34,000
Angelo Milioto - 33,000
Leon Louis - 31,000
JJ Hazan - 28,500
Chris Ferguson - 25,800
Phillipe Souki - 24,800
Mark McCluskey - 24,700
Jerome Bradpiece - 21,600
Thomas Ward - 19,900
Charlie Combes - 19,200
Gareth Teatum - 16,400
Christos Kyprianou - 15,300

Ukipt5_london_main event_day1b_thomas_ward.jpg

Thomas Ward

Blinds up: 150/300 ante 25

1:55pm: Christie bluff falls on stony ground
Bluffing is a delicate art. The timing, sizing and the story-telling needs to be well-balanced for the bluff to work and moments ago Keith Christie's radar went a little awry.

We joined the hand on the river of a K♦3♦4♣A♣K♠ board, Christie leading out for 5,200 into a roughly 13,000 pot.

His opponent Chi Hang Tang made the call after some deliberation with A-2, while Christie could only table J-Q for queen-high.

Two pair for Tang he swept up the chunky pot to move to 40,000 whilst a disappointed-looking Christie drops to 15,000 or so. -- RS

1:40pm: Early bath for...
230 of the 242 players remain on Day 1B. Among those to have exited are: Anthony Fox, Katja Spillum Svendsen, Marc Hunter, Umberan Akhtar, Wai Kwan Yuen, Pol Hernandez, Colin Marks and Daryosh Rossookh. -- NW

1:25pm: Aido on the up
UKIPT3 London champion Sergio Aido is situated on one of two tables on a balcony to the left of the main tournament area. He's not got the easiest table draw as he's got Andrew Hulme, Renee Xie and Rumit Somaiya for company.

He'd dropped to 18,500 but just won a sizeable pot against Enzo Gomez to get back above starting stack. It was Aido who got the action started, raising to 600 from early position and getting calls from Gomez (cut-off), Spyridon Dimotsantos (small blind) and Hulme (big blind).

On the K♥5♥6♦ flop Aido c-bet 1,200 and Gomez was the only caller. The J♥ hit the turn, Aido slowed down as he checked to Gomez, he bet 1,500 and Aido smooth called. The final community card was the J♣ again Aido checked, Gomez fired 2,200, Aido check-raised using two 5k chips and Gomez folded his hand.
Pot to Aido, who's now up to 28,000. -- NW

1:15pm: Praying to the gods
It never hurts to ask for good fortune to smile on you...

Blinds up: 100/200 ante 25

1:00pm: Break Time!
We have played out three levels and the players are now spilling out to enjoy a twenty minute break. It's been tense and keenly contested out there. We'll be back shortly to resume battle at level 4. See you soon!

12:45pm: Three rooms
Due to the size of the field play is split over two, well two and a half rooms really, here at The Hippodrome Casino. There are 13 tables in the main room and another seven in the auxiliary room and two on a private balcony, which is where the High Roller took place yesterday.

In the auxiliary room you'll find the likes of Kevin Allen, who's already up to 32,000, Tamer Kamel and Ludovic Geilich. It won't come as a shock to hear that Geilich was involved in a pot when the PokerStars Blog stopped off at this table. He'd raised to 450, found a caller, only for a short stacked player to shove for 5,600. Geilich hates losing pots and reluctantly folded as did the flat caller.

227 of 231 players remain. -- NW

12:25pm: Bullet pain for Hunter
Marc Hunter is a popular figure at the UKIPT events, though his tournament just took a big turn for the worse moments ago.

Holding pocket aces, he raised a limp to 700 in position which was called by Tai Phuoc Du - the pair heads up to a 9♦6♦6♠ board.

Checked to Hunter, he led out for 1,600, only to see Du make a big check-raise to 7,000.

Looking at the potential straight draws and flush draws, Hunter must have felt there was room enough for his opponent to be semi-bluffing and moved all-in for his stack - his opponent snap-calling with 7♣6♣ for trips - which he victory slammed down as he was shown the aces.

"Running diamonds would be nice!" said Hunter, although any faint hopes of an outdraw were extinguished when his opponent hit the 6♥ on the turn to improve to quads and leave him drawing dead.

A big fistpump and joyous exclamation from Du said it all, and when the chips were tallied, Hunter was left mortally crippled with just a few chips the smoking residue of his once fulsome stack.

Meanwhile Tai Du has become the likely chipleader at this point with approximately 47,500 -- RS

Blinds up: 100/200

12:10pm: B is for bigger
There's still 90 minutes of late registration here on Day 1B but the field has already surpassed the size of Day 1A. There's currently 215 players in the field and given it was only at 141 during level 1 it's conceivable the field could go north of 250 runners today. -- NW

Ukipt5_london_main event_day1b_chips.jpg

11:50am: Teatum looking for elite status
Gareth Teatum is the kind of player that gets respect from his peers despite having never quite managed to secure that big tournament win to elevate him from accomplished player to poker superstar.

Despite that missing marquee win, there's no doubt his poker CV is peppered with signs of his talent. A WSOP final table here, a Bellagio cup 4th place finish there, 3rd place at the EPT side event, a deep run at the Aussie Millions.

Teatum has been on the cusp of a big result for a long time, his $390,000 in winnings testament to his potential.

He's already managed a 5th place at the High Roller event here in London (another near miss!) so is showing some form.

Could this UKIPT be his breakthrough event? -- RS

Blinds up: 75/150

11:30am: Spotted
A quick glance around the room has revealed a number of familiar faces, many of whom have had success in the past on the UKIPT. Where else to start but with Thomas Ward? With a total of 12 he's the all-time leading casher in UKIPT Main Events and someway clear of Dara O'Kearney, Tom Hall and Rupinder Bedi who all have eight.

Of course it's not just cashes that Ward can boast but final tables too. He came second to Sergio Aido at UKIPT3 London, earning £ 116,845, fourth in Edinburgh in Season 2 and seventh at UKIPT Isle of Man in Season 4. Perhaps London will be the stop where he makes his token final table of the season?

Another player who made the UKIPT3 London final table is playing today and that man is Philippe Souki. The London based cash game pro finished fourth that day and for someone who spends the majority of their time playing cash he's had some impressive results since then. He went deep at EPT100 in Barcelona before busting in 41st place and will hope to have another deep run this week.

There's another UKIPT final tablist in the field too, back in Marbella in Season 4 Katja Spillum Svendsen almost became the first ever female UKIPT Main Event champion before busting in third place. The Norwegian, who lives in the South of England, is a woman of many talents as she's also a world-class backgammon player.

Ukipt5_london_main event_day1b_katja_spillum_svendsen.jpg

Katja Spillum Svendsen

We've also spotted JJ Hazan - who was one of over 20 players to win his seat in a live satellite on Tuesday night - and Mark McCluskey. It's early days of course - an 11am start time in poker is somewhat unheard of - so the field will likely increase considerably before late registration closes at 1.55pm. -- NW

11:15am: Number crunching
With 128 players in already and new registrants continuing over the first four levels, it looks as though Day 1B's attendance is likely to trump the bumper field of 143 on Day 1A.

It's a good sign for poker that there appears to be this ravenous hunger for the game especially given the 11am start that will have been a shock to the system for many players.

Long may it continue! --RS

11am: Day one, take two
Welcome to the second of three starting flights at UKIPT5 London which is taking place at in London's west end at The Hippodrome Casino.

We'll be hoping this flight isn't the awkward middle sibling of the three and it passes smoothly and serenely like Day 1A did yesterday. In case you missed any of the action yesterday 143 players took to the felt and after a dozen 40 minute levels just 30 still had chips in front of them, meaning just under 21% of the field advanced to Day 2.

Those who have a fresh set of chips in front of them today will be hoping to emulate SuperNova Elite Lawrence 'bigstealer' Bayley who ended Day 1A as chip leader with a massive 265,000. Team PokerStars Pro Jake Cody (78,500) also made it through.

UKIPT5_london_Day1A_chips.jpg

Players are starting to file in to The Matcham Room now as play looks set to start bang on time. Stay right here for coverage of Day 1B of UKIPT5 London we'll be updating selected chip counts throughout the day here.

Key UKIPT5 London Facts:

- 25,000 starting stack
- Blinds starting at 50/100 for 250 big blinds
- Day 1B is today, Day 1C is Friday, the field will then combine for the first time on Saturday before playing down to a winner on Sunday.
-The UKIPT structure has been tweaked for Season 5. Levels on Day 1 are now 40 minutes, on Day 2 that increases to 50 minutes and then further to one hour levels on the final day.
- Full UKIPT5 Lodnon schedule here.

PokerStars Blog reporting team at PokerStars UKIPT London: Rod Stirzaker and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May

Nick Wright
@PokerStars in UKIPT