UKIPT5 Super Series London Day 1A: Levels 1-8 Updates(400/800/75)
11.50pm: Break it down!
That's the day 2/3 done with 8 or the slated 12 levels completed!
The remaining players have milled out of the tournament arena to enjoy their 15 minute temporary cessation of poker duties.
They'll be back shortly - as will we.
See you then!
11.30pm: Shattered dreams
At some point all these players will have imagined themselves potentially winning this tournament, trophy aloft in their hands as the crowd bayed their name sang songs of their glorious triumph.
Perhaps the dream has died on this occasion but there's always tomorrow!
11.05pm: Christodoulou leads the pack
It's a dogfight in the upper echelons of the chip counts but right now it looks as though Elias Christodoulou
has risen like a Greek god to sit stop his figurative Mount Olympus of chips to look down upon his lesser mortal foes.
He has 80,000 - can he maintain this ascendancy as we reach the latter stages of the day?
10.48pm: Victims of variance
Tough times for the following who have all been relieved of all their chips.
Bad news but on the plus side, they can re-enter tomorrow should they so desire and the various distractions of London are now in their grasp. Enjoy!
Kah Lok Chin
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 300-600-75
10.36pm: Duncan down
It's not gone swimmingly for Duncan Wilkie who is nursing a micro-stack of chips at the moment and gave us a sad frown as we approached. With less than 10,000 his chances may have diminished but the game is not yet up. Have faith young padawan!
10.30pm: The Tomorrow War - Capacity Limit
An important notice regarding tomorrow's registration over the two "days" being played out.
Day 1B will kick-off at 1.00pm with Day 1C scheduled for 7.30pm.
The field capacity is limited at 180 which given the impressive number of entrants who arrived today could well be exceeded. This may mean late registrants are unable to gain a place at the tables immediately.
However, alternates are being shuffled into the pack as people are eliminated and you will get a guaranteed seat as an alternate if you register. You just may experience some unavoidable delays.
Don't miss out on what should be a cracking day's poker.
10.20pm: Ladies of fortune
The male to female ratio in the tournament is weighted strongly toward the former, however there are at least two ladies vying to beat the odds and send their testosterone-fuelled opponents off to the bar early.
Cayetana Pastor Belsue has had a slow start over the first four levels - her stack having drifted south to 16,600 - she still has plenty of ammunition to make a recovery however.
Doing better is Irina Nikolaidi - the Lithuanian having confidently accumulated 36,000 in the opening levels.
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 300-600-50
10.06pm: Cheema applies pressure
Rapinder Cheema showed his chops earlier in the year in storming to victory during the January UKIPT London event. The £75,000+ score he picked up there demonstrated to the world that the man could play some impressive poker and his 2015 story may have further twists to come.
He is on the up here, moments ago three-betting Vadim Seriozeckin's cut-off open to 1,650 to 3,575 from the blinds.
The K♦5♣3♣ board saw him lead out for 3,500, only for a pensive Seriozeckin to go into the tank and emerge with a raise to 7,300 under his belt.
Cheema looked tense but was in no mood to buckle under the pressure from the Lithuanian and confidently picked up his stack - another 11,500.
It was Seriozeckin's turn to feel the heat - and after another tense stand-off, he was the one who melted under the pressure - folding with around 8,000 back.
Cheema looked a happy man, his meaty fist gently banging the table as he raked in the pot.
Is he on the path to an incredible double? He's up to 37,000 now so it's a good start...
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 200-400-50
9.55pm: Level 5 in effect
The break is over and the players are back to resume arms. Who will rise from the pack?
9.35pm: Break it up!
The players have bet, raised, folded and ante'd their way through the opening four levels and their reward?
A fifteen minute break to spill out into the cavernous Hippodrome Casino to grab a recuperative coffee and indulge in some banter before returning to the felt for level 5.
We'll be back in 15 minutes.
9.20pm: Fallen Warriors
It looks as though we have 88 official registrants as of now. Already over the first near-four levels we have seen 13 of these depart - the unlucky few numbered below.
May your poker souls rest in peace!
Jan Mohammad Nader Zadeh
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 150-300-25
8.55pm: Forde escort-ed out
Christopher Forde is one of the early exits here at the Hippodrome. We missed the details of his exit as he politely wished everyone goodbye but it looked like he ran into beneficiary Mats Rosen Pihl's aces. A happy Pihl meanwhile has risen to 40,000.
8.38pm: Ante Post
The antes have arrived! All hail! The snappy levels mean we are already well into level three and that means the players are less free to luxuriate in their 25k stack depths. Expect the number of eliminations to begin to rise inexorably.
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 100-200-25
8:26pm: Nothing else Matas
Matas Cimbolas, one of Lithuania's most successful poker exports has taken his seat at the tables.
With over $750,000 in tournament winnings including success at UKIPT5 Nottingham where he finished runner-up in the High Roller, he has shown he has all the qualities to really challenge for the title.
First though, he will have to contend with the mercurial talents of Albert Sapiano at his table if he has designs on proceeding further...
8.10pm: The floor rules
There was a minor procedural dispute early on. Two players were heads up on the turn and the second player had bet out of turn.
"Floor" called the dealer and the Floor manager was called to adjudicate.
"The first player can make any bet, but if it is anything other than a check, ie the action changes, then the full range of options becomes open to the second player."
There was some disagreement from the out of position player at the table but the rule was repeated and stood.
(He ended up folding to the bet after checking.)
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 75-150
7.55pm: Spotted in the crowd
Poker journalist cum editor cum talented grinder Duncan Wilkie has taken his place at the tables after a short sabbatical from the game.
From the fiery look in his eyes, it seems as though the old passion for the game has returned. Table 6 beware!
Also present is Hitsquad member Chaz Chattha. Chaz has an outstanding poker record peppered with impressive scores from around the globe. Can he add to his $1.3 million in tournament winnings here at the Hippodrome?
7.46pm: Fast and furious
25,000 chips may sound like a veritable mountain. No-one can go broke in the early levels surely?
Well, stranger things have happened. A set over set/ flush versus flush or similar cooler can put paid to someone's chances in the blink of an eye. Those poker gods are unforgiving arbiters of fortune at times. In fact we have already lost one player! Details of this bustout as they arrive. Watch your backs players...
7.30pm: Cards in the air!
That's it the dealers have been primed and the players have engaged battle. Good luck one and all!
UKIPT Super Series in effect!
Welcome to The Hippodrome Casino on this crisp autumn evening. As usual the West End of London is awash with wide-eyed tourists snapping selfies, revellers looking for a pre-weekend slice of fun amidst the bright lights and of course a slew of keen-as-mustard poker players looking to test their luck and skills at the felt here at this UKIPT Super Series.
Some of the more eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed an additional word slipping stealthily into the title of the event - the Super there to denote the fact that the buy-in is double that of the standard UKIPT series events.
Double the buy-in, double the prizes, double the drama. Yes we anticipate twice as much fun as a usual UKIPT Series event and there will be a fascinating four days ahead of us as we navigate our way through the tournament.
At this point, let's run over some of the salient information:
The buy-in, as stated, is double that of the usual UKIPT Series events - £500, which should ensure a healthy prize pool once the full list of entrants are booked in and tallied.
There are three starting days - note that tomorrow, Friday 16th October has the honour of hosting two of these in their entirety - the first starting - 1.00pm and the second at 7.30pm - convenient for those who want to join in the fun without missing out on any time at their day job.
Cramming two full poker days into one standard earth day might seem to be a logistical task of gargantuan proportions, but it is made possible by the breezy 30 minute-levels. Play will be fast and snappy with no room to hide as the blinds circle the table chasing chips like pacman after dots.
Note however that day 2 will see the blinds rise to 40 minutes whilst the final will consist of 50 minute blinds - the structure accordioning out as the stakes rise - very fair.
The players all start with 25,000 chips - a giant stack allowing plenty of space to showcase their full range of poker skills.
We're moments away from the scheduled 7:30pm start - with 57 players registered and rising...
The dealers and players are seated, the baton is raised and the orchestra are about to start playing.
Let this ride begin...
PokerStars Blog reporting team at PokerStars UKIPT5 Super Series: Rod Stirzaker. Photos courtesy of Mickey May.