UKIPT6 Birmingham: Pena leads after Day 1A

Ukipt6_birmingham_main_event_day1a_Breixo Pena.jpg

Pena's in pole position




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* Day 1A has ended
* Players 33 of 58 through to Day 2

7:20pm: Pena leads the 33 players who made it through to Day 2

Small but perfectly formed. That kind of summed up Day 1A of UKIPT6 Birmingham. It may have only attracted 58 entries and hence a reduced eight levels of play, but what was missing in quantity was made up by the quality of entrants. It made for a fun day at the felt.

Team PokerStars Pro Chris Moneymaker was never going to miss the last ever UKIPT and made the journey over the pond and he was joined by teammate Jake Cody, James Mitchell, Steve Warburton, Yiannis Liperis, Jonathan Gill, Ben Jackson, Sam Grafton, Adam Owen, Joe Hindry, Natalia Breviglieri, Ben Dobson and reigning UKIPT London champion Usman Siddique.

None of these players made it to the top of the counts after eight levels had been played out. That honour went to Spaniard Breixo Pena who bagged up 112,000. He'll be chased on Day 2 by Teymour Sabet (82,100), Jon Littler (78,100), Ted Spivack (77,100), Konrad Zalewski (77,100), Usman Siddique (76,500), Chris Moneymaker (63,100), Steve Warburton (56,400), Adam Owen (47,200), Sam Grafton (43,600), Ben Jackson (34,900), Joe Hindry (33,300) and Jake Cody (21,000). For a full list of all 33 players that made it through to Day 2 on Saturday, click here.

There are two flights scheduled for tomorrow, and at least one of them promises to be busy. A coach load of players are expected to descend on Birmingham for Day 1B that starts at midday, then there's the second chance turbo Day 1C that's scheduled for 10pm. It has the same starting stack but has 20-minute levels and only open to those who have been eliminated already. It may feature the likes of James Mitchell, Natalia Breviglieri, Ben Dobson, Jonathan Gill and Yucel Eminoglu - all of whom busted today.

That's all from the Genting Casino Star City. See you all tomorrow.

7pm: End of the day
Level 8 - Blinds 400/800 (100 ante)

That's the end of Day 1, a wrap of the day's play is on the way. Day 1B starts at midday tomorrow. --NW

6:50pm: Final three hands
Level 8 - Blinds 400/800 (100 ante)

The clock has been paused and they'll be three more hands before play is done for the day. --NW

6:45pm: Spencer doubles with quads
Level 8 - Blinds 400/800 (100 ante)
Ben Farrell opened to 2,200 and called when Alex Spencer shoved all-in for 13,550. The latter was first to show, he opened A♣A♠ and Farrell showed T♥T♦. The 5♥4♦A♥ flop all but ended proceedings. "Still got a chance," said Farrell, referring to his flush draw. But those chances were extinguished on the A♦ turn as Spencer turned quads.

He doubles up then, while Farrell drops to 17,000. --NW

6:40pm: Siddique going for the double
Level 8 - Blinds 400/800 (100 ante)

There have been four double UKIPT champions in the tour's history and Usman Siddique is the only player in the field today who could take that number to five.

He late reg'd this event but has built his stack up to 45,000 in the time he's been in the field. He just padded his stack by raising Sam Grafton off a pot on the river. Grafton had bet 3,600 on the river of a 7♣A♦2♣6♠3♣ river but folded when Siddique raised to 11,000. "Seems believable," said Grafton as he folded." --NW

6:35pm: UKIPT memories, with blogger Marc Convey
Level 7 - Blinds 300/600 (75 ante)

My favourite UKIPT memory came from one of the events I played and not one that I worked at. Galway is my favourite city in Ireland and, in my opinion, has hosted some of the best UKIPTs over the years. I did my usual bust on Day 2 before the money thing so was railing Nick Abou Risk to his second crown along with a few other reprobates, when we decided to have a little sit 'n' go, with a twist.

Myself, Max Silver, Kevin Williams, Jamie Burland, David Vamplew, Owen Robinson and Paul McGovern took over a free table and opened a pack of cards. The buy in was nominal but the game was full of conditions, mostly to do with drink penalties. My memory of the exact details escapes me, but I'm pretty sure that one stipulation was that the shortest stack at the time purchased a round of shots at the end of every level, and the chip leader was forced to down two as a way of handicapping his future abilities.

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"Best game ever!" Max Silver

The plan wasn't very well thought through as we didn't exactly have a long clock and after a few levels the game had disintegrated into a farce, and a loud one at that. We soon started attracting more attention than the Main Event and had a rail that included Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree and UKIPT host Nick Wealthall. Word even reached Jeese May who was chilling in his room, and before we knew it, we had a dealer and commentator all in one!

We were clearly having too much fun for TD Toby Stone though, and he gave us a telling off for being too loud and moved us to the far corner of the room where we continued until Kevin booked a win. Well, I think he did anyway. I don't remember much past the fifth shot. The party continued into the bar and went on late into the night.

Most of us are still good friends to this day, but would never have met if it wasn't for poker, and specifically the UKIPT. That's what's made this tour special for me: strangers that were friends I was yet to meet. And shots, lots of shots.

6:15pm: Pena in pole position
Level 7 - Blinds 300/600 (75 ante)

With less than an hour to go on Day 1A Breixo Pena has opened up a big lead on the chasing pack. The chip leaders as we enter the last level of the night are;

Breixo Pena - 113,000
John Littler - 82,000
Ted Spivack - 75,000
Teymour Sabet - 68,000
Konrad Zalewski - 61,000
Daniel Stanway - 60,000

6:09pm: That's just plain bullying
Level 7 - Blinds 300/600 (75 ante)

Man, you've got to feel for Christopher Gatley. All he was trying to do was secure a small double up after he moved all-in, but three players rounded on him and made the call.

In the docks were Joe Hindry, Anthony Kennedy and Miguel Riera Suarez. All three checked it down to the river where Suarez bet 2,300 and Hindry called.

"I should've bet!" said Kennedy before flashing K♣J♦. He was right as both his opponents had small aces that they hit on the turn. They chopped the pot up and sent Gately on his way after his T♥9♦ was no good. -- MC

6:05pm: Out but not out out
Level 7 - Blinds 300/600 (75 ante)

The rate of exits has gone up a notch during level seven with Yiannis Liperis, George Chapman, Christopher Gatley, Robertas Vaitkevicius, Miguel Riera Suarez and Christopher Johnson all taking their leave of the tournament.

However they are only out for now as they can choose to re-enter the turbo Day 1C that begins tomorrow at 10pm. That flight has 20 minute levels and is only open to players who've exited Day 1A or B.

Indeed some of those individuals may have entered the £100 + £10 satellite to the Main Event that has just begun. Late reg in that one is open until roughly 7.20pm. --NW

5:45pm: Hit and run from Jackson
Level 6 - Blinds 300/600 (100 ante)

Ben Jackson did a hit and run on Robin Nielsen, but to be fair, he only ran afterwards as their table broke.

The two players had amassed a 13,000 pot by the time the board rested as 3♠8♥9♥3♥7♦. Neilsen checked to face a 10,000 bet that he called after giving it a couple of minute's thought. Jackson opened A♠A♦ and Neilsen mucked and went to leave. He was called back though as he was left with just 225 to take to his new table. --MC

5:20pm: Break time
Level 6 - Blinds 250/500 (50 ante)

Six down, two to go. It's time for a break. --NW

5:15pm: The Moneymaker effect
Level 6 - Blinds 250/500 (50 ante)

Chris Moneymaker has an effect on most tables he sits at, and particularly in tournaments such as the UKIPT. The effect at his table so far has been for the American to attract more chips to his stack. He's up to 39,500 and was last seen betting 4,000 to prize Steve Warburton off whatever hand he was holding. Warburton's on Moneymaker's direct right and has a stack of 43,000. --NW

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Quickly out the traps, no wonder Moneymaker is smiling

5:05pm: UKIPT Memories, with Dara O'Kearney
Level 6 - Blinds 250/500 (50 ante)

A couple of rough Dara O'Kearney UKIPT stats:

Number of cashes - 11 (joint second with Jake Cody)
Number of UKIPT packages/seats won online - too many to count.
Number of ice creams bought for him after busting - one that we know of (read below).

"Edinburgh 2015. It's the fifth time I've made the last two tables of a UKIPT main event and it's looking good for me to finally convert one to my first final table. Unfortunately things go pear shaped fast and on the FT bubble, with ten left I find myself sub ten blinds, a very distant 10/10. A5s in the cutoff is a shove in that spot, so I don't hesitate. My friend Dode Eliot hesitates a little in the big blind before making the call with pocket eights. I turn a gutshot and a flush draw but after bricking the river I shake hands with Dode and depart for the rail, where I am consoled by Dode's brother Willie.

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Doke at his first UKIPT final table last month

"Part and parcel of poker is the fact that we often deal pain or at least disappointment on our friends, and as he whisks me away for consolatory ice cream, Willie remarks that Dode will be feeling worse about my knockout than I am. I fully believe this. The fact that Willie was willing to take time off from railing his brother on the FT to console me says it all.

"What made the UKIPT unique down the seasons was the incredible camaraderie and friendships it fostered between players. It broke down all the barriers between Brits and Irish, recreational players and pro, old and young, male and female."

4:55pm: Gill gives Polak more breathing space
Level 6 - Blinds 250/500 (50 ante)

Jonathan Gill was the early chip leader but had dropped back into the pack (37,000) after he doubled up Adam Polak.

Breixo Pena opened to 1,200 from the cutoff before Polak three-bet to 2,700 from the next seat. While Gill was tanking in the big blind, Pena made the call. He was allowed to take then chips back and fold though after Gill four-bet to 6,800. Polak wasn't folding though and moved all-in for 12,250. Call.

Gill: 9♣9♥
Pena: A♣A♥

The board ran 6♥Q♣J♥4♥K♦ to miss both players. -- MC

4:40pm: A trip down memory lane with Grafton and Cody
Level 6 - Blinds 250/500 (50 ante)

We've been asking players for their favourite UKIPT memories, which we'll be dropping in to the blog over the next four days. Well Sam Grafton just gave us one for free, although it's definitely not his favourite memory.

Jake Cody and he were having a trip down memory lane, both have had plenty of near misses on this tour, with their best results coming in Marbella. Cody finished 8th in Marbella in 2014, the same year Grafton was 9th. A year later Grafton did final table, busting in sixth. In all Grafton has seven UKIPT Main Event cashes, including his first ever UKIPT, in which he finished 14th in Coventry in Season 1.

"I was telling Ben Dobson that he busted me out of my first ever UKIPT," said Grafton to Cody. He said it loud enough that Dobson, who's on an adjacent table but wearing headphones, turned around to see what was happening. "I four-bet jammed with 9-3 and Dobson called with kings," said Grafton finishing the story.

Cody also cashed that event and has 11 cashes in UKIPT Main Events. "Thomas Ward's first, he's got one more than me," said Cody to Grafton. Can he tie the record this week? --NW

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Can Cody catch Ward?

4:30pm: Cody and Moneymaker arrive
Level 5 - Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

Fashionably late the Team PokerStars Pros have arrived, enter stage left Chris Moneymaker and Jake Cody.

The latter has joined 'Table Grafton' and he and Sam just tangled in a pot. Cody was in the big blind and had evidently defended to a late position raise from Grafton. Both players checked the T♣8♥6♥ flop and the 2♦ landed on the turn. Cody fired out a bet of 2,000 and Grafton picked up the calling chips, set them back down again, before picking them up once more and placing them over the betting line.

The Q♣ fell on the river, Cody checked the action to Grafton and folded when faced with a bet of 5,300. "Good hand Jake. Five years ago, in Season 1, he wins that pot," said Grafton to the table. "Now he doesn't know where he is," he continued. It was all in good nature and Grafton is now up to 48,000. --NW

4:25pm: Warburton rises more while a batch are out of date
Level 5 - Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

Steve Warburton has one of those faces that can pull expressions leaving you in no doubt what he's thinking. Worried. That was the emotion that came into our minds when he cold four-bet and had to wait before he saw if it got through or not.

Konrad Zalewski had opened to 1,000 before Brandon Sheils three-bet to 2,600 from the cutoff. Warburton was on the button and raised to 5,800. Adam Owen looked like he was going to do something from the small blind, but folded, and the big blind did something similar. Zalewki quickly folded but Sheils said, "I didn't plan on folding but...." He said a couple more things and then folded as well.

Sheils left himself with 9,275 more than: James Crawley-Boevey, Nathan Watson, Daniel Blake, Edward Trotter, Harish Sahnan and David Longmate. --MC

Ukipt6_birmingham_main_event_day1a_steve_warburton.jpg

Does this man look worried to you?

4:05pm: Count 'em up
Level 5 - Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

We're now over halfway through Day 1A and big stacks are starting to be built as the blind and antes force action. The player who's built his tower the tallest thus far is Jonathan Gill as he's up to 76,000. He leads from Ted Spivack (54,800) and Daniel Stanway (51,800). --NW

3:55pm: Grafton's no Mad Turk
Level 4 - Blinds 150/300 (25 ante)

James Mitchell never recovered from that bad beat earlier, and his seat has been taken by the chatty Yucel "Mad Turk" Eminoglu. It's rare that any man beats Grafton in talking stakes, but Eminoglu is no normal man. Grafton still got the better of his opponent in a hand though.

Eminoglu opened to 700 from the cutoff and was called by Grafton in the next seat, and the big blind. All three checked the 2♦K♠2♣ flop before Eminoglu bet 1,000 and 2,500 on the 6♥8♣ turn and river. Grafton was the only one to call both times.

Eminoglu announced he had an eight and then mucked upon seeing Grafton's K♥T♥.

"You played this hand so good!" said a generous Eminoglu who dropped to 16,000.

Grafton, who moved up to 37,000, thanked him and then told the blog, "He's played more hands in one orbit than I have all day!" --MC

3:45pm: More bread for Warburton
Level 4 - Blinds 150/300 (25 ante)

Late registration is open to the start of level seven and Steve Warburton is one of the players who's taken advantage of that facility. That late arrival hasn't stopped EPT12 Barcelona runner-up from boosting his stack though. As I passed by his table he was busy stacking chips from a pot just won. He looks to be up to 33,000 now. --NW

3:20pm: All about the Benjamins
Level 4 - Blinds 150/300 (25 ante)

With over a million dollars in tournament earnings between them Benjamin's Jackson and Dobson know their way around a poker table and today they are sat next to each other. As they returned from the break it's Jackson who holds the upper hand in chips, but Dobson who has position. The former has upped his stack to 26,475, while the latter is down to 21,000. --NW

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Ben and Ben the poker playing men

3:10pm: UKIPT memories, featuring Tom Hall
Level 3 - Blinds 150/300 (25 ante)

Tom Hall was the UKIPT Player of the Year for Season 3, and was a player that grew in stature as the tour grew. The player, who is fourth on the UKIPT most cashes leaderboard with eight, kindly wrote a few words for the blog. Check them out:

"PokerStars has been a huge part of my life for ~six years. UKIPT helped me move up into the live scene. It helped me make a lot of friends. I would like to thank all the dedicated staff who have followed the tour over the seven years, it's been fun.

"My favourite memory would be racing for the UKIPT Leaderboard with my friend Neil Raine. When the new point system was announced (Season 3) we discussed it and decided that if we went all out over the season one of us would win a huge percentage of the time.

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Tom playing UKIPT6 London

"We both had a large lead with one tournament left (the UKIPT High Roller London), Neil being ahead at that point. I needed to finish 8/219 to win and I ended up 6th. Was a big achievement for me at that time. It was great fun to compete in something that lasted a whole year and forced you to focus in every small tournament."

2:45pm: End of the level
Level 3 - Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

Level three has come and gone and the players have been sent on a 15 minute break. --NW

2:35pm: More for Stanway as he moves in front
Level 3 - Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)


Daniel Stanway looks to be the chip leader as we approach the end of the third level. He's up to about 55,000 after winning a multi-way pot. Teymour Sabet was the action catalyst, he opened to 400 and picked up four callers! So five to a flop then, one that fell 2♦J♦6♠. Sabet led for 1,200, Natalia Breviglieri, Robertas Vaitkevicius and Stanway decided that was a fair price to see a turn card and they all looked on as the 9♦ fell on fourth street.

Action was checked to Vaitkevicius, he bet 2,600 and Stanway was the only caller as Sabet and Breviglieri ducked out the way. The 2♥ rounded off the board and Vaitkevicius bet again, he upped the price slightly, betting 2,600 a bet that Stanway raised to 7,500. That was too rich for Vaitkevicius and he folded. --NW

2:20pm: More three-betting and the first elimination
Level 3 - Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

Daniel Stanway managed to win a three-bet pot out of position to Christopher Johnson. And while their hand was playing out Martin Hogarty was busy becoming the first player to be eliminated from UKIPT6 Birmingham.

Stanway opened to 450 from early position and called after Johnson three-bet to 1,500 from the button. The flop fanned A♥J♠7♦ and was checked to the Q♣ turn where Johnson saw his 2,100 bet check-called. The board completed with the 5♣ and both players went back to checking. Stanway opened A♦K♠ and Johnson mucked.

Hogarty may have busted but he can still enter tomorrow night's Day 1C Turbo flight that's only open to those who busted on Day 1A or 1B. --MC

2pm: Mitchell gets the Grafton rub down
Level 2 - Blinds 75/150

We're not just standing by Sam Grafton's table, we swear, but it is where the action is happening. Grafton actually missed the big pot as he was away from the table chatting to one of the tournament staff.

So he missed James Mitchell betting 2,300 on a 4♦K♠2♠ flop, he was also oblivious to Barry Stansbie three-betting to 8,500 and calling off when Mitchell set him all-in. The Irish Open champion opened A♥A♣ and was looking to fade the flush draw of Stansbie, who held A♠7♠. No dice though as the T♠ hit the turn giving Stansbie a lock on the hand. The 2♦ completed the board and Stansbie, who was all-in for 15,875 took the majority of Mitchell's chips as the latter is down to 4,825.

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Mitchell and Grafton

As the chips were being shipped across the table Grafton slid back into his seat and addressed Mitchell: "How'd that hand go mate? Win a big pot? I'm sure you played it well though!" A few seconds passed and as the dealer was preparing the deck for the next hand he turned to the rest of the table. "Listen guys, back in Season 1 (of the UKIPT), five years ago, this guy was one of the best players about."--NW

1:55pm: Zalewski gets his pound of Fletcher
Level 2 - Blinds 75/150

It's not often that a player three-bets and receives four callers. Konrad Zalewski did just that, and not with the strongest hand, but still managed to win the pot on showdown.

He made it 1,100 to go from the cutoff after Joe Hindry had opened to 400 from the hijack. Christopher Gatley (button), Arron Fletcher (small blind) and Hindry all called to see a 9♣A♦8♠ flop that was checked through. The 4♣ appeared on the turn and Zalewski delayed 2,575 c-bet was only check-called by Fletcher. The J♣ river was checked and Fletcher's T♣T♥ lost out to Zalewski's A♥7♦. --MC

1:40pm: Come for the Grafton, stay for the poker
Level 2 - Blinds 75/150

As a tournament reporter when there's not a lot happening in the early levels of a poker tournament you can't help but gravitate towards Sam Grafton. Partly because it's because you can clearly hear his voice over the faint hum of riffling chips, but it's also because the man is straight up entertaining, opinionated and usually engaging his table in conversation.

Today Grafton is sat to the left of James Mitchell and the two were discussing the UK poker calendar as a big pot broke out around them. John Littler opened to 400 from middle position and picked up three callers. On the 4♠3♣J♠ flop Steven Game led for 700 from the small blind and Littler and James Crawley-Boevey both felt confident enough to make the call. The 2♦ was the reall action card in this hand as Game checked, Littler bet 1,500, Crawley-Boevey smooth called and Game then check-raised to 5,000. We had a hand right here.

Back on Littler he swiftly called, whilst Crawley-Boevey tanked before releasing his hand. The 5♥ was an interesting river card as it put four to a straight on board. It didn't slow Game down though, he bet 12,500 and Littler thought for a decent amount of time before electing to fold. Good Game for Steven, but not good game for Littler.

After that hand Game is up to 38,000, Littler drops to 24,000 and Grafton and Mitchell are still deep in conversation. --NW

1:20pm: UKIPT memories, featuring Kelly Saxby
Level 2 - Blinds 75/150

We wrote in the blog earlier that this is the very last UKIPT before it's rebranded as the PokerStars Festival. To celebrate its success, we're going to drop in some memories and stories from the tour's seven-year history in the words of the players, dealers, staff and media who helped make the tour one of the best around. First up is PokerStars Live at the Hippodrome Ambassador Kelly Saxby:

"I think the UKIPT players parties are where my most cherished memories were born as they were a great way to get to meet players and the UKIPT team on a social level. I have made friendships and poker travel buddies that will last forever. This particular picture was from the players party at Isle of Man which was so fun we had drinks in the bar downstairs then went up to the lounge with live music and danced and sang the night away.

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Kelly and Deborah Worley-Roberts sandwiching UKIPT photographer Mickey May

"So hard to pick specific events as I think all the drinks with Marc, Nick, Mickey, Jen and Dave are always stand out nights, having a massive jump up on the dance floor in Copperface Jacks in Dublin; playing Would you Rather at the hotel in Isle of man; playing Inbetweenies at the hotel in Nottingham; singing Karoake in Nottingham, calling Nick, Marc (lolol), betting Sin Melin to jump in the pool fully clothed in Marbella; watching the England game on the beach (also in Marbella); dinners at the Heliot at Hippodrome, listening to Deborah Worley-Roberts shout obscenities across the tables to me; standing outside of the hotel in Edinburgh dying of hangover while fire alarm went off; getting told off in Edinburgh for eating pizza from dominoes in the bar; my first cash in ME in Bristol 2015; final tabling the London Cup at Hippodrome in 2016, and of course winning the women's event in London in 2013 and getting my very own silver spade!"

Thanks to Kelly for these amazing words. Keep an eye out for several more memories over the next few days, and if you have any UKIPT memories you'd like to share, please tweet us at @pokerstarsblog or use the hashtag #UKIPTBirmingham.

1pm: Big Jon
Level 1 - Blinds 50/100

Nothing happens in the opening level of a poker tournament right? Wrong. How about a 100 big blind pot for starters?

Ted Spivack and Jon Santos were the two protagonists. Spivack opened to 225 from the button, Santos three-bet to 725 out of the small blind and Spivack decided to stick around.

A J♦3♠7♦ flop hit the felt, Santos led for 650 and Spivack wasn't budging so to the 2♣ turn they went. Santos slowed down, Spivack looked to pounce on that weakness and fired out 1,150. Santos chewed it over and slid out the calling chips, he was 25 light though, the dealer pointed it out and he through in the extra chip.

The 5♣ completed the board, Santos tapped the table but Spivack reached for chips again and elected for a bet of 2,650. The body language of Santos made it clear he wasn't entirely happy with that bet, it was a 'what can I beat' sort of face. He thought it over for about 20 seconds and evidently decided he could beat enough of Spivack's hands to make a call profitable as he threw out a call.

Spivack grimaced and opened A♠6♣ for a bluff that had been picked off, Santos showed pocket tens and took the pot. --NW

12:45pm: The early ones
Level 1 - Blinds 50/100

To be fair they're more like the on time ones, but in the poker word if you're on time, it's considered early.

Five tables worth of players have been gathered together so far and contain familiar faces such as EPT Barcelona third place finisher Adam Owen, Joe Hindry, Natalia Breviglieri, Jonathan Gill and Sam Grafton.

Grafton found kings early on, but only won a small pot with them due to a scary ace-high flop. He raised to 300 from under the gun and was only called by Steven Game in the small blind.

"This guy's serious with his headphones on!" teased Grafton. "Whippersnapper!"

The flop spread 8♠A♣8♥ and Game check-called a 200 c-bet before the J♠2♠ turn and river where checked through. Grafton opened K♣K♥ and Game mucked. -- MC

12:30pm: Shuffle up and deal
Level 1 - Blinds 50/100

Action has started. --NW

11:55am: It's not a wake, it's a celebration

As you might have heard, back in August PokerStars announced that going forward all of its live events will fall under one of two tours, the PokerStars Championship and PokerStars Festival.

Whilst that doesn't mean the end of live events in the UK and Ireland, it does mean that this will be the 48th and final UKIPT Main Event. It all began in Galway in December 2009 and since then has taken us to Edinburgh, Dublin, London and Marbella to name but a few, but until today not Birmingham.

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The first UKIPT champion

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Another Irish winner

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Nick Abou Risk, the first of four double UKIPT champions whilst Max Silver and David Vamplew (background) also have titles

England's 'second city' will be the host for this poker tournament, and no doubt one hell of a party. The UKIPT has been as much about the craic and the cards and they'll be heady mix of the two over the next four days.

Ready to sign up for PokerStars? Click here to get an account.

The craic was very much in evidence last night, the cards get underway at 12:30 and we expect the likes of Jake Cody, Adam Owen, Tom Hall, Sam Grafton and Ben Dobson to take a crack at winning their maiden UKIPT Main Event title today. If they fail they'll have the option to enter the turbo repechage Day 1C on Friday night.

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Cody's won a UKIPT Series but not a Main Event

Enough rambling, time for action.

Key UKIPT6 Birmingham information:

- 25,000 starting stack
- Blinds starting at 50/100 for 250 big blinds
- Levels are 45 minutes on Day 1 and they'll be 8 of them. From Level 13 onwards levels increase to 60 minutes.
- Day 1A is today, Day 1B takes place tomorrow and there's also a turbo Day 1C at 10pm tomorrow. That opening flight is only open to players who've busted on Day 1A or Day 1B.
- The field will then combine for the first time on Saturday. We'll reach the money and hopefully the final table too. Sunday is where the magic happens and we play to a winner. Cue mad celebrations and swigging of champagne from the trophy (possibly).
- Full UKIPT6 Birmingham schedule here.

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PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT6 Birmingham: Marc Convey and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog

Nick Wright
@PokerStars in UKIPT