UKIPT Series 4 at The Hippodrome Casino: Level 5-8 (400/800/75)
Level eight is complete and the 78 remaining players are free to grab a restoratative coffee. We're getting some chip counts so will have news of the current leaders momentarily.
Updates from levels nine onward will continue here.
5.56pm: Stapleton crushing (off the felt)
Fans of the EPT will recognize the name Joe Stapleton as a staple of the EPT commentary team. His comic banter with James Hartigan has become the stuff of legends.
Well he's here and although I could run you through Joe's day in prosaic fashion, it would be far more amusing to hear the man himself speak.
"I've got around 7,000 which is not too bad considering I missed a chunk of the tournament spending about an hour and a half talking to a girl. I had to weigh things up, is it easier to find aces or a girl who wants to speak to me? Easy choice."
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 400-800-100
5.43pm Blow'n Away
Peter Blow just made a bid to boost his paltry, shrinking stack into one that would ignite his hopes of victory once more.
Holding 6♠7♥ for an open-ended straight draw on a T♦4♣5♥ board, he moved all-in over his opponent's bet with some fold equity, only for Abhishek Khaitan to make a quick call with A♠T♦ for top,top.
Needing to spike an eight or four to stay in, he failed and the A♥K♦ turn and river only served to increase Khaitan's grip on the pot, his two pair at showdown the best hand.
Blow bounces and we continue 90 handed....
5.30pm: Down and out
Sadly not everyone can be a winner here today. I mean some would have you believe simply taking part makes you a winner. Possibly, in some intangible metaphorical sense, however I guarantee you all these players would swap being a metaphorical winner for an actual winner.
These players are our metaphorical winners of the day: Numbered in their midst is Full Tilt Poker Ambassador Sin Melin. Good game.
Joseph Patrick Mcerlean
5.14pm: Final numbers confirmed
With level four finished and no further late entries for this flight, the final total is a staggering 134 players registered for just the first flight of three in this UKIPT series 4 tournament.
With a further flight starting today at 8.00pm and another flight tomorrow at 2.00pm, we can expect a hard-fought and gripping denouement to the tournament as we approach the money spots on Sunday.
Just 98 players remain as we speak, with confrontations, eliminations and drama increasing steadily as the blinds continue their inexorable rise.
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 300-600-75
5.02pm: Humphrey savours sweet set success
Jonathan Humphrey has just put paid to Rahim Tadj-Saadat's hopes of winning. Tadj-Saadat held Q♠Q♦ on the 8♠2♠9♠ board and he moved all his chips into the middle once Humphrey had check-raised him. Humphrey had flopped very good and called, his pocket nines giving him top set, though Tadj-Saadat still had a host of outs, any queen or spade required to turn the equity tables.
No such luck - the 7♣6♥ came on turn and river and he was the latest man to be sent crashing out of contention.
"Perhaps I could have folded, " he mused.
"NEVER fold that!" a tablemate advised definitively as he departed...
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 200-400-50
4.42pm: Torres gets boost from the ladies
Alejandro Torres arrived late but he has wasted no time in building up an impressive 58,000 in chips, putting him near the head of the chip counts.
The latest boost saw him go to war with Jaipaul Vilkhu, who committed his stack with J♥T♠ on the T♣8♣3♠ board, only for Torres to make the call with his overpair - pocket queens.
There was to be no redemption for Vilku, the 8♠ and 4♦ a pair of bricks on turn and river, and he was left shaking hands and busting a move to the steakhouse whilst the newly-buoyed Torres piled up what is becoming an impressive chip collection.
4.22pm: Wherefore art thou?
Recent eliminations include the following:-
Michael Nunez Garcia
Rumours of a fair lady called Juliet weeping profusely outside the Hippodrome have yet to be confirmed.
4.02pm: Level five is in effect
The blinds have risen to 150,300,25 and the stack pressure is growing on the shorter stacks. We can expect bustouts to be fast and furious over the coming levels and in fact we have news of a whole host of them to come shortly...hold tight!
To read updates from levels 1-4, please click here.