UKIPT Series 4 at the Hippodrome Casino Day 1B - Level 9-12(1,000/2,000/300)

Rafal Gizniski heads UKIPT Series 4 chipcounts

UKIPT Series 4 opened with a bang today, two entire flights playing out in one, action-packed day with no less than 24 levels of poker. There was an epic quality to it.

Day 1A was perhaps the pick of the two flights - 134 players arriving fresh from the Leicester Square sunshine to do battle at the felt.

No punches were pulled, no quarter given and no cliche left unused by the fascinated media and onlookers as 134 was whittled down to 36 in breakneck fashion.

Two of the more recognisable faces amongst those who arrived to test their luck were Full Tilt Poker Ambassador Sin Melin, and EPT Commentator Joe Stapleton.

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Stapleton had other plans Sunday (apparently)

Melin was an early casualty - gone within the first half of the day, whilst Stapleton almost scraped through, though he successfully anti-railed himself during a key flip, leaving him fatally crippled.

The poker waters were choppy and it took the steel will of Rafal Gizniski to navigate the murky depths, the Pole accumulating a sizeable 149,500 to finish atop the Day 1A chip counts.

Against the backdrop of performing clowns mock-brawling in the casino, Day 1B was always going to struggle to match the intensity of its antecedant brother and so it proved as a more sombre, calculated day played out. Just 39 players were involved, though the talented WSOP bracelet winner Mike Ellis and double UKIPT champion Joeri Zandvliet were two of those 39.

Ellis was a man on a mission in the early stages, chipping up spectacularly, before a wobble near the close of play almost toppled him. He recovered well to finish on 60,400.
Joeri Zandvliet showed his reputation for excellence was well-merited, rising through the field to finish on 110,900.

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Zandvilet just loves the UKIPT

He couldn't quite keep touch with Day 1B chip leader Mats Rosen though. Once the requisite twelve levels were completed and the field shorn to just 16 players, Mats headed the counts with 128,600.

The combined counts for the two flights can be found by clickinghere. Gizniski's total of 149,500 holding sway for now.

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Gizniski finished in Pole position

Tomorrow promises more madness and mayhem and, who knows, perhaps more clowns.

We can but hope. We'll return at 2pm to play out Day 1C and complete the field who will return Sunday to play to a winner. Thanks for following. We'll see you then!

2.14am: Final three hands

That's it. Almost. The clock has been paused to allow these last two remaining tables to play out their hands. Once this is done we'll take stock of the remaining players and tell you who has emerged from the twelve levels of Day 1B with the chip lead...

1.59am: Lam's to the slaughter

Jason Lam & Ryszard Wysocki have found the pressure of the 1k,2k blinds too much to bear and have perished in a frenzy of chip-accumulating activity.

16 remain, with 22 minutes of the final level of the day left.

Incidentally (although it won't come to this in all likelihood) should the remaining players find themselves 12-handed the play will end to prevent the tables getting too short-handed. It's unlikely now but would be interesting...

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Lam chopped

1.48pm: Chand's Handy
Pradyumna Chand is one player who isn't tightening up as the day progresses. He is in 30-40% of the pots played at his table - his stack is going up and down like a yo-yo, although he is keeping the right side of variance for now - with over 45,000.

"He's trying to build Everest, his words not mine!" a tablemate confided in us.

1.30am: Wheels fall off for Ellis
Where did it all go wrong for Mike Ellis? We can only surmise - his stack has dipped alarmingly since it peaked at 70k at its zenith. Down to 15,000 now, Ellis looks unalarmed despite the rapid drop in chips.

There is a suspiciously chipped-up Nilay Ganatra seated next to him however - now on 50,000. We warned you Ganatra was comin' atcha! Despite the massive fluctuations that have taken place around Ellis' stack, many of the other players' aggression seems to have dissolved over the last few levels.

They are playing tightly right now, which suggest there is close to zero chance of Day 1A chip leader Rafal Gizniski's 149,500.Is anyone going to step up and dominate?

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 1,200-2,400-300

1.19am: Ganatra burns Lam chop
Nilay Ganatra's just picked up a somewhat fortunate scoop. He faced potential elimination, going to war with Jason Lam preflop with A♣6♣. Lam himself was behind with A♦3♦, although a split pot looked the most likely outcome.

The board of 2♦K♣T♥Q♦ heading to the river left the majority of the remaining deck helping Lam out either with a scoop or chop, but the bricky 4♣ on the river meant Ganatra took the pot down with his six kicker.

"Noooooooo," was the strangled cry from Lam as he realised he wasn't going to be getting any of the 18,000 pot back.

"We help each other out, right?" said a grinning Ganatra.

"Yeah," Lam glumly conceded without much enthusiasm.

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Ganatra comin' atcha

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 600-1,200-200

12.55am: Two more flounder under waves of variance
Did you back Brynn Kvinlaug or Robert Panayi to take the title down?

Well on this occasion, they proved injudicious picks, as they have both been eliminated during level nine. It's tough out there, - the play continues 27-handed...

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Brynn Kvinlaug in happier times

12.43am: Cream rising
We've tallied the main players to have pulled away from the pack. Four stand clear from the rest. Here they are:-

Michael Ellis - 79,000
Ali Shoubber - 60,000
Pradyumna Chand - 50,000
Adam Carroll - 41,000

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Shoubber hard on Ellis' heels

12.32am: Welcome back for Level 9
We're back at the felt to finish off Day 1B. 24 players are left - they are hungry and focussed. We'll have news of the chip leaders shortly, but we can tell you that Chihao Tsang will not be featuring further. He is busted. Can anyone best the magnificent run that saw Rafal Gizinski accumulate 149,500 chips earlier?

Stay tuned for news...

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Chihao Tsang his last song moments ago

To read updates from levels 5-8, click here.

Rod Stirzaker
@PokerStars in UKIPT Series 4