UKIPT Series 4 at The Hippodrome Casino Day 1B - levels 5-8 (400/800/100)
To read updates from level 9 onward, click here.
That's the end of level eight. 24 players remain from the initial 39 who started the day and we are checking the stacks to locate the chip leader - although it may be hard to best Mike Ellis' 60k-ish stack.
The players are taking their allocated 15 minutes. A bit of roulette, a coffee, a cigarette - who knows what divergent paths they will travel over the next quarter hour?
We know they'll be back to do battle shortly though, with four more levels to go - almost anything can happen. I mean, we just saw three clowns climb out of an elevator fighting.
Where else can you see that? It's all happening here at the Hippodrome...
11.59pm: Ellis gets Ullah chips
Mohammed Ibrahim Ullah is the latest man to taste Mike Ellis' fury. Opening to 1,700 from early position, Ellis picked up one caller on the button before Ullah shoved for around 10,000.
Ellis got a quick count from the cold caller before picking up a stack of chips himself and pushing them over the line. Fold from the caller and he was heads-up with Ullah, holding K♦Q♠.
It proved a canny play as Ullah had been squeezing with the live, but behind 6♦9♦.
An interesting board of 2♣T♠8♣J♠5♥ peeled off, giving him plenty of outs on the river, but he bricked them, tapped the table to signal a good call, and scooted out into the night.
Ellis is looking increasingly menacing, up to just shy of 60,000...
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 400-800-100
11.42pm: Chiang back on even keel
We reported Jen-Yue Chiang had suffered some ill fortune early on, but he has rolled his sleeves up and knuckled down to rebuilding - to great avail.
He is now back up to 27,500 and is laughing and joking with his table. The benefits of remaining calm under pressure are clear for all to see. Well played Mr Chiang!
11.26pm: Cool hand, Luke
Luke Papasavva just won a sizeable pot from Ryszard Wysocki, though he owed a great deal of luck to the poker gods.
The hand opened with Wysocki limping for 600 from early position. Folded to Papasavva in the small blind, he raised to 1,400 - although when the big blind folded and Luke attempted to drag the pot, it became apparent he hadn't noticed his opponent's limp.
Wysocki made up the difference and the pair saw a board of J♠4♦4♣ peel off.
A bet of 2,000 from Papasavva was called by Wysocki.
A potential danger card - the A♣ - arrived on the turn, and Papasavva again fired - this time for 2,900. Call.
The river was the K♥ and Papasavva had more juice in the tank, leading for 6,375. Once more a quick call from Wysocki, who tabled Q♠J♦. Papasavva however sheepishly turned over a back-door straight with Q♦T♥. It was good for the 25,000 chip pot and he now has a burgeoning stack of 41,250.
Wysocki however is in the danger zone - just 11,000 to his name, which sounds like a lot but can easily be enveloped by the galloping blinds if he doesn't start chipping up soon...
11.14pm: Hello darkness my old friend
The lights have gone out for these intrepid players. Bad luck sirs.
Go enjoy a cocktail at the bar.
26 players remain from the 39 entries for Day 1B.
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 300-600-75
10.55pm: Ellis marches through the pack
Michael Ellis is showing his skills at the felt, negotiating his stack up to a pretty 35,000 at this point. He is utilising a tight, aggressive style which is serving him well on the whole, although he isn't having it all his own way.
He seems to have been giving Bin Chen (whom he has direct position on) a hard time. Moments ago Chen limped for 400 and Ellis immediately popped it up to 1,300.
Suddenly a new man - Chihao Tsang - leapt into action like a tiger, moving all-in behind Ellis. Folded to the Englishman, he sighed and asked, "Any blues in there?"
After some cursory detective work from the dealer, it transpired there was a blue 5k chip in the midst of Tsang's stack. Ellis folded - down to 33,500.
"Blues scare me!" he added after laying down his hand. Tsang used his new run-good to raise and then c-bet a board of T♦5♥7♠ successfully, collecting another 1,800 or so chips. He rises up to 21,000...
10.44pm: Gizinski heads Day 1A Chip Count
As we suggested it is Rafal Gizinski who finds himself striding majestically ahead of his peers at this stage - finishing up with 149,500 come the final reckoning of Day 1A.
The full chip counts for Day 1A are now posted and can be found here.
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 200-400/50
10.35pm: Blind Luck
Although it's been a non-confrontational start to play so far, this was about the point the fireworks started in day 1A. The blinds are getting juicier and the players will begin to contest them with increasing vigour over the next few levels. We may see this trickle of eliminations evolve into something more tsunami-like as the pressure rises...
10.31pm: Roll-call of the damned
Four players of the original 39 are eliminated. Here are those unlucky men:
Amar Al Hussona
10.15pm: Back for level five
One third of the second flight is now done. The players are back from their break and champing at the bit to chip up. As we intimated earlier, a cautionary note has sounded through the early levels here. There is no weekend madness, the players are mostly keeping their powder dry for now.
There have been some eliminations however - more to follow...
To read updates from the first four levels of Day 1B, click here.