Tuesday, 30th May 2023 21:12
Home / Uncategorized / UKIPT6 Birmingham Day2: Ludovic Geilich on course for second UKIPT title


Geilich is the man to catch

Day 2 on the UKIPT are always the most fun to cover. The action on Day ones can take a while to get going due to the small blinds and even stacks, whereas their disparity on Day 2 creates lots of action, and therefore, bust outs. Then there’s the bubble; that always happens on Day 2. And lastly is the race for the final table. We don’t always make it (like today) but knowing it’s close piles the pressure on the players; decisions get tougher, and we like the content that provides.

Nine levels were played out today and at bagging up time, 22 remained. The player with the heaviest bag heading into the final day of the last ever UKIPT is Ludovic Geilich with 697,000. He’s being chased by a lot of talented players as you can see from this list:

Ludovic Geilich United Kingdom   697,000
David Clarkson United Kingdom PokerStars Qualifier 498,000
David Wilkes United Kingdom   428,000
Nathan Manuel USA   369,000
Jake Cody United Kingdom Team PokerStars Pro 368,000
Krishna Nagaraju India   342,000
Jeremy Wray United Kingdom PokerStars Qualifier 320,000
Timothy Chung United Kingdom   304,000
Teymour Sabet United Kingdom   281,000
Adam Owen United Kingdom PokerStars Qualifier 276,000
Graham Parkin United Kingdom   262,000
Nathan Webb United Kingdom   250,000
Edward Jackson-Spivack United Kingdom   226,000
Jamie Bott United Kingdom   212,000
James Rann United Kingdom PokerStars Qualifier 210,000
Ben Morrison United Kingdom   210,000
Ali Zihni United Kingdom   203,000
Tony Harman United Kingdom   192,000
Neil Raine United Kingdom PokerStars Qualifier 149,000
Konrad Zalewski Poland   123,000
Dominic Kay United Kingdom PokerStars Qualifier 119,000
Dillion Chua Singapore   88,000

So many of the above players have expressed how much they want to win this event as they’ll be a reigning UKIPT forever more, the only one. Geilich is in pole position to win and is also the only former winner left in the field, so he has multiple reasons to close it out. He’s in great form too after having an amazing WCOOP series where he landed the biggest score of his career – $462,182.17 – for winning Event #70, $21,000 Pot-Limit Omaha (6-Max, High-Roller).

Geilich spoke to the blog after he bagged up his monster stack, “It feels good. I want to get Jake heads-up. I came back with 20K and chipped up with a cooler early and then went from there.”


Cody had his game face on today, and it worked

Cody has this to say at the end of the day, “Today went amazing, I started with 20k. I floated between 15-25 big blinds for the first half of the day and then in one level I doubled up and won a big pot when a player tried to bluff me. I really really want to win it. It would be the perfect ending. I’d use my one time for this. I’ve never used it actually.”

You won’t find Mark McCluskey on that list, and you won’t find him on the payouts page either. That’s because he was the unfortunate bubble boy. When hand for hand play started he was the shortest stack in the room with just over seven big blinds, and also found himself in the big blind. After the big-stacked Adam Owen raised on the button and was called by the small blind, McCluskey looked down at A-J and squeezed all-in. Owen wanted to get it heads up so he raised again and got the small blind to fold. He opened a live K-4 and spiked a four on the turn to burst the bubble straight away.

Other players who failed to make the money today were the PokerStars Live at the Hippodrome’s Kerryjane Craigie, Kelly Saxby and Chris Gordon; Team PokerStars Pros Liv Boeree and Chris Moneymaker; WSOP Main Event finalist Griffin Benger, along with tour regulars Sam Grafton, Joe Hindry, Carl Harris, Louis Salter, Alex Spencer, Jonathan Rees, Jonathan Gill and Yucel “Mad Turk” Eminoglu.


Grafton (left) & Moneymaker (right) hit the rail today

Boeree made a preflop move with 5-6 suited but was taken out by Geilich and his A-K. Moneymaker busted in a three-way all-in, his K-T not able to beat Caicai Huang (QQ) or Luke Marsh (A-K). Huang flopped a set, Marsh turned the nut straight, but Huang scooped after filling up on the river.

The final day will kick off at midday and we’ll play down to a final table of eight, pause for a quick picture, and continue until the last ever UKIPT champion is crowned. It promises to be an emotional day for all who have been part of this amazing tour, and with a potentially star-studded final table to look forward to, we hope to see it off in real style.

Goodnight from Genting Casino Star City, see you all tomorrow. –MC

9pm: Play concludes
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

No more players busted in the last four hands. Ludovic Geilich leads – a wrap of the day coming up very soon. –MC

8:52pm: Final four hands
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

The clock has been paused and they’ll be four more hands before play is done for the day. –NW

8:45pm: Harman gets paid
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

From under-the-gun Adam Owen limped in, Tony Harman followed suit, David Clarkson made up from the small blind and Ludovic Geilich checked his option. On the 35A flop Owen c-bet 9,000 and only Harman called.

The 7 fell on the turn and Owen check-called a bet of 16,000 and the 3 rounded off the board. Again Owen checked and again Harman bet. This time the price was 27,000 and Owen tanked for over a minute before calling. Harman showed AJ and it was good. –NW

8:35pm: It’s all gone quiet
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

Not much significant action to report, with most three-bets going uncalled and any that do failing to spiral into big pots or even get to showdown. 22 players left and there’s a similar number of minutes left in the level. –NW

8:25pm: Morrison doubles through Owen
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

From the cutoff Ben Morrison moved his stack of 71,000 across the line and seconds later a big red ‘all-in triangle’ landed next to it. It looked like he’d pick up the blinds and antes until Adam Owen asked for a count. You could see Owen’s mental cogs turning over this borderline decision, his face expressing that he didn’t love life but he had a hand that he suspected was doing ok against the hands Morrison would shove here. Call was his ultimate decision and it was time for showdown.

Owen: A8
Morrison: AK

Morrison had him dominated and only improved as the board came 932KK. He doubles to around 150,000 while Owen still has chunks, around 530,000 to be precise. –NW

8:15pm: Cowboys send Straghalis to the rail
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

Chris Straghalis is one of the few players who genuinely seem to enjoy every moment at the poker table. Perhaps that’s because it’s very much a hobby for the PokerStars employee but he’s been smiling the whole day despite being almost permanently short stack. Sadly he was filling in a form by the payouts desk indicating his tournament had come to an end.

“I never got any chips, I was never above average but it was great fun,” he told the PokerStars Blog. “So much play, such a fun event to play, but when Ludo hits what you gonna do?”


He’s having fun, honest!

He was referring to Ludovic Geilich, the Scotsman was in earshot and turned around to listen. “I raised to 13,500 with pocket kings, Ludo three-bets to 35,000 with A-Qo, I went all-in for 109,000 and Ludo called.”

At this point Geilich offered his take on the hand. “That’s why I tanked so long before three-betting,” he explained. “I know if I three-bet I’ve got to call it off but I’m not going to like it. I know I’m behind and I’m hoping you’ve got tens or jacks.”

An ace on the flop means Geilich is up to 700,000 and Straghalis is off to play the Win the Button tournament. “I got to cash the last ever UKIPT which is great, but man I wanted to final table it,” said Straghalis as he headed off. –NW

8:12pm: UKIPT6 London Champion departs
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

Ludovic Geilich is now the only player left in that can become a double UKIPT champion after the elimination of Usman Siddique.

The UKIPT6 London champion three-bet all-in for 126,000 after Edward Jackson-Spivack had opened to 12,500. The latter tank-called.

Jackson-Spivack: 1010
Siddique: 88

The board ran 9J73J to see the tens hold.

After a countdown of the stacks, Siddique was left with just three antes. He busted the very next hand. –MC

8pm: Final three tables
Level 17 – Blinds 3,000/6,000 (1,000 ante)

Here’s how the final three tables line up:

Seat Table 1 Table 2 Table 3
1 Edward Jackson-Spivack Jamie Bott Adam Owen
2 James Rann Teymour Sabet Krishna Nagaraju
3 Usman Siddique David Wilkes Tony Harman
4 Konrad Zalewski Nathan Webb Dominic Kay
5 Timothy Chung Nathan Manuel Ben Morrison
6 Jake Cody Ali Zihni Chris Straghalis
7 Neil Raine Jeremy Wray David Clarkson
8 Dillion Chua Graham Parkin Ludovic Geilich

7:45pm: Webb doubles again
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

It’s a easy game when you keep winning flips and two in a row have boosted Nathan Webb to 400,000.

He’d moved table by the time this hand occurred, he opened the button to 21,500, Ali Zihni three-bet to 63,500 from the small blind, Webb moved all-in for 189,000 total and Zihni called.

Zihni: JJ
Webb: AK

A king on the flop gave Webb the lead and the turn and river both bricked for Zihni and he drops to around 50,000. –NW

7:42pm: UKIPT memories in brief
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

Time to hear from a few other people who have been connected with the UKIPT over its six years in existence.

Team PokerStars Pro Fatima Moreira de Melo, “Best memory of UKIPT was the first time it was held on the Isle of Man. I ended up doing really well and feeling the support of the ‘home crowd’ due to all the PokerStars employees, but also Isai and Mark Scheinberg who were there for the final table.”


Fatima playing UKIPT Isle of Man

Two-time champion Joeri Zandvliet, “For me, the UKIPT’s were super fun trips to go on with a group of friends, a trip to really look forward to for many reasons. Visiting a new city, meeting fun locals and poker players from all over the world, super professional and friendly staff: all in all great events that came down to much more than just playing poker. Being able to qualify online affordably, really made it a tour with a special mix of players. A tour without too much seriousness in the game, like headphones, tanking, verbal abuse, arrogance, but just a place for professionals, recreational players, locals and travellers from far away to come down and have fun!

“I can’t really say one specific memory stands out. Obviously the wins were really cool and a great way to learn about life as a young adult, and some of the nights out on tour were memorable. But what stands out for me is the really cool atmosphere when you were around a UKIPT event. I’ll miss it!”

Season one Player of the Year Chris Brammer, “Dean Lyall knocking back double vodka red bulls at UKIPT Manchester final table, lol.”

7:25pm: Rinkevicius shown the Wray to the door by Zihni
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

“Good luck everybody!” said Deivis Rinkevicius after he busted to Ali Zihni. It was the previous hand that was the real damage to the Lithuanian’s stack.

He had opened to 11,000 from under the gun and called after Jeremy Wray three-bet to 25,000 from the small blind. The flop fell 910Q and Wray moved all-in for 116,000. Rinkevicius tanked for a while before asking his opponent if he’d like a call.

Wray said he really didn’t mind, as if he was called and busted he could always go home and watch the England game on Match of the Day. Rinkevicius said that he could do that to and made the call with KQ. Wray opened AA and survived the 410 turn and river.

That left Rinkevicius with crumbs and he was all-in in the big blind the next hand. Zihni raised to 20,000 and no one else was interested.

Rinkevicius: 62
Zihni: 1010

The board ran 65109Q to settle matters. –MC

7:20pm: Webb doubles through Jones
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

From early position Teymour Sabet opened to 12,000 only for Nathan Webb to jam for 63,500. Richard Jones seemed interested, he got a count and then re-raised all-in for around 75,000 total. That forced Sabet off the hand and it was time for showdown:

Jones: 99
Webb: KQ

A J47Q2 run out doubled Webb and left Jones very short. He was out soon afterwards. -NW

7:07pm: Owen’s got the axe out again
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

There’s no stopping Adam Owen at the moment. He burst the bubble before the break and now he’s taken care of Patrice Brandt in 31st place post break.

The Brit, who came third in the recent EPT Barcelona Main Event, opened to 11,000 from under the gun before Krishna Nagaraju three-bet to 26,000 from the next seat. The action folded around to Brandt in the big blind who shipped all-in for 146,500. Owen took a look at Nagaraju’s 260,000 chips he had back and moved all-in as well. Nagaraju open-folded 1010.

Brandt: JJ
Owen: QQ

The board ran 3K54A to improve neither player. Owen’s stack grew to around 545,000. –MC

6:55 pm: Magnificent dozen for Cody
Level 16 – Blinds 2,500/5,000 (500 ante)

He battled a short stack for much of the day but Jake Cody now has a lot of chips and a 12th UKIPT Main Event cash. That draws him level with Thomas Ward at the top of the all-time list. Can he put the cherry on the cake with a win? –NW

6:41pm: Last break of the day
Level 15 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

The players are taking a 15-minute break before the last two levels of the day play out. –MC

6:40pm: Mark McCluskey bubbles UKIPT Birmingham
Level 15 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Well, that was quick! The bubble burst on the very first hand of hand for hand play, and the shortest stack in the field – owned by Mark McCluskey – was the one to go.

Adam Owen open-raised to 10,000 from the button and was called by the small blind before McCluskey squeezed all-in for 31,000 from the big blind. Owen then successfully raised agin to isolate.

McCluskey: AJ
Owen: K4

The board ran 931048 to pair Owen’s four.


Owen (left) eliminating McCluskey (right)

All 31 players left in are now guaranteed £1,460. –MC

6:35pm: Bubble time
Level 15 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

We’re on the pure bubble here in Birmingham.

Florian-Dimitrie Duta exited in 34th, he three-bet all-in for 63,900 from the big blind with pocket threes and Jake Cody, who’d raised from the button with A6 got a count and then called. A AKQQA run out saw Cody climb to around 330,000.

Shortly afterwards a similar situation occurred one table over. Jamie Bott opened pocket queens on the button, Robert Shiell shoved for about 50,000 and Bott called. A 337J10 board kept Bott in front and it’s bubble time for the last time on the UKIPT. –NW

6:27pm: Eccleshall just misses out
Level 15 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Simon Eccleshall knew he’d backed himself into a corner but made a call all-in saying he hoped that he was in a race. He wasn’t and he busted.

He was under the gun and open raised to 16,000. Adam Owen put in a big raise from late position, which he said was effectively an all-in move. Eccleshall tanked before calling off the 54,000 he had behind.

Eccleshall: 33
Owen: 1010

The board ran J492A to make both players a flush. Eccleshall’s was no good and he went in 36th place. –MC

6:10pm: You guys
Level 15 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

“They’ve got a lot of history,” whispered Chris Straghalis to me a safe distance from the table as Dillion Chua tanked over a very big decision that he faced. He’d bet 21,000 on the river of a J10447 board only for Krishna Nagaraju to raise all-in. Chua had about 105,000 back and Nagaruju covered him.

“Chua raised, pre-flop, bet the flop and checked the turn,” Straghalis told me as the tank continued. “Will you show if I fold?” asked Chua to Nagaraju. No response was forthcoming. A short time later Chua folded aces face-up and Nagaraju showed pocket jacks as he took the pot. “You guys,” said Straghalis as the players took their seats for the next hand. –NW

6:10pm: Five off the money
Level 15 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

The bubble is well and truly in sight now as the eliminations of Brian Frecnh, Junqiu Li, Gareth James and James Kerrane mean just 36 players remain. –NW

6:05pm: End of the road for Jarosz
Level 15 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Pawel Jarosz was super short and put his stack in on a flop with some back door outs, but they didn’t come in.

A J72 flop was out and four players (or three if your name is David Clarkson) were still involved. Clarkson led for 7,500 from the small blind before Jarosz moved all-in for 10,000 from the big blind. Konrad Zalewski was under the gun and raised to 25,000 which was enough to fold out David Wilkes (UTG+1) and Calsrson, who said, “Thought we were three-handed – that’s annoying!”

Jarosz: Q10
Zalewski: KK

The board ran out 4A. –MC

5:45pm: 10 off the money
Level 15 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

The final 42 players are spread across five tables but sadly for fans of Deborah Worley-Roberts, Eleanor Gudger, Ryan Hassett, Noel Broadbent, Jen-Yue Chiang, Yew Kah Ooi, Arron Fletcher, Smit Trivedi and Breixo Pena they aren’t among them as they’ve all been recently knocked out. –NW

5:40pm: Ludo crushing; Hindry busts
Level 14 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

Ludovic Geilich has become the first player (as far as we can see) to pass the half a million mark after he rivered a straight in a hand versus Joe Hindry, and got paid.

He opened to 7,000 from the hijack and Hindry defended his big blind before both checked the 758 flop. The turn was the 10 and Geilich’s delayed 9,000 c-bet was check-called by Hindry. The board completed with the J and Hindry checked to face a 30,000 bet. He tank-called and mucked upon seeing the Scot’s 97 for a straight to drop to fewer than 40,000.

Edit: Hindry busted soon after.– MC


Hindry looked sad after he called and saw the bad news

5:30pm: Gordon gobbled up by the river
Level 14 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

A double KO spells good news for those still in the tournament, but bad news for Chris Gordon and Mark Wagstaff, who were both eliminated by Graham Parkin.

Wagstaff was the first to to move, shoving for 40,000 with QJ, Parkin called with AQ and Gordon, who had about 35,000 left, called all-in with pocket kings.

A 3710 flop kept the kings in the front, the 7 turn was a brick but the A river gave the pot to Parkin. –NW

5:25pm: One Team Pro up, one downed
Level 14 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

Polarizing fortunes for the Team PokerStars Pros post break. As we briefly mentioned, Liv Boeree has hit the rail while Jake Cody had doubled up twice.

Boeree fell to Ludovic Geilich who has a stack approaching 450,000. He told the blog that he’d been three-betting her quite a lot and her exit hand was her making a stand. The problem was that Geilich had a hand he, “Didn’t even need to get a count before calling!” according to table mate Timothy Chung.

She opened to 7,000 from the cutoff before Geilich three-bet to 22,500 from the button. Boeree jammed for over a 100,000 with 56 and Geilich called with A-K. Boeree tunred a flush draw but couldn’t get there on the river.

Cody’s gotten his stack up to 160,000 after doubling twice. The second double was thanks to a holding of pocket kings. He said the chips went in on a the turn of an eight high board. — MC


Cody the last Team Pro still in

5:15pm: Raine gives one up
Level 14 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

Interesting hand this one. Neil Raine opened to 6,400 from the cutoff, James Rann smooth called from the button and Usman Siddique put in the extra from the big blind. On the A67 flop Raine bet 8,300 and Siddique was the only caller. The 5 turn checked through and the 10 completed the board and put a potential flush on board.

“All-in,” announced Siddique and Raine wanted a count. It was 44,600 and he gave it a good think before flashing the A as he folded. He’s still well stacked though, while Siddique is up to around 85,000. –NW

5pm: Gone
Level 14 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

John Littler, Barry Stansbie, Ben Jackson, Athir Ali and Liv Boeree are among the level 14 fallers. We’ll try and get details of her exit hand ASAP. –NW

4:55pm: UKIPT Memories, a letter from two-time champion Nick Abou Risk
Level 14 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

Unlike our big sibling (the EPT), the UKIPT didn’t have a problem finding a double champion; in fact we’ve had four of them – Joeri Zandvliet, Duncan McLellan, Wojtek Barzanty and Nick Abou Risk. Unfortunately none of them are here this week but the latter of these penned a letter we’d like to share:

“While I haven’t really played the UKIPT over the last few years, I was quite saddened to hear that it is coming to an end. Admittedly, most of my nostalgia is reserved for retro video games but I’ll now always keep a place in my heart for the UKIPT as well.


Nick (right) battling heads up for the UKIPT1 Edinburgh crown

“There have been so many people over the years who have made my – and surely many others’ – experiences at the UKIPT events incredibly special.

“Thank you to those involved in the online organization; you enabled me to stumble upon cheap satellites to play my first event – all while sitting in my proverbial boxers!

“Thank you to all of the dealers, floor staff, tournament directors, and cashiers. You were all incredibly professional and personable. Just thinking of your many smiles over the years makes me very happy!

“Thank you to all of the bloggers, photographers, and TV crew, and commentators. You all do amazing jobs with your incredibly hard work, long hours, and attention to detail. Oh, and *amazing* puns!

“Thank you to all of the marketers, promoters, and organizers. The growth of the tour really speaks for itself. Also, you throw great parties and party greatly!

“Finally, thank you to all of the amazing people and players that I met at each of the stops (and pubs!) along the way. I’m very grateful that I was able to become friendly, and make friends, with so many of you and to continue strengthening relationships with existing friends. Your energy, love for the game, and willingness to simply have fun made the entire atmosphere and experience like none other.

Thanks for the great craic, y’all! You’ll be missed.

Sincerely, Nick”

4:40pm: Raine brings the pain
Level 14 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

Neil Raine is up to 290,000 after eliminating Xiaoyang Luo in a big pot. It was a button versus big blind encounter with Raine in position opening, Luo three-betting to 18,700 and Raine calling. On the J4A flop Luo bet 15,000 and Raine smooth called. On the 8 turn Luo fired another salvo, this time 28,000 was the price. Raine paused a few beats before he moved all-in and Luo did likewise before calling all-in for around 80,000 total.

Raine: AJ
Luo: AK

Luo had flush and pair outs but missed the lot on the 4 river. –NW

4:32pm: Top ten counts
Level 14 – Blinds 1,500/3,000 (400 ante)

The players are back in their seats for level 14, below are the top ten counts. For a full list, click here.

Florian-Dimitrie Duta Romania   450,000
David Wilkes United Kingdom   305,000
Ludovic Geilich United Kingdom   290,000
Nathan Manuel USA   186,000
Neil Raine United Kingdom PokerStars Qualifier 170,000
James Rann United Kingdom PokerStars Qualifier 167,000
Bartosz Wegrzyn Poland   160,000
Caicai Huang China   160,000
Teymour Sabet United Kingdom   150,000
Martin Olali Ireland   137,000

4:16pm: Break time
Level 13 – Blinds 1,200/2,400 (300 ante)

The buzzer has sounded, it’s time to take a break. –NW

4:15pm: An Angell falls
Level 13 – Blinds 1,200/2,400 (300 ante)

We’re one UKIPT champion lighter in this tournament as Brett Angell was just eliminated by Florian-Dimitrie Duta. The action folded to the button and, with two short stacks behind, Duta open shoved. Angell was quick to slide his 12 big blind stack across the line and the big blind folded.

Duta: A5
Angell: A9

The 5KQ flop was bad news for Angell and it didn’t get any better on the 7 turn or 10 river. Duta is up to 250,000 as a result. — NW

4:10pm: Close but no cigar for…
Level 13 – Blinds 1,200/2,400 (300 ante)

There are 65 players remaining in the Main Event, the following aren’t amongst them: John Bradley, Daniel Stanway, Nicholas Bass, Louis Salter, David Docherty, Peter Vu, Christopher Stafford-Nelson, Arkadiusz Kowalczyk, Bobby Zhang, Mian Wei, Romaine Morin, Osman Mustanoglu, Yucel Eminoglu, Ian Otobo, Connor Ross, Sanjay Patel, Erik van den Berg, Steven Game and Luke Marsh. –MC


They’ll be no third final table for Docherty

3:57pm: Four-betting FTW
Level 13 – Blinds 1,200/2,400 (300 ante)

Neil Raine’s stack has grown to 168,000 after a cold four-bet worked out okay for him.

James Rann opened to 5,000 from under the gun and the action folded all the way around to Day 1A chip leader Breixo Pena in the small blind, who three-bet to 15,000. Raine was in the big blind and tanked before four-betting to 31,000. Rann made a quick fold and the Spaniard called to see a 61010 flop. Raine continued for 24,000 and Pena snap mucked to drop to 140,000. — MC

3:50pm: Grafton gone
Level 13 – Blinds 1,200/2,400 (300 ante)

Sam Grafton was perched near the high roller tournament having a conversation with Griffin Benger. A sure sign he’d exited the Main Event. He was happy to inform us of his exit and explained it in his usual enigmatic style. He started the hand with 27 big blinds. “I opened in trap one with pocket queens and Dave (Wilkes) a lovely guy from Kenilworth, who lives in Marbella, three-bet me in about a quarter of a second. It folds back to me and I call.

“The flop was jack high, he snap shoves and is the happiest looking man in the world, he’s not stressed in the slightest and looks very confident that he has the best hand. I take long enough to let the table know I’m not particularly happy about calling off, but call and he’s got the aces and that’s all she wrote.” –NW

3:40pm: Siddique survives
Level 13 – Blinds 1,200/2,400 (300 ante)

It folded to Usman Siddique, who was in the small bind, and the UKIPT6 London champion shoved all-in for 33,100 total. Mian Wei, who had a similar stack, eyed up the bet and then decided to call.

Siddique: K8
Wei: 55

The board ran Q210QK to double Siddique to around 68,000. When the stacks were counted down Wei was left with just 200 and was eliminated on the next hand. –NW


Siddique hanging in there

3:32pm: Tough table just got a little easier
Level 13 – Blinds 1,200/2,400 (300 ante)

Steve Warburton has departed from table six to make things a little easier for anyone who’s unfortunate enough to be sat there. It took a bad beat to get rid of him though. Ludovic Geilich did the damage and recounted the hand for the bog.

It happened in the last moments of level 12 when the big blind was 2,000. Warburton opened to 4,500 from second position and then four-bet all-in for 52,000 after Geilich three-bet to 14,000 from the small blind. The Scot called with pocket sevens, dominated by Warburton’s queens, but the window card was a seven and that was all she wrote for Warburton. –MC

3:20pm: Raise the blinds (and the clock)
Level 13 – Blinds 1,200/2,400 (300 ante)

We’re into level 13 in Birmingham and that means, as well as the blinds rising, the length of the levels have also shifted upwards. Each level will now last 60 minutes as opposed to the 45 minutes of the previous dozen levels. –NW

3:15pm: Moneymaker departs
Level 12 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

We didn’t catch Chris Moneymaker’s exit live but Sam Grafton became a part-time blogger to fill us in on the details. The pertinent details are that Moneymaker shoved for 10 big blinds from under-the-gun with K-10, Caicai Huang flat called with pocket queens, Luke Marsh then re-shoved with ace-king and when it folded back to Huang she called.


No money made today

A Q-J-6 flop (with two diamonds) made Huang top set, gave Moneymaker an open-ended straight draw and Marsh a gutshot. The 10 turn put Marsh in the lead with the nut straight but a jack on the river made Huang a full-house. She eliminated both players and is up to 205,000. –NW

3:07pm: Benger busted
Level 12 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

What a terrible year Shark Cage winner Griffin Benger is having. He wasn’t allowed to finish off some tournament in the desert over the summer, and now he’s busted UKIPT Birmingham before the money.

Peter Vu raised to 5,000 from the hijack before Benger three-bet all-in for 33,700 from the next seat. PokerStars’ Teymour Sabet asked for a count in the small blind, then called, which was enough to scare off Vu.

Sabet: QQ
Benger: 77

The board ran 108455 to miss both players.

Benger immediately went and registered for the High Roller tournament that’s running alongside the Main Event. –MC

2:50pm: Tough crowd
Level 12 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

Table six has a good shout at being the toughest table in the room. It contains an EPT winner (Liv Boeree) an EPT runner-up (Steve Warburton) and EPT finalist/UKIPT champion (Ludovic Geilich) and a Genting tour winner (Tim Chung).

The latter was busy getting a massage but it didn’t stop him raising to 4,000 from the button. Steve Warburton stuck in a three-bet from the small blind and it got the job done. –NW

2:46pm: Tommy and others taken out
Level 12 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

Tommy Taban called for a jack but it never came and he was shown the door. He was down to around 32,000 when he made his move from under the gun. Ryan Hassett was sat a couple of seats along and made the call.

Taban: KJ
Hassett: AK

The board ran 26A3A to make Hassett trips. He moved up to 96,000.

Taban joined the following on the rail: Carl Harris, John Ventre, Ronit Chamani, Alex Spencer, Majid Iqbal, Joseph Pritchard, Ben Farrell, Richie Lawlor, Christopher Weatherall, Samy Salah, Tomasz Maciorowski, Joseph Lalor and Mark Frith. –MC

2:32pm: Chips ahoy!
Level 12 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

As level 12 gets underway these are the top 10 stacks in the room.

Florian-Dimitrie Duta Romania   230,000
Liv Boeree United Kingdom Team PokerStars Pro 190,500
David Wilkes United Kingdom   180,000
Javier Zarco Sanchez Spain   157,000
Nathan Webb United Kingdom   130,000
Claudio Renzo Cambianica United Kingdom   127,800
Adam Owen United Kingdom PokerStars Qualifier 122,000
Breixo Pena Spain   119,400
Xiaoyang Luo United Kingdom   115,000
Ludovic Geilich United Kingdom   111,500

2:16pm: Break time
Level 11 – Blinds 800/1,600 (200 ante)

First 15-minute break for one and all.

2:10pm: Siddique shoves
Level 11 – Blinds 800/1,600 (200 ante)

UKIPT6 London champion Usman Siddique got off to a great start but has since been pegged back. Breixo Pena, who was the Day 1A chip leader, opened to 3,600, he was flat called and Siddique then shoved for 36,800 total. He got it through and stacked up some much needed chips. –NW

2:14pm: UKIPT memories, with Rick Dacey
Level 11 – Blinds 800/1,600 (200 ante)

For the first three and a bit seasons of the UKIPT Rick Dacey used to be a part of the live reporting team. He played a major role in shaping the tone of the blog and witnessed a lot of memorable moments during his tenure. These days you’ll find him in the PokerStars office on the Isle of Man where he has a full time role as a Corporate Writer. Rick kindly dropped us a line to share his favourite UKIPT memory:

“The UKIPT has been fantastic breeding ground for up and coming poker talent – as well as a great place for all players, dabblers, enthusiasts and I’ll-have-a-go-at-that-poker-thing’ers to meet, play and laugh into the early hours.

“I’ve got many fond memories of the people and places, but my standout memory remains Richard Evans’ win. A friendly and humble guy, you could tell that the win meant the world to him, and the raw emotion was contagious. I still get a small lump in my throat thinking about it now. I’ve obviously got soppy in my dotage.

“Best wishes to all that play in this last UKIPT – and that extra little bit of run good to anyone that took the time out to agree to an interview, help fill in on something that we reporters missed or simply played the game in the correct spirit. May your hero calls be correct and your light jams breeze through.”


It’s okay Rick, PokerStars Festivals are on their way!

2pm: Chiang almost triples as Gillon departs
Level 11 – Blinds 800/1,600 (200 ante)

Jen-Yue Chiang found a lovely spot to get his 23,000 chips in, and he won the pot, eliminating Colin Gillon in the process. We’re not sure exactly how, but all the chips went in preflop. Gillon was all-in from cutoff, Chiang from the big blind and James Kerrane was involved from the small blind.

Gillon: A6
Kerrane: 88
Chiang: AK

The board ran 9QA72 to send all the chips Chiang’s way. Gillon wished everyone luck before departing, and Kerrane was left with around 40,000. –MC

1:50pm: Selected chip counts
Level 11 – Blinds 800/1,600 (200 ante)

Here’s how some of the big stacks, names and notables are getting on:

David Wilkes – 160,000
Nathan Webb – 142,000
David Clarkson – 130,000
Steve Warburton – 127,000
Breixo Pena – 116,000
Teymour Sabet – 110,000
Ludovic Geilich – 99,000
Adam Owen – 90,000
Caicai Huang – 82,000
Deborah Worley-Roberts – 72,000
Usman Siddique – 67,000
Ben Jackson – 66,000
Ben Morrison – 63,000
Eleanor Gudger – 62,000
Chris Gordon – 61,000
Yucel Eminoglu – 53,000
Dominic Kay – 53,000
Jeremey Wray – 53,000
Sam Grafton – 49,700
Louis Salter – 48,200
Joe Hindry – 48,000
Brett Angell – 44,000
Tim Chung – 40,000
Richard Jones – 37,000
Jake Cody – 34,900
David Docherty – 33,000
Mark McCluskey – 33,000
Ali Zihni – 29,000
Chris Straghalis – 19,000

Keep an eye on the chip counts page for updates throughout the day. –NW

1:40pm: Check you later
Level 11 – Blinds 800/1,600 (200 ante)

It’s always the way early on Day 2, they just can’t seem to bust quick enough. There’s always the Birmingham Cup to jump into (it’s underway on the lower floor) for: Joseph Johnson, Javier Zarco Sanchez, Ishbel Leedy, Dariusz Fistek, Paul Brown, Jonathan Gill, Matthew Pierre, Parham Ahoor, Terence Etim and Hasan Shahid. — MC

1:28pm: Where you from mate?
Level 10 – Blinds 600/1,200 (200 ante)

Thanks to UKIPT Media coordinator Jen Mason for breaking down where all these fine players hail from. I think she likes her stats to be accurate! –MC

Country Players %
United Kingdom 177 72.54098361
Ireland 10 4.098360656
Poland 8 3.278688525
USA 7 2.868852459
Spain 6 2.459016393
France 5 2.049180328
China 4 1.639344262
Lithuania 4 1.639344262
Sweden 3 1.229508197
Canada 2 0.819672131
Hungary 2 0.819672131
India 2 0.819672131
Japan 2 0.819672131
Singapore 2 0.819672131
South Africa 2 0.819672131
Australia 1 0.409836066
Brazil 1 0.409836066
Germany 1 0.409836066
Latvia 1 0.409836066
Malaysia 1 0.409836066
Netherlands 1 0.409836066
Romania 1 0.409836066
Russia 1 0.409836066
Grand Total 244

1:18pm: Benger bails as Brandt trips up Zalewski
Level 10 – Blinds 600/1,200 (200 ante)

Three-way action over on table 8 featuring WSOP finalist Griffin Benger, albeit in a supporting role.

Konrad Zalewski opened the pot with a raise from the hijack, picking up calls from Benger (button) and Patrice Brandt (big blind). The flop fanned K9K and the action was checked around to Benger who bet 3,100. Brandt called but Zalewski check-raised to 9,200. Benger made a quick fold before Brandt tank called. No more chips made it into the middle as the 10A turn and river were checked through. Brandt opened KJ and Zalewski mucked.

Zalewski – 84,000
Benger – 82,000
Brandt – 77,000

1:05pm: Good start for Team Pro
Level 10 – Blinds 600/1,200 (200 ante)

There were three members of Team PokerStars Pro in action at the start of Day 2 and midway through the second level of the day all three still retain an interest in this tournament. Leading the charge is Liv Boeree. She started the day with 57,100 but has all but tripled that and sits with a very healthy stack of 165,000.


Barnstorming start for Boeree

Chris Moneymaker was best placed of the three at the start of play and he’s carried on where he left of by turning his stack of 63,100 into about 90,000. Jake Cody was short on chips at the start of play and while that’s still the case, he has turned his 21,000 into 29,000 during the opening hour of play. –NW

12:58pm: Neil raining chips
Level 10 – Blinds 600/1,200 (200 ante)

It’s tough to get Neil Raine off top pair. Anthony Kennedy just found that out the expensive way.

He opened from the cutoff and was only called by Raine in the small blind. The board rolled out as 36A106 with Raine checking each street to face bets of 3,400, 5,700 and 8,500. He called every bet with A9, beating out Kennedy’s KJ. Raine moved up to around 85,000. –MC

12:47pm: First level of the day fallers
Level 10 – Blinds 600/1,200 (200 ante)

There were 27 eliminations during the opening level, as well as those we caught live we can tell you that: David Gallagher, KerryJane Craigie, Martin Zoeller, John Kitchen, Joe Brindle, Dariusz Fistek, Mudasser Hussain, Brandon Sheils, Viesturs Baumanis, Michael Jones, Michael Kane, Stephen Pearce, Joel Beverley and Chao Xia are also out. –NW


Deb’s delivering the kiss of death

12:40pm: Moneymaker wins the Grafton lottery
Level 9 – Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

If he wants a quiet life David Wilkes might want to beg steal or borrow some headphones. He’s sandwiched inbetween Sam Grafton and Chris Moneymaker on table one (which won’t break all day).

To be fair it’s pretty good stuff if he does want to listen to the Moneymaker and Grafton show as the two are discussing the Global Poker League. Moneymaker is the Team Captain of the Las Vegas Moneymakers while Grafton provides commentary on the matches for the GPL on Twitch.

The two were discussing’s Grafton’s role and some of the specific issues faced when commentating on the matches. All the players having microphones and trying not to talk over them was the issue at hand when we last stopped by. –NW

Ukipt5_birmingham_main_event_day2_chris moneymaker.jpg


12:35pm: Make Gordon’s a double
Level 9 – Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

Chris Gordon was one of 24 players who punched their ticket to Day 2 via the Day 1C turbo flight. He started the day with just 13,300 but has found a double. “Jacks against ace-queen, pretty standard,” he told the PokerStars Blog. –NW

12:32pm: UKIPT memories, with David Docherty
Level 9 – Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

Time for a memory from one of the tour’s regulars, and one of the nicest people you could hope to meet. Over to you David Docherty:

“I’ve been playing live tournament poker for almost a decade now and no tour has seen me participate in its events more than the UKIPT.

“Birmingham by my calculations marks my 26th Main Event and despite a slow start, I did end up with some great poker-related memories from the tour. I made it to two Main Event final tables and one High Roller final table over the years and on each of those finals, I played with at least one player who already was or has gone on to become one of the best poker players the UK has ever produced. I didn’t realise it at the time, but just getting to battle on final tables with Max Silver, Jack Salter, Jake Cody and the legendary Devilfish are memories I’ll treasure for a long time to come, even if the results weren’t always what I wanted.

“Despite those experiences, I’d still say my most treasured memories from the UKIPT have come from the friendships I’ve forged as a direct result of it existing.

“I met some people through seasons 1-3 who remain some of my closest friends to this day, despite not all of them even playing the game regularly themselves any more, all because we shared a common interest at a particular moment in time.

“I got to rail two friends to lofty five-figure scores on the tour, being there for Sam Razavi’s win in Cork and Joe Roberts’ Galway podium finish.

“And I just generally had some of the most enjoyable times of my life travelling the UKIPT circuit with those guys and others.

“I’m really sad to see the UKIPT go, but can only hope the new tour incarnations can do just as good a job and provide the same sort of great memories as this photo evokes. Featuring (from left to right) Simon Hawkins, myself, Dan Morgan and Ben Martin, we like to refer to it as the 2010 UKIPT Coventry under 14’s tournament.”


12:25pm: A tale to tell the kid
Level 9 – Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

Coming into play Nathan Webb was the man to catch. The proud dad of one is very much a recreational player for whom poker is a hobby. The man to his direct right falls into a different category. Griffin Benger is a renowned poker pro, what’s more he’s made the 2016 WSOP Main Event final table, where he’ll start 7/9.

As I watched on it folded to Benger in the small blind, he completed and Webb tapped the table. On the 98K flop Benger check-folded to a bet of 2,200 and Webb took the pot. So a potential ‘I took a pot from the world champion’ tale for Webb to tell his daughter then. –NW

12:20pm: Double KO for Bott
Level 9 – Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

Kelly Saxby and Mahmood Rasheed both started the day with a 25-30 big blind stack. When Saxby found ace-king and Rasheed jacks there was only one outcome. Unfortunately for both it wasn’t a race as Jamie Bott found aces at the same time and held up on a 8K348 board to eliminate both players. He’s now up to 115,000. –NW

12:15pm: One champ up, three down
Level 9 – Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

Tomasz Wrobel, Neil Ryder and Masafumi Saito all came back with a sub 15,000 stack today but none of them managed to turn it around. They were the first three players to depart here on Day 2.

No such problems for UKIPT6 London champion Usman Siddique. He was battling in a big pot with Mian Wei and got a 32,500 value bet paid. The board read 7K5J5 and Siddique bet from the cutoff, receiving a check-call from the small blind. He opened AA and Wei mucked. — MC

12pm: Shuffle up and deal
Level 9 – Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

Right on time Day 2 action is go. –NW

11:50am: Welcome to Day 2, aka moving day

It’s time to make a move people. As you know by now PokerStars tours are evolving and will fall under the Championship/Festival banner going forward. But that’s not the sort of move we’re talking about here in Birmingham. Day 2 has long been known as moving day on this tour as it’s the day when stacks are built and the foundations for winning a UKIPT title are laid.

They’ll be nine levels played today, the first four of which will be 45 minutes long, before levels increase to one hour for the duration. We suspect the bubble will burst sometime around level 15 to 16 and then the march to the final table begins.

We’ll have coverage every step of the way, keep an eye on the @PokerStarsBlog and @UKIPT twitter accounts for important tournament information.

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

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