Tuesday, 30th May 2023 22:01
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2:05am: Jorge Ellena leads 26 Day 1A survivors
The first of three starting flights of the UKIPT Super Series came and went over twelve 40-minutes levels today. Day 1A was a night session, beginning at 5pm, and by the time the players were bagging up at around 2am, Chilean player Jorge Ellena has amassed a very impressive 280,300 to lead.


Jorge Ellena has set the bar high

The event has different buy-in guidelines this year with it being a single re-entry per flight event. That meant 11 of the players to bust today took a second chance, and boosted the total number of entries up to 128. Only 26 made it through and below you’ll find a full rundown of their counts.

Tomorrow will feature two flights starting at different times and with different structures. Day 1B will start at 12pm BST and play out exactly the same as today, but Day 1C (starting at 10pm) has a turbo structure where the blind levels have been halved to 20 minutes apiece. That’s all from PokerStars Live at the Hippodrome, join us back here is just a few hours time.

Name Status Chips
Jorge Ellena   280,800
Albert Sapiano   219,800
Alexander Zeligman   203,000
Edmund Anderson   194,000
Victor Victorovich Ilyukhin   190,900
Jon Vallinas Santos   188,000
Giulio Mascolo   155,000
Vadim Cojocaru   152,600
Alexios Zervos   148,000
Luke Williams PokerStars Qualifier 137,500
Angelos Nastos Megas   131,600
Danny Tran   130,000
Craig Newton   106,800
Grant Fox   98,500
Philippe Souki   98,300
David Crane   96,700
Stelyan Gerogiev   89,600
Jonathan Somekh   89,400
Terence Donakey   72,800
Mark Metsla   72,100
Hristo Georgiev   70,400
Nilay Ganatra   70,100
Julien-Pierre Jolivet   66,700
Chris Da-Silva   61,300
Simon Dryan   55,300
Roar Flotre   40,100

1:45am: Last four hands
Level 12 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Four more hands will be played at each table before Day 1A comes to an end.

1:36am: Yeung man with a big future
Level 12 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

It’s been less than a year since Edmund Yeung recorded his first ever live cash. Fast-forward 11 months and the recent university graduate has a poker resume worth $380k. The scientific poker terminology to describe him is as a hot young thing.

He won’t be making Day 2 via this flight though though after he was eliminated by Alexios Zervos. We didn’t see the hands but Zervos had the second nuts when he tank-called Yeung’s shove. David Chau said Zervos slow-rolled but the table agreed to reclassify it as a nit-roll (at most) as he said he was probably going to call. He did, and has a stack around 250,000 so could challenge Jorge Ellena for the end of day chip lead.

1:24am: Nothing Bland about a straight
Level 12 – Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

It can be nervous putting your tournament life on the line with a draw, but sometimes you have to gamble a little. Daniel Bland did that and was rewarded with a much-needed double up.

The action was three-way to a J104 flop and Nilay Ganatra bet 15,000 when it was checked to him on the button. The small blind folded before Bland moved all-in for 27,600 after pausing for 30 seconds to consider his option. Call.

Ganatra: J9 for top pair and flush draw.
Bland: KQ for an open-ended straight draw.

The board ran out A7 to make Bland the nut straight. “Nice hand,” said a gracious Ganatra.

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1:10am: Ellena the 300k man
Level 11 – Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Another scalp in another big pot has seen Jorge Ellena’s stack rise to around 300,000.

The action was four-way to the turn of a J974 flop where Danny Toffel moved all-in for 30,200. Sapiano tank-folded but Ellena made a quick call. The fourth party made a quick fold.

Toffel: QJ
Ellena: AJ

“Nice hand!” said Toffel before the K river sealed his fate. “Good luck all,” he concluded before heading off into the London night.

1am: Late night fallers
Level 11 – Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

They came, they saw, they played a long time but it wasn’t meant to be. Feels bad man for: Wing Ka Chang, Joern Esben Guenther, Mark Hammond, Deivis Rinkevicius, Ajaykumar Ale, Thomas Young, James Langford, Pawan Kumar Nayyar, Brian Peattie, David Welch, Elio Saade, Olicer Hewett and James Morris.

Morris informed the blog that he moved all-in with K-Q suited from the small bling and was called by David Chau in the big blind. The latter held A-8 and held.

12:45am: Ellena cruises past 200k
Level 11 – Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Jorge Ellena has leapt into the chip lead, with more than 200,000 after a big, long battle with Andrew Christoforou.

The latter raised from under the gun and was called in one spot before Ellena squeezed to 10,000 from the cutoff. Both opponents called and 799 flop was delivered. Christoforou came out firing for 18,000 and only Ellena called to the J turn. Every decision in the hand had taken time and this street took the longest. Christoforou took a good while before he bet 22,000, leaving himself around 50,000 back. Ellena moved all-in and Christoforou tank-called his stack off.

“Queens?” asked Ellena as he opened KK. “No, you’re good” came Christoforou’s reply as he opened 88. The board completed with the J and a new chip leader was born.


Ellena feeling super at the Series

12:20am: I’ve got no such kicker problems, Pal
Level 10 – Blinds 500/1,200 (ante 200)

Rupom Pal flopped trips but it cost him dear as David Crane had the same trips, but with the best kicker.

Crane opened to 2,700 from the cutoff and Pal defended his big blind to see a QKQ flop. Pal led or 1,600 and Crane called, before he himself bet 3,100 on the 3 turn. The tricky Pal check-raised it up to 9,200 but Crane snap moved all-in for around 41,000, just covering Pal.

“Kicker problems here!” said Pal.

There was a pause while Crane seemingly processed that line, then he responded with, “Queen?”

Pal eventually called with Q6 but Crane opened AQ and survived the 8 river. “I should’ve folded,” said Pal before wishing everyone luck and heading out. –MC

11:53pm: Big stacks
Level 10 – Blinds 500/1,200 (ante 200)

Name Status Chips
Alexander Zeligman   180,000
Giulio Mascolo   140,000
Albert Sapiano   126,000
Luke Williams PokerStars Qualifier 120,000
Jorge Ellena   115,000
Jon Vallinas Santos   110,000
Terence Plummer PokerStars Qualifier 102,000
Guy Taylor   95,000
David Chau   95,000
Edmund Anderson   85,000
Danny Tran   83,000
Natalia Breviglieri   75,000
Chris Da-Silva   63,000
David Crane   58,000
Alexios Zervos   52,000
Stelyan Gerogiev   52,000

11:37pm: Last break of the night
Level 9 – Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

The players are taking their last 15-minute break of the day. The following failed to make it that far:

Chao Xia, Pablo Bodi Jimenez, Jonathan Beck, Tristan Chevalier, Craig Sweden, Krishna Nagaraju, Adrian Smith, Keith Christie, Ravi Sharda, Christopher Cancelliere, Hoss Sharifkazemi, Mats Rosen, George Alexander, Robert Heidorn, Alessandro Bonaffini, Warren Tolentino, Rahim Tadj-Saadat and Jai Patel.

11:25pm: Welch jams on Rinkevicius
Level 8 – Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

No, we’re not talking about a casual music session here, this poker business be serious. David Welch and Deivis Rinkevicius are battling for traction, and the former found more of it in a heads up hand between the pair.

Welch opened to 2,000 from the button and Rinkevicius peeled from the big blind to see a 6K5 flop that was checked. Welch’s delayed c-bet for 3,100 was check-called by Rinkevicius before Welch jammed on the Q river. Rinkevicius check-folded to preserve his 31,000 remaining chips.

11:10pm: Sapiano finds a way
Level 8 – Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

Albert Sapiano’s table broke a while back and he’s now at table five with a six-figure stack. He can thank James Morris for that.

The latter told us that he lost a 100k pot versus Sapiano in a blind on blind battle just before their table broke. Morris raised with AJ and called after Sapiano shipped all-in for around 25,000 with A-8. The latter flopped an eight and held despite there being two diamonds out there.


Morris felt the force of Sapiano

Now Morris has a clear view of Sapiano and his old chips while he grinds a short tack to the direct right of David Chau.

10:55pm: Phan of the Diggler
Level 8 – Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

David Chau’s (AKA Diggler) original table was broken and he was moved to table four. When we arrived at his table, he had a mass of messy stacks in front of him and was halfway through eating a cheeseburger. Basically it looked like he was enjoying life in his new home!

Life’s full of bumps in the road though, and his bump was doubling up the short-stacked Phu Van Phan. Chau opened to 1,850 and was called by Dominic Wells before Phan squeezed all-in for 6,225. Chau raised to 12,000 to isolate and was successful as Wells tank folded after intially saying, “Ah bo**ocks!”

Chau: KQ
Phan: 1010

The board ran 862JQ to make Phan a flush. Chau was probably left with around 80,000 chips.

10:35pm: Come and try again tomorrow
Level 8 – Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

The beauty of a re-entry tournament is that chance of trying again. Hopefully we’ll see some of the following tomorrow for either/both Day 1B&C:

Oliver Bithell, Andrew Christoforou, Brett Kennedy, Chuc Gia Khuu, Joe Hindry, Sarah Stockbridge, Mihai Zelinca, Lucky Nguyen, Derek Boyle, Ning Lu, Jacques Demajo and Andrew Lazarus.


For now, you’ll find them at the cocktail bar

10:27pm: Well gets paid
Level 8 – Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

Dominic Wells has a stack approaching 100,000 after he managed to get paid on the river.

A pile of chips sat in the middle and his heads-up opponent (Julien Michaud) checked to face a 10,000 bet on the river of a K42A9 board. Michaud tanked for a couple of minutes and then made the call. Wells opened AQ and Michaud mucked to leave himself short, a position he failed to recover from.

10:20pm: A numbers game
Level 8 – Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

The final number of entries for Day 1A of the UKIPT6 Super Series has been confirmed at 128 players. That number is made up of 117 unique players and 11 re-entries. Those who fired a second bullet were: James Parker, Terence Jordon, Mark Hammond, Joe Hindry, Jon Vallinas Santos, Alexandra O’Brien, Philippe Souki, Krishna Nagaraju, Danny Toffel and Frank Bastow.

10:06pm: Sweden high on Wattage
Level 7 – Blinds 300/600 (ante 75)

Craig Sweden has tripled up to 80,000 in a three-way all-in that saw Steve Watts bust.

He raised to 1,300 and was called in three spots en route to a 554 flop. Sweden continued for 3,900 and was called in one spot before Watts raised to 9,400. Brett Kennedy was in the cutoff and jammed for about 30,000 – enough to set both Sweden and Watts all-in. They both called.


Sweden moved into a big house

Sweden: 65 for trips.
Watts: A2 for a straight flush draw.
Kennedy: 53 for trips.

The board ran out 66 to make a very elated Sweden the largest full house. He scooped, Watts hit the rail and Kennedy was left short.

9:48pm: Chips ahoy
Level 7 – Blinds 300/600 (ante 75)

Now we see some real stacks emerging!

Name Status Chips
John Antwi   110,000
Rupom Pal   100,000
Victor Ilyukhin   88,000
Guy Taylor   84,000
Terence Plummer PokerStars Qualifier 78,000
Luke Williams PokerStars Qualifier 75,000
James Morris   73,000
Alexander Zeligman   68,000
Daniel Bland   68,000
Edmund Andersen   66,000
Mats Rosen Pihl   62,000
Dominic Wells   62,000
Alexios Zervos   60,000
George Stoian   58,000
Vytautas Aganauskas   55,000
Ajaykumar Ale   55,000
Nilay Ganatra   55,000
Huy Nguyen   50,000
David Chau   50,000
Edmund Yeung   45,000
Alessandro Bonaffini   43,000
Stelyan Gerogiev   42,000
Jai Patel   40,000
Warren Tolentino   40,000
Simon Dryan   40,000
Angelos Megas   39,000
Marcus West   38,000
Axat Tulsidas Mawji   36,000

9:38pm: Last chance to re-enter
Level 6 – Blinds 250/500 (ante 50)

The second half of the day is underway meaning that registration for this fight is closed. Did any of these players re-enter in the break? (excluding Terence Jordon who’s busted twice):

Andrew Christoforou, James Mitchell, Nicos Nicolaou, Martins Adeniya, Carlos Del Vigo Gonzalez, Alexandra O’Brien, Sanjay Thapar, James Parker, Philippe Souki, Jason Nguyen, Danny Toffel and Frank Bastow.

9:20pm: Break time
The players are on their second break of the day, registration will close at the end of it.

9:10pm: Breviglieri back to black
Level 6 – Blinds 250/500 (ante 50)

Thanks to Albert Sapiano, Natalia Breviglieri has gotten her stack up to around 30,000.

He limped in and then called after Breviglieri raised to 1,700 from the cutoff. The flop fanned 9K8 and both players checked, Sapiano in the dark. The turn was the 3 and Sapiano check-called 3,000 before he checked dark once more. Breviglieri bet 2,500 and was called. She opened KQ and scooped as Sapiano mucked.

8:52pm: Antwi soaring as last re-entry levels begins
Level 6 – Blinds 250/500 (ante 50)

Level 6 has gotten under way and this is the last level where players can re-enter for this flight. One player not in that sort of mind-set is current chip leader John Antwi. He’s at table 10 and can almost rest his chin on his two tall towers. He did just lose a pot though and dropped back to a still impressive 90,000 or thereabouts.


Antwi – lord of the twin towers

It looked as if the pot was limped preflop before five players took a look at a 4A6 flop. Antwi led for 1,600 from under the gun and was only called by Grant Fox in the hijack. Fox called another 3,000 on the K turn before both players checked the 10 river. Fox opened AQ and took the pot as Antwi mucked after flashing the A.

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8:41pm: They may have lost the battle, but this is a war
Level 5 – Blinds 200/400 (ante 50)

Players can re-enter once each flight at this year’s Super Series so although the following have fallen, they still have the chance to be victorious: Chris Gordon, Joe Hindry, Krishna Nagaraju, Andrey Veselov, Richard Hurst, Mateusz Zbikowski, Colin Marks, Vytautas Aganauskas, Matthew Hope, Andre Loua, Jamie Rutherford, Fahd Bennani-Smires, Ricardo Jose Valim and Jason Nguyen.

8:22pm: Time to spin!
Level 5 – Blinds 200/400 (ante 50)

“Now we’re spinning!” said Terence Jordon after he lost a three-way all-in. “Starting stack’s just not enough.”

He and Danny Toffel combined to triple up neighbour Chuc Gia Khuu to 25,800. Toffel won a 4k side pot, but bemoaned he had to put in 8,000 to win that.

The hands:

Khuu: K10
Jordon: KQ
Toffel: 76

The board ran 1083A6.

Jordon was lying as he soon turned 27,000 into dust and will likely re-enter.

8pm: Power poker from Adeniya
Level 4 – Blinds 150/300 (ante 25)

Martins Adeniya had made a lot of poker headlines over the years. He’s made a lot of live update blogs building big stacks due to his aggressive nature. We’re glad to see some things don’t change. His stack is well in the black after a bit of power poker.

The flop had been dealt (995) and Adeniya led for 2,600 from the big blind. Frank Bastow was under the gun and made the call. Adeniya kept firing on the 2 turn with a 3,800 bet and that was enough to scare off Bastow. –MC

7:47pm: The Wells not dry
Level 4 – Blinds 150/300 (ante 25)

Dominic Wells was reported as having one of the biggest stacks in the room in the break, and improved his position in Level 5, before a small loss. He just open-folded a pretty big hand but still has around 50,000 to play with.


This Well is full of chips still

He was in early position and tangling with Julien Michaud in the big blind. The flop read 95Q and the latter check-called 2,800 before both players checked the J turn. The board completed with the 6 and Michaud came out firing for 8,000. “Ah-haaaa!” said Wells with a smile and then open-folded KQ. Michaud showed one, the Q, and raked in the pot. — MC

7:25pm: Second quarter begins
Level 4 – Blinds 150/300 (ante 25)

The second of four poker sessions has gotten underway. After a sweep of the tables while they were empty it was clear to see many haven’t really got going yet, whereas as others clearly have due to the disparity between the stacks. Here are the current chips leaders from each table.

Table 1. Mark Metsla – 48,000
Table 2. Jai Patel – 37,000
Table 3. Ajaykumar Ale – 39,000
Table 4. Dominic Wells – 44,000
Table 5. Chris Da-Silva – 34,000
Table 6. Roar Flotre – 51,000
Table 7. Huy Nguyen (pictured) – 60,000
Table 8. Victor Ilyukhin – 44,000
Table 11. Wing Ka Chang – 34,000
Table 12. Nilay Ganatra – 43,000

7:07pm: First break of the day
Level 3 – Blinds 100/200 (ante 25)

“Something’s just gone crazy in the last ten minutes!” said floor man Steve Berto after he brought several exit cards over to media row.

As the players are enjoying a 15-minute break, Jon Vallinas Santos, Ole Nedreboe, Mark Hammond, Alex O’Brien, Matteo Vincenz, Christopher Petros, Chris Simpson and James Parker will all be pondering their next moves. To re-enter or not, that is the question.

6:45pm: Albert Sapiano is the chosen one
Level 3 – Blinds 100/200 (ante 25)

Albert Sapiano won two hands in a row to get his stack up to around 30,000 and after he was awarded the first pot, a randomly roaming spotlight decided to focus directly above his head. He’s either the chosen one or was about to be beamed up for testing!

In the first pot he led for 5,000 from the big blind after a board rested as QKK62. an opponent called and then mucked upon seeing Sapiano’s Q10.

Sapiano limped the very next hand and was joined by Ilyukhin before Duc Nguyen raised to 600 from the cutoff. Both opponents called and all three went on to check the 35Q flop. Sapiano then led for 1,500 on 2 turn and was only called by Ilyukhin, before both went back to checking the K river. “Straight!” clarified Sapiano after slamming down his 46 on the felt. Ilyukhin had a decent hand with 32 for two pair, but not decent enough. Still, he seems to be the table chips leader with around 60,000 so won’t be disheartened.

6:28pm: Mills’s wheels come off
Level 2 – Blinds 75/150

Richard Mills turned a small pocket pair into a bluff and was caught at it by Steve Watts, then busted in a classic race a few hands later.

Watts raised preflop and continued on an 26J flop. Mills was in the blinds and check-raised to 2,000. Watts inquired about the raise amount and then called, along with another 3,000 on the 3 turn. Mills wasted little time in emptying the clip with a 5,000 bet on the Q river and it got Watts thinking out loud. He talked through what he thought Mills could have and added he couldn’t fold flopped bottom two pair, before he called with 62. Mills had already opened 55 and said, “Very good call!”


Steve Watts

Mills was wishing everyone good luck a few hands later. He had been left with around 5,000 chips after the altercation with Watts and got them all in the middle holding pocket sevens. Krishna Nagaraju was sat to the left and made the call with A-K – the pair failed to hold.

6:12pm: Tales from table 8
Level 2 – Blinds 75/150

James Morris, Albert Sapiano and Victor Ilyukhin have found themselves sat next to each other on table 8 so expect a fair bit of action from that little corner. We watched two hands there, and the first saw five players see a flop, with the second having six visitors.

Morris was under the gun and led for 900 with the flop showing 456. Only Duc Nguyen called from late position but he too folded when Morris bet 1,500 on the 8 turn.


The three amigos

The very next hand saw Sapiano limp from first position and pick up five players en route to an A410 flop. Sapiano bet 600 and was called by Ilyukhin in the next seat, and Morris in the big blind before the Q8 turn and river were checked through. Morris mucked, Sapiano opened K4 but lost out to Ilyukhin and his 105.

5:53pm: Pray for the fallen
Level 2 – Blinds 75/150

Level two is underway and one player failed to make it. No details of how he busted, but Matthew Church was the only player not to advance. After a quick confession for his sins, we might see him re-enter.

Players who have recently entered, and made Level 2, include: Albert Sapiano, Edmund Yeung, Craig Sweden, Victor Ilyukhin and Richard Mills.

5:39pm: Diamond geezer
Level 1 – Blinds 50/100

Steve Watts – a former professional footballer for clubs like Leyton Orient and Sutton United – swapped the green pitches for the green baize a few years ago now and has enjoyed great success, cashing for more than a three-quarters of a million dollars.

Watts had success in this very event last year, coming 14th for £1,950. He’ll be desperate to do better than that this year though and is off to a busy start, mixing in a few pots with some cheeky banter.

He forced an opponent off a hand on the flop with a board reading 4Q8. There was around 5,800 in the middle and Watts bet 2,375 to force a fold. He added while showing A, “Aces with the ace of diamonds? Got to be in!”

5:20pm: Early faces
Level 1 – Blinds 50/100

It seems weird saying early faces with a tournament start time of 5pm, but there you go – that’s the crazy world of poker we live in. Over 60 players have taken their seats already and a few faces that stick out immediately include Steve Watts, James Mitchell, Joe Hindry, James Morris and Chris Gordon.

Gordon lost a small pot early, his cards hitting the muck on showdown after an opponent opened pocket two that had made a straight. “I had aces as well!” said Gordon with a wry smile.

5:05pm: Shuffle up and deal
Level 1 – Blinds 50/100

Cards are in the air for Day 1A. A reminder – play will last 12 levels (40 mins each) for an approx. 2am finish.

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4:30pm: The UKIPT Super Series is back!
Level 1 – Blinds 50/100

It’s the 1st of September and summer here in the UK is drawing to a close. The kids are going back to school next week and it’s a last chance to squeeze some fun in before the normal routine kicks back in. Some will be squeezing in a last minute holiday, but those in the know will be heading down to central London’s PokerStars Live at The Hippodrome for the UKIPT Super Series festival, which kicked off yesterday.

Dale Garrad took on all comers last year to walk away with the Main Event title and a healthy £28,300 – he’ll be expected to be back defending his title. Team PokerStars Pro Jake Cody will be in attendance over the week and so will PokerStars Live at The Hippodrome’s Kelly Saxby and Chris Gordon.

Today is all about Day 1A of the Main Event and we have an evening session for you. The 5pm start time scheduled for those working nearby who don’t want to take a day off work. So join us back here then where we’ll cover all the day’s big stories.


Dale Garrad – reigning chmapion

– Day 1A takes place today from 5pm; Day 1B is at 12pm Friday, followed by Day 1C (turbo) at 10pm.
– Day 1s consist of twelve 40-minute levels. Levels will increase to 60 minutes on Day 2, and 60 minutes on Day 3.
– One re-entry permitted each flight, so six entries maximum.
– Registration closes after 6 levels.
– Starting stack 25,000.
– The main event and all side events will be paying out top 15% throughout this series.

PokerStars Blog reporting team at UKIPT6 Super Series: Marc Convey. Photos by Mickey May.

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