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UKIPT Cork: Day 1B, level 1 & 2 updates (blinds 50-100)

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4.05pm: Eight tables left downstairs
We have eight tables remaining in the secondary tournament area with the tables quickly collapsing. The Liv Boeree-Kevin MacPhee table is one that has been broken and they've been redrawn... next to each other.

The main tournament room is heaving and within a couple of hours I expect cash games to have kicked off in here too. That's the end of the level. Twenty minute break. Join us in a new post then. -- RD

3.50pm: Thew off to a flyer
The nicest man in poker (trademark pending) Julian Thew is off to a good start and has a stack of around 26,000. He told me: "I picked up aces first hand and there was a raise and a couple of calls in front of me so I squeezed to 750 and got two callers. I managed to get three streets of value on a board and picked up about 10,000." -- NW

3.46pm: Ainsworth flushed away
First man out (as far as we know) is Team PokerStars Pro Jude Ainsworth who recounted his exit hand to me: "I had about 9,500 to start the hand and it was blind on blind. The small blind (Keith Cummins) raised to 250 and I called with 7♣6♣. The flop was all clubs, he bet, I raised, he re-raised , I went all-in and he called. He had the A♣ and the 5♣ came on the river. Short and sweet." -- NW

3.30pm: Risk rewarded
Two time UKIPT champion Nick Abou Risk is up to 24,000 after getting value from pocket kings and ace-king during the opening 80 minutes. Julian Thew has been moved to the same table as Abou Risk, could get interesting. -- NW

3.25pm: Boeree and MacPhee
Liv Boeree and Kevin MacPhee are now at the same table. Seat draws keep pulling these two EPT winners together (see 2.35pm: Boeree, MacPhee, Pagano and Sudworth all play today). It's a tough draw for their tablemates which includes Alexandra Jackson-Palin and Liam Barry. -- RD


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Kevin MacPhee and...


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... Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree

3.15pm: Hope dashed by Harraghy
You don't see many 200 big blind pots in level one but I just saw the tail end of a pot involving Ben Stanhope and Gerard Harraghy.

With the board reading 9♦J♦K♥6♠T♠ Stanhope had fired a bet of 3,500 into a pot of 4,300, Harraghy had the calling chips in his hand and was debating his decision, his expression suggested it was a genuine toughie and he wasn't simply Hollywooding for the sake of it. After perhaps 30 seconds he made the call, Stanhope tapped the table to indicate it was a good call, Harraghy showed A♥9♥ for a brave call at this early stage. Gutsy. -- NW

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 50-100


3.08pm: Silver and pink
Max Silver has a pink cap. That's not a euphemism, he does actually have a piece of headgear that is bright pink. It's currently hidden beneath the table as he decides whether to wear it as a lucky hat or not. I suggested that he don it the first time he's in a big flip to see how it works out for him.

Anyway, Silver opened the cut-off for 150 and was called by Rory Brown on the button and Marijn Moermans and Valerio Farlese Rome in the blinds. Play checked round to Brown who bet 400 into the 4♣7♥A♦ flop. Moermans check-raised to 1,400 and Brown called. Silver turned to me and said: "When not to c-bet.."

Moermans check-called 1,500 on the 8♠ turn and 3,200 on the 8♦ river. Brown showed A♣K♠ to scoop a nice early pot. -- RD


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Max Silver, currently without pink hat...

3pm: Playing the board
One of the familiar faces in the field is Kevin MacPhee, winner of EPT Berlin in March 2010. He just got involved in a pot, making it 125 to go from the button and getting called by both blinds. All three players practiced avoidance on the Q♠J♣K♥8♣K♠ board as it checked all the way down, Macphee said: "I can't possibly win, I play the board," Nigel Hannan showed 8♥7♣ to claim the pot. -- NW

2.45pm: Worth the walk
I'm not saying that I resent having to walk down two flights of stairs to access the other half of the tournament but... hold on, that's exactly what I'm saying. Grumbling aside - it is the start of a very long day after all - at least there's a good bunch of interesting players to cover when you do get there. EPT winners Julian Thew, Liv Boeree and Kevin MacPhee, UKIPT champion Max Silver, runners-up Brett Angell and Paul Marrow and booming baritone Jeffrey Burke are among the players in attendance.

We'll be scurrying back and forth between the floors like Gollum between the Two Towers, and will be seeing about as much daylight. -- RD


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UKIPT Nottingham runner-up Brett Angell

2.40pm: Seven-handed
Most tables are seven-handed at the moment as late registrants take their seats many will become eight-handed or more. -- NW

2.30pm: In the main room
As previously mentioned the players are split between two floors currently. Players currently seated in the main tournament room include: Team PokerStars Pro Jude Ainsworth, Rupinder Bedi, current UKIPT leader board front runner Mike Hill, Nick Abou Risk and Fintan Gavin. -- NW

2.15pm: Four is the magic number
There are (at least) four UKIPT champions in the field today; Nick Abou Risk, Max Silver, Jamie Burland and Matthew McDerra, who won the last UKIPT event in Manchester. And with Silver and Abou Risk in the field it means in terms of those to taste UKIPT victory on Irish soil we're only missing Padraig Parkinson and Femi Fakinle. -- NW

2.10pm: Shuffle up and deal
Play has begun, info to come.

1.45pm: Two floors of action
As Day 1B gears up to kick off a large chunk of the main tournament floor has been cordoned off while grafters set up rigging for the TV table; all metal pipping and brightly coloured lights. Coverage today will be coming from two floors as we cope with a large expected registration; yesterday was 320, we expect more come 2pm today. Players start with a 15,000 stack.

Why not open the BBC news website (or chosen news supplier of your choice) and follow the Queens's trip around Cork while reading our UKIPT Cork coverage? That's multi-tabling for you. -- RD


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The action is set to start soon


PokerStars Blog reporting team in Cork (in order of favourite Queen): Rick Dacey (Queens of the Stone Age) and Nick Wright (Steve McQueen). Photos by Neil Stoddart.

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