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UKIPT London Day 1A: Level 1-6 updates (150-300 ante 25)

6.40pm: Dinner break
That's the end of level six and the players are now on a one hour dinner break. The tournament board was showing that 108 players of the 194 who started remain. When they return the blinds will be 200 - 400 ante 50 and the average stack will be 26,950. You'll find level seven updates in a new post. -- NW

6.30pm: More exits
The rising blinds and antes continue to get in the way of players staying in the tournament, Parviz Tafreshi, Robert Haigh, Chris Love, Frank Bastow, Eamon Saryazdi, Renee Xie, Gabriel Tuna, Robert Glen, Albert Sapiano, Kevin Williams, George Hassabis and Thomas Dunwoodie are all out. -- NW


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It wasn't Kevin's day


6.15pm: Tilbury toppled
I reached the table to see a 6♠6♥4♥A♣ board on the felt, there was a bet of 7,000 in front of Christopher Tilbury and a min-raise bet of 14,000 in front of Vincent Gabel. The former was now thinking over his options and took the most aggressive one, moving all-in for 31,600 total, snap call from Gabel.

Tilbury: Q♣6♣
Gabel: 4♠4♣

The 5♠ completed the board, the stacks were counted down and it was established that Gabel just had Tilbury covered, the latter wished everyone good luck as he left the table, whilst Gabel now has over 62,000 and is up there with the chip leaders. -- NW

6pm: Tim meet Marty
Tim Clarke is now up to about 67,000, which is one of the (if not the) biggest stacks in the room. He is now sitting on the same table as Marty Smyth, a WSOP bracelet winner from a few years back. Smyth has about 20,000.

5.50pm: Bjorin draws good
Chris Bjorin has just sent Eamon Saryazdi to the rail. All the money was in on the flop of T♣9♠5♠ with Bjorin holding J♦Q♠ and Saryazdi with A♣A♠. The Q♥ turned and the K♥ rivered, filling the straight.

Neither of them had much. When Bjorin stacked it all up, he still only about about 10,500. But that's significantly more than Saryazdi who has an aces-cracked story. -- HS


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The experienced Chris Bjorin


5.45pm: Exits
There's no easy way to say this but: Philip Rahman, Adrian Smith, Damian Robertson, Timothy Dearing, Nicholas Hennessy, Hesham Elmelehy, Brian Peattie, Hamidreza Montazeri, Marc Wright, Mark Emmerson, Flori Alla, Justin Kyriakides, Rodolfo Da Silva Fernandes, Mark Llane, Regis Burlot, Takayuki Watanabe, Anthony Andreou, Neil McCulloch and Jonathan Spelman all failed to make level six of UKIPT London.

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 150-300 ante 25

5.30pm: Bastian blasted off pot by Lee
A curious pot just played out on one of the three tables still in use in the upstairs portion of the poker room. There was a limp under-the-gun from David Lappin - who was only playing 3,400 - a flat call in middle position and then a raise to 925 on the button from James Lee. The pot then took another twist when Bastian Blüm made it 2,600 total from the big blind. It quickly folded back to Lee and he made the call, the two of them saw a J♣3♥K♣ flop, bet of 3,200 from Blüm call from Lee.

Both players then checked the 3♦ turn card, to see the 6♥ completed the board, there was a quick check from Blüm, Lee then asked the dealer to spread the pot (roughly 11,250) before he bet 4,400. Back on Blüm he tanked before electing to fold his hand. "Did you have two queens," asked Lee to Blüm. A quick shake of the head revealed that whatever his holidng it wasn't two ladies. -- NW

5.15pm: Action table
Tables are being broken from upstairs down, which means table 16 is not long for this world. That's a shame for the spectators, but probably a relief for the players there. It's turning into a bit of a bloodbath.

Ryan Spittles remains the chip leader on the table, but it also features Katja Svendsen, who once went deep in EPT London during season four, Tim Clarke, who made his mark in Nottingham, Sergi Lloveras, who is showing a real tendency to mix it up, Tyrone Chan, who demonstrated his aggressive instincts earlier today, and Anthony Mowad, who may be the most assertive of all of them at the moment.

Here are a couple of hands:

Spittles opened to 650 from early position and Mowad called from the small blind. Chan squeezed to 2,825, which got rid of Spittles, but Mowad sprung some kind of trap and made it 8,000. Chan scuttled away.

A couple of hands later, Clarke opened, making it 650. Mowad called from one seat to his left and it was just the two of them to a 8♣9♥5♣ flop. At around this point, a waitress brought a burger to Mowad, and Clarke bet 700. But the burger didn't dissuade Mowad. He called.

The 2♠ turned and Clarke checked. Mowad took the initiative and bet 12,000. Clarke called. The river was 6♥ and Clarke checked again. Mowad bet 4,000 and Clarke made what looked like a crying call.

Mowad turned over 5♠6♠ and his rivered two pair won it. -- HS

4.50pm: Verses from Twitter
A few updates shamelessly lifted from twitter...

Neil Channing has managed to put someone on tilt, not for the first time I'd wager. "Got it all-in with AcKc, man had KK. Man who wasn't in the pot went on tilt. Up to 22k on a new table with @BigCityBanker," BigCityBanker is Noel Hayes for anyone wondering.

Elsewhere Kevin Williams is struggling, "Struggling to flop equity. 11k," he mused. And Ross Jarvis is finally above starting stack. "Just got moved to a table which is fiendishly tough to access. Still got 16k."

Lastly there's something quite funny about online grinders who play numerous tables at once not being able to follow the action on one. "Sigh just realised the guy who is cold calling everything pre has moved table," tweeted Scott Shelley. -- NW

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 150-300

4.25pm: End of the level
Players are now on a 15 minute break as level four has come to an end. -- NW

4.20pm: Chip leader and exits
The current chip leader appears to be Pia Jeppesen, she's up to a heady 55,000. Meanwhile there's no easy way to say this but: Viren Vadher, Victor Ilyukhin, Alfie Adam, Martin Comitti, Victor Ilyukhin, Sam Bayliss, Michael Stockley, Richard Gray, Karoly Kiss, Philip Clark, Georg Stehberger and Lynne Beaumont are all sitting on 55,000 less than Jeppesen. -- NW

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Pia Jeppesen: early leader

4.15pm: Wright right
Marc Wright opened to 500 from under the gun and picked up two callers Gabriel Tuna on the button and Sadan Turker in the big blind. They all checked the 6♥4♠6♣ flop, but Turker bet 625 on the 3♦ turn. Wright was the only one to call. The river was 8♦ and Turker stayed on the same line, betting 1,425. Wright called, forcing Turker to table K♦T♠. Wright's J♦J♥ were good. -- HS

4.10pm: Registration closed
If you want to play Day 1A of UKIPT London, it's too late. You're going to need to play either of the two other remaining opening flights. Registration for today is closed and the tournament information screen shows 194 players, of which 165 remain. -- HS

4pm: Channing checks it down
There are still five tables in use in the upstairs room here at The Vic, one of them contains Neil Channing and he just played an interesting pot. There was a raise to 500 from under-the-gun, Avihay Ohana then made it 1,500 from two seats along, Channing flat called from the small blind and the original raiser folded.

The two players then checked it down on a A♦J♣5♦8♠9♣ board, Ohana showed pocket queens, whilst Channing revealed pocket kings, as he did so he leaned over the flop and pointed at the A♦ and said: "That's a very bad card for me." -- NW

3.45pm: GG'd
Two big name exits to tell you about, both of whom have a surname beginning with the letter G. The tournament room is now a bit quieter and less colourful as Sam Grafton is out and he's been followed out the door by UKIPT Bristol runner-up James Greenwood.

Also free to wander in the spring sunshine are: Carlo Citrone, Paul Van Nunes, Rumen Nanev, Esther Bonding, Vlad Teodorescu, Andres Artiñano Muñoz, Paul Whyman, Simon Brooks, Russell Jones, Luke Flack, Eamonn Blake, Terence Jordon and Nicolas Irving. -- NW


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Thumbs up, but chips down for Citrone

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 100-200

3.30pm: Clarke clips Allen
A steaming Kevin Allen has just headed over to the cash-game area, sent packing by Tim Clarke. I didn't catch precisely what Allen said as he walked away from the table, but suffice to say, he didn't seem pleased.

Allen opened to 350 from mid-position and Clarke raised to 1,025 from the button. Allen called, which took them to a flop of 2♦J♣8♦. Allen check-called Clarke's bet of 900 and they saw a 5♦ turn.

The pattern repeated as Allen checked, Clarke bet 1,700 and Allen called. That brought a 5♥ on the river. Allen checked again and Clarke asked him for a count. Allen's 7,600 was the effective stack. Clarke announced he was all in, meaning Allen was facing a decision for his tournament life.

It took him a good long while to make it, but eventually he called. Clarke, with a combination of sheepishness and glee, tabled T♠5♠ for the rivered trips. Allen showed his T♦T♣, picked up his jacket and wandered away.

Clarke now has close to 30,000. The other big stack on that table is Ryan Spittles. He has 34,000. -- HS

3.15pm: Chip counts
I spotted a tired looking Kevin Williams peering out from under his hoodie, tired or not he was alert enough to mouth 'seventeen thousand,' at me. He's sharing a table with Chihao Tsang, he's up to 28,000. Whilst a couple of tables over Ross Jarvis is back to starting stack. "Starting stack in #UKIPTLondon. 4-bet bluffed, got shoved on by a guy with 73 offsuit. Could be perceived as 'got owned'."

3pm: Spittles gets some value
I only caught the river action, but with a complete board of 7♣7♥3♠9♠8♠ on the felt Ryan Spittles bet 2,800 and Philippe Souki made a crying call. First to show, Spittles rolled over pocket queens, whilst Souki flashed pocket tens as he mucked.

Post hand discussion between the two players, plus the size of the pot, seemed to indicate Spittles got three streets of value from Souki. -- NW

2.55pm: Goetz gets Thew
Julian Thew has become our second high-profile faller here in London, finding a pair of jacks at precisely the wrong time. Ondrej Goetz, a PokerStars qualifier from the Czech Republic, had kings.

Goetz opened to 400, Thew three-bet to 1,100, Goetz four bet to 6,000 and Thew called. On a low flop, Goetz c-bet to 2,400 and Thew shoved. Goetz called.

This was all related to us by the young Czech player, who was also updating his Facebook page with details of the coup. Thew is out of here, got by Goetz. -- HS

julian_thew_day1a_ukipt_london.jpg

Julian Thew, vanquished in London

2.45pm: Channing chooses Cheltenham
The Vic and Neil Channing go hand in hand, he's been playing in the cash games down here for years. So when the biggest tournament of the year rolls up at the end of this week - that's EPT London by the way - you'd expect him to be chomping at the bit to play a large tournament without all the assorted overheads that come with playing the tournament circuit.

But for Channing, a former bookmaker, two of his great loves collide next week as the Cheltenham Festival gets underway a week today. "I'm really excited about Cheltenham," he said. "And not as excited about EPT London, so I'll be skipping the poker."

A shrewd punter both in poker and on the horses, Channing's views on the festival are much in demand, so much so that he's already provided a preview podcast for @finalfurlongpod and he showed me a text he'd received to say it was already the second most popular on Soundcloud. -- NW

2.30pm: Fallen Engel
Registration remains open for another hour, but players are already busting with startling haste. Ari Engel has departed, taking his huge reputation back to the online tables. (One suspects he'll be back for the EPT Main Event, and more.)

With a pretty short stack already, Engel opened to 375 from the hijack and was three-bet to 1,000 by Andrey Veselov in the small blind. Engel shoved, Veselov asked for a count, and learned that it was 5,100 total. Veselov called.

Engel turned over 8♠8♥ and tapped the table in appreciation of Veselov's decent call with 9♦9♣. The board ran 4♥J♥A♣A♠Q♣. -- HS

BLINDS UP. PLAYING 75-150 IN LEVEL THREE

2.10pm: Zero sum game
We've told you about some of the players running up big stacks, but what that means is there must be some players nursing short stacks, or at least shorter than they were two hours ago. Both UKIPT Bristol runner-up James Greenwood and Kevin O'Leary have dipped just under 10,000. They're sat side by side so at least have someone to recount their bad beats to.

They and the rest of the field are now on a 15 minute break. -- NW

2pm: The Wright stuff
One of the players on the ground floor is the talented Marc Wright, he final tabled EPT8 Berlin and has the ability to run up big stacks almost at will. That innate ability is already in evidence here in London as he's up to 24,000. --NW

1.45pm: River riddles remain unsolved
Two big pots to tell you about that went to the river and to showdown, with both callers ultimately making the wrong call.

On a 6♣K♦K♥5♥8♦ board there was 8,000 in the pot and Ari Engel was facing a bet of 4,625 from Philip Campbell. The former looked back at his cards a number of times, all the while playing with a singular 5k chip. For a while its fate was undecided, but curiosity got the better of Engel and he flicked it in, Campbell showed pocket eights for the rivered full house and Engle mucked his cards.

Meanwhile, one table over a pot, that was about to become chunky, was playing out between Chris Welsh and Jonathan Slater. On the Q♦4♠6♦8♥Q♣ board there was around 2,300 in the pot, it was checked to Welsh who bet 975, Slater check-raised to 2,150 only for Welsh to come over the top by making it 5,500 total.

Now Slater took his time before saying call, but in a tone of voice that suggested he knew the game was up but was priced in, Welsh showed pocket fours and Slater sighed and mucked. The latter is now up to 30,000. -- NW

1.30pm: Shelley and Chan battle for supremacy
Scott Shelley, a WSOP-E bracelet winner, is on one of the newly-arranged tables in the upstairs area, and he has been quick to flex his muscles. However, there is a battle brewing for table captaincy with Tyrone Chan, as at least one of those two players seems to be involved in every pot. One suspects it's only a matter of time before they tangle.

Here are a couple of hands to give you an idea. First up, Georg Stehberger raised to 250 from the button. Shelley three bet to 625 from the small blind. Stehberger was the only caller and they saw a flop of Q♦3♣J♠.

Shelley bet 625, Stehberger folded and that was that.

Next up, Shelley raised to 200 from the button and took the blinds, but then he handed the baton to Chan. Stehberger opened to 250 again from the hijack ad this time Chan called from the small blind. It was just those two to a flop of 3♥Q♣3♣.

Chan bet 275, which Stehberger called, and they saw a 6♠ on the turn. Chan bet 825 again and Stehberger called again, taking them to a 3♠ river. This time Chan fired 1,325 and Stehberger had seen enough. He folded.

Chan, however, was itching for more. He raised to 225 from the button and picked up only one caller, Neil McCulloch in the big blind. The flop came 6♣2♥T♣, McCulloch checked, and Chan bet 275. After McCulloch folded, Chan had the decency to show a 6♥.

That was that, but one suspects there's more to come from this table today. -- HS

1.10pm: Allen on the up
One of the players I 'missed' on my first loop of the upper floor was Kevin Allen. The Brit has almost $250,000 in lifetime winnings and has had a good first level in London, he's up to 17,500. -- NW

ukipt london_day 1a_kevin_allen.jpg

Kevin Allen

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 50-100


12.55pm: He bluffed me
Fortunately for Jonathan Spellman he got bluffed in a very tiny pot, the bluffer, well that was WSOPE bracelet winner Scott Shelley. The latter opened to 125 from the cutoff and Spellman made the call on the button.

The action was then checked all the way to the river on a Q♥K♦8♦K♠8♣ board, before Shelley bet 100, Spellman laughed and then showed pocket sevens, for the counterfeited pair, Shelley chuckled and showed 5♥4♠ as he took the pot. -- NW

12.45pm: Greek Jack grounds Fernandez
Kyriacos Dionysiou, known as "Greek Jack", looks like he may be a tight player of the older generation. But on the evidence of this pot, he is far from it. Indeed, he has just crippled Pablo Fernandez in a monster.

I didn't see the action, and there's pretty much no way of figuring out how about 11,000 chips made their way into the middle on a board of 3♦7♥Q♥T♦A♠. But theyt did, and then Dionysiou bet 2,500. Fernandez shoved, covering Dionysiou, but Greek Jack insta-called, splashing his chips into the middle.

Fernandez knew the game was up, turning over K♠K♦. But one suspects he would have been shocked to see Dionysiou's T♣7♣.

Dionysiou had the smaller stack, a total of 8,900. Fernandez counted that out and handed them over, leaving him with about 475. Dionysiou, meanwhile, has closer to 30,000. -- HS

12.25pm: In on the ground floor
As already mentioned, play is split over two levels here at The Vic, with the majority of tables, 14 to be exact, are on the ground/lower floor. It's a wee bit tight between some of the tables I've already watched a couple of waitresses weave in and out of tight spaces in a manner that Ronaldo would be proud of.

Some of the faces they've weaved passed include: Dara O'Kearney, Albert Sapiano, James Greenwood, Marc Wright, Richard Sinclair and Sam Grafton. Those final two are sharing the same table, it'll be no surprise to tell you that Grafton was already holding court. -- NW

12.10pm: Filling up
Play is taking place on two levels of the Victoria Casino, with every table in the downstairs room currently full (all 14 of them) and a starting clutch of seven tables gradually increasing upstairs. Registration is open for three levels, so plenty of time to get down here and play.

On the subject of administration, starting stacks on the UKIPT are 15,000 and blinds begin at 25-50. Levels last for one hour, and there are 11 scheduled today. Click through for the UKIPT structure.

Nick Wright is currently peering over the faces in the downstairs room, attempting to highlight the big names. Upstairs, the players we recognise include Chris Bjorin, Neil Channing, Ross Jarvis and David Lappin. -- HS


ukipt london_day 1a_neil_channing.jpg

Somebody made me play a tournament


11.55am: The day that was never meant to be
Morning all and welcome to London for the start of the biggest poker festival seen on these shores since, well, this time last season. Today we begin Day 1A of UKIPT London, which will morph into EPT London at the end of the week. Each of those tournaments brings a whole host of side action, which makes this a spectacular fortnight of poker.

This day was never actually meant to be. The UKIPT event was originally scheduled to follow its usual path: two day ones, followed by day two through to a final on day four. But the capacity restrictions, combined with the enormous field expected, means we will have the lesser-spotted Day 1C on Thursday. Yep, that's three day ones, which will combine to a single day two on Friday.

In order to squeeze them in for Friday, we will need to play some loooooong day ones; 11 levels to be precise. Stick with us for all the action here, though. We'll still be up. -- HS

_MG_1318_London_Eye_EPT6Lon_Neil Stoddart.jpg

As Ali G says: "London, aye!"

Reporting team in London: Howard Swains and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May (except the one of the London Eye, which has Stoddart's name written all over it.

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