1.18am: Two swift knockouts and play ends
In swift succession we have lost Peter Delej (11th) and Ray Maloney (10th) and that’s it for the day. Bagging and tagging is now taking place. Full wrap and chip counts to come.
1.04am: Shaun Conning out in 12th (€4,000)
Shaun Conning looked good to double up against Maurice Silke with his A♠4♣ against K♠Q♥ but a nightmare queen on the river put pay to his hopes of going even deeper. Conning collects €4,000 for his 12th place finish.
12.52am: Dara O’Kearney crashes in 13th (€4,000)
Dara O’Keraney was indeed of some help when he got it in with A♣6♣ to Roar Aspaas’ A♦J♦. A jack-high flop meant he needed even more help but it was not forthcoming. Aspaas has already won the €10,000 freeroll here. It could be an incredible double if he wins this main event.
12.43am: Barrable bombs out in 14th (€3,450)
Peter Barrable finished fourth at UKIPT Killarney last season but a final table here has been a flip too far for the Irishman. Barrable got it all-in with A♥K♠ against Maurice Silke’s J♦J♥. The flop was a depressing J♣2♣4♦ for Barrable who needed an improbable runner-runner. It didn’t come and instead he departs with €3,450.
12.30am: Risk check-raises Rankin
Vytenis Navickas has just been three-bet off a pre-flop raise by Nick Abou Risk. The Canadian, whose adopted home is Dublin, seems to be bossing the table at the moment. A monster stack tends to help you do that. Play has been very cagey overall with players very concious of the big money just around the corner. — RD
12.15am: Risk check-raises Rankin
Nick Abou Risk is well over a million now and is pretty much a shoe-in for the final table here. Dan Rankin opened for 27,000 from early position and Abou Risk defended his big blind. Rankin fired 33,000 at the J♥2♥6♠ flop and Abou Risk check-raised to 95,000. It was enough to win the hand and push Abou Risk’s chip lead even higher. — RD
11.50pm: Play restarts
Just two tables left and fourteen players. Slight delay as the TV and outer table swap places.
11.30pm: End of level and break
That’s the end of the level a 15-minute break.
11.20pm: Tale of two all-ins
David Brady and Aonghus Farrell both found themselves all-in and both at risk, just at different tables. Farrel’s A♦10♦ was racing against the 8♠8♥of Johan Meyer. The K♥Q♦6♥ flop brought potential for Farrell but a simple A♠ turn settled it for the Irishman who is now up to 400,000.
Brady was not so lucky and went out in 15th for €3,450.
10.55pm: Team Quidditch v Team Hoxton
The first season of the UKIPT seemed to be dominated by two or three groups of young players, two of whom we have coined ‘Team Quidditch’ and ‘Team Hoxton’, are now playing out a large and loud sit-and-go just in front of main event.
Team Quidditch consists of EPT London winner David Vamplew and UKIPT winners Max Silver and Nick Abou Risk (although Abou Risk isn’t playing the SNG – he’s still in the main event). Team Hoxton, which seems to favour skinny jeans and superficial scarf flourishes, includes UKIPT winner Jamie Burland, second-place UKIPT Leader Board winner Owen Robinson and side event champ Kevin Williams. It’s like a modern day Westside Story and, what’s more, the sit-and-go is being dealt out by the legend that is Jesse May. Oh yeah, off-duty PokerStars blogger Marc ‘The Conv’ Convey is also playing. Guess where the dead money is…
Both groups contain good natured young gents and seem to be exactly what this tour is all about; a proving ground for the best of young UK talent. This battle looks likely to repeat itself all season here – should be fun. Quidditch or Hoxton, lay your bets.
Suppose I should get back to the main event now… — RD
10.35pm: Pre-final table tightening
Play has slowed as the all important final table draws closer.
10.15pm: Maloney takes one down
Dan Rankin raised to 17,000 from early position and was called by Ray Maloney on the cut-off. Shaun Conning called in the big blind. Conning and Rankin checked the 3♥6♣A♦ flop before Maloney shoved. He showed A♣J♣. — RD
9.58m: Paget’s fall
Matthew Paget has just been sent to the rail and that signals a table break as we condense down to two final tables.
9.52pm: Burland not too unhappy
No-one is ever happy to get knocked out but Jamie Burland can definitely see the silver lining. He was offered odds of 5/4 by Chris Brammer, last year’s UKIPT Leader Board champion, that he wouldn’t accrue more points across the season and is understandably happy to have started chipping up ahead of Brammer. He wouldn’t say how much but I got the impression it was for more than a couple of rounds.
Also, Kevin Williams, another member of Burland’s skinny jeans crew, has won one of the side events. ‘It will be nice to have drinks on him for a change,’ joked Burland before Williams’ victory. — RD
9.40pm: Just three tables left
We are down to the final 17 players here in Galway following the dismissal of Kenneth Forkan and that means short-handed action across the three final tables.
9.30pm: Rankin on a roll
I want to know what Dan Rankin ate for dinner. Since coming back he’s chipped up from 146,000 to 450,000. First he got it in with K♠Q♥ on a 2♥4♥Q♦ flop against Johan Meyer’s 7♥9♥ and managed to hold then he knocked out UKIPT Brighton winner Jamie Burland’s A♠10♥ with K♦4♦ in a battle of the blinds.
Burland is out in 19th. — RD
9.10pm: Dinner down, show aces
It must have been a nice cript for Trish Mallin to follow; ‘Eat dinner. Get aces in against kings. Double up.’ Mallin is now up to 300,000 after the inevitable all-ins saw her aces double through David Brady’s pocket kings.
‘That’s a bit sick,’ said Brady. For you maybe. — RD
PokerStars Blog reporting team in Galway: Rick Dacey. Thanks – and copyright – to Mickey May for her images.