4.20pm: Break time
The players are now on a 20 minute break and we are heading into a new post for level five. — NW
4.15pm: Some more counts
Whilst some players prosper others have had their stacks halved. Dom Kay has ran queens into kings and is down to 7,500, Sam Grafton told me he’d dwindled down to 6,300 whilst Kevin Williams (8,600) and Tom Ward (6,800) could do with a double up.
Elsewhere Alain Medesan is up to 25,500 and Laurence Houghton is on 14,300. — NW
4.05pm: Big stack
Ohad Gelerenter, a PokerStars qualifier from Israel, is up to about 67,000 and is the early chip leader. Gelerenter is sitting in the nine seat, next to the dealer, but the seat on the other side is empty. It previously belonged to Andy Irving and one suspects the stack and the empty chair are related. — HS
4pm: The fours not with Carter
Three players including Andy Noble (hi-jack) and Dan Carter (big blind) put in 400 and saw a flop of 9♣2♦9♥. It was checked to Noble (the pre-flop raiser) and he c-bet 800, Carter was the only caller.
The 2♣ fell on the turn, Noble bet 1,200, Carter check-raised to 3,000 and Noble made the call. The 3♥ completed the board and both players checked, Carter showed pocket fours, but Noble had A♦A♠ and he took the pot. After that hand Carter slipped to 21,000. — NW
3.50pm: Kings all over the place
Sometimes you’re just going to end up playing for stacks, whether you like it or not, and there’s probably little doubt Shamil Patel liked it. Inaki Santos less so. They got it all in pre-flop, with close to identical 20,000-ish stacks, with Patel slightly covering Santos.
Patel had K♦K♠ and was ahead of Santos’s A♥K♣. Patel had to fade three outs – and did so successfully. The 8♣9♠2♠ flop was harmless and the K♥ turn made the river irrelevant. (It was the 7♠ accuracy fans.)
Patel moves up to 43,000 and Santos heads home. — HS
3.45pm: Chip leaders and chip counts
The current chip leaders appear to be Dan Owston (40,000), Lee Cowmeadow (50,000) and Lee Taylor (45,000). UKIPT Brighton Season 2 champion Chris O’Donnell is in the field, he has 24,000, Sam Macdonald is going well on 27,000 whilst Richard Haile (22,000) and Tom Hall (18,700) are also on the up.
Going the other way at the moment though are Surinder Sunar (10,500) and Nicholas Newport (9,400). — NW
3.40pm: Blogger owned by Burland
I just got well and truly owned by UKIPT champion Jamie Burland. There had been rumours via twitter that he would be turning up in some state of fancy dress as the result of a lost prop bet.
However, Burland is resplendent in suit and tie (not unusual for him) but his hair has grown somewhat since his last appearance on the tour. I casually mocked him by asking if his hair was a prop bet to which he responded. “Isn’t your t-shirt on inside out?” It was indeed, so I slunk away quietly tail between legs, but not before establishing that he has 14,200 and that tablemate Maria Demetriou is on 21,000. – NW
3.30pm: Life’s a Beech
The level of aggression in poker increases year on year and I just saw a good example of that on table 36.
Ryan Kelly opened to 450 on the button, Ross Cahalane flat called from the small blind, Kes Beech made it 1,450 from the big blind, Kelly then made it 3,500 on the button, Cahalane folded and Beech then threw in a five bet, making it 6,300 total. Kelly then looked back at his cards and then his stack (about 14,000 back) before eventually folding. — NW
3.15pm: Still arriving
Tournament officials recently announced that we were entering level four, with blinds of 100-200. As is now customary, however, the announcement was accompanied with the invitation for “Players on the reserve list make their way to the cash desk! You are in the tournament!”
Dusk Till Dawn has an official capacity of 450 for tournaments on each day, but for this event we have extra tables crushed into every nook and cranny, plus a list of alternates as long as your arm. The current number of players for day 1B is at 542 and continues to rise. We will comfortably have more than 1,600 spread across the three starting flights, and likely beyond 1,750. — HS
3.05pm: Superstar in Nottingham
Barry Greenstein is over in Croatia at the moment*, playing the Eureka Poker Tour event there. But we also have an American poker superstar, and Team PokerStars Pro in Nottingham. His name is Victor Ramdin and he just dropped in as an alternate on day 1B.
It’s not been a great start. He just lost a pot to Gareth Fry, who wouldn’t budge to Ramdin’s characteristic aggression. The hand started when Richard Evans opened to 500 from under the gun. Ramdin raised to 1,050 from the cut off and Fry called from the big blind. Evans also called.
The flop came 3♠9♦5♥ and Fry bet 1,600. Only Ramdin called that, taking them to a 2♦ turn. Check, check. The 8♣ rivered and Fry bet 2,500. Ramdin looked like he might fold, but that’s not really his style. He called, but was mucked when Fry tabled 10♦10♥.
Ramdin has 10,400 now, which will likely either be doubled or vanished in the coming couple of levels.
* Come to think of it, isn’t this the wrong way round? Surely we should have the Robin Hood of Poker in Nottingham, right? — HS
3pm: Chip counts
I’ve just updated the chip counts page, amongst those who’s counts you’ll find on there are Team PokerStars Pro Victor Ramdin who got in as an alternate today, he’s got 10,400 at the moment. Meanwhile last year’s runner-up Brett Angell is off to a good start as he’s up to 25,100. — NW
2.50pm: Owston in actually has it shocker
Dan Owston comes is another in the long line of Welsh table talkers and perhaps as a result of his jovial nature he has an image that suggests he is always ‘at it.’ I wandered by his table and sure enough the UKIPT Mancheseter Season 1 seventh place finisher was involved in a pot.
Ronald Lawton raised to 375 from under-the-gun, Brian Ferry called from the button and Owston then raised it to 1,350 from the small blind. Back on Lawton he made the call, but Ferry folded.
The flop of 5♣7♦3♦ elicited a c-bet of 1,925 from Owston, Lawton quickly folded and Owston showed A♥A♠ as he took the pot, he’s up to 21,000. — NW
2.40pm: Stover will not be moved
Basharat Mahmood couldn’t shift either Vishal Patel or Elena Stover off the following pot, although he ended up losing perhaps the minimum when he got out the way and allowed the other two to continue the scrap.
Patel limped from mid-position and Stover, one seat to his left, limped for 150 too. Mahmood raised to 325, but he was mistaken if he thought that would get rid of his two adversaries. They both called for a 6♠2♦10♠ flop.
Patel and Stover checked it, and Mahmood had another attempt. He bet 600. Call, call. That took them to a 4♦ turn, which was checked around.
The 5♦ rivered and after Patel checked for a third time, Stover took the lead. She bet 1,600. This put Mahmood into the mood for speculation and he asked, “Do you have a set of twos or sixes?”
Stover was still and silent. Eventually Mahmood thought better of it, and flicked his cards away. But Patel was prepared to pay to see what Stover was packing and called the bet.
Stover turned over Q♦10♦ for flopped top pair and a rivered flush. It was plenty good enough. — HS
Two hours in and 24 players have been eliminated. Charlie Wates – who was on Mickey Petersen’s table – is one of them, as is Milan Harper. — NW
2.20pm: Good reading
A big shout out to Brett Angell, who finished second here last year, and is the first person in today’s field spotted reading PokerStars Blog on his smart phone. We admire your choice of reading.
Speaking of final tables, I also just noticed the Romanian player Alain Medesan in today’s field. He made the final table of the inaugural EPT Snowfest in March 2010. He finished fourth then for €111,000. Good to see him back. — HS
That’s two levels of the scheduled 11 done and dusted. The players are now on a 20 minute break. — NW
There obviously hasn’t been too much movement in the opening two levels but here are some chip counts I managed to snaffle: Kevin Williams (18,000), Dom Kay (16,500), John Eames (16,600) and Dan Carter (18,000).
I also spotted Ali Mallu, the Blackburn player is known for his loose aggressive play and putting opponents in tough spots, but astoundingly (given Mallu’s record) he’s never cashed in over 30 big competitions he’s played here at DTD. I saw him raise to 275 from under-the-gun and get no takers, he currently has about 16,800. — NW
1.45pm: Squid squeezes out maximum
The well-known London pros Laurence Houghton and Sam Grafton are on the same table today, but although the former has lost close to half his starting stack in the opening couple of levels, the latter is moving in the right direction. Grafton just took down a good sized pot from Andrew Grayson, the player known as the Squid squeezing the maximum out of a favourable flop.
Grayson opened from mid-position, making it 225. Mohammed Qureshi called in the small blind, which may have persuaded Grafton along from the big. The flop, seen by three players, came 3♥5♣A♦ and both Qureshi and Grafton checked.
Grayson, as is expected of a pre-flop raiser on an ace-high board, bet 500. Qureshi folded, but Grafton raised to 1,375. Grayson called.
The J♣ turned and Grafton retained the initiative, betting 1,925. Again Grayson called although was seeming increasingly unhappy about it.
The 7♠ rivered and Grafton took as swig out of a latte, the tea-spoon digging into his cheek. He then tossed out one blue chip, worth 5,000, but announcing clearly 3,625.
Grayson gradually sat back in his chair with a sigh, as though hit in the chest by a slow-moving bullet. But he called and then mucked when Grafton tabled A♠5♥.
That put Grafton up to around 23,000. — HS
1.40pm: Walking sticks for Ward
The PokerStars blog first noticed Thomas Ward at UKIPT Edinburgh in 2011, the Scotsman finished fourth in that event and is easy to spot with his long ginger hair.
He’d got off to a bad start here in Nottingham but just rallied to 9,000 with a nice river call. Jen-yue Chiang was first into the pot, making it 225 to play, Ward called, Robert Cowen then raised to 850 and only Ward called.
The two of them saw a flop of 5♣8♣Q♥ which was checked through. The 8♥ fell on the turn and Ward check called a bet of 1,025. The K♣ completed the board and Cowen bet 1,575 which sent Ward into the tank. After a couple of minutes of riffling Ward flicked in the call and showed pocket sevens which were good.
“Good call,” said Cowen
“It was either ace-king or nothing,” replied Ward. — NW
1.25pm: From the football clubs to the poker clubs
Yesterday we had Antonio German representing the football-playing community. Today we have Steve Watts, a former Leyton Orient striker and friend of the “stars”. He has joined table 33 where his non-stop table chatter is already encouraging action.
He’s not actually in it, at least not in a poker sense as yet. But the table is active. Just recently David Oldacre limped from early position and Jack McDermott made it 350 from the cut off. Samir Tageldin three bet to 600 from the button and Oldacre called.
McDermott wasn’t done and he now made it 1,800, which persuaded Tageldin to fold. But Goldacre remained and the two of them saw a 5♦J♦10♥ flop. Goldace checked, McDermott bet 1,750 and Goldacre folded.
“Don’t you hate it when that happens,” said Watts. A couple of people around the table agreed, although I’m not entirely certain about what. — HS
1.10pm: Mickey Petersen’s table
When you sit down at a tournament table, often against eight or so unknown opponents, you often have to make a quick assessment of them based on appearance, attire and age. So based on those criteria alone, here’s what we noticed at Team PokerStars Online Mickey Petersen’s table.
– Three players with Beats by Dr. Dre headphones on – often a sign of a good or experienced live poker player as the noise canceling function mutes the endless bad beat stories of tablemates.
– Two players wearing sunglasses
– Two players with hoodies in the ‘up’ position
– One player with a fashionable flat cap on – he had hair so not a head warming device
– Only one player over 30
As I was noting this down the elder statesmen of the table – Hai Thow Phen – won a 4,000 pot from Charlie Wates, calling down with K♣9♥ on a board of 4♥K♦3♦8♣4♣.
As for Petersen, he’s made a steady if unspectacular start and remains around starting stack. — NW
1pm: Contradictions on the UKIPT
In one way it is remarkably gratifying to see a tournament entry board with a “Players Remaining” number that continues to rise upward. It’s terrific to know that we are witness to another frighteningly popular tour. In another way it is remarkably disconcerting to see a tournament entry board with a “Players Remaining” number that continues to rise upward. We can’t go home until it’s down to “1” and the current trend suggests it might never end.
Presently we are being told that 492 players remain and that four people have departed. They are Luca Franchi, Giuseppe Cirillo, Abdul Khan and Glenn Henderson.
The former of those – reportedly the first man out today – is an exuberant Italian with a noted tendency to dust off a stack. In Galway on the last stop, he was a day one chip leader but bust before the money. He had vowed to play a little differently here, but that seems not to have been the case. He’ll be back.
During the time it took to write the above, the “Players Remaining” number has now moved up to 495, and Francis Jones has been added to the departed list. What’s more, four previously unoccupied chairs in the tiny press area have been seconded and are now being used for players.
That is both gratifying and disconcerting too. — HS
12.50pm: Exits and latecomers
We’ve lost three players already according to the board. Unfortunately the wonderful DTD software has suffered a glitch so having not caught any of them first hand I can’t tell you who it is that’s gone out.
But I can tell you that amongst the late comers (or at least those who weren’t on the initial player list) are John Eames, Laurence Houghton and WSOP bracelet winner Lawrence Gosney. Everyone else’s ROI% just went down a notch. — NW
12.40pm: Welcome back Marius
Marius Lietuvninkas is a London based Lithuanian who shot to prominence in season one of the UKIPT with three top 20 finishes. A sixth place finish in Coventry and a 20th place finish in Brighton followed an 11th place finish in Manchester and he was in contention for leaderboard honours throughout season one.
He was conspicuous by his absence for most of season two, but it seems a £1,000,000 prize pool has tempted him to dip his toes into UKIPT waters once more. — NW
12.30pm: Another way to assess poker’s popularity
About this time yesterday I was wittering on about the many methods by which you can measure the popularity of poker these days. I was talking about field sizes, sophistication of betting and strategy and all that guff. But today we’ve found a new measure. The corner bar in Dusk Till Dawn, undisputedly one of the best run poker clubs in Europe, has run out of milk. That’s an awful lot of cups of tea ordered in the past couple of days to bring us to that position. No fear: we’re assured it is on its way and will be with us in about ten minutes. Stop that cow! — HS
A lap of the room has unearthed a few familiar faces who are facing off against one another on Day 1B. Right by media
row corner sits the unofficial feature table, Alex Martin and Dom Kay will ensure a few choice soundbites reach our ears throughout the day.
Richard Haile (8th) and Tom Hall (11th) both went deep at UKIPT Galway and will be hoping to better their finishes here, whilst Kevin Williams and Sam Macdonald will be hoping to translate their undoubted talent into a first UKIPT final table.
The old guard is well represented too, Warren Wooldridge, Surinder Sunar, Dara O’Kearney and Carlo Citrone are all playing today. — NW
12pm: Welcome back
Here we are then, day 1B. It’s barely ten hours since we wrapped a monster of a day 1A and yet another 450 souls (at least) have returned for their attempt at this £1m guaranteed prize pool.
We reduced yesterday’s field from more than 530 down to an even 100 and similar carnage is expected this afternoon. As ever, the room is packed with hopefuls, including several notable faces. Team Online’s Mickey Petersen is among them – he has won an EPT title since the last time he appeared on the UKIPT, but it’s good to see him back.
The plan again is to play 11 one-hour levels, with a staggered dinner break, taking us through to the early hours. Stick with us and watch as the typos get more prevalent as the clock ticks around. — HS
PokerStars Blog reporting team in Nottingham: Howard Swains and Nick Wright. Photos by Mickey May.