6:30pm: Break it up folks
Another four levels, another all too brief respite from the action for our players. Twenty minutes are theirs to spend as they will on this balmy Saturday evening before donning arms and joining the fray once more.
While they recuperate from what has been an action packed four levels, we will do likewise. We will return shortly for the final four levels of the evening. We anticipate some incendiary poker over what have traditionally proved to be the most aggressive levels of the opening days of Series events. Hold tight, there may be shockwaves headed your way.
6:27pm: Roll-call of the damned
With the blinds now a big chunk of many players’ stacks, there is no hiding. Confrontation is inevitable and we are seeing that confrontation take its toll on the field.
Most recently we have lost Mark Carlos Nunez, Neil Kapoor, Lee Tyson, John Bradley, Robert Angood, Kamil Stankiewicz, Mark Jefferies and Andrea De Giorgi.
Well played all, bad luck the run has ended.
6:20pm: Sting in the Tal
Tal Mirezki and Daniel Doyle just played out one of those incredible hands that seem to have become the norm in recent times.
We joined the hand with the pair having gone to war preflop – Doyle holding the bigger stack and the upper hand – his pocket queens a sizeable favourite versus Mirezki’s 8♠9♠.
That was transformed by the flop however – “WOW,” gasped Ilana Belsky as the board peeled off 9♣8♦9♥ to give Mirezki a boat.
The turn was the 10♥ and the dramatic denouement to the hand suggested by the title was a rivered Q♠ to twist the fickle hand of good fortune back in Doyle’s direction once more.
Mirezki flew out of the arena like Lewis Hamilton and a smiling Doyle looked vaguely stunned as he swept up his 30,000 stack.
5:55pm: Private Ryan wins the war
Ryan Reece is quietly going about his business, but has made an effective climb up the chip rankings, winning a preflop battle with Benjamin Meyer when his pocket Kings bested Meyer’s unfortunately out-gunned pocket queens.
That hand left Reece with 28,000 and Meyer with a proverbial bowl of rice.
5:42pm: Craig’s list of victims gets bigger
Andrew Craig has seen his stock rise efficiently over the day – currently one of the chip leaders.
Most recently we joined him on the river of a Q♠9♥9♦6♣9♣ board – Craig leading out for 6,000.
His opponent in the hand – Gary Brown – uhmmed and ahhed – finally making the call.
“Good call,” Craig said quickly, tabling pocket sevens.
“No, you’re good, I called ace-high,” Brown revealed – Craig rising to 67,500 and possibly the chip lead whilst Brown is down to a sub 20,000 stack.
5:30pm: Ross out-kicked and kicked out
Kenneth Ross (we beleive, although his ID card left with him) has been eliminated – his desperate 5,000 ish shove with A♠9♠ running into Matthew Bryan’s dominating A♣Q♣.
The board of Q♦4♠8♠ gave him a sniff of an outdraw but it bricked out with the 4♥6♦ and Ross somewhat ungallantly threw his all-in triangle across the table at seeing his draw whiff.
Bryan meanwhile climbs up to 18,000 or so.
5:15pm: The Graveyard Shift
We were always entering an attritional phase of the tournament – a number of shortstacks are being forced to gamble and many of them are falling afoul of coin-flips, blind steals and other methods of poker defeat.
This is a long list of recent KO’s – look away now if violence offends you.
Marino Mura, Kfir Irgi, Michael Nesbeth, Cesare Moro, Charlene Coleman, Marcus Lidgett, Nicolas Berry, Max Johnson, Edoardo Santino Rocco, Kenneth Ross, Richard Steele, Jodi Hurly and Mohammed Himedan
– (….take a breath….) – have all busted out.
At present, we are looking at 134 total runners, of whom 90 or so are still in contention.
5:02pm: Quad-tastic times for Tomlinson
It’s been a difficult day up till now for Hannah Tomlinson. She’s been at an aggressive table and seen her initial 20,000 stack depleted somewhat. Her fortunes changed round a few moments ago however in one of the most dramatic hands of the day.
Table 10 was the table that saw Kamil Stankiewicz win that topsy-turvy queens-kings confrontation earlier and this hand was if anything more dramatic.
We joined the hand at the preflop stage – Bojan Zekic, Max Johnson and Tomlinson all sitting with all-in triangles in front of them
Tomlinson was the shortest stack with around 7,500 and looked in bad shape when the hands were turned on their backs.
Needing a spate of clubs or a seven to flop, Tomlinson pulled off the unlikely trick of flopping a set whilst remaining behind, the board peeling 4♦6♦7♦ to give Zekic a currently-winning flush.
“I have options,” Tomlinson joked and one of those options was realised as the 7♠ binked on the turn amidst some sharp intakes of breath from the other players. That gave her the unlikely and impregnable hand ranking of quads. Delicious. The irrelevant 4♣ on the river ended proceedings and Tomlinson’s stack had jumped up to a more respectable 27,000 or so.
Meanwhile former high flyer Max Johnson was eliminated as Zekic’s flush had dusted him off in the overpot – Zekic left with 17,000 or so following the hand.
That table is crazy – beleive us.
Both players had in excess of 25,000 so when a series of raises saw them both put their stacks in on the 9♦10♠Q♥ board, it was no surprise to find them both holding monsters.
Pocket nines for Spadijer for a set, however Hanchard had K♦J♣ for no less than the nuts.
He wasn’t home and hosed just yet though, any pair up would see him cede the pot, but a 3♥ then 4♥ run out kept Hanchard in the ascendancy and Spadijer accepted his fate with dignity, wishing everyone good luck.
Hanchard was left with a huge pile of chips – his stack now worth 55,000 – quite possibly good for the chip lead. Very tasty.
4:25pm: Back in effect
The break has come to an end – coffees and other reinvigorating beverages supped – the players are back at the felt ready to do battle once more.
The end of level four and its corresponding break also means we will have the final tally of entrants shortly, and therefore also the prize pool – how exciting!
PokerStars Blog reporting team at UKIPT5 Series 2 – London: Rod Stirzaker. Photos by Micky May.