Reza Fazeli took a monster stack through to Day 2 as the WPT UK National event in the fabulous cardroom at Aspers Casino in Stratford got off to a great start, with 217 entries. He’ll have a chance to add to that on Flights 2 and 3, meaning potential for a mountain should Fazeli play like today.
99 players made it through the field after we lost players such as Kevin Williams, Paul Zimbler and Sunny Chattha along the way. Eight levels took place, with Philip Gould and Tom Dunning dominating big pots early on. Other players did it the hard way, with Rahim Tadj-Saadat and Errol Ward both recovering from short-stacks to plough a late furrow.
We welcomed players of all levels to Aspers as Kara Scott played for partypoker, getting past an early loss to build a stack of 33,300. Others were unable to survive. Ali Zinhi departed when his was no match for Tommy Zhang’s pocket kings. Dave McConachie had his own kings crushed by Chevin Beckles’ pocket aces. The 30-minute blind levels put players to decisions early on, and the spirit of the tournament was electric.
When the dust settled, though, Fazeli was the biggest in chips, and he’ll surely be back today to accumulate as many chips as he can…in this form, who will be the player to stop him?
We’ll be back with a new blog from 2pm on Friday as we see who can add the most chips in the accumulator format during what should be a fantastic Flights 2 and 3.
Hope you’ve enjoyed tonight’s WPT UK National Event in London’s stunning Aspers cardroom.
|Van To Le||39,600|
|Karl Alexander Restucci||38,500|
|NICHOLAS VAN DE WEYER||34,600|
Last Four Hands
We’re waiting for the last hands to finish here at Aspers as the first flight of the £100,000 WPT UK National Event here in London reaches the end of the day. Some recent bust-outs (in the final hand) include Paul Zimbler. He tried to push off a player with an open straight draw, but his opponent shrugged and declared “I can play tomorrow!” before calling with middle-pair. He held to send Zimbler to the rail.
Definitely through are around half the 217-strong field, we are told there will be an extended wait while the counts are tallied up, so we’ll confirm full Flight 1 chip-counts in the early hours, but we can tell you that Kara Scott (33,300), Chaz Chattha (27,300), Errol Ward (74k) and Nick van der Weyer all made it through. We’ll have the full list up for you as soon as we have it!
Tomorrow we look forward to welcoming the Hendon Mob to Aspers, as well as Michael Greco, Kara Scott, Chaz Chattha, Sunny Chattha, and plenty more big names. Who will make Day 2 with the biggest stack? We’ll find out in 24 hours…
Down To The Weyer
We’re getting close to the end of play here at Aspers on Flight 1 as the WPT UK National event kicks into ‘no guts, no glory’ stage. One man who doesn’t need to go crazy is Aspers regular and D’artagnan look-a-like Nick van der Weyer (pictured). He’s looking very comfortable on his table, cruising clear of the 38,000 average. Also healthy are Chris Gordon (55k), Paul Romain (50k) and Errol Ward, whose stack has taken a giant leap from earlier on. He now sits behind nearly 70, around double average.
Sadly, we’ve lost Kevin Williams, who was hit by a sucker-punch river in a horrid hand for the popular Theatre Director/Poker Player. Every great story has a sting in the tail, and he was on the wrong end of it, calling a raise in the small blind with 5-5. The flop came 9-3-4 and he was the only caller to the original raiser’s continuation bet. the turn came an innocuous jack, and both players checked. On the river, Kevin hit his set, and bet 5k, raised all-in for an extra 8k. He called…only to see that his opponent had floated with A-2 and hit ‘the Wheel’ (A-2-3-4-5) on the river. Kevin lost the rest in a standard shoving spot with A-J crushed by Paul Zimbler’s J-J, all the chips heading to The Marbella Kid.
Ward Wins A Good One
Errol Ward is taking his shot by playing here at the WPT UK National London, and having run out of luck earlier in the tournament, he’s bouncing back. Blinds are now 400/800, and he started the hand with under ten big blinds. Calling a min-raise in mid-position with Q-T, he was all-in on the turn of Ts-3d-Ac-9c against one opponent, after a whopping six of them saw that min-raise. That added serious value to the hand for Errol, and he was up against the straight draw of 8-7. He faded the river to treble up to around thirty big blinds…back in the game!
Level 7 – Blinds 400/800/100
Zinhi Out, Zhang Doubling
We’re losing players quickly now, with just 45 minutes of play left to get those chip-stacks up towards the kind of level that will make this accumulator format even more value tomorrow. Ali Zinhi busted when his suited A-K was no match for Tommy Zhang, whose micro-stack is now up above the average of 33,700.
We have around 130 players still left, and expect at least three dozen of those to exit before the Flight is over. The next level could be carnage!
Sunny & Chaz Chattha Interview
With the players heading for ten minutes break ahead of the last two levels, we caught up with two Londoners who consider Aspers their home turf – Team Duffy & Hit Squad members Sunny & Chaz Chattha! With the two brothers faring slightly differently, this almost turned into a tale of the tape!
Level 6 – Blinds 300/600/75
It’s not an exaggeration to say that the field here at the WPT National UK event is packed with class. Not only do we have huge personalities such as Kara Scott, Scott Shelley and Kevin Williams lined up together on the unofficial ‘feature’ table, there are top, top players all around the room. Of all the tables in Aspers to be moved to, Sunny Chattha (6,100) has been moved to sitting opposite his own brother in Chaz Chattha (pictured below), who has a much healthier stack of 19,325. The average in chips is approaching 30,000, so players need to make moves to be in the running for a big stack to take through to the next day of TWO flights.
Making a hero call in poker is never easy, but when you have ace-high and your opponent has barrelled every street it gets harder and harder. Van Le was the man able to make the call with A-Q on the river of a low board, his opponent holding A-J for absolutely nothing. A 20,000 pot is slid towards the gutsy Le.
Rahim Tadj-Saadat – Mr Hollywood
We’ve seen Rahim play a lot of London tournaments, and he has real staying power – like an old Hollywood actor, he knows how to turn on the charm when he needs to. Having gone into the break low on chips, he’s transformed his fortunes by, in the words of his tablemate, “beating up the same guy five times”.
Rahim has already given that standard poker player reaction to his turn of luck – asking which is the biggest stack in the room!
158 players remain from the 217 entries so far today on Flight 1. As you can see below, everyone is enjoying this fantastic cardroom…
Level 5 – Blinds 200/400/ante 75
Three And Easy
We’re into Level 5 now, with the three biggest stacks in the room streets ahead of most.
Philip Gould sits behind 68,000, and Onise Daneliya has 78,500, but they’re both way behind runaway chip leader Tom Dunning (pictured, below) with an incredible 94,300. Tom got a lot of his chips in a pot where another player shoved all-in with J-T on a ten-high flop, Tom calling it off with J-J and winning around half his now monster chip-stack.
Playing in today’s tournament? Let us know how you’re getting on via Twitter by using the hashtag #WPTNUK .
If you’re thinking of taking part tomorrow on Flights 2 and 3 , which kick off at 2pm and 8pm respectively, then you might be interested to know that the prize-pool currently sits at £39,060…meaning the overlay is currently an incredible £60,940!!
Kara Scott Interview
As the players filed out for a well-earned break, we caught up with partypoker’s Kara Scott on her love of London, how she has done so far on Flight 1 and whether she actually, maybe or possibly injured Ryan Giggs in Manchester.
Stacking Them High
With Level 4 the last before the players take a short break (they will play eight levels tonight), we thought we’d get you come chip-counts. We’ve had the first few of our eliminations, with Dave McConachie chief amongst the casualties, as he shoved over the top of a big bet on the flop. He was called and in horrible shape, his over-pair to the flop of K-K crushed by Chevin Beckles’ A-A. that was the of McConachie, but he’s one of the majority of players who’ll be playing all three flights it would seem.
Let’s have a look at how some other notables are shaping up as the decisions become more vital in every hand…
Chevin Beckles 55,150
Dr. Ash 41,500
Paul Zimbler 39,800
Chris Gordon 30,400
‘H’ Nicholas 28,500
Kara Scott 27,600
Greg Moore 26,000
Kevin Williams 22,800
Ali Zinhi 20,900
Chaz Chattha 20,525
Mats Rosen 17,800
Jerome Bradpiece 16,200
Ergun Macit 16,100
Scott Shelley 16,000
Yves ‘flintsword’ Farges 13,425
Tommy Zhang 13,000
Rahim Tadj-Saadat 11,700
Tim Timotheu 9,600
Level 4 – Blinds 150/300/ante 50
Kara vs. Kevin
Two of our favourite players to watch playing poker happen to be sitting right next to each other. Kara Scott (below, right) clearly loves being back in London, and she’s dashed in to play this event specially. Next to her is former Black Belt Pro Kevin Williams (left), who has an awesome live poker record. His processing of hands is fearsome, and belying his slight frame, his aggression and power at the table is legendary. The two have clashed twice in big pots, with Kevin getting the slight edge, winning a couple of nice early pots to chip up. The last one was for around 3,700 chips at 100/200/25, where he bet Kara away on the turn, popping 2800 into the pot after the first four cards fell J-2-Q-2.
“You have to have the aces this time, right?” Kara quipped. Kevin sheepishly sliding his cards face down after Kara did the same. Just a couple of orbits later, however, Kara won those chips back after she bet half the pot to the tune of 1900 on a two-heart board of 6d-7s-Qh-7h. Her opponent looked displeased to let the pot go, but it was great pressure on 4th Street from Scott.
Have Sword, Will Travel
Not many of our online qualifiers have travelled as far as one of our players tonight. Yves Farges (below) is known as ‘flintsword’ on partypoker, and he qualified for this WPT UK National event in London as he did for the Milton Keynes leg – by playing a $1.65 satellite event. We’re just bringing in a new, larger abacus to try and work out if this could be the biggest win for the smallest buy-in in partypoker history – but as we discovered, Yves could do with a little luck.
“It was going great until I ran my kings into that guy’s aces…” he gestured, remaining cheerful. In a battle of the air miles, we think Yves is first class, and might even put our own Kara Scott in economy!
Yves has 13,075 from his 20,000 starting stack, so it could be worse, and he’s confident he can get right back in the mix.
Level 3 – Blinds 100/200/ante 25
We’re welcoming plenty of players this weekend who’ve either never played live (with 157 having qualified from partypoker’s fantastic online satellites) or having entered from winning a ticket in a live satellite, with over 320 qualifiers coming from either the live felt here at the casino or partypoker. One such player who’s never called a bet here at Aspers is Mr. Nicholas, known simply as ‘H’. He won a big hand early on to give himself a lot of confidence. One of four callers to 400 pre-flop, he was the only caller after a flop of Kh-6c-2c, when his opponent (young, confident, nodding to heavy beats) bet 700 from the hijack. ’H’ called quickly in the small blind, content to continue without position, and two players in mid-position folded.
On a turn of the seven of clubs, our hero checked to his headphone-toting aggressor, who apologised for betting again, popping 1125 across the line. Again, a quick but deliberate call. Both players checked the river and while our young enemy grimaced with 9c-Tc, our first timer turned over K-J to take the pot.
“The turn gives me a lot of outs…” remarked the youngster, but Mr Nicholas, (below, right) a little more mature, graciously nodded.
“I only came here because my brother was playing. I’ve seen the casino was here, but this is my first time actually playing.”
We’re hopeful that if he keeps winning pots like that, our beginner might see a chunk of that incredible prize-pool!
There are some very interesting match-ups in the room here at the partypoker £100k Guaranteed WPT National London in Stratford’s beautiful Aspers Casino. One table in particular holds four very familiar players. All of them know the other’s game, which may lead to some fireworks here in the first flight of the tournament. Chaz Chattha comes into this tournament on the back of a 6th-place finish last weekend for £25,000. He shares the felt with Ali Zinhi, Tim Timotheu and Ergun Macit, with both Tim and Ergun posting title-winning performances in the last year. No soft spots there.
As you can see from our exclusive shots of the action, plenty of players had fun in the Kara Scott Sit n Go, with the champagne reception giving the whole room a bubbly atmosphere!
Level 2 – Blinds 100/200
Zimbler Floats A Boat
Paul Zimbler may be our early leader in this first level. With blinds just 50/100, the man known as ‘The Marbella Kid’ told us how he made a ‘cheeky min-raise in late position’ with pocket deuces. With several callers, the flop came a mouth-watering 2-7-Q. This time, he led the action to 375 and got just one caller. The turn dropped another seven, giving Paul the full house. His bet of 525 was immediately raised to 1300 by his opponent.
“You don’t have the seven, do you?” Paul asked, calling to the river.
That came a blank nine, or so Paul thought. His enemy led out this time, and Paul raised him quickly to 3750. That got a call, and Paul turned over his full house. His enemy had turned a pair and rivered two pair with queen-nine, but it wasn’t good enough… and Zimbler has 29k from his 20,000 starting stack.
Level 1 – Blinds 50/100
Play is under way here at the Aspers tables, with plenty of well-known players drifting into the cardroom to take their seats. Why wouldn’t they? With a £100,000 guaranteed prize-pool, it’s well worth playing all three flights to build as big a stack as you can.
Other luminaries we have in their seats or in the queue are: Chris Gordon, Chaz Chattha, Marios Andreas, Tim Timotheu, Rahim Tadj-Saadat, Ergun Macit, Kevin Williams, Briony Stone and Nick van der Weyer, both of whom won tickets to tonight’s event. In fact, the satellite numbers into this event have been immense, and we have over 200 players involved already!
In The House
Players of all walks of life have made it to Aspers Casino in Stratford, London tonight as the WPT National Event London Flight 1 kicks off!
It’s an Accumulator format for the action over the next two days, with players having a chance to enter tonight, tomorrow afternoon and tomorrow evening to accumulate the biggest stack.
We have already noticed London regulars Will Kassouf, Kirit Patel, Dave McConachie and Mats Rosen limbering up for the start of play at 8pm, while partypoker poster girl Kara Scott is very excited about playing here tonight…
You can join in too on Twitter, just use the hashtag #WPTNUK !
Take On Pokerfest!
Now take all of above and go crush it at Pokerfest! Yes that’s right it’s back, bigger and better than ever before! Running from the 2nd-16th March, 2014 Pokerfest is a 15-day online poker series packed with 67 events! And with more than $1 million in guaranteed prize pools this could be your one time!