2.15am: That’s all folks
We didn’t quite reach our final table but after 12 levels and the loss of 128 players we come back tomorrow with just 12 remaining and one destined to be hold aloft the 2012 Sydney Championships trophy by the end of the day.
From the 337 players that sat down at the start of this year’s event, 140 returned today but for most their dreams of joining an elite club quickly faded. Among those to hit the rail today were Grant Levy, John Caridad, Joel Dodds, Bruno Portaro, Martin Rowe, Leo Boxell, Gary Benson, Haibo Chu, Andrew Hinrichsen and Andrew Scarf.
Aaron Benton was also eliminated in 14th after a deep run – his hopes of going all the way taking a big hit when he was involved in a huge three-way all-in that saw him get it in with straight and flush draws against the A-A of John Caridad and the set of Queens held by Kahle Burns. Although he climbed back off the canvas from that hit to get close to the final table, he wasn’t able to pull off a miraculous comeback.
David Borg, who recently finished second in Event 56 at the WSOP for well over $400,000 enters Day 3 as our chip leader with 1,270,000 in chips heading into the final day’s play.
He will be joined by a quality final 12 with Queenstown Snowfest winner David Allan, Team Asia pro Bryan Huang Kahle Burns who was the first to top 1 million in chips earlier this evening.
The chip counts of the remaining 12 players are as follows:
1,270,000 – David Borg
1,103,000 – Kahle Burns
1,103,000 – Stephen Buchanan
722,000 – Bryan Huang
700,000 – Dean Yuen
432,000 – David Allan
373,000 – Jimmy Ghobrial
300,000 – Ismail Ismail
322,000 – Luis Arrilucea
206,000 – Mitch Macedo
155,000 – Suzy Khoueis
105,000 – Yal Kaya
Join us back here at 2pm tomorrow as we count down to the 2012 Sydney Championships main event winner.
1.55am: Final three hands
With 15 minutes remaining on this level, the tournament staff have just informed the players there will be three more hands dealt tonight with the 12 remaining players set to return tomorrow to play down to a winner.
1.45am: Tony Kondevski eliminated in 13th ($5,813)
After he was crippled by David Borg a few hands earlier, Tony Kondevski (pictured above) was all-in for his last 120,000 and was called by Stephen Buchanan. Jimmy Ghobrial then shoved over the top for 320,000 with Buchanan making the call.
Ironically both Buchanan and Jimmy G held Kings while Kondevski would need help with his pocket 5s. None arrived on the 4-6-Q-Q-10 board and his run comes to an end.
Stephen Buchanan – 1,200,000
Jimmy Ghobrial – 380,000
Aaron Benton – Busted
1.25am: Aaron Benton eliminated in 14th ($5,813)
Aaron Benton has just been eliminated at the hands of Dean Yuen. On a board of 9-J-Q, Yuen over-shoved for 330,000 with Benton asking if he had pocket 10s before making the call with A-J. Instead Yuen rolled over 9-9 for the flopped set and when the board ran out 2-J Benton was off to enjoy a quiet beer with fiancée Timbrell.
Dean Yuen – 700,000
Aaron Benton – Busted
1.10am: One level remaining?
The clock has just ticked over into what is supposed to be our final level of the night with blinds at 6,000/12,000 and a 1,000 ante. With 14 players left, we’ll have to see how many remain in an hour’s time to find out if we keep playing down to a final table.
1.10am: Michael Kanaan eliminated in 15th ($5,813)
Michael Kanaan (pictured above) has just busted in a flash after a stunning betting war on the flop with Stephen Buchanan.
Kanaan held 7-3 and Buchanan J-9 on a 6-7-8 board when the pair decided that neither was going to back down. It ended with Kanaan five-bet shoving and Buchanan calling to create a monster 900,000 pot. The turn 10 gave Buchanan the nut straight and elevates him amongst the chip leaders.
Stephen Buchanan – 1,130,000
Michael Kanaan – Busted
1am: David Tam eliminated in 16th ($5,308)
David Borg has just busted David Tam (pictured above) after a massive pre-flop confrontation. The scene had been set earlier with Borg’s constant aggression clearly affecting Tam when it mattered most.
Tam opened to 25,000 and was 3-bet by Borg to 75,000. Tam came back over the top for 180,000 and Borg responded with a raise to 360,000. Tam shoved and Borg snap-called – his A-K in great shape against Tam’s A-Q.
A Queen on the flop stunned Borg but the J turn gave him extra outs and when the K spiked on the river Borg let fly with colourful celebration.
Tam departs in an instant and Borg is now a real contender.
David Borg – 930,000
David Tam – Busted
12.45am: Jimmy Tran eliminated in 17th ($5,308)
Jimmy Tran (pictured above) shoved his last 100,000 with J-10 but ran into the Q-Q of Sizy Khoueis. The board gave him no help and he becomes out latest casualty.
Suzy Khoueis – 275,000
Jimmy Tran – Busted
12.40am: Borg gets to work
David Borg has been highly active since we reached our final two tables. Most recently David Tam raised UTG to 27,000 and Borg 3-bet to 77,000. Tam called.
The flop came 9-4-2 and Tam checked to Borg who fired 90,000. Tam flashed A-K as he folded.
12.30am: Ronnie Shabtay eliminated in 18th ($5,308)
Ronnie Shabtay (pictured above) shoved for his last 70,000 with A-J and was called by David Borg’s A-K. A Jack on the flop gave Shabtay the lead but a King on the turn cruelly took away his hopes and he is the first of our final 18 players to hit the rail.
David Borg – 380,000
Ronnie Shabtay – Busted
11.55pm: Final two table chip counts
Seat 1: David Allan – 570,000
Seat 2: Michael Kanaan – 470,000
Seat 3: Tony Kondevski – 250,000
Seat 4: Ismail Ismail – 410,000
Seat 5: Stephen Buchanan – 600,000
Seat 6: Ronnie Shabtay – 175,000
Seat 7: Jimmy Ghobrial – 200,000
Seat 8: David Tam – 440,000
Seat 9: David Borg – 270,000
Seat 1: Mitch Macedo – 185,000
Seat 2: Yal Kaya – 260,000
Seat 3: Aaron Benton – 310,000
Seat 4: Suzy Khoueis – 150,000
Seat 5: Bryan Huang – 475,000
Seat 6: Luis Arrilucea – 340,000
Seat 7: Jimmy Tran – 50,000
Seat 8: Dean Yuen – 170,000
Seat 9: Kahle Burns – 1,300,000
11.55pm: Final two tables
Andrew Davis has just been eliminated at the hands of Jimmy Tran when he pushed his last 44,500 into the middle and was called by Tran’s Q-Q. The board ran out 7-7-5-3-J and we are down to 18 players.
Tournament staff are now in the process of breaking down to our final two tables.
Play is scheduled to continue for two more levels tonight or until we reach our final table – whichever comes first – so it looks like we might actually get there.
11.35pm: Top chip counts
1,300,000 – Kahle Burns
610,000 – Stephen Buchanan
600,000 – David Allan
480,000 – Michael Kanaan
430,000 – Ismail Ismail
420,000 – Bryan Huang
11.15pm: Kanaan pressures Tam
It’s been a tough few hours for David Tam, who has just folded a big hand after being put to the test by Michael Kanaan.
Tam opened UTG with A-K and fired the flop and turn on an A-10-3-Q board but after betting 79,500 he tank-folded to Kanaan’s 200,000 re-raise.
He still has 270,000 in chips while Kanaan has moved up to 550,000.
10.55pm: Burns finally takes a hit
After crushing all around him for the past few hours, Kahle Burns has finally taken a small hit to his stack with Luis Arrilucea (pictured above) finding a crucial double.
After opening on the button, Arrilucea found himself in a raising war with the chip leader and was more than happy to get it in with A-A against Burns’ 9-9.
The board ran out 6-8-K-8-6 and Arrilucea doubles to 360,000.
Burns still stands tall with 1.3 million.
10.35pm: High drama
We’ve had quite a kerfuffle at Table 1 where David Tam is blowing up about a ruling. The situation came when Ramy Tadros shoved his last remaining 58,000 into the middle. Tam didn’t notice Tadros’ raise and put chips in the middle to call the blinds but his co-players immediately told him he would have to call the entire 58,000.
Tam called over the floor staff and engaged in a 10-minute rant that saw him refuse to accept the initial ruling before putting his case forward over the phone to poker room manager Stephen Ibraham.
It didn’t help his cause and he eventually put up the 58,000.
Adding to the drama, David Borg then re-raised to 156,000 which forced Tam to fold his hand without even getting to see a flop!
Borg showed A-K to be dominating Tadros’ A-Q and when the board ran out 7-7-8-5-K it was Borg stealing the limelight from a highly entertaining situation!
After all of that we’re down to 26 players remaining.
10.15pm: Eeeexcellent for Burns
Kahle Burns (pictured above) has enjoyed a stunning evening here at The Star and he has just won another massive pot to rocket up to 1.5 million in chips – almost three times as many as his nearest rival.
This time it was Daniel Lazar that fell victim to Burns’ rampage after our chip leader made a huge call on the turn.
It began with Lazar raising to 17,000 in late position and Burns 3-betting to 35,000 out of the blinds. Lazar called and they saw a flop of 3h-8d-9h.
Burns bet 40,000 and Lazar called.
The turn brought the 7h and Burns bet 70,000, prompting Lazar to shove all-in for another 280,000 on top.
Burns went deep into the tank but after running the hand over in his mind he made the call – and what a call it was as he flipped over A-A to best Lazar’s Queens.
Lazar still had outs to a heart or a Q but the repeat 7 on the river meant that was it for Lazar who had been well-placed for a deep run just moments earlier.
Kahle Burns – 1,500,000
Daniel Lazar – Busted
9.40pm: Break time
The 31 remaining layers are on a 10-minute break. When they return blinds will be 3,000/6,000 with a 600 ante.
9.20pm: Bang bang bang
Now that the bubble has burst, the short stacks have unleashed and we’ve seen a glut of bust-outs. Two of them came at the hands of our chip leader, Kahle Burns, who opened with A-A and had two players shove on him.
Burns called to see A-K and Q-Q and when neither improved he became the first player to pass the 1 million chip mark!
Moments later our former monster stack John Caridad got the last of his chips in holding A-10 but found himself behind the A-J of Daniel Lazar. No 10 arrived and Caridad was headed to the rail.
Kahle Burns – 1,000,000
Daniel Lazar – 460,000
John Caridad – Busted
Michael Levy – Busted
9.10pm: Top chip counts
With the bubble now burst, here are the top five chip counts:
720,000 – Kahle Burns
445,000 – Dave Allan
380,000 – David Tam
360,000 – Bryan Huang
350,000 – Michael Kanaan
9.05pm: The bubble bursts
After a few false starts, the bubble has finally burst with Paul Webster (pictured above) the unlucky bubble boy. It all happened post-flop with Webster shoving his A-Q on an A-J-9 board. Yal Kaya snap-called with pocket 9s to leave Webster drawing to running cards and when he turned quads we were in the money!
8.45pm: On the bubble
After all that drama, we now find ourselves on the money bubble with 38 players remaining as we enter Level 16 with blinds at 2,500/5,000 and antes of 500.
The next player that busts will go home empty handed while everyone else is guaranteed a minimum payday of $2,780.
8.35pm: Just WOW
We’ve just witnessed a tournament defining hand on Table 2 which has left both of our former chip leaders Aaron Benton (pictured above L) and John Caridad (pictured above M) fighting stay alive!
It all began when Kahle Burns (pictured above R) opened from early position to 8,500 with Benton calling on the button. Caridad then 3-bet to 25,000 with both players making the call.
The flop came Qd-6d-7h and Caridad led for 49,000. Burns called but Benton re-popped it to 150,000.
His bet saw Caridad go deep into the tank, but eventually he shoved his remaining 200,000 into the middle. Burns called all-in and Benton also called to create a massive pot worth more than 700,000!
“I’ve got top set,” Burns announced as he showed Q-Q. That left Caridad drawing thin with A-A but Benton had plenty of outs as he showed the 8d-9d for straight and flush draws.
Alas, the repeat 6 on the turn killed off Benton’s chances and when a J landed on the river Burns was a new monster chip leader.
Kahle Burns – 720,000
Aaron Benton – 130,000
John Caridad – 100,000
8.15pm: Who can? Kanaan can
Michael Kanaan and John Caridad have just clashes in a big pot with Kanaan finally coming up trumps after a topsy-turvy afternoon.
Kanaan raised to 10,000 UTG and was called by Caridad on the button as they saw a J-10-2 flop. Kanaan continued with a bet of 14,000 and Caridad called. The turn brought a 3 and this time Kanaan fired 17,000.
Caridad called again and we saw a 9 land on the river. This time Kanaan checked and Caridad led out for 25,000. Kanaan then check-raised to 53,000.
Caridad went deep into the tank and eventually called but mucked his cards when Kanaan turned over K-Q for the nuts.
With that pot Kanaan moves up to 340,000 while Caridad slips back under 300,000.
7.45pm: Back on the horse
We’re back from dinner and on our way to the money! We lost one more player right on the break which means we are down to 41 with four bust-outs remaining to the cash.
Blinds are now at 2,000/4,000 with a 400 ante. Buckle up!
6.50pm: The bubble looms
We’re only a few minutes away from the dinner break now and it is a nervous time for the short stacks. With 42 players remaining, we’re quickly approaching the money bubble with 37 players set to be paid.
They’ll soon have 45 minutes to ponder the fate that may await them.
6.40pm: Caridad crushing
John Caridad (pictured above) has decided it’s time to put his stack to good use and has played almost every hand for the past hour – most of them with ruthless aggression.
Most recently we saw him throw out a river bet of 46,000 with 65,000 in the middle on a 4-5-6-J-Q board, forcing Michael Kanaan to fold after tanking for a good three minutes.
Caridad has stormed up the leader-board and sits behind a whopping 445,000.
Ironically, the only man with a similar stack, Aaron Benton, is sitting directly to Caridad’s right.
6.00pm: Level Up
We’ve just moved onto Level 14 which will be the last level before the dinner break. Blinds are at 1,500/3,000 with a 300 ante. We begin the level with 52 players remaining.
5.55pm: Benton, Huang taking control
Aaron Benton has been applying maximum pressure to his table and has worked his way into the overall chip lead with a very healthy 415,000.
That puts him well clear of Bryan Huang, who is also comfortable at 330,000 on the next table down. Nipping at Huang’s heels is John Caridad who has endured a roller-coaster day but has enjoyed another great run of cards over the last hour.
Most recently he eliminated Joel Cohen after the latter shoved his 10s on a 9-7-5-3 board and was called by Caridad’s 7-9.
5.40pm: Hall pulls Con-job
Laurence Hall (pictured above) has been hanging on by the skin of his teeth today and he just scored an extremely fortunate double up at the expense of Con Angelakis.
Angelakis raised it up to 5,600 from the cut-off and was called by the button before Hall shoved for his last 50,000.
Angelakis called, the button folded and the cards were flipped over.
Hall was in trouble with Q-Q against A-A but the board ran out 8-10-3-J-9 for a runner-runner straight.
5.20pm: Chip leaders
380,000 – Dave Allan
310,000 – Aaron Benton
270,000 – David Tam
220,000 – Michael Kanaan
210,000 – Steve Buchanan
200,000 – Bryan Huang
185,000 – John Caridad
180,000 – Dean Yuen
160,000 – Donald Civic
5.00pm: Dodds gone
The elimination of a short-stacked Joel Dodds – who just lost a race with J-J against A-K – means we are down to 63 players as we start the fifth level of the day with blinds at 1,200/2,400 with a 300 ante.
4.45pm: Take a breather
Players are on their second 10-minute break of the day.
4.30pm: Boxell hits the rail
Leo Boxell has just been eliminated in a huge clash with Donald Civic (pictured above). After Boxell called an early position raise to 5,000 holding Qh-Jh, Civic re-raised to 15,000 and Boxell made the call.
The flop came Qc-10h-3h and Boxell was quick to get his remaining 60,000 in holding Qh-Jh with a tonne of outs against Civic’s Aces. Unfortunately for the veteran he blanked the lot with Civic moving up to 195,000.
4.25pm: Speers spears Natoli
Cameron Speers (pictured above) has been on quite a run of late and he just spike a miracle flop to rocket up to 180,000 in chips – eliminating Teresa Natoli in the process.
Natoli started the main event in spectacular fashion, doubling up on the very first hand on the tournament when she turned the nut flush against an opponent’s two pair but luck deserted here when it mattered most.
After raising to 7,000 from UTG, Speers 3-bet to 22,000 – forcing Natoli to go deep into the tank. She eventually shoved her remaining 60,000 into the middle and found a call from Speers.
Natoli was looking good for the double-up with Queens against Jacks but a J on the flop was a dagger to the heart for diminutive blonde and she heads to the rail wondering what might have been.
3.50pm: Level 4
Blinds are up to 1000/2000 with a 200 ante
3.30pm: A long way to go!
With 82 players remaining, the plan for the day is to make it all the way to the final table although we’ve been told by poker room manager Stephen Ibrahim that we’ll have a 2am cut-off if we haven’t reached our last nine by then.
3.10pm: Benton booming
Big stacks Aaron Benton and John Caridad have just clashed with Benton coming out ahead to move to 275,000 in chips.
It began when the button opened to 3,800 and Benton 3-bet from the small blind to 8,800. Caridad called from the big blind as did the button.
The flop came J-10-7 and Benton bet 14,000. Caridad raised to 34,000, the button called and Benton went into the tank before making the call.
The turn brought a repeat 10 and Benton checked to Caridad who bet 38,000. Benton tanked for a full four minutes before eventually making the call to see a 2 on the river.
Both players checked and Caridad mucked when Benton tabled A-J.
Caridad is down to 100,000.
2.40pm: Break it up
We’re on our first 10-minute break of the day.
2.35pm: The big stacks
280,000 – Dave Allan (pictured above)
210,000 – Bryan Huang
200,000 – Michael Kanaan
195,000 – David Tam
194,000 – Aaron Benton
180,000 – John Caridad
160,000 – Stephen Tam-Brown
160,000 – Jimmy Ghobrial
2.20pm: Jimmy G hits gin on the river
Jimmy Ghobrial (pictured above) has just scored a huge double-up in a massive cooler hand against Dien Nguyen.
It started when Nguyen opened to 2,500 with Ghobrial 3-betting to 7,100 from the button. Nguyen called. The flop came Jc-4h-2s. Nguyen checked-called a 14,000 bet from Ghobrial.
The turn brought the 5h and this time Ghobrial shoved for his remaining 50,000.
Nguyen called with Qh-Jh for top pair and a flush draw, while Ghobrial showed Ah-8h for the nut flush draw, a gut-shot and an overcard.
Nguyen had plenty of outs to dodge but couldn’t do it with the 9h on the river giving Jimmy G the nuts and a healthy 140,000 pot.
2.00pm: Huang in control
Bryan Huang (pictured above) has just raked in a nice pot at the expense of Tony Sama.
After Haung opened from late position, he called a 3-bet from Sama and the pair saw a 8-K-8 flop. Huang checked to Sama who bet 12,000. Huang took his time before making calling.
The turn brought a 5 and again Huang checked. Sama picked up a stack of red chips and bet 20,000. Huang called.
The river was a 2 and it was the same deal as Sama bet 20,000 and Huang called.
Sama instantly mucked before either showed their cards, with Huang moving up amongst the tournament chip leaders with 200,000.
1.35pm: Blinds are up
We’ve just started our second level of the day with blinds now at 600/1200 and a 100 ante.
1.30pm: No.1 supporter
Anyone that has played alongside or witnessed veteran Leo Boxell at the poker tables will know that wherever he is, wife Bev (pictured above) isn’t far away. While most partners busy themselves elsewhere or go about their own duties, Bev can usually be found sitting at the rail from day’s beginning to day’s end keeping an eye on Leo’s poker exploits.
Today is no different, with Bev putting in the hard yards just a few metres from Leo’s table!
1.10pm: Tough table
We’ve got an interesting table right in front of our desk featuring Joel Dodds, Irish pro John O’Shea – whose resume includes both WSOP and WPT final tables – inaugural APPT Sydney grand final champion Grant Levy and David Borg, who only last month finished runner-up in WSOP Event 56 for $410,517.
1.05pm: Action aplenty
Well that was an eventful first 30 minutes of play! We’ve already lost 18 players today with the field being cut from 140 to 122 – among them defending champion Errolyn Strang who couldn’t repeat her remarkable run of 12 months ago.
12.55pm: Benton delivers double sucker-punch
Aaron Benton (pictured above) was quick to relay us the story of how he eliminated Martin Comer in the space of two hands. The first saw Benton bluff Comer off Kings on a board featuring two Aces, with the latter unable to call Benton’s strong river bet despite his stack taking a huge hit in the process.
Clearly frustrated, it was all over for Comer soon after in a multi-way pot on a board reading 8-2-2. Benton fired out a small bet which Comer raised to 14,000. Benton called. The turn brought a 5 and Comer shoved – Benton calling with 8-10 for top pair while Comer was drawing to just three outs with his Q-10. None of them came and after starting the day with 45,000 he has not hit the rail.
Benton is looking ominous, however, having built his stack 139,000.
12.40pm: Putt asks, dealer delivers
Graeme Putt (pictured above) shoved his last 10,000 with Haibo Chu shoving over the top. John Caridad then went into the tank before open-folding A-Q. Putt was well behind Chu’s pocket Kings with A-9 but was confident of getting there as he told the table ‘The 9s are coming’.
And the dealer obliged, spreading a 9-9-6 flop as Putt doubles to stay alive.
Chu now needs a double himself as he slips to around 17,000.
12.35pm: One hand down, one player out the door
It took just one hand for our first elimination of the day as Peter Mormanis woke up with A-J and shoved his short-stack into the middle.
Unfortunately for Mormanis, Louie Srour found Aces and although the K-Q-5 flop gave him outs to the straight, he couldn’t find the miracle he needed and his day comes to a very quick end.
12.30pm: Day 2 set to begin
Welcome to PokerMedia Australia and our coverage of Day 2 of the 2012 Sydney Poker Championships main event.
Now in its fourth year following Jarred Graham’s inaugural success back in 2009, the Sydney Championships has become one of the most coveted prizes on the Australasian tour with the cream of the crop descending on Australia’s biggest city each year for their shot at glory.
This year’s event saw 337 players fork out the $1650 entry fee with 140 returning today as we work out way towards tomorrow’s final table.
And there are plenty of big names among them.
Those sitting behind particularly healthy chip stacks include Aaron Benton, David Borg, Bruno Portaro, John O’Shea and Steve Baker.
Also in contention are Grant Levy, Leo Boxell, Martin Rowe, Gary Benson, Haibo Chu, Andrew Hinrichsen and Joel Dodds.
However, they all have plenty of work to do to catch our two dominant chip leaders. David Tran currently sits atop the pile with a whopping 177,100 – most of those coming late yesterday in a huge post-flop flop confrontation that saw Tony Hachem eliminated.
And sitting just behind is John Caridad who went on a late heater on Thursday night to stack up 169,850. No doubt their eyes are already fixed on the $127,133 first prize.
Stay tuned to PokerMedia Australia today as we being you all the live updates from the 2012 Sydney Championships,
Full chip count and seating allocations for the start of Day 2:
|Last Name||First Name||Table||Seat||Chip Count|
|Sun||Henry (hong Yi)||8||5||21800|