Day 1 done, Zhang overall chip leader
And that does us for another day. An enthralling day of action here at The Star saw 89 players take their seats for Day 1b of the Star Summer Series main event with 64 surviving to progress to Day 2 – bringing the total number returning tomorrow to 99.
Among the mass of high profile players to take their seats today were former Aussie Millions champions David Gorr and Tyron Krost, online guns Brendon Rubie, Tom Grigg and Michael Kanaan, Tony Hachem, Leo Boxell, Aaron Benton, Tom Rafferty and AFL star Adam Goodes with some faring better than others.
Gorr, Krost, Hachem, Boxell, Benton and Goodes will all return tomorrow but there was no such luck for Grigg, Rubie or Rafferty who were all eliminated early in the day.
The big winner from today’s flight however was Benjamin Zhang who won a monster pot at the expense of Daniel Martin with around 30 minutes remaining in the day’s play to soar to the overall chip lead with 159,550.
That places him well clear of Flight 1 chip leader Ray Gebrale (122,200) and in a great position to launch a deep run tomorrow.
This year’s Summer Series main event attracted a total of 135 entrants, creating a prize pool of $634,500.
Sunday’s champion will take home a tidy $176,344 with the top 15 players guaranteed $11,222.
Join us here at PokerMedia Australia again tomorrow from 12.30pm as we continue our live coverage of this year’s Star Summer Series main event.
Our top 5 from today’s second flight are:
Benjamin Zhang – 159.550
Joel Feldman – 104,550
Sayed Jabbour – 101,000
Chad Awerbuch – 95,570
Peter Milazzo – 90,125
8.30pm: Closing time
The tournament staff have announced that there are three hands remaining in today’s flight.
8.25pm: Monster hand rockets Zhang to chip lead
We have a new chip leader thanks to a bizarre hand that has seen Daniel Martin hit the rail in extraordinary fashion. No folks, this is no bad beat or cooler story – it’s a call for his tournament life that had the whole table out of their seats in shock.
We caught the hand between Martin and Benjamin Zhang (pictured) on the turn with the board reading 8d-8h-7d-4h and round 20,000 the middle.
Zhang checked to Martin who bet 12,500, with Zhang then re-raising to about 50,000 which was enough to put Martin all in.
The bet was enough to send Martin deep into the tank as he pondered whether to make the call and for certain it seems that he must have held an over-pair.
However, when he eventually tossed in a chip and announced call it was the Jd-10d in his hand. That still gave him plenty of outs against the 6-7 of Zhang but when the river bricked (3h), Martin’s day was suddenly over.
The hand caused mass hysteria at the table as every player jumped out of their seat screaming ‘How can you call, how can you call?’
Either way, it’s irrelevant now because Zhang has rocketed to the top of the chip counts with a whopping 170,000 stack.
7.55pm: Scarf scaring
Andrew Scarf has started to make his presence known after taking down a big pot at the expense of Errolyn Strang.
Fresh from his final table finish at this week’s PokerMedia Australia $1k Special for $8,360, Scarf is at it again with his unusual style too much for the 2011 Sydney Championships winner.
Strang opened to 750 in middle in the hijack and was 3-bet to 2,600 by Scarf on the button. She called and they took a rainbow A-Q-10 flop. Strang then check-raised Scarf’s 3,100 continuation bet to 6,600 with Scarf making the call.
When the repeat 10 landed on the turn, Strang checked to Scarf who bet 24,400, causing Strang to grimace before eventually mucking her cards.
The very next hand Strang limped for 300 and Scarf bumped it up again to 1,800. Strang folded as Scarf move up to 47,000.
7.25pm: Kondevski crashes out
Tony Kondevski is the latest player to hit the rail after losing a race for the last of his chips to Manuel Hansimikali (pictured). Down to around 13,000, the 2009 Melbourne Championships winner looked down at the Ladies and shipped it in after an open to 950 by Peter Milazzo and a button 3-bet to 2,200 from Hansimikali.
Milazzo folded but Hansimikali called with Ad-Kc.
The 5c-Jc-9c flop missed Hansimikali but gave him a heap of outs, one of which was the As that landed on the turn. The 2 bricked and Kondevski’s day came to a premature end.
7.20pm: Coles, Ekrami KOed
Luke Coles is the latest player to be railed late on day 1B, just as the final level is about to commence (150/300 with an ante of 25). Coles, and all-in player, and another opponent showed A-J but were always chasing their tails against a flopped set of 10s.
Kamyar Ekrami followed soon after at the hands of Dejan Boskovic. Ekrami called Boskovic’s pre-flop raise to 900 and they saw a flop of A-J-5. Ekrami bet 1200, Boskovic called and the turn fell a K. Boskovic checked, Ekrami bet 3200 before Boskovic added enough to put him all-in – 8200. Ekrami called and showed pocket fives but was in a world of hurt against a turned set of kings. The river 9 was no help and Ekrami was out.
7.10pm: Forrester not mucking around
Barry Forrester limped for 200 only to have the player on his immediate left bump it up to 600. Two other made the call but when the action came back around to Forrester he jammed for around 20,000.
All three players folded and Forrester rakes in a small pot after a frustrating few hours that have seen his stack gradually dwindle.
7pm: Last level
The clock has just ticked over into our final 90-minute level of the night with blinds now at 150/300 with a 25 ante. There are currently 68 players remaining from the 89 that started the day’s play.
6.40pm: Truong can do no wrong
Another player is drowning his sorrows at the Sports Bar after being KOed from the Star Poker Summer Series Main Event by Tam Truong. After raising to 1300 under-the-gun, Truong watched first a raise to 2600, then a shove for 8100. Truong called, and the three-bettor folded. It was pocket aces for Truong against pocket jacks, with the nine-high board delivering him a nice pot.
6.20pm: Rubie straight to the rail
Brendon Rubie was already feeling a bit unwell and his condition didn’t improve after being bounced from the Star Poker Summer Series Main Event. With the board showing 3-J-5-A, Rubie bet 3200 before Emanuel Hansimakali popped it to 7000.
Rubie moved all-in and showed pocket fives for a set, but Hansimakali had called, revealing 2-4 for a turned straight. A 6 on the river only improved his hand, sending Rubie on his way.
6pm: Milazzo the man to catch
After a quiet 24 hours here in the Sports Bar at The Star, the casino has started to come to life as the clock ticks past beer o’clock and several big groups settle in for a long night of Christmas celebrations.
The action hasn’t been quite as feverish inside the barriers where the field has been reduced from 89 to 75 with a handful of players hovering around the 70,000-mark. Peter Milazzo (pictured) is the chip leader on 75,000 ahead of Sayed Jabbour (70,000), Mark Darbani (70,000), Brian Brannagan (63,000) and Ben Zhang (62,500).
5.35pm: Blinds are up
Players are returning from a 20-minute break for the last time this evening. There will be two more 90-minute levels before the end of the night’s play. Blinds are now at 100/200 with a 25 ante.
5.15pm: Strang gets stronger
Errolyn Strang is already assured the title of highest placed female finisher in the Star Poker Summer Series Main Event as the sole female participant across the two day one flights.
The 2011 Sydney Champs Main Event winner has also staked a strong claim for a spot in the day two field after sending Andrew Davis to the rail. Strang’s A-9 flopped a full-house against the 9-10 and flopped trips of Davis to propel her stack up to 41,000.
With just over five minutes left on the day 1B, the field of 89 is down to 78 and the average stack has ticked up to 24,200. Although yet to be finalised, the Main Event total field currently sits at 135 players.
5pm: Swan dive
Adam Goodes and Michael Kanaan have just locked horns with the poker pro proving too wily for the two-time Brownlow Medalist. We caught the action on the turn with the board reading 6d-10d-9d-5h as Goodes fired 700 into the pot. Kanaan thought for around 30 seconds before making the call.
The river was the 7h and this time Goodes fired 2200. Kanaan again tanked and looked to be considering a raise before opting to call instead. Kanaan showed Q-8 for the rivered straight while Goodes flashed a 9 before mucking. That pot sees Kanaan crawl back up to 20,000 after a rough start while Goodes is heading in the wrong direction with just 15,000.
4.40pm: Rubie rolls in
The last player to take their seat for flight 1b today was Brendon Rubie, who told us he contracted food poisoning two days ago and took the time to get as much rest as possible before turning up just moments before registration had closed.
Still feeling a little under the weather, today could well be as much about survival as anything else for Rubie as he gives himself another 24 hours of recovery time ahead of the business end of the tournament.
“I don’t think I missed anything by arriving late,” he told us, “I probably would have just donked my chips off in those levels anyway.”
4.15pm: Ishac’s kings overcome the odds
Having just lost a pot to pocket aces, Michael Pedley was only too happy to look down and find aces of his own as Jamal Ishac launched a pre-flop betting blitz.
It ended with all the money in the middle and Pedley’s aces leading Ishac’s pocket kings. Bang – a king on the flop was enough to secure Ishac a pot worth 53,000 and leave Pedley checking the schedule for an early flight back to WA.
3.50pm: Check out the latest edition of The Real Deal
With little action to report after the first 20 minutes of the third level on day 1B of the Star Poker Summer Series Main Event, many players are flicking through the latest copy of our magazine The Real Deal.
In addition to a big preview of this series, there’s extensive coverage of the WSOP Main Event final table and Phil Hellmuth’s historic 13th gold bracelet after winning the WSOP Europe Main Event.
The Real Deal also looks at the latest news in poker; from the return of Full Tilt Poker to the Poker Hall of Fame’s latest inductees and reports on pub poker’s two biggest tournaments – MAIN EVENT II and the NPL500.
Our Upgrade section is highlighted by an irreverent journey to find the ‘Big Things of Australia’, we dine out at Merrywell, check out some of the great cars of the past 50 years of James Bond movies and consider whether gold is a worthy addition to your investment portfolio.
Laurie Daley spoke exclusively to The Real Deal about his new role as NSW Origin coach to open our Sportsbook section. We celebrate Green Moon’s victory in the Melbourne Cup in the latest stop on our Ultimate Sporting Tour and go ‘Beyond the Back Page’ with darts sensation Simon “The Wizard” Whitlock.
Also check out some great Christmas ideas for the poker player in your household along with some unique promotions thanks to our new sports betting partner Centrebet. Click here to check out the latest edition of The Real Deal.
3.30pm: On the Mark
Mark Darbani has skipped to the chip lead just prior to the end of the second level of the day after claiming a big pot against Slava Sheynin. With the board showing Q-2-6-Q-3, Darbani checked, Sheynin shoved all-in for 25,175 and Darbani called, showing Q-J for trips. Sheynin mucked, and will be looking to take a breather during the first break of the day. When players, return, blinds will be up to 100/200.
3pm: Tollgate closed
Tom ‘Tollgate’ Grigg has just been eliminated at the hands of Sheldon Mayer (pictured) after battling to get anything going all day and eventually losing a race for his tournament life.
The action began with a player in early position opening to 450 and Grigg making the call before Sheldon 3-bet to 1,800. The original raiser called but Grigg shoved for 19,000. Sheldon called instantly as the early position player getting out of the way as the cards were flipped.
It was Grigg’s A-K racing against Sheldon’s Q-Q and the flop was brutal for the former as it fell Q-7-8. A repeat 7 on the turn shut the door on Grigg’s hopes in this event with Sheldon – who reached the final table of the PMA 1k event earlier in the week – chipping up to around 60,000 with that hand.
3pm: Is nice
With just over 30 minutes to play in the second level of the day, Ali G just recorded the third elimination to the day. The under-the-gun player, whose stack had been crippled by Peter Milazzo, committed his final 1125. Ali G made a reluctant call from the BB and showed J-T. Sure enough, he led the all-in player’s 9-10 and made a straight on a board that ran out K-7-8-9-5.
2.40pm: Milazzo makes a move
We just caught a big hand featuring Peter Milazzo, the money all-in after the turn with the board reading Q-2-5-7. Milazzo showed pocket kings while his opponent turned over K-Q. The river fell 4h sending the pot to Milazzo and leaving his opponent crippled with just over 1100 in chips.
2.20pm: New faces
We’ve had a few more late arrivals with Tony Hachem having just taken his seat as well as Graeme Putt – who reached the final table of ANZPT Auckland last month – and Sayed Jabbour who won the PokerMedia Australia $1k Special on Monday for a touch over $26,000.
2pm: Around the room
As usual there are some interesting table draws in today’s flight with Aaron Benton and Tom Rafferty seated alongside one another while Tom Grigg and Alec Smith are likely to clash a few times throughout the day on the table in front of our media desk.
However the most interesting line-up of the day features Barry Forrester, Greg Cook, Michael Kanaan and Milan Gurung facing off at the same table as AFL great Adam Goodes. Gurung was left disappointed a moment ago after raising the button and receiving two callers in the blinds. Both check-folded the 9-4-3 flop with Gurung flashing 9-4 with a wry smile. Blinds are up to level two (75/150), with 83 of the 84 starters still seated.
1.25pm: Gorr put to the test
2011 Aussie Millions champion David Gorr told us last night that he’s had a rather lean year on the tournament circuit and he was put to an early test barely halfway through the opening level.
With the board showing 10-3-8-9 and three hearts, Michael O’Grady was all-in for just over 15,000. Gorr was faced with a decision for his tournament life and after some thinking, folded his hand. O’Grady showed 2h-3h for a flush.
1.20pm: Goodes is in the house
Some late arrivals for today’s event include Aaron Benton, Sheldon Mayer and Sydney Swans captain Adam Goodes who has just taken his seat nearby.
Well that was quick! Jimmy Ghobrial is our first casualty of the day after just 30 minutes after picking the wrong time to push.
Slava Sheynin (pictured) was the beneficiary of Ghobrial’s demise, shooting to 60,000 in chips after luring the Star poker room regular into over-playing his pocket Kings.
It all began when an early position player opened to 350 with Sheynin making the call before Jimmy G re-raised to 1150. Both players called and they saw a flop of 7-8-J. Ghobrial continued for 2500 with the original raiser folding and Sheynin calling.
The turn brought the Ace and this time Ghobrial bet 3650, but even Sheynin’s re-raise to 9100 didn’t slow him down as he shoved over the top.
Sheynin snap called with 9-10 for the nuts to leave Ghobrial’s K-K drawing dead. Ghobrial enjoyed a deep run at the recent Sydney Championships with a final table finish in the main event but he beat a hasty retreat here today as he stormed out of the room.
12.40pm: Flight 2 underway
Play is about to kick off for the day with players shuffling in to take their seats here in The Star Sports Bar. Already there is quite a buzz with roughly double the number of players that started yesterday (46) expected to test their wares this afternoon.
Among those we’ve spotted in our midst so far are former Aussie Millions champions David Gorr and Tyron Krost, Leo Boxell, recent FTOPS winner Michael Kanaan, Jackson Zheng, Alec Smith, Tom Grigg, Tom Rafferty, Tony Kondevski, Errolyn Strang.
With 90-minute levels and 30,000 starting stacks, we’re not expecting a whole lot of action early on with a number of players likely to arrive quite late. We’re scheduled to play a total of five levels today which means the surviving players should bag and tag shortly before 9pm.
Main Event set to heat-up for day 1B
There’s nothing like opening the curtains on a mild December morning to glance out across Darling Harbour to the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the towers of the CBD! Welcome back to The Star for day 1B of the Star Poker Summer Series Main Event and the race for the final major Aussie poker title for 2012.
After last night’s relatively low-key start to the $5000 buy-in No Limit Hold’em Main Event with a line-up of 46 players, things will heat-up today with more than double that amount expected to take their seats in the Sports Theatre at 12.30pm.
We’ve seen scores of big names hovering around the Star Poker room in recent days and judging by the fact that many didn’t play last night, we’re expecting a star-studded field today.
There’ll also be some celebrity muscle in the Main Event today with a handful of sporting stars expected to take their seats. Among the players who won his seat to the Main Event in the Star Poker Summer Series Celebrity Tournament was AFL Sydney Swans premiership captain Adam Goodes (pictured).
A very keen and increasingly accomplished poker player, we watched Goodes carving up the cash tables yesterday and expect him to make the most of the time and opportunity to test his mettle against the best players in the game. Structure available for today’s day 1B play is:
Level 1: 50/100
Level 2: 75/150
Level 3: 100/200
Level 4: 100/200 (ante 25)
Level 5: 150/300 (ante 25)
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