2013 ANZPT Sydney – PokerMedia Australia $1k Special NLHE / Day 1

11.30pm: Final table is set!

And that will do us for today with the 10 remaining players to return to The Star at 4pm tomorrow to fight it out for the title of PokerMedia Australia $1k Special champion and the $27,300 first prize.

An eventful afternoon’s play saw 91 players take their seats in The Star poker room including the likes of Grant Levy, Aaron Benton, Jackie Glazier, Dale Marsland, Michael Kanaan, Didier Guerin, Dean Yuen, Tony Kambouroglou, Jackson Zheng and Errolyn Strang.

Most would fall through the day with Glazier among the first to go after twice running sets into straights, however Strang and Guerin survived and head into Day 2 with Guerin the clear chip leader after a huge final 30 minutes. He returns with almost double his nearest rival with 321,600.

Also making it through to a particularly strong final table are James Tai, Trang Truong and Milan Gurung.

One man that won’t sleep too well is Iori Yogo who bubbled after a huge clash with Didier Guerin. It was the second time in 10 minutes that Guerin had got the better of Yogo in a button v big blind confrontation so when Guerin again raised from the blinds, Yogo shipped it in with A-J.

But Guerin was quick to call, tabling a dominant A-Q, and when the board ran out K-9-6-4-4 we had our final 10.

All players are guaranteed at least $2,275 for their efforts, with the chip counts as follows:

Didier Guerin – 321,600
Victor Teng – 183,100
Errolyn Strang – 182,400
Con Angelakis – 148,900
Thang Truong – 146,100
Benjamin Benoit – 134,000
Wei Bing Low – 132,000
James Tai – 54,500
Milan Gurung – 47,000
Clement Lau – 29,600

Join us here at PokerMedia Australia from 4pm tomorrow as we bring you all the action from the fourth edition of the PMA $1k Special.

11.10pm: On the bubble!

The elimination of George Kambouroglou means we are now on our final table bubble with 11 players remaining.

Kambouroglou had been waiting for his chance to get the rest of his short stack into the middle and he thought he had found it holding 6-6 on a 2-3-4 flop, but Didier Guerin – who has finished the day strongly, rolled over pocket 2s for the set and when the turn and river came A-K we were on the verge of packing up for the night!

10.55pm: Blinds are up

Level 15 is underway with blinds at 1,500/3,000 with a 400 ante.

10.40pm: 10 to be paid

With just 13 players remaining, we thought we should note that there will be a 10-man final table when play resumes tomorrow with all 10 making the money.

The final table payouts are as follows:

1 $27,300
2 $18,200
3 $13,195
4 $8645
5 $6370
6 $4777
7 $4095
8 $3413
9 $2730
10 $2275

10.35pm: Strang takes chip lead, Guzzardi eliminated

It looked like we were in for a real grind to get to our final table but the past half hour has sizzled along, with Michael Guzzardi the latest to hit the rail – again at the hands of Errolyn Strang.

With the board reading 6-Q-K, Guzzardi led out for 6,000 and was re-raised by Strang to 21,000. Guzzardi quickly announced he was all-in with Strang calling and turning over K-6 for a flopped two-pair.

Guzzardi showed K-J and needed help but the Ace river changed nothing as Strang moves into the chip lead with 210,000!

10.25pm: Guerin gunning for final table

Didier Guerin was one of the shorter stacks an hour ago but a series of big hands has seen him rocket right back up the leaderboard. A few moments ago it was Guerin and an opponent to his immediate right getting it in on a 10-6-2 board with Guerin’s Qs way ahead of his opponent’s 5s.

That hefty pot has pushed the young gun up to 101,000 and in great shape to reach the final table.

10.20pm: Hockin humbled

2012 ANZPT Melbourne champion Paul Hockin is the latest casualty here at The Star after running his Kings into the A-A of Errolyn Strang. He did put Strang to a decision though, re-raising her c-bet all-in on a Q-2-Q board and sending her into the tank before she ultimately made the call.

The cards were tabled with Hockin needing help, but the turned Ace left him drawing dead and he exits in 16th. Strang is up to 80,000.

10.10pm: There’s no fail in Kahle

Kahle Burns just won a nice pot from an unsuspecting opponent after flopping like a God. The action started with the player in middle position opening to 4,000 and Burns 3-betting on the button to 10,000.

The flop came 3-3-7 and it was checked through. Both players checked the K turn before the original raiser bet 15,000 on the Q river. Burns called and tabled K-3 for a turned boat while his opponent did a double-take before shrugging and flashing K-J as he mucked.

9.55pm: Benton eliminated

With blinds at 1,000/2,000 with a 300 ante, Aaron Benton shoved for 40,000 and found a caller in the big blind in Thang Truong. It was a classic race with Benton’s J-J up against Truong’s A-K but when the board ran 8-K-5-Q-7 it was Benton heading to the rail in 19th spot.

9.35pm: Opening event crowns a winner

While we’ve been busy covering today’s PMA $1k Special, the final table of the popular Opening Event was being run nearby and the huge roar of the rail not so long ago signalled that a new champion has been crowned.

Evan Ryan is the man to prevail, outlasting a huge field of 863 starters to take home the $60,000 top prize.

The final table placings were as follows:

1st: Evan Ryan – $60,065
2nd: Dien Duy Nguyen – $37,670
3rd: Nizar Nakhle – $19,030
4th: Trudie Sultana – $15,016
5th: Joseph Alvaro – $12,168
6th: Damien Hubbard – $9,062
7th: Ray Ruiz – $6,214
8th: Jason Clissold – $4,919
9th: Evgeny Zaydenberg – $3,625

9.25pm: Guerin looking for deeper run

Didier Guerin was just informing us that he has a proud history of finishing exactly 18th in this event and with 20 players remaining he has no doubt been getting a little nervous, however he has just won two tidy pots to keep him out of any immediate danger. Having doubled with Aces, Guerin managed to add another 10,000 to his stack when he got it in with 9-9 against the Ah-6h of a short-stacked opponent.

His opponent flopped the world on a Kh-10h-6d flop but somehow Guerin managed to dodge every bullet and is now closing in on the 40,000 mark again.

9.10pm: Tough table

We recently saw the field reduced to just 20 players remaining which means we are down to our final two tables. The movement of players has resulted in some interesting table pairings, including a fascinating set-up on Table 8 where, from Seats 6 through 10 we have Thang Truong, James Tai, Paul Hockin, Michael Guzzardi and Aaron Benton seated side by side.

9pm: Benoit the magnificent

Benjamin Benoit’s stocks continue to rise, albeit with more than a touch of good fortune on this occasion. After an opponent opened to 4000, Benoit looked down at pocket Ks and re-raised to 43,000. You can imagine his surprise when the player in the small blind quickly called for his tournament life and flipped over A-A as the original raiser ducked out of the way.

Not to worry for Benoit – a King on the flop had him in great shape to maintain his clear chip lead and when no Ace arrived he was up to 150,000.

8.45pm: Blinds are up

Blinds have taken another considerable jump, hitting 800/1,600 with a 200 ante. We have 23 players remaining.

8.20pm: Our top 5

120,000 – Benjamin Benoit
85,000 – George Kambouroglou
80,000 – Con Angelakis
80,000 – Thang Truong
65,000 – Rajesh Sabapathy

8.15pm: Falling like flies

We’ve just witnessed consecutive eliminations on adjoining tables as we start to race towards our final table. Level 11 saw a whopping 11 eliminations with Michael Kanaan and Barry Forrester the latest to fall.

Kanaan had battled a short stack for most of the day and finally committed the last of his chips with A-Q – only to run into the A-K of Aaron Benton.

A Q on the flop gave him hope of a double but the turn K wasn’t what he wanted to see and when no repeat Q came on the river Kanaan’s day was done.

Seconds later Forrester was joining him at the rail as he got it in with A-J against John Maklouf’s K-K. No Ace arrived and we’re down to 28!

7.55pm: That’s what I Sayed!

Sayed Jabbour enjoyed a terrific Summer Series here at The Star in December, the highlight being his victory in this very event for $26,400.

While he hasn’t exactly enjoyed the benefits of a big stack at any time today he is still in the hunt and just added a few chips to his stack at the expense of Greg Cook.

The short-stacked Cook got his remaining stack in the middle holding A-K to be well ahead of Jabbour’s A-5 but the window card was a disaster for Cook and when no K arrived he beat a hasty retreat out of the tournament area.

Jabbour has moved up to 25,000.

7.30pm: Cards are back in the air

After a lovely chicken stir fry at Fat Noodle, we’re feeling re-energized and ready for the long ride down to the final table. Having begun the day’s play with 91 starters some seven hours ago, we now find ourselves heading into Level 10 with blinds at 500/1,000 and a 100 ante.

There are currently 39 players remaining.

6.50pm: Dinner break

The remaining 40 players are now enjoying a 30-minute dinner break. We’ll be back at 7.30pm as we continue our march towards the final table in the PMA $1k Special live from The Star in Sydney.

6.45pm: Sun rising

Henry Sun will go to the dinner break much happier after just about tripling up. It was Sun’s 10s up against Q-Q and 5-5 in a three way all-in pre-flop pot and he watched as the board came 10-K-4-K-10 to give him quads and shoot him up to 40,000 in the process.

6.40pm: Familiar faces

55,000 – Errolyn Strang
45,000 – Aaron Benton
43,000 – John Maklouf
35,000 – Didier Guerin
27,000 – Dale Marsland
25,000 – Kahle Burns
20,000 – Michael Kanaan
18,000 – Tam Truong
17,000 – Sayed Jabbour
15,000 – Jackson Zheng

6.25pm: Blinds starting to bite

We’ve just started our final level before the dinner break with blinds now up to 400/800 with a 100 ante. And it seems that the rising blinds are starting to make their mark with almost half the field gone. As it stands, 48 players remain with the average stack around 28,500.

6.15pm: Marsland rides the wave

Dale Marsland has been riding a wave of success over the past six months, his career enjoying its finest moment last November when he won an incredible five live tournaments in the space of two weeks including the 2012 Western Classic Poker Championship.

Marsland has been quiet for much the morning’s play but he just scored a crucial double-up to move to almost 60,000 in chips and put himself in position for another deep run.

We caught the action on the turn with the board reading A-8-7-K and Marsland facing a 5,500 bet from 2011 Sydney Championships winner Errolyn Strang. After careful thought, Marsland bumped it to 16,000 with Strang making the call.

The river was a 5 and Strang checked to Marsland who shoved for his remaining 15,000. Strang was visibly frustrated but made the call, mucking her cards when her opponent showed A-8.

She is still looking good with 45,000.

5.35pm: Pressure rising

It’s been slow going since players returned from their last break with just four players eliminated, but the latest blind rise might change all that with blinds jumping to 300/600 with a 50 ante.

4.55pm: We’re back

Play is back underway with blinds at 200/400 and an ante of 50.

4.45pm: Break time

Players are now on their second 10-minute break of the day with 64 players remaining.

4.40pm: The big stacks

80,000 – Benjamin Benoit
55,000 – Didier Guerin
45,000 – Aaron Benton
45,000 – Rajesh Sabapathy
40,000 – Kahle Burns

4.35pm: Eeeeexcellent for Mr. Burns

Kahle Burns has been quietly going about his business over on Table 4 but his patience has been rewarded with a big double-up at the expense of the always tough Tam Truong.

Burns opened in mid-position with Truong 3-betting from the button. Burns called and they saw a flop of 3-4-Q. Burns check-called a bet from Truong as the dealer burned and turned a K. Again Burns check-called Truong’s 3,500 bet as the pot grew to around 15,000.

The turn brought a J and Burns put out a tiny 1,200 bet. Truong thought long and hard before putting Burns all-in.

Burns snap-called with Q-J for a rivered two-pair as Truong flashed Aces before mucking. Burns is up to 42,000 while Truong is holding on with barely 5000 to his name.

4.05pm: Benoit on a heater

Benoit had barely had time to finish stacking his chips before he dispatched another player to the rail – adding 15,000 more to his rapidly growing stack in the process.

The victim this time was Jason Pritchard, who got it all-in pre holding A-K only to run smack bang into Benoit’s Aces.

The board ran out 4-10-J-K-7 and Benoit has climbed above 60,000.

3.55pm: Benoit the star

As we wandered back towards our reporting desk we noticed a hefty pot developing at the table in front of us. With 14,000 already in the middle, the player in Seat 1 shoved for a touch over 18,000 on an A-7-4 flop.

Given the size of the pre-flop pot and the fact that Benoit went deep into the tank, we can only assume that part of him feared the worst as he eventually called and table his set of 7s – well ahead of his opponent’s A-K. The turn Q and river 8 changed nothing and Benoit raked in the 46,000 pot to find himself sitting behind the tournament’s big stack.

3.20pm: Ante up

It’s ante time. Blinds are up to 100/200 with a 25 ante. We have 78 players remaining so there is a long way to go!

3.10pm: Chip counts

35,000 – Matthew Legg
34,000 – Thang Truong
30,000 – Didier Guerin
28,500 – Aaron Benton
23,000 – Nurlan Boobekov
20,000 – John Maklouf

3pm: The dreaded river!

Peco Stojanovski has lost a whole heap of chips after flopping the nuts only to cop a brutal beat on the river.

Stojanovski held pocket 10s on a 10-2-3 flop and came out firing with his opponent making the call. The turn 4 saw Stojanovski bet again, with his opponent continuing to stick around. On the river Q Stojanovski fired a third barrel and although he had a sinking feeling when his opponent shoved over the top for his last 4,000, he called to see the pocket Queens he had dreaded.

Best known for his 4th place finish at APPT Sydney in 2010, Stojanovski is down to 6,000 and in need of a double-up.

2.50pm: We’re back

Players are back from break as we head into Level 4 with blinds at 100/200.

2.30pm: Break it up

Players are on their first 10-minute break of the day with 81 of the 91 to have registered remaining.

2.25pm: Pairs by the truckload

Anthony Legg has just won a huge pot after coming out on top following a four-way pre-flop all-in. It was 9s v Jacks v Queens v Legg’s Aces and with 35,000 in the middle, the youngster watched on nervously as his hand held on a 10-6-5-7-A board to propel him towards the top of the leaderboard.

That hand saw two opponents sent straight to the rail while a third is clinging on with around 5000 left in front.

2.10pm: Grinding along …

We’re midway through Level 3 in today’s PMA $1k Special and as usual it’s slow going early on. The starting field has grown to 89 over the past half an hour but with blinds at 75/150 we’ve lost just the three players so far.

1.40pm: Still growing

The field is up to 85 with the likes of Rhys Gould, Mark Iskander, John Maklouf and 2012 Sydney Championships main event winner Dean Yuen amongst the late registrations.

1.30pm: Tough field

The field has been steadily building over the first hour and we now have a total of 81 entrants fighting it out to reach tomorrow’s final table.

It won’t be easy though given the quality of the field. Aside from Jackle Glazier, who was recently announced as one of Ivey Poker’s impressive list of sponsored pros, we’ve spotted the likes of Grant Levy, Michael Kanaan, Didier Guerin, Josh Barrett, Jackson Zheng, Errolyn Strang, Steve Baker and a former winner of this very event in ‘Toothpick’ Tony Kambouroglou.

1pm: Deck the Hall

As we sauntered past Laurence Hall’s table we noticed that he was down to just a few chips and he was quick to run us through the disastrous run of misfortune that led to his demise: his nut full-house was bested by quads, he ran a set into a straight and then A-K into the aces of Graeme Putt. After that little downswing we’re amazed he still has any chips left at all!

12.45pm: Not so good for Glazier

Jackie Glazier is a bit shorter than she was a few minutes earlier after running her set into an opponent’s turned straight.

Glazier opened UTG to 150 and found four callers as they saw a flop of J-6-7. The table checked around and the dealer turned a 5. Glazier led out for 400 but was check-raised to 1,500 with everyone else folding before she made the call.

The river was a meaningless 2 and this time Glazier check-called a bet of 1,500. Her opponent immediately turned over 8-9 for the nuts with Glazier flashing pocket 6s.

“I knew he had the nuts but what are you going to do?” she smiled wryly.

PMA field harness luck of the Irish

Welcome to our coverage of the fourth running of the $1100 buy-in PokerMedia Australia No Limit Hold’em Special Event from 12.30pm at The Star.

It’s a wild and windy Sydney morning which, appropriately, has more than a touch of Irish elements – just perfect as we celebrate St Patrick’s Day!

First run as part of the ANZPT Sydney series in 2012, the inaugural PMA No Limit Hold’em Special was taken out by Blaze Scott-Hutchinson, who pocketed $29,400.

Local poker icon ‘Toothpick Tony’ Kambouroglou claimed the PMA title at the Sydney Champs (for $25,800) then at the Star Poker Summer Series in December, Sayed Jabbour (pictured left) took home the first prize of $26,000.

Players will start with 15,000 in chips, levels are 40 minutes and we’re hoping to lure a field of more than 100 players as PMA continues its proud association with Star Poker.

PMA’s Ben Blaschke will be reporting live from The Star throughout the day as the first two winners of the ANZPT Sydney tournament series for 2013 are decided.

Also scheduled for today is the final table of the $330 ANZPT No Limit Hold’em Opening Event from 2pm, while a $250 ANZPT Main Event Mega Satellite is scheduled for 6.15pm.

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