2013 ANZPT Sydney – $2200 ANZPT Main Event / Day 1 / Flight 1

3am: Benson tops day 1A

And that’s all she wrote for day 1A of ANZPT Sydney. With one of the biggest field in ANZPT shaping up here this week, an impressive 209 players took their seats last night hoping to progress to Day 2 with 95 managing to fulfil those ambitions during the course of eight one-hour levels.

Among them were some of the biggest names in Australian and world poker including WSOP bracelet winners Jeff Lisandro and Mel Judah, American phenom Dan ‘djk123’ Kelly, Grant Levy, Jackie Glazier and a host of Australia’s hottest young talent including Daniel Neilson, Michael Kanaan, Liam O’Rourke, Kristian Lunardi and Victor Teng.

In the end the majority of those made it through although Judah, Lunardi, O’Rourke and Glazier will have to wait for another day to add a major Aussie title to their CVs.

Our Day 1a chip leader is another WSOP bracelet holder and Australian poker icon Gary Benson who boasts a monstrous 193,000 stack.

Also looking strong is Adrien Rosencrance with 138,500 and Benjamin Zhang with 114,200 while Cathal Shine rounds out the 100,000 crew with 101,000.

We’ve been told that there are already around 180 players registered for tomorrow’s second flight which means we will easily crack the 200 mark and could very well be pushing a total field of 450.

It shapes as another huge day here in The Star poker room so make sure you join us once more at PokerMedia Australia from 12.30pm as we bring you all the action from day 1B of the 2013 ANZPT Sydney Main Event!

2.45am: Benson bouncing

Gary Benson has enjoyed a tremendous first day of this event and just won a very nice pot to chip up to well over 100,000 as the tournament staff announced there would be two more hands dealt today. The action started with the player on the button opening to 2,200 and the small blind 3-betting to 5,500. Benson called in the big blind as did the button.

The flop came A-9-8 and it was checked around. On the 4 turn Benson led for 14,000 and only the button called. When the repeat Ace hit on the river Benson checked to the button who bet 14,000 only to have Benson check-raise to 35,000. Her quickly called but mucked when Benson rolled over 9-9.

He is now challenging for the chip lead with 180,000.

2.15am: Big names falling

Liam O’Rourke has been short-stacked form much of the evening and although he survived one all-in situation when he faded the nut flush draw with his Aces, he has just been sent to the rail. We also noticed Jackie Glazier making her way out of the room having fallen just 40 minutes shy of progressing to Day 2.

1.55am: Final level!

We’ve just begun our final level of the night with blinds now up to 500/1,000 with a 100 ante. We currently have 109 players remaining after 209 started the day’s play.

1.25am: Great for Grady

Jordan Grady, a young, up and coming online grinder, is setting up for a deep run in the ANZPT main event.

Grady qualified for this event by winning an online poker series leaderboard race and is quickly making his mark in this tournament among some of the top Australian players.

Grady now sits on approximately 80,000 after he recently won a handsome pot. The blinds were 400/800 with a 100 ante and action was folded to Grady who min-raised the button with Q-Q, the SB moved all in for his remaining 22,000 and Grady snap-called to be dominating his opponents 4-4.

The board ran out 9-7-5-A-A, increasing Grady’s stack.

1.05am: Lisandro’s Ladies

Jeff Lisandro has just doubled up after hitting a two-outer on the flop to keep his tournament hopes alive.

The action started when Benjamin Zhang opened to 2,100 in early position and Michael Faderson 3-bet to 5,200. Lisandro then shipped for a touch over 14,000 with Zhang folding.

Faderson snap-called with A-A and was well ahead of Lisandro’s Qs until the dealer spread a 9-Q-3 flop. When nothing changed on the turn and river, Lisandro chipped up to around 33,000.

12.45pm: Break time

We’re on a 10-minute break. When players return blinds will be up to 400/800 with a 100 ante.

12.45am: Two levels to go!

We’ve just been informed that we will indeed be playing a full eight levels tonight, which means that we have two more one hour levels remaining before we all get some well-earned sleep!

That said, with such a big turnout for tonight’s opening flight there was really no other option if we hope to avoid a never ending Day 2.

From the 209 players that took their seats at the start of the day’s play, 130 remain as we enter Level 7.

12.15am: No-one wins!

A bit of levity over on Table 6 where one player had both feet just about out the door and two more were sweating on what was to come on the turn and river … only for the board to say otherwise.

It was a case of everyone all-in on the flop of 9c-6c-5c with one player showing 6s, another A-A (no club) and the third 9h-8c for flush and straight draws.

Remarkably, the turn 8 and river 7 made it a three-way split and the three players all sat back down with just about the same stacks they started the hand with!

12.05am: Levy surviving

Grant Levy’s topsy-turvy day continues. He currently sits on about his starting stack of 20,000 but relayed two crazy hands that have led him to his current spot.

In the first he flatted, albeit admitting he should have folded pre-flop, with A-J and got it in on a J-4-4 flop only to see that his opponent held J-J. Levy dropped down to 10,000 after that hand but doubled soon after when he got it in with 8s against Ks and watched the flop come 8-8-2!

He will be desperate to gain some momentum over the final few levels of the night.

12am: Rosencrance roaring

In the largest hand of the night, Adrien Rosencrance has joined Benjamin Zhang at the top of the leaderboard after a huge cooler against Eric Assadourian. The hand played out as follows.

An early position player opened to 800 with blinds at 200/400 with two callers before Assadourian 3-bet to 2,700. The original raiser folded but the other two players, one of them Rosencrance, made the call to see the dealer fan a flop of 8-6-8. Rosecrance led for 3,200 and was called but Assadourian again raised it up to 7,700. Rosncrance flat called and the other player folded.

The turn came the 10d, which saw Rosencrance check-raise Assadourian’s bet all-in. Assadourian made the call and Rosencrance turned over a flopped full house with 6-6 vs the straight (9d-7d) of Assadourian. The river was the meaningless K, sending the massive 90,000 chip pot to Rosecrance.

11.45pm: Level up

The clock has just ticked over into Level 6 with blinds at 300/600 and a 75 ante.

11.35pm: The big stacks

Benjamin Zhang – 95,000
Gary Benson – 86,000
Charlie Auditore – 70,000
Sayed Jabbour – 65,000
Jordan Grady – 60,000
Phillip Willcocks – 57,000
Daniel Neilson – 57,000
Eric Assadourian – 55,000
Ricky Kroesen – 47,000
Victor Teng – 45,000

11.15pm: Neilson, Willcocks make their move

Daniel Neilson knows all about running deep here at The Star following his runner-up finish in December’s Star Summer Series main event for $112,000. He’s off to a flyer here too and just scored a tidy pot to eliminate an opponent and move to around 45,000.

It was Neilson’s K-K against his all-in opponent’s A-Q and when the board ran out Q-high Neilson moved up a few notches on the leaderboard.

As it is, Neilson’s table is quite the action station.

On the very next hand Phillip Willcocks was all-in for 20,000 with K-K against an opponent’s Aces but Lady Luck was smiling on him as he flopped a set and rivered quads!

Daniel Neilson – 45,000
Phillip Willcocks – 42,000

10.30pm: Break time

Players are on a 20-minute break and we’re halfway through the evening’s play.

10.25pm: Ready for the rail

There is nothing like a bit of pessimism to send you to the rail. We just witnessed a highly amusing hand played on a table next to our reporting desk in which two players got it in on a flop of 6-3-4 with the all-in player holding a dominating J-J against his opponent’s 9-9.

Nevertheless, as the dealer counted out the chips, he stood and put his jacket on ready to walk out the door.

“Where are you going?” another player asked.

“It ain’t over until it’s over,” he replied and sure enough, the dealer turned a 9 to put a dagger through his heart. The river was a Q and we’ve lost one more player.

10pm: Chip counts from Table 15

By far the most interesting table draw right now is over on table 15 where Matt Rolfe, Jeff Lisandro, James Tai, Martin Kozlov, Jason Pritchard, Josh Barrett and George Kambouroglou are seated together. Here are their current counts:

Jason Pritchard – 42,000
Matt Rolfe – 32,000
Jeff Lisandro – 18,000
Martin Kozlov – 18,000
Josh Barrett – 15,000
James Tai – 10,000
George Kambouroglou – 7,000

9.40pm: Gogia scoops a monster

We caught the action on the turn with the board reading 9-6-3-2 (two hearts) and roughly 10,000 in the pot. Action was three-handed was the turn being checked to the button who put out a bet of 5,000. Paul Gogia called, as did the next player.

The river was the Jh and Gogia checked, as did the player next to act before the button put out a bet of 10,000. This time, Gogia announced “all in” and slid his chips into the middle. The next to act folded and the button asked for a count. The dealer announced ‘19,800 – that’s 9,800 more to call.’

The button thought for a moment before reluctantly throwing the chips in. Gogia turned over 10h-7h for the flush as his opponent threw his cards into the muck in frustration. Gogia scooped the 50k pot and now sits on 57,500.

9.30pm: ‘djk123’ in the house

We’ve just noticed Dan ‘djk123’ Kelly take his seat in the Sports Theatre at the same table as Daniel Neilson. Kelly is renowned as one of the top tournament exponents in the world, having taken down the $25,000 6-handed event at the 2010 WSOP for a touch of $1.3 million … not to mention his countless online feats. We’ll keep a close eye on his progress.

9.10pm: Seal soaring

Emmanual Seal has been chipping up steadily despite sitting at a table that boasts young guns Michael Kanaan and Liam O’Rourke. In a recent hand, an UTG player opened to 800 with Liam O’Rourke 3-betting to 1,900 on his immediate left.

Seal then 4-bet to 6,600 forcing folds from both players. Seal is up to 35,000.

8.45pm: You checked back what?

With the board reading 2c-2d-9c-8c and approximately 4,200 in the pot, a bet of 2,100 was fired on the turn by Lonay Matloob. Daniel Neilson thought briefly before calling. The dealer burned and turned a 7c on the river.

Neilson checked once more and after thinking for roughly 15 seconds Matloob checked back and revealed Ac-Qc for the nut flush. Neilson quickly turned over his Jc-10c for a straight flush! The table then erupted in awe of as Matloob flashed a huge grin.

8.35pm: Cards are in the air

Players have returned from their break with blinds at 150/300.

8.30pm: Levy breaking

Grant Levy has enjoyed some tremendous success at The Star, having become the first man to win $1 million on Australian soil when he took out the inaugural APPT Sydney grand final back in 2007, but he was just telling us that he hasn’t had such great luck at ANZPT events here.

Levy is yet to make a Day 2 at ANZPT Sydney in four attempts and is struggling again with just 7,000 of his 20,000 starting stack remaining. In a recent hand, Levy opened in the cut-off with As-3s and fired two bullets on the Ks-Qs-8h-5d board before checking back when the river blanked. His opponent turned over K-3 to take down the pot.

8.10pm: Second level down

Players are on their first 20-minute break of the day.

7.50pm: A Fine Day to Dien

Dien Duy Nguyen enjoyed a great start to his week when he finished second in the opening event for $37,670 and he has started well in the main event too. In a recent pot, a middle position player opened to 525 and received a call from Nguyen in the big blind.

The flop came 8-8-3 and when his opponent bet 1,100, Nguyen check-raised to 2,500. His opponent called.

The turn brought an Ace and Nguyen led out for 3,500. His opponent tank called.

Both players checked the 7 river but when Nguyen showed A-10 his opponent shook his head and mucked. Nguyen is up to 30,000.

7.30pm: Tran has a plan

Michael ‘Pokerlife’ Tran has been living dangerously early on, chipping down to around 5,000 before narrowly avoiding the ignominy of being first player eliminated.

Tran put the last of his chips into the middle holding 9h-5h on a 9c-6h-2h board against an opponent’s Qh-8h but dodged the bullets as the running 9-2 gave him a full house.

He still sits with half of his starting stack with just 10,000.

7.15pm: Blinds are up

We’ve reached the end of our first level of the evening’s play and we’re yet to lose a player. Blinds are now at 100/200.

7.10pm: Jack-Jack-Jackie

The field has crept up to 205 over the last 30 minutes and one of the late arrivals is none other than Jackie Glazier. Glazier has enjoyed a huge few months having been signed on as one of the elite pros for Ivey Poker and it’s also been a winning week after she took down the Pot Limit Omaha event here a few days ago.

That result is particularly impressive given that Glazier is a Hold’em specialist and was joking with us last weekend that she was really only playing the PLO event for something to do while waiting for husband Jamie to arrive from Melbourne.

We’ve also noticed the inaugural APPT Sydney champion Grant Levy saunter up to his seat.

6.50pm: Big names gather

Plenty of big names have taken their seats in today’s opening flight including WSOP bracelet winners Jeff Lisandro and Mel Judah, 2011 ANZPT Sydney champion Michael Kanaan and Errolyn Strang who not only won the Sydney Championships here two years ago but also the PokerMedia Australia $1k Special earlier this week for a touch over $27,000.

We’ve also spotted Daniel Neilson, John Caridad, Kale Burns, Michael Guzzardi, Kristian Lunardi, Eric Assadourian, Jai Kemp and reigning Sydney Championships winner Dean Yuen.

6.30pm: Huge field looming

The early signs are that we could be in for a field of over 400 for this year’s ANZPT Sydney with 201 players already registered for tonight’s opening flight.

In fact, some here have even mentioned the magic 500 number although it’s hard to see that happening. Still, 400 would be a great result and ensure a hefty pay day for whoever finishes up on top.

In the meantime, players are still feeling their way during the first level of the tournament with 20,000 starting stacks and blinds at 50/100. At this stage the talk is that we will play eight one-hour levels tonight which should see us finish sometime around the 3am mark!

ANZPT Sydney celebrates fifth birthday

Welcome to PokerMedia Australia and our coverage of one of the most popular events on the local circuit – ANZPT Sydney!

2013 represents the fifth season of the ANZPT, which began back in 2009 when a huge field of 493 players took their seat in this very event (a number that remains an ANZPT record to this day).

The winner of that maiden ANZPT Sydney main event was Paren Arzoomanian who collected a whopping $246,500 for his efforts after outlasting a stacked final table that also included the likes of Billy ‘The Croc’ Argyros, John Caridad, Joel Dodds and David Zhao.

Since then Angelo Hanataj, Michael Kanaan and Gordon Huntly have added their names to the honour roll.

This year sees ANZPT Sydney return to its original home on the main gaming floor and it looks like a sizeable field has followed it down for tonight’s opening flight here at The Star. Stay tuned to PMA as we bring you all the live action from ANZPT Sydney 2013!

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