Dinesh Alt wins ANZPT Sydney!
A long and at times exhausting day’s play has ended in triumph for Dinesh Alt after surviving a marathon final table to be crowned 2013 ANZPT Sydney champion.
Alt outlasted a mammoth field of 460 players over the course of three gruelling days to claim his first ANZPT title and the handsome $226,320 first prize.
But he didn’t have it all his own way given the roller-coaster nature of the final table.
With repeated all-in confrontations going the way of the short stack, chips flew back and forth across the table with Alt, Dejan Divkovic and Dominik Nitsche all enjoying time as dominant chip leader at various stages before Alt rode a late surge to steal the title.
Ironically, it looked like we might actually be in for a quick night earlier in the evening when the 22 survivors from Day 2 were whittled down to our final nine in just a touch over three hours.
But after Rick Solomon departed soon after the breaks were applied with more than two hours passing before Dan Kelly followed and another hour before Gary Benson went in seventh.
Still, we saw some impressive poker along the way with Divkovic and Alt in-particular engaging in some fierce battles and later Divkovic and Nitsche once Alt had become short-stacked as play went three-handed.
Alt looked certain to exit in third when he twice shoved over the top and was twice called by better hands, but on both occasions he secured vital doubles before flopping a set of 6s in a huge hand against Nitsche that saw Nitsche eliminated and Alt go into heads-up play as a clear chip leader.
In the hand that decided the winner, Alt put Divkovic all-in holding 9-8 on a J-10-6-6-7 board with the latter eventually calling and mucking having previously announced that he held a 6. He was eliminated moments later.
Still, Divkovic’s effort was quite remarkable given that he won ANZPT Perth just a month ago and went within a whisker of being not only the first person to ever go back to back but the first to claim two ANZPT titles.
Congratulations to Dinesh Alt – our 2013 ANZPT Sydney main event champion!
1st: Dinesh Alt – $226,320
2nd: Dejan Divkovic – $144,440
3rd: Dominik Nitsche – $80,040
4th: David Campion – $62,560
5th: Michael Faderson – $48,300
6th: Donald Young – $39,100
7th: Gary Benson – $29,900
8th: Dan Kelly – $23,460
9th: Rick Solomon – $17,480
2.35am: Dejan Divkovic eliminated in 2nd ($144,440)
Dejan Divkovic has fallen just short of becoming the first man to win two ANZPT titles. And it took a cooler to stop him. In the hand that ultimately decided the tournament, Divkovic and Dinesh Alt took a J-10-6 flop which was checked through. A repeat 6 on the turn saw Alt check-call a 150,000 bet from Divkovic.
The river was a 7 and this time Alt led for 500,000. Divkovic wasted no time in bumping it ip to 1,000,000 but after a brief moment in the tank Alt announced he was all-in.
Divkovic let out a sigh and tanked for a good three minutes as he muttered that he had a 6 but should have just called. In the end he made the call and saw what he feared – Alt held 7-8 for the straight. Left with just a few chips, Divkovic was eliminated moments later when his Q-8 couldn’t run down Alt’s K-10.
2.10am: Divkovic back in front
Dejan Divkovic has just scored a monster double to take the chip lead back from Dinesh Alt. With blinds at 50,000/100,000 with a 10,000 ante, Alt opened the button to 250,000 and was 3-bet to 550,000 by Divkovic. He made the call.
The flop came A-9-10 and Divkovic bet 285,000. Alt called.
On the 9 turn, Divkovic checked and Alt announced he was all-in. Divkovic snap-called and showed Aces for flopped top set and a turned boat while Alt was drawing dead with his 3s.
Divkovic is now looking good with 5,500,000 to Alt’s 3,500,000.
1.25am: We’re heads-up!
Heads up play has just begun.
Dejan Divkovic – 2,200,000
Dinesh Alt – 6,800,000
1.25am: Dominik Nitsche eliminated in 3rd ($80,040)
We’ve just seen a huge hand play out between Dinesh Alt and Dominik Nitsche that has resulted in Nitsche being eliminated from the tournament.
With the flop reading A-K-6, Alt led for 350,000 and was called by Nitsche. The turn was a 3 and this time Alt bet 550,000. Again he was called.
When the Ace repeated on the river, Alt thought long and hard before announcing that he was all-in. Nitsche said ‘I’m never folding this’ and called with A-9 but couldn’t beat the 6-6 of Alt. He heads to the cage to collect his well-earned $80,000.
1.00am: Alt climbing
Dinesh Alt looked to be headed out the door just a few minutes ago but two double-ups have him back in contention with over 2,000,000 to his name.
There has certainly been a slice of luck to his comeback however. In the first hand he shoved over Dominik Nitsche’s button raise holding 8-6 and was called by A-10 but managed to strike gold on the 8-2-Q-J-5 board.
Two hands later he was all-in again with K-8 against Dejan Divkovic’s 5s and again got there as the board spread A-K-Q-6-4.
Dominik Nitsche – 3,800,000
Dejan Divkovic – 2,800,000
Dinesh Alt – 2,600,000
12.45am: David Campion eliminated in 4th ($62,560)
David Campion did his best to hang in there and managed to survive where others gradually crashed out, but his luck eventually turned when he shoved his short stack in holding A-6 and ran into the A-10 of Dominik Nitsche.
The board ran out7-9-Q-10-K and Campion hits the rail in fourth.
12.30am: Brutal. Just brutal.
A remarkable hand has just taken place between Dominik Nitsche and Dejan Divkovic that could well have decided our eventual champion. In-fact, had Nitsche prevailed and eliminated Divkovic in the process he would had his two remaining rivals completely crushed.
But the poker Gods have always boasted a mean streak and if Nitsche falls short of the title he will have nightmares about this hand for years to come.
It began when Nitsche opened to 160,000 and was 3-bet, again, by Divkovic to 400,000. Nitsche responded with a raise to 660,000 with the Bosnian raising yet again to 1,000,000.
After a brief pause Nitsche shoved and Divkovic called but let out an audible ‘Oh no’ when he saw his J-J crushed by Nitsche’s Qs.
The flop was a cruel one for Nitsche as it came J-10-9 although it did give him outs to a straight which he duly hit when an 8 landed on the river. Again though his joy was short-lived as the repeat 10 landed on the river to drop him back to 2,000,000 while Divkovic jumps back to the chip lead with 5,300,000.
12.15am: Blinds are up
Blinds are up to 40,000/80,000 with a 10,000 ante.
12.05am: Michael Faderson eliminated in 5th ($48,300)
Michael Faderson had been anxiously awaiting the elimination of David Campion in anticipation of the next pay-jump but when the two short-stacks clashed just now it wa Campion that put an end to Faderson’s deep run.
Faderson shipped his remaining 500,000 holding A-10 and was called by Campion with A-K.
The board ran out 4-2-Q-J-8 and Campion has now secured fourth place money. He is up to 1,100,000.
11.50pm: No need for Alt to bolt
Dejan Divokovic and Dinesh Alt are seated directly next to one another and have clashed on a number of occasions since this final table began some six hours ago. However it took a stunning piece of good fortune for Alt to keep his dreams alive this time around.
Divkovic opened UTG to 100,000 and after some thought Alt moved all-in. Divkovic called. Alt turned over A-8 and needed some help against the 10-10 of Divkovic.
The flop was all paint, K-Q-J, taking away Alt’s Ace outs and leaving him drawing to one of the two remaining 10s to stay alive. The turn 9 changed nothing but just as Alt was leaving his seat the dealer delivered the miracle 10 he needed.
Once again, the short stack has prevailed in an all-in confrontation with Alt back over a million with 1,400,000.
11.00pm: Break time
Players are now on a 10-minute break. When they return blinds will be 30,000/60,000 with a 10,000 ante.
10.30pm: Back and forth
It’s taken us more than four hours to lose our first four players at this final table but it’s not for lack of trying. In-fact, the table has been extremely aggressive.
At various stages we’ve seen Dejan Divkovic, Dinesh Alt and Dominik Nitsche all hold dominant chip leads but capitalising on a big stack has proved difficult thus far with the vast majority of all-in confrontations being won by the short stacks.
The current stacks as they stand are:
Dejan Divkovic – 3,200,000
Dinesh Alt – 2,400,000
Dominik Nitsche – 1,500,000
David Campion – 1,300,000
Michael Faderson – 1,000,000
10.25pm: Donald Jones eliminated in 6th ($39,100)
Having copped a brutal beat at the hands of Dejan Divkovic not long ago, Donald Jones committed the last of his chips holding A-2 and was called down by Dominik Nitsche with 7-7. The flop briefly gave him a glimmer of hope when he spotted an Ace in the window but when a 7 appeared next it was all over for Jones on the A-7-J-3-J board.
We are now down to five.
10.20pm: Gary Benson eliminated in 7th ($29,900)
Gary Benson has been successfully grinding a short stack for much of the final table after losing a stack of chips early but his run has finally come to an end at the hands of David Campion.
Once again it was the uber-aggressive Dejan Divkovic opening to 100,000 with Benson and Campion both coming along for the ride.
The flop came 10-4-Q, Campion checked and Benson moved all-in for 360,000. Divkovic folded but Campion snap-called.
Benson showed J-10 for middle pair but he would need help against Campion’s A-Q.
The turn Ace left Benson drawing to a gut-shot but it wasn’t to be as the river fell a repeat Q, giving Campion a full house. With that hand Campion moves up to over 900,000 and we are one step closer to crowning our ANZPT Sydney champion
10.10pm: Divkovic fighting back
Donald Jones and Dejan Divkovic have collided in a big hand with Divkovic hitting a miracle river to put the hurt on his rival.
Divkovic opened to 80,000 in early position and was called from the small blind by Jones.
They saw a flop of J-5-6 and Jones checked to Divkovic who fired 75,000. Jones responded by raising all-in for just under 600,000. Divkovic eventually made the call and was disgusted to see Jones’ Q-J ahead of his A-6, the turn came a 7 abutnd as Divkovic rose from his seat and said ‘good game’ a repeat 6 fell on the river and the table erupted.
Jones couldn’t believe it and walked away from the table as he looked to compose himself.
9.20pm: Dan Kelly eliminated in 8th ($23,460)
There are two extreme short stacks at the table in David Campion and Gary Benson but it is Dan Kelly that has become our latest victim after losing a race against Dominik Nitsche.
In a cut-off v button battle, the chips made their way into the middle with Kelly holding 7s and Nitsche fractionally behind with A-Q.
Kelly looked set for a big double when the board came 2-9-6-10 but when a Q spiked on the river he was sent to the rail in seventh instead.
Nitsche has moved up to 4,200,000 in chips.
9.05pm: New Level
Blinds have gone up again to 20,000/40,000 with a 5,000 ante and we’re certain that another bust-out is just around the corner. Maybe.
9.00pm: Alt wins monster, storms into lead
A huge hand just played out as the clock ticked into the break that saw all six players not involved sticking around to watch. And it has changed the shape of the final table.
The hand began with Dejan Divkovic opening to 60,000, Dinesh Alt 3-betting small to 125,000 and Divkovic 4-betting to 230,000.
Alt called and they saw a flop of 9-10-2. Both players checked and the turn was the repeat 9.
Divkovic led for 120,000 this time and Alt called.
When the river landed a 3, Divkovic led for 400,000. Alt took his time before announcing ‘all-in’ and Divkovic snap-called – opening J-9 as the crowd gasped. But Alt showed pocket 10s for the turned boat, sending the rain into raptures as he hauled in the monster 3,200,000 pot.
Divkovic is down to 1,300,000 after that hand.
8.20pm: Divkovic bleeding chips
Dejan Divkovic has taken another huge hit to his stack courtesy of Dominik Nitsche. In a massive pre-flop clash, Nitsche opened to 60,000 and was met with a 3-bet from Divkovic to 125,000. Nitsche came back over the top to 225,000 but Divkovic was having none of it and raised again to 375,000.
Nitsche immediately announced he was all-in for another 500,000 on top, sending Divkovich deep into the tank. After a good two minutes he grabbed a stack of blue 25,000 chips and planted them on the table in front.
Nitsche rolled over A-K and found that he was in great shape against the A-10 of Divkovic.
The board ran out 2-K-10-2-3 and Nitsche is now up to 1,800,000 while Divkovic is down to 1,200,000.
8.10pm: Dinesh doubles
Dinesh Alt has just scored a huge double-up thanks to Dejan Divkovic to soar over the million chip mark. Divkovic, who continues to use his big stack as a weapon, opened to 60,000 and was met with a 3-bet from Alt to 150,000.
Divkovic then announced ‘all-in’ with Alt snap-calling.
It was Divkovic needing help with A-Q to better Alt’s K-K but a K on the flop ensured Alt stays in contention as the board ran out K-Q-8-10-4.
Alt is now up to 1,250,000 while Divkovic drops back to 2,100,000.
7.50pm: Blind rise
We’ve still lost only one player from our final table but the end of Level 23 has signalled a significant blinds jump up to 15,000/30,000 with a 5,000 ante – and the increased are only getting bigger from here.
7.10pm: Faderson fading
We caught the action with the flop reading Qh-2h-4d and a 70,000 bet from Michael Faderson. David Campion made the call and they saw the Kc arrive on the river. Faderson check-called a 100,000 bet from David Campion and another 100,000 bet on the 8s river.
Faderson turned over A-Q for second pair but couldn’t beat the Ah-Kh of Campion.
Faderson is down to just 250,000 while Campion has climbed all the way up to 1,800,000 since the final table started.
7.05pm: Rick Solomon eliminated in 9th ($17,480)
Rick Solomon had waited patiently all day to find the right time to commit his short stack and thought he had found it when he woke up with Ks. Unfortunately David Campion held A-A and when the board ran out 5-9-7-10-8 it was all over for Solomon. He is the first of our final table to hit the rail.
7.00pm: Level 23
With play back underway, the blinds are now up to 12,000/24,000 with a 4,000 ante.
And with that, players are on a 30-minute break. We’ll be back at around 6.50pm AEST to bring you all the final table action as we count down to our 2013 ANZPT Sydney champion.
6.15pm: Divkovic and Benson clash
Dejan Divkovic and Gary Benson have just clashed big time in monster pot that has seen Divkovic take complete control of this final table.
The action kicked off after the flop came Q-J-5, all diamonds, with Benson check-raising Divkovic’s 40,000 flop bet to 125,000. Divkovic responded with a 3-bet to 207,000 and Benson called.
The turn brought a repeat Q and this time Benson check-called a bet of 219,000.
When the river completed the board with a J, Benson led for 250,000 but after a pause of about 10 seconds Divkovic announced all-in.
Benson tank-folded as Divkovic proudly showed his Kd-10s for a monster draw that had missed.
The crowd let out a huge roar upon seeing his hand with the ANZPT Perth champion pushing his stack up to a mammoth 3,700,000.
Benson is now down to 400,000.
5.50pm: 2013 ANZPT Sydney Final Table
After a touch under four hours of play today, the 22 remaining players have been whittled down to our final table of nine. Overnight chip leader Dejan Divkovic continues to lead the way with a monster stack of 2,997,000 – almost three times as many as Gary Benson who is the only other player with more than 1 million.
As play gets underway once more, the final table seating plan and starting chip counts are as follows:
Seat 1: Dan Kelly – 996,000
Seat 2: Dominik Nitsche – 351,000
Seat 3: Dejan Divkovic – 2,997,000
Seat 4: Dinesh Alt – 736,000
Seat 5: Michael Faderson – 748,000
Seat 6: David Campion – 844,000
Seat 7: Gary Benson – 1,131,000
Seat 8: Rick Solomon – 261,000
Seat 9: Donald Young – 953,000
5.45pm: Ben Gilholme is our final table bubble boy
Chip leader Dejan Divkovic has been quite active today, opening many pots without much resistance. Opening his fourth hand in a row, Divkovic once again made it 40,000 to go but time he was met with a 3-bet shove for just over 400,000 from ben Gilholme. Action folded back to Divkovic who snap-called with A-A! Gilholme laughed and turned up Qd-Jd.
The flop came J-4-6 giving Gilholme some hope, but it wasn’t to be as the turn and river fell 7-8 to end Gilholme’s impressive run in 10th.
With Gilholme’s elimination, our final table is set!
5.35pm: Yogo has to go go
Ioro Yogo has ranked amongst the chip leaders for much of the past two days but he has fallen just short of making it back to back ANZPT final tables following his runner-up finish in Perth after being sent packing by Dejan Divkovoc.
The great irony is that it was Divkovic that prevented Yogo from lifting the trophy in Perth and the young Serbian has continued his dominance of their dual here in Sydney.
Divkovoc opened UTG to 40,000 and when it was folded around to Yogo in the blinds he announced ‘all-in’ for around 500,000.
Divkovic wasted no time in calling and was thrilled to see his A-Q up against the K-Q of Yogo. The board ran out 5-A-7-J-7 and we’re down 10 players as Divkovic climbs back up to 2,000,000.
Play is now hand for hand with the next elimination giving us our final table.
5.10pm: Blinds are up
Blinds are up to 10,000/20,000 with a 3,000 ante
5.05pm: Benson takes a bite out of Divkovic
We caught the action on the flop with approximately 150,000 in the middle and Gary Benson all-in. The flop was J-6-7 rainbow and Dejan Divkovic was studying Benson while contemplating his decision.
After several minutes Divkovic announced ‘call’, Benson tabled K-K and Divkovic looked disappointed, tabling 4-4. The turn and river fell Ace and a repeat 6, giving the monster pot to Benson who now sits with around 1,300,000 in chips, while Divkovic drops to 1,400,000.
4.55pm: Khouiss KO’d
Sam Khouiss shipped his remaining 203,000 from UTG and action folded to Dan Kelly in the big blind who thought briefly before making the call.
Khouiss tabled K-Q to be racing with Kelly’s 8s. The window card was a K, but as the dealer fanned the remainder of the flop an 8 was revealed, giving Kelly a set. The turn and river fell 4 and 2 respectively, ending Khouiss’ tournament life.
Dan Kelly now sits on a comfortable 920,000 in chips and is looking ominous as we move closer to the final table. We are down to 11 players.
4.35pm: Wilcox busto
Paul Wilcox has been eliminated. leaving us with just 12 players remaining.
Dejan Dikovic opened in early position to 35,000 with action folding to Wilcox in the small blind who moved his remaining 170,000 into the middle. Ben Gilholme then moved all-in over the top and Divkovic got out of the way.
The cards were tabled and it was Wilcox holding 6-6 against the Ac-Kc of Gilholme.
The flop fell Qc-2d-9c leaving Wilcox ahead but needing to dodge the world to stay alive. Unfortunately the turn was the Ah and when the river landed a J, Wilcox was eliminated. He rose from his seat, shook hands and wished everyone good luck before heading to the cage.
4.30pm: Yousseff gone
Aziz Yousseff had just doubled against Donald Jones when he flopped an Ace holding A-10 against 10s, but his luck ran out when they clashed again a few hands later.
It was another all-in pre-flop confrontation with Yousseff’s A-Q needing to hit against Jones’ Js. Instead the board ran out 7-10-4-3-8 and Yousseff’s deep run comes to an end. He takes home $9,200 for his efforts. We have also lost Amanda de Cesare from the tournament.
4.20pm: Divkovic cracks 2 million!
Paul Wilcox and current chip leader Dejan Divkovic have just collided in a big hand with the overall chip leader continuing his upwards surge.
Divkovic opened for a raise in early position and was called by Wilcox in the small blind. Together they saw a flop of As-Kh-4s which saw Divkovic check-raise Wilcox’s 25,000 bet to 58,000. After some thought Wilcox called to see the 3s fall on the turn.
This time Wilcox led out for 75,000 and Divkovic called. The river came the 10c and Wilcox checked to Divkovic who cut out a stack of blue (25,000) chips plus change for 184,000. Wilcox reluctantly called showing a rivered two-pair with A-10 but was well beaten by the flush (Q-7ss) of Divkovic.
Wilcox has dropped to 280,000 while Divkovic has moved past the 2,000,000 mark.
The chip stacks at the first break are as follows:
Dejan Divkovic – 1,980,000
Michael Faderson – 1,140,000
Donald Jones – 900,000
Gary Benson – 850,000
Dinesh Alt – 700,000
Iori Yogo – 655,000
Sam Khouiss – 460,000
Dan Kelly – 455,000
Ben Gilholme – 380,000
Dominik Nitsche – 350,000
Paul Wilcox – 280,000
Aziz Yousseff – 170,000
David Campion – 160,000
Rick Solomon – 150,000
4.00pm: Break time
Players are about to head off on their first 10-minute break of the day. When the 15 remaining players return, blinds will be up to 8,000/16,000 with a 2,000 ante.
3.45pm: Benson making a move
Gary Benson is looking to add an ANZPT title to the WSOP Stud bracelet he won back in 1986 and he is off to a great start here today.
We just witnessed a hand he played against Dinesh Alt in which he called Alt’s early position open from the blinds as the pair saw a 5-3-9 flop. Benson check-called Alt’s 45,000 continuation-bet before both players checked the 5 turn. When the river came a 10, Benson led out for 112,000. Alt tank-called but mucked when Benson showed Q-Q.
The Australian Poker Hall of Famer is up to 950,000 while Alt drops to 780,000.
3.25pm: Another two bite the dust
The eliminations have been coming thick and fast over the last 30 minutes with Luke Brabin and Fady Alam both exiting within a few hands of one another. While Alam was living on borrowed time give his extreme short stack – he was sent packing by Dan Kelly – Brabin was the victim of a cooler as he got it in with Qs against the As-Kc of Michael Faderson.
And while no Ace of K arrived, 6c-10s-4c-5c-Jc board gave Faderson a flush and saw him add almost 400,000 to his stack.
Faderson is the latest to cross the magic million with around 1,200,000 in front.
3.15pm: Tymoshenko sent packing
Crippled from an earlier hand, Dymitriy Tymoshenko moved his remaining 80,000 into the middle holding 9-9. David Campion called from the big blind after some deliberation holding A-10 – a classic race.
The flop fell K-6-8 to keep Tymoshenko in the lead but the turned 10 shattered Tymoshhenko’s ANZPT hopes. The river was no help, sending Tymoshenko to the rail for a well-earned $7,820.
3.05pm: Awerbuch won’t be back
Chad Awerbuch has just been eliminated from the tournament after shoving his last 100,000 with 8-10 and being called by Dinesh Alt with K-Q.
The board ran out 8-K-4-9-5 and Awerbuch is out 19th-place finisher. The tournament staff are currently in the process of breaking down a table.
3.00pm: Blinds are up
Blinds are up to 6,000/12,000 with a 1,000 ante.
2.55pm: Benson building
Veteran Gary Benson is seated on Table 1 and with 19 players remaining is starting to build his stack at the perfect time in the tournament.
Benson currently sits on a touch over 500,000 in chips following a hand against David Campion. Benson was on the button and called a raise from the cut-off to 24,000 before David Campion 3-betsto 75,000 from the small blind. After some thought, Benson made the call.
The flop came down A-5-8 and Campion led for 39,000. Benson called to see an Ace land on the turn. This time Campion check-called Benson’s bet of 70,000.
The river was a 10 and once again Campion checked. Benson slid out a large stack of chips totalling 135,000. Campion thought for 30 seconds before angrily tossing his cards into the muck.
2.45pm: Teng toasted
Victor Teng is our latest casualty after shoving over the top of Aziz Yousseff’s limp for 179,000 (with blinds at 5,000/10,000 with a 1,000 ante) with A-2 and being called by Dejan Divkovic holding A-K.
The flop was a great one for Teng as it landed 2-9-4, but as quickly as fate had given him a lift it brought him crashing back to Earth as the dealer burned and turned a K. Teng jumped from his seat in frustration and when a J arrived on the river it was game over for the 2012 NPL500 champion.
We are now down to 19 players and will break down to two tables once one more player busts.
2.35pm: Solomon survives
Rick Solomon has survived his first all-in race of the day after shoving for his last 83,000 holding 5-5 and being called by Donald Jones with A-Q. The board ran out K-4-6-6-10 and Solomon chips up to 175,000.
2.10pm: Immediate elimination
It took just one hand for Khac Tran to become our first casualty of the day. Cruelly, Tran held Aces and no doubt felt he was in line for a double-up, but his plans fell to pieces when he shoved the turn on a 6-3-2-4 board and was snap-called by Aziz Yousseff who held 5-7 for the nut straight.
Tran was filthy at his early exit while Yousseff has rocketed up the leaderboard with 650,000 to his name.
2.00pm: Final Day underway
Another stunning Sydney day promises to shine particularly brightly for one of the 22 players taking their seats for the third and final day of ANZPT Sydney 2013 as we prepare to crown our latest ANZPT champion.
Having seen the impressive 460-man field be slashed over the past few days, this afternoon sees the culmination of a hectic week here at The Star with one player set to walk away with the trophy and a hefty $226,320 first prize.
Among those still in contention for the title are US prodigy Dan djk123 Kelly, Aussie poker icon Gary Benson, rising star Victor Teng, Star Summer Series final tablist Chad Awerbuch and online gun Michael Faderson.
However they are all chasing Dejan Divkovic whose monster stack of 1,434,000 is more than double that of his nearest rival.
If Divkovic, who won ANZPT Perth only a month ago, can go all the way he will create history as not only the first player to win back-to-back titles but the first ever to win two ANZPT events.
Stay tuned to PokerMedia Australia as we bring you all the action live from The Star.
Start of Day 3 chip counts:
Dejan Divkovic (Bosnia Herzegovina) 1,434,000
Donald Jones 689,000
Dominik Nitsche (Germany) 555,000
Iori Yogo 551,000
Dinesh Alt (Switzerland) 550,000
Dmitriy Tymoshenko 529,000
Michael Fadersen 500,000
Paul Wilcox 462,000
Ben Gilholme 448,000
Sam Khouiss 432,000
Aziz Youssef 348,000
David Campion 343,000
Daniel Kelly (USA) 308,000
Amanda De Cesare 299,000
Khac Tran 294,000
Gary Benson 254,000
Victor Teng 252,000
Luke Brabin 235,000
Chad Awerbuch 193,000
Rick Solomon 136,000
Benjamin Benoit (New Caledonia) 98,000
Fady Alam 94,000