9.25pm: Game over
And that’s all she wrote for tonight, with the bubble bursting on the very last hand of the night! After starting with 212 players earlier today, just 54 remain in the hunt to be crowned 2015 ANZPT Sydney champion with all now safely in the money. They will return to The Star at 12.30 tomorrow to play down to the final nine.
Min Jae Park is the chip leader with around 421,500 in chips while a number of notables still remain including Didier Guerin, Tom Raffery, Michael Kanaan, Octavian Voegele, Tim English and Jackson Zheng.
Chip counts ahead of Day 3 are as follows. For seating draw see the Day 3 live reporting page.
9.10pm: Ruse survives
A crowd gathered around the table of Michael Kanaan (pictured) as he found himself involved in a huge pot on the bubble against Brendan Ruse. It was Ruse all-in and in danger of being the bubble boy holding 10s in a race against Kanaan’s AQ.
He lives another day though and now sits with a healthy 250,000 after the board blanked – almost exactly what Kanaan is left with.
9.00pm: The money bubble
We’ve just lost a player which means we are officially on the money bubble. Play will be hand for hand until it bursts.
8.55pm: Decisions, decisions
With 30 minutes remaining on the clock, the tournament staff has announced that when the clock reaches 15 minutes to go all tables will play three more hands for the night.
Given we are also desperately close to the money, this presents a dilemma to the desperately short stacks including one gentleman with just 20,000 remaining – five big blinds. First, does he try and hold on until the bubble bursts and, if it doesn’t, is he willing to make the trip back into The Star tomorrow for what could be a two minute stint at the tables?
Good times indeed!
8.45pm: Riding the wave
One of the great things about tournament poker – or the worst depending on which way the luck goes – is that your prospects can change dramatically in the blink of an eye. A player can spend days building up a healthy stack only to come crashing down when they suffer a shockingly bad beat. Likewise, someone grinding a short stack can suddenly rocket up the leaderboard on the back of one huge hand.
So it was for Manu Austin when he found himself in a 3-way all-in holding QQ against KK and JJ. Needing help to stay alive, it was a Q that appeared in the window to see him just about triple to 260,000.
The player with JJ was sent to the rail agonizingly close to the money while the unfortunate soul with KK was left crippled and is desperately trying to hold on just a bit longer. With 56 players remaining we are just two places away now!
8.30pm: Elder statesmen
Quietly going about their business today have been two veterans of the Australian poker scene in Emmanuel “Curly” Seal and “Toothpick” Tony Kambouroglou (pictured). They are now seated together on Table 16 and also happen to sit with near identical stacks of 160,000!
8.25pm: Final level!
We’ve just moved into the final level of the day with blinds at 2,000/4,000 and a 500 ante. There are 60 players remaining and it will be interesting to see if the money bubble bursts tonight with 54 players set to be paid.
8.15pm: The fallen
The field has been gradually thinning with 61 players remaining as we edge towards the end of Level 14. Among the recent eliminations have been Bryan Huang, Jazz Mathers and WSOP bracelet winner Ronnie Bardah. Bardah holds the record for most consecutive cashes in the WSOP main event with five in a row since 2010 and will be aiming to make it six in a few months’ time.
7.55pm: Peco picks it up
One of the nice guys of Aussie poker, Peco Stojanovski (pictured), has already enjoyed a successful week here at The Star, topping a field of 893 players to win the opening event and its $60,100 top prize. Earlier today we wandered by his table to find his chances of another deep run in the Main Event hanging by a thread with just 20,000 remaining and the man himself admitting it wasn’t going to be his day.
How quickly things change! Stojanovski now sits behind a very healthy 250,000 stack – largely thanks to one key double. That hand saw him 3-bet an opponent holding QQ and snap-call when they announced a huge over-shove for 70,000 with AJ.
Ironically, he has thrived since moving to one of the toughest tables in the room where he is seated alongside Didier Guerin and Jackson Zheng.
7.25pm: Play underway
The players have returned for the final two levels of the day with blinds at 1,500/3,000 and a 500 ante. There are 69 players remaining meaning we are just 15 places shy of the money.
7.15pm: Break it up
That’s it for Level 13 with players going on their final 10 minute break of the evening!
7.15pm: Omaha time
Poker tournaments typically ebb and flow. At times the eliminations come thick and fast as cries of “All-in … call” echo from dealers around the room, while at others the pace slows right down to a crawl.
We seem to have just entered one of those quiet periods. After flying through the first 100 players or so today, the approaching bubble is starting to take effect with some of the vulnerable stacks taking a little more caution.
Fortunately a 100/200 Omaha cash game has just started up at the table nearest to our reporting desk which certainly isn’t lacking in action, with Jared Graham, Jeff Lisandro and Andy Lee among those occupying a seat. One of the very first hands we witnessed saw Lee take down a 60,000 pot with Lisandro tank-folding the river.
6.45pm: Huang jury
Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang (pictured) has endured a roller-coaster of emotions since returning from the dinner break. Nursing a short-stack for much of the day, he finally scored a much-needed double when he picked up AA and found a willing opponent with AK.
That started a brief upward climb but he lost a chunk of his stack again after getting it in with AK against another opponent’s QQ. Huang flopped a K but the river Q saw him back down to 49,000.
6.30pm: Jazz hands
Jazz Mathers (pictured) had his tournament life on the line when he got it all-in pre-flop holding KK against the QQ of Uzziah Thomas. Hoping to reach consecutive ANZPT Sydney final tables, Mathers nervously suggested he didn’t feel good about what was to come but he needn’t have worried as the board ran out KT489.
He is back to around 100,000.
6.25pm: Chip Counts
Here are some of the latest chip counts, with 87 players remaining:
6.20pm: Chad chased to the rail
We caught the action on a flop of JJ5 when Chad Awerbuch (pictured) fired 6,600 at the pot. His opponent to his immediate right considered the move and re-raised to 13,200. Awerbuch’ fold.
Very next hand Awerbuch was again in the thick of the action in a huge hand against Octavian Voegele. Awerbuch had his remaining 80,000 in the middle with KK but in a cruel blow, Voegele’s AT snatched the pot away at the death as the board ran out JTQ2T.
6.15pm: Level up!
The clock has just ticked over into Level 13 with blinds at 1,200/2,400 with a 400 ante.
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5.15pm: Shuffle the decks
Play has recommenced after the break with level 12 where blinds are 1000/2000 with an ante of 300.
4.45pm: Dinner break!
We’ve reached the end of Level 11 which means the 103 remaining players are off on a 30-minute break. We’re going to join them so we’ll see you back here at 5.15pm!
4.40pm: Chip Counts
As the dinner break approaches, here are some of the latest chip counts, with 103 players remaining:
A healthy pot of over 50,000 sat in the middle when we caught the action on a board of 45K26. Brendan Ruse (pictured) made it 14k, Peter Nissirios thought about it for some time and eventually called with Chad Awerbuch folding. Ruse turned over 44 and Nissirios angrily threw down his pocket 10s when he realised he had lost the hand.
4.35pm: Pappas pockets Aces
Winner of the Poker Media Australia 6-handed event at last December’s Star Summer Series, Steve Pappas (pictured) woke up to Aces at just the right time as he found himself in a three-way all-in against KK and 99.
The board ran out J8Q87 as he safely moved up to 75,000.
4.30pm: Big names firing
Over on table 18, the two players of note are Michael Kanaan and Xuan Liu who happen to be seated right alongside one another in Seats 3 and 4. They are also the two big stacks with Kannan sitting on 150,000 and Liu 200,000.
Kanaan is no stranger to success here in Sydney, having won this very event back in 2011 and reaching two more APPT final tables. Liu is still searching for her breakthrough victory but has enjoyed a couple of huge scores including final table finishes at EPT San Remo in 2011 and the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in 2012.
4.15pm: Gift of the grind
We haven’t given them much love today but a number of notables have been clinging onto their short stacks the past few hours as they await that opportunity to double.
They include Bryan Huang, Luke Brabin, Peco Stojanovski, Iori Yogo, Jai Kemp and Sam Khouiss. Although it might be slow going for them at the moment, at least they’re still alive.
With around 30-minutes remaining to the halfway point of today’s play the field has been slashed from 212 to 116.
3.50pm: No luck for Hash
Tony Hachem’s chip stack had been heading south for most of the day today and the final straw came when Hachem, all-in for his remaining 8,000, tabled QQ against 67 of Jim Psaros. But it clearly wasn’t his day with the 345 flop giving Psaros the nuts and sending Hachem to the rail.
Psaros has 125,000.
3.45pm: Sayed sliding away
Sayed Jabbour came into today as the overall tournament chip leader but he’s had a horrible run since and is now battling for survival with just 20,000 remaining. One beneficiary of Jabbour’s misfortune has been Star Poker regular Ciaran Sharpe (pictured).
The two tangled recently with Jabbour opening in early position and Sharpe waking up with Aces and 3-betting. Jabbour called and they saw a QJ8 flop. Jabbour checked and Sharpe checked back.
The turn brought a K and Jabbour fired into Sharpe who called. A fortunate 10 on the river gave Sharpe Broadway as Jabbour check-called only to discover the bad news. Incredibly, the former chip leader had flopped a straight with his 9T!
Moments later, Jabbour got it in with pocket 10s against AK and 99. All was going well until the river where a 9 came to rub his face in it just a little more.
Sharpe is up to 160,000.
3.20pm: Chand chimes in
Shaneel Chand has just won a hefty pot to move to 150,000 in chips thanks to a classic Aces v Kings cooler. The action began with an early position player opening to 2,900 and Uzziah Thomas 3-betting to 4,900. A third player 4-bet in late position to 15,000 and Chand flat-called from the blinds.
Both the early position player and Thomas folded and they saw a 663 flop. Chand checked and his opponent bet 30,000. After thinking for around 20 seconds, Chand announced he was all-in which brought a sickened sigh from his opponent who feared the worst. His spider senses were spot on but folding his KK proved a bridge too far with the board running out safely for Chand to double.
3pm: Chip counts
Current chip counts of a number of players are as follows. There are a number of short stacks, including Tony Hachem (pictured above), who will need a couple of double ups shortly to keep in the race.
2:50pm: Rapid progress
With players having returned from their first break of the day, we’re gradually whittling down the field with 148 players remaining from the 212 we started the day with.
Blinds are now at 700/1,400 with a 200 ante.
2.30pm: Break time
Players are on their first break of the day, a short 10-minute break to start. After the next two levels there will be a 30-minute break. After yet another two levels there will be a final 10-minute break, with play ending after level 15.
2.10pm: Salt and Pepper
Carl ‘Salty’ Saltalamacchia has been busted. Our dark horse for the tournament came into Day 2 with almost 30k in chips but with the blinds creeping up, he had to make a move. In pre-flop action, he called his opponents all-in with A-K, up against pocket tens. A T came on the turn to seal the deal, sending Salty to the rail in preparation for his premature return to Melbourne.
2.05pm: Big stacks unite
A number of tables have broken already today and as those players have been moved we’ve seen some interesting new table mates come together.
One of those is table 23 where three of the big stacks now find themselves doing battle including chip leader Brendan Ruse (190,000), Chad Awerbuch (160,000) and Didier Guerin.
They’ve all been busy too with Guerin just hauling in another tidy pot to move to around 125,000. The hand began with Awerbuch opening 2,400 with Ruse making the call along with the two players to his immediate left. Guerin then re-raised to 12,000 with everyone folding except for Benjamin Pockett on the button who made the call.
The flop fell A92 and both players checked before a repeat 9 landed on the turn. Guerin bet 20,000 and Pockett folded. We’ll keep a close eye on how the table 23 action continues to unfold!
1:45pm: Eight levels today
It used to be that the major events here at the star were run over four days with two opening day flights, Day 2 and then the final table. This inevitably led to a huge Day 2 as they tried to whittle the field down as close as possible to the final nine. Given this usually failed, it also meant an epic final day with one memorable Star Summer Series final table finishing when the sun had well and truly risen the following morning.
This year, ANZPT Sydney features an extra day’s play which is good news for all!
We’ve just been informed that we will play to the end of Level 15 today which means a very manageable eight levels. Play will finish at around 9.20pm.
The field currently sits at 176 players remaining and is 10-handed but will switch to 9-handed once we’re down to 145.
The top 54 make the money.
1:25pm: Graham eliminated as Ruse lights the fuse
Brendan Ruse has rocketed into the overall tournament chip lead after a huge three-way clash that resulted in Jared Graham hitting the rail and Tony Sama suffering a significant hit to his stack.
The hand began with Sheldon Mayer opening to 3,000 and Sama 3-betting to 7,700. Graham then shoved for 21,200 with Ruse cold-calling. Mayer folded but Sama came along for the ride. The 42J flop was checked around to see a T land on the turn. Ruse then led for 17,500 and Sama called.
The river landed an A and Ruse check to Sama who bet 25,000. Ruse shrugged his shoulders and made the call, turning over JJ for the flopped nuts. Sama and Graham both showed AK as Ruse raked in the monster pot.
He now sits with around 180,000.
1:05pm: Guerin growing
Didier Guerin hasn’t wasted any time today, having added around 20,000 to his overnight stack to sit at around 100,000 in chips.
Some of those came in a recent three-way hand against Ryan Hong and Day 1b chip leader Sam Ruha. Hong opened to 2,400 in middle position, Ruha called in the small blind and Guerin defended his big. The flop came 773 and Ruha led for 4,800. Guerin raised to 10,000 and change and both players folded.
As for what he held? “Two cards,” Guerin smiled when we asked.
54 players will make the money with the winner taking home $225,000. See payouts below:
12:50pm: No room for Legg
Anthony Legg enjoyed a career-best score earlier this year when he reached the final table of the Aussie Millions, finishing sixth for around $185,000. Unfortunately he won’t be making another deep run in Sydney this week.
Legg was the first player to be eliminated on Day 2 as he shoved the turn holding AK on a 3468 board. David Sebesfi snap-called and the news wasn’t good at all for Legg with his opponent holding 88 to have him drawing dead.
Legg quickly heads to the rail while Sebesfi’s fast start has him up to 120,000.
Play is underway
Day 2 has officially started. Blinds are 500/1000 with an ante of 100. 212 players have qualified for Day 2 from the 445 that started the two Day 1 flights.
Play will commence at 12.30pm on Saturday March 21.
The starting stacks and table placings are as follows:
|First Name||Last Name||Chips||Table||Seat|