7:45pm: That’s a wrap
The final few hands have come and gone without further incident as approximately 155 players survived the carnage to return tomorrow for Day 2. Leading the way will be Mitch Carle who started a little sleepy but surged late to amass 187,900 for the end-of-day chip lead. Also in good shape are James Obst, Phil Willcocks, Koray Turker, Kyle Cheong, Karib Karib and David Steicke who all sit in the Centurion Club tonight.
Bryan Huang leads the way for Team PokerStars as he bagged up a healthy 66,875, while Keiran Harris (36,775) and Chris Moneymaker (34,450) will live to fight another day. ANZ POTY leader Jesse McKenzie is also safely through the day with 47,325.
We’ll be back with a complete wrap of all the day’s action and chip counts for the entire field for you shortly.
7:40pm: It’s all coming up roses for Carle
Queensland’s Mitch Carle has already tasted success here at Crown Casino, picking up an Aussie Millions championship ring in 2008, as well as posting a 21st place finish in last year’s PokerStars.net APPT Sydney Main Event.
However, with the way that Carle’s running at the moment, he’s in prime position for an even bigger result here in Melbourne, further extending his chip lead over the field after taking out an opponent.
A player in early position raised it up before the flop, but Carle three-bet it and the early position player called before check-raising all-in for around 11,000 after the dealer spread the flop of 5♣9♥9♦. Carle snap-called and the player sheepishly tabled Q♠J♠ for nothing but air and would need a miracle against Carle’s A♥A♣.
The turn and river bricked, another one bit the dust and Carle’s now close to 180,000. Boom!
7:30pm: Richardson escapes potential disaster
We only caught the action on the river but the pot was only a small one as Ben Richardson and Juicy Li faced a board of 8♠K♦2♣10♥9♦.
Richardson was in the big blind and led out with a bet of 1,000 only to find Juicy raise it up to 3,500. Richardson deliberated for a few moments and considered all options before matching the bet.
Juicy opened Q♠J♦ for the nut straight as Richardson flashed the J♥7♥ for a well-disguised but ultimately only second-best straight. Richardson was relieved not to lose more chips as he still sits with around 50,000 and Li moves up to around 80,000.
7:15pm: Seven levels of heaven
We’ve just received word from the tournament staff that this will be the final level play of the night. That’s seven levels folks – which means not only are the players in for an early night (play will cease at approximately 8pm local time), but we’re already in a rush to find a place to eat! Fortunately, Crown Casino has a venerable cornucopia of gastronomical delights. If fine dining is your thing, you could always head over to the world-famous Nobu for some sashimi, or if you’re looking for something more substantial, head on up to JJ’s Bar & Grill for a juicy steak topped off with a fine Australian red.
If seafood is your thing, there’s the Atlantic, but if you’re looking to warm yourself up on the cold Melbourne nights, then the French onion soup at the new Bistro Guillaume is highly recommended.
7:10pm: Glazier stung on the river
Jackie Glazier has been unable to carry on her fine Las Vegas form over to the tables of Melbourne as her tournament has come to an abrupt end. Glazier was short stacked and all in with ace-jack only to find a rather surprising caller holding a moderate king-eight.
All was looking good for Glazier until a king on the river spelt the end for her tournament.
7:00pm: Power poker from Juicy
Liam Moffett opened with an under-the-gun raise to 2,300 and action folded to Sixiao “Juicy” Li in the big blind. We’ve seen a little of Juicy play in Macau and her English is not the best, so we weren’t surprised to see some confusion when she tossed out a 5,000-chip and waved her finger in an attempt to re-raise the total she had in the middle. Unfortunately with no verbal declaration of her intentions, she was ruled to a call and the two players saw a 4♦2♦4♠ flop.
Juicy checked and Moffett bet 3,300. Juicy immediately declared herself all in and Moffett quickly called, tabling 9♦9♥ as Juicy showed a creative A♦5♠. You got the feeling something ugly was about to happen, and indeed the 3♥ turn card was a cruel blow for Moffett as Juicy snagged her gutterball straight. The A♥ on the river was just salt into the wound as Moffett had to double up Juicy’s bet of 32,800. She’s now up over 75,000 with Moffett licking his wounds on around 20,000.
6:45pm: Play resumes
The players are back with the big screen showing we have 170 players remaining from our starting field of 260 players. Our chip leaders include Phil Willcocks, Van Marcus, Karib Karib, Dan Neilson and Mitch Carle.
Chris Moneymaker is flying the flag for Team PokerStars with around 75,000, Bryan Huang has recovered to 55,000 while Keiran Harris is down to 28,000.
There have been whispers that this might in fact be the final level of the day, although there has not yet been any official announcement.