5:55pm: Level up, blinds 1,200-2,400 (ante 300)
5:40pm: Moneymaker broke
We’ve lost Team PokerStars Pro Chris Moneymaker from the APPT Melbourne Main Event. And once again the man responsible for the demise of Team PokerStars was New Zealand’s Phil Willcocks.
Earlier in the day Willcocks eliminated Bryan Huang with kings against fives, and he dispatched of Moneymaker in similar fashion. Moneymaker re-shoved preflop with pocket sixes but Willcocks snapped it off with pocket aces. No six to save the 2003 World Champion as he departed the Crown Poker Room.
Meanwhile Willcocks is up to 300,000 and on the same table as the equally aggressive Koray Turker. Will these two big stacks collide or will the Kiwis stay out of each other’s way?
5:30pm: More-ah chips for Norah
2010 Western Classic Main Event champion Vesko Zmukic has stormed out of the Crown Casino Poker Room in a fury after being eliminated in cruel fashion by Queensland’s Norah Greer.
Form under the gun, Greer limped in with A♦Q♥ and the action folded to Zmukic who raised to 6,500 from the cutoff. Hong Kong-based Aussie Andrew Scott flat-called from the big blind, but then Greer three-bet it, making it 23,500 to go. Zmukic shoved for 46,000, Scott folded and Greer called, but found herself in strife against Zmukic’s K♦K♣.
Fortunately for Greer, she struck gold on the flop of 10♣A♣3♠ and then improved to two pair after the turn and river ran out 4♥, Q♣. Greer, who finished in ninth place in the ANZPT Gold Coast Main Event earlier this year, is now up to more than 200,000 in chips, but her unorthodox style of play is raising a few eyebrows amongst her tablemates.
5:25pm: Youssef no good
Andrew Hinrichsen, who was the last Aussie standing at this year’s WSOP Main Event, is well on his way to another deep run after taking out Crown Casino regular Sammy Youssef.
All the money was in the middle before the flop; Youssef was risking it all with K♣J♣, but Hinrichsen had woken up with Q♠Q♣. With the board running out 10♠7♥4♣3♥4♠, Youssef’s dreams were dashed and Hinrichsen’s now holding more than 110,000 in chips.
5:15pm: Eddy getting loose
2010 ANZPT Darwin runner-up Luke Edwards has been getting pretty aggressive on his table recently with some mixed results. A cold-four bet preflop over an open from Van Marcus and a three-bet from a middle position player worked for Edwards as both players gave it up.
Moments later he was raising again as he made it 20,000 to go following a bet of 8,000 from his opponent on a flop of 9♦2♥5♣. His opponent called and Edwards shut down as both players checked the 7♣ turn and 3♠ river.
Edwards showed K♣Q♣ but his opponent opened 10♣9♣ for pair of nines to take it down. Edwards is still well placed with 190,000 chips.
5:05pm: Updated chip counts
Koray Turker (New Zealand) 380,000 – PokerStars Qualifier
Vinh Tran (Australia) 227,000
Phil Willcocks (New Zealand) 225,000
Mitch Carle (Australia) 204,000
Ivan Zalac (Australia) 150,000 – PokerStars Qualifier
Julius Colman (Australia) 150,000
James Obst (Australia) 150,000
Kyle Cheong (Australia) 130,000
Andrew Hinrichsen (Australia) 110,000
Chris Moneymaker (United States) 84,000 – Team PokerStars Pro USA
Keiran Harris (Australia) 62,000 – Team PokerStars Pro Online
4:55pm: Shabtay shuts out Watt
In one of the last hands before the break, 2009 APPT Auckland Main Event champion Simon Watt has been sent to the rail at the hands of Ronnie Shabtay with minutes to go before the next break.
The action folded around to Watt who raised to 3,500 before the flop from the hijack position; Shabtay called from the cutoff, as did Sammy Khouiss from the big blind to make it three-handed to the flop of 9♠5♥K♥. Khouiss checked to Watt, who bet 7,000 and Shabtay called before Khouiss got out of the way, making it heads-up to the turn of the J♠, where Watt fired out 14,000.
Shabtay shoved and after about three minutes in the tank, Watt called, showing down A♣K♦ for top pair, top kicker, but was far from pleased to see Shabtay table K♣J♦ for top two pair.
Needing an ace to stay alive, the Q♦ bricked out on the river and Watt’s day was done. “Nice hand, good game,” Watt sighed as he left the room. Shabtay is now on more than 200,000 in chips.
4:40pm: Play resumes, blinds 1,000-2,000 (ante 300)
4:30pm: 10-minute break
4:15pm: From online to live
PokerStars Team Online Pro Keiran Harris is now up to 190,000 after dispatching of Tasmanian Ben Richardson. Harris opened with a late position raise and Richardson three-bet over the top for virtually all of his chips. Harris made the call, before the last chips were in on the flop.
Richardson held K♠10♠ for live cards against Harris’ A♣Q♠ but the board ran out Q♦5♠10♣7♦A♥ to send him to the rail.
Better news for fellow Tasmanian Will Jones who won a race with pocket jacks against the ace-king of Julian Powell. The board bricked out to send Powell to the exit and climb Jones up to 150,000.
4:00pm: Obst on the move
As this is the first edition of the PokerStars.net APPT Melbourne Main Event, we don’t really have a defending champion. However, we do have one player left in the field who came pretty close to winning last year’s ANZPT Melbourne event, and he’s a guy that’s pretty well known in these parts.
James Obst, or “Andy_McLEOD” as he is known online, is one of Australia’s most talented players and after finishing 2nd in last year’s ANZPT Melbourne event, he’ll be looking to go one spot better and grab his first major live trophy.
He’s making a good fist of it at the moment, moving up to 165,000 after taking a healthy pot from Ilir Beluli. We caught the action on a flop of 2♠5♥8♠. The flop looked innocent enough but the action was heavy. Obst checked from the small blind and Kyle Cheong bet 3,400 in the big blind. Beluli raised that up to 10,000 but Obst check-raised them both as he made it 24,000 to play. Cheong escaped but Beluli quickly called as the 10♠ hit the turn.
Obst took his time and eyed off his opponent’s stack before betting 50,000 – enough to put Beluli all in. Beluli thought for a few moments before folding and Obst raked in the pot.
3:45pm: Karib sizzles, Fazzino fizzles
With the field now under 100 players, we’re pleased to report that Melbourne poker stalwart Karib Karib is still alive and well in this tournament after taking out another opponent.
All the money was in the middle before the flop, with the short-stacked player having moved in with A♣Q♣, ahead of Karib’s A♦10♠. However, Karib managed to hit two pair on the board of 10♥6♠5♦5♠7♥ to send the opponent to the rail.
However, Sal Fazzino’s tournament life has just ended at the hands of Andrew Hinrichsen. On a board that read 7♥A♦4♠9♦, Fazzino check-called Hinrichsen’s bet of 9,800 before Hinrichsen put Fazzino all in on the river of the 7♣.
Fazzino called, but folded out for good after Hinrichsen tabled A♣9♠ for two pair. And we’ve got another update on Koray Turker for you – the New Zealand PokerStars Qualifier has just taken out another player and as a result, now sits behind a mammoth stack worth more than 380,000!
3:30pm: Turker continues to torture
It’s hard to ignore New Zealand PokerStars Qualifier Koray Turker at the moment as his high risk, high reward strategy is paying full dividends which is providing some entertaining action for the railbirds, but moments of sheer torture for his tablemates.
This time Turker put in a cold four-bet preflop, making it 32,000 to go holding a meagre A♠8♦ after a raise and re-raise in front of him. He forced one fold, but the three-bettor moved all in with 10♣10♠ and Turker called it off.
The first four community cards were a dry J♣5♦9♥4♣ but the old A♥ on the river landed Turker another devastating knockout as he now sits with a tournament-leading 300,000 in chips.
3:20pm: Now that’s what I call a sticky situation!
Over on the feature table, Daniel Neilson moved the last of his very short stack in with A♦9♥ from the cutoff, only to see Michael “Sticky” Guttman wake up from the button with Q♠Q♥. Guttman improved to a set after the dealer spread the board of J♣K♠8♥Q♦6♥ and that was more than enough to give Neilson his marching orders.
Guttman is now up to to 94,000 in chips, but he’ll have to be careful out there, as he’s sharing space with Norah Greer, Leo Boxell, Maryann Farrugia, Steve Bouya, Vesko Zmukic and Andrew Scott. It’s enough to make your hair stand on end – just ask Sam Rotar, who’s rocking the long-haired “Rafa” look this year, or Michael Guzzardi, who’s sporting an impressive afro!
3:05pm: Quads the hard way
Koray Turker is a sick unit. At least, that was the comment from his tablemates after the Kiwi destroyer has just eliminated another opponent with a typically hyper-aggressive play.
With a raise to 3,200 and a call in front of him, Turker didn’t hesitate to pop it up to 10,900 in late position. Only problem for Turker was when the big blind player moved all in for a total of 27,800. The original raiser made a reluctant fold (of what he later claimed was pocket tens) and the caller stepped out of the way as Turker did the math and tossed out a call.
“Am I in front?” asked Turker as he opened an imaginative 3♦6♥.
The answer was no, but Turker was happy to have live cards against A♠K♣.
Of course, what happened next was no surprise as the board ran out 6♦4♦6♠A♥6♣ to give Turker just quads for the elimination of another opponent to climb to 240,000 chips.
2:55pm: Huang out to dry
We’ve lost another of our Team PokerStars Pros as Singapore’s Bryan Huang has been sent to the rail. After an earlier failed bluff attempt, Huang was down on the short stack which he committed preflop over an opening raise from Kiwi Phil Willcocks.
Willcocks made a quick call with pocket kings as Huang’s pocket fives were no match as the board bricked out. Willcocks is now up to a commanding 200,000 in chips.