ANZPT Queensland: Jupiters' chip lead sweet for Honeybone
Observations from the floor of Jupiters Casino ... in lieu of much action to report (we're still at 56 players midway through level five on day 1B of the PokerStars.net ANZPT Queensland Main Event).
In Las Vegas, you get accustomed to seeing senior citizens in casinos. That's certainly the case here on the Gold Coast, which is one of the favourite spots for retirees anywhere in Australia. At Jupiters, there's not a motorised scooter or wheelchair in sight. In Vegas, your ankles are constantly under attack.
And is it just us or does PokerStars Player Sean Knight have more than a passing resemblance to 2003 WSOP Main Event winner and PokerStars Team USA pro Chris Moneymaker? C'mon, there's something there ...
OK, finally some movement at the station - James Honeybone has extended his chip lead at Jupiters after sending Singapore-based Aussie Aaron Benton to the rail. Struggling to regain chips in the past two levels, Benton's last stand came with J-10 only to find the Kiwi poised with pocket aces. He's now up to more than 60,000 in chips.
John Caridad, who finished third in the ANZPT Sydney Main Event, just doubled-up in sensational circumstances when he found his set of kings up against, and in front of, an opponent's set of 10s. Just to rub some salt into the wounds ... bang, down sails the fourth king. JCSydney is up to 12,000 and hanging tough.
The final minutes of level five are ticking down, with blinds about to increase to 200/400 with an ante of 50.
• Landon Blackhall reports from Treasury Casino in Brisbane that Queensland born-and-bred Jonathon Muir has snuck into second place, having worked his stack up to 64,500. Aleks Lackovic is also comfortable with 54,000, however tablemate and 2007 APPT Grand Final champion Grant Levy has dropped back to 22,000 in this session.
PokerStars Qualifier Chris Levick stays alive on 22,500, as do tablemates Emma Grace (21,500) and Joel Dodds (29,000). Andrew Jeffreys (38,000) continues to laugh, joke with and smack-talk his tablemates to a point where we could call table five the 'Table of Deaf'! Meanwhile on table seven, Michael TheBiGSiCkO Guzzardi has built his stack back up to 28,000 after a much needed double-up.
But it's very much the Tom Zhou story in Brisbane. He's a massive chip leader on 120,000 and in prime position for a day two berth. Here's why: with a flop showing 9♥ 8♦ 8♠, Zhou led out for 1200. An opponent made it 3500 and Zhou called. On the turn A♥, Zhou checked, the opponent fired out 5000 that sent Zhou into the tank.
Eventually, Zhou reached for some chips and raised to 12,000. The opponent, seemingly caught bluffing, mucked. Zhou looked him dead in the eye and turned over K♦ J♣ for nothing but air, then quietly raked in his chips.