ANZPT Adelaide: End of Flight 2 and a new chip leader
The key word for the second of two Day 1 flights of the ANZPT event in Adelaide was calm. Day 1A had a field that included many satellite winners from the casino, and they were not shy in pushing there chips around, often ending in disaster (ie elimination!).
Today, however, things have been a bit slower. In fact, it took a full 90 minutes before we lost our first player (it took two hands yesterday).
There were officially 111 starters today and 104 yesterday who all paid $3,000 AUD, generating a record poker prize pool for the SKYCITY casino of $586,950. The winner will be richer by $170,215.00 AUD, and the money will be paid down to 18th.
There is a bit of work to do before the final table is set but we are left with 77 from the combined two Day 1 survivors, all of the eyeing that bumper pay day.
Some appear to have a little less work than others. Julius Colman usurped James Broom's Day 1A lead with a very steady performance throughout Day 1B. If James' performance was spectacular, Julius must have been more so as he posts a 30,000+ lead over the field for the start of Day 2. Canadian Matthew Jones was just shy of James' total yesterday by some 2,000 in chips.
There is one exception to the calmness of the room today - and that's table one, which is right in front of where we are sitting.
We now get a great view of an entertaining battle of wills between Sydney player Sammy Khouiss and anyone who would bite at his goading. Matthew Jones was in seat one on this table and Sammy two to his left. After the constant Sammy trash talk, Matthew decided to start some of his own.
This normally works in Sammy's favor, but today Matthew was the chip victor and Sam was dispatched to the rails by one of his other opponents who flopped a set of twos and then rivered quads for good measure. Ah, how we ejoyed the tranquility once more.
Another of the big personality players here is Billy "the croc" Argyros. Billy had made a good start to the day and was moved to a table with one of the young chip leaders, Elliot Smith.
The hand I watched drew quite a crowd. Pre-flop, Billy had re-raised in position behind the youngster. The flop of Ks-Qs-4s was checked to Billy who thought for a while and went all-in for just under 60,000. Now it was Elliot's turn to think, and think... and think. He talked to Billy, was ignored, tried again, and again, eventually getting a response.
More thinking, moving of chips, glancing, restacking, cutting down, stacking and finally called, showing A-K. Billy tossed his cards over also - A-K, but his ace was a spade, giving him the freeroll to a 150,000+ pot . No spade, though. Chop, chop!
Two of the three PokerStars sponsored players starting today, Celina Lin and Tony Hachem, survived. Celina has just above average chips with 57,000, while Tony has 35,000.
As I was leaving the poker room at the end of the day, live table action was well under way. Top end tables were a 5-5 blind PLO game and a 5-5 blind NLHE game. The elite game was a 10-20 PLO hosting a mix of the successful young guns of the Aussie poker world and some old stagers, all with mountains of $5 and $25 and an odd stack of $100 chips in front of them.
No names, of course, but a few of those just fresh from successfully completing the day's tournament obviously needed just a little action before calling it a day.
'Till tomorrow, Friday, at 12:15 for Day 2.