ANZPT Melbourne: Cards in the air at the final table

The office crowd may be kicking back for a leisurely lunch - you know, sushi rolls, a couple of soy decaf lattes - but it's peak-hour in the Crown poker room in the half-hour before the start of the ANZPT Melbourne final table.

A handful of the contenders are already pacing the tournament floor, slowly gathering their thoughts before the final race to the AUD $158,050 first prize.

It might be early afternoon, but the room is almost filled to capacity thanks to the $550 six-handed event being played as part of Crown's annual Melbourne Poker Championships.


The famous Crown Casino torches ... fireworks are about to erupt inside the Crown poker room

But our focus today will be the third event of the first ANZPT season. Having already secured back-to-back ANZPT cashes, Sydney's PokerStars qualifier Chris Levick leads the final nine players.

It looms as a real test of youth versus experience with the old guard represented by Sam Khouiss and Peter Aristidou up against young guns like Heath Chick and Kristian Lunardi.
Throw in the composed Jie Gao, who's been among the chip leaders almost from the starting hand, PokerStars qualifier Rodney Burles and Greg Shillig, coming off an impressive fourth in the Joe Hachem Deep Stack Series Main Event.


The ANZPT Melbourne final table with ANZPT commissioner Danny McDonagh (far left) and Crown director of poker operations Jonno Pittock

The structure for today's play is:

Level 19: 6000/12,000 (ante 1000)
Level 20: 8000/16,000 (ante 2000)
Level 21: 10,000/20,000 (ante 2000)
Level 22: 12,000/24,000 (ante 3000)
Level 23: 15,000/30,000 (ante 3000)
Level 24: 20,000/40,000 (ante 4000)
Level 25: 30,000/60,000 (ante 5000)
Level 26: 40,000/80,000 (ante 5000)
Level 27: 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)
Level 28: 60,000/120,000 (ante 10,000)
Level 29: 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)
Level 30: 100,000/200,000 (ante 30,000)

Final table

Seat 1: Heath Chick (Australia) Pokerstars Qualifier 283,000
Seat 2: Rodney Burles (Australia) Pokerstars Qualifier 168,000
Seat 3: Sam Khouiss (Australia) 354,000
Seat 4: Chris Levick (Australia) Pokerstars Qualifier 969,000
Seat 5: Jie Gao (Australia) 517,000
Seat 6: Ben Savage (Australia) 682,000
Seat 7: Greg Shillig (Australia) 190,000
Seat 8: Peter Aristidou (Australia) 432,000
Seat 9: Kristian Lunardi (Australia) 713,000