ANZPT Melbourne: Royal flush provides a bad beat

By Landon Blackhall and Sean Callander

We're used to hearing crap from poker players, but the smell from a burst sewerage pipe that is wafting through the Crown poker room is adding a whole new challenge for the remaining 52 players in the ANZPT Melbourne event. But our sole international player is bravely forging ahead amid the odourous assault.


Smells like ... victory? It's been a tough start to day two for the remaining players

We started the day with two PokerStars qualifiers from abroad. Tzahi Degampur, hailing from Israel, found himself all-in early holding A♠ K♣ against Aaron Tran's pocket sevens. The board ran out J♥ 2♠ 8♠ 2♦ 3♦, sending Degampur back to his hotel room to pack for an early flight home.

Nearby on table 32, our other visitor, Hein Kristiansen, is faring much better after returning to the tournament today with 92,100 in chips. Kristiansen has had plenty of online experience - not difficult when you're working in information technology.

"I made my way through to this event playing a 500 FPP rebuy event," he said. "The action is always good here at Crown; I've been here four times but this is one of the best tournaments I've played so far."

The 39-year-old Thailand-based Norwegian has taken a sabbatical from his IT career to focus on poker and hopes to play in more ANZPT events.

On the other side of the poker room, another one of our Australian qualifiers continues his charge. Melbourne's own Mark DeMartino is a 39-year-old financier who qualified via He has plenty of online miles under his belt, but the ANZPT Melbourne Feature Event is only his first live poker tournament.

"It's interesting but refreshing to watch how different the strategy is between playing live and online," DeMartino said. "But I'm having a great time and I've been meeting a lot of great people, so I'm definitely looking to play more events on the circuit - I've heard great things about Queenstown!"

In the latter stages of level 11, Kristian Lunardi is the new chip leader on 260,000 ahead of Jie Gao (230,000), John Joannou (150,000), Heath Chick (145,000) and Chris Kittos (135,000). Blinds will soon be up to level 12 (1000/2000 with an ante of 300).