ANZPT Queensland: Barry's bonkers about Brisbane

Sharing is very much the theme for the ANZPT Queensland event. Conrad Treasury Casino in Brisbane and Conrad Jupiters Casino on the Gold Coast are sharing the state's first major poker tournament. They are also sharing with the players, as there is no rake or fee charged on the AUD $2500 buy-in.

The locals are also sharing some hospitality with Barry Craig, a Qualifier from Belfast, Ireland, who has been travelling the world playing poker after starting to play online six years ago. He was inspired to take up the game after watching it on TV and since then he's done many a Contiki tour, stopping in at casinos along the way to play tournaments, writes Landon Blackhall.


Barry Craig might be loving Brisbane, but we bet he doesn't know what those giant balls are doing outside Treasury Casino (neither do we)

"I actually flew from London to LA, then to Vegas to play some WSOP events before coming here," Craig said. "I've been to Brisbane before; I did a tour here in Australia last Christmas, all the way from Cairns down to the Gold Coast."

He's very impressed with the way things have been going here at the Treasury: "It's really good. A tense start to the day, but it's been going really smoothly." There's been no dampening of his mood all day - we just watched him lose 5000 in chips after losing a race with pocket fours against an all-in opponent's A-10, but he's still cruising on 43,000.

Sharing has also been the theme on table four this level, as there have been some massive pots; most of them chopped. That was, until the A♥ K♦ of Nik Grespos smashed the pocket kings of an opponent with the board reading A♣ 3♥ 4♥ A♦ on the turn and all the money in the middle. "That's embarrassing," his opponent said as he swept past us to the rail, not even bothering to look at the river J♣.

That signalled a mini-rush - Paul Gibson snap-called an opponent's all-in bet holding pocket aces against K♠ Q♦. The flop of Q♣ 2♠ 9♦ brought a glimmer hope but the turn and river bricked out 6♦ 3♥ and Gibson was up to 53,000.

Then Swiss PokerStars qualifier Serge Mazza caught David Steicke bluffing with 7♥ 4♣, and used his pocket jacks on a board of Q♣ 2♥ 5♣ 8♣ 4♠ to slice the Aussie's stack down to just over 30,000.

• With the final rays of daylight fading behind the mountain to the west, play at Jupiters is also about to tick into the final level of the day with blinds up to 300/600 and an ante of 75.

Just one of the two Team Australia pros in action here today - Emad Tahtouh - remains in contention for a day two berth after the elimination of Eric Assadourian.

The Sydneysider's last chips were committed on a flop of 5♥ [10d] Q♠ holding Q♥ J♥ but he found himself in a spot of bother against A♦ Q♦. The board blanked 7♦ 9♠ and Assadourian was on his way.

However, Tahtouh has enjoyed one of his better days on the ANZPT and has been among the chip leaders in recent hours with more than 50,000.


File picture of Emad Tahtouh, who sent the ANZPT Sydney runner-up Lisa Walsh to the rail

Other recent eliminations from the Gold Coast field include Lisa Walsh, who fell to Tahtouh when her A♥ 8♣ was overtaken by the Melburnian's [10s] 9♠ on a board of K♠ Q♥ 8♠ K♣ 9♣, Pierre Bush (at the hands of New Zealand PokerStars qualifier Phillip Willcocks) and Andrew Stolz.

Danny Joukhadar is the Gold Coast chip leader with 65,000 ahead of Tahtouh (55,000), Sean Rosey (42,500), Julian Cohen (37,000) and Brenton Nichols (35,000).