ANZPT Queensland: Nelson rockets to lead at Jupiters

More than a quarter of the players who started day two have been eliminated in the opening two levels of the PokerStars.net ANZPT Queensland Main Event.

The cream is rising to the top today, with PokerStars Sponsored Player Lee Nelson topping the chip count at Jupiters on 145,000. The 2006 Aussie Million champion is yet to score an in-the-money finish on the ANZPT, and is determined to fill that spot on an otherwise complete tournament CV.

It's also been a solid start to the day for PokerStars.net Team Australia pro Emad Tahtouh. Also chasing his first ANZPT cash, the Melbourne-based pro has improved his stack to 60,000 in the early going.

anzptgcd2emad.jpg

Now that's a stare! PokerStars.net Team Australia Pro Emad Tahtouh ices another opponent

Overall day one chip leader Danny Joukhadar maintains his hopes of gate-crashing the top three in the overall ANZPT points race on 125,000 while Craig Duffy (90,000) and reigning Aussie Millions champion Stewart Scott (85,000) have also impressed in the early going.

Players eliminated at Jupiters in the past hour have included ANZPT Queenstown runner-up Andrew Hinrichsen, whose Q♥ [10h] was in an awkward spot against his opponent's A♥ Q♦ on a flop of 7♥ K♣ Q♠. The board ran out A♦ 2♦, and the young Melburnian was out.

Bruno Portaro's hopes of snaring one of the two remaining PokerStars sponsorship packages on offer in the overall points race ended when he ran pocket 10s into pocket jacks.

• Landon Blackhall reports that the action has eased at Treasury after a frenetic start to day two. Among the casualties include Michael TheBiGSiCkO Guzzardi, who only started the day with 23,000 and never improved.

2009 Aussie Millions $100,000 NLHE Challenge winner David Steicke has also hit the rail, after he moved all in for the remainder of his stack with A♦ Q♠, but PokerStars Qualifier David Le made the call with K♥ J♦. The flop of K♦ 6♥ 2♣ put Le in the lead and he stayed there with the turn and river running out 7♠ J♣.

anzptbrisd2steicke.jpg

Aussie poker cult hero David Steicke has been eliminated in Brisbane

Le would then be severely crippled moments later at the hands of fellow PokerStars Qualifier Scott Kerr, when the pocket aces of Le would be bested by Kerr's kings on a board of Q♠ 3♥ K♦ 7♦ 5♦. Le is steaming, having swung from 100,000 to 21,000 in the space of a few hands, while Kerr can breathe a sigh of relief as he moves up to over 100,000 in chips.

Meanwhile our newly crowned ANZPT Overall Points champion Tony Hachem is struggling to keep his composure; despite the good news that we reported earlier, he's determined to cash in the fifth and final leg of this tour and keep his perfect record. It's not looking good - he's nursing just 22,000.

Emma Grace sits on a very short stack of 17,500. Grace was Australia's highest placed female in this year's WSOP Main Event; she now finds herself in a similar position, being the last woman standing in Brisbane.

It's better news for PokerStars Team Australia Pro Grant Levy, who has above the chip average (57,000) going into the break with 68,000. Levy's tablemate and ANZPT Queenstown bubble finisher Tim Clarke is sitting pretty on 71,000.

Approximate chip count after level nine

Tom Zhou 175,000 (Brisbane)
Paul Gibson 145,000 (Brisbane)
Daniel Jennings 145,000 (Brisbane)
Lee Nelson 145,000 (Gold Coast)
Danny Joukhadar 125,000 (Gold Coast)
Scott Kerr 110,000 (Brisbane)
Craig Duffy 90,000 (Gold Coast)
Stewart Scott 85,000 (Gold Coast)
Sean Cowell 76,000 (Gold Coast)