ANZPT Queensland: Punty backs a winner at Jupiters
To steal a line or two from Dr Evil in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, this was the semi-bubble; the quasi-bubble; the margarine of bubbles; the Diet Coke of bubbles - just one calorie, not quite bubble enough.
With 48 players remaining in the PokerStars.net ANZPT Queensland Main Event, spread evenly across the two venues (Jupiters and Treasury) it seemed that the steady rate of eliminations would continue to the figure of 40 players set for day's end.
Nope, play became tighter than an Andre the Giant bear hug, and it would take almost two levels to eliminate the next eight players. The 40 survivors are still 13 spots short of the real bubble, which we'll reach tomorrow at Jupiters with the field coming together for the first time.
Players eliminated in the final level included Amanda Simpson, who was crippled in cruel fashion when she shoved with A♦ Q♠ and received a call from a player holding A♥ 3♥. The flop was a brutal 9♠ 3♣ 3♦ before running out K♦ K♥. Down to less than 200, Simpson limped out a few hands later, leaving Linda Tyler as the last female player in the field.
Scott "Punty" Smith steadily climbed the chip count all day finished as leader at Jupiters on 261,800. Smith finished 15th in last year's PokerStars.net APPT Grand Final in his hometown of Sydney, and is well placed to go deep here.
After more than six hours of play, Danny Joukhadar was second in chips on 237,200. After cashing 25th in the ANZPT Sydney Main Event, Joukhadar remains in contention for one of the minor placings in the ANZPT Overall Points title, and can overtake Chris Levick for second if he wins this event.
Other notables who'll be back tomorrow from the day two flight at Jupiters include 2009 Aussie Million winner and PokerStars Qualifier Stewart Scott (145,400), the man who won the same event in 2006, PokerStars Sponsored Player Lee Nelson (177,800), Tim Horan (159,700) and Daniel Neilson (73,200). The two PokerStars.net Team Australia Pros playing today, Celina Lin and Emad Tahtouh, both bowed out.
We'll be back from 12.30pm tomorrow for day three of the PokerStars.net ANZPT Queensland Main Event. Good evening from the Jupiters Hotel and Casino in Broadbeach, Queensland, Australia.