ANZPT Queensland: Sun sets on Smith's big lead

After a veritable "red spot" of activity at Jupiters all afternoon, the diminishing sunlight has signalled diminishing action as play tightens up considerably late on day three of the PokerStars.net ANZPT Queensland Main Event. Just 15 players remain - six short of the final table, which will be decided tonight.

It's shaping up as one of the tightest tussles in the short history of the PokerStars.net ANZPT. Scott Smith has slipped back to 530,000, meaning the top four players are separated by just 50,000. Tim Horan has 520,000, Eric Scavlos (490,000) and Danny Joukhadar holds 485,000. Giddy up.

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After leading at various points of days one and two, Danny Joukhadar is still up there late on day three

Brisbane's Lyle Higgs, a Treasury Casino qualifier, was the first player eliminated after the redraw when his A♠ K♠ raced the 9♦ 9♣ of PokerStars Qualifier Phillip Willcocks. There was no joy for Higgs with the board running out 8♦ 6♣ 4♠ 6♠ Q♦, and he was out in 18th.

After bubbling in the ANZPT Queenstown tournament less than two weeks ago, PokerStars Qualifier Tim Clarke quickly rid that monkey from his back with a 17th-place finish here.

Despite all the action today, it was one of the few occasions where it came down to pair versus pair, with Clarke's fours running into the pocket queens of Charlie Gang. Neither hand improved, and Clarke was off to collect a cheque for AUD $6225.

Jevon Harvey had climbed to almost 400,000 in the early going but his final table dreams steadily evaporated before PokerStars Sponsored Player Lee "Final Table" Nelson delivered the killer blow. It was the suited connectors of Harvey, [10h] 9♥ against Nelson's A♠ Q♣, with the turn A♣ extending the New Zealander's lead in the hand, this eliminating Harvey in 16th.

At the other end of spectrum, let's give a shout-out to PokerStars Qualifier Scott Kerr. After impressing the early going at Brisbane's Treasury Casino, he looked on the cusp of elimination earlier in the day but has clawed his way back to 270,000.

Many of those chips came from the stack of Joel strongplay Dodds. Kerr shoved from the small blind with J♥ 9♥, with Dodds along for the ride with a big blind special of A♠ 6♠. Dodds led until the 9♣ fell on the river, giving Kerr a pot worth 270,000 while Dodds is down to 190,000.