ANZPT Queensland: Sun sets on Sunshine State's last hope
By Landon Blackhall
Level 21: It took most of the level for the next elimination with the hopes of a local player winning the first PokerStars.net ANZPT Queensland title ending. Danny Joukhadar kept his hopes of a top-three finish in the overall points title alive when he took out Brisbane's Paul Gibson in seventh spot (for $21,787.50).
Joukhadar and Gibson had been sitting tight and hardly played a hand though the other players were paying them respect every time they raised or moved all-in pre-flop, letting them steal the blinds and antes.
Eventually, the duo went to battle against each other - Joukhadar moved all-in holding pocket tens, only to have Paul Gibson wake up with pocket kings. Both players jumped up out of their seats and paced the room in an almost mirror-image fashion; each player went to their support groups on the rail.
It was the latest chapter in the fierce interstate rivalry between New South Wales and Queensland But NSW would draw first blood against their fierce Queensland rival, the flop bringing the [10s] in the window, followed by 3♣ 3♦. The turn of J♠ was a little scary for Joukhadar, but was relieved to see the wrong kind of paint. "This is interesting, it's not over yet," Gibson quipped.
Unfortunately, it would be the wrong kind of paint again - the dealer burned then rolled up the J♣. After the stacks were cut down, Gibson was found to be the shorter of the two stacks and he was off to the cage.
Meanwhile Joukhadar's PokerStars Pro-padded peanut gallery cheered their delight, much to the curiosity of the blue-rinse brigade playing the slots.
In contrast, PokerStars Qualifier Scott Kerr has been quiet this afternoon, though has played a couple of pots but with not much to show except for a decrease down to 365,000 in chips. Melbourne-based Japanese-born PokerStars Player Shoshiro Karita has seen the most action, reflected in the wild swings in the size of his stack, which currently comprises 340,000.
Joel strongplay Dodds remains the dominant chip leader on 1.8 million, and we could be heading for our first Australia versus New Zealand heads-up confrontation on the ANZPT with Kiwi PokerStars Qualifier Phillip Willcocks now in a strong position, holding second chip position with 1.065 million, mainly thanks to Scott Smith (currently on 735,000).
On a flop reading 8♥ J♥ A♥, Willcocks led out for 60,000 and Smith made the call. The action would then end on the turn of 6♦ after Willcocks fired out 110,000. Punty would no longer gamble and didn't look too concerned as the Kiwi stacked up his newly-acquired chips.
Players are on a 15-minute break, with blinds up to level 22 (12,000/24,000 with an ante of 3000). The chip average is 960,000.