ANZPT Queenstown: Goliath gone, Hinrichsen leads

The race for the PokerStars.net ANZPT Queenstown Main Event title has been turned on its head after the elimination of four players in quick succession.

First out was David Bradford, who committed his short stack with A♥ [10d] against John Pye's A♦ 9♠. A nine in the window was enough for Pye to scoop the pot, sending Bradford out in ninth position.

PokerStars qualifier Will Mauga struggled for any traction at the final table and was KOed in eighth position when his A♦ [10h] found Danny Chevalier holding A♠ Q♦, and the board of 6♣ K♦ 7♦ 9♣ 4♠ sailed past both players as Mauga finished eighth.

John Pye was next to go - his A♠ [10s] initially looked in good shape on a flop of J♠ [10h] 3♥ against the A♦ K♦ of Mark Walker, the turn was a rag 6♥ but the Q♣ on the river made Walker's straight and Pye was on his way to pick-up NZD $12,060 for seventh.

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Beginning of the end: Andrew Hinrichsen goes to battle against John Guthrie

While all this was happening, chip leader John Guthrie was leaking faster than a melting glacier with the pivotal hand in his downfall coming when young Aussie PokerStars qualifier Andrew Hinrichsen turned a straight against Guthrie's trip kings to win the biggest pot of the tournament, worth 630,000.

Unbelievably, Guthrie was on his way just two hands later when Hinrichsen's pocket sixes held up against the former chip leader's pocket fours, and Guthrie was out in sixth - his 850,000-plus chips disappearing in a little over an hour. Ironically, Guthrie displaced a curtain as he left the table, which tumbled onto spectators - curtains indeed!

The short stack coming into the final table, Hinrichsen now leads on 710,000 with five players remaining, followed by Danny Chevalier on 600,000, Glenn Maiden with 430,000 (after just doubling through Mark Walker, who has 420,000) with Steve Smith the short stack on 210,000. There is 20 minutes remaining in level 18, with the blinds at 5000/10,000 (ante 1000) and the chip average 500,000.