ANZPT Queenstown: Nines just fine as Scott sets sail
The first hour of play in the second session of day two in the PokerStars.net ANZPT Queenstown main Event has been completed, with only five of the 45 starters eliminated - half that of the first session earlier today.
The SKYCITY Casino tournament room is packed to capacity with railbirds and players from the earlier session eager to keep an eye on friends and rivals.
It was an early finish for German PokerStars Player Sven Ellrich, Rachel Vis and Mike Marvanek on table seven but in contrast Andrew Scott, runner-up in the 2008 PokerStars.net APPT Macau High Roller, was among the early movers.
Scott doubled through on the second hand of play, then found himself covered in a three-way all-in against Reg Lowe and Finland's Ville Nurmi. Lowe showed A-J, Scott held pocket nines and Nurmi pocket aces. The board ran out 7-8-5-8-6, giving Scott the straight. His stack is now above 30,000, not bad given he started with just 4500.
It's been mixed fortunes for the PokerStars.net Team Australia duo Grant Levy and Emad Tahtouh. Levy lost a big pot after flopping a jack-high straight only to find he was already behind his opponent's flopped flush, but has clawed back from just 7000 to 18,000.
Levy has also had a few laughs along the way, especially when an opponent folded a hand to him because he was "Joe Hachem's brother". Where's Tony Hachem when you need him!
Poker's own Alberto Tomba, Emad Tahtouh, has won a couple of races (he just about felted Jeffrey Bucher when he flopped top-pair with A-K against pocket eights) to climb above 42,000.
Other notables in action this afternoon include Daniel Neilson, James Honeybone, local broadcaster Darcy Waldegrave, Ray Sukkar and top Aussie online player Anthony pkerbl Chow.
Play for this session will be at levels six and seven, plus 30 minutes of level eight before the remaining players rejoin the field at 6pm:
Level 6: 200/400 (ante 50)
Level 7: 300/600 (ante 75)
Level 8: 400/800 (ante 100)