ANZPT Queenstown: Pye cooks up a treat for day two entree

After a head-spinning two-and-a-half levels of action in the ANZPT Queenstown Main Event, the day's first group was slashed from 46 to 28, and now another 45 players have taken their seats in the tournament poker area at SKYCITY Casino.

The big mover of the opening session was respected local player John Pye, who placed third in the 2008 NZ Poker Champs Main Event behind David Borg and Team Australia pro Tony Hachem.


New overall chip leader John Pye

Pye shot to the chip lead when he made a big call for more than 50,000 with A♥ A♦ against the A♣ K♠ of Mark Walker on a flop of J♦ 9♣ 7♣. The board ran out 5♦ 5♠, sending Pye to more than 130,000 in chips while Walker was left crippled.

It was also a solid session for Hachem, who ended the tournament of an opponent when he turned a straight with 6♠ 7♠ on a board showing 2♦ 5♥ 9♣ 8♠. His opponent pushed all-in, Hachem called and found himself up against a set of fives. The 3♥ on the river gave the overall ANZPT Points leader a nice pot and leaves him well placed heading into tonight's session with more than 60,000.

Robert Wang doubled through Tim English on the second last hand of the session to climb within a whiff of 100,000 while former chip leader Julius Colman dropped back to 80,000 but is still well placed. Brooke Howard-Smith, Raj Ramakrishnan, Josh Egan and Darko Balaban are also through.

Other players who won't be returning for this evening's session include reigning NZ champ Soren Eriksen, UK PokerStars qualifier Daniel Reeves, 2009 Aussie Millions winner Stewart Scott, PokerStars Team Asia pro Celina Lin, Dan Sing, Dennis Huntly and Kristian Lunardi were all eliminated.

Players in the second session have quickly taken their seats, with play due to restart in the next few minutes.