ANZPT Queenstown: Pye still hot on a chilly evening

The outcasts have returned from the "official" poker table here at SKYCITY Casino with 48 players still in the hunt for the ANZPT Queenstown Main Event title.

As the mercury plummets into single digits outside (snow fell on the nearby hills around Queenstown last night), the temperature is steadily climbing with all remaining players now seated in the same room for the first time.

John Pye returned from the casino floor with the bulk of his stack in tact and has since boosted it to 170,000 to be a clear chip leader. Well known Auckland player Robert Wang has 110,000 while Australian PokerStars qualifier Aaron Golledge (started the day with less than 20,000 but has climbed to more than 90,000.

But the tournament is over for Team Australia pro Emad Tahtouh after the last of his chips went in with pocket eights against the pocket jacks of Andrew Hinrichsen. The board of Q-10-6-K-6 always favoured Hinrichsen, who sent the 2006 PokerStars EPT London runner-up to the rail.


Watch out young Skywalker: Julius Colman calls on "The Force" against Kevin Bryniczka

There have been some interesting confrontations between former chip leader Julius Colman and Kevin victree Bryniczka, a PokerStars Player from Arlington Heights, Illinois (near Chicago). Still too young to play in a US casino, the 20-year-old is having a great time in Queenstown and is planning some time in Australia after the tournament ends.

He looked a slab of chips from Colman when his pocket nines improved to a set against Colman's pocket aces, but the wily veteran regained most of them when he bet the river of a nine-high board. Colman is back up to 60,000, while Bryniczka is riding the roller coaster on 32,000.

Players have just returned from the first break of the evening, with blinds now up to 600/1200 (ante 200). The chip average is just over 51,000.