ANZPT Canberra: Day 2, levels 15-17 updates

10.50pm: Gray's queens dethrone Bower

We're ticking down to the end of day two, with 15 players aiming for one of nine spots at tomorrow's PokerStars.net ANZPT Canberra Main Event final table. Brad Bower won't be joining them after missing a straight draw with his 3-4 on a board of 2-9-5-K-K against the pocket queens of Jason Gray. Bower departs with $4706 and some handy bonus points towards the ANZPT Player of the Year award.

Earlier Andrew Scarf lost a slab of chips to John Maklouf but just bounced back with a double through Antonis "Toothpick Tony" Kambouroglou. Scarf announced "all-in" on the flop of 8♦ 7♠ 8♥. Kambouroglou eventually called but was in lousy shape with 3♥ 3♦ against Scarf's 9♠ 9♥. The board ran out J♥ 6♣ to scoop up a pot of more the 280,000.

10.30pm: Sweet 16

Two more players have been eliminated from the ANZPT Canberra Main Event. Peter Mitsopoulos was almost down to the felt when he shoved with his [10h] 5♣ only to find Martin Rodwell in good shape holding 5♥ 5♠. The board came 3♥ Q♦ K♣ 4♣ 8♥, sending the Canberra player out in 18th for $4706.

anzptact2sam.jpg

Sam Rotar sets sail in 17th spot

Sam Rotar dominated play on day 1B but fell short of the final table, finishing 17th. His last stand came with A♥ K♣ on a flop of Q♣ 2♣ 2♥, but Michael Chon had little hesitation making the call, showing Q♥ 7♥. The turn 3♣ and river 8♦ missed Rotar, who bowed out 17th. Chon is now a massive chip leader with 620,000.

10pm: Level 17 (3000/6000, ante 500)

Players are taking their final break of the day, with one hour of play to go on day two of the ANZPT Canberra Main Event. A big crowd has packed around the rail to watch the remaining 18 players chase a spot at the final table. Gotta love Sunday night on a long weekend, especially with Australia lining up for its World Cup opener against Germany in a few hours. Get the blood pumping at Casino Canberra!

Three players have bowed out since the bubble. Ben Hyslop was confirmed in 21st after his A-7 failed to connect against Andrew Scarf's pocket queens. He takes home $3620.

Then in three-way action, it was the K♠ K♣ of Mishel Anunu against the [10d] [10c] of Adam Cameron and Yann Pauchon's A♣ K♥. Pauchon had Anunu covered, while Cameron had them both covered. The board came 4♣ 8♠ Q♣ 2♥ [10s], giving Cameron the pot and claiming two scalps in one hand.

9.30pm: And we're in the money

Having almost felted Amanda Simpson, Rennie Carnevale scooped up the last of the American-born Melburnian's chips with Q-7 against 5-6. Carnevale hit a queen on the flop, Simpson gathered her personals and we're in the money at the first PokerStars.net ANZPT Canberra Main Event.

anzptact2amanda2.jpg

Amanda Simpson is the bubble finisher at ANZPT Canberra

9.20pm: Simpson in the firing line

The elimination of ANZPT Sydney fourth-place man Michael O'Grady in 23rd place means we're on the bubble in the PokerStars.net ANZPT Canberra Main Event. It's been a blast so far. On the first hand, Yann Pauchon doubled through Brad Bower, but the PokerStars Qualifier bounced back on the next hand to double-up at the expense of Michael Chon.

Former chip leader Amanda Simpson then tangled in a massive pot against ANZPT Adelaide winner Rennie Carnevale. It was Simpson's K♠ K♦ against Carnevale's A♣ K♣. The board flowed [10c] J♦ 7♣ 3♣ 2♠, giving Carnevale a flush, a pot of more than 300,000 while Simpson was left with just 2500. She's doubled up once, but is the player under the gun heading into the sixth hand of the bubble period.

8.50pm: Level 16 (2500/5000, ante 500)

There was already 200,000 in the pot when Antonis "Toothpick Tony" Kambouroglou checked the river on a board that showed 4♥ 7♥ 5♠ J♣ [10c]. What would Amanda Simpson do? Check, and show Q-6 for a busted straight draw. Kambouroglou smiled - honestly - as he turned over A-K to take the pot.

There were also some nervous moments for Brad Bower after he shoved with 9♦ 6♥ on a flop of 5♣ 3♥ 7♠. Adam Cameron called and turned over 8♠ 9♠. The board ran out [10c] 4♦ giving Bower a rivered straight and some valuable chips.

8.30pm: Jake aches

You sit there patiently all afternoon, waiting for cards and finally looking down to see pocket kings. On the same hand, the dude to your left wakes up with aces. Gotta feel for Jake Alexander, who was just dispatched to the rail in 25th place by PokerStars Qualifier Michael Chon - he improves to 330,000 and second chip position behind Andrew Scarf.

8.20pm: Scarf heats up

The hopes of Scott Kerr to become the first multiple ANZPT champion have ended at the hands of Sam Rotar. Kerr, who won the ANZPT Queensland title at Conrad Jupiters last year, bows out in 27th. Antony Kanaan was next to go (at the hands of Adam Cameron) before Andrew Scarf rivered a jack to make two pair to crack the pocket aces of PokerStars Qualifier Scott Redman. That pot, worth more than 150,000, puts Scarf make in the chip lead on 325,000, marginally ahead of Jason Gray (300,000). Just like that, we're four short of the money.

anzptact2jason.jpg

Jason Gray's reputation as one of Australia's best is on show in Canberra

8pm: Level 15 (2000/4000, ante 400)

And then there were two ... Annette Hall's gallant run with a short stack ended when Antonis "Toothpick Tony" Kambouroglou called her all-in. It was A-K against A-8, with nothing on the board to improve her hand. That leaves Amanda Simpson and Selina Bodel as the last two female players. The remaining 27 players now occupy three tables in the Casino Canberra tournament area.

6.45pm: Dinner with the Prime Ministers

The 28 players chasing one of the 21 spots in the money are taking a one-hour dinner break on day two of the PokerStars.net ANZPT Canberra Main Event. Just before the break Con Angelakis was KOed after his pocket threes started and stayed behind the pocket queens (which improved to a set) of Michael Chon.

The Windows on the Park Restaurant next to the tournament area is doing a roaring trade as a result. A quirky element of the restaurant is the four life-size Prime Ministers that have been randomly placed in the dining area and bar. Earlier you met John Howard, and here's Gough Whitlam (we'll swap some profanity with Keating and have a beer with Bob Hawke tomorrow) ...

anzptact2gough.jpg

... and not a bad likeness