ANZPT Canberra: Final table, levels 24-26 updates
10.45pm: Jason Gray wins ANZPT Canberra, John Maklouf eliminated in second place
And just like that, it's all over - after some fine post-flop play, the deciding hand was a pre-flop clash of Jason Gray's 4♠ 4♣ against the A♠ 3♦ of John Maklouf. Gray shoved all-in after Maklouf had raised to 100,000, and he quickly followed Gray into the pot. The board ran out [10s] 2♣ Q♦ 8♣ Q♣ and we have a champion.
Heads-up play last 105 minutes, and it was more than six hours after play reached four-handed that the winner was decided. Congratulations to Jason Gray, who takes home $95,930 and commiserations to a gallant John Maklouf, who pockets $60,635. It's John's second final table of the season and earns him a swag of ANZPT Player of the Year points.
10.30pm: Gray is the new black
And back comes Jason Gray - he was all-in on a flop of A♠ 9♠ J♥ after John Maklouf had bet 200,000. Maklouf called and showed J♣ 8♣ with Gray's A♥ 4♣ in front. The turn 2♠ and river 7♦ missed Maklouf, giving Gray a pot worth 2.5 million. He's back in front, while Maklouf has a smidge over 1 million. The Dutch and Danes can't resolve their deadlock either, must be something in the air tonight.
10.25pm: Can't think of anything to write here
There was already 320,000 in the pot when Jason Gray bet 200,000 on the board of 4♣ Q♦ 2♥ J♥ 7♦. John Maklouf called but wasn't happy to see Gray reveal Q♠ 9♣ for top-pair, which was good. Maklouf is on 2 million; Gray 1.55 million. Theoretically, this will end soon. Practically, who knows?
10.20pm: Record breaker
The ascendancy is back with John Maklouf after Jason Gray called his bet of 200,000 on a board showing 5♥ 7♥ 8♦ K♠ [10h]. Maklouf showed J♣ 9♠ for a straight, with a frustrated Gray reluctantly sending his cards into the muck. Maklouf is on 2.6 million, with Gray back to 950,000. This is the longest heads-up battle in ANZPT history, with the match having ticked past the 85-minute mark.
10.10pm: Close, but no cigar
John Maklouf raised pre-flop to 100,000, Jason Gray called and they watched the flop comes Q♠ K♣ 2♣. Maklouf bet 300,000, Gray said "I'm all-in" and Maklouf called. It was Gray's Q♥ 8♠ a poofteenth ahead of Maklouf's Q♣ 6♣, until the board paired on the turn 2♠. Chop it up boys.
10pm: "Cut me, Mick"
It's like a 1970s-era heavyweight title fight, with Rocky and Apollo going blow-for-blow over 15 rounds. We'd have to be at round 13 or 14, and we'd still be split on points. In the latest tie-up, there was 160,000 in the middle when both players checked the flop of 6♣ 3♥ 7♣. On the turn 6♥, Maklouf bet 140,000 and Gray called. The river was the [10s]; Maklouf bet 350,000 and Gray folded. Seconds out!
9.45pm: Level pegging
After four days, almost 25 hours of play and the elimination of 179 players, it's virtually even in the heads-up duel between Jason Gray and John Maklouf for the PokerStars.net ANZPT Canberra title. Maklouf squared the ledger when he re-raised to 400,000 over Gray's bet of 140,000 on a flop of 9♦ A♥ [10c]. Gray folded, leaving both players around the 1.8 million mark.
9.35pm: There's ice in those veins
Jason Gray just made the call of the tournament to regain the chip lead in the ANZPT Canberra Main Event. John Maklouf raised to 80,000 pre-flop, Gray called and the flop was dealt 9♥ 8♦ 4♠. Maklouf checked, Gray bet 150,000 and Maklouf called.
It was check-check on the turn 4♦, then Maklouf bet 300,00 on the river 3♦. Gray had a long think but called and showed A♦ [10c]. Maklouf looked shocked as he turned over his Q♠ [10s] and watched his stack fall to 1.6 million. Gray is back up to 1.95 million.
9.20pm: Nines are fine for John
The pendulum has swung back with John Maklouf as he inflicts death by a thousand cuts on Jason Gray. It's been raise-fold for the past five minutes, with Maklouf winning the vast majority of pots. With more than 400,000 in the pot, both players checked the river on a board of J♦ 8♣ 9♣ J♣ 2♠. Maklouf showed 9♦ 7♣ and Gray 6♣ 7♥, giving Maklouf the pot. He's up to 2.25 million; Gray falls to 1.3 million.
9.15pm: Maklouf lands a blow
Score one for John Maklouf - on a flop of K♦ 3♠ 9♥, Jason Gray called Maklouf's bet of 100,000 and they watched the turn fall 7♣. Maklouf bet 135,000, Gray called and the river showed 4♦. Maklouf bet 300,000, Gray called but mucked his cards when Maklouf showed K♠ 7♠ for two pair. That takes him back to 1.4 million, with Gray still leading on 2.1 million.
9.10pm: Gray first out of the stalls
Jason Gray has taken nine of the first 10 hands of the heads-up duel, the biggest coming after John Maklouf called his pre-flop bet of 140,000. The flop was dealt 3♥ 9♠ 5♥; Gray bet 250,000 and Maklouf folded. It's 2.6 million to Gray and 950,000 to Maklouf.
9pm: Adam Cameron eliminated in third place, $34,390
We didn't even make it to the break before PokerStars Qualifier Adam Cameron was eliminated in third place. Cameron shoved from the button with 9♠ 5♥ with Maklouf along for the ride, showing Q♣ J♦. The flop of 3♣ 9♣ 6♦ put Cameron ahead but the turn Q♥ returned the lead to Maklouf, and Cameron was off to the cage when the river showed 8♠. Gray and Maklouf are now on a short break and when they return, we're heads-up for the first PokerStars.net ANZPT Canberra title. Gray holds a 2:1 chip lead (2.36 million to Maklouf's 1.2 million).
8.50pm: Gray back on top
The momentum is firmly back with Jason Gray after he claimed a pot worth almost one million two hands before the latest break. There was 235,000 in the pot when the flop came 6♦ [10d] A♠. Maklouf bet 500,000 but before he could deposit the chips over the betting line, Gray had declared all-in, Maklouf lightly tapped the table and shipped the chip all the way to Gray's stack.
Adam Cameron is down to just 300,000 after losing an all-in confrontation to Jason Gray. It was Cameron's Q♥ J♠ starting and staying behind Gray's A♣ Q♠ as the board fell 4♥ 8♠ A♠ 7♣ 3♠. On the next hand, Gray was all-in after the flop 2♥ 6♥ 7♠, with Maklouf making the call.
The turn 3♥ and river 6♠ ensured Gray's 7♥ [10h] the pot, as Maklouf's A♥ [10d] sailed into the muck. Maklouf is down to 1.8 million, Gray is back to 1.5 million while Cameron holds just 300,000. No more predictions - we clearly have no idea how this tournament is going to pan out.
Jason Gray decided it was time to make a move when he pushed all-in pre-flop from the small blind for approximately 500,000 and was met with a call from John Maklouf. However, it proved anti-climactic when both players showed A-J, with no flush possible after the turn.
8.10pm: Maklouf to the fore
John Maklouf has taken a grip on the ANZPT Canberra Main Event after taking a big pot from Adam Cameron. There was more than 500,000 in the pot before the flop of Q♣ 8♣ 2♦. Cameron bet 285,000, Maklouf announced "all-in" and Cameron folded. Maklouf holds 2.35 million, Cameron is down to 680,000 and Gray holds 520,000.
8pm: Gray fading
Now it's Adam Cameron's turn to flex some muscle, as he's just taken another big pot from Jason Gray. The 2008 APPT Grand Final runner-up called Cameron's 90,000 pre-flop bet and they watched the flop fall 5♥ 8♣ J♦. Both checked, Cameron bet 145,000 on the turn Q♠ and Gray called. Cameron then shoved all-in on the river 9♠, Gray said "you're good" and mucked before Cameron showed K♠ 7♠ for a busted straight draw. That's an extra 250,000 for Cameron, leaving Gray as the short stack.
7.45pm: Cameron carves up Gray
Finally some action (especially for you, Michael Pedley) - Jason Gray bet 80,000 pre-flop with Adam Cameron making a fairly quick decision to push all-in. Gray's decision was tougher but he called and revealed 3♠ 3♣. Cameron's K♣ [10d] skipped ahead on the flop of 5♣ K♠ A♦, the turn was Q♥ and river J♠ to give Cameron the nuts and a pot of more than 1.1 million. Gray is down to 870,000 while John Maklouf leads with 1.5 million.
7.30pm: Candles almost out on Queen's Birthday
The long weekend is almost over for the workin' Joes of Canberra but quite a few are squeezing in some time on the tables before heading back to the office tomorrow. Most of the interstate visitors to ANZPT Canberra have also hit the road, but a handful of main event players are still here to watching the closing stages of the final table.
The Wollongong contingent is nursing a few beers while their man Adam Cameron mixes it up with John Maklouf and Jason Gray for the $95,930 first prize. Most of the other spectators are local players wandering over form the cash tables to check on the action. It's been three-handed for three hours, which is hardly surprising given the rate of eliminations earlier in the day.