ANZPT Darwin Day 1C: Levels 3 & 4 (blinds 100-200, ante 25)
4:55pm: Ten-minute break
4:50pm: Big slick for Maklouf
With the flop reading 7♣K♣8♦ Matthew Spratt checked to John Maklouf who fired a bet of 1,300. Spratt called and the 5♦ hit the turn. Again Spratt quickly checked to Maklouf who tossed out another 3,000. Spratt again made the call and the 6♦ completed the board on the river.
Spratt checked and Maklouf considered getting one more street of value but decided to check behind. Spratt opened K♥Q♠ but Maklouf took it down with his A♠K♠.
As the players head to their last break of the day, Maklouf is now up to 42,000 and close to the chip leaders.
4:32pm: Hull culled
The chips are starting to move around as we've just seen one double up and one elimination to reduce our field to 25 players.
Justin Wilson was all in preflop for his last 8,200 holding Q♠Q♣ and was racing against the A♦K♦ of Josh Onas. The board ran out 3♦T♣J♥3♠6♣ to give Wilson a double up to around 17,000.
Not so fortunate was Brian Hull. We caught the action on the turn on a board of 9♥2♥7♣5♣, with Bruno Portaro firing 1,050 before Hull raised it to 5,050 leaving himself just 75 chip behind.
"I can't fold, I call," said Portaro, before he tossed 75 more chips in on the 3♣ river. Hull called but mucked when Portaro opened A♠9♣ for the best hand.
Hull is eliminated as he and Portaro both head outside to share a consoling cigarette.
4:20pm: Andrews finds aces again
Philip Bush open shoved for close to 6,000 from middle position and the action folded around to Danny Andrews in the small blind. As Serge Mazza joked that Andrews would have pocket aces, Andrews squeezed one card before squeezing his second and moving his stack into the middle.
"I do!" exclaimed Andrews as he flipped A♥A♠ to have Bush's 8♠8♦ in bad shape.
The board ran out K♥6♣Q♦3♠5♥ and for the second time today Andrews eliminates a short stack with pocket aces to move back up to 25,000 as Bush hits the rail.
4:04pm: Maklouf takes a hit
John Maklouf had just taken a small hit to his empire after the short-stacked Terry Brockhurst doubled through.
It was Maklouf's 6♠6♦ racing against the A♠K♠ of Brockhurst as the board ran out 9♥A♥4♠J♠8♥. Brockhurst doubled to about 8,000 as Maklouf slips back to 26,000.
Interestingly with the recent table break, Andrew Scarf has been moved to the direct left of Maklouf so now the two ANZPT POTY points leaders can keep a very close eye on each other's progress!
3:55pm: Level up, blinds 100-200, ante 25
3:45pm: Two more hit the highway
The eliminations are starting to flow as we've just lost another two players in quick succession.
First to go was Gold Coast PokerStars qualifier Joel Guy. He moved his last 3,875 in preflop with 9♥9♦ but ran into the A♣A♥ of Danny Andrews. The board ran out K♣T♥Q♥7♥3♣ and Guy was gone.
He was followed by Eric Mazza who got a little unlucky against Matthew Spratt. The chips went in on the flop of A♠7♦T♥ with Mazza's A♥7♥ flopping two pair against Spratt's A♦K♠. The turn bricked the 6♥ but the river was the K♦ to give Spratt a bigger two pair and eliminate Mazza.
With that elimination we're down to 27 players and our final three tables of today's flight.
3:30pm: Man down!
We've had our first casualty of the day as Michael Chon has been sent to the rail. He moved all in for his last 4,875 with A♣J♦ and was called by Guy Watson holding 4♣4♦.
The flop was a bare T♦3♣8♣ but the 4♠ on the turn gave Watson a set and left Chon drawing dead. The meaningless 6♥ fell on the river to eliminate the PokerStars qualifier from the ANZPT Darwin Main Event.
3:20pm: Rotar back in the black
Eric Mazza raised the button to 600 with Sam Rotar making the call in the small blind to see a flop of K♠5♣K♦. Both players checked and the 9♥ hit the turn. Rotar tossed out 825 and Mazza called to see the 9♦ double-pair the board on the river. Rotar fired again for 2,250 and Mazza took a moment before making the call.
Rotar opened K♥Q♥ for a full house to take it down. After being short-stacked in the early stages, Rotar has chipped back up nicely to get himself up above start stack with 23,000.
3:05pm: Lucky last
Our magical 100th player is SKYCITY Darwin regular Tony Kanochkin who had to arrange two days off from work and run down to the bank to get the cash before making his way back to the casino to buy-in to the ANZPT Darwin Main Event. And he hasn't wasted any time in making his presence known to his new table.
After four players saw a flop of 4♦3♦6♦, action checked to Matthew Spratt on the button who fired a bet of 575. Kanochkin was the lone caller to see the Q♥ on the turn. Kanochkin checked and again called the bet of 1,600 from Spratt. When the Q♦ river put four diamonds on board, Kanochkin led out for 2,000 and Spratt made the call.
Kanochkin showed A♦J♦ for the nut flush to take it down. Kanochkin actually bubbled one of the last live satellites for entry into this tournament, but looks like he's keen to make the most of his second opportunity to play as he moves up to 25,000.
2:55pm: Play resumes
The players are back following the break with Billy Argyros, Matthew Spratt and John Maklouf amongst the chip leaders. We failed to lose anyone during those first two levels, however there are three no shows from overseas qualifiers. Their stacks have now been removed from play but their money will stay in the prize pool.
We've also just had word that a last-minute registration is on his way into the SKYCITY Darwin Casino to crack the century on the total number of entrants into the ANZPT Darwin Main Event. Hopefully he takes note of the warning signs before he sits...