ANZPT Darwin Day 1C: Level 5 (blinds 100-200, ante 25)
6:05pm: Play concludes
That's a wrap from Day 1C of the PokerStars.net ANZPT Darwin Main Event. 24 of our original 33 entrants have survived the day and will return tomorrow as all players will be together in the SKYCITY Casino for the first time.
The story of the day is undoubtedly John Maklouf. At the start of the day all eyes were on Maklouf as he looked to consolidate his place at the top of the ANZPT Player of the Year. With the first day in the books, he's right on track to grab the title as he bagged up 49,350 in chips for the lead from today's flight. Close behind him is Serge Mazza with 46,750 and Billy "The Croc" Argyros on 46,400. Others safely through to Day 2 include Bruno Portaro, Leo Boxell, Brad Bower, Mishel Anunu, Ben Savage, Chris Levick and Sam Rotar.
We'll have a complete wrap of the day's action and full list of chip counts for you shortly.
5:50pm: Savage slips
It's been a battle for most of the day for young gun Joel Feldman as he's had to fight hard with his short stack. However he has just found a much needed double up to get himself back to starting stack.
Ben Savage opened the action with a raise to 850 from early position and play folded to Feldman in the big blind who moved all in for a total of 9,175. After a few minutes of deliberation Savage made the call with A♥7♥ but he found himself trailing the Q♥Q♠ of Feldman.
"Argh, I didn't think you were that strong!" exclaimed Savage when the cards were tabled.
The board fell T♣4♣3♠7♠K♦ to leave Feldman's ladies in front for a double to 20,000 as Savage slips to 25,000.
5:40pm: A couple of big folds
We often report on the big all in and call confrontation, but here's a couple of big folds.
The battle between John Maklouf and Andrew Scarf just intensified after Maklouf was forced to make a big fold. Maklouf opened the button to 1,000, with Scarf and Sam Rotar calling in the blinds to see a flop of Q♦2♣Q♣. Action checked to Maklouf who fired 2,000 before Scarf moved all in over the top for a total of 12,050. Rotar folded and Maklouf went into the tank before making a reluctant fold.
At the same time on a nearby table, Bruno Portaro was in the tank facing an all in bet of 6,750 from Anthony Hayes on a board of 2♠J♣4♠A♥A♠. After several minutes of thought, Portaro flashed the A♦ and folded.
"Now is when you show him the six-high bluff! That will shut him up!" laughed the table, but Hayes couldn't oblige as he said he held a big hand.
5:24pm: Scarf flattens Brockhurst
Terry Brockhurst has lost his battle with his short stack after he moved his last 2,800 in preflop with 4♦4♠ and was called by the A♦K♦ of Andrew Scarf.
It was an important flip for both players, for different reasons. Brockhurst's tournament life was on the line as Scarf really needed to grab some chips to challenge the dominance of John Maklouf in the ANZPT Player of the Year race.
The board came down A♥8♥J♠A♠9♥ to hit Scarf and eliminate Brockhurst from the tournament. Scarf still has some work to do as he moves up to around 16,000 chips.
5:15pm: Maklouf's cowboys ride into the chip lead
We have a clear chip leader and he's a man who is used to leading from the front.
John Maklouf is now up to 55,000 after collecting a sizable pot against Tony Kanochkin. Billy "The Croc" Argyros opened the action with a raise to 750 from under the gun. Kanochkin called in middle position before Maklouf raised to 2,200 from the button. Both opponents called and they saw a flop of 8♣9♥5♠.
Action checked to Maklouf who tossed out a healthy bet of 6,000. Argyros raised his eyebrows and folded but Kanochkin paid to see one more card as the 9♠ hit the turn. Kanochkin checked again and Maklouf released a bet of 10,000 which was too much for Kanochkin as he tossed away his cards. Maklouf flashed K♥kd] for the cowboys as he rides his way into the chip lead.
5:05pm: Final level of the day
The players are back in action for the final level of the day. There are 25 players still alive today with Ben Savage, Bill Argyros and John Maklouf all sharing the chip lead with around 43,000 each.
The prize pool and payout information has also been announced. The season-ending ANZPT Darwin Main Event has attracted a total of 100 players to create prize pool of $200,000 which is a record for tournament poker in Darwin.
The top twelve players will finish in the money with a minimum payout of $5,000, while the winner will collect the trophy, bragging rights and a tidy $57,000.