ANZPT Darwin Day 3: Levels 11 & 12 (blinds 1000-2000, ante 200)

2:43pm: Fifteen-minute break

2:40pm: Tony K hits the highway

Tony Kanochkin was our 100th and final registration into this tournament, but we hope he enjoyed the two free night's accommodation at the SKYCITY Darwin Casino, as his tournament has ended just short of the money.

Kanochkin was all in for his last 11,600 with J♦T♣ but he ran into the A♣A♠ of Constantin Harach. The board landed 5♠3♠7♥3♣8♥ to see Kanochkin eliminated in 22nd place.

2:33pm: Manolas KO'd

George Manolas raised from the button to 5,000 before Christian Meza shoved all in from the small blind for 36,300. Manolas thought for a few moments before making the call.

Meza: A♣T♣
Manolas: 7♦7♥

The board fell Q♦3♠T♦J♦6♥ to pair up Meza's ten and leave Manolas down to his last 4,000 in chips.

Those chips were all in preflop a few hands later with Luke Edwards, Chris Levick and Brotha D making the call to see a flop of 4♠2♠5♥. The live players checked to Edwards who bet 6,000 into the side pot. Levick called and Brotha D folded as the K♠ hit the turn. Levick checked and quickly folded when Edwards released another 12,000.
Edwards opened 5♣5♠ for a set as Manolas was drawing dead with his K♦T♦. The meaningless 2♥ landed on the river to see Manolas eliminated in 23rd place.

2:25pm: Edelstein jacked

Morry Edelstein is out in 24th place after the lucky threes weren't so lucky this time around. Clint Dixon opened with a raise to 12,000 before Edelstein moved all in for 23,500. Action folded to Daniel Laidlaw who moved all in from the cutoff for 57,300. Dixon got out of the way and the cards were on their backs.

Edelstein: 3♠3♦
Laidlaw: J♣J♦

The flop was a dramatic 2♦3♣J♠ to give both players a set and leave Edelstein drawing to just one out. It didn't come on the 8♥ turn and 9♠ river to jump Laidlaw up to nearly 100,000 in chips.


PokerStars qualifier Daniel Laidlaw making another deep run here in Darwin

2:20pm: Holloway's turn for a double

Stephen Holloway is another short stack to double up as he got his chips in on a flop of 5♥A♥4♦ holding A♠K♠ against Chris Levick's A♣Q♦. The turn was the 7♦ and river the 5♥ to double Holloway up to 80,000 with Levick slipping to 50,000.

2:15pm: Ladies kind to Clint

Byron Henderson opened with a raise to 6,000 before Clint Dixon moved all in for a total of 58,900. Henderson deliberated for a few moments before he committed to a call.

Dixon: Q♥Q♠
Henderson: A♠K♠

The flop of 5♦4♣2♦ gave Henderson a few extra outs to a straight but it wasn't to be on the 9♣ turn and T♠ river. A huge double up for Dixon as he's now up to 120,000 with Henderson slipping to 75,000.

2:05pm: Seccafien straightened out

David Seccafien has been sent to the rail after Nick Ergos flopped a straight. It was Ben Savage who raised preflop but he check-folded on the J♦Q♠9♣ flop as Seccafien bet 15,000 and then called the check-raise shove from Ergos.

Seccafien opened Q♥T♥ for top pair and a straight draw but Ergos held T♠8♠. The turn was the A♣ and river the 6♣ to eliminate Seccafien in 25th place. Ergos is now up to 125,000.

ANZPT Player of the Year race goes down to the wire!

One of the most intriguing aspects to the ANZPT finale here in Darwin is the Player of the Year race which has provided some thrilling moments throughout the year. After his early form, including a win in Perth, Team PokerStars Pro Tony Hachem looked like he was set to make it back-to-back ANZPT POTY titles. However John Makouf with three final tables and four cashes surged into the points lead, narrowly ahead of Andrew Scarf with two final tables and four cashes.

There are approximately AU$90,000 in prizes being awarded to the top three players, and with the ANZPT Darwin event the last chance to grab points, plenty of the focus today is on Tony Hachem and Aaron Benton in their quest for the top prize.

Here's the current top ten:

1st John Maklouf 203.8
2nd Andrew Scarf 202.65
3rd Tony Hachem 191.65
4th Aaron Benton 174.45
5th Michael Spilkin 162.9
6th Rennie Carnevale 159.55
7th Ricky Kroesen 148.65
8th Daniel Neilson 139.55
9th Bradley Bower 138.75
10th Vesko Zmukic 136.1

So the permutations are as follows:

For Tony Hachem to claim ANZPT Player of the Year:
- Finish 8th or better, or
- Finish 12th or better if Aaron Benton doesn't cash

For Aaron Benton to win ANZPT Player of the Year:
- Finish 11th or better if Tony Hachem doesn't cash
- If Tony Hachem does cash and finishes 9th or below, Aaron Benton must win the tournament
- If Tony Hachem finishes 8th or better, Aaron Benton cannot win POTY

John Maklouf is guaranteed of finishing at least third, but he'll need both Tony Hachem and Aaron Benton to miss the money to take out the ANZPT Player of the Year title.

1:50pm: Benton doubles through English

Aaron Benton is alive and kicking in the race for the Player of the Year title as he just doubled up through Tim English.

Benton moved his last 39,100 in preflop with A♣T♥ against English's pocket eights and connected with the board as it ran out 2♣T♣7♥J♦5♥.

Benton is now up to 80,000.


Nothing better than a double up for PokerStars sponsored Aaron Benton

1:45pm: Krepapas cut

Alex Krepapas doubled up once but couldn't make it two in a row as he pushed his last 12,400 with K♣J♦ and was called by Anthony Flanagan's pocket fours.

Krepapas was calling for paint but it didn't arrive on the K♠A♠6♥5♠9♦ board.

1:43pm: Level up, blinds 1000-2000, ante 200

1:40pm: Double Dixon

Clint Dixon has found a double up when he pushed with J♠8♠ flush draw on a board of K♠A♠6♥ against Alex Krepapas who tabled A♦J♦ for top pair.

The turn 5♠ completed his flush as the meaningless river was the 9♦. Dixon doubled to 50,000 to leave Krepapas down to just 5,000 in chips.

Meanwhile Joel Feldman has lost his battle with his short stack to become our 27th place finisher.

1:28pm: Limanis cripples Feldman

Joel Feldman open-shoved the button and Angelo Limanis made the call in the small blind.

Feldman: A♥2♠
Limanis: A♠T♣

The board ran out K♠Q♥K♣8♥6♠ to give Limanis a double up to around 35,000 and leave Feldman crippled to just 1,300 in chips.

Feldman was all in blind next hand, but somehow manage to find a straight holding 2♣8♦ to chop the pot and stay alive with 2,700 in chips.

1:15pm: Finally a little luck for the locals

After being crippled when his pair, straight and flush draw suffered from "too many outs syndrome" against Morry Edelstein's pocket aces, Clint Dixon pushed his last 14,700 chips preflop with 3♠3♦ but ran into the aces once again, held by Joel Feldman.

The flop was a blank K♣6♣2♠ but just as Alex Krepapas commented that he folded a three, the case 3♣ landed on the turn. Feldman had a flush draw but it missed on the J♥ river as Dixon doubled up to around 32,000. Feldman hasn't had a good start to the day as he's down to 21,000.

1:00pm: Locals dropping away

It's been a bad start to the day for the locals as another has bit the dust. Darryl Orrock was happy to make it through to Day 3 as it meant he got another day off work, but his run has just come to an end at the hands of Daniel Laidlaw.

Orrock was all in preflop with A♣8♣ as Laidlaw showed T♦T♥.

The flop of T♣Q♣2♠ brought a real sweat as Laidlaw flopped a set but Orrock found a
flush draw. The 3♠ turn and 9♠ river were the right colour, but wrong suit as Orrock was sent to the rail.

He was shortly followed by Lachlan Nicholson who fell with pocket sixes against ace-ten to see us down to 27 players and our final three tables.

12:50pm: Portaro trips Flanagan

Bruno Portaro limped in from the hijack and action folded to Anthony Flanagan in the big blind who added another 2,500 to the bet. Portaro called and the flop fell K♦J♣9♠.
Flanagan led out for 5,500 and Portaro called as the A♥ hit the turn. Flanagan checked and Portaro tossed 10,500 into the middle with Flanagan making the call as the J♥ completed the board on the river.

Portaro was busily squeaking his soft toy which appears to be a duck-like bird, but received a warning from TD Danny McDonagh to only squeak when it was his turn to act. Flanagan gave him a chance to squeak as he checked the action over but Portaro checked behind.

Flanagan tabled A♣Q♣ but Portaro showed J♦T♥ for trips to collect the pot. Flanagan slips to 100,000 with Portaro up to 140,000.

12:43pm: Level up, 800-1600, ante 200

The final thirteen minutes of Level 10 has been completed and we're now into Level 11.

12:40pm: Crocky finds some bite

Billy "The Croc" Argyros has just ended the tournament of Doug Stanes. There was plenty of action preflop as Daniel Laidlaw committed over a third of his stack before folding once Stanes and Argyros both moved all in.

Stanes tabled A♦K♦, Argyros showed A♥A♣ as Laidlaw commented that he would've had two outs.

The board landed 4♦4♠5♥6♣J♦ to give Crocky a near triple up as Stanes hits the rail. He was soon followed by another local in Terry Wallis as we're down to 29 players.

12:35pm: That's a bit ruff

Our first elimination of our day didn't take long as local player Clayton Dwyer has run his K♦K♥ straight into the A♦A♠ of Brotha D.

Incredibly the board was spread A♥A♣3♠8♣T♦ to give the hip hop king quads and send Dywer to the rail.

Although he plays poker for fun Dwyer is actually no stranger to the intensity of tournaments as he's well known in these parts as being one of Australia's finest Rock-Paper-Scissors players.

Dwyer has competed on the world stage as a World RPS Championship finalist for five years as well as having RPS results around Australia, New Zealand, Norway and the United States.

His RPS profile lists his likes as spaghetti bolognaise and paper, while his dislikes are New Zealanders and dynamite.

Dwyer has one other claim to fame. He was once on the front page of the local newspaper for the headline Dogs Ate My Car. Strange but true.


Dogs ate my car!

12:30pm: Round 3 - Fight!

There's plenty of blood, sweat and a few tears left on the felt after the first two days of the ANZPT Darwin Main Event as our field of 100 has been reduced to our final 32 players. They return today for "Round 3" knowing that a knockout blow is only ever one hand away and their three days of toil may end up being for nought.

We're still a long way away from the money with only the top 12 players collecting a profit here at the SKYCITY Darwin Casino. After the frantic action yesterday we can expect the pace of play to slow up considerably today once we inch closer to the money. And it's not all about the cash today, with those vital ANZPT Player of the Year points potentially worth more than the cash itself.

Team PokerStars Pro Tony Hachem and 2009 APPT Sydney champion Aaron Benton are currently locked in an intense battle with ANZPT POTY leader John Maklouf for the honour of the Player of the Year title. There will no doubt be plenty of nervous moments and a few anxious railbirds should these two hang around a little longer.


Tony Hachem and Aaron Benton will be gunning for the ANZPT Player of the Year title today

Benton is a little short stacked but Tony Hachem is sitting with an average chip stack as they chase the runaway chip leader Byron Henderson. Others still in contention include Brotha D, Billy "The Croc" Argyros, Ben Savage, Chris Levick and Tim English.

Click here for the Day 3 Table Draw

We'll be playing all the way down to our final table of nine this afternoon so lock your browser into the PokerStars Blog and keep whacking that refresh button as we bring you Day 3 of the ANZPT Darwin Main Event.

The players have now taken their seats, exchanged pleasantries and are now getting down to business as the cards are once again in the air.