ANZPT Gold Coast Day 2: Levels 9 & 10 (blinds 600-1,200, ante 100)
1:22pm: Gray climbing
ANZPT Canberra champion Jason Gray is on the move after coming into the day with a below average stack. He got his day going when his J♦J♠ held up against Koudai Suzuki's T♣T♥ when the board was spread 6♠K♥9♠4♠5♥.
Arguably Australia's most consistent player of the last decade, Gray is heading towards another cash result on the Gold Coast as he chips up to 69,000.
1:16pm: Moussa quads up
George Moussa has a habit of building a big stack, and he's done it again after making quads to eliminate Yoani Kobangui. It was Moussa's pocket kings up against the ace-queen of Kobangui with all the chips in preflop. A queen on the flop was followed by running kings to give Moussa quads and a stack of 203,000.
1:10pm: Defending champ KO'd
We'll have a new champion here on the Gold Coast after the recent elimination of Scott Kerr. His last stance came on a flop of 6-2-2 as Kerr went with pocket fours but Matthew Pilat had him in trouble with pocket sevens. Kerr couldn't find a four on the turn or river and he was sent to the rail.
Another on the rail is PokerStars sponsored player Sally Snow. She got her last chips in with ace-queen but ran into the white-hot Ricky Kroesen who held pocket aces. There was no miracles for Snow and she was eliminated.
Moving in the other direction is Tom Grigg who is now up to 133,000 after the recent elimination of Richard Harrison. Grigg held A♦K♦ and was in dominant shape against Harrison's K♥Q♣ as the board ran out A♣5♦2♦7♣6♦.
12:56pm: No love for big pairs
Michael Spilkin is continuing to gain momentum as he's just eliminated Brad Lynch. Lynch held pocket kings on the 5-8-9 flop as the chips went in against Spilkin's 7-8 for pair and straight draw. The turn was a repeat 8 and the river a 7 to improve Spilkin to a full house. He's up to 83,000.
Another big pair to fall was held by Bodo Sbrzensny when his pocket queens were all in preflop against the A♣K♣ of Speros Stramarcos.
"Oh no!" sighed Stramarcos when he saw he was up against Sbrzensny's queens and it got worse when the flop landed 5♣K♦Q♥ to give Sbrzensny a set. However the J♣ turn and T♠ river gave Stramarcos a running straight to take the pot and eliminate Sbrzensny.
12:45pm: Huge pot for Rickwaa
PokerStars qualifier Ricky "Rickwaa" Kroesen is one of the most promising young players in Queensland, with an impressive online career as he looks to make his mark on the live circuit in his home state.
He's just landed a massive three-way pot to jump up towards the top of our chip count leaderboard.
Kroesen held K♠K♣, Kris Cunz tabled A♥K♦ while Ron Beggs would need a lot of help with his A♦J♠. Kroesen extended his advantage on the K♥3♠8♣ flop, and filled up on the 5♦ turn and 5♠ river.
A double KO for Kroesen as he climbs to a massive 195,000 chips.
12:38pm: Steicke slips
David Steicke has a knack for accumulating chips as he's motored along so far today, but he's just hit a small road block after doubling up Adam Cameron. They were all in on a flop of 8♦9♦4♥ with Steicke going with 7♠T♣ for an open-ended straight draw against the Q♦Q♣ of Cameron.
The turn was the 3♣ and river the K♦ to double Cameron to 70,000. Steicke is still comfortable with 78,000.
12:30: Blinds up: 600-1,200 with 100 ante
12:28pm: Karma is a bitch
Well, Jack Drake's good luck certainly turned around in a hurry. His final hand saw him move all in with pocket aces on a flop of K♣5♥9♥. The only problem was that Jimmy Ghobrial had flopped a set with his pocket nines. The T♣ turn and 3♥ river didn't provide Drake with a third ace and he was bundled out of the tournament. Ghobrial is up to 120,000.
Others who also recently departed the poker room for sunnier surrounds include Jai Kemp and Michael Pedley.
12:12pm: Champ takes a body blow
The defending champ has just taken a hit after making a big call on a flop of A♦9♦7♠. Matthew Pilat had moved all in, with Kerr tanking and then calling with A♠J♥ for top pair. However Pilat opened A♣9♥ for top two to leave Kerr in need of some help. The turn was the 6♣ and river the 4♣ to give Pilat a big double up to 95,000 as Kerr slips to 34,000.
12:02pm: An ugly one for Cerone
Tournament poker requires you to move your chips. You can't just sit on your hands as the blinds and antes increase and hope to survive. At least, that's the logic that Jack Drake is using to try and explain his devastating elimination of Tony Cerone.
When action folded to Drake in late position, he moved all in with just 2♠3♠ to try and steal the blinds and antes but Cerone woke up in the big blind with pocket eights and made the call. Cerone was in a dominant position to double up but the poker Gods unleashed a cruel flop of 3♦K♥3♣ to give Drake trips. The turn was the K♣ and the river the 5♥ as Drake now sits behind 37,000 as Cerone goes home with a bad beat story to tell.
11:55am: Chips are flying early
"There's been eight all ins on my table already!" laughed Michael Spilkin after he recalled to us a hand where he held pocket aces and eliminated an opponent who held queen-ten.
"I've gone from 6,500 in the final level last night, to now have 80,000!" he continued.
Another off to a good start this morning is Alex Lynsky after eliminating Dominique Gerson. It was Lynsky's A♦9♣ up against the Q♥T♥ of Gerson as the board ran out A♣2♠4♠T♦4♣.
Joining him on the rail is Brett Petersen who ran his pocket tens into the pocket kings of Chad Wairepo. Petersen actually spiked a ten on the turn, but it was too late as Wairepo also spiked a set on the flop. Wairepo is up to 54,000.
11:40am: Everyone's a winner
Rather than the usual "bag and tag" process adopted by the majority of casinos around the world, Jupiters Poker Room instead have players sign for the number of chips in their stack at the end of the day's play. All chips are then locked away overnight, before tournament staff cut out the correct stack sizes for each player this morning.
While it sounds like a lot of effort, there are some advantages to this method. Overnight all of the green 25-denomination chips have been coloured up, which means there are no hassles or time delays with racking up green chips and colouring up during play. There's also no need for a race off of the leftover greens.
"Everyone's a winner already today, " announced Jupiters Poker Room manager Martin Coughlan as he explained that everyone's stack had been rounded up to the nearest one hundred.
11:30am: Shuffle up and deal!
The 132 survivors of the day one action have returned to the Jupiters Poker Room, keen to make an impression today. They've taken their seats as Jupiters Poker Room manager Martin Coughlan welcomed the players and gave instructions to the dealers to "Shuffle up and Deal!"
We'll be playing seven levels today. That should tease us with the money stage but most likely the bubble won't burst on our final 32 players until tomorrow.