ANZPT Gold Coast Day 2: Levels 13 & 14 (blinds 1,500-3,000, ante 300)
The players are now taking their last ten-minute break of the day. When they return, we'll play just one more level before we call it a night.
5:38pm: Steicke takes out Watson
Andrew Watson won't be able to replicate his runner-up finish in Queenstown as he's just been eliminated from the ANZPT Gold Coast Main Event. Watson moved his last 36,000 in preflop with K♠T♦ but David Steicke woke up in the small blind with Q♥Q♦ and insta-called. The board ran out A♥4♣T♥8♠Q♣ to give Steicke a set and send Watson crashing from the tournament. Steicke is up to 180,000.
5:28pm: Easy Tabrizi
We arrived at the table of Esan Tabrizi to see a rather brutal flop sitting in between Tabrizi and his opponent, Italian Carlo Graziano. The board read 2♠3♠5♥ and Graziano had flopped a set of deuces with 2♥2♣ but Tabrizi showed A♦4♦ for the flopped straight!
The turn was the 7♣ and river the A♣ to leave the straight of Tabrizi in front for the double up. He's up to 200,000 with Graziano down to just 30,000.
5:15pm: 20 to go
Play has started to grind to a halt as players have one eye on the "Players Remaining" figure on the tournament clocks around the room. With just 32 players finishing in the money, 20 of our remaining 52 players are going to go home unhappy. It's likely that this slow pace will continue until the blinds start to put a bit more pressure on the short stacks around the room.
5:09pm: Kroesen living dangerously
"I just had a heart attack!" said Ricky Kroesen to us as he passed our blogging desk on the way to the sandwich buffet. He was referring to the following hand that nearly led to his downfall.
Kroesen opened to 8,000 before Damien Bennett put in a three-bet. Kroesen four-bet jammed and Bennett snap-called with K♥K♦. Kroesen showed A♠K♣ but managed to spike an ace on the board of 8♠A♥7♥6♥7♠ to climb back up to 124,000.
4:50pm: Blinds up: 1,500-3,000 with 300 ante
4:44pm: A rose among the thorns
We have one lone female left standing in the field in local player Rhonda Whitford.
Whitford started out with just 5,525 in chips but has managed to fight her way back into contention.
"I've survived about seven all ins already today!" said Whitford as she has worked back to a stack of 33,000. She's still short, but is now within sight of the money with 53 players remaining.
4:40pm: Coombe takes out Aristidou
The hot streak of Peter Aristidou has come to an end as he was unable to make it third time lucky. Aristidou raised from the small blind, with Coombe re-raising from the big blind. Aristidou called, and then check-raised all in on the 5♦6♣3♦. Coombe made the call with pocket queens as Aristidou was in trouble with his pocket jacks. The turn was the 6♠ and river the 3♥ to eliminate Aristidou from the tournament.
Coombe is a quiet achiever who flies under the radar in live tournaments, but that may quickly change if he carries his momentum to a deep run in this event. Known as "The Spewtard" online, Coombe has an impressive online resume with two triple crowns to his credit. He's now up to 225,000 and definitely one to watch.
4:24pm: Revenge of the short stacks
The short stacks are fighting back, with several recent double ups. Liam O'Rourke doubled up to 80,000 after flopping two pair holding J♣T♣ on a board of J♦T♦3♦9♥3♠ against the A♦Q♣ of Nick Hronis.
Luke Edwards also doubled to 80,000 when his pocket kings held against an opponent's ace-jack on a board of 2♥5♥7♠T♠9♦.
Finally, it was Peter Aristidou's turn when he once again received some help from lady luck when his pocket queens spiked a set to double up through Jimmy Ghobrial's pocket kings. Aristidou is up to 88,000.
4:05pm: Tony Hachem eliminated
The tournament has ended for PokerStars Team Australia Pro Tony Hachem. He opened from early position to 6,700 before JP Yahn popped it to 25,000 from the big blind. Hachem moved all in for his last 65,000 and Yahn made the call, tabling pocket queens to have Hachem in trouble with his pocket jacks. The board ran out 8-T-T-5-A and Hachem made a disappointed walk from the poker room.
Hachem's elimination now opens the door for John Maklouf to potentially take the lead in the ANZPT Player of the Year race.
3:55pm: Double deuce for Aristidou
Peter Aristidou has doubled up, thanks to a fortunate river. He committed his last 25,000 chips with A♥2♦ and was called in the big blind by Nick Wong holding A♣J♠. All was calm until a deuce fell on the river to give Aristidou the three-outer for the double up to 50,000.
3:50pm: Play resumes; Cohen busts
The players are back in action following the break, but Julian Cohen didn't stick around for long after he was just eliminated from the tournament. Action folded around to Cohen in the small blind who moved all in with his short stack holding nine-ten. The big blind made the call with a dominant jack-ten and the board bricked out, to eliminate the ANZPT Queenstown champion.
There are 64 players remaining.