ANZPT Gold Coast: It's All Wong On Friday The 13th
Poker players can be a strangely superstitious lot. Many own a lucky card protector, some wear their lucky cap at every event, while some players have been known to re-wear the same clothes over and over for the duration of the tournament to avoid the wrath of lady luck.
If there's ever a day where those superstitions make any sense, it would have to be today, Friday the 13th. Some players had to avoid walking under ladders or crossing a black cat on their way to the casino today, but it didn't do much good for the 90 players who met their demise during Day 2 of the ANZPT Gold Coast Main Event.
It was fitting on Friday the 13th, that a man named "Darko" was our runaway chip leader to start the day. However his lead soon evaporated as the peloton soaked up the advantage, led by Ricky Kroesen and George Moussa.
Both managed to tease the chip lead as they cracked 200,000 in the early goings, but both would hit hurdles later in the day. Kroesen managed to recover and survive the day on a short stack, but Moussa fell chasing another big pot when his nut flush draw failed to deliver.
We lost our defending champion in Scott Kerr as well as the most recent ANZPT champion in Julian Cohen. However the big elimination of the day was undoubtedly the fall of ANZPT Player of the Year points leader Tony Hachem. His POY lead is now under threat for the first time this year after he ran his pocket jacks into the pocket queens of JP Yahn. It's the second consecutive year that Hachem has missed out on points up north, and he may rue the missed opportunity if his nearest rival, John Maklouf, manages to reach the money tomorrow.
While young guns Dave Allan (123,500), Liam O'Rourke (227,000), Dominic Coombe (114,000) and Joel Dodds (217,500) all had moments towards the top, the big story of the day was with Hong Kong's Nick Wong.
Wong started his surge when his pocket queens cracked the pocket aces of Tom Grigg. He jumped to the chip lead and maintained that advantage for most of the afternoon, before ending the day with a bang with the largest pot of the tournament.
It was Wong's king-queen up against Nuno Da Silva's queen-ten on a flop of T♠J♦Q♣. The turn bricked but Wong spiked a king on the river to make a bigger two pair to cement his place as the man to catch on Day 3 with 376,500 chips.
But Wong won't have it easy as there's plenty of quality still in this field including 2009 APPT Sydney winner and PokerStars sponsored Aaron Benton (271,000), David Steicke (170,000), ANZPT Sydney champion Angelo Hamataj (153,000), John Maklouf (129,500), Michael Spilkin (122,500), Australian Poker Hall of Famer Maurie "The Master" Pears (72,500) and ANZPT Canberra champion Jason Gray (49,000).
Play will recommence at 11:30am local time tomorrow as we burst the money bubble and head towards our ANZPT Gold Coast final table. We look forward to your company then!
Day 3 Table Draw
Seat 1: John Maklouf - 129,500
Seat 2: James Davey - 179,500
Seat 3: Aaron Benton - 271,000
Seat 4: Nicholas Wong - 376,500
Seat 6: Joel Dodds - 217,500
Seat 7: Chad Wairepo - 133,000
Seat 8: Christos Kazonis - 74,500
Seat 9: Jan Pettersson - 168,000
Seat 1: Michael Spilkin - 122,500
Seat 2: David Allan - 123,500
Seat 4: Blain Robertson - 72,500
Seat 5: Dominic Coombe - 114,000
Seat 6: Duncan Mckinnon - 192,000
Seat 7: Nauvneel Kashyap - 323,000
Seat 8: Wayne Dever - 38,000
Seat 9: Christopher Chau - 48,000
Seat 1: Wayne Hockey - 27,500
Seat 2: David Steicke - 170,000
Seat 3: Anthony Grange - 62,000
Seat 4: Adam Cameron - 160,500
Seat 6: Luke Edwards - 123,000
Seat 7: Angelo Hamataj - 153,000
Seat 8: Mark James - 103,000
Seat 9: Maurie Pears - 72,500
Seat 1: Qi Xu - 122,500
Seat 2: Brad Wilson - 173,500
Seat 3: Danny Silk - 133,000
Seat 4: Daniel Dzian - 71,000
Seat 5: Daniel Gilles - 122,500
Seat 6: Robert Ceccato - 24,500
Seat 7: Joe Vedelago - 86,000
Seat 8: Vuong Van Le - 139,500
Seat 9: Trevor Wills - 123,000
Seat 1: Sheldon Mayer - 182,000
Seat 2: Ricky Kroesen - 37,500
Seat 3: Esan Tabrizi - 166,000
Seat 4: Chris Kittos - 44,000
Seat 5: Jimmy Ghobrial - 102,500
Seat 6: Liam O'rourke - 227,000
Seat 7: Ian Parnell - 41,000
Seat 8: Jason Gray - 49,000
Seat 9: Darko Balaban - 290,000