ANZPT Gold Coast: Levels 1 & 2 (Blinds 75-150)

1:35pm: Early break for Scarf

As the players take their first ten-minute break of the day, one player who was able to beat the rush to the bathroom was Andrew Scarf. Currently in the top three in the ANZPT Player of the Year points race, Scarf was spotted dashing to the exit after being on the wrong end of a set-over-set confrontation.

Scarf held 6♠6♥ on a board of Q♣6♣4♠T♦J♠ and bet the flop and turn before calling off his last 9,500 on the river, but Wayne Dever showed J♦J♥ for a two-outer on the river.


Andrew Scarf is eliminated from the ANZPT Gold Coast

1:15pm: Steady as she goes

Play has slowed down a little around the tables somewhat over the past few minutes as players settle into their groove. Although, Michael Spilkin didn't seem to think so as he commented to us on our rounds of the floor.

"What's going on down there on table 12? They're all in every hand with jack-nine!" joked Spilkin.

Perhaps his frustrations come from his rather tough starting table which features Luke Edwards, Mike King, Julius Colman and Michael Pedley.

One player who doesn't have to worry about his table line up is Andrew Sawyer as he was recently sent to the rail. His chips went in on a flop of T♣J♦8♦ with a pair and straight draw with J♣9♣, and the best hand against Matthew Hopkins' K♥T♥. However the T♦ turn and T♠ river were as perfect as it gets for Hopkins as he made running quads to leave Sawyer heading for the exit.

12:50pm: Steicke in the house

A few of the late-comers have just taken their seats in today's field including Billy "The Croc" Argyros and David Steicke.

"We're glad to see David Steicke in today's field," announced ANZPT Commissioner Danny McDonagh. "Of course David won $1.2 million in the High Rollers event at the Aussie Millions two years ago and flew in this morning after winning a free night's accommodation in Hong Kong two nights ago."

12:40pm: Quads for Sheldon

The man known simply as "Sheldon" has just eliminated an opponent in rather brutal fashion. The chips weren't all in until the river on the board of K♥2♦K♦4♥4♣ as Sheldon's opponent showed K♣9♣ for a full house with kings full of fours. However Sheldon tabled 4♠4♦ for running quads! Sheldon doubles to 40,000.

12:35pm: Blinds up: 75-150

12:30pm: Double KO for Hamataj

We've waited patiently for our first elimination of the day and it was worth the wait, with a spectacular double bustout that's given ANZPT Sydney champion Angelo Hamataj a triple stack.

The action flop was 6♣9♣2♦ as the chips went into the pot three ways. Hamataj held the nuts with 9♠9♥, as Michael Yost showed pocket deuces for bottom set and Michael O'Grady had a few more outs with his 5♣7♣ for a straight-flush draw.

The turn was the Q♦ and river the 3♦ as the double KO gives Hamataj the chip lead with 59,000.

12:20pm: Hachem gets involved in early monster

The room just fell rather strangely silent as a big crowd gathered around the table of ANZPT Player of the Year points leader Tony Hachem, as he had moved all of his chips into the middle to put his opponent to the test.

Savvas Zenonus started the madness preflop when he raised it up to 500. Tony Hachem flat-called before Andrew Batey put in a three-bet on the button. Zenonus called but Hachem decided to re-raise them both. Batey called but Zenonus had seen enough as the flop landed a monotone J♥4♥7♥.

Hachem checked it over to Batey who bet a healthy 6,500. Hachem responded by check-raising all in to send Batey into the tank.

"Give the man some time," commented Hachem, "It's a huge pot!"

Batey deliberated but decided to fold his Q♦Q♠ face up to the gasps of the rail. But it was a great fold as Hachem showed A♠A♦!


Tony Hachem in action at the ANZPT Gold Coast

12:10pm: Coolers cripple two, but no bustouts

Andrew Capelin is down to his last 3,000 in chips after our first cooler of the day. Capelin ran his K♠K♥ into the A♦A♠ of Joe Vedelago with the board running out 4♠7♦J♠4♣7♠.

A few minutes later we saw Fred Alam get his chips in with 5♥5♣ on a flop of 8♥T♥5♦. Only problem was that Peter Conen had flopped a bigger set with his 8♠8♣. The 4♠ turn and Q♠ river didn't produce any miracles to leave Alam crippled to his last 500 in chips.

We still await our first elimination of the day!

11:55am: The Hills are alive!

Well it didn't take long to have our first all-in situation of the day, but it didn't result in our first elimination as Roy Hills lived to fight another day. Hills was able to amass a massive stack during the ANZPT Adelaide event earlier this year, but he was very close to a rapid elimination here on the Gold Coast after moving all in for his last 6,450 over the top of the 2,200 bet from Mark Ashworth on a flop of 3♦4♣7♠. Ashworth gave the decision some thought before calling with 9♠9♦ as Hills slammed his A♣K♠ defiantly onto the table.

Hills' confidence paid off when the K♥ hit the turn to take the lead, before the T♦ completed the board. Hills doubles up to around 15,000 as Ashworth was left shaking his head.

11:45am: Names in the crowd

Once again we're blessed with the cream of the Australian poker crop, with many of Australia and New Zealand's finest professionals taking their shot at ANZPT glory today including Julius Colman, Damon Lum, John Maklouf, Michael Pedley, Nik Lackovic, Peter Aristidou, Donna Ciric, Damon Lum, Greg Shillig and John Caridad fresh off his 4th place finish at the WPT Bellagio Cup.

Our field is also full of past title winners including inaugural ANZPT Adelaide champ Karl Krautschneider, 2009 ANZPT Melbourne winner Chris Levick, 2010 Melbourne Poker Championships winner Brendan Rubie, 2010 Aussie Millions winner Tyron Krost, 2010 ANZPT Sydney champ Angelo Hamataj and 2009 APPT Sydney champion Aaron Benton.

We also have ten alternates here today, some of which are currently looking to be seated in place of the "no shows" who failed to turn up. A couple listed as alternates include Andrew Scarf, Jamie Pickering, David Steicke and Billy Argyros, who interestingly elected to be an alternate as he's not a fan of the early levels of play.

11:35am: Shuffle up and deal!

It's standing room only here in the Jupiters Poker Room as a capacity field, including ten alternates, are here for Day1B of the ANZPT Gold Coast Main Event.


The poker room at Jupiters Hotel and Casino

Jupiters Poker Room manager Martin Coughlan has welcomed everyone and provided a little spruiking for the local massage services provided here in the poker room.

"The largest stack yesterday was 99,000 and the smallest stack was 5,000..." commented Coughlan, "...and all players who got through received a massage during the day. They were relaxed and focused!"

The immortal words were then given and the cards are now in the air!