ANZPT Melbourne: Levels 11 & 12 (blinds 1000-2000, ante 200)

2:10pm: Ten-minute break

1:50pm Hachem and the Hippo

We've just lost a couple of big names from today's event.

Ali Khalil was eliminated from the feature table after losing his battle with his short stack. He moved all in preflop with Q♥T♥ but ran into an opponent's A♦A♣. The flop of 9♦2♥J♣ gave him some outs to a straight and the 5♥ turn gave him maximum outs with a flush draw as well, but the river bricked the 3♦ to send the "Peppermint Hippo" to the rail.

"How do I miss that?" sighed Khalil as he left the tournament floor.

Joining him on the rail is PokerStars Team Australia Pro Tony Hachem. He was all in with pocket queens but the iconic "Toothpick Tony" held pocket kings. A jack-high flop was enough to send Hachem to the rail and leave Andrew Scarf in the box seat in the Season 2 Player of the Year race.

tony_hachem1_anzpt_melbourne.jpg

Tony Hachem hits the rail at the ANZPT Melbourne

1:35pm: Brkovic survives the six-bet

We just witnessed a massive preflop confrontation that has resulted in a triple up for Aleks Brkovic.

It started with a raise from under the gun to 4,500 with Ryan McKay making the call before Aleks Brkovic bumped it to 13,500 on the button. The original raiser then re-raised to 25,000 which McKay again called. Back on Brkovic and he had no hesitation in moving his last chips into the middle in a re-raise of an additional 20,400. The UTG-player then announced himself all in to send McKay into the tank. He eventually released and Brkovic was happy to see his 9♣9♠ racing against his opponent's A♣K♠.

The board ran out Q♥2♦7♦3♣4♥ which was safe for Brkovic to virtually triple up. After winning the High Stakes event earlier in the week, Brkovic is looking strong for another final table as he moves up to 130,000.

1:20pm: O'Rourke out-kicks Morton

Dave Morton opened to 4,500 from middle position before Liam O'Rourke made it 11,000 next to speak. The table folded back around to Morton who declared himself all in with O'Rourke insta-calling.

Morton showed A♦J♣ but was in trouble as O'Rourke held a dominant A♣K♦. As Dan Neilson claimed to have folded ace-queen on the button, the board was spread 9♦8♠Q♥2♣6♣. Kicker problems for Morton sends the one time chip leader to the rail.

"I was pretty sure the fifteen-year old had a good hand," chirped Neilson, as young gun O'Rourke is following up his third place finish at the ANZPT Gold Coast with another deep run here in Melbourne. O'Rourke is up to 130,000.

1:10pm: Level up, blinds 1000-2000, ante 200

1:07pm: Action flop sends Silajdzija packing

The details are a little cloudy but it appeared that Omer Silajdzija, Josh Budin and Alex Palantinis were involved in a three-way clash on a flop of A♦J♥Q♥.

Budin has A♠T♥ for top pair and straight draw, Palantinis held Q♦J♦ for two pair but both trailed the K♥T♠ of Silajdzija who had flopped the Broadway straight.

That all changed when the Q♠ hit the turn to fill up Palantinis who collected the pot when the river bricked the 6♦.

Palantinis virtually tripled up to 135,000, Budin slipped to 45,000 as Silajdzija headed to the exit.

1:00pm: Savage blow for Schlie

Nikolas Schlie's tournament has come to an end after the PokerStars qualifier made a move with 8♠9♠ on an A-T-8 board but Ben Savage picked him off with ace-ten for two pair that improved to a full house on the river.

Schlie has made remarkable progress in his game as a deaf poker player after qualifying online for his first live poker tournament. Playing in this event meant that Schlie was forced to miss the Australian Deaf Poker Championships in Melbourne yesterday which, by all accounts, were a huge success. No doubt Schlie's achievement in qualifying for this tournament and reaching day two will be an inspiration for deaf poker players throughout the country.

12:50pm: Virus wiped out

Paul "The Virus" Ravesi has been eliminated from the tournament after trying to triple barrel 2008 APPT Sydney champ Martin Rowe.

The board rean A♣A♠Q♦9♠T♦ as Rowe check-called on three streets with Ravesi committing his last chips by the river. Ravesi tabled Q♥J♥ but Rowe had A♦5♦ for trips to send Ravesi home.

We haven't seen much of Martin Rowe on the tour since his breakthrough win in 2008, so perhaps today will be his day to make another deep run. Rowe is up to 120,000.

12:40pm: Salt into the wound

Short-stacked Robert Salter has lost his battle after he pushed all in preflop with jack-ten, only to find James Obst and Josh Budin both come over the top for all of their chips. Both big stacks tabled ace-king and they chopped up the pot on the board of A♠9♦7♦2♠4♥ to send Salter to the rail.

12:35pm: No laughing matter

Well the Melbourne Marathon has claimed one victim, and unfortunately it's our poker reporting colleague Ed Fogarty. The Irishman must've thought we were joking when we warned him about the traffic yesterday, as he's currently stuck in a log-jam somewhere in St.Kilda trying to frantically escape.

Starting the day with 79,400, Fogarty has a little bit of breathing room but those lost blinds and antes will no doubt hurt when he finally makes an appearance.

12:30pm: Neilson cracks Portaro

We've just witnessed out biggest pot of the tournament as fellow big stacks Dan Neilson and Bruno Portaro have clashed preflop.

Neilson opened to 3,800 and action folded to Portaro in the big blind who made it 15,000. Neilson re-raised to 35,000 before Portarto moved all in with Neilson making the call.

Neilson opened Q♠Q♥ but found himself in trouble as Portaro showed pocket aces!

With 260,000 chips in the middle, the board ran out T♦Q♣2♣J♠3♣. Neilson spiked a miracle two-outer to claim the pot and leave Portaro in a state of shock.

After the count down of chips, Neilson had Portaro covered by just 400 chips. Portaro took the savage blow with class and drifted out of the poker room as Neilson casually shrugged and raked in 260,000 chips and the tournament chip lead!

dan_neilson_anzpt_melbourne.jpg

Dan Neilson and his lucky ladies jump out to a massive chip lead

12:20pm: Scarf rockets past Beattie

Kelvin Beattie has had a pretty good run recently. After winning a coveted bracelet in the recent PokerStars WCOOP series under the online moniker "aces_up4180", Beattie was on top of the world.

However today he's come crashing back down to Earth after being eliminated from the tournament at the hands of Andrew Scarf.

The chips were in preflop with Scarf's A♥A♣ up against the T♥T♠ of Beattie as the board ran out K♣K♦4♣7♦3♦. Beattie busts as Scarf moves up to 130,000.

12:15pm: Season 2 ANZPT POTY Race wide open

We have a very interesting situation developing in the Season 2 ANZPT Player of the Year race. After points leader John Maklouf was eliminated yesterday, the door has swung wide open for Tony Hachem and Andrew Scarf to claim the points lead.

Others still in contention in the field are Vesko Zmukic, Dan Neilson, Brad Bower and Liam O'Rourke.

Incredibly Scarf, Hachem and Zmukic have all drawn the same starting table today, so they'll be able to keep a close eye on each other's progress!

12:10pm: Shuffle up and deal!

The players have shuffled into the Crown Poker Room and unbagged their chips in preparation of a long day ahead. With the Melbourne Marathon event blocking street access around the city this morning it will be interesting to see if any of the locals get caught in traffic and arrive a little tardy.

Crown Tournament Director Christian Vaughan has welcomed the players to their seats before ANZPT Danny McDonagh gave the final instructions to the dealers to "Shuffle Up and Deal!"

With 105 players remaining, there's still a long way to go in this one but we should have a few interesting moments around the money bubble at 36 players and also towards the end of the day as a potential final table looms.

crownpokerroom.jpg

The world-class facilities of the Crown Poker Room