ANZPT Melbourne: Levels 22 & 23 (blinds 12000-24000, ante 3000)

4:35pm: Ten-minute break

4:34pm: Daniel Laidlaw eliminated in 9th place

On the stroke of the next break of the day we've lost Daniel Laidlaw in 9th place. He battled valiantly with a short stack all day but he couldn't find the same fortune as his fellow short stacks.

Laidlaw made his move with A♣2♣ but ran into the A♦K♥ of David Chilcott. The worst hand had been winning these clashes all day, but it wasn't to be for the PokerStars qualifier as the board ran out 7♦9♥4♥8♥6♦.

Laidlaw collects $16,275 for a fine tournament.


Daniel Laidlaw eliminated in 9th place

4:32pm: Chilcott doubles through Raj

Another all in and, you guessed it, another double up! Raj Ramakrishnan opened to 60,000 from early position before David Chilcott moved all in for 287,000 from the big blind. Ramakrishnan made the call.

Chilcott: J♥T♥
Ramakrishnan: K♣Q♠

The board once again looked after the short stack as it arrived A♣T♣7♦3♦4♦ to double Chilcott to around 600,000.

4:25pm: De Cesare moving chips

Raj Ramakrishnan raised it up to 60,000 from middle position and Amanda De Cesare made the call in the small blind.

They took a flop of 6♣7♦4♠ and both players checked. The turn brought the Q♦ and De Cesare moved all in for 430,000 to take it down as Ramakrishnan released his hand.

4:22pm: Kozlov doubles again

Action folded to Martin Kozlov on the button who moved all in for his entire 387,000 chip stack. James Obst thought for a moment in the small blind before making the call.

Kozlov: A♦Q♥
Obst: A♥8♠

The board ran out A♣J♣5♣J♠8♣ and despite hitting an eight on the river, it was the aces and jacks with a queen kicket for Kozlov which landed the double up. He's back to 800,000 with Obst still in front with about 1.2 million.


Martin Kozlov finds yet another double up

4:15pm: Ramakrishnan likes that flop

In a battle of the blinds, Raj Ramakrishnan has flopped a moster hand, but Martin Kozlov has escaped relatively cheaply.

We caught the action on a flop 6♦J♠8♦ with Ramakrishnan checking to Kozlov who fired 55,000. Ramakrishnan then check-raised all in to put Kozlov to the test. He eventually folded and Ramakrishnan flashed A♦J♦ for top pair and flush draw!

Ramakrishnan has recovered well as he finds himself back up over 700,000 with Kozlov again short with about 350,000.

4:08pm: Three hours down and no one is giving an inch

It's now been three hours since we lost Joe Allis in 10th place, and these guys don't seem like they are going anywhere fast. This is in contrast to the last ANZPT event on the Gold Coast where we lost two players on the very first hand of the day, and found ourselves three-handed within a matter of hours. We're not sure what the record is for the longest time for the first elimination on an ANZPT final table, but we're putting a nomination for this event. It could be a long night ahead!

3:49pm: De Cesare clipped by Savage

Amanda De Cesare opened with a raise to 60,000 on the button but Ben Savage responded with a three-bet to 150,000 from the small blind. De Cesare deliberated before making the call, and the two saw a flop of 4♣7♣9♦.

Savage led out for 150,000 and De Cesare cringed before releasing her hand. She's down to 420,000 with Savage up into second place with 1.1 million. James Obst is still out in front with 1.4 million as we await our first final table bustout!

3:35pm: Level up, blinds 12000-24000, ante 3000

3:20pm: Kozlov cracks Obst

It seems that we just can't bust a player as these nine have been battling for close to two hours now without a single elimination. The double ups continued as Martin Kozlov found a two-outer to stay alive and put a dent in the empire of James Obst.

Action folded to Martin Kozlov in the cutoff who opened by moving all in for 251,000. James Obst quickly called on the button as the blinds jumped out of the way.

Kozlov: Q♣Q♦
Obst: A♦A♥

The board ran out 9♥7♣K♠Q♠2♠ and Kozlov finds a lovely lady to double up! He's up to 520,000 with Obst coming back to the pack a little with 1.4 million.

3:10pm: Raj finds a jack

After a distinct lack of excitement over the past hour, we finally had an all-in clash with Raj Ramakrishnan putting his tournament on the line against Ted Nguyen.

Ramakrishnan had moved all in from under the gun for his last 231,000 with Nguyen making the call in the big blind.

Ramakrishnan: A♣J♥
Nguyen: A♥Q♠

Ramakrishnan would need a jack to survive and he got it as the board was spread J♠5♣6♦9♦7♣. Ramakrishnan doubles up to around 480,000.

2:46pm: Nice read by Savage

Ben Savage has started well after the break, after making a nice call in a blind versus blind battle against David Chilcott.

In a limped pot the two checked the flop of T♠9♣Q♥ before Savage took a stab of 25,000 on the 4♥ turn. Chilcott clicked it back to 50,000 and Savage called to see the 9♠ hit the river.

Savage checked and Chilcott bet 70,000. Savage went deep into the tank before eventually sliding out a call. Chilcott sheepishly tabled 8♥5♦ for the air-ball as Savage took it down with just 8♠4♠.

Savage is now up close to one million in chips.


Ben Savage in action on the ANZPT Melbourne final table

2:35pm: Play resumes

The nine players have taken their seats and the cards are back in the air. James Obst is still our chip leader with over 1.7 million in chips.