ANZPT Melbourne: Levels 3 & 4 (blinds 100-200, ante 25)

4:20pm: Ten-minute break

4:00pm: Bower busts Marsland

Western Australia's Dale Marsland has been sent to the rail after his aggressive style got the better of him in a clash with Brad Bower.

Bower opened to 500 from under the gun before Marsland made it 1,700. Bower called and they saw a flop of A♥7♥2♠. Bower led out for 1,900 before Marsland raised again to 5,200. Bower made the call.

The turn brought the 5♠ and both players checked to see the T♠ complete the board on the river. Bower checked and Marsland moved all in. Bower made a pretty quick call and tabled A♣Q♣ for just top pair which was good. Marsland mucked and headed to the rail.

3:44pm: Rickwaa eliminated

ANZPT Gold Coast runner up Ricky Kroesen has been eliminated from the tournament. The details are a little sketchy but we believe he committed his short stack with ace-eight and couldn't improve against the pocket jacks of Mikhael Andersson.

3:35pm: Time for a massage for Tony

PokerStars Team Australia Pro Tony Hachem hasn't been able to get much going today and he looks a little frustrated. We just saw him call a raise to 525 from a Ben Gilholme, before Chris Chronis bumped it to 2,500. Action folded back to the Gilholme who made it 6,650 to play as Hachem shook his in dismay and made a frustrated fold. Chronis also took his time before folding as Gilholme took it down preflop.

With that, Hachem called for the Best Hands message therapist to help him relieve some tension as he sits with around 20,000 chips.


After being down early, Tony Hachem has fought back to a starting stack

3:20pm: Level up, blinds 100-200, ante 25

3:15pm: Graham Gone

The short-stacked Jarred Graham has been sent to the rail after getting his last chips into the middle on a flop of A♦2♦3♠. Graham held A♣J♥ but he had kicker problems as Stuart Kerr opened A♥Q♣. The turn was the 4♣ to bring Graham chop outs but the river bricked the 3♦ to send Graham to the rail. With the big cash games unlikely to start until later tonight, Graham is currently wandering around the room to perhaps drum up some action.

3:10pm: Some counts from around the room

James Obst is currently one of the big stacks of our notable players as he has worked his way up to 50,000 in the early stages. Other movers include Michael Guzzardi (32,000), Ben Savage (31,000), Sal Fazzino (26,000) and Dan Neilson (26,000).

Those heading in the wrong direction include PokerStars Team Australia Pro Lee Nelson (12,000), ANZPT Gold Coast champ Nauv Kashyap (11,000), ANZPT Queenstown winner Julian Cohen (11,000), ANZPT Player of the Year points leader John Maklouf (7,000) and young gun Jarred Graham (6,000).

2:50pm: On the punt

It seems that our players love for gambling exceeds their national pride. With the big screen TV currently showing the heats of the swimming at the Commonwealth Games, one player asked for the channel to be changed.

"Excuse me? Can we get the TV changed over to the horse racing?" questioned one of the players to the Crown tournament staff. "We've got bets on," he explained as the nearby players nodded in agreement.

"Hey, but I've got a bet on this!" replied one player from an adjacent table with tongue planted firmly in cheek.

"You've got a bet on the swimming?" responded the avid horse racing punter in amazement. "I tell you what...if you can name who is winning, then I might believe you!"

The pop quiz produced no answer (although we assume it was an Aussie winning) and the TV was quickly swapped to the horse racing.

2:40pm: Official numbers

With registration now closed, the official numbers are in. We have a total of 310 players, including 95 PokerStars online qualifiers, to create a prize pool of $775,000. This is a huge improvement on the 218 who entered last year's event.

The top 36 will be guaranteed $4,260 while first place will take home a whopping $195,700.

We'll have the full list of payouts posted for you shortly.

2:35pm: Grigg crashes

The hot run of Tom "tollgate" Grigg has come crashing to a halt with an early elimination here in Melbourne. Coming off a second place in the recent APPT Auckland Main Event, Grigg had slipped down to around 13,000 before those chips were committed preflop. Grigg was in good shape with his pocket aces in dominant position against an opponent's pocket queens, but a third lady on the flop was enough to send Grigg to the rail.

2:20pm: Play resumes

The players are back following their break with the cards once again in the air. Registration has now officially closed so we should have final confirmation of numbers for you shortly.

One man who won't have to worry about the field any more is Melbourne local Peter Aristidou. The Crown regular is more used to deep runs than early eliminations but it wasn't to be today as he was eliminated from the tournament just prior to the break.

In a re-raised pot, three players committed their chips on a flop of T♣8♣3♥. Aristidou showed A♣5♣ for the nut flush draw as both of his opponents held pocket queens. The turn and river bricked out and Aristidou departed.