ANZPT Melbourne: Levels 7 & 8 (blinds 400-800, ante 75)
9:30pm: Ten-minute break
9:25pm: Lunardi flushed
PokerStars qualifier and Dutchman Roel Pijpers has just sent local young gun Kristian Lunardi to the rail.
The action went down on a flop of K♣J♦4♦ when Lunardi fired a bet and then called the all-in shove of his opponent. Lunardi table J♣K♠ for top two pair as Pijpers was on the draw with his A♦2♦.
Pijpers connected with the 9♦ turn card to complete his flush before the 6♣ bricked the river. Lunardi final tabled this event last year but couldn't better that performance as Pijpers is now up to a commanding 100,000 chips.
9:10pm: Maklouf leaves door wide open
John Maklouf has recently lost his battle with his short stack to throw the ANZPT Player of the Year race wide open. Maklouf is the current leader, but he may be overtaken by either Tony Hachem (2nd) who is still alive and kicking with 32,000 or Andrew Scarf (3rd) who is up to 45,000.
While many of the top twenty in the ANZPT POTY race have either been eliminated or didn't play here in Melbourne, those who still have a chance of moving up the leaderboard include Vesko Zmukic (9th), Liam O'Rourke (15th), Brad Bower (17th) and Dan Neilson (18th).
With $90,000 in added cash and prizes the ANZPT POTY is a race that's certainly worth winning!
8:52pm: Morton motoring
After eliminating Brendon Rubie earlier in the day, David Morton has put his new-found chips to work and currently sits behind 140,000 chips as our tournament chip leader.
Bruno Portaro (95,000) and Simon Watt (90,000) are both progressing well, while Billy Jordanou (86,000), Dan Neilson (85,000), Aleks Brkovic (83,000), Jason Wicks (65,000), Raj Ramakrishnan (58,000), Qi Xu (53,000), Andrew Scarf (47,000) and Ali Khalil (42,000) are also in good shape.
8:45pm: Have you got what it takes to play high stakes?
On a side note to tournament developments, a massive cash game has just started up in the High Rollers area of the Crown Poker Room. It appears to be a 100-100-200 Pot Limit Omaha cash game with some of the known players including Jay Kinkade, Matthew Kirk, Billy The Croc, Sam Youssef, Tino Lechich, Tony G and Jarred Graham.
We've decided that if any more Saturday night strays walk into the poker room and ask us how to get a game, we're going to send them over to pull up a chair on that table!
8:30pm: Level up, blinds 400-800, ante 75
8:26pm: Table of deaf
"Mate...I just got moved from David Saab's table, and now I have to put up with this guy?!?" exclaimed Tony Hachem after being moved to the table of Steve "The Jeweller" Lindeblad.
"I've been standing up for you Steve. People have been saying you're a super-spastic, and I told them yes you are!" said Hachem.
"You're a banana Hachem!" retorted Lindeblad before hitting Hachem in jest with his cap.
"Doesn't he get a penalty for that? Five minutes!" declared Hachem as the two continued to exchange barbs that were a little too colourful to blog.
"Can I get some headphones?" sighed Nik Lackovic who has the pleasure of also being seated on this table.
8:02pm: Joe Hachem Eliminated
2005 World Champion Joe Hachem will have to wait a little longer to claim a major title on home soil after he was recently eliminated from the PokerStars.net ANZPT Melbourne Main Event.
After losing a chunk of chips with ace-four against an opponent's ace-queen, it was again kicker problems that got Hachem when his final chips went into the middle on an ace-high flop. Hachem tabled ace-five but was out-kicked by his opponent's ace-nine. Hachem couldn't find the three-outer five to survive and was bounced out of the tournament.
7:55pm: Another young gun on the rail
The eliminations keep coming post-dinner and this time its young gun Andrew Hinrichsen who has joined his buddies at the Vegas Bar.
Hinrichsen found himself racing with A♣K♦ against Leo Boxell's Q♣Q♠ but a third lady on the board of Q♦J♣6♠6♣5♦ shipped the pot to the tournament veteran and eliminated Hinrichsen from the tournament.
7:38pm: Rubie run bad
Another young gun has hit the rail with Brendon Rubie coolered with a rather vicious flush over flush.
After raising preflop to 1,200 and finding three callers, Rubie fired another 3,600 on the 4♥9♥2♥ flop. David Morton made the call in position as the two blinds slipped out of the way.
The turn was the 7♣ and Rubie fired another 7,500. Morton responded with a min-raise to just 15,000. Rubie tanked for a long time before committing to a call to see the J♠ complete the board on the river.
Rubie checked it again over to Morton who moved all in with Rubie making the call for his last chips. Rubie opened K♥8♥ for the second-nut flush but it wasn't enough as Morton had flopped the nuts with his A♥7♥.
"Maybe I should have waited two more hands before I came back from dinner!" sighed Rubie as he crashed out of the tournament to leave Morton stacking up a huge number of chips, somewhere in the vicinity of 100,000 and our tournament chip lead.
7:35pm: Benton busto
Straight back into the swing of things and it didn't take long following the break for us to lose 2009 APPT Sydney champ Aaron Benton. He was down to his last 6,000 and moved it in preflop with 2♦2♥ but ran into the A♠A♥ of Justin Cohen.
The board ran out 7♠K♣Q♣6♥Q♣ and Benton couldn't find a lucky deuce and was sent to the rail as Cohen moved up to 44,000.
7:30pm: Play resumes
Most of our players seem to have safely navigated their way through the busy Saturday night queues here at the Crown Casino's finest establishments and have returned with stomachs satisfied. The Crown Casino has a number of fantastic dining options, from fine dining to casual restaurants to the nearby food court which the blogging team has mercilessly attacked with delight over the years.
As the players returned to the felt, the Saturday night railbirds have also started to drift into the Crown Poker Room to check out all the action. Despite being located at the basement level of the Crown complex, the poker room receives a steady stream of interested onlookers as, at times, our blogging desk acts more like an information booth. This is especially true on a Saturday night as the hour wears on and the drink consumption increases. We love nothing more than a rowdy Saturday night crowd, and we look forward to seeing them on the $2/$3 tables later this evening!
With the scene set the cards are now back in the air with four more levels to play this evening.