ANZPT Melbourne: Levels 9 & 10 (blinds 600-1200, ante 100)
11:40pm: That's a wrap; Obst out in front!
With the last three hands proving rather uneventful that wraps up our day here in the Crown Poker Room on Day 1 of the PokerStars.net ANZPT Melbourne Main Event.
Ryan McKay teased us with the chip lead, but in the end it was James "Andy_McLEOD" Obst who pipped him at the post. Obst bagged up 156,200 to narrowly edge out McKay's 154,600.
Others to make it safely through the day include Team PokerStars Pros Lee Nelson (78,300) and Tony Hachem (51,900), as well as Carl Booth (121,500), Bruno Portaro (114,400), Mark Iskander (107,500), John Apostolidis (106,600), Aleks Brkovic (86,300), Andrew Scarf (86,100), Graeme Putt (75,800), Todor Kondevski (57,500), Michael Guzzardi (57,300), Simon Watt (55,100), Amanda De Cesare (44,100), Martin Rowe (40,400), Jackie Glazier (32,500) and Dennis Huntly (30,000).
We'll have a complete wrap of the day's play and full chip counts from the field for you shortly.
11:30pm: Three more hands
Play has slowed down over the last thirty minutes as players have one eye on reaching day two play. There are approximately 110 players remaining as the instruction has been given for each table to play three more hands before we wrap up play for the day.
11:20pm: Glazier and Rowe chop it
Jackie Glazier and 2008 APPT Sydney champion Martin Rowe have both survived a late all-in confrontation that saw the two chop up a pot and eliminate a third player.
All the chips were in preflop with Glazier A♣Q♥ and Rowe A♥Q♠ tabling the same hand to have the third player's Q♦K♠ in trouble. The board bricked out T♣7♥T♦7♠4♠ and the two chop it up to stay alive.
11:05pm: Bower finds a flop
Brad Bower's empire isn't as mighty as it once was, but the young gun has just eliminated another opponent to get his day heading back in the right direction.
The action was all on a flop of 4♠3♠J♣ with Bower firing 3,000 before PokerStars qualifier Aaron Golledge made it 7,200. Bower moved all in and Golledge made the call with K♦J♥ for top pair, but Bower had flopped two pair with a creative J♦4♦.
The turn was the 9♣ and river the 7♦ to eliminate Golledge and jump Bower back up to 56,000.
10:50pm: Diamonds aren't always a girl's best friend
Contestant of "The Poker Star" Donna Ciric has been eliminated late on day one of the Main Event. She was first crippled when her A♠K♠ was outdrawn by an opponent's J♣9♣ when a nine spiked on the flop.
This left Ciric down to her last ante and dealt the 3♦4♦. All looked lost but she found some hope when up against James Obst's A♣J♦ on a 5♦6♦5♥ flop. Ciric improved to a flush on the A♦ turn but the Q♦ river gave Obst a bigger flush for the final nail in Ciric's coffin. Meanwhile Obst is up over 100,000 and looking very dangerous.
10:42pm: Heavyweight table forming
A heavyweight table is forming on table 47 with Ryan McKay improving his stack to 160,000 and being joined by fellow big stacks Daniel Laidlaw (110,000) and Dan Neilson (100,000). Also on this table is Nobbi Tanaka, Trung Tran and John Dalessandri who are all battling away with below-average stacks.
10:40: Level up, blinds 600-1200, ante 100
10:25pm: Life in the fast lane
David Saab talks fast and plays faster, but his aggressive style has just come unstuck after running into Graeme "Kiwi G" Putt.
Saab opened to 2,700 from under the gun before Putt popped it to 11,700. Play folded around to the player in the big blind, who gave the decision some thought before folding. Saab quickly announced all in, and Putt just as quickly made the call.
The board ran out J♠7♥5♠J♣2♠ and Saab couldn't find a perfect ten to save himself. He's out as Putt chips up to 80,000 chips.
10:10pm: Luck of the Irish
Another to double recently is PokerStars online qualifier Ed Fogarty. The Irishman has recently relocated to Melbourne and, following his love of the game of poker, picked up some work as a reporter at the recent Victorian Poker Championships.
Today Fogarty has exchanged notepad for a seat amongst the action after turning a $30 online investment into a $2,700 seat by winning a last minute satellite online on PokerStars.
After being involved in some "light" three and four-betting on his table, Fogarty just recalled to us that his three-bet with ace-king was paid off when his opponent shoved with king-queen. Fogarty made the call but had to do it the hard way as his opponent flopped a queen, only for Fogarty to river an ace to stay alive and double up to around 70,000.
9:58pm: McKay flushes Jordanou
Ryan McKay has just sent high-stakes pro Billy Jordanou crashing to the rail in a dramatic hand on one of the outer tables. With a raise to 2,500 preflop, McKay and Jordanou called out of the blinds to see a flop of J♠A♦K♥.
Action checked around and the 4♥ hit the turn. McKay led out for 6,000 and picked up Jordanou as a caller as the table folded around before the 5♥ hit the river. McKay fired another barrel worth 11,000 before Jordanou announced himself all in. McKay quickly made the call as Jordanou opened 7♥2♥ for a flush but McKay showed Q♥9♥ for a bigger flush!
After a few friendly words, Jordanou exited as McKay raked in a pot worth 135,000 chips.
9:40pm: Play resumes
The players are back with two more levels to play until we are done for the day. Our chip leaders are Dave Morton, Simon Watt, Bruno Portaro, Roel Pijpers and Dan Neilson with 153 players still in contention for the PokerStars.net ANZPT Melbourne title.