ANZPT Queenstown: Day 1B, level 5 (blinds 150-300, ante 25)

australia_poker_tour.png 5:47pm: Play concludes; Zheng leads Day 1B

As we suspected, not much changed on the last three hands of the night. The players were content to bag up the chips and try again tomorrow. The Day 1B field looks to be led by Jackson Zheng, who finished with 74,075. Hot on his heels is Jesse McKenzie (69,375), the beneficiary of a three-way all in early in the day. A full recap will come later tonight.


Day 1B chip leader Jackson Zheng

5:40pm: Three more hands

Each table is playing three more hands before the night ends. The only player in danger of going out is Tony Hachem. He recently moved all in over a limper for 3,925 but wasn't called.

5:27pm: Portaro's flush not big enough

There were three hearts on a board of 6♥[10h]2♥J♦. Bruno Portaro led out for 4,700, then quickly called after Andrew Scarf shoved for 10,650. Portaro held the king-high flush with K♥9♥, but Scarf did him one better with the nut flush, A♥8♥. There were some collective, sympathetic groans from around the table. Portaro was drawing dead.

"I thought you were trying to protect a set, Bruno," said one player.

"That's what I was trying to make it look like," Portaro replied. He doubled up Scarf to 27,000, slipping down to 23,000 in the process.

5:22pm: Pearson runners Hachem

A massive pot has put Tony Hachem firmly in the position of a short stack. He opened pre-flop and was called only by Matthew Pearson. Hachem continued for 1,600 on an A-4-K flop and was called. When the turn came a second club, the [10c], Hachem fired another 4,500. He finally slowed down on the 2♣ river, a card which put a potential flush on board. Hachem checked, then called an 8,500-chip river bet from Pearson. Pearson showed 8♣5♣, having runnered a flush. That left Hachem's turned two pair, K♥[10h], second best.

5:17pm: Zheng, McKenzie extending the lead

Play has been proceeding quietly here in the last level of the day. Most of the players seem back on their haunches, which is allowing the big stacks to chip up. Jackson Zheng looks to have hit 80,000, while Jesse McKenzie is right behind with about 70,000. McKenzie just took a small pot off of the proving-hard-to-eliminate Raj Ramakrishnan. Both players checked the river 8♠[10h]6♠7♣4♥. McKenzie turned up top pair, K♦[10s], and collected a small pot.

5:04pm: Ramakrishnan survives

On a flop of 8♦[10d][10s], Dan Hunter -- he who hit a lucky river king early in the day -- moved all in against Raj Ramakrishnan. Ramakrishnan quickly called on the draw with A♦7♦. Hunter showed pocket nines. The turn 6♦ promptly filled Ramakrishnan's flush. Hunter did not bink a river full house.

"Nice hand," said Hunter as he paid off a debt of 13,125.

4:54pm: Situation critical for Hachem

"I call," we heard Tony Hachem say in a strong tone. We scrambled to his table to see Hachem's opponent turn over pocket tens, filling a full house on a board of 10-K-7-7-6. Hachem dejectedly mucked and slipped to about 4,500 in chips.

4:51pm: Watt not so invulnerable

Simon Watt may have been able to take out Tom Dwan in Las Vegas during the WSOP, but he wasn't able to make it out of Day 1 here in Queenstown. He's just been felted by one of the Season 2 points leaders, John Maklouf. Maklouf now has around 60,000 in chips.

4:46pm: Play resumes

Cards are back in the air. This is the last level of the day.