ANZPT Queenstown: Day 3, levels 9&10 (blinds 500-1000, ante 100)
1:51pm: Break time
The players have reached the first break of the day.
1:40pm: Frenette shaking his head
Serge Mazza check-called a bet of 11,000 from Yannick Frenette on a 5♣7♥3♣. He snap-called another 11,000 after checking the [10h] turn. When the river fell a scary A♠, both players checked. Mazza quickly tabled A♣6♣, noting that he had a straight draw, a flush draw and an overcard on the flop. Frenette mucked his cards, shaking his head all the wihle.
Frenette won't have to worry about Mazza for a while. Already 14 players have been eliminated today, allowing the staff to break one table. Table 4 -- Mazza and Frenette's table -- was the first table drawn. We're playing nine-handed the rest of the way.
1:28pm: Gray hits six figures; Cohen on a tear
At Table 4, Michael Spilkin and Jason Gray were involved in a huge pot. There was already 50,000 in chips in the middle by the turn, 6♦9♥9♠4♣. Spilkin made a small lead of 12,000 that Gray called. Spilkin increased his bet the slightest bit, to 13,000, on the 7♠ river. Gray moved all in for 10,500 more, then turned up the black aces A♠A♣ after Spilkin made a crying call. Spilkin showed red jacks, J♦J♥, and remarked, "You're too good for me." Gray now has about 120,000 in chips.
We didn't see the hand, but we did see Julian Cohen dragging yet another massive pot. He's up to 200,000 in chips now, leading the way here on Day 4.
1:22pm: Points race update!
With the elimination of second-place points leader Rennie Carnevale (129.55) yesterday and overall leader Tony Hachem (161.65) today, the Season 2 leaderboard could be in for a shake-up. Players that cash in this event are guaranteed a minimum of 26 points, with the winner receiving 50 points. Andrew Scarf (118.50) and John Maklouf (118.00) both remain in contention here on Day 3. If either is able to go the distance, he would take over the lead from Hachem. Even a cash would be enough to squeeze Scarf or Maklouf -- or both! -- ahead of Carenvale.
1:15pm: Another 25k to Spilkin without showdown
An opening raise of 3,200 was called by Serge Mazza, small blind Michael Spilkin and big blind Yannick Frenette. Spilkin and Frenette checked a flop of 6♦6♥7♠ to the pre-flop raiser, who continued for 7,300. Mazza called that bet. Spilkin then quickly tossed out six orange (T5,000) chips, a raise to 30,000. Everyone folded in turn, with last-to-act Mazza showing 5♥5♠.
"Pick one," said Spilkin. Mazza chose Spilkin's left card, which Spilkin revealed as the 6♠. "Is that good enough?" he asked.
1:03pm: Tyler's tens one pip better
Mike Tyler opened pre-flop with a hand he described as "the one to go with". Action folded to Carl Knox's big blind. He moved all in for another 20,200. Tyler paused before calling with [10d][10h]. Knox's 9♦9♥ was behind and never improved.
On the chip leader's table, it's been an interesting first hour. Yannick Frenette is down to about 130,000 and appears to have been overtaken by Julian Cohen and Lee Nelson. Some of Frenette's chips wound up in the stack of Michael Spilkin, who has rebounded from losing to a flush early in the day and now sits behind about 105,000.
12:52pm: Level 10 begins (blinds 600-1200, ante 100)
12:50pm: Price survives all in
Jesse McKenzie was at it again on Table 3, attempting to take out the all in Ben Price. Price tried to muck his cards at showdown, not realizing that McKenzie had called, but then quickly retrieved them and showed 8♦8♠. McKenzie's A♣K♥ needed to improve. Three hearts by the turn gave a good sweat, but a board of 4♥3♥9♦7♥2♣ doubled Price up to about 35,000.
12:42pm: Points leader busto
Tony Hachem's lead in the Season 2 points race may vanish after the end of this event. He moved all in on the turn of a 6-x-6-Q board and was instantly called by Julian Cohen. Hachem's A-Q was drawing dead against Julian Cohen's quad sixes with 6-6.
"Can we test Julian please?" a player at the table joked. The reference was to the fact that Cohen made a royal flush on the last hand of the day yesterday and now has started with four-of-a-kind today.
ANZPT Commissioner Danny McDonagh procured an empty water bottle and handed it to Cohen. "Take that to the toilet, please."
12:33pm: Sets, flushes and eliminations
Note to TDs around the world: player play more aggressively and are more willing to get chips into the pot at the beginning of the day than they are at the end of the day. We've already have several eliminations. At least one -- that of Kani Edwards -- was on a total set-up hand. Edwards' pocket tens made a set on a K-10-4 flop, but so did Lee Nelson's pocket kings. There was no one-outer for Edwards. He's gone.
At a back table, Chris Levick moved all in from the button for 13,400 after Jesse McKenzie opened the cutoff for 2,500. McKenzie made what another player at the table described as "an interesting call" with K♦2♦. Levick was ahead with 6♣6♥. A paired flop, A♣J♣J♥ gave McKenzie some additional outs that he wound up not needing when the turn came the K♣.
"For f***'s sake," said Levick with a sigh. He bricked the river and will have to find something else to do for the remainder of the day.
That was the same table at which Sandy Retallick ran down Vesko Zmukic's flopped set of kings by making a running flush. Zmukic, however, is still in the tournament.
12:24pm: Lots of action early
We were still getting things set up in the SKYCITY tournament room as players started splashing chips into pots. Grant Ven was the first casualty of the day. At the other end of the spectrum, it looks like Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang doubled up early through Jackson Zheng. Mishel Anunu is off to a strong start as well, as his pocket queens held against Rewi Emmerson's pocket eights on a bord of 3♠J♠6♦4♠7♣. Emmerson tried to bet Anunu out of the pot with a small river lead, but Anunu called and dragged a pot worth roughly 20,000 in chips.
12:15pm: Shuffle up and deal!
Cards are in the air. We'll be playing out the rest of Level 9 and then taking a break after Level 10.