ANZPT Queenstown: The real work begins on Day 3

australia_poker_tour.pngAfter several light, easy days in Queenstown for the 2010 ANZPT Queenstown Main Event, the real grind will begin today on Day 3. All 50 survivors (35 from Queenstown and 15 from Auckland) of the 119 starters will finally be in the same room together for the first time. They'll play at least until the money bubble bursts when 15 players remain. Getting to that point should take about seven hours in its own right. An eighth level might be called for as well, to try to trim those 15 down to a more manageable nine for Day 4.

Although Julian Cohen bagged the most chips last night, thanks to a last-hand royal flush, the chip leader at the start of Day 3 is Canadian Yannick Frenette. A week ago at an early flight of players in Auckland, Frenette amassed 167,700 chips in 8.5 hours of play. Cohen's 116,000 chips are in 2nd place, trailed just slightly by Lee "Final Table" Nelson with 115,600.

Also still in the hunt are Day 1A chip leader Michael Spilkin (90,500), Day 1B chip leader Jackson Zheng (51,200), Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang (35,500), and three players in the Top 5 of the Season 2 points leaderboard: John Maklouf (77,400), Andrew Scarf (31,400) and Tony Hachem (20,600). With blinds starting at 500-1,000 with an ante of 100, none of these players will be forced to make an early move. They can afford to wait for good spots.

Seven hours of play is by no means a long day, but after three short days to kick things off here in Queenstown, it might feel that way. But whenever we do end the day -- 8pm, 9pm, 9:30pm -- things will just be getting started in this scenic, crazy part of the world.


John Maklouf is gunning for his third straight ANZPT final table