ANZPT Sydney day 3: Level 16 (2500/5000, ante 500) & 17 (3000/6000, ante 500) updates
2.45pm: Tri-ing for Tim
Recent eliminations have included James Moustacas (46th), Bruce McPherson (45th) and Tim English, who was all-in with 7-5 only to find Tri Nguyen holding kings. English is out in 44th, collecting AUD $4014. Michael O'Grady retains the chip lead on 570,000 after almost two hours of play on day three of the PokerStars.net ANZPT Sydney Main Event.
2.30pm: No final table for Nelson
PokerStars.net Team Australia's Lee "Final Table" Nelson has been KOed in 47th after his A♠ K♠ went to battle against the black 10s of Bernard Gabriel. The flop of K♣ [10d] 6♥ improved both hands, the turn A♦ brought some hope for Nelson but the river 2♣ didn't assist. This was Nelson's second ANZPT cash after finishing 15th in Queensland last year.
2.15pm: Pace picking up
One of only five PokerStars Qualifiers still in the field, Liam O'Rourke, has been KOed after Brad Bower's pocket kings held up against A-J. O'Rourke departs in 50th, Anthony Tarabay just followed in 49th while Joel Dodds, who reached the final table of this event last year, has bowed out in 48th, holding A-9 against the A-Q of Tri Nguyen.
2pm: pokerlife snuffed out
Just as the call went up for blinds to increase to 3000/6000 with an ante of 500, Michael pokerlife Tran departed the tournament area in 52nd place with Troy Parkinson hot on his heels in 51st. In a massive hand, it was Tran's pocket queens against the A-Q of Bruce Hall and pocket jacks for Antonis Kambouroglou.
An ace on the flop was enough for Hall to almost triple-up to 220,000, send Kambouroglou down to 130,000 and end Tran's tournament. Parkinson ran pocket nines into Yann Pauchon's pocket aces, with an ace in the window good enough for Pauchon to improve to 160,000.
1.50pm: Three out of three
Nick Velcic is the 53rd-place finisher after his A-J failed to improve against the A-Q of Brad Bower on a rainbow board that never rose above seven-high. We should also note that PokerStars.net Team Australia's Tony Hachem has made it three cashes from three ANZPT events in 2010, and seven out of eight since the tour started. Dale Marsland (fourth in Perth) and Peter Aristidou (13th in Adelaide) have also collected their second ANZPT cashes of the season.
1.35pm: Shou bubbles, and we're in the money
Quoc Nguyen and Tian Shou had butted heads in a few hands during the opening level, with their latest battle ending in Shou's elimination as the PokerStars.net ANZPT Sydney Main Event bubble boy. It was Nguyen's pocket queens against [10c] 5♣ of Shou, but the board of 2♦ K♦ 4♥ 5♠ 6♥ wasn't enough and he bowed out in 55th position. Simon Palmer quickly followed in 54th, becoming the first player to collect AUD $3568.
1.20pm: Hachem's on a boat
PokerStars.net Team Australia Pro Tony Hachem has just claimed a scalp, meaning we're hand-for-hand on the bubble. It was Hachem's pocket jacks against the pocket fours of Nick Penklis, with a jack in the window spelling and 10s on the flop and turn confirming the 56th place finisher. Mike Ivin has also just taken down a pot worth more than 400,000 to ascend the top of the chip count.
1pm: Tension rising
Aside from a double-up to Omer Silajdzija with kings against the pocket nines of Michael Vanderhorst's pocket nines and the elimination of outright short stack Mark Samaan, play is tip-toeing towards the bubble with 56 players remaining after 30 minutes of the opening level on day three.
12.50pm: Two down, three to go
We weren't surprised to see Zaffer Soemya's chips in play early, with his remaining 19,000 committed with A♣ 2♦ against the A♥ 9♥ of Yann Pauchon. The ANZPT Perth final table man watched Pauchon make a runner-runner flush, and he was out in 59th. Zane Ly wasn't under any immediate danger but he was happy to gamble his A-K against the pocket jacks of Brad Bower. The Dubbo man's J♦ played on a board that ran out all diamonds, earning him a pot of almost 250,000.
12.30pm: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines
Tournament staff have just started to distribute the bags containing the chips of the remaining 59 players in the PokerStars.net ANZPT Sydney Main Event. The ANZPT Sydney heads-up tournament also kicks-off today, with 32 of the region's best players signing up for the $1100 buy-in event.
It promises to be a nail-biting start to day three, with just five players set to miss out on a minimum payout of $3568. Two PokerStars.net Team Australia Pros - Tony Hachem and Lee Nelson - will be hoping to avoid that unfortunate fate.
Other notables back today include Perth's Dale Marsland, who placed fourth in the last ANZPT event in his hometown, tournament veteran Mike Ivin, Peter Aristidou, Yann Pauchon, Antonis Kambouroglou, Vincent Wan, Ricky Kroesen, Tim English, Joel Dodds and two female players - Sally Snow and Tamara Volkoff. Cards will be in the air in the next 10 minutes.