ANZPT Sydney: Level 5 (150/300, ante 25) & 4 (200/400, ante 50) updates

6.40pm: Neilson x 2

We're starting to see the early signs of some pressure on the short stacks. The news has been good for some; not for others. Daniel Neilson, who final-tabled the opening event of the 2010 ANZPT in Adelaide, has doubled to 23,000 after his pocket 10s held up against an opponent's A-10.


Sydney's own Daniel Neilson celebrates a welcome double-up

Brendan Edmonds' tournament is also back on track after his flopped pair of aces stayed ahead against an opponent's flush draw. Edmonds is up to 50,000. Tian Shou is the chip leader on 72,000 heading into the final 20 minutes of level six.

6.20pm: Treading carefully

He's the cult hero of Australian poker; admired and respected - by most. "Tony, if you chew that toothpick any harder, it's going to splinter," Eric Assadourian just told Antonis "Toothpick Tony" Kambouroglou, the elder statesman of Sydney poker. His quip was met with stony silence.


If looks could kill: Antonis "Toothpick Tony" Kambouroglou

Kambouroglou has been keeping the Team Australia Pro and 2009 APPT Grand Final winner Aaron Benton on their toes for the past couple of hours, and it was with some relief that the two relative "youngsters" headed to new seats after their table broke. The trio survived with their stacks intact - Kambouroglou on 32,000, Assadourian holding 28,000 while Benton is in good shape on 26,000.

6pm: Plug pulled on Watt

Several players have been KOed in a recent flurry, with 2009 APPT Auckland champion Simon Watt on that list of casualties. The New Zealander went to the flop with one opponent, which fell Q♦ J♥ 7♣. Bet-call, and the turn fell A♣. Watt shoved for his last 14,500 after an initial bet of 7000, and his opponent made the call. Watt showed pocket jacks for a set, while his opponent's A-10 need help. It duly arrived with a king on the river, and Watt was out.

5.40pm: Full house

It's standing room only in the Star City Poker Room this evening as players start to arrive for the Last Chance Satellite to the ANZPT Sydney Main Event. The final tables for the Tony Hachem Bounty and High Rollers events will also kick-off in the next hour.

We're entering the latter stages of level five on day 1A of the ANZPT Sydney Main Event, and play has slowed to a crawl after a frenetic start to the day. Recent departures have included popular veteran Graeme "Kiwi G" Putt and the man who won the first ever ANZPT title, Melbourne's Karl Krautschneider.

5.20pm: Here comes "The Croc"

It hasn't taken long for Australian Poker Hall of Famer Billy "The Croc" Argyros to catch up for lost time after arriving late for today's 1A flight. Argyros, who placed sixth in this event last year, hit top set on the flop against the bottom set of PokerStars Qualifier Kris Cunz and was duly paid off, climbing well over the chip average of 27,000. In the first 20 minutes of level five, Tom Rafferty has drawn level in the chip lead with Dale Marsland on 60,000.


Billy "The Croc" Argyros: where does he get the energy?

5pm: No seventh heaven for Nik

Players have just started to wander back into the Star City Poker Room for the second half of day 1A in the ANZPT Sydney Main Event but there wasn't much spring in the step of Nik Lackovic as he strolled past the media desk after a gut-wrenching end to level four.

The former professional basketballer called an opponent's all-in after a flop of Q-10-7, and looked in great shape with a set of sevens against 8-6. But a 9 on the turn made his opponent's straight, and Lackovic was down to less than 10,000. Of the 164 players who started day 1A, 121 remain.