ANZPT Adelaide Day 1a: Levels 5 & 6 (blinds 200-400, ante 50)
5:20pm: Ten-minute break
5:00pm: Karamalikis goes with his gut
Some players just seem to have a sixth sense for this game of poker. Having the nerve to pull the trigger or going with your read is not a skill that can be easily taught. For Jonathan Karamalikis it just seems to come naturally.
As recalled to us, Karamalikis just made a tremendous call to slow down the runaway train that is Michael Haddad. Three players saw a flop of K-Q-3 with two diamonds and Karamalikis led out for 1,800. One fold and Haddad popped it up to 4,000. Karamalikis made the call as a six hit the turn. Karamalikis check-called for 5,000 as another queen paired the board on the river.
Karamalikis checked and Haddad fired a hefty 15,000. It was one of the biggest post-flop pots we've seen today as Karamalikis went into the tank before eventually making the call. Haddad showed ace-seven for ace-high as Karamalikis incredibly opened ace-jack for a better kicker to take down the pot!
Karamalikis is back up to 65,000 with Haddad slipping to 55,000.
4:45pm: Neilson gets a gift
Dan Neilson raised it up from the hijack to 875 and found a caller in Sandy Retallick in the big blind. The flop came down 5♠7♥J♦ and Retallick led out with a bet of 2,000. Neilson shrugged and matched the bet as the 8♦ fell on the turn.
Retallick checked and Neilson tossed out 4,500. Retallick responded by immediately check-raising all-in for an additional 9,050. Neilson made the call and opened 7♠8♣ for two pair as Retallick found herself drawing dead with her A♥K♣. The meaningless river was the 9♥ as Retallick hit the rail with Neilson now up to 50,000 chips.
4:30pm: Strike a pose
"Oh, so now you wanna take my picture?" laughed Michael Haddad before we'd even focussed our lens in his direction. But he knew what was coming after claiming another massive pot to run away with the chip lead here on Day 1a.
The carnage went down preflop with Tom Tsakrios moving in with ace-king but again Haddad woke up with the very pretty A♦A♥.
The board ran out K♦7♦A♣3♥3♦ to leave Tsakrious shaking his head on his way to the exit as Haddad posed for the cameras as he's now our chip leader with 75,000 chips.
4:20pm: Level up, blinds 200-400, ante 50
4:15pm: Gilholme slips with big slick
Ace-king is the sort of hand that can very quickly make you or break you, as Ben Gilholme has just discovered. The clash was all preflop with Gilholme committing the call of 8,325 holding A♦K♥ but didn't like to see his opponent flip over K♦K♠.
"Nice hand," sighed Gilholme in resignation before the board was spread 7♣7♠8♣5♣9♦. Gilholme slips to 18,000.
4:05pm: Check, check, chop, chop
After a raise from Fred Chaptini and a re-raise from Ricky Kroesen, it looked like we might be in for a big pot. Chaptini made the call but the two players were a little scared as they checked down a board of 8♠4♠A♠9♥Q♣.
Kroesen didn't like the board as he opened T♦T♥, but both players were somewhat relieved as Chaptini showed T♠T♣ for the same hand! Chop it up!
3:50pm: More casualties
Recent eliminations include Andrew Watson, Dean Nyberg and Ben Delaney as 74 players remain in the ANZPT Adelaide Day 1a field.
3:45pm: Great call for Brown
There was more commotion on Table 1, but this time it didn't involve Michael Haddad. The clock had been called on Matt Brown after his opponent put him to a decision for all of his chips on a board of 6♥3♦8♣5♣3♥.
As the clock timed down, Brown went with his read and made the call. His opponent showed T♣9♣ for a busted flush draw as Brown opened K♠5♠ for just third pair!
"Woah, you have 10,000?" said the player as Brown's chips were counted down and the size of Brown's huge call was highlighted for the table. A great call doubles Brown to 30,000 in chips.
3:30pm: Huntly and Glazier gone
Another who has experienced a tough day on the felt is Dennis Huntly. The popular Aussie has been battling with a short stack for most of the day, but his battle is now over at the hands of Canadian Elliot Smith.
Huntly moved all in preflop with A♦9♦ and would need an ace from space against Smith's pocket nines but the board bricked out to leave Huntly heading home.
Also joining Huntly on the rail is Jackie Glazier who was spotted walking out of the Poker Zone with no chips left in front of her empty chair.
3:20pm: Play resumes
The players are back in action with the blinds now up to 150-300 with a 25-chip ante. With 80 players remaining our chip leaders are Jonathan Karamalikis and Michael Haddad who are seated next to each other, either side of the dealer, on Table 1. They both have about 60,000 with Jesse McKenzie next best with around 50,000.