ANZPT Adelaide Day 3: Levels 16 & 17 (blinds 3,000-6,000, ante 500)
2:15pm: Ten-minute break
2:10pm: More eliminations
The rapid pace of eliminations doesn't appear to be slowing down any time soon as we've just lost another two players.
Robert Goodwin pushed preflop with A-9 and found a caller in Oliver Grujic with pocket sixes which held on the board of 5♥Q♥2♦7♥4♥.
Following him to the cashier in 20th place was Stephen Crotty. After raising preflop, Crotty moved all in over the top of a lead bet from Andrew Dales on a flop of T♥6♥9♣. After several minutes of deliberation, Dales made a big call with 5♣5♦ for an underpair. His read was spot on as Crotty showed A♥K♣. The turn was the 7♦ and river the Q♥ to give Dales the pot and send Crotty to collect a pay day of $4,140.
2:05pm: SMS and Boxell depart
After giving a chunk of change to Charles Caris, Stuart McLeod-Smith has quickly gone from hero to zero as his chip lead diminished before a final flip went against him.
McLeod-Smith held J♥J♣ against Graeme Putt's A♥Q♥ but a board of 3♥A♦4♠7♣5♠ gave Putt the pot. After a countdown of chips, Putt had him covered by 500 as McLeod Smith headed to the rail sighing, "You gotta win flips, I guess!"
Also joining him at the cashier was a short-stacked Leo Boxell who just couldn't get much going today. He eventually moved all in and found two callers to see a flop of 7♦J♣2♥.
Tim English checked and Daniel Botta fired 30,000 to force a fold from English in the side pot. Boxell opened T♥9♠ for a gutshot draw against Botta's J♦ts] but the turn 6♣ and river 3♠ bricked the board.
1:50pm: Vassilopoulos flushed
George Vassilopoulos is next to go after he ran his K♥7♥ into the A♣K♣ of Raj Ramakrishnan.
Vassilopoulos actually took the lead on the 5♣7♣8♦ flop, and stayed there on the 6♥ turn but the 3♣ river gave Ramakrishnan the nut flush to eliminate George Vassilopoulos.
1:45pm: Gallagher gone
It's tough to beat Octavian Voegele at the best of times. It's nearly impossible when he catches good cards!
Voegele has been running rampant today and he's just added another notch to the belt this afternoon with the elimination of Irishman John Gallagher.
Gallagher pushed with A♥J♥ but Voegele made the call with Q♣Q♦, with the board running out 7♣8♠9♣J♠K♠.
Gallagher is out in as Voegele is now up to a commanding 480,000.
1:30pm: McKenzie wheels out Aristidou
In a hand that was recalled to us shortly following the players forming the final three tables, Jesse McKenzie has eliminated Peter Aristidou in rather unfortunate circumstances.
McKenzie raised in the dark from under the gun and Peter Aristidou called in the big blind to see an K-8-5 flop. Both players checked and an ace hit the turn. Aristidou check-called the bet from McKenzie before a four hit the river. Aristidou checked and McKenzie overbet shoved all in. Aristidou went into the tank and eventually made the call for his tournament, but had to muck when McKenzie tabled a remarkable 2-3 for the wheel straight.
Aristidou was first to the cashier in 27th place and was soon followed by Ray Ellis in 26th place when his J-6 failed to improve against the K-5 of Will Dunn.
1:25pm: The bubble has burst!
In a rapid series of eliminations the bubble has burst and we are now in the money!
Joey Lovelady was out in 29th place when his 8♠8♥ ran into the Q♦Q♠ of Stuart McLeod-Smith. The board fell 9♠Q♥3♥K♥5♦ to give "SMS" a set and leave us on the bubble.
That bubble lasted all of three seconds as Eric Sclavos was all in on a nearby table with A♠Q♥ against the 8♥8♦ of Octavian Voegele. The board bricked out 9♠7♥4♣2♣9♦ and just like that, we are in the money!
1:15pm: Level up, blinds 3,000-6,000, ante 500
1:10pm: English roars to the top
The biggest pot of the tournament has gone the way of Tim English to jump him into the tournament chip lead.
English opened with a raise to 10,500 from early position before Jeff Rossiter bumped it to 25,500. Paul Khoury thought for a long time before folding his big blind, before English announced himself all in. Rossiter insta-called!
The flop landed T♦3♣9♥ and Rossiter did not want to see another queen land. Unfortunately for him, that's exactly what happened as the Q♣ fell to improve English to a straight. Rossiter now needed to pair the board but it wasn't to be as the 2♦ bricked off.
English's stack was cut down at 163,500 in a huge double up with Rossiter left with just 55,000.
Sebastian Pagana found one double up against Joey Lovelady, but he couldn't make it two as Oliver Grujic defended his big blind with a call of an additional 30,000.
Pagana held A♠T♣ as Grujic showed live cards with his K♣5♦. Pagana paired on the flop of 8♣3♦T♥ and the J♣ turn didn't change much. However Grujic caught a three-outer K♥ on the river to eliminate Pagana. Grujic is now up to 280,000.
1:00pm: Aristidou gets some back
The short stacks have finally started to fight back with a few double ups to break the consecutive eliminations.
Peter Aristidou is one who has fought back as he took another nice pot off Will Dunn. In a battle of the blinds, the two paid the minimum to see a flop of 9♠J♠6♠. Dunn bet 8,000 and Aristidou made the call as the 3♦ hit the turn. Dunn check-called for 10,000 and the A♣ completed the board on the river. Dunn checked, Aristidou bet 16,000 and Dunn paid him off.
Aristidou opened A♠2♠ for the nut flush to rake in a nice pot and move back up to 105,000 with Dunn down to 70,000.
12:50m: Two more gone!
It seems that a new day hasn't slowed the cracking action that we saw from yesterday's play as we've just lost two more players.
Jeff Field was a short stack overnight and his Q♣Q♥ looked like a good spot to double up but he ran smack into Charles Caris' A♦A♠. The board fell 6♥6♦5♠9♠7♠ and Field headed to the rail. Caris is up to 220,000.
He was soon followed by Frank Tripodi who open-shoved from under the gun with A♦T♣ but Octavian Voegele made the call with A♠J♠. The board arrived 8♣8♦5♦2♣J♣ and another one was gone. That's six eliminations within the first half hour of play!
12:40pm: Bang, bang, bang!
We've lost three players in rapid succession to bring our field to 32 players.
First to go was Michael Sellers who failed to improve his A♥J♥ against the dominant A♣Q♥ of Jeff Chu.
He was soon followed by Peco Stojanoski when he pushed his 7♥7♠ but ran into the J♣J♠ of Will Dunn. The board ran out K♥A♣2♦5♠4♥ to leave Stojanoski asking, "So what is there to do in Adelaide?"
The final elimination was Fayez Boulos who pushed with Q♠T♦ but Jeff Chu was the destroyer again with A♥J♦. The board landed 5♦7♠9♣K♠3♥ and Boulos was busto with Chu now up to 280,000.
12:30pm: Flop leaves Aristidou one out
George Vassilopoulos has found a double up at the expense of Peter Aristidou. It was Vassilopoulos' A♦J♠ up against Aristidou's J♣J♥ but the flop of 5♠A♠7♠ was about as bad as it gets for Aristidou as he was left with just one out to win the pot.
"Jack of diamonds!" called Aristidou but it wasn't to be on the 8♥ turn or 9♠ river. Vassilopoulos doubles to 150,000 as Aristidou is now in the danger zone with just 30,000 in chips.
12:20pm: Rock and roll baby!
The players are back in the Adelaide Casino with the final four tables relocated down the corridor to a dedicated area which will provide better viewing for the rail today and tomorrow for the final table. We're guessing this space has been used over the years as a dance floor - the reflective ceilings and spinning disco mirror ball are a bit of a giveaway. We're looking forward to the rollergirl waitresses and Dave Galpin's rendition of I Will Survive a little later in the day.
There will be plenty of moves pulled this afternoon as our final 36 players strive to reach our official final table of nine. The chips have been unbagged and we're ready to rock and roll as Day 3 of the PokerStars.net ANZPT Adelaide Main Event is underway!