ANZPT Canberra Day 1a: Levels 1 - 2 (blinds 75-150)
2:25pm: Ten-minute break
2:20pm: Toothpick double trouble
In a battle of the blinds, Toothpick Tony and George Moussa went to war with the last chips in on the turn on a board of T♣T♠5♣7♠. Moussa bet 15,000 which was enough to put Kambouroglou all in, and after a few moments of thought he moved his stack into the middle with J♣T♥ to find himself in great shape against Moussa's T♦8♠.
A cooler of a flop and Moussa thought he'd squeezed out a chop on the A♠ river but it wasn't to be as the Toothpick doubles up to 35,000.
2:15pm: Kings unkind to Maklouf
"I can't win with pocket kings!" exclaimed John Maklouf after his stack took a hit when his kings were cracked wide open.
The chips were in on the turn on the board of 5♣J♥3♦3♦ but Maklouf's kings trailed the pocket jacks of Albert Gommeren. The river was the T♠ and Maklouf slips to 16,000 as Gommeren doubled to 22,000.
2:10pm: Moussa's ladies crush Kroesen
The chips are flying on table two as the chip lead has been handed around the table. Ricky Kroesen had to go for a walk to cool off after his chance to have a monster stack disintegrated before his eyes. George Moussa six-bet shoved pocket queens into Kroesen's pocket aces, but a third lady found its way on board to hand Moussa the massive pot and leave Kroesen down to just 7,000 in chips.
2:00pm: Mixed fortunes for ANZPT regulars
Over on table two we have contrasting stories from two of our long-term ANZPT supporters, as one has a big stack and the other is our first elimination of the day. Ricky Kroesen is the man with the big stack after calling three barrels from Joe Cabret. Kroesen held ace-king on a king-high board and it was enough as Cabret mucked his hand. Kroesen is up to 36,000 while Cabret is left with just 8,000.
Not so fortunate was Sandy Retallick, who was recently eliminated to become our first casualty of the day.
1:45pm: Maklouf on the move
John Maklouf opened with a raise to 400 before Xiuming Huang re-raised to 1,200. Action folded back to Maklouf who made the call to see a A♥A♠3♦ flop.
Maklouf check-called for 1,200 before the 9♠ hit the turn. Maklouf checked again and Huang bet 1,775. Maklouf responded with a check-raise to 4,000 which was enough to take it down. Maklouf is up to 26,000.
1:35pm: What are you checkin'?
Jai Kemp raised to 400 and found two callers including Scott Kerr to see a flop of 6♥5♥2♣. Kemp was first to act and fired 800 which was enough to take it down as both opponents quickly folded.
"Do you have 'check' in your arsenal?" chirped Kerr.
Kemp wasn't sure what he had heard and asked Kerr to repeat the question, before sharing a chuckle.
"I thought you said something about checking out his arse!" exclaimed one tablemate.
"Yeh, I haven't been able to check out my arse in about ten years!" laughed Kemp.
1:25pm: Level up, blinds 75-150
1:20pm: All in but no elimination
We've seen our first all-in clash of the day, but we're yet to lose a player in the first level of play after Naomi Hamilton found a double up.
John Maklouf started things off with a raise to 250 and picked up two callers, before Albert Gommeren raised to 1,100 from the cutoff. Action folded to Hamilton in the small blind and she made it 3,000 to play. The table folded back to Gommeren who decided to move all in with A♦K♣ but Hamilton snap-called with her K♥K♠.
The board ran out J♠9♥9♠J♥7♥ to double Hamilton back to 23,000 chips.
1:15pm: Beware the Scandies
The board is currently showing a total of 61 entries for Day 1a, but there is still time for a few latecomers. Today's field also includes 27 PokerStars qualifiers out of a total of 49 for this event. Interestingly all but four qualifiers are from Australia. The others are one Spaniard and three Norwegians who are all lurking quietly in today's field.
1:05pm: Rough start for Roy V
Roy Vandersluis is off to a rough start today as we just caught him losing a small pot at showdown. The board read 2♣2♠7♠9♠ when Vandersluis bet 1,000 into the pot. His opponent called before both players checked the 3♦ river.
Vandersluis' opponent opened 8♦7♦ which was enough as Vandersluis flashed the A♠ and mucked. He's down to 12,500.
12:50pm: Anunu runs into aces
Catching the action on a flop of T♠3♦T♣, the big blind led out for 600 before Mishel Anunu popped it up to 1,700. Action folded back to the big blind who re-raised to 4,600.
Anunu thought for a few moments before sighing, "You seem pretty confident," as he tossed his cards into the muck.
"Kings?" questioned the big blind as he flashed A♠A♣.
"No, if I had kings you get paid off!" replied Anunu who slips to 16,000 in the early stages.
12:30pm: Who is in town?
We have eight pretty full tables in action at the moment, with registration still open. Some of those we've spotted include George Moussa, Daniel Laidlaw, Joe Cabret, Toothpick Tony, Ricky Kroesen, Graeme Putt, John Maklouf, James Broom, Scott Kerr, Roy Vanderslius and ANZPT Adelaide winner Octavian Voegele.
Michael Pedley, Jai Kemp and ANZPT Perth champion Grant Levy are also here for Day 1a after an entertaining roadtrip from Sydney yesterday. The fourth member of their travelling party, "Beer" must be playing tomorrow.
12:25pm: Cards are flying in Canberra
Casino Canberra is looking a treat with ten poker tables setup in the room with plenty of space for players and good access for railbirds here this afternoon as Day 1a of the PokerStars.net ANZPT Canberra Main Event kicks off.
The players have taken their seats and the cards are now in the air!