ANZPT Canberra Day 1a: Levels 5 - 6 (blinds 200-400, ante 50)

6:45pm: Ten-minute break

6:40pm: Voegele back in business

Octavian Voegele has doubled up again to now be back in good shape here at the ANZPT Canberra. As Voegele recalled to us, holding pocket kings he raised to 5,000 over a table full of limpers, only to see Angelo Scicchitano move all in with king-queen. Voegele called as the 9-T-X flop gave Scicchitano some outs, which increased with the queen turn card, but the river bricked to double Voegele to a respectable 25,000 chips.

6:35pm: Anunu a-go-go

Xiuming Huang has eliminated the short-stacked Mishel Anunu who committed his last 4,000 chips with A♣T♣ only to find Huang had him dominated with A♦J♠.

The board ran out 9♦5♥A♠6♦Q♣ to send PokerStars qualifier Anunu to the rail as Huang is up to 42,000.

6:30pm: Voegele hangs tough

"It's the most I've had all day!" laughed Octavian Voegele as he told us of his latest chip status. After being crippled, he's now back to 13,000 after a recent double up.

Voegele was first dented when his [a][7] failed to win a race against pocket threes, but he recovered with [a][k] against pocket queens when he spiked an ace on the flop.

6:10pm: Kerr and Kemp battle continues

Our new chip leader is 2009 ANZPT Queensland champ Scott Kerr. He and Jai Kemp have been going at it hammer and tongs all afternoon with Kerr slowly gaining the edge.

We caught the two battling again on a 6♥Q♠A♥ flop with Kemp check-calling for 1,050. The 7♦ was checked through as the A♣ completed the board on the river. Kemp led out for 1,050 but Kerr responded with a raise to 3,100.

Kemp was in the tank for several minutes before making a crying call, but he mucked when Kerr showed A♠9♦ for trips. Kemp slips to 30,000 with Kerr now up to a commanding 75,000.


Scott Kerr is our chip leader in Canberra

5:45pm: Level up, blinds 200-400, ante 50

5:40pm: Levy recovers

ANZPT Perth champ Grant Levy has been struggling with a short stack for a lot of today, but he's just mounted a mini-comeback to get himself back above starting stack.

Levy called a preflop raise to 650 from Gary Retallick, and George Moussa came along in the big blind to see a flop of 9♣8♦4♣. Moussa checked and Retallick bet out 1,550. Levy ra0sed in position to 3,625 which forced a fold from Moussa, but Retallick took his time before committing to a call.

The turn was the T♦ and both players checked as the 3♥ completed the board on the river. Retallick checked and Levy tossed out 3,400. Retallick made the call with J♥J♣ but Levy had flopped two pair with his 9♥8♥. Levy is back to 21,000.


After a slow start, Grant Levy is making a late surge on Day 1a

5:30pm: Caris finds a flush

Charles Caris limped in from middle position before he was raised to 1,200 by an opponent in late position. Caris made the call and they saw a flop of 8♥A♠4♥. Caris check-called for 1,200 before both players checked the T♥ turn. The river was the T♦ and Caris led out for 3,200 but his opponent let it go.

Caris flashed Q♥6♥ for a flush to take it down and jump to 26,000.

5:20pm: Bump in the road

George Moussa has taken a hit to his empire as Paul Elliot found three streets of value for a big double up.

Moussa had raised preflop and found two callers before Elliot led out for 2,000 on the 8♦5♠K♥ flop. Moussa called, and then again on the 9♣ turn for another 5,000.

The river landed the 3♣ and Elliot moved all in with Moussa snap-calling! Elliott opened K♦9♦ for top two as he banged the table in delight as Moussa's cards hit the muck. Moussa slips to 48,000 with Elliot doubling to 35,000.

5:00pm: ANZ POTY leader on his way

"Driving to airport, 7pm flight to Canberra"

That was the most recent Facebook post by none other than ANZ Player of the Year leader Jesse McKenzie, who is on his way to Canberra to attempt to grab even more points to maintain, and possibly extend, his lead.

Of course there is still a long way to go in the ANZ POTY, with the recent announcement of the upcoming APPT schedule which kicks off with the APPT Melbourne event at Crown Casino from July 29th until August 1st. APPT events with a buy-in over $3,000 receive a points weighting of 1.5, and with a big field expected in Melbourne there will be plenty of points on offer there.

All ANZPT/APPT events held in Australia and New Zealand are eligible, with major events held in the rest of Asia eligible for the Asia Player of the Year award. There are approximately $80,000 in prizes up for grabs in the ANZ POTY as added value for players, so it's definitely in McKenzie's interest to make sure he makes that flight!


Tony Hachem and John Maklouf will need a big result to challenge for POTY honours in 2011

4:45pm: Play resumes

Our starting field of 61 players have been reduced to 52 as we're through four of seven levels here on Day 1a of the ANZPT Canberra Main Event.

For a small field with few eliminations, there are a couple of big stacks with George Moussa, Toothpick Tony, James Broom, Scott Kerr and Amila Abeywardana all around the 50,000-chip mark.