ANZPT Canberra Day 1b: Levels 3 & 4 (blinds 100-200, ante 25)

4:30pm: Ten-minute break

4:25pm: Double for Xu

Qi Xu is a blogger's delight and a quiet achiever on the ANZPT tour. With three cashes from limited appearances last season, Xu finished in the top 20 in the POTY race. He's just found a handy double up here in Canberra to stay alive.

Xu held J♦J♣ against A♥T♥ and survived when the board ran out 7♣K♦Q♥2♣4♦. Xu is back to 10,000.

4:20pm: Carnevale continues

After being crippled in the first level of play, Rennie Carnevale had been waiting patiently for a chance to double up.

He just found it against Bruce Hall as Carnevale flopped the nut straight. The chips were in on the flop of J♥T♠A♣ with Carnevale's K♥Q♥ in command against Hall's A♦Q♦. The turn was the 4♦ and river the A♠ to double Carnevale back close to his starting stack.

4:15pm: Slow going

We're approaching the second break of the day and incredibly we've only lost six players in four levels of play. At other events, especially at the Gold Coast, the rate of eliminations was rapid. Here in Canberra, players seem to playing a lot tighter and protecting their stacks.

Normally we will lose around half of the field within seven levels of play, but unless these guys start gambling, then we're going to be well short of that today.

4:10pm: Grujic fights back

Andrew Watson opened to 525 from middle position with Oliver Grujic and David Gorr defending their blinds to see a monotone flop of A♦8♦7♦. Action checked around to Watson who continuation bet for 900 with Grujic the lone caller.

The turn was the 5♥ and both players checked it to see the 4♣ hit the river. Grujic led out for 2,200 and Watson thought for a few moments before tossing away his cards.

Watson is down to 27,000 with Grujic, who is currently second in the ANZ Player of the Year, fighting back to 15,000.

4:05pm: Jordanou flicked

"Was that a genuine mistake?" spat a disgruntled Billy Jordanou towards PokerStars qualifier Jeffrey Flick as the two got their chips in the middle, their cards on their backs, and Jordanou saw the bad news.

The action went down on a flop of J♠9♥3♦. According to the table we believe that Flick had got a little excited from the big blind. We're not sure of the betting action but we believe Flick had ovebet a large amount. A confused Jordanou made the call with A♦J♠, but the overbet was indeed an accident as Flick revealed 9♠9♦.

The turn was the 4♣ and river the 6♠ to land Flick a double up and leave Jordanou with just 7,000 in chips.

3:55pm: Fourth pair is good for Boxell

Leo Boxell raised it up to 525 preflop and picked up two passengers including Tony Tartaglia. They saw a flop of T♥2♦8♣ and all three players checked.

The turn was the 3♦ and Boxell fired 1,800. That didn't scare anyone as both opponents called to see the J♣ fall on the river.

Check, check, check and Boxell opened 6♣3♣. It was only a lowly pair of threes but incredibly it was enough to take it down as both opponents mucked. Boxell is up to 32,000.

3:45pm: Graham looking dangerous

Jarred Graham is quietly accumulating chips here in Canberra as the young gun has just eliminated a short-stacked opponent.

Graham called preflop with A♦Q♦ as the shorty had shoved with K♣9♥. The board ran out queen-high to see Graham move up to 38,000.


Jarred Graham in action in Canberra

3:30pm: Level up, blinds 100-200, ante 25

3:20pm: Nice flop!

Tim Napper had built up a nice stack but just gave some back in a clash with Bruce Hall. Napper was in the big blind and led out for 650 on the 9♠8♥7♥ flop, only to see Hall move all in for 5,525. Ben McLean folded as Napper made a crying call.

He was crying even more when Hall tabled J♥T♥ for the mortal nuts. Napper dropped his head, but he still had a few outs with his 8♠7♦.

The Q♣ turn and 6♣ river bricked the board to double up Hall. Napper slips to 26,000.

3:05pm: Spoke too soon

"Manny, are you all in?" came the cry across the room.

"Yeah...but I've got aces!" replied Manny Rodrigues to his mate as he stood from his chair following an all-in clash with Stephen Quon.

Of course, as soon as one says something like that, the poker Gods prick their ears and strike down with furious anger. And so it happened.

Quon held pocket kings and there was a roar of horror when the board ran out 4♥4♦4♣9♦K♣. Quon spiked the two-outer river to double through to 45,000 with Rodrigues licking his wounds as he's down to just 6,000.

2:50pm: Prize pool information

The official numbers are in and the prize pool for the ANZPT Canberra Main Event has been announced. We have a total of 134 entrants to create a prize pool of $268,000. The top 15 players will finish in the money with a minimum pay day of $4,690. Reaching the final table will be worth $8,040 while first place will take home $73,700.

2:40pm: "I was either right or wrong"

Tony Hachem raised things up to 450 on the button before Ben McLean three-bet to 1,100 from the big blind. Hachem almost beat him into the pot with a call to see the flop of A♠4♦4♠.

McLean checked it over to Hachem who bet 1,300. McLean made a quick call as the 2♠ hit the turn. Action was check-check before the K♥ appeared on the river. McLean led out with a bet of 2,600 to send Hachem deep into the tank.

"Sorry boys," sighed Hachem as he deliberated for several minutes before flashing the K♣ and folding. McLean showed 8♣8♠.

"I knew it!" exclaimed Hachem. "I was either right or I was wrong. If I was right, I look like a genius," he added as both players now sit with around 21,000 chips.


2:30pm: Play resumes

The players are back from their first break and the cards are in the air. We didn't lose any players in the first two levels of play so our starting field of 73 players are all still alive and kicking.