ANZPT Darwin Day 1a: Levels 1-2 (blinds 75-150)
2:30pm: Ten-minute break
2:25pm: Jackie jacked
On the final hand of the level we've lost popular Melbourne pro Jackie Glazier.
Glazier had taken a hit in the early goings, so when she saw a flop of 6♠2♥6♣ holding J♦J♥ she was happy to get her last chips into the middle. However incredibly, Glazier found her hand only third best as both Clint Dixon holding Q♣6♦ and Roy Hills with A♥6♥ had both flopped trip sixes!
Glazier would need a jack to survive but the T♥ turn and 4♠ river missed all players to leave Glazier to make an early exit from the tournament. Dixon was left sitting in his chair shell-shocked, but he still has about 8,000 to play with while Hills is now one of our chip leaders with 42,000 in chips.
2:10pm: Gutsy Guzzardi
Michael Guzzardi may have blown his cover as a triple barrel bluff has quickly alerted his table to his prowess at this crazy game of poker.
Guzzardi fired 675 on the flop, 1,175 on the turn and another 2,275 on the river on a board of 9♠8♥3♣7♣4♥. His opponent, Andreas Papageorgious chased until the river but tossed his cards away when his Q♣T♦ missed his straight draw.
Guzzardi gave a wry smile and flashed Q♦T♥ for the very same hand.
"Gutsy betting man," said Tony Kanochkin from seat 1. "I don't know your name, but well played!" he added.
Guzzardi raked in the pot to move up to 26,000.
2:00pm: Rubie goes splatt
Brendon Rubie is known as being one of the most fearless online players in the country, but he's showing that his fearlessness also applies to the live arena. After busting out in spectacular fashion with a triple barrel bluff at the ANZPT Melbourne, Rubie has been caught with his hand in the cookie jar once again against Matt Spratt.
We arrived on the river on a board of 7♦7♣6♣7♥2♠ with a bet of 1,500 in front of Spratt. Rubie deliberated before raising it up to 4,500. Spratt was pained by the decision which represented nearly half of his remaining chips. After several minutes he tossed out a 5,000-denoination chip as he made a crying call.
"You win," sighed Rubie as Spratt opened 8♠8♥ for the best hand.
Rubie slips to 11,000 with Spratt back up to 16,500.
1:40pm: Guzzardi dusts off Dwyer
We've lost our first player of the day as Clinton Dwyer receives the dubious honour.
We're not sure of the exact details of the hand but we assume Dwyer was short-stacked when his last chips were in the middle with 9♣6♣ on a [k][q] flop. Michael Guzzardi was his opponent with pocket jacks which held when the turn and river bricked out.
Guzzardi is now back to around his starting stack while Dwyer is off to enjoy the Darwin sunshine.
1:30pm: Level up, blinds 75-150
1:25pm: Portaro straddles and avoids Dixon's boat
Bruno Portaro loves nothing more than stirring the pot, so when he straddled from under the gun, it caused a little confusion amongst his tablemates.
Bryan Cantle limped in before Clint Dixon raised to 600 from the small blind.
"You know what, I won't even look," chirped Portaro as he made the call in the dark. Cantle called as well and the flop landed A♣J♥9♣.
Dixon and Portaro checked it to Cantle who bet 1,500. Dixon called as Portaro finally decided to look at his cards.
"Ooooh, the first one is good," said Portaro, but the second one must've been a rag as he tossed his cards into the muck.
The turn brought the J♦ and Dixon checked to Cantle who fired another 2,000 into the pot. Dixon calmly announced a raise, as he back it 4,000. Cantle wasn't interested as he quickly folded as Dixon showed A♦J♠ for a full house!
1:20pm: Savage feeling flushy
After losing a sizable early pot to Tony Kanochkin with full house over full house, Ben Savage has rebounded with a rivered flush against Andreas Papageorgious.
With the board reading 4♣6♦9♦K♣, Savage led out for 200 from the big blind before Papageorgious popped it to 1,000 to go. Savage thought for a moment before making the call as the Q♣ completed the board on the river.
Savage tapped the table and Papageorgious bet 2,000, however Savage clicked it back with a minimum raise to 4,000. Papageorgious paid to see and Savage showed him the 9♣5♣ for a rivered flush. Both players now sit with around 14,000.
1:05pm: Quiet start...literally
"Bruno..." yelled out Ben Savage from across the room, "It's too quiet!"
"I know," replied Bruno Portaro, "I need my squeaky toy!" in reference to the squeaking toy bird that Portaro drove us all nuts with at last year's event. Thankfully it hasn't made an appearance this year, but the mood is rather subdued right now with players settling into their groove with very little table talk or banter.
There's been little action to report, but of course Portaro himself has been splashing around early in his usual manner. In a recent pot, four players checked the board of 8♥6♦T♥3♠ over to Portaro who bet 350. Roy Hills was the only one to make the call before he led out for 1,000 on the J♦ river. Portaro gave it some thought but let it go.
Savage was also involved in an early pot, when he called a raise from Michael Guzzardi. James Park had limped in from middle position, Guzzardi made it 400 on the button and Savage cold-called from the small blind. Park came along and the flop landed 5♣6♦6♥. Savage decided to lead out for 600 which was enough as both opponents released with Savage flashing J♣J♠.
12:45pm: Some crocs in the waters
As expected, it's not a big field for today's opening flight but we've spotted a few familiar faces. ANZPT regulars Ben Savage, Bruno Portaro, Michael Guzzardi, Brendon Rubie, Jackie Glazier, ANZPT Adelaide champ Octavian Voegele are all here, as well as Danny Chevalier who is keen to secure valuable points here in Darwin to threaten the lead of Leo Boxell in the ANZ Player of the Year race.
There are also a few locals in today's field who we'll start to get to know as the day progresses.
12:30pm: Play underway in the Top End
Welcome to the SKYCITY Darwin Casino for the opening day of play in the PokerStars.net ANZPT Darwin Main Event. We find ourselves located in the picturesque International Room - a beautiful ballroom with plenty of space and natural light to provide a perfect setting for a poker tournament.
It looks like we'll have four tables in action today primarily filled with PokerStars and local qualifiers, however we have spotted a few sharks amongst them.
SKYCITY Darwin Poker Zone Tournament Director Tony Jackson has welcomed the players to their seats before final instructions were given and we heard the immortal words "Shuffle Up and Deal!"