ANZPT Darwin Day 1b: Level 5 (blinds 150-300, ante 25)
6:00pm: That's a wrap from Darwin
We've ended today's five levels of play with 21 players remaining and they'll be back to join the 26 survivors from yesterday for Day 2 of play tomorrow. Leading the way today is Aaron Benton who bagged up 58,075 chips while Liam O'Rourke (45,825), Ryan McKay (42,975) and Jesse McKenzie (39,575) are all in good shape. Also surviving the day was Leo Boxell, Grant Levy, Ricky Kroesen and Marcel Schreiner.
We'll be back with chip counts for the entire field and a wrap of today's action for you shortly.
5:55pm: Levy sticks around
On one of the final hands of the day, Grant Levy had one foot on the airplane to Perth after getting his last 7,675 preflop with A♣T♥ against the dominant A♦K♦ of Tamara Volkoff.
However he'll have to hang around in Darwin a little longer after spiking a pair on the board of 5♦4♣T♠Q♣5♥. Volkoff flopped a flush draw, turned a straight draw, but missed the lot as Levy will finish the day with around 16,000 chips.
5:45pm: Zalac's turn to double
Easy come, easy go for Mario Ljubicic as he's now back on the short stack after doubling up PokerStars qualifier Ivan Zalac.
Zalac's last 5,700 were all in on a flop of K♣5♠9♠ with Zalac holding A♥K♦ to be in a dominant position against Ljubicic's K♥J♠.
The turn was the 5♦ and river the Q♥ to give Zalac the double to 14,500 and leave Ljubicic in trouble with just 4,500 in change.
5:35pm: Ljubicic doubles up
Mario Ljubicic has found a double up at the expense of Tamara Volkoff.
After the monotone flop of 7♠9♠J♠ was checked around, Volkoff led out for 1,000 on the 5♥ turn. Ljubicic moved all in for 5,050 to force Grant Levy to fold, but Volkoff was committed to the call with Q♠J♣ for top pair and a flush draw. Unfortunately for her she had a total of zero outs against Ljubicic's A♠2♠.
The meaningless river was the Q♥ and Ljubicic doubles to 13,000 with Volkoff slipping back to 25,000.
5:20pm: What do poker players talk about in their spare time?
I don't think we've ever seen a table which has talked as much poker strategy as the table featuring Jesse McKenzie, Adam Brown, Ricky Kroesen and Aaron Benton today.
Every time we walk past we hear sentences starting with:
"I thought you were value betting..."
"I would've bet that river..."
"It was a paired board so I decided to check..."
"How can you check-raise in that spot..."
In fact, Benton and McKenzie in particular recently exchanged a few friendly barbs when McKenzie was surprised with the way Benton played a hand, after earlier Benton was allegedly critical of the way Brown had played a hand.
"I promise you I wasn't criticizing him," defended Benton, "I just didn't think he would play it like that!"
Too much poker on the brain!
5:10pm: Volkoff turns a boat
"You're a nice dealer!" exclaimed Tamara Volkoff after winning a big pot to eliminate Angelo Scicchitano but she wasn't saying that just moments earlier when Scicchitano had flopped the nuts.
It started with Grant Levy opening to 700 and Scicchitano making the call, before Volkoff popped it up to 2,200. Levy made a reluctant fold but Scicchitano called again to see a flop of K♣Q♠J♣. It looked like an action flop, and indeed it was.
Scicchitano checked and Volkoff bet 5,000. Scicchitano quickly clicked it back to 10,000 before Volkoff moved all in and Scicchitano made the call.
Volkoff showed J♥J♠ for a set but Scicchitano held A♠T♠ for a Broadway straight.
"Pair the board dealer!" requested Volkoff and the dealer obliged as the Q♣ appeared to give Volkoff an unbeatable lead with a full house.
"Woooohooooo!" shouted Volhoff in excitement before the 2♣ bricked the river. Scicchitano's last chips went across to Volkoff as she moves up to 31,000.
4:55pm: Play resumes
The players are back with 22 still alive from today's Day 1b flight. This is the final level of the day. Our chip leaders are Aaron Benton and Jesse McKenzie who are both around the 48,000-chip mark.