ANZPT Darwin Day 2: Levels 8-9 (blinds 500-1,000, ante 100)
4:40pm: Ten-minute break
4:30pm: They're dropping like flies as Rubie, Pampliega and McKenzie join the rail
Online star Brendon Rubie has hit the rail after he pushed his last chips in preflop with pocket sixes, but Aaron Benton made the call with pocket jacks. Rubie couldn't find a lucky six and was sent to the rail.
Shortly after, Michael Guzzardi was responsible for a couple of brutal rivers to eliminate both Luis Pampliega and then Jesse McKensie.
First it was Pampliega who moved all in on a board of K♣8♠4♥6♠ holding 6♣8♥ for two pair against Guzzardi's K♦Q♣ top pair. However the Q♥ river gave Guzzardi a better two pair to take it down and eliminate Pampliega.
Moments later and Guzzardi was in the thick of it again as he went to war with McKenzie. As recalled to us, McKenzie raised from under the gun, but with a dead blind, Guzzardi didn't notice so when he dropped chips into the middle with the intention to raise, it was only ruled as a call. The flop came down K♦2♣J♣ and McKenzie led out. Guzzardi raised and McKenzie moved all in. Guzzardi deliberated before making the call holding K♠8♣ for top pair, only to find McKenzie had him outkicked with K♣Q♥. The turn was the 5♠ but the river was the 8♥ to give Guzzardi a devastating three-outer.
After a count down of chips, Guzzardi narrowly covered his opponent to leave McKenzie exiting with 3rd place on the ANZ Player of the Year race safely locked up. Meanwhile Guzzardi, after finishing third in the Pot Limit Omaha event last night, is playing the rush to now be up to around 85,000 chips.
4:10pm: The rise of Chevalier
After coming into today as the short stack of the entire field with just 7,650 in change, Danny Chevalier is now our tournament chip leader after a massive hand against Ryan McKay.
It started with McKay opening to 2,500 before Chevalier popped it to 6,000. McKay asked for a count before making the call to see a 7♣3♦3♠ flop.
McKay checked it over to Chevalier who bet 11,600. McKay grabbed a stack of yellow 5,000-denomination chips and moved them into the middle with Chevalier quick to make the call. McKay showed A♥Q♣ but only had one overcard to Chevalier's K♣K♥.
The turn was the T♣ and river the Q♦ to give Chevalier a double up to around 85,000 with McKay still travelling well on about 80,000.
3:50pm: Leo chips up
Leo Boxell is back up to 32,000 after taking a healthy pot without even seeing a flop.
Micheal Guzzardi opened to 2,000 from early position and Jeremy Calder called in the cutoff before Luis Pampliega popped it to 8,000 on the button. Action was then with Boxell in the big blind and he pondered before announcing himself all in.
Guzzardi and Calder quickly folded before Pampliega made a crying a fold with 7♥7♣, saving his last 12,000 for another spot.
3:45pm: Finding the balance
With 28 players remaining we have two tables of eight and two tables of six currently in action. Jesse McKenzie just raised the issue of why the tables weren't balanced, while eyeing off the perceived advantage that Ryan McKay currently has on his table with his well-honed six-handed skills.
McKenzie definitely has a tougher table draw right now and will be looking to break to get some relief from Brendon Rubie, Aaron Benton, Liam O'Rourke and Danny Chevalier.
3:40pm: Level up, blinds 500-1,000, ante 100
3:35pm: Boxell bounces back
Leo Boxell has doubled up, much to the displeasure of Jesse McKenzie and Danny Chevalier who are keeping an eagle-eyed watch on his progress this afternoon.
Boxell's life was on the line with K♥K♣ against the A♦J♣ of Michael Guzzardi. The board ran out 6♠Q♣6♣J♠4♠ to give Boxell the double up to 13,000.
3:30pm: Straight for Parry
Aaron Benton has lost half of his stack in a hand against Glenn Parry. We believe the chips were in on the turn on the 5♠6♠7♣3♥ board with Benton's 3♠3♠ set topped by Parry's 4♥4♦ straight. The river was the J♣ and Parry doubles to 70,000 with Benton down to 28,000.
Ricky Kroesen's last chips have gone into the middle, never to return as Kroesen will have to be content with a potential high of 4th place in the ANZ Player of the Year race.
Kroesen moved his last few thousand in preflop with J♣8♣ with Brett Dannevig making the call with A♦K♦.
The board ran out A♥9♣6♦5♥Q♥ to leave Dannevig with the only pair to eliminate Kroesen from the tournament.
3:20pm: Boxell blues
"You should be embarrassed," was all Leo Boxell had to say after losing a massive pot against Jamie Hill. It was a battle of the blinds with Boxell tabling 5♣5♦ from the big blind as Hill had got a little adventurous for his last chips with K♠3♥.
Boxell couldn't believe it when the flop came down 3♦3♠8♦ to give Hill trips and leaving the Aussie poker legend with just two outs. The turn was the 2♠ and river the K♣ to see Hill double up to 38,000 and leave Boxell with just 6,000 behind.
3:15pm: Spratt goes splat
Matthew Spratt's recovery was short-lived after he ran his pocket jacks into the pocket kings of James Park. Both players flopped a set but Spratt couldn't find his one-outer as the board ran out Q♠J♣K♠9♦4♠.
Park is now up to 50,000.
3:05pm: Kroesen loses two flips
After losing two major coinflips in a row, Ricky Kroesen is now crippled and on the verge of elimination.
In the first hand, Kroesen held A♦K♣ against the Q♥Q♣ of Mark Taylor but the board ran out T♦7♦3♣T♣T♥ to give Taylor the big double up to 60,000.
Moments later and Kroesen's chips were in the middle again, this time against the short-stacked Matthew Spratt. Kroesen had called with A♦Q♥ to again be racing against the pair of 9♥9♠ for Spratt. The board was all babies once more as the 3♠6♥3♥8♥7♦ missed Kroesen's overcards.
Spratt doubles to 20,000 with Kroesen now down to just 6,700.
3:00pm: Last woman bows out
Our last woman standing, Tamara Volkoff, has been eliminated. She was nursing a short stack for a lot of today and made a move from the big blind when she saw a flop of 8♥5♥6♠. Jack Drake made the call with Q♠Q♦ as Volkoff would need to improve on her 8♦9♠.
The turn was the 4♣ and river the 3♠ to leave Volkoff on the rail and Drake sitting with a stack of 60,000.
2:50pm: Savage blow
ANZPT regular Ben Savage has been unable to find a double up for his short stack as his tournament is now over.
It was a battle of the blinds with Tim Wade-Mcdonald opening with a raise from the small blind before Savage moved all in from the big blind with A♥4♦. Wade-Mcdonald made the call with K♦9♦.
The flop was 7♣K♣J♥ to hit Wade-McDonald and leave Savage need an ace to survive. However the turn was the J♣ and river the 4♥ to eliminate Savage and jump Wade-McDonald up to 75,000.
2:40pm: Play resumes
The players have returned to their seats following their first break of the day with 34 still alive in the quest for ANZPT glory.
Ryan McKay leads the way with Tony Kanochkin also making good progress on Day 2. Leo Boxell, Jesse McKenzie, Danny Chevalier and Ricky Kroesen are also still in good shape as the race for ANZ Player of the Year honours heats up!