ANZPT Gold Coast Day 1b: Levels 1 & 2 (blinds 75-150)

2:00pm: Ten-minute break

1:50pm: Benton blues

Aaron Benton has just taken a big hit after Jesse McKenzie caught a perfect river to double through. It all started with McKenzie raising from under the gun and Benton defending his big blind to see a flop of 3♦4♥4♣. McKenzie's continuation bet was check-raised by Benton, but McKenzie stuck around to see the 6♥ hit the turn.

Benton led out for 1,500 and McKenzie again called as the Q♣ rolled off on the river. After some friendly banter, Benton tossed out 3,500 but McKenzie responded by moving all in.

"I have to call you, but I think you've got me," sighed Benton and he was right as his A♣4♠ had been rivered by McKenzie's Q♠Q♦.

McKenzie doubles to 30,000 with Benton down to just 7,000.

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Aaron Benton and Jesse McKenzie at the ANZPT Gold Coast

1:30pm: Reid survives river check-raise

Catching the action on a flop of 8♦T♦6♣, play checked to Scott Reid in early position who tossed out a bet of 1,250. He got two folds but Adam Cameron made the call in the small blind.

The turn was the 5♥ and Cameron checked to Reid who bet 2,500. Again Cameron made the call as the T♠ appeared on the river. Cameron checked for the third time and Reid bet 3,000, but Cameron wasn't done with just yet as he check-raised to 8,500. The river check-raise is a very strong move but Reid made the call. Cameron showed 9♠8♠ for second pair but Reid had the goods with his A♣T♣. Reid is up to 30,000 with Cameron now down to just 5,000.

1:10pm: Grigg cracked

The extreme highs and lows of tournament poker were just felt by Tom Grigg in the one hand against Greg Layton.

With the chips in preflop, Grigg was in perfect position with his pocket aces in total control against Layton's pocket kings, but the roar from the rail said it all as the board ran out K♣4♦8♠J♦J♠. Layton spiked a two-outer king to double up to leave Grigg with just 4,000 in chips.

1:05pm: Aces for Walch

Nang Laung Ngin opened things up with a raise to 450 and found one caller before Sean Walch popped it to 1,700. Ngin came back with a re-raise to 3,400 which forced the third player from the hand, but Walch moved all in. Ngin made the call with A♠K♦ but Walch held A♣A♥ and doubled through when the board ran out 2♦2♥T♣8♥7♠.

Walch is up to 44,000 with Ngin down under 3,000 in chips.

1:00pm: Level up, blinds 75-150

12:55pm: Khoury loses some voice as Cohen running hot

PokerStars sponsored player Paul "The Voice" Khoury is off to a rocky start here on Day 1b after losing a hefty pot to Hugh Cohen.

Cohen raised to 250 from middle position and Khoury made the call in the big blind to see a flop of K♣J♠5♠. Khoury check-called for 400, before a repeat K♥ found its way onto the turn. Khoury checked and Cohen bet 1,050. Khoury then announced a raise as he made it 4,000 to play. Cohen quickly matched the bet and the 8♠ completed the board on the river.

Khoury tossed out 3,000 and Cohen was again quick to call. Khoury opened K♦T♦ for trip kings but found himself outkicked by Cohen's K♠Q♠.

Khoury slips to just 9,000 in chips. Cohen on the other hand is up to 32,000, and continues some incredible form from overnight when he landed a very tidy US$97,955 score for 2nd place in the PokerStars SCOOP Event #26-H: $1,050 NLHE Turbo event. Nicely done Hugh!

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Hugh "Jackovich" Cohen continuing his SCOOP form at the ANZPT Gold Coast

12:40pm: Table dynamics

With a rather stacked field, there are a couple of interesting table lineups forming. ANZ Player of the Year leader Jesse McKenzie was a late arrival and he finds himself on a table with Julian Cohen, Aaron Benton and Kiwi Richard Lancaster.

Brendon Rubie, Jimmy Burgoine and Grant Levy are seated together, while the table of Liam Moffett, Kris Cunz and Daniel Laidlaw should provide some interesting dynamics.

12:25pm: Don't call him mofo

Queensland's own Liam "Moffo47" Moffett had jumped out to the early lead here on Day 1b. Moffett called bets of 7,000 on both the turn and river on a board of 4♥7♥4♣T♣8♦. His opponent showed down pocket aces but Moffett took it down with 4♠3♠ for trip fours.

Moffett, who recently moved into the top ten in the Australian online rankings, is our early chip leader with 49,000.

12:10pm: Who's here?

It's a quality lineup here today with some of those notables including Julian Cohen, Hugh Cohen, Tom Grigg, Kris Cunz, Daniel Laidlaw, Liam Moffett, Andy Hinrichsen, Brendon Rubie, Michael Guzzardi, Jeff Rossiter, Stewart Scott, "Toothpick Tony", WSOP bracelet winner Mark Vos, ANZPT Perth champ Grant Levy, 2009 APPT Sydney winner Aaron Benton and PokerStars sponsored player Paul "The Voice" Khoury.

12:00pm: Let's do it again!

Welcome back to the Jupiters Poker Room for Day 1b of the PokerStars.net ANZPT Gold Coast Main Event. Another solid field is expected to turn out today with ten tables currently setup and ready for action. There were quite a few notables spotted lurking around the registration desk a little earlier, putting the total number of current registrations in excess of the 200 mark.

The players have now taken their seats and exchanged pleasantries with their tablemates in preparation for the grind ahead.

Jupiters Poker Room Manager Martin Coughlin has welcomed the players to the Gold Coast and uttered the immortal words, "Shuffle up and deal!"

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Like a Surfers Paradise lifeguard, we'll be watching over the field for any signs of trouble!
(Image courtesy of Tourism Australia)