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

4:10pm: Ten-minute break

4:00pm: Barbaro straight to the top!

We have a new chip leader in the house! Simon Barbaro has jumped ahead courtesy of a very favourable flop. We don't have a lot of details of the action but we believe it was a multi-way pot with Barbaro flopping the nuts with Q♠T♠ on a flop of 8♣9♦J♠ against an opponent holding J♥J♣. Obviously a raising war ensued and when the 5♥ turn and A♦ river completed the board, Barbaro was left stacking up 85,000 in chips.


Simon Barbaro is our new chip leader

3:55pm: Cameron races to a double

Adam Cameron is back up to 31,000 after a classic double up with A♥K♥ against pocket jacks with the chips in on a flop of 4♥3♥2♠. Cameron had a flush draw with overcards and hit when the 9♥ landed on the turn to complete his flush. The river was the Q♠ to give Cameron a handy double up.

3:40pm: Raise and it will come

Peter Matusik opened with a raise to 550 before being raised to 1,200 by a player in late position. Matusik made the call and the flop landed 3♣3♦9♣. Matusik checked and his opponent bet 1,600. Matusik came back with a check-raise to 4,600 and his opponent made the call.

The 6♥ turn saw Matusik fire another 5,000 which his opponent again called as the J♥ completed the board. Matusik let go with another bullet worth 14,000 but his opponent wasn't going anywhere as he made the call.

Matusik opened 6♣6♦ for a turned set of sixes as his opponent claimed to have mucked pocket aces. Matusik is up to 50,000.

3:30pm: The rise and fall for our qualifiers

PokerStars qualifier Liam Moffett has increased his stack after gambling against a short stack. Moffett called the all-in bet with king-jack and was racing against pocket eights. Moffett had to wait until the river but got there on the board of [9][a][4][5][k]. Moffett is up to 60,000.

However things haven't been so fortunate for fellow qualifiers Jong-Hyun Lim and ANZPT Perth champ Grant Levy as they both lost the battle with their short stacks to be recently eliminated.

3:20pm: Running good

With a raise to 1,100 from under the gun, Hugh Cohen called in middle position as did Paul Khoury in the small blind to see a flop of T♠J♥Q♦.

One of the tablemates commented that it was likely to be an action flop and he couldn't have been more right. Khoury checked and the UTG-player bet out 800. Cohen called as Khoury got out of the way.

The turn was the 6♣ and the UTG-player bet 4,200 before Cohen raised to 11,000 - enough to put his opponent all in. He obliged with a call and opened A♣K♠ for the nuts. It wasn't over quite yet however, as Cohen showed J♣T♥ for two pair, and wouldn't you know it, the T♣ found its way onto the river. When you're hot, you're hot! Cohen makes a full house to eliminate his opponent and jump up to 35,000 chips.

3:10pm: Level up, blinds 100-200, ante 25

3:05pm: Brendooor out the door

With a raise from the cutoff, Brendon Rubie three-bet to 1,400 from the big blind, only to be faced with a four-bet to 3,600. Rubie deliberated for a few minutes before moving all in for around 11,000 with his opponent making a quick call with A♦K♥. Rubie was happy enough to be racing with his 8♦8♠ but he wasn't so happy to see the board run out 6♠5♦K♦4♦5♣ to pair his opponent's king. Rubie heads for the rail, joining 2009 Aussie Millions champ Stewart Scott who was also recently eliminated.


Brendon Rubie hits the rail

At the other end of proceedings Tom Grigg has recovered from his early bad beat to get himself back to starting stack, while tablemate Greg Shilling is likely to be out in front as our current chip leader with a stack of about 60,000 chips.

2:55pm: Rough day at the office for Benton

2009 APPT Sydney champion Aaron Benton had a pretty rough day at the office today. After losing a big pot a little earlier to Jesse McKenzie, Benton recently got his last 4,000 chips into the middle preflop with ace-jack but ran into Julian Cohen's pocket kings.

The board bricked out without an ace to see Benton's day come to an early end.

2:40pm: Top pair enough for McKenzie

Catching the action on the turn on a board of 7♦K♣5♦2♥, Jesse McKenzie tossed out a bet of 2,300 before his opponent raised to 5,000. McKenzie called and the river was the 4♣.

McKenzie checked it over to his opponent who fired a hefty 7,000. McKenzie made the call and was shown 8♣5♣ for just a pair of fives as McKenzie's K♠Q♠ top pair was good. He rakes in the nice pot to move up to 40,000.


ANZ Player of the Year leader Jesse McKenzie

2:20pm: A late arrival

Mark Vos recently approached the registration desk.

"I have two questions. Is registration still open and do you need ID?" quizzed Vos with mobile phone in hand.

The answer was yes and maybe. It turns out Brisbane local Harris Pavlou was on his way, and a few minutes later, Pavlou indeed arrived, and with his identity verified he took his seat to bump our number of entrants up to an even 80.

2:10pm: Play resumes

The players are back with 75 of our starting field of 79 still alive on Day 1b. There haven't been as many all-ins or big stacks as yesterday but Liam Moffett is our likely chip leader at this stage.