ANZPT Gold Coast Final Table: Levels 20 & 21 (blinds 8,000-16,000, ante 2,000)
2:10pm: Ten-minute break
2:00pm: Norah Greer eliminated in 9th place
It took almost two hours but we finally have our first elimination of the day, and unfortunately for the Gold Coast locals, it's their favourite lady Norah Greer.
After getting herself back above water, Greer moved her last 159,000 into the middle from middle position and Leo Boxell made the call in the small blind.
"King-queen suited never loses," chirped Grant Levy from the rail, and he was right, as the board ran out 8♠K♦4♦T♥2♥. Boxell spikes a pair to eliminate Greer from the tournament in 9th place for a payday of $13,520.
1:45pm: APHOF Classic update
Meanwhile over in the $1,100 APHOF Classic, a field of 83 players have taken to the felt including the who's who of Australian Poker - Maurie "The Master" Pears, Grant Levy, Mike Ivin, Billy "The Croc" Argyros, Octavian Voegele, Graeme Putt and Darryl "Dazzler" Lanyon, just to name a few.
Lee Nelson and the APHOF have donated several book packs for the event as added value, which have been put as bounties on the heads of a few of the above-mentioned players. One of those packs just went to the extremely well-dressed Ricky Kroesen for busting Billy Argyros.
There have been plenty of laughs and a few roars to keep the players on their toes. It's a great structure and there's still time to register if you are in the area.
1:35pm: Zenonos catches a pair
The action has been extremely slow but we just saw another all in and once again the short stack survived as nine players still remain on the ANZPT Gold Coast final table.
Savvas Zenonos opened with a raise to 45,000 from under the gun and Kamel Bekhaled made the call in position. Blain Robertson made a frustrated fold in the small blind as the two players went heads up to a flop of 4♦8♠7♥. Before the dealer had even finished spreading the board, Zenonos moved all in for a total of 183,000.
Bekhaled asked for a count and thought for a few minutes before announcing a call.
Zenonos showed A♦K♦ as Bekhaled had made a very good call with his 5♥5♦. However sometimes in poker, good plays go unrewarded as the K♠ hit the turn to give Zenonos a pair and the lead as the Q♠ bricked the river.
Zenonos doubles to 500,000 with Bekhaled back down to 620,000.
1:15pm: Grange triples up!
Leo Boxell opened with a raise to 45,000 from under the gun before Anthony Grange moved all in from middle position for his last 44,000. The table folded around to Savvas Zenonos in the big blind who also made the call.
With Zenonos checking each street in the dark, Boxell also checked it down as the board ran out 3♠6♠J♣2♥5♠. Zenonos showed 6♦9♠ which wasn't going to beat much. Boxell tabled a respectable T♣T♦ but Grange took the main pot to triple up with his J♠K♥. The short stacks just will not die as Grange is back up to 135,000.
1:10pm: Level up, blinds 8,000-16,000, ante 2,000
12:55pm: Greer does it again!
Norah Greer has done it again with another big double up, this time at the expense of Julian Cohen. With 93,000 in hand, Greer moved all in from the cutoff with 8♣8♥ and Cohen made the call with A♠Q♥.
The race was all but over on the 8♦6♠4♣ flop as Greer spiked a set! The Q♣ turn and 2♣ river finished the board to get Greer up over 200,000. Cohen was left shaking his head as he is down under 300,000.
12:50pm: Greer fills up to stay alive
At this final table last year we lost two players on the very first hand of the day. This final table has been the polar opposite with a lot of passive play as the short stacks appear content to play cat and mouse to attempt to jump up the payouts.
However the temperature did just rise a little after Norah Greer found a double up, and she did it in amazing fashion. After being blinded down to 43,000 chips, Greer moved all in from the small blind. Paul Hockin did some quick math and made the call in the big blind.
Hockin had a respectable hand, but Greer had waited long enough to find a premium one. But that all changed when the flop landed 4♣6♣3♣ as Hockin flopped a flush to leave Greer with one foot out the door.
However this hand wasn't over just yet.
The turn was the 3♥ to give Greer some hope, and incredibly the T♦ found its way onto the river to give Greer a staggering backdoor full house to double up. Hockin was probably relieved the pot was only worth 100,000 and not 1,000,000!
12:35pm: Boxell throwing the early jabs
Leo Boxell may be into the chip lead after clipping young gun Paul Hockin. Boxell limped from middle position and the table folded around to Hockin in the big blind who tapped the table. They saw a flop of J♦J♠2♦ and Hockin checked to Boxell who bet 24,000.
Hockin announced a raise as he made it 56,000 to go, but that didn't deter Boxell who re-raised to a total of 156,000.
Hockin re-checked his hole cards but released his hand as Boxell is now up over the one million chip mark. Hockin is down to 600,000.
12:25pm: Our first flop
The early play has been relative subdued with a couple of blind steals and Norah Greer shoving her short stack all in but she didn't find any callers.
However we just saw our first flop after Leo Boxell called the raise to 25,000 from Julian Cohen to see a flop of A♠4♠T♣. Cohen fired a continuation bet of 40,000 but Boxell immediately announced himself all in. Cohen gave it up as Boxell asserts his authority on this final table.
12:15pm: Robertson raises big
Blain Robertson didn't waste any time in getting active on this final table. First hand of the day, he opened with a raise to 100,000 - well over eight times the big blind - from early position. Perhaps he forgot the clock had been wound back to the 6,000/12,000/1,000 level. The table raised their eyebrows and folded it around.
Inaugural Australian Poker Hall of Fame Classic
Also we should mention the inaugural Australian Poker Hall of Fame Classic which is running in the Jupiters Poker Room alongside the final table here today. Hosted by APHOF Chairman Maurie Pears, the $1,100 event should draw an excellent field for the 12pm start on what should be a great day of poker.
Maurie Pears and fellow APHOF member Billy "The Croc" Argyros both said a few words to welcome the players and we hope to see this event grow each year and perhaps even expand around the country. There is a cap of 100 players for today's event, but if you're in the Gold Coast region, it's not too late to get down here and register!
We'll keep one eye on this event for a few updates throughout the day.
12:10pm: The final table is underway!
After three days of furious action in the Jupiters Poker Room our field of 245 players have been reduced to the final table of nine. One of these nine will today be crowned ANZPT champion and walk away with a whopping $145,100 in prize money.
Can Leo Boxell claim another major Australian title to write his own ticket into the Australian Poker Hall of Fame? Will Julian Cohen become the first two-time ANZPT champion? Or will one of our lesser-known local players emerge as a new champion of Australian poker?
We'll be winding the clock back to blinds of 6,000-12,000 with a 1,000 ante to give the players a little more game time, however the short stacks are still going to be under pressure so we expect to see some fireworks early.
The players have satisfied their last media commitments and have been introduced to the audience as the ANZPT Gold Coast final table is now officially underway!