ANZPT Gold Coast Final Table: Levels 22 & 23 (blinds 12,000-24,000, ante 3,000)
4:20pm: Ten-minute break
4:10pm: Small one for Grange
After some recent eliminations, the players have settled back into their groove with quite a bit of limping and a lot of passive play.
We did see one recent all in when Peter Matusik opened to 75,000 and then called the three-bet from Anthony Grange to 200,000. Grange only had around 250,000 behind which he moved all in on a A♣J♦3♣ flop. Matusik folded as Grange took a nice pot uncontested.
3:50pm: Blain Robertson eliminated in 6th place
Leo Boxell raised to 60,000 from under the gun and Blain Robertson called in the big blind to see a flop of T♥5♥8♠. Robertson checked to Boxell who bet 125,000, but Robertson came back over the top as he moved all in, with Boxell quick to make the call.
Boxell held the lead with his overpair but Robertson had a lot of outs with his flush draw and overcards. The turn was the A♠ and river the 6♣, missing Robertson to eliminate him from the tournament in 6th place for $28,170 in prize money. Meanwhile Boxell is now well out in front with around two million chips.
3:40pm: Big double with Big Slick
Blain Robertson raised to 75,000 before Peter Matusik moved all in over the top. Robertson made the call with A♥K♠ to be racing with Matusik's Q♥Q♦.
The board ran out K♣8♠7♦T♠4♠ to pair up Robertson's king for another double up. He's now up to 600,000 with Matusik down to 900,000.
3:35pm: Hockin doubles through Boxell
Paul Hockin has found a double up after raising from the button and Leo Boxell calling to see a flop of K♥6♦8♦. As he had done previously, Boxell led out at the flop by announcing himself all in, but Hockin snap-called with A♣A♥ to have Boxell's K♠9♣ in some trouble.
The turn was the 4♣ and river the 5♣ as Hockin doubles up to 800,000. The first misstep of the day for Boxell drops him to 1.2 million.
3:30pm: Savvas Zenonos eliminated in 7th place
Savvas Zenonos moved all in for his last 210,000 from under the gun with A♣4♣ but found himself dominated by the A♦Q♥ of Anthony Grange.
The flop of J♣J♦6♠ wasn't a bad one for Zenonos as he picked up chop outs, but the 3♦ turn and A♥ turn left him heading to the exit in 7th place for $22,540 in prize money.
3:20pm: Level up, blinds 12,000-24,000, ante 3,000
3:15pm: Something a little different
A couple of strange hands to finish the level as we're not sure if the players are switching gears, getting aggressive or just getting a little lost.
In a recent hand Leo Boxell opened to 55,000 before Anthony Grange three-bet to 185,000. Boxell made the call and then open-shoved on a flop of Q♠7♦T♠. Grange tanked for a long time, several minutes in fact before folding. After the hand there was plenty of discussion and the general consensus was that Grange has folded pocket kings, although we couldn't decipher him confirming that.
Moments later and Blain Robertson opened to 100,000 and Leo Boxell called on the button. The flop landed 4♦A♠T♣ and Roberton moved all in for 250,000 and Boxell folded, as Robertson flashed pocket threes.
3:00pm: Nice time to wake up with aces
A rare big pot has played out with Blain Robertson finding a triple up with Kiwi Paul Hockin the main victim. However the action started with Peter Matusik who opened to 50,000. Kamel Bekhaled called before Hockin squeezed all in from the small blind. Action was then with Robertson and he immediately moved all in from the big blind! Matusik and Bekhaled folded and the cards were on their backs.
The board ran out Q♥8♥4♠6♣8♦ as Bekhaled revealed that he also folded pocket tens, so Hockin was effectively drawing virtually dead.
Robertson gets up to 420,000 with Hockin down to 450,000.
2:40pm: Maurie "The Master" Pears eliminated from the APHOF Classic
Over at the APHOF Classic, the starting field of 87 has been reduced to 54 players, with one of the recent casualties none other than the man behind the event, Maurie "The Master" Pears.
Pears was all in with king-ten against an opponent's ace-jack and a jack-high board was enough to send him to the rail.
2:35pm: Julian Cohen eliminated in 8th place
Julian Cohen has fallen short in his quest for dual ANZPT titles after his elimination in 8th place. Cohen entered the pot from middle position for his last 176,000 and action folded around to Anthony Grange in the big blind who made the call.
Cohen had live cards but he fell a long way behind when the flop landed 2♣3♦K♠ as Grange paired his king. Savvas Zenonos was pretty happy to see that as he started clapping, despite not being in the hand.
"That's real nice to start clapping," sighed Cohen.
"Yeah, well I want you gone!" spat Zenonos in reply. At first we thought it was some friendly banter, but as it continued, it became obvious that it was serious. It was a strange confrontation and the first time we'd detected any tension between the two.
Meanwhile the 3♣ turn and 5♠ river completed the board to leave Cohen heading to the rail as Grange won the pot. Again Zenonos rubbed salt into the wound.
"Here, I'll even remove your chair for you," chuckled Zenonos in rather unsporting fashion as he pulled Cohen's chair away from the table to give himself some more room. The two continued to exchange words as Cohen extended a handshake to everyone else at the table, while Zenonos sat on his hands.
A rather unpleasant ending to a fine tournament for Cohen who will collect $18,030 for his efforts.
2:20pm: Play resumes
The eight remaining players have returned to the felt following the break. Now that we've jumped a pay level perhaps it the pressure will be off some of the short stacks to allow them to relax and open up their game.
Leo Boxell's big stack and wealth of experience shone through in that first session as he stormed out to the chip lead. Will the young guns be able to reel him back in?