ANZPT Melbourne Day 2: Levels 10 & 11 (blinds 800-1,600, ante 200)
2:10pm: Ten-minute break
2:05pm: Skender survives three barrels from Grigg
We have a new chip leader as Benn "risk2dupside" Skender has won a massive pot from Tom Grigg just before the break.
Skender recalled to us the details just as he went off to the break. With a raise from under the gun and a call from Grigg, Skender came along with a call on the button holding pocket nines.
Grigg fired all three barrels on a board of [q] and Skender called him down. Grigg had "air" as Skender's pocket nines were good. Skender heads to the break with 240,000 as Grigg slips to 55,000.
2:00pm: Two more down
George Chrisanthopoulos was one of the overnight short stacks but he's back up to 35,000 after the recent elimination of Michel Bouskila.
It was Bouskila's Q♣Q♦ up against the A♥K♠ overcards of Chrisanthopoulos and the board was all Chrisanthopoulos as it ran out 5♥A♠K♥K♣J♠.
Joining Bouskila on the rail was Liam Moffett who passed by our blogging desk on the way out. Moffett recalled to us that he three-bet shoved with king-nine but Albert Amato called with ace-queen which held when the board bricked out.
1:45pm: Ben savages the ladies
Josh Jurcic opened with a raise to 4,200 before Brent Thomas moved all in over the top for around 30,000. Action was then with Ben Savage and he moved all in over the top to force a fold from Jurcic.
Thomas opened a pretty Q♥Q♠ but he'd walked into a monster as Savage showed A♠A♦.
The board arrived 2♣5♠9♥J♦7♦ to eliminate Thomas from the tournament. Meanwhile Savage is gunning for his third consecutive final table finish in this event after finishing 5th and 8th over the past two years. He's well on the way to another final table with 98,000 in chips.
1:30pm: Cohen doubles; McLean busts
Luke McLean was victorious earlier in the week in the $100,000 Guaranteed Opening Event of the ANZPT Melbourne series. However he won't be picking up a second trophy this week after his recent elimination from the Main Event.
McLean opened with a raise to 3,400 and picked up one caller before Hugh Cohen moved all in from the small blind. McLean made the call as the third player jumped aside.
McLean tabled A♦Q♠ but found himself dominated by Cohen's A♣K♥. The board landed 6♦2♦T♠A♥4♦ to give Cohen a big double up to 80,000. McLean was left with just 3,900 which he lost moments later when his pocket sixes couldn't better an opponent's jack-ten.
1:10pm: Level up, blinds 800-1,600, ante 200
1:05pm: Benton busts Zhao
Aaron Benton is currently stacking up a massive pile of chips following a huge preflop clash with young gun David Zhao.
Zhao opened from the cutoff to 2,600 before Benton three-bet it to 7,000 on the button. Play folded back around to Zhao who moved all in for around 37,000 to put Benton to a decision. After cutting down his chips Benton decided he still had enough behind to take the risk. He made the call and opened T♥T♣ to find himself racing against Zhao's A♠J♦.
The board ran out 8♥6♥4♦Q♦3♠ to leave Benton's pair in front to send Zhao crashing to the rail. Benton is now up to a commanding 150,000 chips.
1:00pm: Sanchez makes up for lost time
Justin Sanchez was a late arrival to Day 2 this afternoon, but with a six-figure overnight stack, he had no reason to panic. Now in his seat, Sanchez has quickly gone to work.
Catching the action on the turn on a board of 8♦7♦8♣J♥, David Bonadio check-called for 11,500 before checking the 6♥ river. Sanchez declared himself all in for a total of 63,200 and the price was too much for Bonadio who let it go.
Sanchez is up to 112,000.
12:55pm: Benton finds a way
Aaron Benton opened to 2,500 from under the gun and Matthew Rolfe made the call to see a flop of A♣8♣2♠. Benton continuation-bet for 3,300 and Rolfe called as the 6♠ hit the turn. Benton bet again for 4,500 and again Rolfe called.
On the 8♠ river Benton bombed it for 16,500 and Rolfe looked him up with A♠K♣, but Benton had caught a running flush with his K♠Q♠ to collect the healthy pot.
12:50pm: Skender boats up
Benn Skender might not be a big fan of "liveaments" but he's now commanding a very nice stack of 140,000 following a big hand against Mario Ljubicic. The details were recalled to us, but apparently Skender had flopped a set and improved to a full house on the river when he moved all in. Ljubicic deliberated for some time before calling the bet of around 45,000.
Skender tabled the full house and doubled through to leave Ljubicic with 55,000.
12:45pm: Jie jacked by Khoury
"I can order a coffee now because I know I'll be here when it gets back!" laughed Paul Khoury after landing a desperate double up.
However Khoury had to do it the hard way, coming from behind against fellow short stack Jie Gao.
Gao opened to 3,200 from under the gun before Khoury moved all in for around 13,500. Gao quickly called and opened K♥K♠ as Khoury had one foot out the door with his J♠J♣.
However the board landed J♦T♠3♥3♠9♠ to spike the two-outer for Khoury. After a count of the chips, Gao was left with just 100 in change.
"Just give to him!" exclaimed Gao as he tossed the ante across the table to Khoury and quickly exited the poker room in disgust. For the second time in two days, we've seen a player walk away from the table with chips still in play.
Meanwhile Khoury is pretty happy to be up to 30,000 with his head above water once again.
12:25pm: Ravesi stays alive
One short stack who was a little more fortunate was Paul "The Virus" Ravesi. He started the day with 13,700 in chips but it now breathing a little easier with around 30,000 after he doubled up.
Following an early-position raise to 2,700 from Erich Stadler, Ravesi moved all in for another 10,600 from the small blind. Stadler called with A♣T♣ but Ravesi held a dominant A♦J♣.
The board was spread K♠4♦3♦2♥K♥ to double up Ravesi.
12:20pm: Cohen cut
Last year's ANZPT Queenstown champion Julian Cohen entered today as one of the short stacks of the field with just 13,100. Looking for a double up, Cohen was able to steal a few blinds and antes before moving roughly 15,000 into the middle with Q♦T♦. Unfortunately for him, Leigh Warne made the call with a dominant A♣T♠.
The board fell K♣6♠K♦5♣2♦ to leave Cohen to make a quick exit on Day 2.
12:10pm: We're underway on day two!
The players have found their seats, and as have we, although it did take a little longer this morning. Rather than in our usual home in the tournament area of the Crown Poker Room, we find ourselves based over near the Poker Pro machines in the overflow area. We have seven tables set up here while another six are over under the big screen. Yep we're going to be spread pretty thin for a while until they break this direction.
So why the change of scenery? The Crown Poker Room is gearing up for the EJ Whitten Foundation Charity event this afternoon which will be hosted by Tony Hachem and will include many Melbourne celebrities and sports personalities. The buy-in is $300 with $100 rebuys and first prize will include a 2012 Aussie Millions package. It should be a great afternoon, so if you're in Melbourne why not come down to Crown at check it out.
But for now, we're setup away from the circus as the Main Event is back underway!
Welcome back to Melbourne's luxurious Crown Casino Complex for the continuation of the PokerStars.net ANZPT Melbourne Main Event. We're in for another long day today as we work our way from 113 players down to the money for the final 36 and eventually towards our final table of nine.
PokerStars qualifier Ryan Hong enters as our chip leader with a host of well-known pros lurking in the wings.
Top Ten Chip Counts
Ryan Hong (Australia) (PokerStars Qualifier) - 178,800
John Apostolidis (Australia) - 140,300
Ryan Larkin (Australia) - 127,100
Jesse McKenzie (Australia) - 124,700
Stephen Eliesen (Australia) - 117,100
Jarred Graham (Australia) - 115,400
Leigh Warne (Australia) - 113,200
Peng Khoo (Australia) - 107,200
Mario Ljubicic (Australia) - 106,700
Justin Sanchez (Australia) - 100,500
Play will recommence at 12:10pm (GMT+10) with all the live updates brought to you exclusively on the PokerStars Blog. Don't go anywhere!