ANZPT Melbourne Day 2: Levels 12 & 13 (blinds 1,200-2,400, ante 300)

4:20pm: Ten-minute break

4:15pm: Skender dents McKenzie

Benn Skender seems to save his best poker until just prior to the break as he's just taken a nice pot off Jesse McKenzie.

Skender opened to 5,000 from the hijack position and picked up four callers to see a flop of K♣Q♣Q♦. Two checks to Skender who bet out 10,000. Jesse McKenzie was the lone caller on the button as the 4♥ hit the turn.

Skender bet again for 20,000 and again McKenzie called before both players checked the 9♠. Skender showed down A♦A♠ as McKenzie missed his draw with A♣9♣. McKenzie slips to 150,000 with Skender now up to 260,000.

4:10pm: A toasty triple up

Tom Grigg is somehow still alive in this tournament. After being crippled to 10,000, Grigg has been nursing his stack and with a recent triple up, he's now with head above water once again.

Grigg moved all in with a toasty T♦8♥ before Jesse McKenzie tried to isolate by moving all in with A♣Q♦. However Mario Ljubicic wasn't going to budge as he committed his last chips with A♦K♠.

The board ran out 8♦T♣4♠J♥3♥ to give Grigg two pair for the triple up to 31,000 as Ljubicic won the side pot to stay alive with 56,000. McKenzie is still in good shape with 214,000.

3:55pm: Eliesen doubles through Sanchez

Stephen Eliesen and Justin Sanchez were two of the big stacks after yesterday and they've just gone to war on a flop of 3♥T♥5♦.

Sanchez held A♥Q♥ for a flush draw but his overcards were no goof as Eliesen held A♦A♣ for the pocket rockets!

The turn was the T♠ and river the J♠ to double Eliesen up to 155,000. Sanchez slips to 84,000.

3:40pm: Hong shows the bluff

Ryan Hong continues to show some impressive form with his aggressive approach netting him plenty of pots. In a recent hand, Hong three-bet preflop before leading out on a 9♠2♦9♣ flop. His opponent went with a read and made a big fold of J♣J♠ face up, as Hong rubbed some salt into the wound as he flashed 5♦6♦.

Hong is up to 225,000.

3:30pm: Red carpet treatment

While the Main Event is our focus today, we can't help but be distracted at the moment as the red carpet has been rolled out for the arrivals of the VIPs for the EJ Whitten Foundation Charity Event which is kicking off around 4:15pm this afternoon.

The players can't help but notice either, with the red carpet glamour shots, complete with accompanying showgirls, is happening right behind where the players are seated. The circus is indeed in town!


Joe and Jeanie Hachem arrive on the red carpet for the EJ Whitten Charity Event

3:20pm: Level up, blinds 1,200-2,400, ante 300

3:15pm: Watson sets up

Brett Watson was our chip leader halfway through the day yesterday, and he's risen to the top here again on Day two after flopping a set to eliminate an opponent.

The action was three-bet preflop to see the 4♦A♠Q♦ flop. Watson checked, his opponent bet 13,500 before Watson made it 35,000. His opponent moved all in and Watson called with 4♣4♥ to have his opponent's A♦K♠ in a world of hurt.

The turn was the 9♣ and river the 7♦ to see Watson climb up to 240,000.

2:50pm: It's hot and heavy on Table 65

It's all happening on Table 65 at the moment, with the rapid action almost too much for us to keep up with.

After winning the previous big pot, Tom Grigg has given it all back again just as quickly.

First he lost a pot against Jesse McKenzie with he made quads and got paid off. Moments later, Grigg was in the thick of it again against Julius Colman.

The board read T♥4♥8♥Q♠ when Grigg's bet was raised all in for an additional 37,200 by Colman to send Grigg into the tank.

"Sorry guys, it's for my tournament life!" exclaimed Grigg.

As he deliberated, a mini-war of words erupted across the table between Ben Savage and Jesse McKenzie who apparently just became acquainted in real life for the first time. However the two clearly had a history online as they took the disagreement away from the table while Grigg was in the tank.

Grigg moved his cards towards the muck but pulled them back in an attempt to get a read, and it appeared to work, as he saw something that made him immediately call.

"Good luck," said Colman as he opened A♦9♥ for straight and flush draws with an overcard against Grigg's Q♦7♣.

It was a courageous call by Grigg but it wasn't rewarded as the J♦ spiked on the river to give Colman a straight and leave Grigg crippled with just 10,000 in chips as the six-figure pot was shipped to Colman.


Julius Colman catches a river to double up and dent the stack of Tom Grigg

2:30pm: Grigg trips Burns

Tom Grigg might need to get his heart tested with the rollercoaster ride that he has to ensure every tournament. After losing a big hand to Benn Skender just before the break, Grigg has recovered some chips with a double up through Kahle Burns.

With the hand recorded by rookie ANZPT reporter Danny McDonagh, Grigg moved all in for his last 38,000 on the river on a board of [9][4][a][4][7]. Burns made a crying call with [a][q] but Grigg tripped him up with [4][5]. Grigg is now back up to 120,000.

2:20pm: Play resumes

The players are back in action with roughly 75 players still in contention for the ANZPT Melbourne title.

Benn Skender has shot to the chip lead with 240,000 while overnight leader Ryan Hong has also chipped up in the first two levels to sit with 215,000.