ANZPT Melbourne Day 2: Levels 18 & 19 (blinds 5,000-10,000, ante 1,000)
11:40pm: Ten-minute break
11:30pm: Lady luck goes against Gilholme
Ben Gilholme had been aggressively moving his stack all-in with some regularity, so when he looked down at K♣K♥ it looked like a perfect spot to take advantage of a loose image.
Phil Willcocks opened to 20,000 from under the gun and Gilholme pulled the trigger again for around 160,000. However before play could get back to Willcocks, Danny Chevalier moved all in over the top! Willcocks quickly stepped aside as Gilholme's kings looked like they would double him up against Chevalier's Q♦Q♣.
The flop was a bare A♣4♠6♦, and the 9♦ turn changed nothing. However the river was the Q♥ to give Chevalier the two-outer for the jackpot. Gilholme is out in 22nd as Chevalier moves up to 355,000.
11:20pm: Perfect tens for Punjabi
Tom Motherwell opened with a raise to 25,000 before Karan Punjabi moved all in for around 100,000 from the button. Motherwell made the call and opened A♥T♥ as Punjabi was in great shape to double up with his T♦T♣.
Punjabi needed to fade an ace and he did so as the board ran out 8♥J♦5♦7♦8♠. Punjabi jumps to 220,000 with Motherwell slipping to 170,000.
11:10pm: Ang escapes with a river chop
Seong Lee Ang is thanking his lucky stars right now after escaping with a remarkable chopped pot against Brett Chalhoub.
Chalhoub opened to 21,000 from early position before Ang raised to 60,000. Chalhoub asked for a count of Ang's stack before plonking a stack of yellow chips into the middle. Ang sighed and called off his last 80,000.
Ang showed A♦Q♦ but Chalhoub was way in front with A♥A♠.
The flop was 6♠4♣3♣ and Ang was already up and out of his chair in anticipation of his elimination. The turn brought the 7♦ and Ang called for a five as his only hope to survive. Wouldn't you know it, the dealer revealed the 5♦ on the river for a straight on board as both players chopped it up!
10:55pm: How much longer?
As we approach the 12th hour of the poker day, there have been a few whispers debating how long we will be playing tonight. The aim is to reach the final table of nine, but with 23 players still remaining, that appears a long way off. Of course, since this is not a televised final table, we aren't forced to play until the final nine, and at this stage it's likely we'll stop a little short of that.
Our guess is that we'll have to play this level and at least one more in order to get as close as possible, which will see us wrap up around 12:50am this evening with maybe a dozen or so players left.
10:45pm: Furniture John down and out
John Apostolidis couldn't recover from the earlier lost race against Pat Dillon and has been bundled out in 24th place.
Apostolidis was forced to go with [j] but couldn't improve against the [a][t] of Robert Nowak on the board of [k][q]. Apostolidis picks up $5,270 for his efforts.
10:40pm: Level up, blinds 5,000-10,000, ante 1,000
10:25pm: Dillon recovers from the overnight short stack
Pat Dillon started today as the shortest stack of the entire field. Yep, 113 of 113. His stack of 3,700 was good for about three big blinds at the start of the day. But incredibly he has turned it around, with a flurry of early double ups to now find himself in the final 24 players and a chance at some good cash. Perhaps some of those players in this tournament who gave up and walked away with chips still in play should take note.
Dillon is now up to 95,000 after doubling up through John Apostolidis in a recent pot. Dillon opened all in with A♣T♠ and Apostolidis made the call with 8♣8♦. The race was on but the board of A♥T♦Q♠Q♣9♣ paired Dillon for the double up to leave Apostolidis on the short stack with just 35,000.
10:05pm: Lethal blow for Savage
Ben Savage's quest for three consecutive ANZPT Melbourne final tables has fallen just short, although three consecutive cashes is certainly still a worthy achievement.
His final stand came when he moved his last 81,000 from under the gun. Savage held A♣J♠ and wasn't thrilled to see Arnie Lim make the call with a dominant A♦Q♦.
That changed when the flop land 4♦K♣J♣ to give Savage the three-outer jack, but just as quick, the Q♥ on the turn flipped things back in favour of Lim. The river bricked the 3♦ as Savage collects $4,650 for his 25th place finish.
9:50pm: No miracle for The Voice
The run of Paul Khoury has been brought to an end after "The Voice" pushed his last 40,000 or so chips holding the modest J♦5♣. Unfortunately his steal attempt backfired when Seong Lee Ang made the call with A♠A♦.
The flop of 8♥6♦K♣ was pretty bare but Khoury picked up some outs when the 7♠ gave him a straight draw on the turn. However the miracle wasn't to be as the K♦ completed the board on the river. Khoury is out in 28th place for $4,030 in prize money as Ang climbs to 248,000 chips.
9:40pm: Play resumes
The players are back and the cards are once again in the air. We've been stuck on 28 players for a long time as no-one seems to be giving an inch. Who will break first?
Jesse McKenzie is our chip leader, with Brett Chalhoub and Phil Willcocks also in good shape.