ANZPT Melbourne Day 3: Levels 22 & 23 (blinds 12,000-24,000, ante 3,000)
6:05pm: Ten-minute break
In one of the more exciting moments of this final table, Nick Georgoulas questioned whether the dealer had cut the cards prior to the clock ticking over to the break. As the other players walked away, a rather comical mini-argument ensued with floor staff before Georgoulas conceded and went on his break.
5:50pm: Punjabi shoves on Nelson
The action has been very slow at this final table with the rail starting to lose a little enthusiasm. The upcoming break is well and truly needed!
In the most exciting hand of the last thirty minutes, Lee Nelson raised to 52,000 from the hijack position before Karan Punjabi played his third hand of the day by moving all in for another 213,000 on top. Nelson deliberated for several minutes before laying it down.
"I would've called you in a heartbeat," said Nelson towards Phil Willcocks as he paid Punjabi some respect for a big hand.
Nelson is our current chip leader with 1.3 million, with Punjabi getting himself back to 350,000.
5:20pm: Double up for Georgoulas
Nick Georgoulas has found a much-needed double up after moving his last 239,000 all in from the cutoff with A♠Q♥ and getting a customer in Phil Willcocks in the big blind who tabled K♥J♠.
The flop was A♥2♥3♥ and although Georgoulas paired his ace, Willcocks had outs to the nut flush. The turn was the 8♣ and the river an equally heartless Q♠ to double Georgoulas up to 500,000. Willcocks is still comfortable with 1.1 million.
5:15pm: Justin Sanchez eliminated in 9th place
It's taken a good couple of hours but we finally have our first elimination of this final table with Justin Sanchez departing in 9th place.
With his last chips in preflop, he found callers in Danny Chevalier and Karan Junjabi.
Chevalier fired 60,000 on the flop, with Punjabi calling, before both live players checked down the turn and river on the 8♠6♣4♦2♣T♣ board.
Chevalier showed 7♠7♥ for a pair of sevens which was enough to scoop as the short-stacked Sanchez tabled [q].
Sanchez collects $13,020 for his efforts in Melbourne.
5:10pm: Sanchez crippled
Justin Sanchez is now on the ropes after being crippled in a preflop clash with Stephen Eliesen. It was a battle of the blinds with Eliesen moving all in from the small blind and Sanchez making the call in the big blind.
Sanchez was dominated and couldn't improve on the A♠9♥K♥Q♥8♣ board. Sanchez was left with just 43,000 following the hand with Eliesen doubling up to 515,000.
5:05pm: Level up, blinds 12,000-24,000, ante 3,000
5:00pm: Danny collects
Justin Sanchez raised to 40,000 from under the gun with both Danny Chevalier and Stephen Eliesen making the call to see a multi-way flop of Q♠T♠3♥.
Eliesen checked and Sanchez bet 120,000. Chevalier called as Eliesen got out of the way before both players checked the A♥ turn. The river was a repeat T♦ and Chevalier tossed out 100,000 which was enough to take it down. He's up to one million with Sanchez down to 300,000.
4:45pm: Wing put to the test
The action is starting to now pickup with Phil Willcocks and Tom Wing tangling in a hand that stretched a good ten minutes. Most of it was consumed by Wing who went deep into the tank.
It started with Willcocks opening to 40,000, before Wing raised to 105,000 on the button. Willcocks called and the flop fell A♥9♠7♦.
Willcocks checked and Wing bet 150,000, however Willcocks check-raised to 325,000 to put Wing to a very tough decision.
There was plenty of inaudible table banter as Wing squirmed in his chair for a long time.
"Sorry guys, I just don't know what to do," apologized Wing before asking for a count of Willcocks' remaining chips. He had 624,000 behind and Wing covered.
"I can't believe I'm going to bet fold this hand," sighed Wing before painfully releasing his cards.
"Please don't show!" Wing added as Willcocks took it down. Willcocks is now up to 1.4 million with Wing back to 1.15 million.
4:35pm: A rare showdown
We finally got to a showdown, with Lee Nelson taking a small pot from Tom Wing. Nelson opened to 42,000 from under the gun with Phil Willcocks and Wing coming along to see a flop of 9♣2♣5♥.
Wing checked from the big blind to Nelson who continuation-bet for 77,000. Willcocks folded but Wing called as the 3♠ hit the turn. Both players checked and they again tapped the table as the 6♦ completed the board on the river.
Nelson showed T♠9♠ for top pair which was enough to collect the pot. Nelson is back to 1.1 million with Wing still in front with 1.25 million.
4:25pm: Punjabi finds the aces
Karan Punjabi has been very patient today, playing just two hands that we can remember. However his patience has been rewarded with a timely double up through Phil Willcocks.
Punjabi moved all in from middle position for 180,000 with A♣A♦ and Willcocks made the call with T♦T♠. There would be no two-outer on this occasion as the board ran out 7♥5♣7♠3♠9♦.
Punjabi doubles to 400,000 with Willcocks back down to 1,000,000.
4:20pm: Slow and steady wins the race
It's still very slow going here on the final table as it appears most players have settled in for the long haul.
Phil Willcocks is still the most active player at the table and it's paying off. In a recent hand Willcocks opened to 40,000 before Lee Nelson three-bet to 120,000 from the big blind. Willcocks eyed off his opponent's stack before making the call as we saw a rare flop.
It landed T♦5♥4♠and Nelson took his time before tapping the table as Willcocks tossed out 100,000. It was enough as Nelson released. Willcocks is up to 1.2 million with Nelson back to 900,000.
4:05pm: Play resumes
The nine players are back in their seats and the cards are once again in the air. The blinds are now at 10,000-20,000 with a 2,000-chip ante.