ANZPT Perth Day 1a: Levels 1 & 2 (blinds 75-150)
2:50pm: Ten-minute break
2:40pm: Curly keeps it small
Emanuel "Curly" Seal will be currently ruing a little lost value after he kept things small on a straightening board of . Seal check-called 700 on the turn before both players checked the river. Seal's opponent tabled pocket jacks, as Curly gave a clenched smile as he opened pocket aces. Seal is up to 23,000.
2:30pm: There's plenty of room out West
One of the things we've noticed here in the Burswood Poker Room is the generous size of the poker tables. So often around the world, players are forced to be cramped in next to each other, shoulder to shoulder, with barely any room to stack their chips or squeeze their cards.
There's no worries about your opponent crowding your personal space here in Perth, as the tables are noticeably large to give every player room to stretch out and provide a pleasurable day at the office for players.
It does pose one small problem however as we just noticed Tim Marsters, seated at one end of the table, forced to stand and lean over the table to see the board on the river. It didn't worry him though, as his 2,000-chip bet on the Q♥K♣Q♣9♦5♣ board was paid off with Marsters tabling A♣A♦ for the best hand. He's up to 18,000.
2:15pm: Graham lets one go
Jarred Graham has slipped back to 17,000 after his opponent took an interesting line in a recent hand. The player opened with a min-raise from the hijack position before Graham bumped it to 850 from the cutoff. His opponent was the lone caller to the flop of A♥5♣A♣.
It was checked to Graham who fired a continuation bet of 800, but his opponent called before leading for 1,200 on the 6♣ turn. It was enough for Graham to quickly give it up.
2:00pm: Kroesen coming back to Earth
After earlier eliminating an opponent with pocket aces against pocket kings, Ricky Kroesen has come back down to Earth after losing a preflop race.
We arrived to see Kroesen re-raising to 725 on the button, before Aaron Lim put in a cold four-bet from the big blind. The original raiser folded, but Kroesen wasn't going anywhere as he plonked his entire stack into the middle. Lim made the call with A♥K♣ and the race was on against Kroesen's J♦J♣.
The board would arrive 6♥2♦A♣4♠3♦ to pair up the ace of Lim for a double up of his 15,175-chip stack. Kroesen slipped back to 28,000.
1:50pm: Level up, blinds 75/150
1:40pm: Steicke powering in Perth
Action opened with Jarred Graham from under the gun who popped it up to 300. David Steicke made the call before Nick Dallimore squeezed to 800. Graham and Steicke were quick to call to see a flop of 8♥4♣6♥.
Dallimore led out for 1,500 which was enough to force out Graham, but Steicke came along to see the A♣ hit the turn. Dallimore checked and Steicke shuffled his cards before making it 3,700 to go. Dallimore went into the tank and dropped his head into his hands before making a very frustrated fold. Steicke took it down to chip up to 27,000 in the first level of play.
1:25pm: The flying Swede
ANZPT commissioner Danny McDonagh has, with tongue-in-cheek, nicknamed Swede Mikael Rosen "Bubble King" after he had previously finished on the bubble in multiple major APPT events.
However Rosen is the real deal with two APPT 4th place finishes to his credit, and a string of other cashes in Asia, for over US$150,000 in career earnings. He's also off to a flying start here in Perth with a huge double up and the elimination of our first player.
We believe that the chips were all in on the flop, as we were drawn to the table after a chorus of "ooohs" as the board was spread 7♣6♠J♠3♣K♦. Rosen had pocket kings in front of him, as the dealer had plucked a two-outer on the river to get Rosen past his opponent's set of sevens. Rosen is up to 40,000.
1:10pm: Pick a table, any table
If we had to pick one table that we would not like to be sitting at, it would have to be the one that is currently featuring Hugh Cohen, Sam Rotar, Andy Hinrichsen and Tom Grigg. Hinrichsen and Grigg in particular are renowned for their aggression and ability to accumulate massive day one chip stacks, so this will be definitely one to watch today.
"We're first to break right?" laughed Grigg as we wandered past his table.
Honourable mention must also be given to table 20 which is the new home to the likes of David Steicke, Jarred Graham and Aussie Millions third place finisher Jeff Rossiter.
1:00pm: Some talent in the West
It's a small, but well-formed, field here in the Burswood Poker Room for this opening flight of the ANZPT Perth Main Event. A quick look around the room has unearthed plenty of talent and some very dangerous looking table lineups.
Some of those in today's field are Aleks Brkovic, Ricky Kroesen, Matthew Pilat, Liam O'Rourke, Tom Grigg, Andy Hinrichsen, Daniel Laidlaw, Jarred Graham, Daniel Botta, Sean Dunwoodie, Tim Marsters, Grant Levy and Joel Dodds as well as locals Kent Hunter and Jimmy Wong.
We also have a sprinkling of International flavour with Hong Kong's David Steicke making a late arrival, as well as APPT regular in Swede Mikael Rosen.
12:50pm: Shuffle up and deal!
After a brief delay, the players have taken their seats and we're ready for a start here in Perth. Burswood Poker Room Manager Deb Wyatt welcomed the players and ran through the local rules and regulations before the microphone was handed to "The Poker Star" Amanda De Cesare for the official "Shuffle up and deal!"
We currently have ten tables in action - two inside the main poker room and then another eight out in the overflow area on the main gaming floor - with 83 registered players at this point in time.
12:30pm: The queue is out the door!
Welcome to the Burswood Casino in Perth, Western Australia for the second event of Season 3 of the PokerStars.net Australia New Zealand Poker Tour.
Poker is thriving out West and we're expecting a healthy turnout for this event with plenty of local satellite winners champing at the bit, while multiple planeloads of online qualifiers and pros have landed in town including Team PokerStars Pros Bryan Huang and the defending champion Tony Hachem.
As the players wander into the casino floor, if we said the queue outside the poker room was as long as we've ever seen at the start of an ANZPT poker event we wouldn't be lying...
...but I guess we must give some credit to the "All You Can Eat" delights of Carvers Buffet.
Last year Hachem was victorious over a field of 222 players to pocket $132,750 in prize money. Can we top those numbers this time around?
Stay locked into the PokerStars Blog this week as we watch it all unfold!