ANZPT Perth Day 1a: Levels 3 & 4 (blinds 100-200, ante 25)

5:00pm: Ten-minute break

4:40pm: Marsland's great escape

When the players are so deep-stacked in the early levels of an ANZPT, it usually takes a pretty big cooler of a hand to eliminate a solid player. Then again, sometimes a really good player can even escape from a seemingly impossible position.

As recalled to us by Dale Marsland, he just avoided disaster in a clash with Joel Dodds. It was a multi-way limped pot and a flop of [6][2][2] that more than tickled their interest. Marsland was sitting in the small blind with pocket sixes for a full house but Dodds was singing the Grand Alleluia Chorus in his head as he held pocket deuces for quads! Uh oh!

Action was checked around on the flop as a [7] hit the turn. Marsland check-called for 600 as a [k] completed the board with flush possibilities. Marsland decided to lead out for 2,000 but was met with a raise from Dodds to 7,000. As Marsland described his thought process to us, he said that Dodds was the only player on the table who covered him, and although pocket kings was unlikely, he knew Dodds could have pocket sevens or deuces which had him beat. Marsland just called and saw the bad news, but couldn't have been happier to lose the minimum on one massive cooler of a flop.

"How can we compete with that?" laughed tablemate Matthew Pilat in reference to Marsland's remarkable escape.

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The Great Escape, starring Dale Marsland

4:20pm: A star both on and off the felt

Amanda De Cesare was just put to a huge decision in a preflop clash but one thing "The Poker Star" learnt from her TV experience was the art of composure.

"I don't know why, but I believe you this time," sighed De Cesare when she was faced with an all-in re-raise of an additional 10,000 or so chips.

"Ok, this is the last time I'm doing this," she added before folding her Q♣Q♥ face up. Her opponent didn't show as De Cesare slips to 26,000.

We should also mention De Cesare is currently sporting a rather fashionable new hair piece after recently shaving her head for charity as part of the World's Greatest Shave. De Cesare raised over $1,700 for the Leukaemia Foundation so we congratulate her on her wonderful efforts for this great cause.

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"The Poker Star" - Amanda De Cesare

4:10pm: Aces fail Steicke

Another of our chip leaders has taken a hit as David Steicke is now down to 30,000. Steicke is a master of the unexpected, but this time it was the monster A♠A♦ that failed him as his bet of 5,025 on the river was picked off by his opponent holding a flush with T♣7♣ on a board of 6♣7♠2♣8♣T♠.

"A flush and two pair!" commentated Steicke as the chips were sent to his opponent.

4:00pm: Level up, blinds 100-200, ante 25

3:50pm: Gurung takes a hit

Our chip leader Milan Gurung has taken a hit to his empire after things got messy on the river on a board of 2♣7♦8♣3♦2♠.

Facing a bet of 1,750, Gurung raised it up to 6,000 and then called off another 9,025 when his opponent moved all in.

"Have you got a set?" Gurung asked his opponent, and indeed he did, as he opened 3♥3♠. Gurung tossed his cards into the muck in frustration and slipped to 45,000.

3:40pm: Dodds calls it down

A regular on the ANZPT in recent years, Joel Dodds decided to skip the opening event in Adelaide this season as his form shifted from live to the online world. During February Dodds picked up a win and runner-up result in back-to-back events in the weekly PokerStars Second Chance tournament - good for a combined total of over US$90,000.

Dodds is back on the circuit with an appearance here in Perth and is putting his time to good use as he just picked off a bluff from his opponent Robert Mathias.

Catching the action on a flop of K♥8♣2♣, Dodds led out for 600 before raised to 1,600. Dodds called and then checked the A♣ scare card which hit the turn. Mathias didn't slow down as he fired 2,700. Dodds casually called and the J♦ completed the board on the river. Dodds checked and Mathias quickly committed 3,500 into the middle. Dodds deliberated for several minutes before making the call.

Mathias opened Q♣8♠ for just a pair of eights as Dodds was good with his K♦Q♦. He's up to 36,000.

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Joel Dodds in action at the ANZPT Perth

3:20pm: Check and induce

Milan Gurung has jumped to the top of the class after collecting a huge pot with a nice turn check and river call.

We caught the action on the flop of 8♥4♥8♦ where Gurung's bet of 3,700 was called by his opponent. The turn was the 2♠ and both players checked to see the 7♦ complete the board on the river.

Gurung's opponent quickly splashed the pot with a bet of 7,800 and just as quickly Gurung announced a call. He was showed A♥Q♥ for a busted flush draw as Gurung opened T♦T♥ for the best hand. He's now up to 50,000 for the tournament chip lead.

3:00pm: Play resumes

The players are back in action following the break with registration now closed. 77 of our starting field of 82 have survived to the first break with Mikael Rosen, David Steicke and Milan Gurung out in front in the early stages.

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