ANZPT Perth Day 3: Levels 15 & 16 (blinds 2,500-5,000, ante 500)
2:40pm: Ten-minute break
2:35pm: Hachem doubles, Quon busts
Just as the players were heading off for their break, two big all in pots were unfolding. One led to a double up, and the other was an elimination.
The one to double was none other than Tony Hachem. He opened with a raise from late position before Chris Ngatoa three-bet. Hachem moved all in and Ngatoa thought for several minutes before making the call.
The race went Hachem's way on the board 9♦Q♠6♣J♠5♥ as he doubled to 270,000 to leave Ngatoa on the short stack.
Meanwhile another big pot was developing between Mikael Rosen and Stephen Quon that saw their chips committed on a K♥3♣6♣ flop. Quon opened K♦Q♦ for top pair but Rosen had spiked two pair with his K♣6♠. The 8♠ turn and 7♦ river finished off Quon as he departs in 23rd place.
2:20pm: Cheong eliminated
Kyle Cheong has become the first player to head to the cashier after Grant Levy delivered the knockout blow.
Cheong opened to 10,000 before Levy made it 27,000 to play. Cheong moved all in and Levy made the call with Q♥Q♣ to find himself up against Cheong's A♥K♣. The board bricked out 8♣3♣9♥7♥2♦ to eliminate Cheong in 24th place for a collect of $4,550 as Levy is now up to a commanding 400,000.
2:10pm: Boom for Levy
Grant Levy and Kyle Cheong were just involved in an intense hand that took almost ten minutes to complete, with each player taking their time over their decisions and putting the maximum psychological pressure on their opponent.
Levy opened with a raise to 10,000 before Cheong three-bet to 25,000. Levy made the call and they saw a flop of A♦7♠A♠. Levy led out with a bet of 22,000 and Cheong made the call as the Q♠ hit the turn.
Again Levy fired with a second barrel worth 36,000 with Cheong calling as the 3♦ completed the board on the river. Levy considered his options before checking as Cheong decided to give it up as he checked behind. Levy sheepishly opened 5♠5♦ but Cheong couldn't better it as his cards went into the muck.
"Boom!" shouted Levy as he raked in a huge pot to move up to 280,000. Cheong is down to 120,000.
2:00pm: Any more diamonds?
Mile Krstanoski was on the extreme short stack of the field but he's just found a double up thanks to a handy river against Team PokerStars Pro Tony Hachem.
Krstanoski moved all in for his last 31,500 with 6♦6♠ as Hachem made the call holding A♥Q♣. Hachem connected with the J♦Q♦7♠ flop but the 9♦ turn and 3♦ river, left Krstanoski with the only diamond for a flush to collect the pot and double to around 65,000.
"Any more diamonds dealer?" barked Hachem as he slips to 140,000.
1:40pm: Level up, blinds 2,500-5,000, ante 500
1:35pm: Bang, bang, we're in the money!
Two eliminations in rapid succession have seen us jump into the money with Taner Ates, and our last female player, Trish Dewy, the two unfortunate players who'll be heading home with nothing but a story to tell.
Ates was first to go after his last chips were in on the river on a board of Q♥Q♠Q♣7♣3♥ holding T♥T♣ but he ran into Liam O'Rourke's A♦A♣.
Moments later, Dewy open shoved her last 35,000 or so from the cutoff with T♣T♦ but Patrick Kearns made the call with J♥J♠. Dewy sat motionless as the board was revealed 7♠K♣6♦A♠4♥ as she unfortunately becomes our bubble girl.
With that, the final 24 players are all in the money!
1:30pm: Bustany busts with kings
We've just lost another player as Alan Bustany got frisky with his K♣K♠ on a flop of A♠4♥3♥. His opponent was Chris Ngatoa who fired 14,000 before Bustany check-raised all in. Ngatoa made the call with A♣Q♠ as a disgusted Bustany stood from his chair.
The turn was the 2♥ to bring the possibility of a straight on board, but the river was the T♠ to leave Bustany to head for the exit.
1:20pm: Rossiter rivered
Jeff Rossiter has been eliminated in 28th place after his pocket sixes were rivered by the A♠9♣ of Kyle Cheong. The first four cards landed safely 3♥3♠J♦4♣ but and ace from space A♣ on the river gave Cheong the pot and saw Rossiter exit the poker room.
The tournament clock has now been paused as the players break a table to form the final three tables of play.
1:15pm: A couple more doubles
Peter Parsons has doubled up after making a big call on the turn on a board of Q♦J♦5♣8♣. His opponent was Richard Lancaster who moved in holding K♠Q♠ but Parsons was in front with his A♦Q♥. The river was the 2♦ as Parsons doubled to 190,000.
Moments later, Vekso Zmukic and Ricky Kroesen went to war on a flop of A♦T♠9♠. Kroesen tabled T♣T♥ for middle set but Zmukic stood tall and slammed his A♥A♣ down on the felt. The turn was the 9♥ and river the 2♣ to give the local a big double up to 180,000. Kroesen is down to 195,000.
1:00pm: Great call, bad result for Garrett
Jeff Garrett has been bundled out of the tournament in a huge clash with Ted Nguyen. Garrett made a great call for his tournament life on a board of 7♣J♣7♥2♣ holding Q♣Q♠ but Nguyen held K♣J♥ and rivered a bigger flush when the 6♣ spiked on the river.
Garrett is gone as Nguyen is now up to 280,000.
At the same time on a nearby table we lost Rodney Bohan after his flopped two pair ran into an opponent's set of sevens. We're down to 28 players and one more elimination away from our final three tables.
12:50m: Two down; Levy cops penalty
As Robert Jackson and Chris Pereira have become the first casualties of the day, Grant Levy has been slapped with a severe penalty.
Levy has been texting updates back home, and stood away from the table to do so, but the rule in Burswood states that players must be outside of the rail to use their mobile phone. It's a rule that has been announced every day, and Levy was aware of it, but it slipped his mind as he was standing inside the rail to text. For the indiscretion, Levy was slapped with a one orbit penalty, which is a huge blow for him at this stage of the tournament.
12:45pm: Kearns doubles
Early on day three in Adelaide the action was fast and furious as the bubble was burst in rapid fashion. Here in Perth, the short stacks are fighting hard as Patrick Kearns is the latest to double up.
Kearns was all in with A♥Q♠ against the T♥T♦ of Jeff Garrett and connected with the board of 7♣K♥A♣K♣4♠. He doubles to around 70,000 to grab a little breathing room from the blinds.
12:35pm: Early double for Bohan
Rodney Bohan is the first player all in on Day 3 and he's also the first to double up! He pushed his last 50,000 chips with 6♠6♣ as Jeff Rossiter made the call with 8♦8♥.
Bohan was on the verge of elimination until the A♥9♦6♥2♠T♥ board gave him a set for the double up to six figures. Rossiter is now short with about 50,000.
12:30pm: It's go time!
The players have taken their seats as Tony Hachem was given the "Shuffle up and Deal" honours. Day 3 is underway!
Preparation is the key to success
It's another stunning Perth Autumn day and thankfully we managed to roll out of bed early enough this morning to soak up a few rays. The facilities at the Burswood Entertainment Complex and the adjacent Intercontinental Hotel are second to none, and nothing beats a poolside breakfast, a dip in one of the outdoor pools and a relaxing bathe in the hot tub. Not only is it a great way to prepare for a long day behind the keyboard, but it was the preparation of choice for a number of our remaining 32 players on Day 3 of the PokerStars.net ANZPT Perth Main Event.
Tony Hachem and Ricky Kroesen were just a couple of those who were getting their dose of Vitamin D in the Perth sunshine this morning, as players ensure that solid preparation and mental conditioning become a vital part of their tournament success.
They'll need to be well prepared - its going to be a crucial day of poker. They first need to navigate their way into the money and then push towards a final table berth. For Hachem, he's done it all before as the defending champion, but no-one values their chips more than the Team PokerStars Pro. For others, like chip leader Aaron Lim, there will be a measure of uncertainty about what might lay ahead, but Lim has demonstrated an innocent confidence that will be sure to carry him far in this tournament.
Our field is packed, with Levy, Zmukic, Gorr, Rossiter, Lancaster, Chevalier, O'Rourke, Marsters and Rosen, just a handful of the talented players who are still in the mix for the title.
Our remaining 32 players will be trickling into the Burswood Poker Room shortly as Day 3 of the PokerStars.net ANZPT Perth Main Event kicks off in a few minutes time. Stay tuned!