ANZPT Sydney Day 1a: Levels 7 & 8 (blinds 400-800, ante 75)

9:00pm: Bag, tag and party!

The play has wrapped up here at the Star City Casino on Day 1a of the ANZPT Sydney Main Event. Out field of 152 was reduced to around 70 by the end of eight levels of play, and while we had several different chip leaders throughout the day, it appears that Jay "SEABEAST" Kinkade was the only one to hold his nerve until the final card was dealt. Kinkade bagged up 148,150 which we believe will be good for the chip lead ahead of Mike Ivin, Elliot Nicholls, Brett Murtagh and the rollercoaster duo of Andrew Hinrichsen and Isaac Lau.

They'll be now heading to the Sports Theatre here at Star City Casino to grab a bite to eat and exchange a bad beat story or two over a refreshing beverage the ANZPT Sydney Player's Party. We hope to join them, but don't worry, there will be a complete wrap of the day's action and the full list of chip counts here on the PokerStars Blog shortly.


8:50pm: Moffett loses late blind battle

Liam Moffett has taken a late hit after he pushed all in from the small blind, to put the short-stacked player in the big blind to a decision for his tournament life. With about 12,000 behind, the big blind decided to gamble rather than return on Day 2 with a short stack, and made the call with K♥5♣ to find himself with just three outs to Moffett's 5♣5♥.

However the board arrived Q♣J♦9♦K♦3♥ with a king on board for the double up, leaving Moffett with around 45,000 to end the day.

8:45pm: Lunardi finishing strong

With each table scheduled to play another four hands each, Kristian Lunardi has ended with a flurry with a couple of nice pots. We caught him raising to 1,700 from middle position and picking up two callers to see a flop of Q♣9♠8♣.

Lunardi fired 3,600 which reduced the field by one as the 3♦ was an apparent brick on the turn. Lunardi released a second barrel worth 8,600 to put his opponent to a tough decision. He eventually folded and after being on the short stack earlier in the day, Lunardi has fought back to end up with around 40,000 chips.

8:40pm: The once mighty have fallen

A couple of recent eliminations include Andrews Jeffreys, John Caridad and the once-mighty Martin Drewe.

"This guy owned my soul," sighed Drewe when we aksed what had happened to his stack.

He did find one remarkable triple up with 2♦7♦ cracking both A♥T♠ and J♦J♠, but it wasn't enough to get him back into it as he was eliminated soon after.

Andrew Hinrichsen has also lost a chunk of chips to slip back to around 98,000.

8:30pm: The Centurion Club

We scouted the room for members and it appears we only have five at the moment who are eligible for admission into the exclusive Centurion Club with chip stacks above 100,000.

Andrew Hinrichsen - 152,000
Jay "SEABEAST" Kinkade - 120,000
Eliott "EEETEE2008" Nicholls - 117,000
Mike Ivin - 112,000
Brett Murtagh - 102,000

8:20pm: Time for a beer

Jai Kemp first rose to prominence with his 5th place finish at the 2007 APPT Sydney Grand Final, but he won't be able to match that feat in this event after his recent elimination from the tournament.

Kemp's last 8,800 were in preflop with two players making the call and checking down a board of A♦4♦5♦Q♠5♠. Only player opened pocket eights, the other held A♥J♣ for top pair but it was too good for Kemp who didn't show his cards as they hit the muck on his way to the bar.

8:10pm: Lau showing his full repertoire today

Four players went to a flop of 3♠3♦7♣ and Isaac Lau was again in the middle of the action. He led out with a bet of 3,200 and found one caller as he reduced his opponents by two.

The turn brought the 9♥ and Lau bet another 7,000. His opponent called again before both checked down the T♠ river.

Lau opened a creative 9♦4♣ but incredibly it was good as his opponent showed ace-jack for just ace-high! Lau is up to 80,000.

8:00pm: Level up, blinds 400-800, ante 75

7:55pm: Graham feeling flushy

Jarred Graham has an incredible record up here in Sydney, but he's been moving along slowly so far today waiting for his moment to strike. He found it with a recent double up at the expense of John Caridad.

We caught the action on a flop of 9♣T♣J♣ with Graham betting 2,100. Caridad quickly called and the 7♠ fell on the turn. Graham checked and Caridad bet 5,500, but Graham responded with a check-raise all in. It was only around 5,000 more and Caridad made the call with T♦9♠ for two pair but Graham showed A♣6♣ for the nut flush.

The river was the A♠ and Graham doubles through to 30,000 with Caridad down to 10,500.

7:35pm: Lai doubles through Lau

Isaac Lau is in the thick of the action this afternoon, but his once mighty empire is crumbling away after he recently doubled up the short stack of Connie Lai.

Lau opened with a raise to 1,350 before Lai popped it up to 3,100 on the button. Action folded back to Lau who four-bet it to 5,500 but Lai wasn't going anywhere as she moved all in for around 16,000 more. Lau made the call with 4♣4♦ hoping for a race but he was in trouble as Lai showed T♥T♠.

The board ran out Q♥Q♦8♣K♠K♣ to leave Lai's ten-kicker to play for a double up to 48,000.

"I can't believe I blew up!" sighed Lau as he went for a walk to slip to 55,000.

7:20pm: Chip leaders tango

After a recent table break, Andrew Hinrichsen recently moved to the table of fellow big stack Isaac Lau, and the two didn't waste much time in getting acquainted.

Hinrichsen was in the cutoff and we assume opened with a raise that was three-bet in the big blind. Hinrichsen made the call and the flop landedT♣7♦4♠. Lau led out with a bet of 7,000 and Hinrichsen made the call as a repeat T♠ hit the turn.

Tens have been lucky for Lau today as he fired out another bet worth 17,100. Hinrichsen was quick to call once again as a massive pot with in the middle when the 5♣ hit the river.

Lau thought for several minutes and eventually checked with Hinrichsen instantly checking behind. Lau obviously didn't like his hand. In fact he didn't even bother to show as he tossed his card straight into the muck.

"Weeeeeeeeeee!" chucked Hinrichsen as he didn't have to show either to rake in the monster pot.

Hinrichsen is up to 140,000 with Lau down to 90,000.


A typical monster stack for Andrew Hinrichsen on Day 1a

7:00pm: Play resumes

The players are back with two more full levels to run until we call it a day. There are currently 92 players remaining in contention with recent eliminations including Andrew Scarf and Jackie Glazier.

Isaac Lau, Martin Drewe and George Cotaidis were out in front but they were all surpassed at the end of the last level by Andrew Hinrichsen who jumped to 100,000 courtesy of a straight over straight.