ANZPT Sydney Day 1b: Levels 3 & 4 (blinds 100-200, ante 25)
4:40pm: Ten-minute break
4:25pm: Early exit for the Croc
Billy "The Croc" Argyros is traditionally a late starter on opening days, but he's rarely an early elimination. However Day 1b of the ANZPT Sydney Main Event hasn't been kind to the Australian Poker Hall of Famer as he has just been eliminated.
Following a raise to 700, Argyros popped it to 2,100 from the small blind, before a little table chat convinced his opponent to move all in. Argyros called off his last 13,600 chips with T♦T♠ as he found himself racing against A♥Q♥.
The flop of T♥3♦K♠ put Argyros firmly in the lead, and it looked like he was set to double up when the 7♠ turn fell. However the J♥ river delivered the gutshot straight to his opponent and sent the Croc to an early exit.
4:10pm: Flushing board saves Levy
Grant Levy has taken a small hit, but it could've been worse as the flushing board saved the ANZPT Perth champion some chips. We caught the action on a flop of 3♦K♦T♥ where the action checked around, before the 4♦ hit the turn. The under-the-gun player led out for 2,575 and Levy called before the J♦ river put four diamonds on board.
Both players checked it down with the UTG-player opening T♣T♠ for a set as Levy flashed king-jack for two pair and mucked. Levy is down to 15,300.
4:00pm: The other Hachem arrives
The ANZPT Sydney Main Event has been joined by none other than 2005 World Champion and Team PokerStars Pro Joe Hachem. He's joined a super solid table that includes Sean Dunwoodie, Daniel Neilson, Chris Kunz and Jonathan Karamalikis and hasn't wasted any time getting into the thick of the action.
Hachem opened with a raise to 550 and Sean Dunwoodie called on the button before the big blind popped it up to 1,500. Hachem scanned the table and made the call as Dunwoodie came along to see a flop of 7♠6♠3♠. Action checked around to Dunwoodie who tossed out 3,200. The big blind tried to get a read but Dunwoodie's head was low as he enjoyed a relaxing massage. The big blind folded and Hachem also stepped aside. Hachem has around 18,000.
3:50pm: Gorr gone
David Gorr has been sent to an early exit after his recent elimination from the tournament. Battling with a short stack, Gorr was looking for a double up with 6♦6♣ against A♦Q♥ but the board ran out 3♦9♠J♥A♣9♦ with an ace appearing on the turn to bury the hope of the Aussie Millions champ.
As he wandered off he exchanged a few words from fellow Aussie Millions final tablist Jeff Rossiter who was also recently eliminated.
"Yeh, I guess we suck at poker!" chuckled Rossiter.
3:45pm: Power poker from McKenzie
Jesse McKenzie raised it up to 525 and found four callers to see a flop of Q♥3♣9♦. McKenzie followed up the preflop aggression with a bet of 1,375 which picked up one caller before another player made it 5,375 to go. McKenzie wasn't mucking around as he moved all in for 23,150 in total.
McKenzie's bet found some respect, as both players folded, but not before a long think tank by the player who had raised. McKenzie is continuing from his good form in Adelaide where he dominated day one on his way to a runner-up result. He's up to 35,000.
3:40pm: Level up, blinds 100-200, ante 25
3:25pm: Nelson check-raises Huang
Bryan Huang opened with a raise preflop to 500 and found two callers including Lee Nelson in the big blind to see a flop of K♠3♦4♥. Two checks to Huang who followed up with a bet of 775, however Nelson responded with a check-raise to 2,050.
The middle position player and Huang both folded as Nelson recovers a few chips. He's back to around 12,000 with Huang now in the danger zone with just 7,000.
3:15pm: Assadourian sails
With a raise to 400 and two callers in front of him, Eric Assadourian popped it to 1,700 to go. He forced one fold, but the other player moved all in. Assadourian made the call with pocket nines to be racing with his opponent's ace-jack.
The flop was a dry K♥5♥K♠, as was the 7♣ turn, and Assadourian improved to a full house with the 9♣ river. Assadourian eliminates one to climb to 34,000 chips.
2:55pm: The new Bruno hasn't lost the mojo
When we saw some action and an all in over on table 23, we assumed the young gentleman with his tournament life on the line must've been one of these hyper-aggressive Internet whizz-kids. On closer inspection we realised this young man was none other than a clean shaven Bruno Portaro.
With an impending wedding, Portaro has got serious with the clean shaven look, and the trademark goatee nowhere to be seen, although there were a few concerns that it had sapped his poker mojo after looking down at his less than impressive stack. However those natural talents shone through once again when he found a recent double up with a typically trashy hand.
With a limp to 200 from the cutoff and a dead stack in the small blind, Portaro decided to move all in for his last 4,400 from the button. The big blind folded and remarkably the cutoff player made the call.
"How can you limp for 200 and then call 4,400?" laughed Portaro as he turned over the rather creative 9♥4♦ but he was in about as good shape as he could hope for as his opponent opened 2♥2♠.
The flop was a bare K♥A♠6♣ but the 4♥ on the turn was enough for Portaro to take the lead and hold it through the Q♥ river. The new Bruno is up to around 9,500.
2:40pm: Play resumes
The players are back in their seats for the third level of the day. It's still early days with only a couple of tables broken so far today, with Raemin Alexander and Manny Stavropoulos amongst those who have doubled their stack in the early stages.