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

9:00pm: Tran leads as Day 1b draws to a close

The clock was paused and each table played out another two uneventful hands before the chips were bagged up for the day.

Jimmy Tran has held onto the chip lead with 142,475, just short of the mark set yesterday, with Jamal Ishac (122,050) and Josh Barrett (110,900) the next best.

The likes of Jeff Lisandro, Grant Levy, Jonathan Karamalikis and Dan Neilson have all made it through to Day 2 along with two short-stacked Team PokerStars Pros as Tony Hachem (23,350) and Bryan Huang (11,725) will live to fight another day.

We'll be back with a wrap of the day's action including chip counts of the entire field for you shortly.

8:40pm: Levy gets value

With a raise to 2,100 preflop, Grant Levy made the call to see a flop of A♦Q♦5♣. Both players check and Levy took the lead on the 9♣ turn. He bet out 1,800 with his opponent making the call as the 6♦ completed the board on the river.

Levy released another bet worth 2,300 which his opponent paid off. Levy showed A♥T♥ for top pair which was good to get Levy to 27,600 and the high point of his day.

8:20pm: Another Royal!

Yesterday we saw Jay Kinkade river a Royal Flush to win a big pot. Today Daniel Neilson has gone one better as he just flopped a beautiful Royal to crack the pocket aces of Michael Mariakis.

The chips were in preflop with Neilson holding A♥K♥ against Mariakis' A♣A♦, and the flop was spread J♥T♥Q♥! Boomshakalaka!

Even the usual bored expression of Neilson was wiped as he broke into a smile at the rare event and brutal beat. It's not often that pocket aces are left drawing dead on a flop, but the K♣ turn and 5♠ river were meaningless as a stunned Mariakis paid off the 27,500 to Neilson. Mariakis was obviously steaming but graciously shook the hand of Neilson and said, "Nice hand, you don't see that every day..."

Neilson is back up to 55,000.

daniel_neilson_anzpt_sydney.jpg

Another day, another Royal Flush!

8:15pm: Tanaka whiffs everything

Nobbi Tanaka is great at accumulating chips but he's getting into the habit of doubling up short stacks. The action flop was 9♦Q♦8♠ as Tanaka showed A♦J♦ for a monster draw against his opponent's K♦Q♥.

The turn was the 4♣ and river an equally bricky 3♠ to double his opponent and drop Tanaka to 60,000 chips.

8:10pm: Two-outer ten hurts Neilson

Daniel Neilson has taken a hit to his stack after his K♠K♦ was cracked by an opponent's T♦T♠ with all the chips in preflop.

The board ran out J♦4♣7♠T♣3♥ as Neilson's opponent spikes a ten to double through, leaving Neilson with about 28,000 chips.

8:05pm: Our leaders into the final straight

As we enter the last level of the day, it appears that Jimmy Tran has emerged as our new chip leader. After a count of his chips, it appears that his 130,000-chip stack has put him to the top of the counts. Josh Barrett is now also up above the 100k mark after having just 11,000 at the previous break, while Matthew Pilat has slipped back into the pack.

jimmy_tran_anzpt_sydney.jpg

Our chip leader heading into the last level is Jimmy Tran

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

7:55pm: Neilson continues to steamroll

Dan Neilson raised to 1,350 and picked up two called to see a flop of 8♣6♥K♠. Action checked around and the turn brought the J♠. Again it checked to Neilson who bet 1,650. His opponent on the button made the call as the big blind got out of the way before the 9♠ completed the board.

Neilson didn't slow down as he bet 2,150. His opponent thought for a few moments but eventually let it go as Neilson jumps to around 60,000.

7:50pm: Aces sting Tanaka

Nobbi Tanaka has just doubled up an opponent on a flop of 7♦J♠8♣. Tanaka bet 4,000 but was check-raised all in for a total of 24,775. Tanaka instantly called with A♦A♠ but his opponent had flopped a set with 8♥8♦. The turn was the 6♥ and river the 6♦ as Tanaka slipped back to 52,000.

"Nice hand," said Tanaka with a smile. "Why couldn't he have ace-jack!"

7:40pm: Assadourian crashes

Eric Assadourian was moving well earlier on today, but a few hits to his stack left him short as he was forced to move his last 6,850 in preflop. Assadourian held Q♣T♥ but ran straight into an opponent's K♠K♦.

The board arrived 8♦5♦2♦8♠7♦ to leave his opponent with a flush and eliminate Assadourian from the tournament.

7:35pm: A double up for Huang

Singapore's Bryan Huang has finally find a double up to get his day back on track. Huang was all in preflop for his last 8,875 with 5♠5♣ and was called by a player with K♥Q♦.

The race was on but it was all Huang on the board of 7♦7♠8♣J♦5♦. Huang stays alive with a double up to around 19,000 chips.

7:25pm: Peking Duck is the secret to success

Clearly inspired by the Peking Duck he ate during the last break, Josh Barrett is now up to 74,000 in chips. He recalled to us that he flopped a set to crack and opponent's pocket kings.

7:20pm: Octavian out

Octavian Voegele won't be collecting his second ANZPT title this time around as the ANZPT champ was sent to the rail.

Perhaps feeling the pressure of the jokes of Liam Moffett on the rail, Voegele went against his own claims to fold his way to Day 2, as he moved his last 4,650 in from early position. Oliver Grugjic was next to speak as he tossed out calling chips holding J♥J♣ as Voegele would need some help with his K♥5♣.

Voegele picked up a pair on the turn but it wasn't enough on the 9♥T♠2♣5♠4♣ board. Grugjic was a fellow final tablist from Adelaide, and enjoyed some degree of revenge as Voegele was sent to the rail. Grugjic is now up to 58,000.

octavian_voegele_anzpt_sydney.jpg

Octavian Voegele hits the rail in Sydney

7:10pm: Bennybunny busts

With two limpers in the pot, Ben Richardson moved all in for his last 8,700 from the big blind. Sebastian Pagana postured from under the gun before tossing out calling chips as the lone caller.

Richardson opened A♥8♥ but was dominated by Pagana's A♣K♣.

The flop was 5♥Q♦3♥ to give Richardson a flush draw but he couldn't connect on the J♦ turn or 9♠ river and was sent to the rail.

7:00pm: Play resumes

The remaining 175 players are now back with two more full levels to play until we call it a day. Matthew Pilat is out in front with over 100,000 in chips to be our chip leader, while Team PokerStars Pros Tony Hachem and Bryan Huang are both struggling on short stacks.