ANZPT Sydney Day 2: Levels 8 & 9 (blinds 500-1,000, ante 100)

2:30pm: Ten-minute break

2:15pm: Sydney slides

After enjoying a relaxing day on the Sydney harbour yesterday, PokerStars qualifier Sydney VanderHorst is back on the felt today looking to turn her trip all the way from the Unites States into a profitable one.

It's going to be tough work from here though, as VanderHorst just took a hit after firing a couple of barrels at a board of Q♣3♥6♦K♥5♣. VanderHorst bet 3,500 on the flop and another 6,000 on the turn but couldn't shake her opponent. On the river, VanderHorst checked and her opponent bet 7,500. VanderHorst reached for chips but eventually released and saved her last 20,000 for a better spot.

1:55pm: Dong done

Jonathan "xMONSTERxDONGx" Karamalikis has been eliminated from the tournament after twice being on the wrong end of pocket nines.

Karamalikis lost most of his chips with 9♠9♦ in a preflop race against an opponent's A♣T♦. The board ran out 7♥6♠T♥A♠6♦ to leave Karamalikis with just 1,600 in change.

He folded one hand before committing his last chips with ace-three but this time Toothpick Tony held the pocket nines which held when he made a straight to send the APPT Sydney champ to the rail.

1:45pm: Neilson doubles up

Dan Neilson has found a double up through Kiwi Elliot Nicholls. The chips were in preflop with Nicholls' holding king-ten against Neilson's J♦J♥. The board ran out 9♣4♠J♠K♣T♠ to give Neilson a set and a double up to around 75,000.

1:40pm: Honeymooon over for Mr. ANZPT

Just last weekend Tony Hachem married his lovely wife Jess in a massive ceremony and even bigger reception in Melbourne that apparently is set to rival the royal family for the title of "Wedding of the Year".

While many would be enjoying some time off and enjoying their honeymoon, Mr. ANZPT was straight back into the thick of things here in Sydney. However the honeymoon is now over as Hachem was recently eliminated from the tournament.

Tony Hachem opened with a raise to 2,150 from early position and found two callers to a flop of 8♣7♣2♦. Action checked to Hachem who followed up with a bet of 7,500. One player folded but the small blind came along as the J♦ hit the turn.

This card was enough for the small blind to declare himself all in with Hachem calling off the last of his chips with Q♥Q♦ for the lead, but his opponent had plenty of outs with the J♣T♣.

Hachem was on his feet but hardly had time to call for cards as the 6♣ landed on the river like a dagger through his heart to complete his opponent's flush. Hachem thanked his tablemates and exited the Star City Poker Room.

For the record, the Hachems will be enjoying a honeymoon in a few weeks time in Europe (which happens to also coincide with the EPT Madrid Grand Final!)


Tony Hachem has been eliminated from the ANZPT Sydney Main Event

1:30pm: Level up, blinds 500-1,000, ante 100

1:25pm: Ace from space buries McIver

Dean McIver has been eliminated in a big three-way all in clash with his K♣K♥ up against both 9♠9♥ and A♥K♦.

McIver looked set for a big triple up but the board ran out 4♣T♦2♦4♦A♠ to see his opponent spike an ace on the river to send McIver home.

1:20pm: Another double for Bryan

Bryan Huang has doubled up once again to now sit with a comfortable 59,000 in chips.
Huang opened to 2,200 from middle position before the button popped it to 6,000. Huang made the call and they saw a flop of 3♥4♦3♣. Huang checked and the button player made it another 6,000. Huang check-raised all in for another 14,900 with his opponent making the call.

Huang opened A♥A♦ to have his opponent in trouble holding J♦J♣. The turn was the 8♥ and river the T♠ as Huang is now back in good shape.

1:10pm: Moose run down

Raemin "Jake The Moose" Alexander was a short stack entering today's play so when he held pocket fours and was met with a three-bet, Alexander decided to ship it all in. Unfortunately his opponent woke up with pocket queens. There was no lucky four for the Moose to see him eliminated from the tournament.

1:05pm: Todor rivers Broadway

Tracy Baron has hit the rail in unfortunate circumstances as Todor Kondevski caught a fortunate river. It was Baron's pocket queens up against Kondevski's ace-king and it looked all over when Baron flopped a set of queens, but Kondevski hit a brutal jack on the river to give him a Broadway straight and eliminate Baron from the tournament.

The 2009 Melbourne Poker Championships winner is now up to 70,000 chips.

12:55pm: Hachem slips

Facing a raise to 1,600 from Chris Kittos in the small blind, Tony Hachem called in the big blind to see a flop of 7♣T♣6♦. Kittos checked to Hachem who fired 2,200 but Kittos called before both players checked the J♥ turn.

The river was the 2♣ and Kittos led out for 3,525 which forced Hachem to let it go as he slips to 20,400.

12:50pm: Nobbi takes control early

Nobbi Tanaka has started off full steam ahead with an early bluff to take control of his table. Tanaka raised a 5♥9♣6♠ flop before firing another 12,100 on the J♦ turn. His opponent let it go and Tanaka showed a creative Q♦T♥ for air on the flop, that picked up a draw on the turn.

Tanaka is up to 80,000 and officially table captain.

12:45pm: Huang gets a double up

One player who was happy with the news of the wind back was the short-stacked Bryan Huang. It gave him a little more breathing room against the blinds for him to find a double up which he achieved when his 2♣2♠ was racing with an opponent's A♠Q♥.

The board ran out J♦9♥5♥K♥9♣ to double Huang to 25,000.


12:40pm: Wind it back

A strange decision by floor staff has seen the clock wound back by one level for the start of play today. Rather than kicking off at Level 9, we're going back to the start of Level 8 with the blinds at 400/800/75.

The players certainly aren't complaining!

12:30pm: Day 2 kicks off

They've survived the first test. Day one survival. Some excelled while others got through by the skin of their teeth. Reaching Day 2 is certainly a feat in itself as more than half of our original starting field of 393 were unable to get this far. It's a new day and in this crazy that we love - anything certainly can, and will, happen.

We still have two Team PokerStars Pros in Tony Hachem and Bryan Huang, but both will need an early double up or two to progress further in this event.

Our chip leader comes from Day 1a as Jay "SEABEAST" Kinkade will carry 148,150 into Day 2, narrowly ahead of Jimmy Tran's 142,475.

The players have found their new homes for the afternoon and unbagged their chips ready for the rocky road ahead. The official word has been given to the dealers to shuffle up and deal as Day 2 is now underway!