ANZPT Sydney: Seabeast, Toothpick and the Lucky Duck
Day two is usually the day that defines a poker tournament. Have a bad day one and you can often manage to still sneak through to live to fight again. A bad day three, and well you'll probably still get some cash. However a bad day two and it's a long, hard toil for absolutely no reward. Yet on the other hand, if you have a good day two, it can set your tournament up perfectly to reach the money and have a crack at that elusive final table.
Today was that day where we sorted out the contenders from the pretenders, as 185 players were reduced to our final 49 by the end of eight levels. We're still not in the money, as there will be a restless evening for our four short stacks who will return tomorrow with fingers and toes crossed for a little early luck.
It appeared that luck was on side of Team PokerStars today as Singapore's Bryan Huang found two early double ups, but in the end Huang and fellow Team PokerStars Pro Tony Hachem were unable to survive as they fell in the early stages of the day.
They were joined by the likes of Jeff Lisandro, Tyron Krost, Daniel Neilson, Jonathan Karamalikis, Kristian Lunardi, Matthew Pilat, Vesko Zmukic, Liam Moffett, PokerStars qualifier Sydney VanderHorst, Day 1b chip leader Jimmy Tran, ANZPT Perth champ Grant Levy and the ANZ Player of the Year leader in Danny Chevalier.
This has set ANZPT Adelaide runner-up Jesse McKenzie for a chance to claim pole position in the POTY as his strong performance on Day 2 saw him accumulate 218,000 for an above average chip stack.
Overnight chip leader Jay "SEABEAST" Kinkade continued on his merry way as he powered through his opponents while other young guns started to emerge including Joey Lawrence, Justin Walch, Craig Cockburn and Alexander Antonios.
The old guard was also well represented today with Jimmy Wong, Graeme Putt, George Cotaidis and the unmistakeable Antonis "Toothpick Tony" Kambouroglou all surviving the day. Toothpick in particular had a wild ride late in the day, with his pocket sevens cracking pocket queens, before he lost a chunk of chips with ace-king versus pocket aces on the very next hand.
However the story of the day is with Gold Coast boy Josh Barrett. The story dates back to the ANZPT Perth where Barrett was told about the great Peking Duck at the Chinese restaurant at the Burswood Casino. Unfortunately Barrett didn't get a chance to share in the goodness, so instead decided to get his fix here in Sydney.
Yesterday afternoon, in the final break of the day, Barrett was feeling a little down with just 11,000 in chips as the blinds were at dangerous levels. Barrett then shared in some Peking Duck from the Chinese restaurant nearby to the poker room to see him through until the end of the day. It was great Peking Duck and it clearly inspired him to greatness. One double up, then another and by the end of the next two levels, Barrett had more than 110,000 for a top three chip stack.
So the superstition has been born. While Barrett was able to successfully accumulate chips today pre-duck, he once again enjoyed a Chinese feast on the last break of the day and steamrolled his way to the chip lead with a massive 398,000 chips. It also seemed to work well for tablemate Michael O'Grady, who grabbed his serve of duck before charging up to 198,000 by the day's end. There is definitely a secret to success within the confines of a soft pancake, roast duck and hoisin sauce.
"I actually started to call raises with pocket deuces too," commented Barrett at the end of the day. "They were bad calls too, out of position. I wanted to call to try and hit a set of ducks!"
While Barrett said he went zero for three with his duck set mining, we're sure to see another feast on our blogging desk come the end of the sixth level tomorrow afternoon. And we suspect that he might get some company once word gets out!
Here are all the important links you've been looking for:
The final 49 will be back tomorrow in the Star City Poker Room for Day 3 of the ANZPT Sydney Main Event where we will play all the way until we reach the final table. Play will recommence at 12:30pm local time (GMT+10) and we look forward to your company then!