ANZPT7 Melbourne Day 1B: Chasing Choi
One for the history books.
The ANZPT staff here were quietly confident that the tour's player and prize pool records would be broken this afternoon, and that's exactly what happened before the tournament was locked out earlier today.
Ultimately it was a total of 520 players who registered across both Day 1 flights to best the previous record of 516. In turn so too we saw the prize pool eclipse the previous $1,032,000 with this week's $1,066,000 up for grabs.
Much like yesterday's field, today was no walk in the park.
Another tough line up was in store today as players had their work cut out for them. Surviving the seven levels of play were WSOP APAC bracelet winner Luke Brabin with 94,200, and Australian Poker Hall of Famer David Gorr on 30,100. Joining those two for a return tomorrow include Minh Nguyen (73,000), Dean Blatt (43,800), James Obst (22,100), Raiden Kan (17,300) and Jackie Glazier (10,100).
On top of the chip counts for Day 1B is South Korea's Hyeong Wook Choi who climbed to 131,100 before the day was done. Choi's finished just ahead of Day 1A chip leader Min Jae Park so he finds himself leading the charge for Day 2 tomorrow.
The South Korean steamrolled the competition and sealed his lead by eliminating last year's runner-up Corey Kempson in the final level. The two got all the money in the middle on a flop of 3♠2♣A♠.
Choi was chasing a spade to send Kempson packing and the K♠ turn delivered. The inconsequential 7♣ rolled off and Choi advanced to around 130,000 in chips.
He clearly had a great day at the tables, but 166 players found the exit here this afternoon. Matthew Wakeman, Jono Bredin and Kahle Burns all faced elimination, as did Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang.
Huang moved all in for his remaining 4,000 in chips and after the move was met with a call the cards were turned on their backs.
Seeing the bad news Huang was up from his seat until he spiked a set on the 4♥3♦J♥ flop. The turn, however, dashed his tournament hopes with the 8♥ rolling off leaving only the case four to save him. It wasn't to be on the Q♠ river Huang made his way to the exit.
ANZPT7 Melbourne Top Ten Chip Counts
Hyeong Wook Choi (South Korea) - 131,100
Danny Boxell (Australia) - 107,100
Seyed Hosseininasab (Australia) - 103,800
Aik-Chuan Nee (Malaysia) - 98,600
Mark Schmelcher (Australia) - 98,300
Patrick Hanrahan (Australia) - 95,800
Luke Brabin (Australia) - 94,200
Ivan Zalac (Australia) - 92,800
Benjamin Savage (Australia) - 87,200
Chu Kheng Ong (Australia) - 84,000
For now that's the tournament poker action done for the night. The survivors will be back tomorrow from 12:30pm as we edge closer to the money and the final ANZPT Main Event title. Join us then for all the updates and information from here at Crown Melbourne!