ANZPT7 Sydney Day 2: Bubble pops with Park on top
The bags have been sealed and the chips stowed away as another day at the ANZPT Sydney Main Event has come to a close. For many, the dream of poker glory ended today. They'll be off to one of the many watering holes in Sydney to drown their sorrows, but for the 54 survivors, they are safely in the money as their poker dream lives on.
At the start of the day 213 players returned to The Star to continue their journey in the ANZPT Sydney Main Event. While each player's journey is unique, we're sure that none compared to the adventures of Adelaide's Nino Qualita.
After failing to show photo identification on Day 1, Qualita made the decision to fly home to Adelaide to grab his ID and then fly back again to Sydney just in time to play what was left in his stack on Day 2. Qualita found one double but that was about it as the fairytale comeback story wasn't to be.
Qualita was joined on the rail throughout the day by the likes of Jarred Graham, Gary Benson, Tony Hachem, Luke Brabin, Luke Edwards, Jazz Mathers, Sam Khouiss, Tam Truong, Manny Stavropoulos, Leo Boxell, Iori Yogo, Joe Cabret, Billy Argyros and Ronnie Bardah.
Also eliminated on Day 2 was Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang.
Huang started out on the right note, and when he doubled up with pocket aces against ace-king, it looked like Huang was set to reach the cash and the valuable points in the ANZ Player of the Year race. However things turned against the Singaporean when he lost a coin flip with ace-king against pocket queens. Huang found a king on the flop to take the lead, but a devastating two-outer queen on the river left Huang in trouble and a short time later he was eliminated.
Tensions rose in the dying minutes as the final hands of the day were also played out on the money bubble. It looked like we were going to end the day on a cliff-hanger with one more elimination required before the top 54 would be paid, but then Sean Lannon got his chips in with A♠T♥ and lost the race with the big blind's 2♠2♣ to see us safely into the money to end the day.
Michael Kanaan is right in contention to win a second ANZPT title as one of the big stacks throughout the day, but in the end it was Min Jae Park who bagged up the chip lead.
Park was full of life on the tables. He enjoyed plenty of friendly banter and was the only player in the room with his name brandished on his hoodie. That's gotta be a good sign. Park will take 421,500 into Day 2 and the mantle of chip leader in the race to the top prize of $225,000.
ANZPT Sydney Day 2 Top Ten Chip Counts
Min Jae Park - 421,500
Guangqi Zhang - 401,000
Michael Kanaan - 350,500
Panayotis Panayotis - 332,000
Dominic Coombe - 299,500
Josh Trott - 295,500
Ben Cox - 279,500
Denis Sekuloski - 277,500
Manu Austin - 276,000
Li-ta Hsu - 243,000
Others still in contention include Ken Demlakian, Toothpick Tony, Peco Stojanovski, Didier Guerin, Octavian Voegele, Tim English and Tom Rafferty.
Head to the live reporting section of the ANZPT Sydney blog for the complete chip counts and Day 3 seating draw.
The remaining 54 players have locked up $3,650 each and will once again return to The Star Poker Room on Sunday at 12:30pm to battle all the way down to a final table. The reward for that point will be the Player's Party which will be held here at The Star on Sunday evening.
Thanks for following along today and we hope you'll join us again on Sunday as the ANZPT Sydney Main Event continues. Until then, it's good night from the harbour city!