ANZPT Perth Day 1b: Levels 1-2 (blinds 100-200)

2:35pm: Ten-minute break

2:30pm: How do you not go broke?

Vesko Zmukic just recalled to us a hand from earlier in the level, that raised our eyebrows. He said that there was a raise to 500 and three callers, including Zmukic in the big blind holding A♦T♦. The flop came 4♦5♦6♦ to give Zmukic the ace-high flush and he lead out for 575. Two players called.

The turn was the 3♣ and action was checked before the Q♦ appeared on the river. Zmukic led out for 1,000 and got one call before the third player raised to 4,000. Incredibly, Zmukic just flat-called as the other opponent folded. Most players would probably stick their chips in there with the ace-high flush but Zmukic saved himself 12,000 and his tournament life as his opponent tabled 7♦8♦ for the straight-flush!

2:25pm: Kanaan gone

We just walked past the table that was previously home to Michael Kanaan to discover his seat was empty. It was recalled to us that Kanaan got his chips in with A♠Q♠ on a jack-high flop with two spades against an opponent holding king-jack. After final-tabling at the APPT Cebu just a few days ago, it appears that Kanaan's good run is over as couldn't hit any of his outs to survive.

2:20pm: Lim hurting

Aaron Lim impressed us immensely at this event last year. He proved that he is a super dangerous, aggressive player as he tangled with Grant Levy in some epic hands on his way to a 4th place finish.

Lim picked up an Aussie Millions gold ring earlier this year, but his quest for a repeat final table here in Perth have taken a huge hit. Lim just doubled up a short-stacked opponent after they got it in on a flop of J♠4♦7♠. Lim held A♦J♦ for top pair, top kicker, but his opponent showed 7♥7♦ for a set. The turn was the 6♠ and river the T♠ to see Lim slip to just 5,400 approaching the first break of the day.

2:05pm: Benton back to where he started

2008 APPT Sydney champion Aaron Benton just had his tournament life on the line. He'd flopped a full house but still had a bit of a sweat against Peter Gilbert.

The chips went in on a flop of 8♦J♥J♦ with Gilbert flopping trips with J♣6♣ but Benton's 8♠8♥ were in command. The turn was the 2♣ and river an equally bricky 4♥ to see Benton double up to just above his starting stack. Gilbert takes a small hit to slip to 43,000.


A swingy start for Aaron Benton in Perth

1:55pm: This show is PG rated

They call him "PG". It's not his rating but rather his initials as Peter Gilbert is our early chip leader on Day 1b of the ANZPT Perth Main Event.

We were called to Gilbert's table when a huge pot had erupted on the board of A♦5♥A♠7♣. Wayne Norman was all in with A♣T♥ but found himself in trouble against Gilbert's A♥K♥. Norman would need a ten to win or a five or seven to chop, but the river was the 3♦ to send him to an early exit and jump Gilbert up to 49,000.


PG is the early chip leader

1:40pm: Rocking it out

We've mentioned that there are some redevelopments currently going on here at Burswood. Of course it's all part of a greater plan to make Burswood into an even bigger and better complex, but long term gain does have some short term pain.

Bryan Huang tweeted this morning about being woken up at 7:30am in the hotel this morning due to the noise from the construction workers, and this afternoon, those lucky enough to be seated in the back of the poker room, will be able to hear nothing but the noise of constant drilling from the adjacent wall. Headphones one time!

Fortunately out on the main gaming floor, we're treated to nothing but pure 80's through the casino sound system, much to the delight of PokerNews hostess Nicky Pickering who seems to know the words to every song.

1:35pm: Level up, blinds 100-200

1:25pm: Set for Bryan

We're not sure of the action, but we caught Bryan Huang tossing out a 5,000-denomination chip so we knew things were serious. The board read J♠T♠6♥2♠8♥ and Huang was calling his opponent's bet. The player tabled K♦K♥ but Huang showed 6♠6♦ for a set to rake in a nice pot. Huang is off to a fast start, chipping up to 35,000 in the first level.

1:10pm: A few more names

We've spotted a couple more Lackovics with Aleks and Petar both recently taking their seats in the field along with Vince Moro. ANZPT regular Ricky Kroesen is also listed to play today, although his seat currently remains vacant.

1:00pm: Early trouble with the ladies for Mishel

With an early position raise to 250 and a call in front of him, Mishel Anunu three-bet to 700. Action folded back to the EP-player who four-bet to 1,950. That forced a fold from the player in the middle, but Anunu made the call to see a flop of 6♠9♠T♦.

The preflop aggressor led out with a hefty bet of 5,500 as Anunu sighed, "Argh, I guess you've got me," before open-folding Q♣Q♦.

Despite encouraging his opponent to show, Anunu would have to dwell on whether he made the right fold, as his opponent quietly slid his cards into the muck and collected the pot.

12:50pm: First bluff of the day

"Well, I'll see you guys later," sighed Stev Lackovic as we walked glumly past us.

"You're out?" we questioned.


"What happened?"

"I five-bet shoved five-high and he couldn't fold kings," chirped Lackovic as a wry grin returned to his face and we realised his tongue was firmly in cheek...and we almost believed him!

12:45pm: A loaded field

There's a few more familiar faces in today's field but with all fourteen tables in the poker room and eight overflow tables in use, we're going to be getting some exercise today marching the aisles of the two areas.

Some of those that we've spotted include Kristina Griffith, Aaron Benton, Aaron Lim, Josh Barrett, Jesse McKenzie, Ted Nguyen, Mishel Anunu, Stev Lackovic, Steve Lindeblad, Michael Kanaan, Brian McAllister, Vesko Zmukic and recent ANZPT Sydney champion Gordon Huntly.

We also have one member of Team PokerStars to keep an eye on this afternoon, with Singapore's Bryan Huang taking his seat in today's field.

12:35pm: Here we gogo again

We're back in the Burswood poker room for Day 1b of the ANZPT Perth Main Event, and the news is, that the room is bursting at the seams. When we arrived, there were 190 registrations for today. A few minutes ago, it was confirmed at 210. With a capacity of 220 here, Danny McDonagh has just passed by our desk to mentioned that we may even have alternates today which pushes our total field in excess of 300! Wowsers!

There's a phrase used here in Australia by players encouraging their friends who are doing well in a tournament. It's simply "gogogogogogo". Well, last night we were treated to the original gogo, that is, Gogo's Madras Curry House only a short drive from the casino here. Thanks to Raj Ramakrishnan, we dined with "Gogo" himself and enjoyed a feast of Indian delights in a friendly restaurant that was adorned with the most incredible cricket memorabilia that you'd ever see. Everything from Haydo's world record 380 signed cricket bat, to Gilly's gloves that he wore in his last Test match, and even a pair Sachin's socks.

So today we hope you will all be inspired by Gogo himself as we say to our Day 1b players, let's "gogogogo"!