ANZPT Sydney: O'Rourke, O'Brien, Oh my!
As the players take the next scheduled break, and the evening slowly draws towards midnight, we find ourselves four-handed after a fascinating session of play.
It was dominated by Liam O'Rourke in many respects. He played nearly every pot, won plenty of them and was responsible for the elimination of Jason O'Brien in 5th place, yet somehow the chip lead has slipped through his fingers.
O'Rourke jumped well out in front when he got a little frisky with pocket deuces. The ducks are not an easy hand to play at the best of times, so O'Rourke felt the four-bet overbet jam was his best play. However O'Brien made the call with ace-king and suddenly we were flipping for 3.5 million chips. O'Rourke flopped yet another set, O'Brien turned a flush draw, but the river bricked to end the gallant run of O'Brien. He'll pick up $48,405 for his 5th place finish.
The man out in front at the moment is Stewart Ballard who has sustained everything thrown at him so far and continues to rake in the pots that matter.
One interesting hand saw Ballard call a flop bet on a three-heart board with J♣6♣ for just middle pair. I guess he felt that middle pair is worth a call against O'Rourke considering the number of hands he's playing, despite the super-dangerous flop. The turn and river were checked down when a fourth heart arrived to give Ballard the hand with two pair.
Ballard is up to 3.2 million with O'Rourke on 2.5 million. Gordon Huntly continues to pick his spots with solid play chipping him up to 1.9 million, while Anthony Aston found a double up to get back to 1.5 million.
Interestingly the players attempted to talk a deal at the end of the break, but the Star Poker staff informed the players that they would not pause the clock, much to everyone's bewilderment. So the players took their seats and continued negotiating while at the table! Negotiations continue and we'll keep you posted on the latest developments.