ANZPT Auckland: Deal Done and Down to Four

And just like that three more players have been sent to the rail. There is just no way the final table can keep up the pace that was set during the first couple of levels of play. If it does, then we are going to have an ANZPT record on our hands. Just to reiterate, that's five eliminations in just around two hours of play. To add to that excitement, the four players remaining have already agreed on a deal!

The first of three eliminations began when Sebastian Martineau opened a hand to 27,000. Jamie Mulligan then three-bet to 69,000 before the action was Xiaodong Xia in the big blind, who shoved his 150,000-chip stack in the middle. Martineau wanted no part of these antics, letting his hand go. Back on Mulligan, who looked down at his cards again, saw his A♥A♣ and made the call. Xia flipped over his J♥J♦ and then left the tables when a 6♠K♥4♠2♠A♠ board was spread on the felt.

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Xiaodong Xia - 7th Place

At this point the media desk was thinking the action must surely slow down soon, but then Miroslav Sheynin got involved in a big hand with Geoff Smith. It started with Smith opening to 35,000 at which point Sheynin three-bet to 85,000. Smith called and the dealer turned over a 5♦9♦J♥ flop and this is when the fireworks began. Sheynin firstly bet 60,000 and Smith then made it 140,000. Sheynin paused here, then shoved for 600,000. Smith snap-called and tabled his T♦8♦, while Sheynin held Q♦6♦. Smith was the at-risk player as the turn fell with a T♣ and river with a Q♥. With that, Smith had made a straight to leave Sheynin short stacked.

Just a few moments later and Sheynin got all his chips in with A♦6♦ and having to come up against the A♠Q♦ of Pravin Harji. "GG" said Sheynin before the dealer turned over a 9♦3♥K♠ flop. Sheynin was ready to leave, but found a little bit of interest in the 8♦ turn, which gave him a flush draw. When the J♣ completed the board on the river, it was home time for Sheynin with NZ$21,735 for his 6th-place finish.

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Miroslav Sheynin - 6th Place

With only five players remaining, Jamie Mulligan started to see his stack fall, but he was by names in danger still having about 30 big blinds. That's when things went sour though, with Mulligan shoving for around 500,000 when the action folded to him the big blind. It was the wrong time to do it, with Monica Eastick waking up with A♥A♦ in the big blind and making the call.

Mulligan held K♠4♠ and it was bleak times indeed as a 9♦A♣Q♦ flop gave Eastick a set of aces. When the dealer turned over a T♦ on the turn, Eastick shouted "No!" at the sight of the straight draw for Mulligan. However, when the 5♣ completed the board on the river, Eastick had scooped up the pot and Mulligan was sent home in 5th place, taking NZ$25,875 for his time.

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Jamie Mulligan - 5th Place

At the beginning of four-handed play, all the players had around 1 million in chips. A
couple of hands then played out before the four players began discussing a deal. The
play paused for almost five minutes before they had reached an agreement.

The private deal will see the four players guaranteed NZ$55,000 each, while the winner will gain an extra NZ$25,502. Below is how the adjusted payouts look.

Final Four Payouts
1st: NZ$80,502
2nd: NZ$55,000
3rd: NZ$55,000
4th: NZ$55,000

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Paper and pen in hand, the four players discuss their deal.

With a deal done and the four players looking keen to get their chips in, this could easily be over very quickly. As a poker blogger though, I know all too well that these sorts of things can go into the early hours of the next morning no matter what the circumstances. Also, it must be noted that the first-place finisher is still playing for a lot of cash. So let's just leave it at that.

Joshua Bell
@PokerStars in Auckland