ANZPT Melbourne: Pop!
Sometimes the bubble can be a dramatic time. Hand-for-hand play builds the tension as the short stacks play a game of cat and mouse to try and avoid being the one to miss the money. Often one of the TD's will grab the microphone to announce the action and build the atmosphere as the railbirds stack themselves three-deep to try and catch a glimpse of the brutal bubble burst.
And then sometimes it just goes "pop".
Today was the latter as the bubble was completely non-existent. In fact, it's one of the only times I can recall where I have no idea what the bubble hand was or who was eliminated. It wasn't until one of the players casually mentioned something about the money that I had to do a double-take of the big screen. Yep, 41 players left. What the hell had just happened?
Well, while we were focussed on a different table we had several rapid-fire eliminations at the same time across the room. There were no players running between tables. There was no rail reaction. There was no fanfare. A quick head-count was all that was required before the cards were back in the air.
It was a strange feeling. Normally the excitement of the bubble gives us something to write about, but perhaps the lack of reaction tells us something about our remaining 41 players. They are here to play.
It's the business end of proceedings now, and despite a long day on the felt already, they know they have several more hours of warfare to survive to reach the ANZPT final table.
Some of those surging at the right times include Paul Hockin, Peter Matusik, Anthony Aston, Michael Lo Giudice and Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang who eliminated a player just prior to the recent break with pocket jacks against pocket fives. Huang is now up to 300,000 and his only problem at the moment is how to reschedule his flights which were meant to have him leaving Melbourne this evening! A nice problem to have I guess.
A little earlier this evening, PokerStars hostess Lynn Gilmartin spoke with the great New Zealand hope, Paul "KingPaulie" Hockin: