ANZPT Sydney: Dejan Dominates, Causes Deja Vu

It was a day of ups and downs, highs and lows, exciting incidents and more, but finally the penultimate day of the ANZPT Main Event has come to a close. In the end the clock was stopped with 22 players remaining and boy is that going to make for long day tomorrow.

When the day began we were staring down the barrel of 175 returning players and the plan was to get as close to setting the final table as possible. Eventually the call was made that we would be playing ten 60-minute levels no matter how many players remained and at least then the players knew what to strap themselves in for.

Many of the players in the field at the beginning of the day were past ANZPT champions and therefore know what it takes to make it through a long Day 2 unscathed. However, almost all of these past ANZPT champions would hit the rail, including Michael Kanaan, Grant Levy, Martin Kozlov, Danny Chevalier and Peter Matusik. The only past champion to survive the night was recent ANZPT Perth victor Dejan Divkovic. More on Divkovic soon.


2011 ANZPT Sydney champion Michael Kanaan couldn't make it a double victory

While the outside world was going crazy for Ellen Degeneres' appearance in Sydney, the players in The Star were busy trying to make the money of ANZPT Sydney. Heading into the dinner break there were around 60 players remaining, with 54 of them set to make the money. Some of those on the dinner break must have adhered to Hostess Lynn Gilmartin's health advice, as they stayed calm and collected and made it into the money. That wasn't the same story for Sebastian Pagana though, as he would unfortunately be going home as the bubble boy.

As usual, the bubble bursting was certainly an exciting time for the players, but the
biggest talking point of the day was the major incident that occurred on Table 4 just a short while after the bubble. It was a dispute which saw the whole tournament paused, but eventually play restarted once the staff at The Star, with the help of ANZPT Commissioner Danny McDonagh, managed to come up with a resolution.


Danny McDonagh has come across just about every tournament incident under the sun

Heading into the final level of the night and there were a huge amount of notable players still alive, including an amazing four of the players who were on the final table of the recent ANZPT Perth Main Event. One of those players, Dale Marsland, wasn't able to survive the night, while Luke Brabin, Iori Yogo and the aforementioned Dejan Divkovic all bagged up some chips. Oh, and when we say Dejan bagged up some chips we really mean it as he is the far and away chip leader heading into the final day with 1,434,000 in chips. That amount is more than double his next closest opponent, with Donald Jones having 689,000 in chips. Even more amazing is that Divkovic is of course our most recent ANZPT champion and if he manages a victory here in Sydney, he would become the first player to win back-to-back titles.


Dejan Divkovic had a lot to smile about when bagging his chips

Some of the other players who will join Divkovic on the final day of play include Germany's Dominik Nitsche (555,000), Michael Fadersen (500,000), Ben Gilholme (448,000), Dan "djk123" Kelly (308,000), Amanda De Cesare (299,000), Trung Tran (294,000), Chad Awerbuch (193,000), along with old school Sydneysiders Gary Benson (254,000) and Sam Khouiss (432,000). Be sure to check in with the live reporting here at the PokerStarsBlog to see the final day table draw and all the chip counts.

Tomorrow we crown a champion and considering we are still 22 eliminations from doing so, the winner of ANZPT Sydney could be anyone! Tomorrow begins at 2 pm local time and we are gearing up for a long day, so make sure to join us for all the action. Until then, enjoy the company of Lynn Gilmartin and Danny McDonagh in the 'Nightly Notables' below.

Joshua Bell
@PokerStars in Sydney