ANZPT Sydney: Then There Were Two Tables

There were some murmurs around The Star this morning that our 22 players would be down to the final two tables within half an hour. That didn't end up being the case, but we did manage to get to the final 18 players in just over an hour of play.

Obviously no player arrives on the final day of play hoping to go home first. What some players may hope for is to wake up with pocket aces early and hope that they manage to instil some riches into their stack. However, we are certain Trung Tran wished he never woke up with aces this afternoon. Aziz Youssef on the other hand, will be very happy that he played that 7♥5♥.

The hand in question saw Youssef and Tran commit all the chips on the turn of a 6♣3♥
2♣4♥ board. Tran was shell shocked when his aces hit the table followed by the turned straight and a straight flush draw from Youssef. Tran was drawing dead at this stage and with a meaningless 2♦ falling on the river, Tran was sent home in 22nd place. The next player to join Tran on the rail and perhaps out in the Sydney sun was Ben Benoit. The player to deal the fatal blow to Benoit was none other than recent ANZPT Perth final tablist Luke Brabin. Benoit held K♦Q♦ and couldn't win a race against the 9♦9♥ of Brabin and just like that we were down to 20 players.

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Benoit in the moments before hitting the rail

From here the play stalled for a while before picking back up over on Table 2 - which is no surprise seeing as that is where our action player and the monster chip stack of Dejan Divkovic is seated. It was an all in preflop situation, with Victor Teng the at-risk player holding A♦2♥ against the A♠K♠ of Divkovic. Teng was very happy to see the dealer flip over a 2♦9♦4♣ flop, but got angry and flicked his whole cards face down as a K♥ turn and a J♣ river completed the board. And then there were 19.

It didn't take long from here to see the players break down to two tables. In fact, it would be a double elimination that would see us move down to just 17 remaining players. Firstly, over on Table 3, Chad Awerbuch was extremely short stacked after losing the majority of his chips to Dan Kelly. Awerbuch wasn't able to rebuild and found himself all-in preflop holding T♦8♥ against the K♠Q♥ of Dinesh Alt. No help came for Awerbuch and he was sent home in 19th. While Awerbuch was being being eliminated, Dmitriy Tymoshenko quickly hit the rail in 18th place and we were down to our final two tables.

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The final two tables from behind the rail at The Star

Unsurprisingly it is Dejan Divkovic who still leads the way with 17 players remaining, while players like Gary Benson, Dinesh Alt, Michael Fadersen and Donald Jones have had great starts to the day and are primed to make it all the way to the final table. For those ANZPT Commissioner Danny McDonagh fans out there, we can tell you that he has set the line at an optimistic midnight finish. We'll just see about that.

Joshua Bell
@PokerStars in Sydney