APPT Sydney: Day 3, level 20 updates
Live updates from day 3, level 20 (blinds 8000-16,000, ante 2000) of the PokerStars.net APPT Grand Final brought to you by Sean Callander and Landon Blackhall from Star City Casino in Sydney, Australia. Click refresh to see the latest updates below, while the latest selected chip counts can be found by clicking here.
11.15pm: Patience a virtue for Dom
Australia's Domenico Lauricella has been patiently waiting for a hand and finally got his last 173,000 over the betting line with J♠ J♥, only to be called by Canadian PokerStars Qualifier Jacob Meyer.
However, Lauricella was relieved to see he was ahead of Meyers' [10s] [10c] and his jacks held all the way down the board of 3♣ 5♦ 7♠ 8♣ 2♠ to see Lauricella double up to more than 410,000, leaving Meyer with a short stack of 135,000.
11pm: Benton comfortable in the spotlight
It hasn't been easy to pick up action as the pace is glacial, but Aaron Benton is continuing to show he's on his game after a hand against fellow Aussie Wayne Carlson under the hot lights of the feature table. Benton, Wayne Carlson and three others limped in to see a flop of A♥ J♥ 9♥ which they all checked. On the turn of the J♣, David Formosa checked, Benton opened for 20,000; Thomas Slifka and David Saghabi both folded before Carlson min-raised to 40,000.
Benton called, then fired out 75,000 after the river [10c]. Carlson called but mucked when Benton tabled K♥ 8♥ for the nut flush. Benton's great run in the APPT continues - having qualified online at PokerStars to every event this season, he's holding 1.5 million in chips and is well placed to reach the final table while Carlson is on 840,000.
10.45pm: Slow, slow's the go
After a feverish period of eliminations after the dinner break, the pace has slowed to a crawl as the remaining 15 players carefully pick their way through level 20 with their eye firmly on a final table berth.
It's a typical Saturday night in a casino anywhere in the world - the doof-doof music is pumping from a nearby bar, a sizeable crowd is taking in the action from the stadium seating, most of who are nursing a schooner of local lager. And, of course, the odd over-refreshed partygoer staggering through the Sports Theatre wearing a Santa hat.
10.30pm: Grigg back in the game
Australia's Tom Grigg started the day with the overall chip lead, but has been through some tough battles. However his parents will be pleased to know that he's back up to 740,000 in chips after a big pot against China's Kitson Kho. On a flop of 4♥ 6♦ 5♠, Kho led out for 40,000 but Grigg popped it up to 100,000. Kho called and they went to the turn of the 9♣.
Kho fired out 100,000 but Grigg moved all in over the top. Kho went into the tank for several minutes before making the call, revealing K♠ [10s] for nothing but air. Grigg was more than pleased to see that he was ahead with 8♠ 8♣ and they held up when the river blanked out with the J♥.
"You have to report that hand, my mum and dad have been watching all day and they'd be happy to see that one," he said, so here it is! Kho is back down to 470,000 in chips.
10.15pm: Foursome fold in quick succession
The last 15 players have redrawn for their seats on the final two tables after the rapid eliminations of New Zealand's Joseph Allis, Australian Stephen Bannister and Swedish PokerStars Qualifier Anders Petterson.
Allis raised before the flop to 26,000 from under the gun and the action folded around to Jarred Graham who re-raised to 90,000 from the big blind. Allis insta-shoved for his last 655,000 and Graham snap-called, tabling A♠ A♣ and Allis looked sick as he revealed Q♠ Q♦. The board ran out [10c] 3♣ 3♦ [10d] 6♠ and Allis was headed to the cage to collect his 18th-place prizemoney of $16,632 while Graham now holds 1.7 million in chips.
China's Kitson Kho then claimed Bannister's scalp on the very next hand on table 85 when his A♣ J♣ managed to win the race on a board of A♦ 7♣ 6♣ 9♠ 8♦ to send Bannister up the stairs in 17th place and Kho's stack up to 830,000.
And just as players on the other two tables were getting ready for the redraw, the final hand on table 88 saw Petterson get his money into the middle with A♦ Q♦ but ran into the A♣ K♥ and was behind all the way on a board of 6♥ 7♣ K♠ A♠ 3♦. Petterson was busted in 16th place while Formosa's stack is close to 1.8 million.