APPT Sydney: Dreams dashed by early double-ups

So you've won your way into one of the Australia's biggest poker tournaments, made your way to Sydney, hung out around Star City and taken your seat in the Main Event. The anticipation, excitement, hopes, dreams are all realised and ... you're heading for the rail inside five minutes. That's poker!


C'mon boys, this is no laughing matter: Brooke Howard-Smith with Team Australia Pro Emad Tahtouh

Richard Rafaelli experienced the highs and lows of tournament poker on the opening hands of day 1C in the APPT Grand Final when he committed his entire stack with A♥ A♣ on a board of K♠ J♠ 9♥ 8♠. Despite the flush and straight draws on the board, Joey Masangcay made the call and showed K♣ K♥, with the river 7♣ ensuring him the first scalp of the day.

Just seconds later, Rafaelli was joined on the rail by James Moustacas, who flopped a set of deuces but was in a world of hurt against the set of aces belonging to Feng Linjie.

Inside five minutes, another player had been KOed. Australian PokerStars Qualifier Jonathan Karamalikis headed towards the exits after being eliminated at the hands of 2008 New Zealand Poker Championship Main Event winner David Borg.

The Sydneysider raised from the button to 300 before the flop but Karamalikis re-raised from the small blind to 1000. Borg four-bet it to 3000 and Karamalikis called to go heads-up to a flop that read Q-3-2 with two diamonds.

Karamalikis led out for 3500 then committed the rest of his stack into the middle after
Borg made it 8000 to go. Borg snap-called, tabling pocket kings but Karamalikis still had a chance with J♥ 9♥. The turn and river of 9, 8 were both black and the South Australian was out.

As players depart, more arrive. Team Pro Nordics Peter Eastgate has just taken his seat, along with APPT Cebu runner-up Sim Somyung, 2008 APPT Manila winner Van Marcus and 2008 Melbourne Poker Champs winner James "Jabba" Broom. We're still awaiting the arrival of Joe Hachem ... fashionably late!! Blinds have just ticked into level two, 100/200.