APPT Sydney: Final table, level 23 updates
Live updates from the final table, level 23 (blinds 15,000-30,000, ante 3000) 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.
4.40pm: A rare flop
Some action, sort of ... the action folded around to Tom Grigg who raised to 75,000 from the cut-off. Ernst Hermans called from the button, the others got out of the way and it was heads-up to a flop of Q♠ J♠ A♣. Grigg led out for 100,000, Hermans called and both players then checked the turn of the 7♣ and the river 7♥.
Grigg tabled K♠ K♥ but was no good against the Dutch PokerStars Qualifier's A♠ 9♥. Grigg is looking visibly frustrated, having dropped to 915,000 while Hermans is a clear chip leader on 3.03 million in chips.
4.20pm: Nine started, nine remain
This counts as one of the most cautious starts to a final table in APPT history. With two levels almost complete, the nine starters remain seated with no player in immediate danger of elimination.
Meanwhile, the $3200 Heads-up tournament continues below with round one eliminations including PokerStars.net Team Australia Pros Emad Tahtouh and Grant Levy, David Steicke and Billy "The Croc "Argyros. Joe Hachem and Lee Nelson are through to round two, which is underway.
With the action fairly sparse at the final table, we're noticing a few spectators drifting off for an afternoon nap, while there's plenty of focus on the numerous TV screens that are showing the other two major sporting events in Sydney this weekend - the Telstra Sydney 500 (final round of Australia's V8 Supercar Championships) and the Australian PGA on the windswept NSW Golf Club layout.
4pm: Bev stands by her man
Bev Boxell has just watched her husband Leo secure a much-needed double up though American PokerStars Qualifier Thomas Slifka. The money was all in the middle pre-flop with Boxell showing J♥ J♦ against Slifka's A♣ K♦ and a sweaty board of 3♣ J♠ 8♦ [10s] 4♥ was spread, but Boxell's set of jacks were good to keep him alive, much to the delight of Bev!
Leo and Bev have been married for 47 years and she has followed him around to every single major tournament he has ever played, including his victories in the 2000 Australasian Championships (the predecessor to the Aussie Millions) and the 2001 New Zealand Poker Championship Main Event.
Despite having been to Las Vegas for the WSOP four times as well as Vienna and Russia, her favourite memory was being on hand to give her husband support all the way to his 2003 Aussie Millions runner-up finish: "He was so short stacked on day three," she said. "But I just said to him, hold on - even though he didn't win it, but it was just so exciting."
Bev has only played the game "a handful of times" but she knows exactly what's going on and is there through thick and thin for Leo. And there's no stopping Australian poker's first couple travelling the circuit from here if he wins today. "He'll probably buy a bigger fishing boat, but wherever he goes, I'll go," Bev said.
3.45pm: Hermans on the hop
Players have just re-taken their seats after the first break of the day. The big mover in the first level of play was Dutch PokerStars Qualifier Ernst Hermans, who skipped out to a handy break on 2.8 million in chips.
After being down to just 300,000 late yesterday, Tom Grigg is now back near the top of the chip count on 1.64 million. And despite the increase in blinds to 15,000/30,000, the shorts stacks of Leo Boxell (905,000), Andrew Hiscox (865,000) and David Formosa (830,000) aren't under any immediate pressure.