APPT Auckland: Brotha D Rocks Da House

Day 3 of the APPT Auckland Main Event is in the books, and it was a wild ride to reduce our field from 28 to our final nine.

The day ebbed and flowed with a couple of quick early eliminations as Sam Courtenay, AJ Bertenshaw and Akshay Nauhria all fell in quick succession before Linh Tran became our unfortunate bubble boy when his Q♣9♠ didn't improve on a nine-high flop against Tom Grigg's A♥9♦. These four players toiled hard on the SKYCITY Casino felt but ultimately all went home empty-handed.

A round of applause broke out in the poker room as the remaining 24 players were all in the money, but their day wasn't over just yet, as their next objective was to reach the elusive APPT final table.

We lost Julius Colman, Damien Wong, Mike Tyler and John Harman before play really tightened up with 13 players remaining. From there it was a real dog fight with every chip and every pot worth its weight in gold.

PokerStars qualifier Ian Parnell departed in 13th place after battling with a short stack all tournament before a pair of Edwards, Kani and Luke, fell in 12th and 11th place. Luke Edwards was particularly unlucky when his pocket jacks fell to the ace-jack of Srdjan Mitrovic when an ace spiked on the flop to leave us on the final table bubble.


After starting the day on the short stack, Luke Edwards did well to reach 11th place

It was at that point the story of the day turned to the remarkable comeback of Kiwi icon Danny 'Brotha D' Leaoasavaii. After being on the short stack, and all in for his tournament life, Brotha D caught a two-outer on the river when his pocket threes spiked another three on the A♦J♥9♠5♣3♥ board against the A♣K♥ of Tom Grigg.


Brotha D holds onto a narrow chip lead after Day 3 play

Brotha D survived and soon after virtually tripled up with pocket kings against the pocket jacks of Hungarian Tamas Lendvai to storm into the chip lead! Brotha D is known as the "Godfather of Hip Hop in New Zealand" and while he is familiar with laying down beats, they are usually in the recording studio rather than on the poker felt. Brotha D qualified for this event by winning a SKYCITY Casino celebrity challenge earlier in the week (for the second consecutive year) and will provide an incredible story for the mainstream media should be carry his chip lead all the way.

At the end of the day's play we caught up with Brotha D, along with overnight chip leader Tom Grigg, to recount the final stages of their day...

When Lance Climo was eliminated on the final table bubble in tenth place our final table was set. It's going to be an international final table with five countries represented including six PokerStars qualifiers.

Here's how they will line up tomorrow:

Seat 1: Tamas Lendvai (PokerStars Qualifier) - 472,000 chips
Seat 2: Santi Soriano Ramos (PokerStars Qualifier) - 347,000
Seat 3: Noah Vogelman (PokerStars Qualifier) - 576,000
Seat 4: Tom Grigg (PokerStars Qualifier) - 616,000
Seat 5: Ropati Toleafoa - 163,000
Seat 6: Danny Silk (PokerStars Qualifier) - 260,000
Seat 7: Danny 'Brotha D' Leaoasavaii - 636,000
Seat 8: Leo Boxell - 194,000
Seat 9: Srdjan Mitrovic (PokerStars Qualifier - 632,000)

The action will recommence at 1pm local time tomorrow as we play it out to crown a new APPT champion and award the NZ$170,000 first place prize!