APPT Auckland Day 1b: Levels 5 & 6 (blinds 250-500, ante 50)

6:50pm: Ten-minute break

6:44pm: Mads eliminated

For the second time today, Mads Smith-Hansen has felt the pain of elimination from a poker tournament.

After crushing the PokerStars WCOOP event earlier in the day, Smith-Hansen couldn't match that run on the live felt as he was recently eliminated from the tournament.

With a raise to 1,200 in front of him, Smith-Hansen moved all in for 6,500 holding pocket eights, with his opponent making a gambling call with king-four. The double-paired board of Q-6-J-Q-J counterfeited Smith-Hansen as the king kicker played to eliminate Smith-Hansen from the event.

6:35pm: Ellis binks a double

Joe Ellis has binked a double up in a big multi-way pot on a flop of A♦T♣3♣. The action started with play checking to Team PokerStars Pro Lee Nelson who fired 1,225 into the middle to find two callers, before Ellis check-raised to 8,050 from the small blind. Three players got out of the way, including Nelson, before Michael Mariakis moved all in. Ellis called off his last 1,000 and showed 2♣5♣ for a straight-flush draw but a lot of his outs were no good as Mariakis showed K♣J♣ for a superior flush draw.

However the turn was the perfect 4♠ to give Ellis a straight before the river bricked the 3♦. Ellis doubled to 24,000 with Mariakis slipping to 37,000.

6:30pm: Seabeast Destroyed

Jay Kinkade opened with a raise from the hijack position to 1,025 with Koray Turker making the call on the button to see a flop of J♠2♦K♦.

Kinkade check-called for 1,425 on the flop, and again for 3,700 on the 3♥ turn before the river fell the 9♠. Kinkade checked for a third time as Turker moved all in. Kinkade called off his last 10,000 or so chips but mucked when Turker opened K♦Q♠.

Kinkade hit the rail as Turker moved up to 52,000.

6:22pm: Straight-flush versus playing the board

We're not sure which is more extraordinary - making a straight-flush, or getting paid off when holding a straight-flush by someone who is playing the board.

That's the scenario that just unfolded on the table of Soren Smith-Hansen, who raised with a deceptive 9♠6♠ from middle position to 1,100 and found a call on the button to see a flop of J♠7♠T♠. Smith-Hansen fired a bet of 1,200 with his opponent making the call. If that wasn't a bingo-bango-bongo flop, then the 8♠ on the turn sealed the deal as Smith-Hansen made a straight-flush and got tricky with a small bet of 1,000. His opponent called before the river was the 4♠ to complete the monotone board.

Smith-Hansen moved all in for a total of 8,825 to put his opponent to a big decision. He eventually made the call with 9♣9♦, with no spade, to effectively play the flush on board. Smith-Hansen revealed his straight-flush and doubled up to 25,000.

6:08pm: Kemp Doubles

We haven't heard much from PokerStars qualifier Jai Kemp today. Perhaps that's because he's still nursing a sore head after an adventurous evening last night in the High Rollers Room of the SKYCITY Casino.

However the popular Aussie has just double a much needed double up to stay alive in this tournament. Kemp raised to 1,200 from the cutoff with the player in the big blind making the call to see a flop of Q♦4♥4♦. Action checked to Kemp who fired a continuation bet of 2,300. His opponent called and the 8♣ hit the turn. The big blind then led out for 2,000 to send Kemp into the tank before he moved all in. It was then his opponent's turn in the tank as he deliberated before calling with A♦K♦ for a flush draw with two overcards as Kemp showed J♣J♠.

The river bricked the 4♠ and Kemp doubled up to 24,000.

5:50pm: Level up, blinds 250-500, 50 ante

5:37pm: Frenette farewelled

After being relocated back to his original table, PokerStars qualifier Yannick Frenette didn't waste any time getting back into the thick of the action. Unfortunately for him, it also resulted in his elimination from the tournament.

With a raise to 1,300 from middle position and a call in front of him, Frenette squeezed to 3,200 from the cutoff with the middle position player coming along to see a flop of 6♦3♦4♥.

Action checked to Frenette who bet 5,000 which represented about half his stack before his opponent moved all in.

"Holy guacamole!" sighed Frenette as he was pot-committed for his last 5,300 chips with A♥Q♠ but would need help against his opponent's pocket tens.

The turn was the 9♠ and river the 5♠ to eliminate Frenette from the tournament.

Qualify on PokerStars and party with the pros!

One of the great perks of being a PokerStars online qualifier is that you get to party it up with all the pros, celebs and guests at the infamous party parties. On the eve of the Main Event, Bar 21 in the SKYCITY Auckland Casino was rocking as the players let their hair down.

Team PokerStars Pro Tony Hachem was right in the middle of the action as he caught up with some familiar faces...

5:25pm: moumaife84 busts WCOOP

We're about to be joined by Denmark's Mads "moumaife84" Smith-Hansen after he was just eliminated moments ago from the PokerStars WCOOP event in 11th place.

Smith-Hansen got his chips into the middle in a massive one-million chip pot holding pocket nines on a 5♠6♥4♥ board but his opponent "Tjollerboy" showed A♦7♠ and hit his straight on the 3♣ turn.

Smith-Hansen collected $12,610 for his online efforts today, and will be looking for redemption here in the APPT Auckland Main Event.


Mads Smith-Hansen finally makes an appearance after his elimination from the PokerStars WCOOP

5:14pm: Lights out for Watt

We'll be crowning a new champion this year as Simon Watt's attempt for a repeat win has fallen short with his recent elimination.

After nursing his short stack for several hours, Watt moved all in from under the gun with K♠J♦ but Ali Ghezelbash made the call with pocket jacks.

The board ran out T♦8♠7♠8♥3♣ to see Watt depart the SKYCITY Auckland Poker Room and Ghezelbash climb to 45,000 chips.

5:00pm: Lancaster leads

Richard Lancaster is well known as one of New Zealand's most respected players, and he's looking to follow up on his final table result in this event last year as he's grabbed the tournament chip lead.

In a hand against Josh Barrett, the flop read K♠2♠8♥ when Barrett fired out 2,000. Lancaster made the call and the 8♠ hit the turn. Barrett checked and Lancaster fired 2,500. It was Barrett's turn to call as the A♥ completed the board. Barrett checked and Lancaster fired out 6,000 with Barrett snap-calling.

Lancaster showed Q♠J♠ for a flush as Barrett claimed that he held A♦K♦. Lancaster is up to 58,000 with Barrett slipping to just 9,000.


Richard Lancaster out in front at the APPT Auckland

4:50pm: Play resumes

The players are back in action with 89 of our original 129 entrants still remaining in the Day 1b field. Raj Ramakrishnan, Richard Lancaster and Damien Wong are our chip leaders with three more levels to play for the day.