APPT Auckland Final Table: Levels 23, 24 & 25 (blinds 20000-40000, ante 4000)
8:40pm: Ten-minute break
8:38pm: Million-chip pot for Brotha D
The biggest heads-up pot of the tournament and first all-in move has seen Brotha D once again break out to a big lead.
Brotha D raised to 100,000 on the button with Tom Grigg making the call to take a flop of Q♠J♣7♥. Grigg checked and then called the 100,000-chip bet of Brotha D as the 8♣ hit the turn. Grigg checked and Brotha D bet 300,000. Once again Grigg made the call as a one million chip pot was in the middle before the T♠ landed.
Grigg checked and Brotha D moved all in to send Grigg deep into the tank.
"I don't know what he can have...ten-nine?" Grigg muttered to himself.
"It's been a good game," replied Brotha D.
Eventually Grigg let it go as Brotha D flashed the A♣ and raked in the monster pot.
Brotha D is up to 2.465 million with Grigg looking forward to taking a break as he slips to 1.42 million.
8:35pm: It's even once again
And we're back even once again with Tom Grigg picking up a nice pot. Grigg raised to 100,000 on the button with Brotha D making the call as the flop landed 9♣2♣7♥. Brotha D check-called for 100,000 before both players checked the 5♦ turn. On the 3♥ river Brotha D checked and Grigg made it 300,000 to go. Brotha D gave it up and Grigg collected the chips to get back to 1.93 million, narrowly trailing Brotha D's 1.95 million.
8:29pm: Kicker problems
Brotha D opened with a raise to 100,000 from the button and Tom Grigg made the call to see a flop of A♥A♣5♠. Grigg checked and then called the 100,000-chip bet from Brotha D before both players checked down the J♣ turn and 8♠ river.
Both players showed a five but it was Grigg's Q♥5♥ that took the pot with his queen kicker. Grigg is back to 1.72 million with Brotha D at 2.16 million.
8:22pm: Momentum shifts to Brotha D
Suddenly the momentum shift has gone back in favour of local Brotha D after taking down consecutive hands.
Brotha D raised the button and then fired bets of 100,000 and 300,000 on the turn to force a fold from Grigg on a board of 6♣2♣4♣6♠.
Brotha D then pulled his mini-three bet move once again as he popped it to 200,000 from the big blind after Grigg had raised to 100,000 on the button. Grigg made the call but then folded when Brotha D led out for 200,000 on he J♥K♣Q♦ flop.
Brotha D is up to 2.3 million with Grigg down to 1.58 million.
8:15pm: Brotha D bites back
This heads-up battle continues to ebb back and forth as we strap ourselves in for the long haul. After Tom Grigg raised the button to 100,000, Brotha D called to see a flop of 6♣K♣J♠. Brotha D checked and Grigg fired 100,000. Brotha D called before both players checked the T♠ turn. The river was the 8♣ and Brotha D led out for 125,000 to take it down.
Brotha D has 1.8 million with Grigg back to 2.08 million.
8:10pm: Three barrels do the job for Grigg
Tom Grigg raised it up to 100,000 from the button and Brotha D made the call in the big blind. They saw a flop of J♥8♥3♥ and Brotha D check-called the bet of 100,000 from Grigg. The turn was the 9♣ and Brotha D checked again to Grigg who fired again for 200,000. Brotha D called as a big pot was brewing when the 9♠ hit the river.
Brotha D checked and Grigg released a third barrel worth 350,000. Brotha D reluctantly flashed the K♥ and mucked his cards as Grigg raked in the hefty pot. Grigg is back to 2.43 million and a large advantage as Brotha D slipped to 1.45 million.
8:02pm: We're all squared up
Tom Grigg raised the button to 100,000 before Brotha D put in a rare three-bet to 200,000 from the big blind. Grigg called and they saw a flop of K♠7♣J♦. Brotha D led out with a small bet of 100,000 which was all it took to force a fold from Grigg.
Brotha D flashed K♥J♣ for two pair as he nearly gets things back to square with around 1.9 million apiece.
7:58pm: Grigg catches a river
In a limped pot, both players checked the 2♠A♠8♦ flop before Tom Grigg led out for 40,000 on the 9♥ turn. Brotha D made the call and the river landed the T♥. Grigg bet again for 100,000 and Brotha D looked him up.
Grigg showed T♦4♥ for a rivered pair of tens which was good to collect the pot. Grigg is up to 2.38 million with Brotha D slipping to 1.5 million.
7:48pm: Grigg takes another
Tom Grigg raised to 100,000 on the button and Brotha D made the call. They both checked the K♠T♦7♣ flop before Brotha D checked the 8♣ turn. Grigg fired 100,000 and Brotha D made the call as the 8♦ repeated on the river. Brotha D checked and Grigg released another bet worth 200,000. Brotha D let it go and Grigg raked in another pot.
Grigg is up to 2.23 million with Brotha D down to 1.65 million.
7:44pm: Brain spaz by Grigg
Perhaps the first signs of cracking have been shown by Tom Grigg. On the button, Grigg attempted to raise to 50,000.
"Oh my god! Brain spaz! I thought it was 10k-20k!" sighed Grigg as he was ruled to a min-raise of 80,000.
Brotha D made the call but Grigg took it down with a continuation bet of 100,000 on the 4♦A♣K♠ flop.
7:40pm: Level up, blinds 20000-40000, ante 4000
The action continues to be relatively passive which is somewhat surprising considering the deep stacks and the aggression shown by these two players up until this point.
Most of the pots are relatively small, with very few three-bets preflop, and barely any pots reaching a river showdown.
Tom Grigg still holds a narrow lead but you get the feeling something is about to snap. Then again, these guys are deep enough for this heads-up battle to potentially go on for several more hours.
The players won't be taking the scheduled break at this point, with the blinds going up and play continuing.
7:28pm: Brotha D gets one back
Brotha D limped the button and Tom Grigg decided to raise from the big blind to 100,000. Brotha D made the call and saw a flop of 9♣Q♣3♥. Grigg led out for 100,000 and Brotha D made a quick call.
The turn was the 3♠ and Grigg checked to Brotha D who bet just 100,000 but it was enough as Grigg decided to let it go. Grigg is down to 2.2 million with Brotha D at 1.68 million.
7:25pm: More chips for Grigg
Tom Grigg opened to 75,000 on the button and Brotha D defended to see a flop of 2♦6♥9♣. Brotha D checked and Grigg bet 90,000. Brotha D made the call and then checked the 2♥ turn. Grigg checked behind and the T♠ hit the river. Brotha D checked and Grigg bet 100,000 with Brotha D making the call.
"I got a nine..." said Grigg as he opened 9♠4♠. Brotha D nodded his head and tossed his cards into the muck.
Grigg is up to 2.38 million with Brotha D at 1.5 million.
Brotha D raised to 65,000 with Tom Grigg making the call in the big blind to see a flop of 3♦9♦Q♥. Grigg checked and then called the bet of 80,000 as the 3♥ hit the turn. Both players checked and the river was the Q♣. Grigg led out for 120,000 and Brotha D flashed 2♣2♦ before folding his hand.
"Bad river for you!" said Grigg as he chips up to 2.13 million with Brotha D at 1.75 million.
7:12pm: Brotha D picks off the bluff
Brotha D completed from the button and Tom Grigg checked his option in the big blind. They checked down a board of 8♠6♠J♦A♦J♣ to the river where Grigg's bet of 40,000 was called by Brotha D.
Grigg tabled T♣7♠ for just ten-high as Brotha D was good with his 6♣5♦ for a pair of sixes. Grigg is still just in front with 2 million to Brotha D's 1.85 million.
7:05pm: Grigg draws first blood
The first few significant pots of heads-up play have gone the way of Australian Tom Grigg with nothing more than ace-high.
In the first hand, the board read K♣K♠7♥4♠7♣ when Grigg's river bet of 50,000 was paid off by Brotha D. Grigg showed A♥5♦ which was good to take it down.
Grigg then raised preflop to 60,000 and Brotha D made the call, before both checked down the 6♠5♣2♦Q♣2♣ board. Grigg showed A♥4♥ which was again good to collect.
Grigg is up to 2.15 million with Brotha D down to 1.73 million.
7:00pm: It's D versus G for the title
With that elimination we are now heads-up for the title! And there's nothing in it, with Tom Grigg holding the narrowest of chip leads as heads-up play commences:
Tom Grigg: 1,968,000
Brotha D: 1,918,000
It's now become a trans-Tasman battle with Australia versus New Zealand for the title. As heads-up play commenced the two rails squared off in some verbal jousting from either end of the table as the final table suddenly resembled the middle of a rugby scrum.
"Goooooooo D!" chanted the Kiwis.
"Goooooooo G!" responded the Aussies.
It's D versus G for the title with plenty of support for both parties. We're in for a thrilling finish as the cards are now back in the air!
6:55pm: Srdjan Mitrovic eliminated in 3rd place
Srdjan Mitrovic open-shoved from the small blind for his last 565,000 with Tom Grigg making the call in the big blind.
The board ran out 3♥T♣4♦Q♥2♦ to leave Grigg's ace high in front to eliminate Mitrovic in 3rd place for NZ$60,500 in prize money.
6:50pm: Massive double for Grigg
Tom Grigg opened to 80,000 before Brotha D popped it up to 230,000. Once again Grigg moved all in but this time Brotha D was ready as he snap-called.
Brotha D: A♣K♦
With around 1.4 million chips in the middle, it was suddenly the biggest, and most important pot of the entire tournament. Both players sweated the board anxiously as it bricked out 2♦3♣6♠2♣9♠.
"Pay the toll!" came the cry from the rail as Grigg doubles to 1.4 million with Brotha D down under two million.
6:45pm: Tightening up
Play has tightened up a little with the players exchanging chips around the table in a series of preflop clashes.
We did see one four-bet shove from Tom Grigg. After opening to 65,000, Brotha D popped it another 85,000 before Grigg moved all in for 540,000 in total. Brotha D gave it up as Grigg flashed A♠J♦.
Brotha D did get some chips back shortly after, when the two saw a flop of A♦Q♣J♦. After raising preflop, Brotha D took it down with a flop bet of 85,000.
6:30pm: Level up, blinds 15000-30000, ante 4000
6:22pm: Danny Silk eliminated in 4th place
Danny Silk moved all in from the button for 365,000 and Brotha D made the call in the small blind.
Brotha D: A♣7♣
A king in the window gave Silk some hope but there was an ace sitting behind it as the board was spread K♠Q♥A♦9♦3♥. Brotha D claims another victim as Silk is eliminated in 4th place for NZ$49,050.
6:16pm: Grigg doubles
Tom Grigg open-shoved all in for 349,000 and Brotha D made the call in the small blind.
Brotha D: 5♦5♠
The board ran out 2♥3♠T♦6♠9♣ and Grigg doubles back to 750,000 as Brotha D takes a small hit.
6:12pm: Floppin' sets and gettin' paid
The irresistible run of Brotha D continues after he's just taken down another monster pot against Tom Grigg.
Grigg raised preflop to 50,000 and Brotha D made the call to see a flop of K♦2♠T♥.
Both players checked and the turn brought the 4♥. Brotha D led out with a bet of 60,000 which Grigg called before the A♦ completed the board on the river. Brotha D fired another 125,000 and Grigg made the call. Brotha D showed 2♦2♥ for a set to take it down as Grigg tossed his cards into the muck. Grigg is down to 350,000 with Brotha D over 2.2 million in chips.
6:06pm: Brotha D puts the pedal to the metal
Brotha D raised to 65,000 from the cutoff with Tom Grigg making the call in the small blind to see a flop of K♥6♦4♠.
Grigg checked and Brotha D fired out 80,000. Grigg made the call.
"What you got Tom?" quizzed Brotha D as the turn hit the Q♦. Grigg checked again and Brotha D fired a hefty 300,000. It was too much for Grigg as he let his hand go.
Grigg slips to 735,000 as Brotha D is now up to 2.15 million.
5:59pm: Is that what we're doing now?
With play folding to Srdjan Mitrovic in the small blind, he announced himself all in.
"You're kidding me? Oh wow!" exclaimed Tom Grigg in the big blind at the sight of the size of Mitrovic's shove before he folded his hand.
"Is that what we're doing now? Going all in, all in?" chipped in Brotha D.
5:51pm: Silk moving chips
With four players left we have two Kiwis and two Aussies remaining to battle it out for the title. One of those Aussies is Danny Silk who has started to get busy over the last orbit as he attempts to recover from his short stack. Silk moved all in on three consecutive hands to steal the blinds and antes and push his stack back up to 443,000 without a showdown.
His timing also seems to be pretty sound after folding the fourth hand in the small blind against Brotha D who looked down at pocket sevens in the big blind
"I would've called immediately!" chuckled Brotha D.
5:44pm: Tamas Lendvai eliminated in 5th place
Action folded to PokerStars qualifier Tamas Lendvai who moved all in for 366,000 from the small blind to put Tom Grigg to a decision in the big blind.
"I don't want to bust in fifth!" sighed Grigg as his memory shot back to his fifth place finish in Sydney last year. He looked down at his 380,000-chip stack and eventually committed the call.
Grigg couldn't watch as he walked over to the rail towards his mates as the board was spread. He didn't have to worry as it landed safely 2♦T♦6♦Q♣A♦. Grigg virtually doubles to 750,000 as Lendvai departs in 5th place for a payday of NZ$40,900.
5:30pm: Play resumes
The five remaining players are back with Brotha D holding a commanding chip advantage with over half the chips in play. Brotha D has caught some good cards and applied pressure at the right moments. Can he carry his advantage all the way to the trophy?