APPT Cebu: Day 2, Level 9&10, blinds 600-1200, ante 100
4:57pm: Break time
Players are on their second break of the day.
4:43pm: Battle of the Ashes brewing
We wandered over to check on the progress of our last remaining Team PokerStars Pro, Australian Tony Hachem, and caught him in the middle of a three-way hand. Hachem fired 2,600 on the turn and found one caller before both checked the river on a K-6-J-8-T board. Hachem's opponent, David Rawnsley, had decided against a river value bet and opened K-6 for two pair and the best hand.
"I wouldn't have expected anything less from you!" exclaimed a disgruntled Hachem as he rolled his eyes. The two continued to exchange half-friendly barbs as Rawnsley inaudible reply was coated in a thick British accent.
"Just wait 'til the Ashes!" continued Hachem, referring to the bi-annual cricket contest between Australian and England which will take place down under this summer.
"Don't worry, I'll buy you a beer afterwards," replied Rawnsley.
"I accept...but I don't drink beer," said Hachem. "I drink vodka and cranberry. Yeah it's a girl's drink but, hey, it's a modern age!"
After being up to 50,000 a short while ago, Hachem has slipped back to around 38,000.
4:35pm: Chong giving Honeybone fits
James Honeybone seems to have great control over almost everyone at his table -- except for Yeow Chung Chong. Several times we've seen Chong raise or check-raise Honeybone and each time he's surrendered his claim to the pot. Chong was at it again on the turn of a 4♥7♦2♦9♣ board. She checked to Honeybone, who bet 8,500. After a few minutes, Chong splashed a check-raise to 31,000 into the pot. Honeybone, in his open-mouthed way, stared at the pot and the board for about a minute before folding. His stack, however, remains quite strong.
4:23pm: Betting in the dark
The lights here in the poker tent started flickering a few moments ago, going from bright to dim, bright to dim. The power generator located somewhere outside the back of the tent could clearly be heard laboring. After a few more moments it failed altogether, leaving the (black) tent a bit less illuminated.
Some power has been restored, with lights directly over each table back in action. Our blogging desk, however, remains quite dark. And momentarily without internet.
4:15pm: Kim feels like gambling
Sometimes you watch a hand that seems puzzling at first glance. Then you run the math of the hand and say, "Oh I understand. He made a call based on pot odds." Other times you realize that some people just have a little bit of gamble in them.
After the cutoff opened the pot for 2,500, Kim Gabyong three-bet his button to 8,000. The player in the big blind then moved all in for 23,800. The cutoff folded, but Kim made a curiously quick call with A♠4♣. His opponent showed two red queens, Q♦Q♥, which held on a ten-high board of 7♦7♥3♣[10h]8♠. Kim's call drew a few raised eyebrows and some humorous remarks but Kim (with his big stack) seems unfazed.
4:12pm: Grigg on a heater
We wandered past the table of Tom Grigg and saw the empty chair to his direct right which was once occupied by Mitch Carle. We asked Grigg what happened and he was quick to reply, "Yeh, I busted him!"
Grigg recalled to us that Carle raised the button to 2,500 before Grigg made it 6,600 in the small blind. Carle then came back over the top with all of his 26,000-chip stack and Grigg made the call. Carle opened pocket fives but was crushed by Grigg's pocket eights. The board bricked out and Carle was eliminated.
"I've been on a sick heater on this table man!" exclaimed Grigg as he moves up to a monstrous 160,000.
3:55pm: Level 10 begins, blinds 600-1200, ante 200
There's a little confusion here in Cebu as to what blind level the field is supposed to be playing. The "APPT Cebu" booklet players were given upon arriving at the event calls for the level after 600-1200-100 to be 800-1600-200. But it also calls for a 250-500-50 level on Day 1. No such level was ever played.
The structure sheet found on the APPT website doesn't have a 250-500-50 level on Day 1, but it does show the structure moving from 600-1200-100 in Level 9 to 600-1200-200 in Level 10. That's what we're going with, which is some relief to the short stacks.
3:53pm: Grigg gets some back
Tom Grigg continues to rollercoaster in his usual volatile manner, but he's steadied the ship thanks to a nice flop for his ace-king. We caught the action on the turn with Grigg firing 3,600 and then another 7,800 on the river with the board reading 9♣5♠K♣7♥5♥. His opponent, Thomas Spegar, was quick to call but mucked at the sight of Grigg's top pair, top kicker.
Grigg is back to 70,000 with Spegar sitting on 60,000.
3:51pm: Cohen finds a double
Hugh Cohen has found an important double up after winning a coinflip holding Q♠Q♣ against A♥K♠. Both players were nearly even in chips so it was a huge flip to win as the board bricked out 5♦9♥3♥8♣9♠.
Cohen doubles to 58,000.
3:46pm: One Hachem down
Joe Hachem wasn't feeling good yesterday. Due to a stomach bug, he waited until the last possible moment -- the end of Level 5 -- before registering for the tournament. Then, in one level, he managed to double his stack.
Hachem still wasn't 100% today but returned to try to grind his way through Day 2. He falters with just a few minutes left in Level 9. On the final hand, Hachem opened all-in from the cutoff position with K♥Q♦. Roger Spets had the button and snap-called with A♣Q♣. A flop of 2♣J♠T♦ gave Hachem straight outs that never materialized on the J♦ turn or Q♠ river. Tony Hachem is now the only Hachem left in the tournament.
3:39pm: Small setback for Grigg
Tom Grigg, not blessed with the fortune of havving a big stack, has been trying to grind it out here on Day 2. He took a small hit in a recent hand that he tried three-betting pre-flop to 7,600 after an early-position player opened for 3,000. The button moved all in for 6,600 and the early-position player called for three players into the pot. Grigg immediately shut down, checking all the way on a board of J♠J♣5♥9♠J♦. He couldn't beat unimproved K♦Q♣ for the 2,000-chip side pot, which meant he certainly couldn't beat the button's aces A♦A♣ for the main pot.
3:28pm: Kim can't believe his luck
When you flop bottom set in a six-way pot, you don't expect one bet to chase everyone else out of the pot on the flop. Kim Gabyong was one of six players to take a flop of 9♥Q♦5♣. When the first three players to act (including the pre-flop raiser) checked to Kim he bet 7,000 into a pot of 15,000. One by one everyone else around the table folded. Kim tilted his head back to stare at the ceiling in exasperation, then flashed 5♥5♦ for a set of fives as he collected the pot.
That's been the only spot of bad luck we've seen for Kim today. He's currently sitting behind 180,000 in chips.
3:25pm: Neilson's stack disappears
Well, we've just learned how long you can play an APPT tournament without playing a single hand. The answer is "until about halfway through level nine".
Daniel Neilson was a PokerStars qualifier for this event and as such his entry was already prepaid and non-refundable. However he was unable to make it to Cebu as he is currently on the final table of another event being held in Macau. Due to the exceptional circumstances, Tournament Director Danny McDonagh ruled to wait until registration closed at the end of level five before Neilson's stack was placed on the table. It's been blinding off ever since.
If Neilson managed to arrive this morning, he would've started day two with a workable 15,600 in chips, but instead, round by round, ante by ante, his stack has wilted away. That is, until now when his last chips were distributed to the other players at his table.
Neilson finishes in around 75th place without setting foot in Cebu.
3:15pm: From 9 to 8
With ten tables left in the room, play has slowly been moving from 9-handed to 8-handed. Instead of breaking a table at 81 players left, the ten remaining tables continued play, balancing as necessary to place eight players at each. We'll be eight-handed for the rest of the way until a champion is made on Tuesday evening.
Back from the first break, play seems to have calmed down somewhat. The initial short-stack frenzy that started the day has passed and now it's players battling for chips and position in the counts.
3:00pm: Honeybone has it in spades
It may be raining outside, but James Honeybone is on a mad heater inside the poker tent. He's eliminated another opponent to steamroll his way to a stack of 170,000.
The action went down on a flop of 3♠J♠7♠. Honeybone fired a bet of 4,600 before his opponent raised to 13,000. Honeybone moved all in and was quickly called as his opponent revealed 8♠6♠ for the flopped flush. Honeybone showed A♠J♥ for top pair with the nut flush draw but would need to improve to avoid doubling his opponent.
The turn was another J♣ to give Honeybone even more outs to a full house, but it was the 5♠ on the river that gave Honeybone the nut flush and the huge pot.
2:54pm: Play resumes
The storm that sounded as though it were threatening to rip the poker tent to shreds has blown through. Players are back in their seats for Level 9.
APPT Cebu reporting comes courtesy of bloggers Heath "TassieDevil" Chick and Dave "F-Train" Behr.