APPT Sydney Day 1b: Levels 5 & 6 (blinds 300-600, ante 50)

6:50pm: Ten-minute break

6:45pm: Oh no, Moffo!

We've lost Liam Moffett from the tournament in a big clash with Casey Kastle on table 25. Kastle opened with a raise to 1,350 from early position before Moffett three-bet it to 4,500 in the hijack position. The blinds folded and Kastle made the call to see a flop of A♠Q♣8♥. This is where things got interesting.

After some deliberation, Kastle moved all in for a total of 17,850 with Moffett immediately calling for slightly less. Moffett showed A♥K♣ for the lead but he'd have to fade some outs as Kastle showed T♠9♠ for straight and flush possibilities. There wasn't much of a sweat as the J♦ rolled off on the turn to give Kastle a straight and the lead. The river fell the J♥ and Moffett was sent to an early exit as Kastle doubled up to close to 45,000 chips.

6:40pm: Kid Poker vs The Kid

Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu has taken a big hit to his stack and holds around 37,000 in chips after another clash against Aussie PokerStars Qualifier Andrew Hinrichsen.

The action folded around to Hinrichsen who raised to 1300 from the hijack position before Negreanu called from the small blind to go heads-up to a flop of [10c]8♥Q♣. Negreanu check-called Hinrichsen's bet of 1900 before leading out for 5125 on the turn of the 7♥.

On the river of the 7♠, Negreanu checked before Hinrichsen fired out a bet worth 17,300, leaving just one orange 1000 chip behind. Negreanu quickly folded and Hinrichsen is now up to 52,000 in chips as we edge closer to the last break of the day.

6:30pm: A little sugar, a little spice, but all is nice for Aaron Tran

Aaron Tran is destroying his table right now as he has moved up over 150,000 chips - more than anyone accumulated yesterday and we still have over a level to go.


Aaron Tran is tearing it up!

He's recently forced two big folds from Aussies David Borg and Martin Rowe as Tran wields his big stack to perfection.

Tran used a subtle min-raise on a baby flop to force Borg to fold an overpair, before he went with the brute strength approach with an all-in move in a big pot against Rowe on a board of A♥4♠6♥7♦K♦. Rowe spent so long in the tank that the TD called the clock before Rowe reluctantly released.

6.15pm: Savage slaughtered by Seabeast

Australian PokerStars Qualifier Ben Savage has been a regular amongst the ANZPT and APPT circuits this year, but his run in this year's APPT Grand Final has been cut short by Jay SEABEAST Kinkade as we approach the halfway mark of this level.

The money was all-in on a flop that read 7♦9♦8♥; Savage appeared to have gotten his money in good with 7♥7♣ but looked shattered after Kinkade showed 9♠9♣ - set over set! Just to rub it in, Kinkade improved to a full house when the board ran out 2♥, 8♦ and Savage was quick to take his leave.

6:00pm: Sheldon smashed

The tournament life of Sheldon Mayer has just come crashing down thanks to Yibo Zhou. It was a one-two knockout blow, both of which were equally brutal.

The first hand was in a limped pot and a flop of 6♠7♣9♦. Zhou's bet of 5,000 was min-raised to 10,000 by Sheldon but Zhou made the call to see the 8♣ hit the turn. Zhou checked to Mayer who bet 8,000, only to see Zhou check-raise all in for an additional 1,975. Mayer wasn't happy and made a reluctant call of the small raise, only to see Zhou open T♣9♣ for the straight.

Mayer flung his cards into muck but quickly retrieved them when he realised his 5♦8♥ flopped straight still had a couple of outs to chop. It wasn't to be on the K♠ river as Zhou doubled to leave Mayer with just 1,375 in chips.

They were all in preflop next hand with pocket sixes and Zhou was committed to call in the big blind with the less-than-average 5♥2♥. However once again the luck was on his side as the board ran out 7♥K♥5♣K♣5♠ to give Zhou a full house and send Mayer packing.

5:50pm: Level up, blinds 300-600 (ante 75)

5:45pm: Negreanu's feelin' so fly, Swannack not so much

The atmosphere has been relatively sombre in the Star City Poker Room amongst the 57 remaining players in today's Day 1 flight, save Canadian Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu, who is entertaining the rail with an impromptu acapella performance of popular music.


Negreanu: Ladies love his style, at his table gettin' wild ...

Amongst the greatest hits include Far East Movement's "Like a G6", the Black Eyed Peas' "Boom Boom Pow" and "Tick Tock" by Ke$ha (for all the old timers out there, yes, she spells her name with a dollar sign). However, Negreanu has a soft spot for classic rock, having attended last night's Eagles sold-out concert in the Acer Arena at Homebush.

Meanwhile, Australia's Dave Allan has been laying down some sick beats of his own, eliminating Cole Swannack in the process. On a board that read 4♣3♦9♦[10d], Allen moved all in with [10c]9♠ but she was called by Swannack who revealed 7♦4♦ for the flush. The dealer burned, then with a particularly loud "Star City Snap", turned up the river 9♣ to give Allan the full house!

5:45pm: Dominant double for Roel

Roel Pijpers has found a much-needed double up. It was Mladen Avramovski who was the victim after calling Pijpers' all-in shove for a total of 8,200. Avramovski held K♥T♦ but was dominated by Pijpers' A♦K♦.

The board ran out K♠3♦J♥9♠9♦ to give Pijpers the double up. After the cards were mucked there was some confusion as Avramovski thought he held king-jack and had flopped two pair. The dealer and his tablemates respectfully pointed out that he only had king-ten. No harm in trying!

5:35pm: APPT Sydney High Rollers update

The PokerStars Blog team high-tailed it downstairs to check out the action in the Sports Theatre, where the APPT Sydney High Rollers final table is being played on the main stage. We can report that Joe Marchal was the first to depart in eighth place, while Aussie online phenom Steve Leonard finished in seventh place.

The remaining six players are now on the money bubble and it seems that Sydney poker stalwart Antonis Kambouroglou has found an apprentice (or should that be young master) in the form of reigning WCOOP Player of the Series James ANDY_McLEOD Obst, who now has the chip lead - and a toothpick!

APPT Sydney High Rollers Event - Chip Counts

Jeffrey Lisandro - 109,000
Fabian Quoss - 59,000
In-Wook Choi - 29,000
Antonis 'Toothpick Tony' Kambouroglou - 28,000
James ANDY_McLEOD Obst - 139,000
Jovo Scekic - 121,000

5:25pm: Steicke stacked

Hong Kong-based Australian David Steicke was unable to start building his Great Wall today and has just been sent to the rail at the hands of local player Chris Ayoub.

Steicke moved his last 13,000 into the middle before the flop with K♦K♣ and found himself well ahead of Ayoub's A♥K♥. The dealer didn't wait for anybody and quickly ripped out a board of Q♦7♥9♥9♦J♥, giving Ayoub the flush.

5:15pm: Rowe on a roll

2008 APPT Sydney champ Martin Rowe just got moved to a new table, and you could say that he is pretty happy with his new home.

On the first hand at his new table, Rowe was facing a bet of 3,000 on a board of T♣4♦K♦Q♠. After a minute or two of thought, Rowe raised to 16,000 and his opponent called off his last chips with pocket kings but Rowe tabled A♣J♣ for the stone-cold nuts.

Rowe had to avoid a paired board on the river and he did that as the 6♥ bricked out.

The very next hand Rowe was back to work when the short stacked Andy Lee moved all in with king-queen and Rowe made the call in the big blind with pocket tens. The board was spread 6♦6♥8♦2♣5♠ to eliminate Lee and jump Rowe up to 55,000.

5:05pm: Isildur1 Joins Team PokerStars!

The latest buzz within poker circles on "teh interwebs" has been that of the enigmatic Isildur1 signing up as a Team PokerStars Pro. The team combed the Star City Casino Poker Room to find out more about the mystery high-stakes player. Check out the video below:

4:50pm: Play resumes - blinds 200/400 (ante 50)

Live updates courtesy of Landon Blackhall and Heath "TassieDevil" Chick