APPT Sydney Day 2: Levels 10 & 11 (blinds 1000-2000, ante 200)
5:55pm: Level up, blinds 1200-2400 (ante 200)
5:50pm: Negreanu chips up again
Canadian Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu is back in the hunt, eliminating another opponent and is now back up to 170,000. The spectators were once again crushed in as close as possible around table 25 and we just squeezed through to see a board that read 2-2-K-K-J; Negreanu moved all-in on the river and his opponent called, showing K-Q but he quickly took his leave after Negreanu tabled K-J for a bigger full house.
Moments later, table 25 was at it again, but this time it was Aussie online phenom Jay "SEABEAST" Kinkade who tabled A♥K♠, miles ahead of the A♠7♣ of South Korean PokerStars Qualifier Jong-Hyun Lim. The board was spread 8♥K♦J♣4♣6♠ and Lim was left dry as Kinkade stacked up 110,000 in chips.
However, they're still going to have to work a lot harder if they're going to catch French PokerStars Qualifer Antoine Amourette, who is now beneath a mountain of chips worth more than 410,000!
5:40pm: Levy makes reluctant fold
Grant Levy was just sent deep into the tank but avoided a potential big clash with Cale Callaway.
Liam O'Rourke started things off with a raise to 4,500 and found three callers to a flop of 8♥T♠6♦. Action checked around to Callaway who made it 6,500. From the small blind, Levy check-raised to 15,800 to force two folds before Callaway moved all in.
It was an additional 53,400 to Levy who went deep into the tank for several minutes before making a reluctant fold. He slips to 215,000 with Callaway getting back close to 100,000 chips.
5:35pm: Negreanu scores a double
Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu is now back up to more than 100,000 after doubling through South Korean PokerStars Qualifier In-Wook Choi.
The railbirds were quick to surround table 25 after the cry of "All in, call" went up from table 25; Negreanu had moved his last 47,100 into the middle before the flop with A♠J♥ but was flipping for his tournament life against Choi's [10h][10d].
Negreanu fell further behind after Choi hit a set on the flop of Q♣[10s]4♠, but to the crowd's delight Negreanu spiked the K♥ on the turn for Broadway. He still had to avoid the board pairing but the river was a harmless 9♥. Choi took a hit back to 100,000.
5:20pm: Aussie charge!
2010 was meant to be the year of the overseas invasion. After Aussies had dominated this event in recent years, this year was meant to be different. Well, while Frenchman Antoine Amourette is certainly putting in a strong performance, the leaderboard is again dominated by the locals, with two more recently jumping over the 300,000 mark to be with the chip leaders.
Poker cult hero Ali Khalil recently collected a monster pot, collecting three streets of value with two pair holding Q♥J♦ on a board of 3♠4♦J♥5♣Q♦.
Joining him in the triple century club is Day 1c chip leader Aleks Brkovic. His newly-found chips came on the perfect flop of 5♠2♥4♠. Brkovic held six-three, his opponent held ace-three and the rest is history.
5:05pm: Benton goes broke
Grant Levy is now the only player in the field with the opportunity to win two APPT Grand Final titles after reigning champion Aaron Benton was busted at the hands of Australian PokerStars Qualifier Jesse McKenzie.
The action folded to Benton who limped in with pocket twos before McKenzie made it 5500 to go. Benton called and it was heads-up to a flop of 3♦-K♦-K. Benton open-shoved and McKenzie called, tabling pocket nines. Neither hand improved on the turn or the river and Benton stormed out of the room while McKenzie stacked up more than 160,000 in chips.
4:55pm: Play resumes
4:45pm: 10-minute break
4:40pm: APPT Grand Final Day 2 intro
Reigning APPT Grand Final champion Aaron Benton spoke with the PokerStars TV crew this morning about his starting lineup and PokerStars Blogger Landon Blackhall gave the rundown for Day 2. Feel free to observe the miniature cinematic segment below:
4:35pm: Grant finding some grunt
Grant Levy was breathing a sigh of relief as he headed off to the break after collecting a nice pot and avoiding a big clash with youngster Liam O'Rourke.
After O'Rourke raised from early position, Levy three-bet from the small blind with O'Rourke calling to see a flop of 7♦A♠9♦.
Levy fired out a bet of 13,600 and O'Rourke quickly called to see the 7♣ hit the turn. Levy thought for a moment before he fired a second barrel worth 23,800. O'Rourke sighed and folded as Levy headed to the break with a healthy stack of 240,000.
4:30pm: Kastle crumbles
Casey Kastle opened with a raise to 4,400 and found a call from Aaron Benton before Jason Brown three-bet to 12,200 on the button. Kastle and Benton both called to see a flop of A♣J♥T♦.
Action checked to Brown who bet 15,300. Kastle made the call as Benton slid out of the way before the 8♥ hit the turn. Kastle checked it over to Brown who thought for a moment before moving all in for a total of 48,100. Kastle went into the tank for several minutes before committing to the call.
Kastle opened A♦Q♦ for top pair with a gutshot straight draw, but Brown wasn't messing around as he tabled A♥A♠ for top set. The river was the 3♦ and Brown more than doubled through to 150,000 as Kastle was left with just 6,000 in change.
4.20pm: Level up, blinds 1000-2000 (ante 200)
Only 15 minutes of the new level will be played before the next 10-minute break, as the players are still scheduled to take a break after every two hours of play.
4.15pm: Oh boy, what luck for Choi!
Australia's Jai Kemp has been eliminated in brutal fashion by South Korean PokerStars Qualifier In-Wook Choi on table 25.
The action folded around to Choi who open-shoved preflop with A♦Q♦ before Kemp snap-called all-in with pocket kings, which were in front all the way down the flop and turn of 3♥6♠5♦2♠, but Choi sent him to the rail when the dealer snapped up the A♠ on the river.
"Need a beer?" asked Joel Dodds who had been watching from the rail. "What do you think?" Kemp replied. Off to the bar then!
4:05pm: Saghabi gets lucky
Australia's David Saghabi got a little too clever in a recent hand on table 13 but managed to get out of jail and chip up to almost 100,000 after eliminating an opponent.
Saghabi pushed his stack into the middle with a questionable 6♥4♥ and the action folded around to the player on the button who called all-in with a much stronger-looking A♣K♠. "You're miles in front," said Saghabi, "but I like my odds."
A strange statement to make, but incredibly, Saghabi hit his flush on the turn after the dealer spread the board of J♣Q♥9♥J♥[10s]. We're now down to 90 players.
4:00pm: Level up, blinds 1000-2000 (ante 200)
3:55pm: Welcome to the country
If there was a seat in Australia that you wouldn't like to be sitting in right now, it would be table 25, seat 2. After a recent table break, who is now in that seat? Well, it's no other than Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu.
It's a great test for the four-time WSOP bracelet winner, who probably has no idea who the two guys to his left actually are. Well, we're happy to let him know that it's none other than Jarred "FlopNutsOnYou" Graham and Jay "SEABEAST" Kinkade - arguably two of the toughest and most talented players in the country. It's a very solid table that also features Sal Fazzino, In Wook Choi and Jai Kemp. Watch this space!
3:50pm: Double for the Dong
It's nice to win races. Just ask Jonathan "xMONSTERxDONGx" Karamalikis, who is now sailing ahead thanks to a huge double up.
It was Karamalikis' A♥K♥ racing against pocket sevens with the board running out 2♥5♣A♠T♥Q♠. A pair of aces was good for Karamalikis to double up to 170,000.
3:45pm: Vakili's kings crush Cohen and Nyberg
A massive preflop raising war between Reza Vakili, Dean Nyberg and Hugh Cohen resulted in the cry of "All in, call going up from table 17 and we had to work our way through the crush to witness one of the biggest pots of the tournament.
Nyberg was all-in with A♥Q♠ and Cohen had him beat with A♣K♣. However, Vakili had them both covered with K♠K♥. "Hold one time!" Vakili cried. The dealer ran out a board of 6♥7♣2♥3♠J♦ and Vakili was ecstatic.
"Boom!" he shouted as he slapped the table. After the chips were cut down, it was determined that both Cohen and Nyberg were both short and Vakili now sits on a stack worth more than 250,000. Aaron Tran is also on 250,000, but they're still behind PokerStars Qualifier Mark Rebeira, who's on more than 270,000!
3:35pm: Oh Brotha!
In his short time in the game, Danny 'Brotha D' Leaoasavaii has built an incredible poker resume. Some say he's never lost a tournament, after winning APPT Auckland, ANZPT Darwin and a few preliminary events to boot. Well, we now have evidence that the man is indeed human, after catching his elimination from the APPT Sydney Main Event.
Brotha D's last chips were in on a flop of 7♠4♥5♥ and he held 7♣4♣ for two pair and the lead as fellow Kiwi Jackson Zheng was drawing with his 6♥6♠.
The turn 8♥ was snapped by the dealer to give Zheng his straight which held through the 9♦ river. Brotha D is out as Zheng moved up to 140,000.
Also on this table we can report that Aaron Benton is making a very solid defence of his title as he's moved up to 140,000, while Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu has has to work hard today to maintain his stack at 50,000 chips.
3:20pm: Champions one and all
Alhough Martin Rowe was amongst the first to go earlier in the day, APPT Grand Final champions Grant Levy and Aaron Benton are still well in contention, with Benton sitting on 140,000 while Levy is well over 180,000. "Just wait until I lose it all," Levy joked with our bloggers.
And speaking of losing it all - well, almost all of it - Australian PokerStars Qualifier Daniel Neilson is down to around 65,000. According to our sources, Neilson had earlier got his money in with aces against, only to be outflopped when his opponent hit a set of queens. Yikes.
3:10pm: Grigg gone
There will be no repeat final table for Tom Grigg at this year's APPT Sydney Grand Final as his run has just come to an abrupt end. After finishing 5th in this event last year and taking 2nd in the 2010 APPT Auckland Main Event, Grigg has already proven his poker talents. However the major trophy will elude him in 2010 after a cooler of a hand went against him.
Grigg ran his Q♦Q♣ into an opponent's A♠A♦ and couldn't find a lady to save himself on the board of T♣K♦9♥7♥3♣.
Live updates courtesy of Landon Blackhall and Heath "TassieDevil" Chick