APPT Sydney Day 2: Levels 12 & 13 (blinds 1500-3000, ante 300)

9:20pm: Level up, blinds 2000-4000 (ante 400)

9:15pm: Sabat's stack shrinks

2008 APPT Macau champion Eddy Sabat has been crippled by Enh Phengsavanh down to 63,000 only moments before the new level.

Sabat raised to 6200 from early position and the action folded around to Phengsavanh who reraised all-in for another 64,400. Sabat thought about it for over a minute before making the call, showing 8♠8♣ and was in great shape against Phengsavanh's A♦4♦.

Sabat improved to a set on the flop of 7♣J♣8♦ and ordered the dealer to keep the turn black. "That's the wrong kind of black," he exclaimed when the 5♠ came down. To the table's disbelief, the 6♥ spiked on the river and Phengsavanh doubled through to 160,000 in chips.

9:05pm: Vakili on fire as Brkovic busts

It seems that Reza Vakili is unstoppable right now. And he knows it!

He's playing full of confidence and after the recent elimination of Day 1c chip leader Aleks Brkovic, Vakili is also now commanding the largest stack in the room.

Preflop, Brkovic opened with a raise to 6,000 before Vakili three-bet it to 21,000. Not one to back down, Brkovic came back over the top with a four-bet to 50,000. Vakili flat-called as there was already six-figures in the pot as the flop was spread T♠4♦T♥.

Brkovic led out with a bet of 41,000 and Vakili flat called as the K♦ hit the turn. Brkovic moved all in and Vakili snap-called with A♠K♣ for top pair as Brkovic had been overtaken with his J♦J♥.

The river fell the 8♥ and in another stunning hand, Brkovic was sent crashing and burning as Vakili is up to a mammoth 700,000 in chips.

8:55pm: Choi continues to charge

In-Wook Choi is on the march in this level, now up to more than 335,000 after clashing in a huge pot against Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu.

On a board that read Q♥7♣7♠6♦9♥, Choi had led out for 55,000 on the river and Negreanu was thinking aloud as to what he might have had when we arrived.

"Strange ... it goes check-check on the flop, check-bet-call on the turn and you bet 55k on the river," Negreanu said. "Queens full? Pocket sevens, have you hit quads? Maybe even nines." Negreanu eventually made the call and although it was the right read (Choi tabled Q♠Q♣, it certainly cost him and as a result he's on less than 130,000 in chips.

8:45pm: Vandersluis vanquished

We're now just 10 spots away from the money after the elimination of Roy Vandersluis at the hands of Korean PokerStars Qualifier In-Wook Choi, who now holds more than 315,000 in chips.

The PokerStars Blog team were forced to throw elbows to get through the throng of spectators as the cards were revealed after the money ended up in the middle before the flop; Vandersluis had revealed Q♦Q♣ and was in great shape to double up through Choi, who rolled up [10h][10d].

Vandersluis' supporters were cautiously optimisic when the dealer spread the flop and turn of J♥6♣J♠3♣, but Choi caught lightning in a bottle when the [10s] spiked on the river. It would have been the case 10 too, as Graham claimed to have folded the other one preflop!

8:40pm: Neilson dethroned

Entering today's play the man at the top of the ladder was PokerNetwork Player of the Year points leader Daniel Neilson. However he struggled all day to get any momentum going, before lady luck had the final say.

Neilson opened with a raise to 9,000 before Reza Vakili put in a three-bet to 22,500. The table folded back to Neilson who quipped, "What are you doing to me Reza?" before declaring himself all in.

It was an additional 75,300 to Vakili who took a few moments before deciding to make a gambling call with K♥J♣. However it was indeed a thin gamble as Neilson opened a dominant A♥J♠.


Daniel Neilson: how the mighty have fallen

Neilson looked set for a double up when the first four cards were spread 7♥7♦T♦4♦ but the miracle K♣ spiked on the river to eliminate Neilson from the tournament.

"I'm such a donk!" yelled Vakili as his tablemates nodded in agreement. He's up to 490,000.

8:35pm: O brother, where art thou?

Julian Cohen has joined brother Hugh on the rail after losing the last of his short stack to fellow Aussie Tom Rafferty.

Cohen moved his chips into the middle before the flop with 8♥8♣ and found himself flipping for his tournament life against Rafferty's A♦K♥. The flop of 3♦J♦2♥ improved neither hand, but the turn and river came running 5♣, 4♣ to give Rafferty the wheel. Exit Cohen, stage right.

8:25pm: Karamalikis on the rise

Jonathan Karamalikis has come out best in a clash against Aaron Tran in a recent hand on table 18 and now sits behind a stack worth more than 355,000.

The action folded around to Tran who raised to 6000 from the cutoff before Karamalikis called from the small blind. The big blind also called and all three players checked the flop of 3♠[10h]Q♥ before Karamiliks opened for 7000 on the turn of the 2♣.

The big blind folded, Tran called and the dealer snapped up the river of the 2♥, where Karamalikis fired out 20,000. Tran called, but threw his hand into the muck after Karamalikis tabled A♦Q♣. Tran slips to 335,000.

8:15pm: Kinkade trapped by Negreanu

In-Wook Choi opened up with a raise to 7,000 from under the gun. Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu flat-called in the hijack position before Jay "SEABEAST" Kinkade squeezed it up to 25,000 from the button. The blinds folded as did Choi, as Negreanu took a moment to cut down his chips before he declared himself all in.

"Yeah, okay, I call," sighed Kinkade as he revealed 9♣9♠ but the beast had been trapped as Negreanu showed A♦A♣.

The board landed 2♣K♦2♠5♠7♣ and Kinkade couldn't find a nine to save himself as he was sent to the rail. Negreanu is now looking good for a deep run as he jumps up to 260,000 chips.

8:10pm: Level up, blinds 1500-3000 (ante 300)

8:05pm: Toothpick shredded, Graham chips up

The end has come for Antonis "Toothpick Tony" Kambouroglou. Down to his last 14,300, he committed them preflop in a blind versus blind battle holding T♠6♦ against his opponent's Q♠9♣.

The board bricked out A♥7♣8♠4♣J♦ to leave queen-high in front and our tournament scarce of toothpicks.

It was a different story for Jarred Graham, who managed to take out another player after his pocket kings held up his all-in opponent's A-Q. The board ran out nine-high and the 2009 APPT Sydney High Rollers champion is up to more than 180,000.

8:00pm: Carle enjoys dessert

Soon after the recommencement of play, Mitch Carle raised to 5,200 from early position before faced with a re-raise to 15,000 from the player on the button. Play folded back to Carle who declared himself all in for 88,600, with his opponent quickly calling with A♦K♦ to be racing with Carle's 9♣9♠.

The board was all babies as it fell 6♠4♠3♠6♥7♥ to give Carle a double up to 180,000.

7:55pm: Play resumes

The remaining 55 players have returned fed and watered and the 2010 APPT Grand Final is back underway. Play will continue at the current level for another 15 minutes.

6:50pm: Om nom nom nom nom ...

The players are now on a 60-minute dinner break. Play will resume at approximately 7:50pm AEDST. See you then!

6:40pm: Splinter for Toothpick

Toothpick fans will be disappointed to learn that their main man, Antonis "Toothpick Tony" Kambouroglou has been crippled in a huge clash with PokerStars qualifier Konstantin Bücherl.

The chips went in on a flop of 3♣9♥T♣ with Kambouroglou tabling Q♠Q♥ but he stood to his feet in shock when Bücherl opened T♠9♣ for top two pair.


Antonis Kambouroglou was almost carved out!

The turn was the T♦ to improve Bücherl to a full house which held when the river bricked the 2♠. As Kambouroglou mumbled something inaudible, Bücherl stacked up 270,000 chips to leave local fan favourite Kambouroglou with less than 10,000.

6:30pm: Saghabi gets no love from Amourette

French PokerStars Qualifier Antoine Amourette is loving life right now - he's close to the magical half-a-million mark after eliminating the colourful David Saghabi.

The money was all in the middle preflop; Saghabi was at risk with [10h][10c] but needed a lot of help against Amourette's K♠K♣. Saghabi did get a little bit of help when the dealer spread a flop of K♥A♥8♥, but Amourette had a set and chipped up to 480,000 after the turn and river ran out 6♠, 7♠.

"Well done, now finish it off," Saghabi said before leaving the room.

6:25pm: Graham clips Yann

Catching the action on a board of 6♠8♥A♥3♦, Yann Pauchon was quick to call the bet of 18,500 from Jarred Graham on the turn before the 9♣ hit the river. Pauchon decided to lead out with a bet of 35,000 from the big blind but Graham was quick to call.

Pauchon showed A♣5♣ for top pair but Graham was good with his A♦8♦ two pair.

Graham is up to 175,000 while Pauchon slipped to 52,000.

6:20pm: Sabat doubles through Tran

2008 APPT Macau Main Event champion Eddy Sabat has just managed to chip back up over the 100,000-mark after doubling through Aaron Tran.

The money was all-in before the flop and Sabat's good friend Daniel Negreanu was amongst the crowd rushing over to check out the action. APPT tournament director Danny McDonagh was calling out the cards as the dealer prepared to spread the flop; Tran had called with K♦Q♥ but Sabat was well ahead with A♣Q♦.


Eddy Sabat is back in business

"You got ace-queen?" Negreanu asked. Sabat nodded. "That's nice," Negreanu added. It certainly was - and it was even nicer that the dealer spread the board of J♠J♦4♥A♠J♣ to give him a full house. Tran is still sitting pretty, now on 395,000.

6:10pm: Negreanu straightened by Choi

Easy come, easy go, for Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu. After getting himself up to around 180,000 he's just taken a hit to slip back into the pack.

In Wook Choi was the man responsible after raising preflop and finding two callers in Negreanu and Yann Pauchon to a flop of 5♦3♠6♥.

Action checked to Negreanu who bet 10,000. Pauchon folded but Choi made the call as the 9♥ hit the turn. Both players checked and the river produced the A♦. Choi led out with a bet of 30,000 and Negreanu got talking to himself before convincing himself to splash the pot with a call.

Choi showed 8♣7♣ for a straight which was good.

"That was a bad river for me," sighed Negreanu as his cards hit the muck to slip back to 135,000. Choi is up to 150,000.

6:00pm: Steady Eddy

Eddy Sabat moved all in from under the gun for his last 29,300 chips and the table folded around to Aaron Tran who made the call on the button.

Sabat opened A♥J♣ was happy enough to find himself racing with Tran's 7♦7♠. Sabat took the lead on the flop and it held on the board of J♦K♣K♥9♥T♥. The 2008 APPT Macau champion jumps to 65,000 with Tran slipping to 240,000.

Landon Blackhall
@PokerStars in Sydney