APPT Sydney Day 3: Levels 17 & 18 (blinds 5000-10000, ante 1000)

5:25pm: Grunter's gone

Inauguaral APPT Grand Final champion Grant "Grunter" Levy is no longer with us, having just been sent to the rail in 18th place to pick up $15,610 in prize money.

The action folded around to Tom Rafferty who raised to 21,000 from the cutoff before Levy reraised all-in for 126,000 from the button with A♥9♥. Rafferty called and tabled K♥9♠ and the rail jostled for position as the dealer spread the flop, which read 4♦4♠6♦.

However, to the crowd's dismay, the K♦ was snapped up on the turn before the river 2♥, giving Rafferty two pair and leaving Levy dry. Rafferty is now on 910,000, but we can report that Jonathan Karamalikis is looming larger on his table, having been the first to crack the one million-chip mark!

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2007 APPT Sydney champion Grant Levy's run has ended in 18th place

5:15pm: Stergiotis runs into the rockets

Andrew Stergiotis moved all in for his last 106,000 from under the gun and he found two customers in Manuel Hansimikali on the button and Craig Bourke in the big blind.

The flop came down T♥J♣3♦ and a quick check from Bourke brought and all-in bet from Hansimikali. It was too rich for Bourke as he stepped aside leaving Stergiotis' A♦4♦ to take on Hansimikali's A♣A♠.

The 2♠ gave Stergiotis a few outs to a straight but the river landed the 7♠ to see Stergiotis eliminated in 19th place and jump Hansimikali up to a very impressive 720,000 chips.

5:00pm: All quiet on the Western Front

With only 19 players remaining in the 2010 APPT Grand Final in Sydney, the players are starting to play more small-ball poker. However, the Sports Theatre is starting to fill up and amongst the notable railbirds include Jamie and Jackie Glazier, Ali Khalil and Andrew Hinrichsen who are here to cheer on both Brendon Rubie and Jonathan Karamalikis.

There are still plenty of seats available and entry is free and open to everyone, but if you can't get up to Sydney, remember that you can view the live webcast on PokerStars TV, with Paul "The Voice" Khoury heading up the commentary team.

There's also a cavalcade of co-hosts lined up for the broadcast throughout the day, including 2009 APPT Grand Final champion Aaron Benton, as well as Team PokerStars Pros Celina Lin, Lee "Final Table" Nelson and the brothers Hachem (Joe and Tony). You can also email your questions at any time to the players at nuts@pokerstars.tv, so tune in today!

4:45pm: Play resumes

The players are back with 45 minutes left to play at this level. Tom Rafferty, Jonathan Karamalikis and Reza Vakili are the current chip leaders.

During the break we caught up with Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu for his thoughts on his progress so far today...


4:35pm: Ten-minute break

4:25pm: Sabat's running like Lazarus!

We're pretty sure that Eddy Sabat has been reincarnated as a cat several times, as he continues to use up nine lives (and then some) after managing to double up yet again through Grant Levy.

The action folded around to Sabat who raised all-in for 136,000 with K♠[10d] and Tom Rafferty folded from the small blind before Levy called with A♠9♦. Sabat managed to spike two pair on the board of 3♠K♣3♣9♥[10s] to move up to more than 280,000.

It was also a very close shave for Brendon Rubie, who got all his money into the middle before the flop on the feature table with a questionable 7♦5♦ but was caught out by Konstantin Bücherl who tabled A♦9♦. "Breeeendoooooooor!" wailed Ali Khalil from the stands as Rubie spiked second pair on the flop of 8♦7♣2♥, which held as the dealer produced the turn and river of K♥, 3♠ to double up to more than 250,000.

4:10pm: Streifeneder struck out

Stefan Streifeneder has been sent to the rail in 20th place as we approach the halfway mark of this level and edge ever closer to the final table of the 2010 APPT Grand Final.

Manuel Hansimikali raised to 25,500 from early position and Peco Stojanovski flat-called from the cutoff before Streifeneder reraised all-in for 99,500 from the big blind. Hansimikali folded and Stojanovski went into the tank for about two minutes before calling with K♦Q♣, flipping against Streifeneder's J♦J♣.

Streifeneder stayed ahead on the flop of 2♣7♦3♣, however Stojanovski picked up the bigger flush draw on the turn of the 9♣. The dealer burned and then snapped up the river 5♣; Stojanovski tried to shake hands with Streifeneder but he didn't react - he just stood there frozen in disbelief. Still, AU$15,610 is nothing to be sneezed at.

4:05pm: Level up, blinds 5,000-10,000, ante 1,000

4:00pm: Rafferty has read the Mitch Carle book

Our field is now down to 20 players following the big elimination of Mitch Carle.

It was Carle's aggressive game that got him to this point, but in the end it was that same aggression that was his undoing.

Tom Rafferty opened the action with a raise to 17,000 which was three-bet to 41,000 by Carle on the button. Rafferty called and they saw a heads-up flop of 7♦3♥6♥. Rafferty check-called for 41,000 before checking in the dark on the 3♣ turn. Carle fired another 75,000 and Rafferty made the call as the 2♦ completed the board on the river.

Rafferty tapped the table once again and Carle quickly announced himself all in for 189,000. Rafferty rocked back in his chair and thought long and hard about the tough decision. Eventually he mustered up the courage to make the call.

"Good call. Ace-high," sighed Carle as Rafferty revealed 8♥8♠ for the best hand. Carle is out in 21st place as Rafferty is now up to a commanding 800,000 chips.

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Mitch Carle's triple barrel bluff has sent him crashing to the rail

3:45pm: Sabat survives

The seats are starting to fill up in the Sports Theatre as the action continues here in Day 3 of the APPT Grand Final and 2008 APPT Macau champion Eddy Sabat is still with us as he's just managed to double up through Jonathan Karamalikis.

The action folded around to Karamalikis who made it 20,000 to go from the small blind before Sabat reraised all-in. Karamalikis snap-called called and his A♦9♣ was ahead of Sabat's A♦9♣, but Sabat scored a chop after the dealer spread the board of J♦K♠5♥4♦4♠.

"Cool story," said Karamalikis as he cut out the chips to pass to Sabat. Sabat's now on 155,000 while Karamalikis is back to around 720,000.

3:35pm: Brown out

Jason Brown was down to his last 52,000 when he moved all in over the top of an opening raise from Mitchell Carle who was quick to call with A♦8♣ for the best hand against Brown's A♠5♣. The board ran out 2♦8♠3♣A♥J♦ to eliminate Brown in 22nd place as Carle climbs to 360,000 in chips.

3:25pm: Once too often for Badaoui

Over on the feature table, Miray Badaoui was making a habit of moving all in with big overbets, so when he moved all in for 212,000 from middle position, Konstantin Bücherl decided to make the call with 9♦9♠ in the small blind. It was the right Badaoui showed 3♠3♦.

The board fell 8♦8♥2♠T♥K♠ to leave the nines in front and eliminate Badaoui in 23rd place.

3:20pm: Graham falls short again

Aussie online wunderkind Jarred "flopnutsonyou" Graham has had plenty of success here at Star City, having won back-to-back APPT Sydney High Roller titles in 2008 and 2009, as well as the inaugural Sydney Poker Championship Main Event in 2009. However, the curse of his APPT Grand Final final table bubble is still looming, having just been busted at the hands of PokerStars Qualifier Konstantin Bücherl.

The action folded around to Graham who moved all-in for 86,500 from late position with 5♣5♦ before Bücherl called from the small blind with K♠Q♥. Bücherl raced ahead to the lead on the flop of Q♣[10c]9♣, but Graham still had a chance with the flush draw.

A repeat Q♠ appeared on the turn, improving Bücherl to trips and the river did run black, but in the form of the 7♠, confirming Graham as our 24th place finisher, good for AU$13,875.

Another cash, but no final table in Sydney for Aussie gun Jarred Graham

3:10pm: Vijay's done for the day

Malaysian PokerStars Qualifier Vijay Nagarajan has been confirmed as our 25th place finisher and we're now down to three tables courtesy of Roland de Wolfe.

Tom Rafferty raised to 17,500 from under the gun and the action folded around to Manuel Hansimikali who called from the cutoff before Nagarajan reraised all-in for around 130,000 from the small blind. De Wolfe came over the top for more than 300,000 from the big blind and both Rafferty and Hansimikali folded before the hands were revealed:

De Wolfe: A♠Q♣
Nagarajan: A♣6♦

The dealer spread the board of 9♠K♣K♦4♦3♥ and Nagarajan headed up the stairs to collect $12,145 from the cage. De Wolfe is now edging to the half-million chip mark and has been moved to table 86, in between George Moussa and Jonathan Karamalikis.

3:00pm: Set over set for Stergiotis

Andrew Stergiotis was the shortest of the short stacks coming into Day 3 today, but he's now up to more than 235,000 after doubling through Jonathan Karamalikis.

On a flop that read 5♣8♥7♦, Stergiotis and Karamalikis checked before Stergiotis open-shoved on the turn of the 4♠ for 104,500. Karamalikis snap-called.

"You got the straight?" Stergiotis asked as he revealed 7♠7♣. "Nope," Karamalikis replied as he tabled 4♥4♦. There was a chance to chop for said straight with a river six, but the 8♣ completed the board. Karamalikis is still standing tall, down to 823,000 after that hand.

2:55pm: More for Negreanu

It didn't take long after the break for Daniel Negreanu and Jarred Graham to clash in another big pot. The board read Q♥T♥Q♦7♦9♣ when Negreanu's 55,000-chip river bet was called by Graham.

Negreanu showed K♦J♦ for a rivered straight which was good to take down another nice pot. Negreanu is now up to 440,000 with Graham back down to around 160,000.

2:50pm: Play resumes

The players are back in action with 25 still in contention for the APPT Sydney title. Our chip leaders are Jonathan Karamalikis and Reza Vakili, while Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu is still going strong.

APPT Sydney live updates brought to you courtesy of Heath "TassieDevil" Chick and Landon Blackhall.

Heath
@PokerStars in Sydney