APPT Sydney Day 3: Levels 19 & 20 (blinds 8000-16000, ante 2000)
8:15pm: Dong soars!
As we approach the end of the level, Jonathan Karamalikis has just taken down a monster pot after sustaining a check-raise and three barrels of fury from George Moussa.
It started with Karamalikis raising to 35,000 from the hijack position and Moussa making the call in the small blind to see a flop of Q♥T♦6♠.
Moussa checked to Karamalikis who bet 45,000. Moussa then check-raised small to 100,000 and Karamalikis made the call. The turn landed the 7♥ and Moussa led out for 145,000. Karamalikis thought for a moment before matching the bet as the J♠ completed the board.
Moussa fired for a third time for 175,000 as Karamalikis took a deep breath and rolled his eyes.
"The board could've run out a bit better," sighed Karamalikis before announcing a call.
"Is a jack good?" said Moussa before sheepishly opening J♣9♣. It wasn't good as Karamalikis showed K♠Q♠ for top pair. Moussa slips to 355,000 with Karamalikis back up to 1.3 million.
8:05pm: McLean gives Rafferty a million
Reigning APPT Grand Final champion Aaron Benton and Paul "The Voice" Khoury are tearing it up in the webcast commentary booth and as the action continues on the feature table, we've just witnessed a massive hand between Tom Rafferty and Ben McLean.
On a flop that read 9♣K♦6♠, McLean check-called Rafferty's bet of 38,000 before repeating the action after Rafftery's bet of 78,000 on the turn of the 3♠. McLean then led out for 160,000 after the dealer produced the river 7♣, but Rafferty raised to 400,000!
McLean looked disgusted, but let his hand go, leaving Rafferty to stack up 1.115 million in chips. McLean is looking a little leaner, down to 464,000.
7:55pm: Amourette has little love for Rafferty
French PokerStars Qualifier Antoine Amourette has had a great run in the 2010 APPT Grand Final and has just managed to take another sizeable pot of Tom Rafferty.
Rafferty raised to 36,000 from early postion and the action folded around to Amourette who flat-called from the button before both players checked their option on the flop of 6♣7♠[10h]. Rafferty check-called Amourette's bet of 42,000 on the turn of the 9♣, then checked again on the river of the K♠.
Amourette fired out a second shell worth 66,000 and Rafferty went into the tank for over three minutes before reluctantly letting his hand go. Amourette is up to 829,000 while Rafferty slips to 803,000.
7:40pm: Moussa not messing around
George Moussa opened with a raise to 38,000 from the cutoff with Reza Vakili calling in the small blind. The action was then with Jonathan Karamalikis who slid out a stack of yellow chips for a squeeze to 116,000 but before the chips could be cut down, Moussa declared himself all in. Vakili and Karamalikis quickly folded as Moussa flashed A♣Q♣.
Karamalikis slips to 700,000 with Moussa up to 850,000.
7:35pm: All the more chips to double you up with, my dear!
Canadian Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu has just scored a massive double-up through Roland de Wolfe and as a result is now close to 750,000 in chips.
It was four-way action between Negreanu, Manuel Hansimikali, de Wolfe and Tom Rafferty into a raised pot on a flop of 8♣Q♥A♣ and they all checked before the dealer produced the turn of the J♥. Negreanu checked from the small blind, as did Hansimikali from the big blind before de Wolfe led out for 65,000.
Rafferty folded, but Negreanu moved all-in for 303,000! De Wolfe wasn't about to let his hand go and called, showing down A♥[10h] for a royal flush draw, but Negreanu tabled [10c]9♦ for the straight! Needing any heart, de Wolfe found no love when the [10s] bricked out on the river. De Wolfe may be down, but certainly not out, as the Triple Crown winner is still on around 500,000 in chips.
7:30pm: Short-stacked survival
The short stack of the field Heinz Kamutzki has just found a much-needed double up through chip leader Jonathan Karamalikis.
The chips were in preflop with Karamalikis holding 6♣6♥ against the K♥Q♣ overcards of Kamutzki. The flop was a blank 7♠3♦2♥ but the Q♠ on the turn was just what Kamutzki needed. The A♣ hit the river and Kamutzki doubled to around 340,000 with Karamalikis slipping to 900,000.
7:25pm: Negreanu's tight but McLean's doing all right
There's no question that the dynamic on a televised table changes in comparison to the action you see on the outer tables, but Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu has been kept relatively quiet, while Roland de Wolfe and Tom Rafferty are doing most of the work and chipping away at the other stacks.
Not if Australian PokerStars Qualifier Ben McLean has anything to say about it. The amatuer is not taking this opportunity lightly, having recently four-bet Rafferty out of a pot and then taking a small one off Negreanu a short time later. McLean's now on 854,000 and in great shape for a final table berth.
7:20pm: Karamalikis takes it with ace-high
Jonathan Karamalikis opened with a raise to 35,000 with Eddy Sabat defending in the big blind. The flop of 6♥2♣4♣ was checked before Sabat led for 43,000 on the 9♥ turn. Karamalikis made the call before both players checked down the T♦ river.
Sabat showed down K♥Q♥ but Karamalikis held A♣5♦ for just ace-high to collect the pot.
7:10pm: Play resumes
The players are back and the blinds have gone up. We're now at level 20 with the blinds at 8,000-16,000 with a 2,000-chip ante. There are 12 players remaining in the hunt for the APPT Sydney title.
7:00pm: Ten-minute break
6:50pm: Vakili flushes Choi
We saw some creative plays from Reza Vakili yesterday and they paid off handsomely. Well, he's continuing his hot run as he surges towards a final table berth with the recent elimination of In Wook Choi.
The action started with a raise to 28,000 by George Moussa. Vakili flat-called before Choi squeezed to 75,000 in position. Moussa quickly folded but Vakili decided to make a move all in. Choi quickly called off his last chips with K♣Q♣ as Vakili tabled an imaginative T♦8♦.
There were "ooohs" from the rail when the flop landed K♠7♦6♦ but it was all cheers from the Vakili camp when the 4♦ hit the turn to give him an unbeatable flush. The 4♣ rolled off on the river and Choi was disappointed to depart in 13th place as Vakili is up to 1.1 million.
Vakili has now also been joined by another millionaire as Jonathan Karamalikis has joined the table to re-balance the tables.
6:35pm: Big hand for Hansimikali
Manuel Hansimikali raised to 30,000 from early position and the action folded around to French PokerStars Qualifier Antoine Amourette who called from middle position to make it heads-up to a flop which read 9♣Q♣8♠.
Hansimikali fired out 50,000 on the flop as well as on the turn of the Q♥, which Amourette called both times before they checked down the river of the [10d]. Hansimikali showed down pocket aces and Amourette breathed a sigh of relief as he revealed pocket kings!
6:30pm: Peco doubles
The comeback of Peco Stojanovski continues after a huge double up through In Wook Choi.
The chips were in preflop with Stojanovski's J♥J♠ holding against Choi's T♦T♣ as the board ran out 4♥2♦4♦2♥2♠. Stojanovski's stack of 431,000 was multiplied by two as Choi slipped to 245,000.
6:20pm: That's the back of Bourke
In two devastating blows, Craig Bourke found himself crippled. The first hand saw his double-barrel bluff picked off by George Moussa who tabled just fourth pair, while the second hand saw Peco Stojanovski find a huge double up.
After a preflop raise Stojanovski, shoved on the flop of 8♠9♠4♠ holding just pocket deuces as Bourke gambled with his 6♠3♠ for flush draw and pair outs. The turn was the J♣ and river the K♦ to leave Bourke with just 3,000 in chips.
Those chips were in next hand with K♦T♠ against Reza Vakili's Q♦8♦ but a queen on the river was enough to send Bourke to the cashier to collect AU$19,050 for his 14th place finish.
6:15pm: Rubie derailed
Brendon Rubie was down to his last 46,000 chips which he moved all in from the cutoff. Eddy Sabat was quick to call on the button as the blinds got out of the way.
Sabat showed A♠J♥ as Rubie's hand could be best described as "live cards" with the old 8♥2♠.
Rubie was looking for some help but the T♥K♣Q♠ flop wasn't exactly what he needed as Sabat flopped the Broadway straight. The A♥ on the turn brought Rubie some hope for a chop but it wasn't to be as the K♦ completed the board on the river.
Rubie is out in 15th place as Sabat climbs to 440,000.
6:00pm: More beans for Heinz, Ling has nothing
Heinz Kamutzki is now close to 400,000 in chips after crippling Brendon Rubie and sending Singaporean PokerStars Qualifier Daniel Ling to the rail in 16th place.
Rubie came in with a raise of 25,000 from under the gun and the action folded around to Ling who reraised all-in for 70,000 from the hijack position. Kamutzki reraised all-in from the small blind, making it 154,000 to go from the small blind and Rubie called, showing down A♥Q♣. He bested Ling's A♠9♥ but they were both behind the 7♣7♦ of Kamutzki.
Kamutzki improved to two pair on the flop of 4♠2♠2♣ and had it all wrapped up when he made a full house on the turn of the 7♥. The river 8♠ completed formalites and after the chips were cut down, Rubie was left with less than 60,000 and Ling was out the door.
5:50pm: Final two tables
The players are back in action with the final two tables of the PokerStars.net APPT Grand Final. Here's how they line up:
Seat 1: Roland de Wolfe
Seat 2: Benjamin McLean
Seat 3: Tom Rafferty
Seat 4: Inwook Choi
Seat 5: Jonathan Karamalikis
Seat 6: Daniel Negreanu
Seat 7: Manuel Hansimikali
Seat 8: Antoine Amourette
Seat 1: Eddy Sabat
Seat 2: Reza Vakili
Seat 3: Daniel Ling
Seat 4: Craig Bourke
Seat 5: Peco Stojanovski
Seat 6: Heinz Kamutzki
Seat 7: George Moussa
Seat 8: Brendon Rubie
5:35pm: Bücherl busts
We're down to our final two tables after the elimination of Konstantin Bücherl from the feature table. After a raise and a three-bet by In Wook Choi, Bücherl shoved with his pocket nines but Choi made the call with pocket kings.
Another king on the flop and it was all over for the PokerStars qualifier, as Bücherl hits the rail in 17th place.
The players are now redrawing for the final two tables of play.
APPT Sydney live updates brought to you courtesy of Heath "TassieDevil" Chick and Landon Blackhall.