APPT Melbourne Day 2: Levels 12 & 13 (blinds 1500-3000, ante 300)
8:30pm: Time to wrap it up!
With the clock paused with just over six minutes remaining, the tournament director instructed the dealers to deal three more hands before calling it a night. All the tables played their hands out with no incident, and just like that, we are now bagging and tagging.
And it's all smiles in the Kiwi camp, with Phil Willcocks bagging up a whopping 770,400 in chips, while New Zealand PokerStars Qualifiers Koray Turker (424,400) and Jackson Zheng (281,800) are also amongst the top of the chip counts.
Having said that, 2010 ANZPT Melbourne Main Event runner-up James Obst appears to be second overall with 452,900 in chips at the end of the night. We'll have a full wrap-up of the day's play for you very soon.
8:20pm: Hachem still king
Tony Hachem rarely gets his money in bad, so when his last 80,000 went into the middle, it was no surprise to see Hachem turn up with the goods. Hachem held K♠K♥ and had to fade an ace against Marcus Lau's A♠J♥.
The board ran out a safe 3♦3♣8♦9♠2♦ to leave Hachem in front for a big double late in the day to around 160,000.
8:05pm: Guzzardi gets Scott
"Don't take this the wrong way, but I'm glad you're out," said Michael Guzzardi with the utmost respect following the elimination of Andrew Scott from the tournament.
His final hand started with Guzzardi opening from early position to 6,000 and Scott defending his big blind with a call.
The flop landed 6♠9♥8♣ and Scott decided to lead out for 6,000. Guzzardi came back with a raise to 18,000 but Scott pushed back with a re-raise to 36,000. It was back on Guzzardi and he declared himself all in to put Scott to the ultimate decision.
Scott was pained but eventually committed himself with K♣9♦ for top pair, but Guzzardi was in front with his Q♦Q♠. The turn was the 2♠ and river the A♦ to leave Scott on the rail and climb Guzzardi, who was short-stacked just a few moments ago, up to a comfy 245,000 chips.
7:50pm: Two more on the rail
George Moussa and 2010 APPT Sydney champion Jonathan Karamalikis have both been sent to the rail as suddenly we're down to our final 40 players.
Moussa was first to go as we heard a loud expletive echo throughout the poker room as his pocket nines had been cracked by the pocket eights of Marcus Lau with all the chips in preflop when a third eight spiked on the flop.
He was soon followed by Karamalikis who got his last chips in preflop with A♠3♥ but found himself dominated by the A♦Q♣ of Julius Colman. The board ran out T♠Q♦6♠3♣K♦ to eliminate Karamalikis and jump Colman up to 300,000.
7:45pm: Cheong trips Jones
Catching the action on the flop of K♣J♠J♣, Will Jones fired out a bet of 7,200 which was called by Kyle Cheong on the button. The turn brought the 6♥ and Jones check-called for 14,200 as the 5♦ completed the board. Jones checked again to Cheong who slid out another bet worth 19,500 as Jones quickly made the call.
Cheong opened Q♣J♥ for trips which was good as Jones tossed his cards into the muck. Both players are now sitting with around 175,000 chips.
7:35pm: Hot Harris
PokerStars Team Online's Keiran Harris is enjoying this live poker stuff at the moment. His biggest problem right now is being able to handle and stack the mountain of chips in front of him!
Harris added to his stack when he was responsible for the recent elimination of Bobby Zhang. Harris opened to 6,200 with Aaron Lim making the call before Zhang squeezed to 20,600. Harris re-raised to 50,000 which forced Lim out of the way before Zhang moved all in for a few thousand more. Harris called with A♣K♦ as Zhang showed live cards with his Q♠J♥.
The board ran out 8♣5♣6♥A♠K♠ to leave Harris in front and spell the end for Zhang. Harris is now up to 400,000 chips.
7:20pm: Parshenkov on song
It's been a long trip for Russian PokerStars Qualifier Anatoly Parshenkov, but it looks as though he's going to make it worthwhile after taking down a big pot from Australia's Mitch Carle.
Carle and Parshenkov were heads-up to a flop of 8♠K♦4♦ when we picked up the action on table 27; Carle check-called Parshenkov's bet of 7,000 after the flop, then check-called Parshenkov's bet of 12,000 after the turn of the A♦ before leading out for 27,000 on the river of the A♦.
Parshenkov snap-called and Carle revealed A♣8♣ for two pair, but Parshenkov scooped the pot, tabling 4♠4♣ for the set. Carle is now back to less than 207,000 in chips, while Parshenkov is up to more than 290,000 in chips.
7:15pm: Level up, blinds 1,500-3,000 (ante 300)
7:10pm: Kiwi invasion
The Kiwis are dominating the APPT Melbourne! Argh! It's OK though, they're a friendly bunch. After Koray Turker destroyed his opponents early in the day, Jackson Zheng and Phil Willcocks have both surpassed him to make it a Kiwi trifecta at the top of the chip count leaderboard.
Jackson Zheng collected most of his chips after winning a massive coinflip against Dave Allan. As recalled to us, Ricky Kroesen opened with a raise and Allan put in a three-bet. Zheng then cold four-bet to force a fold from Kroesen. Allan came back with a five-bet, Zheng shoved and Allan called it off.
Allan held ace-king but couldn't improve on board to get past the pocket jacks of Zheng. Allan is out as Zheng climbs to 450,000.
However it's not enough for the chip lead as Phil Willcocks grabbed that honour a short time ago when his pocket aces held against the pocket kings of Juicy Li. The board ran out queen-high and Li was sent to the rail as Willcocks moved up above 600,000!
7:00pm: Swannack gets caught
Van Marcus opened with a raise to 6,200 before Cole Swannack moved all in over the top from the button for around 36,000. Marcus Lau was in the big blind and he made the call as Marcus got out of the way.
Swannack was on the re-steal with his 5♥4♥ as Lau had made a bold call with A♥9♣.
"I was calling if he didn't man," chirped Marcus to a disgruntled Swannack as the board ran out A♦J♦8♠9♠K♥. Swannack hits the rail as Lau moves up to 180,000 chips.
6:50pm: Recent eliminations
The field in the inaugural PokerStars.net APPT Melbourne Main Event has been whittled down to 50 players, with John Delassandri, Jesse McKenzie and Sam Rotar amongst those to have hit the rail just before the last break of the day.
Earlier, Delassandri found himself all in for the last of his money with K♥J♥, but lost the flip for his tournament life against the T♥T♣ of PokerStars Team Online Pro Keiran Harris when he filled up on the board of 9♦3♣T♦3♠5♦.
A short time later, McKenzie moved all-in before the flop holding A♣K♠, but despite finding himself ahead of Julius Colman's [A][Q], a queen on the flop was enough to take the current Australia New Zealand Player of the Year out of the tournament.
Soon after, Rotar got the last of his stack in on a flop of J♥7♠4♠ with A♥7♥, but ran into Andrew Scott's A♠J♦. The turn of the 6♥ gave him some hope for the nut flush draw, but the 3♣ bricked out on the river. Scott is now up to 175,000, with Colman just ahead of him with 180,000, but Harris is now up there with the chip leaders with more than 300,000!
6:45pm: Play resumes
6:35pm: 10-minute break
When the 55 remaining players return, they will play the remainder of this level, plus one more full level before bagging and tagging for the night.
6:30pm: Zheng takes a small one from Obst
Catching the action on a flop of J♠7♣9♣, James Obst led out from the small blind with a bet of 10,500. Dave Allan folded from the big blind but Jackson Zheng made the call as the J♦ hit the turn.
Obst fired again for 18,000 but Zheng stuck around to see the 4♦ complete the board. Obst checked and Zheng checked it behind and opened K♥9♦. It was good as Obst mucked his cards.
Zheng climbs to 230,000 with Obst at 200,000.
6:15pm: Guzzardi hurting
Michael Guzzardi is back on the short stack as Norah Greer continues to pound on her opponents with fearless aggression.
Guzzardi opened with a min-raise from the hijack with Norah Greer calling in position. Steve Bouya came along in the big blind to see a flop of A♠4♦6♣. Action checked around and the turn brought the 4♠. Bouya checked and Guzzardi bet out 7,500. Greer was quick to call as Bouya got out of the way before the T♠ river completed the board.
Guzzardi fired another barrel worth 13,900 but it didn't faze Greer who moved all in over the top. Guzzardi gave a wry smile and let it go to leave himself with just 37,000 in chips. Meanwhile Greer is back over 210,000.
6:05pm: Khouiss and Khalil KO'ed
We're now down to 56 players in the inaugural PokerStars.net APPT Melbourne Main Event, with Sammy Khouiss and Ali "The Peppermint Hippo" Khalil amongst the latest to have hit the rail.
Earlier, Khalil moved the last of his short stack into the middle before the flop holding A♥8♦, only to see Russian PokerStars Qualifier Anatoly Parshenkov wake up with Q♥Q♦. Neither hand improved on the board of J♦6♥7♥7♠T♥ and with Khalil now already at the Vegas Bar, Parshenkov moved up 290,000 in chips.
A short time later, Khouiss got his money in with Q♥T♥, but 2008 APPT Manila Main Event champion Van Marcus snapped him off with A♣K♣. Both players paired up on the board of Q♦5♣A♥2♦J♣, but Marcus' aces were best and that was all she wrote for Khouiss. Marcus is now on a stack worth more than 200,000.