APPT Melbourne Day 2: Levels 8 & 9 (Blinds 600-1200, ante 200)
Level up, blinds 800-1,600 (ante 200)
2:55pm: Gorr no more
As APPT President Danny McDonagh made the rounds, announcing the feature players and current chip counts on the mike, he came across David Gorr on table 32.
"Our current Aussie Millions champion, he's on ... oh wait, it looks like he just busted!"
Indeed - as it turned out, Gorr had moved the last of his very short stack into the middle before the flop with [A][J], but found himself crushed by Jeffrey Garrett's Q♠Q♥. With neither hand improving on the board of T♠5♣5♦K♥2♣, Gorr was given a nice round of applause as he departed the room.
"If anybody else needs a jinx, come and see me!" McDonagh quipped.
2:35pm: 10-minute break
With only 112 players remaining as we approach the first break of the day, the tension is beginning to build here in the Crown Poker Room and hands are becoming few and far between. However, this has given us a perfect opportunity to check up on the Team PokerStars Pros still in the field.
Team Asia Pro Bryan Huang has struggled through this first stanza, who having started the day with more than 66,000, is now down to less than half that. It's a different story for both Team Online Pro Kieran Harris and Chris Moneymaker though - the 2003 WSOP Main Event champion and American TeamPokerStars Pro has run his starting stack up of 34,450 up to more than 103,000, while Harris has moved from less than 37,000 up to more than 116,000.
2:20pm: Scott out
Back in 2009, Stewart Scott went down in history as the first Australian player to keep the Aussie Millions Main Event title on home soil. Try as he might though, he hasn't been able to match that success since and won't be able to in this year's APPT Melbourne Main Event after having been sent to the rail.
Scott moved his short stack into the middle with A♥T♥ and found a customer in Kyle Cheong with K♠Q♠. Cheong took the lead on the 9♦6♦K♣ flop but Scott found a pulse when he spiked the A♣ on the turn. However his joy was short-lived as the Q♦ on the river improved Cheong to two pair to send Scott to the exit.
2:15pm: Straight-flush slowroll?
New Zealand PokerStars Qualifier Koray Turker has continued where he left off yesterday - steamrolling his table with relentless aggression. It's worked well for him so far as he has almost doubled his overnight stack in the first two hours of play, but he just hit a roadblock in a rather unexpected way.
The board read 6♥K♦7♥4♥5♥ when Turker slid out 25,000 which was more than enough to put his opponent to a decision for his tournament life. After several minutes of thought, his opponent thought it a good idea to re-check his hole cards, only to discover that the straight that he thought he held was actually a straight-flush as he looked down at 8♥9♣.
At first it looked like a slowroll, but the player apologised as he didn't realize he held the stone-cold nuts. Turker took it well, it was only small change for him, as he slips back to 180,000.
2:05pm: Triple up for Tony
2011 ANZPT Perth Main Event champion Tony Hachem has just tripled up to 120,000 after a massive hand against Phil Willcocks and Michel Bouskila.
Our PokerStars Blog reporter caught the action just as all the money went in the midde on a board that read 7♦5♠3♠6♣; Bouskila was the shortest of the three stacks, risking his tournament life with K♠8♠ for the second nut flush draw, but Hachem had already hit the straight with his 4♣3♦, ahead of Willcocks who held A♦A♣ for the overpair.
However, Hachem's hand held up after the dealer gave him a bigger straight with the 8♥ on the river and Willcocks took down the sidepot, taking out Bouskila in the process, to move to around 190,000 in chips.
1:55pm: Huntly making waves on Day 2
James Obst completed from the small blind and Gordon Huntly checked his option in the big blind to see a flop of 8♦9♠2♦. Obst led out for 2,100 but Huntly responded with a raise to 7,000. Obst thought for a moment and made the call, which put the brakes on proceedings as both players checked down the 2♥ turn and A♣ river.
Huntly opened 9♣6♠ for a pair of nines which was enough as Obst mucked. Obst slips to 95,000 with Huntly now up to 80,000 - nearly four times what he started the day with.
1:45pm: Level up, blinds 600-1,200 (ante 200)
1:30pm: Lim straightens Tran
Aaron Lim is a dangerous man with chips, so his table better watch their step after Lim just landed a monster pot to end the tournament of Trung Tran.
We arrived with the board reading 6♦7♥3♥A♠4♣ and Tran leading out with a hefty bet. Lim thought for some time before moving all in. Tran splashed the pot with a reluctant call but he seemingly knew his fate. Lim opened 5♠4♠ for a straight as Tran flashed pocket threes for a set and headed to the rail.
Lim, who finished fourth at the ANZPT Perth event earlier in the year, is now up to a healthy 120,000 in chips.
1:15pm: Who is that masked man?
Singapore's Hung Tu Wang, known by his friends as the "All-In Animal" has been part of the APPT furniture for quite a while now, picking up a few small results in side events both in Macau and Cebu. Known for his happy-go-lucky personality and aggressive style at the tables, Wang's actually been more conservative of late as he's suffering from a rather nasty cold.
As a safety precaution, he's been wearing a surgical mask. "Just out of respect for the other players, you know?" Wang explained. We wish him all the best - and hope that finally, he can pick up that big score he's been gunning so hard for over the years. We bet that $330,000 will be able help him beat the wintery Melbourne chill!
1:00pm: Watson dominated and eliminated
Andrew Watson was a three-bet-shoving-machine this afternoon as he attempted to revive his overnight short stack. Unfortunately he pulled the trigger once too often and has paid the ultimate price.
After Jeff Rossiter opened to 2,300, Watson moved all in for around 20,000 with A♥8♣ but Rossiter made the call with a dominant A♣Q♦. The board was spread 5♥K♦J♦6♠9♦ to eliminate Watson and move Rossiter up to a pretty 100,000 in chips.
12:50pm: The rich get richer
Mitch Carle may have the shakes from the extra hit of coffee he took this morning but that hasn't stopped him from extending his overnight chip lead as the expense of 2010 Victorian Poker Championship Main Event winner Michael Egan.
Carle opened from the cutoff for 2,000 before Egan popped it up to 6,500 in the small blind. Carle made the call and the two saw a flop of 5♥K♥9♣. Egan led out for 5,500 and Carle called as the J♠ fell on the turn.
Egan fired again, this time for 14,000 and once again Carle made the call as a healthy pot was in the middle when the T♥ landed on the river. Egan quickly checked and Carle gave his opponent a glance before declaring himself all in. Egan decided to save his last 25,000 for a better spot as Carle now jumps up to 240,000 for a clear lead over the field.
12:40pm: Hindshammer is strong with the fours
No sooner that play had gotten underway, the cry of "All in, call" went up from the dealer on table 32 and we rushed over to see a three-way pre-flop showdown between Jim Andreadis, Eddie Mascardi and Gerd Hindshammer.
Mascardi started celebrating when he saw that his Q♠Q♥ were well ahead of Hindshammer's 4♦4♣ and Andreadis' A♥Q♦, but that joy soon turned to frustration after the dealer spread the board of J♥8♦3♦2♠4♠ to give Hindshammer a much-needed triple-up. There were no eliminations, so we're still at 146 players.
12:30pm: Blend 'em and send 'em!
After a brief introduction from APPT President Danny McDonagh, Crown Casino tournament director Frank Bianco was quick to get Day 2 of the PokerStars.net APPT Melbourne Main Event underway.
Given that only 146 players remain from our starting field of 260, it looks as though we're in for another short day. According to the staff on deck today, we'll be playing a maximum of six 75-minute levels with no dinner breaks, thus brining play to an end at approximately 8:30pm local time.
Here's the structure for today's play:
Level 8: 500-1,000 (ante 100)
Level 9: 600-1,200 (ante 200)
Level 10: 800-1,600 (ante 200)
Level 11: 1,000-2,000 (ante 300)
Level 12: 1,200-2,400 (ante 300)
Level 13: 1,500-3,000 (ante 300)
In the meantime, why not check out today's preview video with Nicki Pickering and USA Team PokerStars Pro Chris Moneymaker?