APPT Queenstown Day 1a: Levels 3-4 (blinds 100-200, ante 25)
4:40pm: Ten-minute break
4:35pm: Top pair good for Tran to double
PokerStars qualifier Trung Tran has just landed a very handy double up at the expense of Joel Feldman.
Feldman opened with a preflop raise to 450 and picked up a pair of callers to see a flop of 6♦J♠9♣. Action checked to Feldman who bet 1,050 which was again called before Tran check-raised from the big blind to 3,050. Feldman responded with a re-raise to 6,250 which forced a fold from the third player but Tran splashed the pot with his last chips. It was another 4,100 to Feldman who quickly made the call with K♦Q♥ for overcards and a gutshot but Tran was in the lead with his K♥J♦ top pair.
The turn was the 8♥ and river the 4♥ to double Tran up to 25,000. Feldman slips to 18,000.
4:20pm: Maklouf goes missing
PokerStars Sponsored Player John Maklouf is the most recent casualty from the APPT Queenstown Main Event and once again the man responsible is the giant-killing Kiwi Koray Turker.
The details were recalled to us by the table, but we believe the chips were all in on the river on a 3-4-5-6-X board showing running spades. Maklouf checked to Turker who moved all in, with Maklouf calling off his last chips. However he was unable to better Turker's J♠T♠ for a backdoor flush.
Maklouf is out with Turker now up to 80,000.
4:10pm: Goodbye, Mr. Anderson
Only 26 players remain in the first Day 1 flight of the 2011 PokerStars.net APPT Queenstown Snowfest after American PokerStars Player Calvin Anderson was eliminated by New Zealand's Joseph Allis.
Five players, including Anderson and Allis, limped in before the dealer spread a flop of 8♥7♥K♣. Anderson opened for 800 from the big blind and Allis called from under the gun, forcing the others out of the way before Anderson checked his option on the turn of the 2♦.
Allis bet 1,300, Anderson quickly check-raised all-in and Allis snap-called, turning over K♠Q♥ for top pair, out-kicking Anderson's K♥J♥! Needing one of three jacks left in the deck, the river was a repeat 2♠, giving both players two pair but still saw Anderson exit the Summit Room.
One could only wonder if there's some magical property in the waters of Lake Wakatipu, because these Kiwis are tearing it up - Allis is now up to 83,000!
4:00pm: Turker four-bets four-high
Koray Turker just isn't slowing down as he's bundled another to the rail in his typically destructive style.
Turker opened to 500 from the button and it was Michael Davy who decided to put up resistance with a three-bet to 1,500 from the big blind. Turker responded with a four-bet to 3,600 and Davy called to see a flop of 5♠K♥3♠.
Davy checked and Turker splashed out 12,000. It didn't take long for Davy to move all in for roughly 19,000 with Turker quick to call it off.
Davy opened K♦J♠ for a respectable top pair while Turker incredibly showed 4♦2♥ - just four-high but with plenty of outs with his open-ended straight draw.
We had a feeling that Turker was just never going to miss this one, and our hunch was right as both the A♦ turn and 6♣ river improved Turker to his straight to send a dejected Davy to the exit. Turker is now up to 70,000.
3:55pm: Podsiadlo goes busto, Hong given the gong
PokerStars Qualifiers Ryan Hong (Australia) and Maciej Podsiadlo (Poland) have been the most recent eliminations from the APPT Queenstown Snowfest, reducing the player count in today's Day 1a flight to 28.
Earlier, Cole Swannack and Podsiadlo went heads-up to a flop of , with Swannack check-calling Podsiadlo's all-in bet with Q♠Q♣ for the overpair, well ahead of Podsiadlo who had hit top-top with his A♣9♣. With neither the turn or river changing the outcome, Podsiadlo's run in this event has come to an end.
He was joined by Hong soon after. On a board that read 2♦T♦6♦6♠, Joseph Allis led out for 5,000 before Hong raised to 11,400. Allis called, then check-called Hong's all-in bet after the dealer produced the river 9♠, but had nothing better than Allis' A♦5♦ which had flopped the nut flush.
The New Zealanders are now holding the top five spots on the chip counts, with Swannack up to 45,000, but he's still well behind Allis who's now on 81,000!
3:45pm: Kia ora, Queenstown!
We've already had ten bust-outs from the inaugural APPT Queenstown Snowfest, but luckily, they'll be able to keep themselves occupied for the rest of the week pretty easily. Whether you're looking for that hit of adrenaline or prefer to mellow out, this place has it all - and PokerStars.tv's Lynn Gilmartin gives you just a taste of what's on offer in this video:
3:40pm: Level up, blinds 100-200, ante 25
3:30pm: Worch scorched by Zheng
New Zealand PokerStars Qualifier Antony Worch has just taken a hit to his stack, down to 19,000 after clashing with fellow Kiwi Jackson Zheng.
Our reporter picked up the action on a board of 4♠2♠2♣J♠. Zheng opened for 600 on the turn and Worch threw out some chips with the intent to call, but instead of one black (100) and one blue (500), he threw out one blue and one yellow (1,000), thus it was ruled a raise to 1,500 as the intent was not announced.
Zheng took that opportunity to re-raised to 3,800, but Worch was still happy to call before check-calling Zheng's bet of 5,600 on the river of the 4♦, only to muck after Zheng tabled 9♠8♠ for the flush. Zheng's now up to 72,000 in chips and looking in fine form.
3:25pm: Lui keeping them on their toes
PokerStars qualifier Patrick Lui has got his table a little rattled at the moment with some unorthodox betting sending shivers of confusion around the table.
First Lui tangled with Jacky Wang as we arrived to see a board of 6♣7♣T♣6♥. Wang check-called for 500, before faced with a full pot-sized bet of 3,000 on the K♠ river. Wang thought for several minutes before making a reluctant fold.
Next hand, PokerStars sponsored player John Maklouf opened to 450 from early position and Lui was the only caller. The flop landed 5♣J♠4♦ and Maklouf check-called for 600 as the Q♠ hit the turn.
Maklouf checked and Lui decided to offer a discount as he made the bet just 500 to play. Maklouf thought the price was right and matched the bet as the A♦ hit the river. Maklouf checked it again and this time Lui decided to make it a more hefty 3,000 to go. It was too much for Maklouf who tossed his cards into the muck and slipped to 11,500 in chips. Meanwhile Lui is playing the rush as he jumps to 25,000.
3:15pm: Williams eliminated
New Zealand PokerStars Qualifier Sam Williams' run in the 2011 PokerStars.net APPT Queenstown Snowfest has come to an end, courtesy of fellow Kiwi Cole Swannack, who is now up to more than 50,000 in chips.
Williams and Swannack were heads-up into a pot that was already worth 4,300 when the dealer spread the flop of 2♣J♣A♠. Williams opened for 1,500 and Swannack called, then Williams check-called Swannack's bbet of 3,200 on the turn of the 3♥ before checking again on the river of the 5♥.
Swannack moved all-in and Williams thought about it for 90 seconds before calling all-in, but mucked after Swannack showed a creative-looking J♦3♦ for a turned two pair, giving him the win and the scalp. As a result, we're now down to 30 players.
3:00pm: Another preflop war
"I love it when I create action!" laughed Koray Turker as the heat was too much for even him in a preflop war between Anthony Worch and a player in the big blind.
Worch had opened to 500 from middle position before Turker raised to 1,500 on the button. The big blind then cold four-bet to 3,700 but Worch wasn't slowing down as he five-bet to 9,700. Turker was forced to fold but the big blind made the call to see a flop of K♠6♦6♣.
Action checked to Worch who declared himself all in for 14,200 which was enough for his opponent to fold. Worch is now up to around 36,000.
2:50pm: Swannack back on track
In one of the first hands after the break, New Zealand's Cole Swannack has chipped back up to 29,000 through Polish PokerStars Qualifier Maciej Podsiadlo.
On a flop that read T♥2♥A♥, Podsiadlo checked to Swannack who led out for 700; Podsiadlo called, then led out for 1,400 on the turn of the Q♥. Swannack smooth-called and both players checked down the river 3♣.
Podsiadlo tabled Q♠T♠ for two pair, but was no good against the 5♠5♥ of Swannack, who had turned a flush. Podsiadlo is now down to 11,625 as a result.
2:45pm: Routine for Feldman
Australian PokerStars Qualifier Joel Feldman is now back up to 24,000 in chips after hitting a royal flush just prior to the break - the second one we've witnessed in Season 5 of the PokerStars.net Asia Pacific Poker Tour!
We picked up the action on a board that read K♣J♥A♣Q♣8♦. Semesa Brown checked to Feldman who bet 3,350 on the river and Brown went deep into the tank before making a crying call, only to muck after Feldman showed J♣T♣. Choice!
Despite running into the absolute-uber-nuts, Brown is still in control, holding 29,500 in chips.
2:40pm: Play resumes
The players are back following the first break of the day with 31 of our original 40 starters still in contention. We'll be playing six levels today, so if this rate continues, we won't have many players left by the end of the day!
Our leaders are the two hyper-aggressive Kiwis, Koray Turker and Jackson Zheng. Their relentless aggression is always going to produce either a big stack or an early bustout, but we'll have to see whether they continue to tangle or if they try to avoid each other.