APPT Queenstown Day 1c: Levels 3-4 (blinds 100-200, ante 25)
4:45pm: Ten-minute break
4:40pm: No ace for Austin
Manu Austin's tournament is over when the Kiwi pushed his short stack in preflop with A♠Q♣ but Jeremy McDonald made the call with Q♠Q♥.
The flop of 8♥7♠2♥ was ace-less, and the T♥ turn trimmed Austin's outs by one. Needing a non-heart ace to stay alive, the river was the 3♣ to eliminate Austin and move McDonald up to a healthy 33,500 chips.
4:35pm: Efaraimo expires
The affable Jack Efaraimo has been quelled at the hands of fellow Kiwi Daryl Hussey and as a result we're now down to 29 players as the second break of the day approaches.
Efaraimo got the last of his money into the middle holding 4♥4♣ on a board of 4♦A♦K♥Q♦, but Hussey had called him down with 8♦6♦ for the turned flush. It was made that little bit sweeter for Hussey with the river J♦ and with that, Efaraimo bit the dust - or in this case - snow.
4:30pm: Xia's not done yet
Having been hyper-aggressive for the most part of today's action on table one, New Zealand's Xia Dong Xia had not found much luck, but is still alive after scoring a double-up through Aussie larrikin Dennis Huntly.
We picked up the action four-handed on a board of A♥6♠K♦5♣. Huntly bet 600 from the small blind and Xia called from the big blind, forcing the other two players out of the way before Huntly fired out 1,500 on the river of the K♥.
Xia shoved for his last 4,075 and Huntly snap-called, turning up A♦2♣ for top pair, but Xia showed 6♥6♣ for the full house and doubled up to 12,500. Huntly is now down to 27,000 in chips.
4:15pm: The Austrian Ace
Octavian Voegele has rocketed back into contention with a craftily played pair of aces. Although in the end it wouldn't have mattered how he played them, as the Poker Gods were at work with a cooler of a hand.
With a raise to 700 from middle position, Voegele and Joshua Jurcic called out of the blinds to see a flop of 3♦4♠4♥. Voegele led out for 1,500, Jurcic folded but the preflop aggressor made the call to see the 6♥ hit the turn.
Voegele checked and his opponent bet 2,600. Voegele responded by moving all in and his opponent snap-called. Voegele tabled A♠A♦ and his opponent showed K♣K♥.
"Cooler," said the at-risk player and there was no help for him on the 3♥ river. Voegele is back in the black with a stack of 27,500.
4:10pm: Greer goes bye-bye
Australia's Norah Greer is no longer with us in the Summit Room after having been eliminated at the hands of 2010 ANZPT Adelaide champion Octavian Voegele.
No sooner than Alicia Sale had chopped the pot with Leo Boxell in the previous hand, she found herself calling from the cutoff after Octavian Voegele's UTG open-shove of 4,950. Greer called all-in for 4,200 from the big blind and the cards were tabled:
Voegele was still ahead after the flop of 8♦2♠5♠, but Sale now had the opportunity to score the double KO with the additional outs to the nut flush draw. It didn't come on the turn of the 2♦, but the river did run black - only it was in the form of the K♣, which gave Voegele two pair and the virtual triple-up.
With Greer now on the rail, Voegele is now up to 14,300, but Sale is cruising with 33,000 in chips.
4:05pm: A Trans-Tasman chopportunity
The action hasn't let up on table five, but we found ourselves observing a rather peculiar hand between reigning APPT Melbourne champion Leo Boxell and new Kiwi snowboarder Alicia Sale.
From under the gun, Norah Greer limped in, as did Octavian Voegele from the UTG +1 position before the action folded to Sale who raised to 800. Boxell called out of the big blind and both Greer and Voegele called, so off they went four-handed into a flop of 3♦5♣T♥.
Greer and Voegele checked and Sale bet 2,000, but Boxell was the only caller, making it heads-up to the turn of the K♠, which they both checked before Boxell led out for 2,000 on the repeat river K♦.
Sale called and Boxell turned up 9♦9♣ for two pair, but Sale laughed as she tabled her 9♠9♥ for the same two pair! Chop it up!
4:00pm: Scott sunk
Andrew Scott's time in the APPT Queenstown Snowfest Main Event was short and not particularly sweet. Not much went right for the APPT regular and he'll probably be somewhat relieved to head out in the snow and enjoy the sights of Queenstown as his tournament has come to an end.
Scott started things off with a raise to 500 from under the gun. Brad Bower called as did Jack Efaraimo in the big blind as the flop came down A♣A♠7♥.
Efaraimo checked to Scott who bet 1,000. Bower folded but Efaraimo clicked it back to 2,000. Scott moved all in and Efaraimo was happy to call with his A♥J♦. Scott couldn't believe his luck as he tabled A♦T♦ for an inferior kicker.
The turn was the 3♣ and river the 8♠ to leave Scott heading for the exit and Efaraimo climbing to 24,500 in chips.
3:55pm: Who's got the Bigg'st straight?
Over on table five, the action folded around to Brian Graham who raised to 450 from the hijack preflop. Brian Biggs called from the button as did Leo Boxell and Norah Greer from the small and big blinds respectively, making it four-handed to the flop of Q♥9♥T♣.
Boxell checked and Greer bet 1,000, forcing Graham out of the way, but Biggs and Boxell called before Boxell led out for 2,000 on the turn of the J♥. Greer and Biggs called, then all three players checked down the river of the 8♣.
Greer showed down T♦9♦, playing the board for the queen-high straight, but was no good against Boxell's K♠Q♠ for the king-high straight. It wasn't enough, because to the table's surprise, Biggs rolled up A♣K♣ for Broadway!
Biggs is now dominating with 43,200, with Boxell down to 20,100 and Greer struggling with 11,500.
3:50pm: King-deuce is the new black
It seems like the king-deuce is the new pocket aces, as Brad Bower has followed the lead of Alicia Sale and put the magical hand to work with equally impressive results.
Andrew Scott opened with a raise to 500 from the hijack with Brad Bower calling on the button. The big blind came along and we were three-ways to a flop of 2♣8♦4♠.
Action checked to Scott who followed up with a continuation bet of 950. Bower made the call as the big blind stepped aside. The turn brought the 3♠ and Scott fired again for 1,800. Bower stuck around and the river fell the Q♦.
Scott hesitated before verbalizing a bet of 3,200. Bower must've picked up something as he made the call. Scott wasn't thrilled as he opened 7♥6♦ for seven-high, as Bower's K♥2♦ for a lowly pair of ducks was enough to take the pot.
Scott slips to 9,000 with Bower back up to 22,500.
3:45pm: Level up, blinds 100-200, ante 25
3:40pm: Cohen cut out
There'll be no repeat Queenstown victory for last year's champion Julian Cohen, having just been eliminated at the hands of New Zealand's Jamie Lunt.
All the money was in the middle on the turn with the board that read T♥T♠6♥A♥. Lunt had flopped trip tens with his A♦T♦ and then improved to a full house on the turn to leave Cohen drawing dead 8♥5♥ flush.
The A♣ on the river was salt into the wound as Cohen's run in the 2011 PokerStars.net APPT Queenstown Snowfest Main Event is over.
3:30pm: The new Queenstown house rule?
As we came by table four, New Zealand's Daryl Hussey had just picked up a small pot and flashed a queen before raking in his chips, perhaps in a homage to the city hosting this event.
"Hey, I reckon every time we should show a queen when we win a pot with one, eh?" Hussey joked.
"I wish I could win a pot with a queen," replied John Waterman as the cards for the new hand were dealt. The action then folded around to UK PokerStars Qualifier Andrew Middleditch, who raised to 400 before Jack Efaraimo called from the cutoff, only to see Waterman re-raise to 1,200 from the small blind. Middleditch and Efaraimo called, then Waterman fired out 2,400 after the flop of 7♥J♦8♦.
Middleditch folded, but Efaraimo called, then called Waterman's bet of 3,600 on the turn of the 4♦ before both players checked down the river 8♠.
Efaraimo turned up J♠9♠ for two pair, but incredibly, Waterman was best with his Q♠Q♣ - ask and ye shall receive!
Waterman is now up to 20,000 while Efaraimo is down to 13,500.
3:25pm: Red-hot Sale!
Alicia Sale has put her new-found chips to good use, even if in rather unorthodox style.
Norah Greer limped under the gun and Octavian Voegele popped it to 800 next to speak. The table folded around to Sale on the button who re-raised to 2,650. Greer got out of the way but Voegele wasn't done with as easily as he popped it to 5,500. Sale thought for a moment before making the call as the dealer spread a 6♣2♠2♣ flop.
Voegele quickly moved a stack of yellow chips into the middle to put his opponent all in, but Sale didn't hesitate to commit her last 8,650.
Voegele proudly opened J♦J♣ as Sale gave a sorrowed look glancing back at her cards, perhaps apologetically, before opening K♦2♦ for a very creative trip deuces.
The turn was the 9♣ to give Voegele outs to a flush but the river was a bricky 8♦.
"Nice hand," said Voegele politely as he slipped to 23,000 with Sale now up to 29,000.
3:20pm: Sale survives
Alicia Sale's journey thus far in the PokerStars.net APPT Queenstown Snowfest Main Event has been a bumpy one, but she's heading back towards her starting stack after doubling through Joshua Jurcic.
We picked up the action heads-up between Sale and Jurcic on a flop that read 7♦9♠6♣. Sale bet 825 and Jurcic called, then Sale check-called Jurcic's bet of 1,200 on the turn of the T♦.
Sale then checked again on the river of the T♦, but called all-in for 6,100 after Jurcic splashed out a stack of yellow T1,000 chips, rolling up 9♦8♦ for the ten-high straight, but Sale had picked up the jack-high straight with her J♥8♥.
Sale is up to 16,000 while Jurcic slips to 38,500.
3:10pm: Lynn, Levy and a lot of rope
If our coverage is making you feel like jumping off a cliff, seek professional help. Or, alternatively check out the following video with Lynn Gilmartin, Grant Levy and a lot of rope:
3:05pm: Bower recovers
It's been a rough start to today's tournament for online grinder Brad Bower, however he just recovered some much-needed chips in a multi-way pot.
Six players all tossed out 400 preflop to see a 6♦K♦3♣ flop. Action checked to Ben Paurini who bet 950. There was one call before Bower announced a raise to 2,300. Paurini was the lone caller as both players checked the 5♦ turn.
The river produced the 8♥ and Paurini checked to Bower who splashed all in for his last 5,175. Paurini had the chips to spare but he decided to wait for a better spot. Bower climbs back to 14,000.
3:00pm: Harman on the march
Having only just flown into Queenstown, John Harman is already getting down to business, chipping up to 26,500 through Manu Austin.
We picked up the action from the flop of 8♦4♥9♣, where Harman led out for 1,400 into Austin, who called from the button before the dealer peeled off the 2♦ on the turn. Harman bet 3,000, then called Austin's raise of 7,000 before check-calling all-in for 6,825 after Austin bet out 11,000 on the river 5♥.
Austin could only produce J♣T♣ for a busted open-ended straight draw, which was crushed by Harman's K♠K♦. Austin is down to 14,300 in chips as a result.
2:55pm: Biggs gets busy
In one of the first hands after the break, Brian Biggs has chipped up to 31,600 through Norah Greer on table five.
The action folded to Biggs who raised to 525 from the cutoff before the flop. Greer came back with a re-raise to 1,400 and Biggs called, then Greer led out for another 1,400 after the dealer spread the flop of 5♣9♥J♦.
Biggs called, then both players checked down the turn and river of 3♥, 6♦ before Greer turned up A♠K♠, but was beaten by Biggs' A♣5♠. Greer is now down to 16,000 in chips.
2:50pm: Scott arrives
He'd already pre-registered, so it's not an additional entrant, but Andrew Scott arrived into the Summit Room during the break and has now taken his on the same table as Jack Efaraimo and Brad Bower.
2:45pm: Play resumes
The 36 remaining players have resumed their seats with Joshua Jurcic well out in front with a stack of 47,000 chips.
Meanwhile an unofficial, but likely official, prize pool and payouts for the PokerStars.net APPT Queenstown Snowfest have been announced.
With 40 players on Day 1a, 43 on Day 1b and 44 on Day 1c, the total number of entrants is 127 producing a prize pool of NZ$342,900 which is a record for poker in Queenstown.
The top 15 players will finish in the money with a guaranteed NZ$6,000 payday while first place will collect the trophy and a very handsome NZ$94,300 in prize money. Registration is still open, although we we're not expecting any latecomers at this stage.