APPT Queenstown Day 1c: Levels 5-6 (blinds 200-400, ante 50)
7:05pm: Third time's a charm; Day 1c is complete
After the clock was paused with five minutes left on the clock, the dealers were instructed to deal five more hands each before play wrapped up for the day, which sent us into a little overtime.
Tournament organizers were hoping to reach 22 and a perfectly capacity field of 70 for Day 2. Unfortunately the dealers failed to cooler anyone in the last five hands, leaving us with 23 survivors from today. So according to Danny McDonagh the dealers are no longer invited to the wrap party on Sunday.*
So we'll have 71 returning tomorrow with one table set to be eleven-handed (with one player dealt out) until we get ourselves an early bustout.
Our chip leader is undoubtedly Alicia Sale with 91,750 while Octavian Voegele, Ben Paurini and Charles Caris are also going to be in good shape tomorrow.
That concludes our live updates from the SKYCITY Queenstown Casino but we'll have complete chip counts from the field and a wrap of the day's action for you shortly.
*Danny McDonagh's authority on such matters may be questionable
6:50pm: McDonald heads backdoor
Alicia Sale continues to splash around, playing every pot, and while she's winning her fair share, she just gave some chips to Jeremy McDonald.
We only caught the action on the river with the board reading 6♥T♠2♦8♦7♦. McDonald fired out a sizable 9,500 chips and Sale made the call, although she wasn't thrilled with what she saw. McDonald tabled K♣9♠, backing himself into a straight as Sale tossed her cards into the muck.
McDonald is up to 46,000 with Sale back to 90,000.
6:35pm: Too many chups, bru!
There's been a bit of confusion over on table two, with 75 in chips having been taken temporarily out of play as the floor staff check the surveillance footage.
As it turns out, because of the soft lighting in the Summit Room, the players have been having a difficulty in making out the difference between the very dark green T25 chips and the chocolate brown/black T100 chips.
It appears at this stage that a player may have accidentally thrown in both a green and brown chip for their ante, so while play continues, the extra chips has been placed in the well and awarded back to the correct player as soon as possible.
6:35pm: Dodds implodes as Sale soars
We love it when we get a "wow" hand and this one was as big as we've seen so far in the APPT Queenstown Snowfest Main Event. Once again, Alicia Sale was right in the thick of the action, as this time she tangled with Australian Joel Dodds.
It started with a limper from middle position, before Dodds popped it to 1,150. Sale made the call in the cutoff and the limper came along to see a flop of 3♠A♣5♣.
Action checked to Dodds who bet 2,050. Sale snap-raised to 5,000 as the limper got out of the way. Dodds deliberated before making it 13,250 in total. Sale made the call as a massive pot was already in the middle before the K♦ hit the turn.
Dodds slid out a hefty bet of 26,500 in one large tower of yellow and blue chips to apply massive heat on his opponent. Sale was pained but eventually committed to a call.
Dodds only had 3,000 more behind which he moved all in dark before the 4♠ hit the river. At this point, Sale had no option but to call.
"You win. Nice hand," said Dodds as he stood from his chair, revealing Q♥T♥ for a massive bluff. Sale opened A♠3♥ for two pair to collect the pot.
Dodds is out as Sale is now up to a massive 103,000 chips which is good for a clear chip lead over the entire tournament.
6:20pm: Boxell and Jurcic go begging
Alicia Sale has now rocketed up the chip counts after scoring the double elimination of Joshua Jurcic and Leo Boxell!
Sale limped in from middle position before Boxell raised to 1,400 from the cutoff before the flop. Jurcic called from the small blind and Sale also called to make it three-handed to the 9♦Q♦2♦ flop.
Jurcic and Sale checked to Boxell who moved all in for just over 3,000 in chips, but Jurcic snap-check-shoved over the top for roughly 10,000 more. Sale bit her bottom lip as she considered her option, but eventually elected to call.
Despite Boxell having hit top pair, Jurcic had flopped the flush, but Sale still had a chance with the nut flush draw - and lo and behold, the 4♦ spiked on the turn! With both Boxell and Jurcic both drawing dead, the 5♠ fell harmlessly on the river.
Having been as low as 4,000 earlier in the day, Sale is now sitting behind a massive 66,000 in chips!
6:15pm: Huntly in a Wright place at the wrong time
A bitterly disappointed Dennis Huntly has just left the Summit Room after having been eliminated by fellow Aussie Nicholas Wright.
We caught the action from the flop of 4♠J♥T♥. Wright checked to Huntly who opened for 2,800, but he then quickly check-raised all-in, sending Huntly deep into the tank. After about four minutes, Wright broke the silence.
"I'll show you if I fold and I'll show you if I don't," Wright said with a smile.
"Do you want me to call?" asked Huntly. "Well, I think you're behind."
"It's either a yes or a no," Huntly shot back.
"Uhhhhh ... no," Wright replied, before quickly adding, "Actually, I don't care. Do what you want to do."
Huntly called, rolling up K♣J♣, but to his disgust, Wright had him out-kicked with A♦J♦ and was out the door when the turn and river came running 5♦, 5♣.
6:10pm: Bower escapes as Smith perishes
PokerStars qualifier Justin Smith has been sent to the rail in unfortunate fashion in a blind-on-blind battle with Brad Bower.
After shoving the previous hand from under the gun and getting no takers, Smith again committed all of his 5,000-or-so chips in the big blind after Bower had done the same from the small blind.
Smith opened A♣9♠ and Bower was in pretty terrible shape with his 9♣5♣. However the flop of 8♣6♥J♣ gave Bower some life as he picked up straight and flush outs. The turn was the 8♠ which changed nothing, but the 4♣ river was the death knell for Smith as Bower escaped to get himself back up to 10,000.
6:00pm: Jurcic gets no Sale
Australia's Joshua Jurcic has been crippled back to 14,200 in chips after losing a chunk of change to New Zealand's Alicia Sale.
Jurcic and Sale were heads-up into a pot worth 5,000 on a flop of 4♣Q♠2♣ when we picked up the action. Sale checked to Jurcic who bet 2,700, but Sale called before both players checked their option on the turn of the 6♣.
When the dealer peeled off the 9♣ for the river, Sale checked again, but quickly called after Jurcic bet 7,000. Jurcic quick-mucked, giving up the pot to Sale, despite the fact that she tabled K♦K♣ for the overpair. Sale is now back up to 55,500 in chips.
5:55pm: Level up, blinds 200-400, ante 50
5:50pm: Reimana holding on
We caught up with the action between Voctor Reimana and New Zealand PokerStars Qualifier Gavin Vickers on a board that read K♥6♠4♥7♥J♠, with Reimana having moved all-in. Vickers had called, tabling A♦T♠ but was soundly beaten by Reimana's two pair with K♠J♦.
"There's life in the old dog yet," said Erich Stadler as Reimana raked in his 9,000 chips.
Reimana breathed a sigh of relief. "Still here, still grinding," he replied.
Leo in the spotlight
The Leo Boxell fan club back home in Australia have been craving more Leo coverage, and fair enough, after all he is the current ANZ Player of the Year leader. So during the last break, PokerStars.tv hostess Lynn Gilmartin caught up with our Leo for a quick chat.
5:45pm: Familton forces fold
The battle between Greg Familton and Jeremy McDonald has just intensified with Familton again getting the upper-hand over his fellow Kiwi.
We caught the action on the turn on the board of 3♦4♠J♣5♦. Action checked to McDonald who bet 4,500 with Familton calling as a third player got out of the way before the 4♣ hit the river.
McDonald checked and Familton announced himself all in. It was a total of 17,800 and McDonald wasn't pleased as he thought for several minutes before open-folding A♥J♣.
"Nice hand," sighed McDonald but Familton didn't give him any information as he stacked up 36,500 in chips. McDonald is on the slide as he's down to 19,000.
5:35pm: Introducing Wally the Wombat
No matter where Leo Boxell goes, his lucky mascot, Wally the Wombat, will follow, taking a front-row seat in the action while Boxell's wife Bev watches them from the rail. It's certainly been a big year for Wally - having guarded his chips all the way to Boxell's fourth place finish in the ANZPT Gold Coast Main Event in June, he was also there when Boxell scored his memorable victory in the inaugural APPT Melbourne Main Event last month.
Since then, the cuddly little creature has gained as much celebrity status as his human compatriot, even getting a chance to peek at Boxell's hole cards. He's proven a hit with the dealers, who are using him as a target when pitching the cards during the initial deal.
We're sure that Boxell's cuddly marsupial will be with us for many more adventures this year, and will be right beside Boxell when he's inducted into the Australian Poker Hall of Fame next year. For now though, keep on guarding those chips, Wally!
5:30pm: Huntly Dong'd
Xia Dong Xia has just found another double up as Dennis Huntly's fortune deserted him in a crucial pot. When we arrived at the table the flop read A♥J♠9♣ and there was a bet of 9,000 sitting in front of Huntly, which seemed like a big bet into a 3,000 pot.
Xia was considering his options holding A♣Q♣ and he decided his best approach was to move all in for his last 17,575. Only problem was Huntly snap-called with a dominant A♠K♦.
Xia was calling for a club to pick up some extra outs, but he didn't have to worry, as the Q♠ proceeded to appear on the turn to give him two pair and the lead. It was now Huntly who would need to spike a three-outer but it didn't arrive as the 4♣ completed the board.
Huntly is now down to 14,000 with Xia up to a solid 36,000.
5:20pm: McDonald straightened
Jeremy McDonald had been chipping away as the most aggressive player on his table, but his momentum has just been halted by Greg Familton.
McDonald raised the button to 750 and both blinds called to see a flop of J♣T♣T♥. Action checked to McDonald who bet 1,500 with Familton the lone caller in the small blind.
The turn was the A♦ and that sparked Familton to lead out with a bet of 3,000. McDonald quickly called as the 3♥ completed the board. Familton released another bet worth 4,500 and McDonald again was quick to call, but he mucked when Familton showed K♥Q♣ for a straight.
McDonald slips to 25,000 with Familton now back up to 26,000.
5:05pm: It's a hard-Knox life
In one of the first hands after the break, Carl Knox copped a hit against fellow Kiwi Jamie Lunt, who is now up 36,000 in chips as play continues here in Day 1c of the PokerStars.net APPT Queenstown Snowfest Main Event.
The action folded around Lunt who raised to 800 from the button before Knox re-raised to 2,100 from the big blind. Lunt called, then opened for 2,700 after Knox checked his option on the flop of J♦K♠Q♦.
Knox called, but after checking again on the turn of the 6♥, Lunt led out for 6,500, sending him into the tank for almost four minutes before he let his hand go. Knox is now down to 23,000 after that hand.
4:55pm: Play resumes
The 29 remaining players are back following the last break of the day with two more levels to play until we wrap things up for the day.
New Zealand's Daryl Hussey has surged into the chip lead with 71,000, while Brian Biggs, Charles Caris and Joshua Jurcic are also well placed.