APPT Queenstown Day 4: Levels 16-17 (blinds 3,000-6,000, ante 500)
2:35pm: Ten-minute break
2:20pm: The million dollar man, Matty Yates
We've just seen the biggest pot of the tournament so far as New Zealand's Matty Yates has decimated the lead of Marcel Schreiner in a massive million-plus pot.
It started with Schreiner opening to 12,500 from middle position before Yates three-bet to 28,500 on the button. Schreiner didn't slow down as he four-bet to 65,000 but Yates came back with a five-bet to 116,000. It was then with Schreiner and incredibly he six-bet shoved all in to put Yates to a decision for his tournament life as the two big stacks collided.
Yates shrugged and made the call as the room were on their feet in anticipation of the showdown!
Schreiner had been caught deep in the cookie jar as his suited connector had got him in a world of hurt against Yates' monster. But it wasn't over yet...
The flop landed 9♣J♦3♦ and Schreiner picked up a pair to have some hope in the hand. However the turn J♠ was not what he wanted to see as his outs shrivelled to just the two remaining nines. The Kiwis on the rail were cheering for a brick and the 3♣ was the perfect card as their man Yates found a massive double up to 1.06 million - good for around half the chips in play, as Schreiner's once mighty empire is now just an average stack of 235,000.
2:05pm: Waterman picks his spots
Our PokerStars freeroll winner John Waterman has been sitting pretty tight so far as he seems to be picking his spots carefully. On the 30th hand of this final table, Waterman opened to 12,000 from under the gun and found three callers to see a flop of 2♥7♠5♥.
Waterman fired 45,000 and it was enough as the three quickly scurried for cover. Waterman is up to 200,000.
1:55pm: Matty in the mix
We've seen plenty of preflop aggression so far on this final table, and that speed doesn't look like slowing as Matty Yates continues to make his presence felt.
In the most recent hand, Daniel Laidlaw started things off with an early position raise to 13,000. Carl Knox called before Grigg squeezed them both to 31,500 from the hijack. Grigg's move backfired when Yates cold four-bet to 85,500 in position in the cutoff.
Laidlaw asked for a count of Grigg's stack before folding, Knox quickly escaped and Grigg soon followed as Yates too it down uncontested.
"I would've got it in against you, but not him!" sighed Grigg after the hand.
Yates is now up to 500,000 and looking strong.
1:40pm: A two is no good
Matty Yates opened under the gun to 16,000 and play folded to Tom Grigg in the big blind. Grigg is not one to let his big blind go without a fight so he made the call and the two took a flop of 4♥2♥J♠.
Both players checked and the T♥ hit the turn. Grigg led for 16,000 but Yates clicked it back to 32,000. Grigg made the call and then checked dark before the 6♦ hit the river. Yates checked it behind.
"I have a two," said Grigg but it wasn't good as Yates showed A♠T♦ to take it down. Grigg slides to 185,000 with Yates up to 470,000.
1:35pm: Level up, blinds 3,000-6,000, ante 500
1:35pm: Schreiner flush with chips
On the final hand of the level, Matty Yates opened with a raise to 12,500 and Marcel Schreiner called in the small blind. The flop landed T♠4♠2♠ and Schreiner check-called for 21,500 as the K♣ hit the turn.
Schreiner checked and again Yates fired, this time for 33,500. Schreiner made the call as a repeat K♠ on the river put four cards to a flush on board. That was enough to slow both players down as they tapped the table.
Yates opened A♦K♦ for trips but no spade as Schreiner's fortune continues as his 9♠9♣ was good to take down yet another pot. He's up to 795,000 with Yates back to 410,000.
1:33pm: Jonathan Karamalikis eliminated in 9th place
It just wasn't a good day for the Dong. Jonathan Karamalikis has become our 9th place finisher after a cooler of a hand saw his short stack enter the pot, never to return.
Daniel Laidlaw opened under the gun to 11,000 before Karamalikis moved all in for his last 80,000. The table folded around and Laidlaw quickly called.
The board ran out 7♥8♦2♦3♥6♣ to leave Laidlaw's kings in front and send Karamalikis to the cashier to collect NZ$10,280 in prize money.
1:30pm: Schreiner relentless
Chip leader Marcel Schreiner continues to pound on his opponents as this time Matty Yates felt the brunt of the German's aggression.
Schreiner started things off with a raise to 11,000 from early position. Next to speak was Daniel Laidlaw and he made the call before play passed to Yates on the button. He three-bet to 27,500 but that didn't deter Schreiner who four-bet it to 63,000. Laidlaw thought briefly before folding but Yates made the call to see a flop of 5♦Q♣J♠.
Schreiner cut out chips before splashing 67,500 into the middle and it was enough as Yates gave it up.
Yates slips to 472,000 with Schreiner up to 740,000.
1:20pm: More preflop aggression
In another button versus blinds duel, Carl Knox raised the button to 10,500 before Tom Grigg three-bet to 23,500 in the small blind. Knox decided that his move was to four-bet to 54,500 but Grigg came back over the top by announcing himself all in. Knox snap-folded to slip to 180,000 with Grigg up to 230,000.
1:15pm: Dong in the danger zone
Action folded around to Daniel Laidlaw on the button who raised to 10,000. Jonathan Karamalikis three-bet to 22,500 from the small blind and Laidlaw flat called to go heads-up to a flop of 4♣A♠K♠.
On the short stack, Karamalikis didn't have a lot of room to manoeuvre and he thought for several moments before deciding 16,000 was the right amount. Laidlaw re-checked his hole cards before announcing himself all in. Karamalikis gave a wry smile before quickly folding as he drops to just 83,000 and in the danger zone. Meanwhile Laidlaw has been rocketing along today so far as he is up to 260,000.
1:05pm: Grigg drops a little more
Tom Grigg opened with a raise to 10,000 from early position and picked up callers in Xiao Dong Xia and Marcel Schreiner as the three went to a flop of 4♥3♦8♠.
Grigg led out for 16,500 and Xia called as Schreiner folded before the 5♣ hit the turn. Grigg checked and Xia played with his chips before deciding to splash 30,000 into the middle. Grigg instantly gave it up to slip to 179,000 with Xia making good progress today as he chips up to 192,000.
1:00pm: Schreiner barrels through Grigg
Marcel Schreiner and Tom Grigg have engaged in some epic hands over the last few days and it hasn't taken long for the two to reacquaint themselves at this final table.
Schreiner was the preflop aggressor, raising to 11,000 and picking up three callers including Grigg on the button to see a K♠5♦7♠ flop.
John Waterman led out with a bet of 11,000 from the big blind but Schreiner popped it to 27,500 to go. Daniel Laidlaw escaped danger but Grigg flat-called on the button as Waterman got out of the way.
The turn brought the 4♠ and Schreiner let rip with a healthy bet of 56,500. Grigg thought for a few moments before making the call as a mountain of chips were in the middle before the 4♥ landed on the river. Schreiner reached deep and moved 130,000 into the middle to send Grigg into the tank.
"That's all my chips bro!" sighed Grigg before eventually deciding to lay it down. The momentum, and the chips, continue to go the way of Germany as Schreiner moves up to a whopping 668,000 with Grigg down to 164,000.
12:55pm: Dong on the short stack
It's a big day for Jonathan Karamalikis as he strives to become the first player to win dual APPT titles, but his campaign to make history has started off on the wrong foot.
Karamalikis opened from the cutoff to 10,000 and Matty Yates defended his big blind to see a 9♣5♦Q♣ flop. Yates checked to Karamalikis who continuation bet for 14,500. Yates bit back with a check-raise to 33,000 which was enough for force Karamalikis to fold. He's now on the short stack with 137,000 while Yates improves to 550,000.
12:45pm: Small Knox for Grigg
Tom Grigg opened with a raise from under the gun to 10,000 and found callers in Marcel Schreiner and Carl Knox to see our first multi-way flop of A♠7♥T♥.
Knox checked from the big blind to Grigg who bet 16,500. Schreiner folded but Knox made the call as the 9♦ hit the turn. Both players checked and again they rapped the table on the K♦ river. Knox opened A♥Q♣ which was good to take it down. He's up to 236,000 with Grigg slipping to 277,000.
12:40pm: Laying down the law
The first two pots of this final table has gone the way of Aussie Daniel "Lay down the law" Laidlaw.
Perhaps inspired by the new nickname that Spencer gave him during the player introductions, Laidlaw called a raise from Hugh Cohen and the two saw a flop of Q♦3♦9♠. Both players checked, and Laidlaw led out for 16,000 from the big blind on the 2♦ turn. Cohen called and the river was the 4♣. Laidlaw tossed out another 34,000 and Cohen gave it up.
The very next hand, Laidlaw put in a three-bet to 30,000 following an open from overnight chip leader Marcel Schreiner on the button. Schreiner gave it up as Laidlaw improves to 235,000 chips.
12:35pm: APPT Queenstown Snowfest Final Table kicks off!
We find ourselves situated on the main gaming floor of the SKYCITY Queenstown Casino today as the feature table has been relocated to give plenty of room for friends, family and onlookers to come along and enjoy the APPT Queenstown Snowfest Main Event final table this afternoon.
The players have satisfied pre-match photo requirements and been given a spirited introduction to the rail by now world-famous poker dealer Spencer. The chips are unbagged and we're now ready to roll!
We've wound the clock back to the start of level 16 with the blinds at 2,500-5,000 with a 500 ante.