APPT Queenstown: Marcel Marvellous as Koray Capitulates

Since having first arrived in Queenstown, we knew that we were going to be in for one helluva tournament, and considering the new trend of hyper-aggression to have come out of this year's World Series of Poker Main Event, we were expecting some of the craziest action ever seen in this side of the world.

Day 2 of the APPT Queenstown Snowfest Main Event delivered that craziness in spades. Right from the starter's orders, the 71 players remaining in the field went hammer-and-tongs, with Australia's Tom Grigg chipping up early from a double KO before Kiwi maverick Koray Turker took out fellow New Zealander Richard Docherty and Canadian PokerStars Qualifier Amichai Barer to move to almost 150,000 in chips.

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Dale Philip's Main Event may be over, but it was still a fruitful trip to Queenstown

Australian PokerStars Qualifier Jonathan Karamalikis then shot up past the 100,000-chip mark when he took a sizeable pot from PokerStars Team Online's Dale Philip. It marked the beginning of the end for the Thailand-based Scott, who was eliminated late in the day when he moved the last of his chips in with K♠2♠ but lost out to New Zealand PokerStars Qualifier Jackson Zheng, who made two pair on the board of 8♣2♥5♦6♥6♦. Philip's time here in Queenstown hasn't been all bad though, as he took down the NZD$550 Pot Limit Omaha event the night before, defeating 11 players to a tidy sum of cash and a brand new PokerStars snowboard!

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Alicia Sale heater turned ice cold, busting out late in the day

Speaking of side events and snowboards, we can't forget about Alicia Sale, who took the overall chip lead into Day 2 after a stunning performance on Day 1c. Having said that, today might have been a day she would rather forget. Unable to continue her form from yesterday, she was eventually , taken out by Jonathan Karamalikis when his Q♠J♣ improved to a flush on the T♠9♠8♠Q♦7♠ board against Sale's A♦J♦.

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Another spectacular fall from grace for Koray Turker

Which leads us to fellow New Zealander, Koray Turker. As was the case in the APPT Melbourne Main Event a month ago, Turker's relentless aggression and bravado brought him undone. This time, he surrendered most of his chips to Tom Grigg, six-bet-shoving and trash-talking with A♣5♠, but ran straight into Grigg's K♥K♣, which improved to a set on the turn, crippling Turker down to just 60,000 in chips, most of which went the way of Marcel Schreiner before being eliminated at the hands of Jamie Lunt.

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Marcel Schreiner finshes Day 2 on a high

It would then lead up to the ultimate showdown of ultimate destiny between Grigg and Schreiner in one of the final hands of the night. Schreiner called Grigg's four-bet before the flop then called him after the flop of K♣4♥5♦, then both players checked the turn of the 6♥ before Grigg opened again on the river of the 7♣ and after what seemed like forever and a day in hell, Schreiner made the call of his life; his A♠Q♥ best against Grigg's A♦9♥ to take the chip lead into Day 3, bagging up a whopping 453,800 in chips.

Grigg is still nipping at his heels though, returning second overall with 220,500, while Jonathan Karamalikis (192,800) is not far behind. Ben Paurini (180,100) and Carl Knox (148,100) were the best for the locals, finishing in fourth and fifth in chips respectively, but we'll also be keeping a close eye out on Australian PokerStars Qualifier Hugh Cohen, who could well emulate his brother Julian's efforts in the same event last year, returning to Day 3 with 143,900.

In all, 21 players will continue tomorrow from 4pm local time (GMT +12), which gives them (and us) a much-needed opportunity to rest up and recharge the batteries in the fresh mountain air - assuming this rain holds off.

Click here for the Day 3 seating draw.

Be sure to join myself and my esteemed blogging partner Heath "TassieDevil" Chick once again when we bring you all the action of Day 3 of the APPT Queenstown Snowfest Main Event from the SKYCITY Queenstown Casino. Until then, remember to check out the Final Four video with's Lynn Gilmartin. And of course, ciao for now!

Photography © Joe Giron | Joe Giron Photography |

Landon Blackhall
@PokerStars in Queenstown