APPT Melbourne: Bentley leads, Boxell on track for back-to-back
The first day of spring brought great hope for the 168 players who sat down in the Crown Poker Room for Day 2 of the APPT Melbourne Main Event. Some had plenty of work to do to turn their seeds into fruit while others were looking to take advantage of a strong start on day one to push towards the money by the end of the day.
The Crown Poker Room was buzzing throughout the day with side events, cash games and of course the Main Event filling the room to capacity on a busy Saturday evening.
One by one the players started to drop away as everyone was surprised by the rapid rate of attrition. Among them were two members of Team PokerStars - Raymond Wu and Celina Lin. Wu was an early casualty when his ace-queen failed to overrun pocket kings while Lin attempted a triple barrel bluff than backfired when called down by her opponent's flopped set.
Others to fall during the day included Andrew Scott, Andy Hinrichsen, Hung-sheng Lin, Van Marcus, Dan Neilson, Ricky Kroesen, Tristan Bain, Martin Kozlov, Julian Cohen, David Gorr and Julius Colman.
After the dinner break the wheels fell off for the likes of Grant Levy and Tom Grigg, who slipped from chip leaders to the short stacks, while Didier Guerin was another unable to survive. It closed the door a little on the ANZ Player of the Year Race, with now only Liam O'Rourke and Mishel Anunu capable of challenging Anthony Aston for the POTY title.
With 44 players managing to survive the day, the honour of chip leader fell to Englishman Wayne Bentley who amassed 450,000 through a combination of solid play and one of the fiercest stare downs we've seen on the APPT!
Interestingly Bentley, who represented the British Armed Forces, has been wearing a black arm band during this event out of respect for the fallen soldiers in Afghanistan. He has a previous 16th place finish at the 2010 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure and will be looking for another big result here in Melbourne.
While Bentley grabbed the chip lead, the story of the day belongs to the progress of the defending champion, Leo Boxell. With little fanfare, and few big hands to report, Boxell has found his way into second chip position with 400,000 safely secured in his bag. Should the Australian Poker Hall of Famer go back-to-back it would be one of the great stories in Australian poker history.
Other big stacks include Day 1a chip leader Brendon Rubie (314,500), 2011 ANZPT Sydney champion Michael Kanaan (311,000) and West Australian gun Dale Marsland (294,000).
Also safely through is Haibo Chu (262,000), Mile Krstanoski (168,500), Michael Guttman (166,000), Billy Argyros (165,000), PokerStars Team Online's Roy Bhasin (163,500), Liam O'Rourke (135,100), Mishel Anunu (135,000), Jarred Graham (117,500), Gary Benson (115,000), Tom Grigg (77,000), Grant Levy (69,500) and Tony Hachem (69,500) who had a tough day at the office tinged with a little controversy.
Check out the live reporting section for the complete list of chip counts of the remaining players. The field undoubtedly is as stacked as we've ever seen on the APPT and should make for an incredible final two days of play here in Melbourne.
Stay locked into the PokerStars Blog from 12:30pm tomorrow as we play all the way down to a final table!