APPT Melbourne: Bubble blues
The bubble is always a fun time for tournament poker observers. It might not be quite so much fun for the nervous short stacks, especially the four players that are about to go home empty-handed after three days of toil here in Melbourne, but the tension that builds is certainly dramatic for those watching.
The only downside is that the bubble can often take a lot of time to burst. I remember covering tournaments around the world that have sat on the bubble for hours without any signs of cracking. The World Series of Poker is a prime example, where coordinating hand-for-hand play around a room of 50 or more tables can be quite an exhausting process.
The $8,455 cash bubble is certainly one of the larger on the APPT and it's starting to drag out a bit. For some, that's a lot of coin and the achievement of reaching the money will mean more than anything else that happens in this tournament. Others aren't even looking at the money yet. Their sole focus is the final table and the $326,125 that is up top, and if they are eliminated today, then they won't be too fussed. It will just mean they'll be free to play in the PokerStars WCOOP online tomorrow.
One player very keen to reach the money is Mishel Anunu.
Anunu's bubble could potentially be worth $36,455 with the added $28,000 in value for the ANZ Player of the Year title. Anthony Aston will be sweating the action, knowing that his hold on the lead is slipping, as a min-cash for Anunu will be enough to take the lead. The only other one in contention is Liam O'Rourke who will need a deep run on Monday to challenge for the honours.
PokerStars hostess Lynn Gilmartin caught up with Anunu just a few moments ago for a quick chat:
As we type, Anunu has moved a step closer as we've lost ANZ regular Ivan Zalac in 32nd position. He bit the dust when his pocket sixes ran into pocket kings. That leaves just three more to go.
At the moment, the pressure is on Ashley Warner, Jeremy Simon and Keith Walker as the short stacks, but with the blinds still not at the point at which the bubble burst last year, we might be here for a while longer.