APPT Melbourne: Cracks start to appear
Getting down to the final two tables of a major poker championship like the APPT Melbourne Main Event can be a little nerve-wracking. There's a big crowd on the rail, the media are watching over you like a hawk, there's life-changing money on the line, and you're expected to play your "A-game". It's not easy since many players will only ever get one chance at this opportunity in their lifetime.
So it's no surprise that we're starting to see a few cracks from a couple of players.
In a recent pot, Kristian Lunardi tossed out 20,000 from the cutoff, thinking he was opening the action with a min-raise. Unfortunately Lunardi didn't see that Gunther Hornung had already started things off with a raise to 21,000 from under the gun. Lunardi sighed and tossed out the extra 1,000, but things just got crazier from there.
Karan Punjabi popped it to 60,000 on the button and the action was with Brendon Rubie in the small blind. As he was thinking, Hornung folded out of turn which didn't please tournament director Christian Vaughan.
Rubie announced himself all in and the table folded around, but Hornung was slapped with a one-orbit penalty for acting out of turn with significant action pending.
It wasn't the first penalty that we'd seen, as just prior to the dinner break, Wayne Bentley received similar punishment. Bentley had raised, Tom Grigg three-bet and the action was on Tam Truong. Bentley then called out of turn, before Truong was given an opportunity to act. Truong was given the option to call, in which case Bentley's chips would stay, or he could raise, in which cash Bentley would have the option to pull back his bet. Truong chose the latter and re-raised, forcing folds from the rest of the table. Bentley was immediately told to serve a one orbit penalty which he apologetically accepted.
We're getting towards the business end of things now, and perhaps it will be those players who keep their composure and avoid cracking under pressure that will reach our APPT Melbourne final table.