APPT Melbourne: Grigg sets APPT record to lead final table
Another long day in the Crown Poker Room has come to an end with the APPT Melbourne Main Event reaching the final table of nine. They are headed by Tom Grigg who went from overnight short stack to end-of-day chip leader in a remarkable display of power poker.
At the start of the day, 44 gentlemen brushed off Father's Day lunches to take their seats for Day 3 of action in the Main Event. For the third day in a row, Tom Grigg found himself seated to Brendon Rubie. Grigg was a little tardy, and slightly under-dressed, but he battled manfully with his short stack as the players started to drop away throughout the day.
Jarred Graham, Grant Levy, Mile Krstanoski, Tony Hachem, Julian Powell, Danny Chevalier and Ivan Zalac were all among the eliminations as the money bubble loomed. All the focus was with Mishel Anunu and his quest to min-cash to take the lead in the ANZ Player of the Year race. He had some nervous moments after losing a big pot to Tom Grigg to leave himself as the short stack with 29 players remaining and only 28 to be paid.
However Anunu was the benefactor of some preflop aggression from Dale Marsland that saw him commit his healthy stack holding ace-queen as Wayne Bentley made the call with pocket kings. The board bricked out and the monster pot went the way of the Englishman, as Marsland made a dramatic departure as unfortunate bubble boy.
Anunu snuck into the money in 26th place which was enough to secure the ANZ POTY crown, before PokerStars Team Online member Roy Bhasin fell in 25th place. It was a solid run by the online specialist but his end came when he shoved a flush draw into the top two pair of James Bills. The river bricked out and Bhasin was sent to the rail as the last red spade standing.
Haibo Chu (24th), Michael Kanaan (22nd) and Charles Caris (21st) joined the queue at the cashier before Leo Boxell's quest for back-for-back APPT Melbourne titles fell short in 19th place.
However the game-changer came just prior to the dinner break when Tom Grigg and Liam O'Rourke collided in a massive preflop clash. O'Rourke went with A♠K♠ but ran smack into Grigg's A♦A♣ which held to see Grigg assume the chip lead as a disappointed O'Rourke was eliminated moments later in 17th place.
At the dinner break, the players pondered the thought of winning a jeep or nine which obviously affected their focus when play resumed. The cracks started to appear with a few mistakes made and some tight play resulting in the chip leaders extending their enormous advantage. At one stage Tom Grigg, Sam Razavi and Wayne Bentley held almost two-thirds of the chips in play with 13 players remaining after the eliminations of Michael Guttman (15th) and Billy Argyros (14th).
The short stacks were getting desperate but a series of double and triple ups ensured their stuck around as the evening started to drag out in a battle for survival.
When Ismail Ismail finally lost his battle in 10th place, our final table line up was set. It's going to be a cracking final table with Tom Grigg surging to a monster stack and the chip lead. It's Grigg's fourth APPT final table appearance, which is a record for the tour, as he looks to secure his first major title.
Grigg leads some of the most decorated and talented players in the Asia Pacific on a stacked final table. There's also a little international flavour with Sam Razavi and Wayne Bentley flying the flag for England. Head to the live reporting section for details of the chip counts and table draw.
The final table kicks off at 2pm local time tomorrow and this is one that you won't want to miss. While you're grinding WCOOP make sure you join us on the PokerStars Blog for all the updates from the final table of the APPT Melbourne Main Event.