APPT Melbourne: Marsland implodes; Mishel all smiles
It was a dramatic few minutes around the money bubble. It wasn't so much the length of hand-for-hand play, but the preparedness for the big stacks to go to war with pure aggression, despite several shorties on the verge of elimination. It seems that our players are here to win!
First we saw Brendon Rubie race for his tournament life with a five-bet shove holding pocket tens. He was up against Tam Truong's ace-queen but the board ran out 8♠2♠5♦5♠4♣ to see Rubie double up. Rubie is focussed on victory, and with a double up to 350,000 in chips, he's now back in business.
The huge pots didn't end there as Dale Marsland decided to take on chip leader Wayne Bentley. Marsland held over 300,000 in chips and was sitting comfortably, but also decided to five-bet shove holding ace-queen. Bentley gave a smile and sat back for a few seconds before making a huge call. He opened a surprisingly strong K♣K♦ - his pause clearly only for dramatic effect - as Marsland would need some help to stay alive.
The board arrived 4♣2♣8♥2♠2♦ and just like that, the dangerous West Australian had his tournament wiped out in one clean blow.
Most of the rail were a little shocked at the huge pot that had just unfolded before their eyes, but one man who was all smiles was Mishel Anunu. After taking a hit, Anunu was down to just 40,000 in chips, and the shortest stack in the room, when the others went to war. Anunu's survival rewards him with a min-cash and the overall lead in the ANZ Player of the Year race.
Anunu was eliminated a short time later in 26th place, leaving Liam O'Rourke as the only remaining POTY challenger. O'Rourke will have to finish 7th or better to knock Anthony Aston from a top two finish, while Anunu can only lose the POTY title if O'Rourke takes at least 2nd place.
With 24 players left it's still Englishman Wayne Bentley way out in front with well over one million in chips as the players redraw for the final three tables of play.