APPT Melbourne: Short-stacked survival
It's been slow going since the dinner break this evening as our field crawls its way towards a final table line up. For those who say that poker isn't a sport, it's moments like this where players are tested both mentality and physically that it offers a strong case for poker's acceptance as a sport.
It really is survival of the strongest at the moment as the short stacks have just dug in their heels with no signs of budging any time soon.
The likes of Keith Walker, Karan Punjabi, Ismail Ismail, Gary Benson and Kristian Lunardi have been battling with short stacks for several hours, unable to gain any ground.
In fact, it was surprising that they were able to survive this long when you consider that Tom Grigg, Sam Razavi, Wayne Bentley held about two-thirds of the chips in play with 13 players remaining. Half of the field had 20 big blinds or less, while several shorties were down to their last 10 big blinds and in the danger zone.
It really was time to double up or die trying.
However they did better than that with Kristian Lunardi and Gary Benson recently finding triple ups to their short stacks to keep their APPT Melbourne dreams alive.
Kristian Lunardi found a massive triple up when his K♦8♦ caught a king on the flop to better Sam Razavi's pocket queens, while over on the other table Gary Benson did likewise when his pocket kings held against two opponents on an ace high board. Nigel Andrews' pocket jacks just weren't enough.
However the most exciting action from the past level has come at the expense of overnight chip leader Wayne Bentley when his pocket aces were cracked not once...but twice. The first saw Vineet Jindal double up with his jack-ten turning a straight, to see Bentley seething. He was then smoking from the ears when his aces were cracked again when Keith Walker hit a set with his pocket eights.
We're inching closer to the final table, and while we are certainly still a long off, you get the feeling that we could see an implosion or two at anytime.