Queenstown Snowfest: Boobekov best on Day 1c
Another beautiful day greeted us in Queenstown today for the third and final flight of the Queenstown Snowfest Main Event.
After enjoying the sunshine this morning with a round of Frisbee Golf, another 49 players entered the SKYCITY Queenstown Casino for their last chance at Snowfest glory.
It brought our total number of entrants to 149, producing a prize pool of $402,300, which is a record for tournament poker here in Queenstown. The top fifteen players will finish in the money. A min-cash is worth NZ$7,050 while first place will win a very tidy NZ$110,600 in prize money.
Among today's entrants were the likes of Lee Nelson, Matty Yates, Hung-sheng "Shaq" Lin, Leo Boxell, Kristian Lunardi, Jarred Graham, Aaron Benton, Jordan Westmorland, John Shin, Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang and PokerStars Team Online member Roy "GodlikeRoy" Bhasin.
After six levels of play, the field was reduced to 29 players. Gary Retallick, Yvo Molin and John Shin were with the chip leaders throughout the day but it was Nurlen Boobekov who grabbed the end-of-day advantage.
In a clash with John Shin, Boobekov sustained a flop check-raise and barrels on the turn and river holding just ace-high on a board of K♣2♦3♣9♠J♦. Shin mucked on the river in resignation as Boobekov's A♠Q♦ was good. Boobekov continued his late-day form to amass a stack of 69,200 for a clear chip lead. With over US$400,000 in online earnings under the handle "Nur1ck", Boobekov is a player to watch on Day 2.
Top ten chip counts
Nurlan Boobekov (Australia) - 69,200
Gary Retallick (Australia) - 55,650
John Shin (Australia) - 47,825
Kristian Lunardi (Australia) - 47,600
Aaron Benton (Australia) - 44,050
Craig Blight (Australia) - 43,625
Jarred Graham (Australia) - 40,775
Bryan Huang (Singapore) (PokerStars Team Pro) - 39,925
Yvo Molin (Thailand) - 38,950
Jason O'brien (Australia) - 35,175
Both members of Team PokerStars have made it through the day with Bryan Huang sitting in the top ten and Roy Bhasin (19,100) also still alive. Alicia Sale (29,050), Jordan Westmorland (26,425), Hung-sheng "Shaq" Lin (22,925), Leo Boxell (21,300) and David Zhao (18,675) are also through.
Check out what PokerStars hostess, Nicki Pickering and, SKYCITY Queenstown Manager of Casino Operations, Andrew Gray, thought of today's play in the Nightly Notables:
Tomorrow the surviving 87 players will return over two split Day 2 flights due to the limitations of the size of the poker room. The first flight will be Day 2a and will start at 12:30pm local time - that flight will comprise of all Day 1a survivors and a random half of the Day 1b survivors. Day 2b will start at 4:00pm which will be remaining Day 1b survivors and everyone who made it through today on Day 1c. Each Day 2 flight will play three levels, before coming together for the first time in a merge of both Day 2 flights at 7:30pm. The seating draw for the two Day 2 flights will be available in the live updates section of the website shortly.
The PokerStars Blog team will be back on the floor tomorrow afternoon to bring you all the stories from the Queenstown Snowfest Main Event. In the meantime, we're off to enjoy a few of New Zealand's finest wines. See you tomorrow!