Queenstown Snowfest: Kanaan in control
The remaining players have merged into one group inside the SKYCITY Queenstown Casino, as the survivors sit together for the first time. We had 23 players make it through Day 2a earlier today, while this afternoon another 24 players navigated their way through Day 2b. That left 47 players in the Queenstown Snowfest Main Event, and by the end of the next three levels, we should have a pretty good idea of who will shape the final stages of what has been an exciting tournament.
We're almost a lock for a star-studded final table line up on Sunday, with the likes of Billy "The Croc" Argyros, Michael Fadersen, Matthew Wakeman, Kristian Lunardi, Jordan Westmorland, Ben Barclay, Ricky Kroesen, Dave Allan, Richard Lancaster, 2009 APPT Sydney champion Aaron Benton and Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang all still in contention.
At the time of writing, we've lost another six players in the first level of the evening session, leaving 41 players remaining. Leading them all is another familiar face with 2011 ANZPT Sydney champ Michael Kanaan currently commanding the largest stack in the room.
Kanaan is arguably one of the in-form players of the Australasian circuit right now. While he doesn't have a string of results, every time he's gone deep in a tournament, he's made it count.
Kanaan's victory in 2011 was worth over AU$200,000, and he followed that up a few months later with a 5th place finish in another Sydney event which added $66,690 to the bankroll.
In 2012, Kanaan has continued that rich vein of form in major championships. Kanaan headed to the Philippines in April and came back with another final table result with a 4th place finish at the APPT Cebu Main Event. It was yet another strong score with $37,338 pushing his career earnings above the $300k mark.
What are we trying to say? Watch out Queenstown because when this guy gets a stack, he knows how to use it!
If Kanaan wins here, he'll join an exclusive club of those to have won both ANZPT and APPT titles (in separate events!). The club currently contains just two members. One is Australian Grant Levy and the other is a Kiwi hip-hop legend Brotha D. Interestingly neither of those two players made an appearance here in Queenstown.