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Patrick Donker dominates Day 1A

Day 1A of the APPT10 Melbourne Main Event is done and dusted after seven hours of play here at Crown Casino. After four levels late registration was locked out and all up we saw 249 players pull up seats. After a great turnout today, tournament opening flights being notorious for smaller fields, and tomorrow’s Day 1B falling on a Saturday, organisers are confident for an even bigger showing tomorrow.

Before we reach Day 1B however, the story is Day 1A – and that belongs to Patrick Donker. He was hidden away in the back corner of the satellite room, quietly raking pots to finally emerge with 173,900. Donker has no previous recorded live cashes to his name but has put himself in a great position to change that this week.

Also returning on Sunday for Day 2 alongside Donker will be Corey Kempson (103,000), Billy Argyros (66,100), Andrew Hinrichsen (59,000), Graeme Putt (39,400), David Gorr (35,900), Jesse McKenzie (28,600) and James Obst (20,800).

While these lucky players have locked up a seat, for others it was a different story. Many came and went as a horde of poker hopefuls failed to hang on through seven levels of play.

2005 WSOP Main Event champion Joe Hachem was met with elimination in the penultimate level. On a board of J10A7 Hachem called off drawing dead while holding 98 for a straight against an opponent’s KQ for Broadway.

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Joe Hachem

Tim English also fell by the wayside during the first half of the day when he was on the wrong end of a cooler against Billy ‘The Croc’ Argyros. It was a three-way all in with English holding KK, the third player holding JJ and Argyros the AA. The latter held on the 1010843 runout and English hit the exit.

For the 127 who survived it’ll be a day off tomorrow as the runners for our Day 1B flight try their luck. With the official APPT Melbourne Welcome Party tonight it may come in handy for some of the more rowdy players to nurse a hangover.

You can check out the full survivor list here.

That’s all from us here tonight. We hope you can join us tomorrow when we do it all again from 12:15pm local time – right here on the PokerStars Blog!

7:40pm: Final Four Hands
Level 7: Blinds – 400/800 (100 ante)

The remaining players in today’s opening field will play four more hands before bagging up for the night. 

7:35pm: David Gorr eliminates one
Level 7: Blinds – 400/800 (100 ante)

The player in middle position raised to 2,100 before the player on the button moved all in for just over 10,000. David Gorr was seated in the small blind and came over the top moving all in for just over 21,000. The original raiser folded leaving the two players to table their cards.

Gorr: AQ
Opponent: KK

Gorr was at risk of losing half his stack until he flopped and ace and took down the pot after the board ran out A55J2.

7:20pm: Obst doubles through Aristidou
Level 7: Blinds – 400/800 (100 ante)

James Obst raised to 1,600 from under the gun plus one before Peter Aristidou re-raised to 4,200 from the hijack. The decision fell back on Obst, who thought for a minute, before announcing all in for 21,300. Aristidou then himself thought for a minute and called to put Obst at risk. 

Obst: AA
Aristidou: AQ

Obst was in a commanding position to double and did so after the board ran out KQA29 giving him a set of aces and the winning hand. 

7:05pm: Unlucky Lynskey takes a hit
Level 7: Blinds – 400/800 (100 ante)

The player in middle position raised to 1,600 before Alex Lynskey bumped it up to 4,200 from the button. The action folded back around to the original raiser who moved all in for 9,800. Lynskey made the quick call to put his opponent at risk. 

Lynskey: AK
Opponent: KQ

Lynskey had a commanding lead until the 109J flop meant he was chasing one of three remaining queens to send his tablemate packing. The 2 turn and 4 river were no help to see Lynskey drop to 18,000 in chips and his opponent remain among the action.

6:40pm: Final break of the day

The remaining 148 players have just begun the last 10-minute break of Day 1A.

6:30pm: Obst takes one out
Level 6: Blinds – 300/600 (75 ante)

The player under the gun plus one limped into the pot and was followed by the player in the small blind. James Obst was seated in the big blind and bumped it up to 2,000. The original limper then immediately moved all in for 10,075 which saw the small blind fold. Obst snap-called with a slightly larger stack. 

Obst: QQ
Opponent: A4

The board ran out 3654K to see Obst hold with his pair of queens as he sent his opponent to the rail just short of the final break of the day. 

6:20pm: Stevan Chew wins $10,000 Challenge
Level 6: Blinds – 300/600 (75 ante)

Congratulations to Stevan Chew! Winner of the $10,000 Challenge and $140,220.

Chew overcame a stacked final table to lift the trophy and emerge victorious.

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6:10pm: Lynskey loses some
Level 6: Blinds – 300/600 (75 ante)

Aussie Millions final tablist Alex Lynskey has been building a stack this afternoon but he just encountered a minor setback in a recent hand.

On a flop of 3A3 Lynskey fired for 750 and was called by the only other active player before the 10 arrived on the turn. Lynskey then opted for a check and called when met with a bet of 1,500.

The 9 completed the board and both players quickly checked before Lynskey saw he was beat by AQ. He drops to around 26,000 in chips.

5:50pm: Hachem’s run ends
Level 6: Blinds – 300/600 (75 ante)

On a board of J10A7 Joe Hachem bet out 4,000 before his opponent in the hand moved all in for just over 20,000 from the hijack. The amount had Hachem covered, which made him think about his decision for a minute.

Hachem decided to call and was shown KQ for a Broadway straight. With a frustrated look Hachem tabled 98 for a lesser straight.

The 6 completed the board and Hachem was sent to the rail during the sixth level of play.

5:30pm: $10,000 Challenge update

Only three players remain in the $10,000 Challenge.

It has come down to Stevan Chew, Didier Guerin and Sam Higgs.

All three players have locked up at least $58,425 but will have their eyes set on the $140,220 up top.

At this stage Higgs is out in front but anything could happen.

5:20pm: Catterwell flops the world
Level 5: Blinds – 200/400 (50 ante)

The action folded around to Bec Catterwell in the small blind who raised to 1,000. The player in the big blind called. 

The flop came 99A and Catterwell flicked out another 1,000. Her opponent called. 

The turn brought the J and Catterwell grabbed some more chips and fired out 1,600. The bet was matched. 

Catterwell then quickly bet out 3,500 after the 5 completed the board and was snap-called by her opponent. 

Catterwell promptly turned over A9 for a flopped full house and raked in the pot after her opponent mucked his hand flashing the A in the process. 

5:05pm: More for Mooney
Level 5: Blinds – 200/400 (50 ante)

Nick Mooney just raked in a pot to boost his stack up to 24,150.

He brought it in for a raise from under the gun before the player in the hijack seat bumped it up to 2,025. Mooney made the call and the flop landed 237.

After a check from Mooney the hijack continued for 2,500 and Mooney called to see the 3 turn pair the board.

Mooney check-called again, this time for 3,100, and the 9 rolled off on the end.

The action then went check-check and Mooney tabled 1010 for the overpair to take it down.

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Nick Mooney

4:50pm: Lunardi moves all in
Level 5: Blinds – 200/400 (50 ante)

Kristian Lunardi raised to 900 from the cut-off and was called by both players in the blinds. 

The flop came A104 and the action checked over to Lunardi who threw out 1,800. Only the small blind called. 

The 5 on the turn saw both players check before the K completed the board. 

Lunardi reached for his chips and moved all in for 7,325. His opponent looked over at the bet before opting to fold awarding Lunardi with the pot. 

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4:30pm: Scheduled break

It’s that time again. Play will resume in 10 minutes.

4:15pm: Croc snaps up two
Level 4: Blinds – 150/300 (25 ante)

The action started with the player in middle position coming in with a raise. Billy “The Croc” Argyros then raised to 2,500 from the cut-off and was called by Tim English on the button. The original raiser then moved all in for 10,675. Argyros asked for a count and called. English thought for a minute and moved all in over the top for around 20,000. Argyros snapped.

Argyros: AA
English: KK
Opponent: JJ

The board ran out 1010843 to see Argyros hold with his over pair as he sent two players to the rail.

Argyros now sits on 70,000 just before the midway point of the day.

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Billy Argyros

4pm: Aristidou gets it through
Level 4: Blinds – 150/300 (25 ante)

Peter Aristidou was all in for his tournament life and waiting on a decision from Tom Grigg.

The board read 8472K and after a check from Grigg, Aristidou had pushed his last 9,025 into the middle.

Grigg gave it some thought but ultimately threw the hand away and Aristidou raked the pot.

After a stellar first couple of levels Grigg still one of our frontrunners with 78,000 in play. — BK

3:45pm: Graeme Putt chops after a snap
Level 4: Blinds – 150/300 (25 ante)

The player in the hijack raised to 650 and was called by Graeme Putt in the big blind.

The flop fell Q73 and Putt checked. His opponent quickly tossed out 700 before Putt came over the top with a raise to 2,000. A moment later saw the original raiser move all in for just over 6,000. Putt snap-called.

Putt watched as his opponent flipped over AQ for top pair.

“How can you play rubbish like that,” joked Putt, before tabling his AQ for an identical hand.

The 8 on the turn and 6 on the river completed the board and both players chopped the pot.

3:25pm: Joe Hachem rakes one in
Level 3: Blinds – 100/200 (25 ante)

Joe Hachem bet out 600 from middle position after the turn card dropped on a 610103 board. His opponent seated on the button called. 

The 6 completed the board and Hachem casually reached for his chips and placed out 1,500. His opponent called, then mucked his hand, after Hachem revealed J10 for a full house and the winning hand. — MP

3:15pm: Hachem joins the hunt
Level 3: Blinds – 100/200 (25 ante)

Perhaps the most notable Australian poker player ever and the 2005 WSOP Main Event Champion Joe Hachem has just pulled up a seat. He’ll feel right at home here at Crown and will be searching for another big score to add to his accomplishments.

Also spotted at the tables was Billy ‘The Croc’ Argyros. A notable name across the Australian and international circuit, Argyros has over $1.5 million in live earnings to his name.

Fellow Australian Jarred Graham is also in the mix. He won a WSOP bracelet in a Pot Limit Hi/Lo event back in 2013 for $255,942. — BK

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Joe Hachem

3pm: Trung Tran on the rise
Level 3: Blinds – 100/200 (25 ante)

With the board showing 10957 the player in middle position checked. Trung Tran was also in the hand and tossed out 2,000. His opponent called.

The 2 completed the board and Tran was met with another check. He reached for his chips and bet out 4,400. His opponent stared at the board then called.

Tran flipped over his 97 for two pair which was enough to take down the pot after his opponent mucked his hand. — MP

2:45pm: $10,000 Challenge final table begins

As the players in the Main Event are still warming up across the tournament floor, six lucky runners have returned for the $10,000 Challenge final table.

They have all guaranteed themselves at least $27,265 and will be chasing the $140,220 top prize.

Here’s where they sit and how they stack up.

Seat 1) Sam Higgs – 285,000
Seat 2) Stevan Chew – 115,000
Seat 3) Didier Guerin – 54,500
Seat 4) Matthew Wakeman – 135,000
Seat 5) Michael Egan – 186,000
Seat 6) Daniel Neilson – 44,500

Best of luck to the remaining six! — BK

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2:20pm: First break

Players have stepped away from the tournament area for the first scheduled break of the day. Play resumes in 10 minutes.

2:10pm: Michael Kanaan in cruise control
Level 2: Blinds – 100/200

The player in the hijack raised to 600 before Michael Kanaan splashed out a re-raise to 1,700 from the cut-off. The original raiser called.

A check quickly followed after the dealer produced the 287 flop prompting Kanaan to bet out another 1,300. His opponent called.

The turn brought the J and this time a bet of 3,500 was too much from Kanaan as his opponent mucked his hand relinquishing the pot. — MP

2pm: Monaghan moving up
Level 2: Blinds – 100/200

Adam Monaghan just more than doubled up after finding a set against two opponents.

He got the last of his chips in with the board reading A459 and after one player had called to put him at risk, another was deep in the tank.

The latter looked tortured but after a few minutes he folded pocket fours face up for bottom set. It turned out to be a great fold as Monaghan tabled 55 for a higher set but he didn’t have the pot locked up. Up against A3 Monaghan needed to fade clubs on the river to stay alive.

The river bricked off and Monaghan moved his stack up to 34,500. — BK

1:45pm: Ricky Kroesen applies the pressure
Level 2: Blinds – 100/200

The action folded around to Ricky Kroesen on the button and he raised to 450. His opponent on the big blind called and both players watch the flop come 24K.

The player in the big blind checked to Kroesen who tossed out 500. He was immediately met with a raise to 1,300. Kroesen glanced at his opponent for a moment before splashing out a three-bet totalling 3,000. His opponent thought for a moment before releasing his hand. — MP

1:25pm: The sharks are circling
Level 2: Blinds – 100/200

We’re now up to 188 players across the tournament floor and a few more notable names have joined the action.

Long-time crusher James Obst is among the field, fresh off a 13th place finish at the WSOP Main Event for $427,930. Joining him is Alex Lynskey who scored himself A$445,000 for 4th place in this year’s Aussie Millions Main Event.

Also spotted at the tables include Rory Young, Tim English and reigning Asia Player of the Year Alan King Lun Lau. — BK

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Alex Lynskey

1:05pm: Dennis Huntly accumulating chips
Level 1: Blinds – 50/100

Dennis Huntly raised to 325 from middle position before his opponent in the cutoff bumped it up to 950. Huntly called and both players watched the flop come K36.

Huntly check-called a continuation bet totalling 800 before both players checked the Q on the turn. The 7 completed the board and Huntly quickly tossed out 1,400. His opponent called, but mucked his hand, after Huntly rolled over 54 for a seven-high straight. — MP

12:45pm: Tollgate taking chips
Level 1: Blinds – 50/100

Tom “tollgate” Grigg scored himself a whopping $609,000 when he shipped the PokerStars SCOOP Main Event last year, and he’s already off to a good start in this APPT Melbourne Main Event this afternoon, winning back-to-back pots early in proceedings.

The first hand saw Grigg call a raise to 225 from the under the gun player before the flop landed 53A. Grigg check-called a bet of 300 and the dealer turned the 10. The action checked through the turn and the 6 river with Grigg’s A8 trumping his opponent’s 77.

In the next hand the cutoff brought it in for a raise to 250 and Grigg reraised to 750 from the small blind. He was called and the flop fell AK6.

Grigg checked to the player in the cutoff who took the betting lead with a barrel for 550. After a call from Grigg both players quickly checked the next two streets as the J turn and Q river rolled off. Grigg revealed A3 for a pair of aces to take down the pot. — BK

12:30pm: Familiar faces in the field
Level 1: Blinds – 50/100

There are already 145 players who have taken their seats here this afternoon and by the looks of things it’s a stacked field.

We spotted Linh Tran on Table 31. He’s had a great year on the felt so far, claiming the APPT Manila title and $130,191 back in August. Tran has also had 14 other live cashes across the Asia Pacific region and will be looking for another deep run in the APPT Melbourne Main Event .

Joining him at the tables are Craig Blight, Peter Aristidou, Ken Demlakian, Ricky Kroesen, Bec Catterwell, Dennis Huntly, Hugh Cohen and Sam Khouiss.

Late registration is open for the first four levels so more players are expected to join the hunt throughout the day. — BK

12:15pm: Cards in the air!
Level 1: Blinds – 50/100

Crown Poker’s Joel Williams just took to the microphone to announce that play is now underway.

We’re in for seven one-hour levels today, so including breaks the action will conclude around 7:45pm. Players start with 20,000 in chips and blinds begin at 50/100.

Let’s go! — BK

APPT Melbourne Day 1A set to start!

Welcome to Melbourne where the Crown Casino will be the home to five exciting days of APPT Main Event action. While the weather is notoriously temperamental around here it looks like the sun is shining on this Spring morning as we gear up for the first of two opening flights.

This 13-day poker festival began last Thursday and with impressive turnouts all week things are looking good as all eyes now turn to the $2,300 Main Event.

With the ANZPT merging into the APPT this season technically this is an inaugural event. The man who lifted the trophy right here this time last year, however, was Lin Shi. He overcame a record 520-player field and Shi took home $170,641 after a three-handed deal with fellow ANZPT champion Peter Matusik and winner of the 2015 Aussie Millions Main Event Manny Stavropoulos.

For now though it’s almost time to kick off as we await to see who will scoop the lion’s share this year. Play begins at 12:15pm local time before a new APPT champion is crowned on Tuesday.

Who will rise to the top here in Melbourne? Be sure to stay tuned for our APPT coverage to find out! — BK

APPT Melbourne room shot.jpg

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PokerStars Blog reporting in Melbourne brought to you by Brad Kain and Mateusz Pater. Photos by Kenneth Lim Photography courtesy of PokerStars LIVE Macau.

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