What a day! If anyone arrived at the Crown Poker Room expecting a quiet and relaxing Sunday afternoon, they were in the wrong place. Day 2 of the ANZPT Melbourne Main Event was an action-charged affair from the get-go, through a spectacular money bubble and right up until the final cards were dealt after nine full levels of play.
Through the highs and lows, one man finished right where he started. That man is Vincent Chua.
It was an amazing day for Chua. His style meant that he threw plenty of jabs – most of them got through, but such is the nature of the beast that his aggression would occasionally catch up with him. But in the end Chua’s 684,000 in chips would ensure he would carry the title of chip leader for the second day in a row.
While Chua started the day with the chip lead, it was Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang who made the early running. Huang shot out of the gates to storm to the top of the leaderboard, but as the day progressed, things started to fall apart. Huang lost a crucial hand with pocket kings against ace-jack, before a triple-barrel bluff was picked off by Corey Kempson who rivered a flush.
Huang was unable to recover and when he four-bet jammed K♥Q♥ into Vincent Chua’s pocket aces, Huang was hung just a few short places from the money.
Others joining Huang on the rail during the day included David Gorr, Jackie Glazier, Kahle Burns, Sam Rotar, Aaron Benton, Tristan Bain, an under-the-weather Daniel Botta, Jazz Mathers, former ANZPT Melbourne champ Martin Kozlov and 2005 World Champion Joe Hachem.
Things were starting to get a little nervous as the money approached but no one could have expected such an exciting bubble period.
First there was Liam O’Rourke’s brutal two-outer, set-over-set just two places from the money. Then we saw an amazing hero call from Corey Kempson with second pair with tournament life on the line. Kempson doubled up as the bubble would ultimately pop on Mike Fraser when his pocket aces were cracked. Coolers, hero calls and a bad beat, this bubble had it all.
Safely in the money, the players could relax a little knowing that a minimum $3,100 was locked up. Brett Chalhoub (61st), Aleks Brkovic (60th), Matt Wakeman (59th), Fabian Craib (47th), Nam Le (41st) and the last woman standing Tania McBride (40th) were just some of those to visit the cashier.
When the clocked ticked down to zero, the elimination of Dean Francis in 35th place would leave us with 34 players at the end of play.
It was tight at the top with four players all within 50,000 of each other but Vincent Chua’s 684,000 was narrowly ahead of Joe Reina (665,000), Dennis Huntly (643,000) and Corey Kempson (637,000). Michael Chrisanthopoulos, Dylan Honeyman, Edison Nguyen, Luke Edwards, Anthony Legg and Anthony Aston are also still in contention.
For the full chip counts and Day 3 seating draw, head to the live reporting section of the blog.
The final day of play will commence at 12:30pm on Monday (GMT+10) where we will be playing all the way down until a champion is crowned. It’s going to be a long day at the office, but if it’s half as exciting as today, then we’re in for a thrilling finale to this record-setting event.
Thanks for following our coverage and we look forward to your company to bring this baby home tomorrow. Until then, you’ll find us at the bar.
Heath “TassieDevil” Chick is a Freelance Contributor for the PokerStars Blog.