It was an abbreviated day of poker, but some big stacks have emerged as Day 2 of the ANZPT Gold Coast Main Event has seen 117 players reduced to the final 52. Among them are ANZPT champions, POY leaders, Aussie Millions gold ring winners and some of the finest young players in the country. The stage is certainly set for a thrilling conclusion to this event.
Only five levels of play were required to reach the day's end but along the way there were several notable casualties including Billy "The Croc" Argyros, Gordon Huntly, Nik Lackovic, Michael Guzzardi, day one chip leaders Matthew Pilat and Simon Barbaro, and the defending champion Nauv Kashyap.
Kashyap fell in rather strange circumstances when he moved all in on a board of 8♥T♠5♥Q♥, only to find Anthony Grange insta-call with A♥T♥ for the nut flush. Kashyap found himself drawing dead as he tossed his cards straight into the muck in resignation as a river card wasn't even dealt.
It meant a new champion would be crowned and while Anthony Grange, Kiwi Paul Hockin and PokerStars qualifier Anders Bjerk all quietly accumulated throughout the day, Greg Shillig appeared most likely to top the field when he eliminated Jimmy Burgoine in a battle of the big stacks.
It all unfolded on the turn on a board of 7♦8♥4♠T♥ as Burgoine had flopped a straight with his 6♥5♦ but Shillig went one better on the turn with his 9♥6♣ for a bigger straight! Shillig stormed out to a massive lead but was slowly reeled in by the peloton, as the impressive towers of chips in front of Tim O'Shea grabbed the most attention late in the day.
The four-storey structure was as intimidating as it was effective, as O'Shea moved through the day with little fanfare to amass a whopping 286,400 chips.
While the contest for the chip lead was fierce, there is another interesting story developing in the ANZ Player of the Year race. Jesse McKenzie (1st), Oliver Grujic (2nd), Danny Chevalier (3rd), Octavian Voegele (10th) and Ricky Kroesen (20th) are all still in contention here on the Gold Coast, with a big result likely to catapult one of these players into the race lead.
Others to survive the day include Aussie Millions champion David Gorr, Day 1c chip leader Leo Boxell (and Wally The Wombat), Michael Pedley, Mike Ivin, Tom Grigg, Daniel Laidlaw, Bill Jordanou, Andrew Scarf, Julian Cohen and Harris Pavlou.
The 52 players will be back to the Jupiters Poker Room at 12:00pm tomorrow (GMT+10) for Day 3 of the PokerStars.net ANZPT Gold Coast Main Event. We'll be playing all the way until we reach our final table of nine, and looking at the names that are still in the field, it looks like it could be a beauty. Until then, good night from the Gold Coast!