It feels like just moments ago that the bubble was bursting and the 24 remaining players were celebrating their accomplishment of making it into the money. It really feels like that because of how quick the action has been playing out as we have just lost 5 players and are now left with two tables of nine.
The first player to find the rail in the money was Emerson Rewi. He was eliminated at the hands of Andre Nunes-Carreira when his pocket sixes couldn't catch up against the queen-jack of Nunes-Carreira. Rewi was followed quickly out the door by Stefan Gruenewald who couldn't catch up when his J♦Q♦ ran into Patrick Healy's T♠T♦. Following that hand, Healy became one of the chip leaders.
The 22nd-place finish would then unluckily go to Jun Ho Hwang when his A♣Q♠ was out-drawn by Sabastian Martineau's A♣J♦. Kani Edwards and Hoshy Patel were then eliminated in the next two spots and with that, we were one elimination away from a table re-draw.
The hand that would send Jared Adams home in 19th place was an exciting one and it would have Angie Fitzgerald shouting in celebration. It all started when a flurry of hands went into the muck from around the table. It was then on Adams in the small blind and he would shove all-in for his short stack. Fitzgerald didn't want to call, but ended up putting in the extra chips from the big blind holding 5♠4♥. Adams held K♣4♠ and at this point, Fitzgerald screamed for a five and her wish would come true when the dealer turned over a 5♦5♥J♥ flop. The T♦ turn and the 7♠ river changed nothing for Adams and he was sent home in 19th place.
So with the elimination of Adams, 18 remain and one of those players is Michael Guzzardi. It is interesting to note that Guzzardi will now scoop up some points in the ANZ Player of the Year race and take a clear lead past Paul Hockin and Ashley Warner, whom he chopped up the 1st-place points with at the recent ANZPT Melbourne. For a min-cash, Guzzardi will take home at least 23.1 POY points, but with 18 players remaining, he is already guaranteed 24.15 points.
Guzzardi is now guaranteed to take a handy little lead into ANZPT Perth which is set for February 14th - 24th, 2013. Speaking of ANZPT Perth, that is a AUD$2,200 buy-in event and satellites and qualifiers are currently running rampant on PokerStars. That will be the first ANZPT event for 2012, so we are sure all the players will be enthusiastic to get back to the tables. That will be especially true of Guzzardi as he will now have to try and stay on top of the ANZ Player of the Year leader board.
Around nine hours ago, all the media team here at ANZPT Auckland set the line for today at twelve levels before we made it to the final table. We are just about to head into the ninth level of the day and we are still a nine players off deciding the final nine. Let's see if the overs or unders gets there in Auckland.