10:15pm: Play resumes, blinds 25,000-50,000 (ante 5,000)
10:05pm: 10-minute break
Updated chip counts:
Phil Willcocks (New Zealand): 3,790,000
Leo Boxell (Australia): 2,140,000
Steve Bouya (Australia): 1,710,000
10:00pm: Will Jones eliminated in 4th place (AU$88,600)
Australia's hopes of keeping the 2011 PokerStars.net APPT Melbourne title on home soil now all rest on hometown heroes Leo Boxell and Steve Bouya after Tasmania's Will Jones was eliminated by New Zealand's Phil Willcocks.
In the last hand before the break, Boxell folded his option before Jones raised to 80,000 from the button before the flop; Willcocks called from the small blind and Bouya called from the big blind, so off they went three-handed into a flop that read 9♠K♦5♠.
Willcocks opened for 175,000 and Bouya folded before Jones raised to 425,000. Willcocks shoved and Jones snap-called, quickly rolling up 9♥9♦ for middle set, well ahead of Willcock's 7♠6♠, who was looking for an eight or a spade with his gut-shot straight flush draw.
The turn of the 8♥ was just what the doctor ordered, but Jones could still stay alive with any non-spade king or eight, a five or the case nine. Alas, the river was the 3♠, and after the chips were cut down, it was discovered that Willcocks had Jones covered by about 100,000.
Jones now collects AU$88,600 for his efforts and just like that, we're down to three players, with Willcocks once again the chip leader with over 3.6 million!
9:45pm: Small ... ball?
The tension is starting to build between in the Crown Poker Room, as we edge ever closer to crowning the winner of the inaugural PokerStars.net APPT Melbourne Main Event. Even the way that the players move at the table when placing bets is slowing down - a far cry from what we've seen over the last three-and-a-half days.
In some of the more significant action we've seen, Leo Boxell raised to 110,000 from under the gun and Will Jones folded from the button before Phil Willcocks called from the small blind, as well as Steve Bouya from the big blind, to go three ways to a flop that read J♥7♣5♦.
Willcocks and Bouya checked to Boxell who opened for 150,000, but Bouya was the only caller. Both players then checked down the turn of the 4♥ and the river Q♠ before Boxell revealed A♥K♦. However, Bouya had paired up his T♠7♠ and thus took down the pot.
A few hands later, Willcocks raised to 80,000 from the button and Bouya and Boxell both called from the small and big blinds respectively to go three-handed to a flop of 6♣7♥3♥. Bouya checked, Boxell bet 155,000 and Willcocks called before Bouya folded, making it head-up on the turn of the 2♦, where Boxell check-called Willcocks' bet of 240,000 before both players checked the river 3♣. Boxell showed down 5♠3♠ for trips against Willcocks' Q♦6♦ for two pair to scoop the pot.
A short time passed before Bouya raised under the gun to 80,000 and he got two callers in the form of Boxell from the button, as well as Willcocks from the big blind, before all three players checked the flop of 8♥9♥A♦. Willcocks then led out for 165,000 after the turn of the 2♠ and Bouya folded, but Willcocks also folded after Boxell raised to 350,000.
The button went around the table once more and Bouya popped it to 80,000 again from under the gun, but this time Willcocks was the only caller from the big blind. Both players then checked the flop of 3♥2♣6♠ before Willcocks led out for 125,000 on the turn of the J♣. Bouya raised to 275,000, but Willcocks came back over the top with a three-bet worth 500,000. Bouya insta-folded.
Updated chip counts
Leo Boxell (Australia): 2,200,000
Phil Willcocks (New Zealand): 2,000,000
Steve Bouya (Australia): 1,800,000
Steve Bouya (Australia): 1,800,000
9:30pm: Bouya building back up
Hands between the final four players are beginning to get a little bit slower now, but with the stack average still at 50 big blinds, and with so much on the line, it's to be expected.
However, Steve Bouya was able to take down a healthy pot against Phil Willcocks. From under the gun, Bouya raised to 80,000 and Leo Boxell folded from the button, as did Will Jones from the small blind before Willcocks called from the big blind to go heads-up to the flop of K♥A♠4♠.
Willcocks checked, Bouya bet 100,000 and Willcocks called, then Willcocks check-called Bouya's bet of 150,000 on the turn of the A♣ before checking again on the river of the Q♠, only to fold after Bouya came out with a bet worth 405,000.
Bouya's up to 1.4 million, with Willcocks down to 2.55 million. This fat lady ain't ready to sing yet, that's for sure!
9:20pm: Not so fast, Phil!
Australia's Will Jones has just taken a chunk of change out of the stack of New Zealand's Phil Willcocks to reduce his margin over the others here at this final table.
Earlier, Jones came in with a raise of 80,000 from under the gun before the flop and Bouya called from the small blind, but both players then checked all the way down the board of T♥2♦4♦T♠T♦ before Jones showed A♥8♦, which was enough for the dealer to award him the pot.
Two hands later, the action folded around to Jones who raised to 85,000 from the small blind; Willcocks called, then Jones led out for 105,000 after the dealer spread the flop of 3♣6♠9♠. Willcocks called and the action repeated after Jones' bet of 200,000 on the turn of the 5♦ before he folded when Jones made it 355,000 to go on the river of the T♣.
Willcocks slipped to 2.85 million, while Jones moved up to about 2.3 million in chips.
9:10pm: Van Marcus eliminated in 5th place (AU$73,300)
After two hours of play, we're now down to four players with Melbourne's Van Marcus succumbing to New Zealand's Phil Willcocks in fifth place.
The action folded to Marcus who raised to 85,000 from the cutoff before the flop; Will Jones folded from the button, but Willcocks called from the small blind, as did Bouya from the big blind to go three ways into a flop that read Q♥K♥5♥. Both the blinds checked to Marcus who open-shoved for 479,000. Willcocks snap-called and Bouya open-folded K T before Marcus and Willcocks went to showdown:
It wasn't pretty for Marcus - despite flopping top pair, Willcocks was still well ahead with the overpair and the nut flush draw, which he hit with the 3♥ on the turn, leaving Marcus drawing dead to the river, which was the 7♥ - just in case.
With that, Marcus now adds another AU$73,300 to his already impressive poker CV. However, Willcocks is now dominating this final table and has become the first player to reach the three-million chip mark!
9:00pm: Action a'plenty!
The rail is now three-deep in parts here at the APPT Melbourne final table as the railbirds flock to watch the last five players have at it. And they've been given plenty to watch.
In some of the most recent action in the Crown Poker Room, Jones raised to 85,000 from the cutoff and Leo Boxell called from the big blind before both players checked the flop of 4♠J♥A♥. Boxell then check-called Jones' bet of 100,000 on the turn of the 6♠ before check-folding to Jones' bet of 240,000 on the river of the T♦.
Two hands later, Boxell opened with a raise of 85,000 from the cutoff before Phil Willcocks called to see a flop heads-up, which read 3♥5♠8♣. Willcocks bet 100,000 and Boxell called, but then he folded after Willcocks splashed out a bet worth 160,000 on the turn of the 9♠.
8:50pm: Play resumes, blinds 20,000-40,000 (ante 4,000)
8:40pm: 10-minute break
With the players now taking this opportunity to catch their breath, we've grabbed another round of chip counts for you. Enjoy!
Phil Willcocks (New Zealand): 2,150,000
Leo Boxell (Australia): 1,800,000
Will Jones (Australia): 1,600,000
Steve Bouya (Australia): 1,500,000
Van Marcus (Australia): 600,000
8:30pm: Live fast, die young
It's been absolute carnage between the final five players in the PokerStars.net APPT Melbourne Main Event, as they've been trading chips between each other at a frenetic pace. Here's just some of the highlights from the last 15 minutes:
Earlier, Phil Willcocks raised to 60,000 from the button before Leo Boxell called from the big blind, making it heads-up to a flop that read K♠9♦Q♥. Boxell check-called Willcocks' bet of 75,000 after the flop, then both players checked the turn of the J♥ before Boxell led out for 100,000 on the river of the 7♥. Willcocks called and Boxell showed 9♥7♣ for two pair, but Willcocks had a bigger two pair with his K♦9♣ to take it down.
A short time later, the action folded to Will Jones who raised to 71,000 from the small blind; Willcocks called from the big blind, then Jones led out for 35,000 after the flop of 6♣Q♦Q♥ and Willcocks called before both players checked down the turn of the 2♥ and the river 9♠. Jones showed K♥J♦, but Willcocks' A♥4♣ was best.
In the very next hand, Boxell raised to 60,000 from under the gun and Jones called from the button to make it heads-up to the flop of A♦Q♣9♥. Boxell check-called Jones' 80,000 after the flop, but elected to check-folded after Jones fired out 200,000 on the turn of the 5♣.
Two hands after that, Willcocks raised to 60,000 from the cutoff and Van Marcus called from the big blind before check-calling Willcocks' bet of 50,000 after the flop of Q♦2♥Q♠. Both players then check-called the turn of the 7♥, but when Marcus led out for 75,000 on the river of the T♥, he was quick to fold after Willcocks snap-shoved.
Then, in the last hand before the break, the action folded to Jones who raised to 60,000 from the button. He got one caller in the form of Steve Bouya from the big blind, but both players checked the flop of 7♠K♥K♦ before Bouya opened for 76,000 on the turn of the A♦. Jones raised to 165,000, but Bouya came back firing, making it another 200,000 to go! Jones folded and Bouya flashed the 8♣ before raking in the pot.
"Won't somebody please, think of the children?"
8:15pm: Bouya's back, baby!
Melbourne's Steve Bouya was in dire straits, down to just 283,000 in chips, but he has doubled through twice to get back up to 1.25 million!
The action folded to Will Jones who raised to 65,000 from the cutoff before the flop with A♠Q♣ before Bouya shoved from the small blind with K♣T♠. Jones called and he put Bouya at further risk of being eliminated after he paired up his queen on the flop of Q♥9♦8♦.
However, the K♠ appeared on the turn to put Bouya in the lead and he stayed there when the river 5♥ completed the board. Two hands later, Bouya jammed for 605,000 from the cutoff after Phil Willcocks raised to 60,000 from the UTG position. Willcocks snap-called, showing down 6♠6♦, but found himself flipping against A♦K♣.
Nothing changed after the flop of Q♥3♠5♣, but the J♣ on the turn now gave Bouya additional outs to Broadway. Needing any ace, king or ten, Bouya's rail erupted when the A♣ fell on the river!
Willcocks slipped to 1.55 million, but Jones is still holding firm with just a touch over two million in chips.
8:00pm: Balls to the wall!
The action here at the PokerStars.net APPT Melbourne final table has been nothing short of mind-boggling, with all five players going hammer-and-tongs in their quest for the title, but New Zealand's Phil Willcocks is now back up to 1.8 million after clashing once again with future Australian Poker Hall of Famer Leo Boxell.
The action folded to Willcocks who raised to 60,000 from the button before the flop; Steve Bouya folded his small blind, but Boxell re-raised to 160,000 from the big blind. Willcocks called, but then quickly folded after Boxell check-raised all-in after he led out for 180,000 after the T♣9♥K♥ flop.
In the next hand, Willcocks raised to 60,000 from the cutoff and both Boxell and Van Marcus called from the small and big blinds respectively before the dealer spread a flop of 6♣Q♣7♠. Boxell checked and Marcus snap-shoved, forcing both Willcocks and Boxell out of the way to take the pot down.
Will Jones then got a walk in the big blind before Boxell opened the action preflop in the hand after that, raising to 65,000 from the cutoff. Willcocks called from the big blind, then both players checked the flop of 6♣T♣K♠ before Willcocks led out for 100,000 on the turn of the 5♦ and again for 300,000 after the river 6♥.
Boxell called him down all the way, but mucked after Willcocks showed K♦6♦ for a full house. With that, Boxell is down to 2.2 million while Willcocks is back up to around 1.8 million.
7:45pm: Bouya still bleeding
Steve Bouya is becoming visibly frustrated now, down to just 400,000 in chips now after donating chips a huge chunk of his stack to Will Jones, who's wrested back the chip lead from Leo Boxell.
Bouya first tangled with New Zealander Phil Willcocks, calling his preflop button raise of 70,000 from the big blind before check-folding to Willcocks' bet of 90,000 after a flop of 9♣4♥T♣, but Willcocks got most of those back through Jones, when after calling his UTG raise of 65,000, he got Jones to check-fold after he bet 85,000 on the flop of 6♥5♣8♣.
Soon after, the action folded to Bouya who made it 70,000 to go from the cutoff; Jones called from the big blind, then check-raised Bouya's bet of 90,000 after the flop of A♣6♠2♣, making it 225,000. Bouya folded, but after he picked up the blinds and antes with an open-shove from early position, he called Jones' button raise of 65,000 from the big blind to go heads-up again to a flop that read 6♣8♥3♦.
From there, Bouya check-called Jones's bet of 78,000 after the flop, then did the same after Jones led out for 170,000 on the turn of the 2♠. However, when Bouya checked again on the river of the Q♦, Jones shipped the rest of his stack into the middle.
With only 400,000 behind, Bouya went deep into the tank, but eventually let his hand go. Jones is now up to 2.45 million and looking dangerous. It is so on right now!
7:30pm: Boxell back out in front
With the players having returned from dinner, Melbourne's Steve Bouya has found a renewed energy at this final table, but he went 1-2 in the first three hands to see his stack shrink to 900,000.
In the first hand after the break, Bouya raised to 65,000 from the cutoff and found one caller in the form of Leo Boxell in the big blind. Bouya then led out for 105,000 after the flop of 7♥9♠K♠, but folded after Boxell made it 605,000 to go. Boxell certainly wasn't bluffing, as he flashed K♣9♦ for a flopped two pair before scooping up his chips.
Bouya then raised to 65,000 again from under the gun in the very next hand; this time, Phillip Willcocks called from the big blind, only to check fold after Bouya's bet of 105,000 after the dealer spread the flop of K♥Q♣4♠.
Soon after, Boxell raised to 70,000 from under the gun preflop and Bouya called from the big blind before check-calling Boxell's bet of 100,000 on the flop of A♦9♠7♥ before both players checked the turn of the Q♠ and the river T♦.
Boxell showed A♠8♣ for top pair, and that was enough to take the pot down. Boxell is now the chip leader once again, holding more than 2.2 million in chips.