3:45pm: Break time
Once again the Jupiters Hotel and Casino have spoilt us with a wonderful buffet of sandwiches. Back in ten!
3:40pm: Maurie Pears eliminated
After a brief lull in play, we’ve just had another elimination. The gallant run of Maurie Pears has come to an end.
Pears opened with a raise to 30,000 from middle position with Nauv Kashyap calling in position. Michael Spilkin came along in the big blind and the three took a flop of K♦4♣9♣. Spilkin led out for 40,000 before Pears moved all in for his last 100,000. Kashyap then declared himself all in over the top, covering both opponents.
“I guess I must be behind,” sighed Spilkin as he mucked.
Pears opened K♥Q♥ for top pair, but Kashyap had sprung his trap holding A♦A♠. It was all over when a third ace hit the turn to leave Pears drawing dead. He departed in 16th place to a nice round of applause from the room. Kashyap is now up to 820,000 chips.
3:22pm: Robertson falls
Angelo Hamataj opened with a raise before Blain Robertson moved all in for his last 75,000 from the big blind. Hamataj called with A♣9♥ as Robertson tabled live cards with 6♣7♠. The flop of 2♠10♠Q♠ gave him a real sweat as he picked up a flush draw to go with his pair outs but the 4♥ turn and 5♦ river bricked out. Robertson is out in 17th place for $7,890 in prize money.
3:10pm: A masterful double up
While there has been plenty of support whenever there’s an all-in situation, we haven’t seen the entire room pull harder than the support behind Maurie “The Master” Pears to double up. And he needed all the help he could get.
Pears has been battling with a short stack all day, and found himself all in with 6♦6♣, but he ran into the A♣A♥ of Blain Robertson. The flop was a dry Q♣2♥3♠ but the 4♣ turn brought some murmurs as cries for a five surfaced around the room. The dealer burned and revealed the river 5♥! Ding! Fan-favourite Pears made a straight to the six for a mighty double up. He’s up to 160,000.
2:55pm: Vuong Van Le takes out two
Vuong Van Le has surged up to 670,000 following a double KO that has sent our overnight chip leader crashing out of the tournament.
After Nick Wong had doubled up Liam O’Rourke just moments earlier, he found his last chips in the middle with K♦Q♣ against the A♠K♣ and the Q♦10♦ of the short-stacked Qi Xu.
The board ran out 4♣4♦8♦3♣4♠ missing everyone to leave the ace-high of Le in front to rake in the monster pot. He’s up to 670,000. Xu was the short stack, so he’s out in 20th, while Wong will take 19th place.
We’re now down to our final two tables!
2:44pm: Pettersson perishes
Jan Pettersson is out after he lost a preflop race against Maurie Pears. Pettersson held J♠9♣ up against the pocket eights of Pears as the board fell 5♠5♣7♥7♣4♦. Both players were short as Pears finds some breathing room to get back to 110,000.
2:40pm: Blinds up: 5,000-10,000, 1,000 ante
2:32pm: Dodds storms into chip lead
We have a new chip leader and it’s a familiar face.
Joel “StrongPlay” Dodds finished in third place in the ANZPT POY race last season, and final tabled this event last year, so he certainly enjoys playing on this tour. He’s carried his good form from a successful trip to Vegas in the winter months, to now own a stack worth 757,000.
Most of his chips came in a recent clash with Aaron Benton. Catching the action on a flop of 9♥10♥3♣, Benton fired 25,000 and Dodds made the call. The turn was the 6♣ and Benton fired another 50,000, with Dodds once again making the call. The river was the 7♥ and both players checked it down. Benton opened J♣10♦ but he was out-kicked by Dodds’ A♥10♣. Benton slips to 110,000 as Dodds is into the chip lead.
2:24pm: Tabrizi and Gilles depart
Esan Tabrizi has been eliminated in 25th place in a massive clash with overnight chip leader Nick Wong. The chips weren’t in until the turn with the board reading 4♣10♠4♦6♦. Tabrizi held pocket nines for the lead but he had to avoid plenty of outs for Wong who tabled A♦Q♦. The river produced the 7♦ to complete Wong’s flush and eliminate Tabrizi from the tournament. Wong is now back into the chip lead with about 450,000.
Next to go was New Caledonian PokerStars qualifier Daniel Gilles. He pushed with A♥3♦ but ran into the A♦K♣ of Brad Wilson. The board fell K♠6♠5♣10♣5♠ to send Gilles home with $6,100 in prize money as Wilson jumps up to 350,000.
2:10pm: Short stacks succumb
Two of the shortest stacks in the room, belonging to Chris Chau and Anthony Grange, have lost their battle and have been eliminated from the tournament.
Chau was first to go when he pushed with K♣6♣ into the A♦10♠ of Michael Spilkin. Chau took the lead with a king on the flop, but running aces for Spilkin gave him the pot and sent Chau to the cashier.
He was soon followed by Grange who held pocket kings against the A♠10♣ Vuong Van Le. An ace spiked on the turn to eliminate Grange in 26th place.
1:55pm: Two-outer keeps Rickwaa alive
Ricky “rickwaa” Kroesen has come back from the brink several times during this tournament, and he’s once again pulled one out of the hat, with a big double up through Angelo Hamataj.
Kroesen was all in with pocket tens against the A♥K♥ of Hamataj and looked in desperate trouble when the flop landed K♣K♦7♠ to give Hamataj trip kings. But Kroesen found a miracle 10♣ on the turn for the two-outer full house to take the lead. The river fell the 7♠ and Kroesen doubled to 214,000 as Hamataj slipped to 250,000.
Also doubling up recently was Jan Pettersson. He was also racing with A♥J♥ against the pocket eights of David Steicke. The board ran out A♣10♣9♦6♠K♥ to pair up Pettersson to double to 180,000. Steicke is back to under 100,000.
1:40pm: Play resumes; Spilkin up, Silk out
Michael Spilkin is up to 141,000 after another double up. Spilkin held pocket aces against the pocket nines of Nauv Kashyap with the board running out 5♠3♦7♥5♦Q♥.
Danny Silk wasn’t quite so fortunate. He was all in with A♣K♦ against the A♥Q♥ of Vuong Van Le, and improved on the 5♦J♠K♠ with a pair of kings. However the 10♣ on the turn gave Le a Broadway straight to leave Silk needing a queen to chop. It wasn’t to be, as the 9♣ hit the river and Silk was eliminated in 28th place for $4,665 in prize money.