5:44pm: Vo sets it up
Is there anything better than flopping a set against an overpair? It’s one of the most deceptive, and profitable, situations in the game and Tommy Vo has just taken full advantage of it to eliminate Swiss player Serge Mazza from the tournament.
The chips went into the middle on a flop of 3♣5♣9♥ with Vo holding a set of threes to have Mazza’s pocket jacks in a world of hurt. The turn was the 2♦ and river the 10♠ as Vo jumps up to a commanding 77,000 in chips.
5:35pm: Edwards moving up
We wandered past the table of Luke Edwards and observed that he had increased his stack to 45,000. He recalled to us that it was largely thanks to a recent hand where his pocket kings eliminated John Malissa. There was some confusion preflop with a call out of turn, that meant Malissa was somewhat committed to call for his tournament with A♣3♣. Malissa caught a three on the flop but he didn’t improve any further and was sent to the rail.
5:20pm: Damon E-lum-inated
PokerStars qualifier, and the first Kiwi to win the PokerStars Sunday Million, Damon Lum, has lost the battle with his short stack when he moved all in preflop with K♦J♦ against the K♥J♠ of Bobby Zhang. Nothing to fear there, that is, until the board was spread 2♥3♥5♥5♣6♥ to give Zhang a four-card flush and eliminate Lum from the tournament.
5:02pm: Riding the roller coaster
We rarely see a tournament where the players at other tables so heavily ride the emotions of those with their chips in the middle, and credit for that has to go to the wonderful Jupiters Poker Room floor staff. They love nothing more than grabbing the microphone to announce the all-in action to the entire room and build a great atmosphere.
They certainly drew plenty of collective “oooohs” from the room in the following hand when George Conomos, Terry Brockhurst and Derek Grieco went to war on a flop of J-8-4. Greico held the advantage with his pocket aces, but this hand wasn’t over just yet as Conomos showed ace-jack and Brockhurst held pocket kings.
The lead switched firmly in favour of Conomos when a repeat jack fell on the turn to give him trips and leave his opponents on their knees. But the final twist came when a king fell on the river as Brockhurst found his two-outer for a remarkable triple up.
4:55pm: Blinds up: 200-400 with 50 ante
4:48pm: Grace gone
Emma Grace has been eliminated when she moved all in for her last chips with pocket eights but she ran into the pocket jacks of Bodo Sbrzensny. The board filled out 2♦2♠10♣2♥J♦ to give Sbrzensny a full house and end the tournament of Grace.
4:33pm: Table of death forms on table 16
With the recent table break, a rather formidable table has formed on table 16 at the front of the room. Jason Gray has seen the empty seat of Jamie Pickering replaced by none other than good buddy Billy “The Croc” Argyros. They are joined by Michael Pedley, Graeme Putt and Matthew Pilat. Incredibly Fred Alam, who was crippled to just 500 in the first few hands of the day, is still alive in the tournament and battling away on this table with about 5,000 chips.
4:17pm: Back to Earth for Caridad
Last month, John Caridad carried the hopes of a nation when he tangled with the likes of Phil Ivey on the final table of the WPT Bellagio Cup, where he eventually finished fourth for a score of nearly US$240,000. Unfortunately for Caridad his time in Queensland hasn’t been quite as profitable after he was recently crippled and then eliminated from the tournament.
Caridad was left with just 2,200 chips to play with after running his ace-jack into the dominant ace-king of Sandy Retallick. The chips were all in preflop with the board falling 4♣2♥Q♥7♣K♦.
Soon after Caridad moved his stack in with 5♥6♥ but Nick Hronis made the call with pocket sevens. The board fell 9♠10♠J♣2♣K♦ and Caridad was sent to the rail.
4:05pm: Hot Hamataj
The break hasn’t affected the momentum of Angelo Hamataj as he has extended his lead after the elimination of Liam Harrison.
Harrison was all in for his last 9,000 with ace-king as Hamataj decided to call but found himself dominated with ace-jack. That didn’t stop him from spiking a jack on the flop on a board of J-4-2-4-6. Hamataj is now up to 82,000.
3:55pm: Half way there with Moussa and Hamataj on top
As the players resume from their break George Moussa and Angelo Hamataj are our chip leaders with around 70,000 chips. Just prior to the break, Hamataj padded his stack after eliminating Arek Kierpal. The chips went in on a queen-high flop with Hamataj’s ace-queen holding against the king-queen of Kierpal.