The day started out with 168 hopefuls and at the end of eight levels of play just 37 remain. The ANZPT Sydney Main Event is delicately poised as Day 2 comes to an end, with the final table and $225,300 top prize now within our players’ sights.
The pace of play was pretty quick in the early stages of Day 2 with a couple of the big stacks quickly going to work. Jazz Mathers entered the day as our chip leader and that seemed to be a position he enjoyed. A massive clash with Eugene Zanozin on a board of J♣6♠7♠J♥4♦ would see Mathers’ pocket sevens complete a full house to scoop against Zanozin’s unlucky ace-jack.
While that hand was impressive, it paled in comparison to the beauty landed by Karam Bahi.
A quadruple all-in would see Bahi spike a one-outer set on the flop, holding pocket queens, to knock out three opponents simultaneously, and join the chip leaders in remarkable fashion.
The rapid pace of play would end up in total contrast to the money bubble. When Dale Marsland was harshly dispatched of in 56th place, the remaining 55 would endure a near hour-long war on the bubble. There were several short stacks hanging on for dear life, but in the end it would be Ben Williams who would go ‘pop’! Williams was down to just three big blinds when he committed with ace-three against ace-king. An ace and a king on the flop would leave Williams to go home with nothing but a blue cap and a story to tell.
With the money out of the way, the remaining players took the opportunity to gamble it up a little in the final level of the day.
Emanuel “Curly” Seal didn’t wait long as he was eliminated on the very same hand that saw Williams depart. Often that would result in the splitting of prize money, but local rules dictated that the bigger stack would take the cash. Curly received $3,650 for his min-cash and was soon joined at the cashier by the likes of Srdjan Brkic (53rd), Danny Zhong (52nd), Daniel Charnock (50th), Joe Reina (46th) and Luke Brabin (39th).
There would be just 37 players bag up chips at the end of the day with Alex Lee holding the heaviest bag with a stack of 755,000 chips.
Lee can largely thank a fortunate clash earlier in the day with Josh Barrett, when Lee’s pocket queens spiked a queen to crack Barrett’s aces. That kept Lee in contention, before he turned on the afterburners late in the day with a Broadway straight in the final level against Karl Speigel catapulting him into the lead.
Murray Roach, Rory Young, Jazz Mathers and Peco Stojanovski also have healthy stacks while notables Dan Neilson, Oliver Gill, Adrian Attenborough, Jie Gao, Tanja Vujanic, Milan Gurung, Anthony Aston, Edison Nguyen and Australian Poker Hall of Famer Mel Judah are all still in contention for the ANZPT Sydney crown.
Some notable casualties during the day included PokerStars Team Online Roy Bhasin, Billy ‘The Croc’ Argyros, Dale Marsland, Scott Davies, Jake Balsiger and Jesse McKenzie.
Head to the live reporting section of the site for all the important info — complete Day 2 chip counts, the seating draw for Day 3 and the Main Event payouts so far.
The players will be back on Sunday to reduce themselves to a final table of nine, before crowning a champion on Monday afternoon. We’ll also be back once again to bring you all the action from the ANZPT Sydney Main Event with Day 3 set to commence at the slightly later time of 2:00pm (GMT+10).
We hope you hit a home run this evening and we look forward to your company again tomorrow!
Heath “TassieDevil” Chick is a Freelance Contributor for the PokerStars Blog.