It’s that time of the tournament. The period that we all love and players love to hate. Where hopes and dreams can be crushed like candy. Two days of toil inside the neon-lit walls of a casino can all be for nothing at the drop of a river card. The moment where the spotlight is turned on you for all the wrong reasons. It’s the nightmare of the short stack. It’s bubble time!
The bubble came on rather quickly with the players dropping away pretty quickly in the early stages of play today. As we ticked towards the end of Level 14, the players were just one table from bursting that pesky bubble and awarding some money.
Reaching the top 54 players in the ANZPT Sydney Main Event was deemed worthy of a prize of $3,650. Reaching 55th place was deemed to be worth $0.
It’s a harsh reality but it’s a necessary evil in a poker tournament, and one that often produces some interesting moments.
This ANZPT Sydney Main Event was no exception.
We steamrolled our way to 58 players before the tournament supervisor announced on the mic that we were four eliminations from the money which only served to stiffen the backs of the short stacks.
Towards the end of the level we hit the bubble when Dale Marsland was cruelly disposed of. Marsland was at risk with K♠10♣ against Oliver Gill’s A♠Q♦. The board run out of J♣J♠9♠Q♣J♦ was about as rough as it gets with Marsland turning a straight, only to see Gill river a boat.
It looked like the bubble would burst instantly when Nathan Davis had pocket aces against a short stack’s pocket queens, but a queen on the river brought groans from the room as they trudged off to the break with the bubble burst still looming.
When they returned it would take almost an hour from that point before the bubble would eventually pop.
Several players were blinding away, including Jacque Ramsden, before he survived an all in to double through with A♠8♣ against J♣2♦.
It left the pressure on Ben Williams as the tournament shorty and when he found A♥3♠ he pushed his last 12,000 (or three big blinds) into the middle, however he ran smack into A♠K♣. The board ran out K♦2♦A♦Q♣6♥ to leave Williams as our unfortunate bubble boy.
At the same time, Emanuel “Curly” Seal was eliminated on an adjacent table on the very same hand, which would often result in the splitting of prize money. However local rules dictate that chip counts come into consideration. Seal started the hand with 28,000, Williams had 12,000. Therefore Williams is out, Curly gets a min-cash and the remaining 53 players are happily in the money with one more level to play today.
Heath “TassieDevil” Chick is a Freelance Contributor for the PokerStars Blog.