After the early carnage of the ANZPT Sydney final table, play started to settle down five-handed as the remaining players enjoyed the deeper stacks and the chance to move some chips around the table.
At various times each of the five players had moments in the spotlight. Denis Sekuloski got some swagger back with some of the aggressive plays that we saw from him late on Day 3. A check-raise from the blinds with king-four offsuit against two players was particularly ambitious and it had the table a little rattled.
Li-ta Hsu had worked his way back to a big stack but it all came unstuck in a clash with Emanuel Seal. The flop which set off the fireworks was 6♣Q♠3♦. Seal check-raised and Hsu called before Seal moved all in on the K♠ turn. Hsu thought about it briefly but couldn’t get away from his 6♥3♥ but his two pair was under-sized against Seal’s Q♦6♦.
The river bricked and Seal was into the chip lead as Hsu was on the ropes.
Moments later Hsu’s last chips were all in preflop with A♠J♠ but the timing was unfortunate as Jim Psaros woke up with pocket aces for the knockout blow.
A fine run by the Taiwanese player ending in fifth place for $48,000 and enough points to claim third place overall in the ANZ Player of the Year race.
Hsu was soon followed to the rail by Murray Roach.
With the blinds up to 40,000/80,000/10,000, Roach moved his last 1,110,000 all in preflop from under the gun with A♠8♠. Once again Emanuel Seal found a big hand, making the call with J♣J♥ in the big blind. The board bricked out and Roach was out in fourth for $62,000.
That left us with our final three. Jim Psaros, Emanuel Seal and Denis Sekuloski.
The three players quickly discussed the payouts and agreed to a deal to flatten the structure. It will now be $200,000 up top for first, $158,000 for second while third has guaranteed at least $90,000, with the title and trophy still up for grabs!