"Any idea of where you can party on a Wednesday night around here?" asked PokerStars qualifier Jon Weitzel while watching the latter stages of day 1A in the PokerStars.net ANZPT Queensland Main Event at Jupiters.
"Sorry Jon, bloggers are sworn off alcohol during events, they're the rules ... nah, only kidding," we offered before detailing a list of options that read like a charge sheet.
We're delighted to see Jon, noticeably wearing sunglasses, in today's field, and that the long - very long - trip from Calgary, Alberta, Canada was well worth it for the affable young PokerStars Qualifier.
Jon has just returned from the first break of the day, but Ricky Kroesen missed most of it as he agonised over a decision after a betting war on a board showing 7♣ Q♣ 5♠. With his opponent all-in, it took Kroesen another couple of minutes before sending his A-Q into the muck.
Steve Topakas has left the tournament area at Jupiters after a miserable start to the day. He committed his remaining chips went in on an ace-high flop and when one of the two callers showed two-pair, it was curtains for the "Big Show". And if that's not bad enough, he faces several more nights sharing accommodation with fellow Melburnians Bruno Portaro and Dennis Huntly ... a bad beat for the ages.
• Landon Blackhall reports from Treasury Casino in Brisbane that the first elimination in the Queensland capital occurred shortly before the start of level two. Sam Hong and John Cunz had all their money over the betting line, after some heavy raising on a flop of Q♥ 3♦ 7♦.
When the cards were turned over, Cunz showed pocket aces for the overpair, but almost fell off his chair as Hong turned over the big blind special of 7♣ 3♣ for two-pair. The board bricked out 8♥ 5♦; sending Cunz out and Hong into the chip lead.
Aleks Lackovic has quickly recovered from his late start to build up his stack quickly, currently holding a stack of 43,500 after taking some more chips from an unknown opponent. With the flop and turn reading Q♥ 5♠ 3♥ 8♦, the opponent checked to Lackovic who forced him all in. After several minutes in the tank, the opponent folded.
Apparently Lackovic has a prop bet going with some friends that his stack is required to be at least 40,000 before the end of Level 2 - something which will be quite easy to accomplish at this rate and in which Andrew Jeffreys is hopefully involved as he managed to score a full double through an opponent after jamming his money in the middle with a board reading J♥ Q♥ 8♣ 6♠ 4♥. Despite the opponent having two pair, jacks and eights on the flop, adgee jagged the flush on the river with T♥ 9♥.
Other selected counts from Treasury see PokerStars Team Australia Pro Grant Levy on 39,500, Chris Levick holding 22,000, Emma Grace is on 21,000 and Michael Guzzardi has 19,000.
• We can also confirm that the official field for the first ANZPT Queensland event is 249, creating a prizepool of AUD $622,500. Gold Coast was a total sell out today (60 players plus five alternates while 68 players anted up in Brisbane. A total of 27 players will receive a payout, with the winner assured AUD $168,075.
It's also great to see that the top eight players in the ANZPT overall points count are in this field and all remain in the hunt for a top-three finish and one of three levels of PokerStars sponsorship in 2010. The current status of the leaderboard is:
1 Tony Hachem (160.1 points) - 34k after flight 1
2 Chris Levick (139.2) - Flight 2 Brisbane
3 David) Zhao AUS (92.4) - Flight 2 Gold Coast
4 Karl Krautschneider (90) - flight 2 Gold Coast
5 Danny Joukhader AUS (84.4) - 116k after flight 1
6 Celina Lin AUS (80.8) - Flight 2 Gold Coast
7 Bruno Portaro (79.6) - Flight 2 Gold Coast
8 Andrew Hinrichsen (79.5) - 16k after flight 1