As we click down to the end of day 1B in the battle for the first PokerStars.net ANZPT Queensland title, excitement is starting to build as players - those who've already qualified from yesterday's day 1A flights and those with big stacks heading into the final level of today.
One PokerStars Qualifier who's hoping to be part of the day two action is 24-year-old David Le, who hails from the south side of Brisbane. Having only taken up the game of poker two years ago in pub games, he qualified for the ANZPT via a $43 HyperTurbo satellite.
"It's about time something like this came to Queensland," Le said. "It's definitely been a great experience." He's still coasting along in this tournament with 22,000 in this stack, but it had been as high as almost 40,000.
"I was caught out in a couple of pots, but otherwise I've been playing pretty solidly today. I'd love to make it into day two and see how we go from there."
Fellow Brisbanite Attila Bognar agreed - the boilermaker and family man worked hard for his chance to play in Queensland's first event major live tournament after qualifying via a $215 satellite event. Bognar was quietly spoken, but you couldn't wipe the smile off his face as he played each hand.
"I'm just used to playing home games with mates - poker is a hobby for me but this is something else," he said. "It would be great to see the ANZPT back next year, the casino's doing a great job."
• In the latest from Treasury, PokerStars.net Team Australia Pro Grant Levy has managed to work his stack up back to 30,000 after a couple of big hands.
The first hand was between Levy and Aleks Lackovic - the money was all in the middle pre-flop; Levy held the black kings, Lackovic had the red queens. The board would run out 7♦ 4♥ 8♥ J♦ 2♦ to double Levy up to 18,000.
The other was just after chip leader Tom Zhou was moved to the table - Levy was priced in to call an opponent's all-in of 9000 holding Q♥ 9♥ against the opponent who was well ahead with Q♠ Q♠.
The flop came down K♠ 8♣ J♥; Levy sat quietly and watched as the T♣ fall on the turn. An ace on the river would all that would be needed to chop, but the river bricked 3♠.
Andrew Jeffreys also had an up and down day; though he had his stack as high as 40,000 earlier in the day, he was eliminated after moving all-in with A-7 on a flop of A-K-8, only to run into an opponent's A-K.
A total of 42 players remain in today's flight; they are now on their last break of the day, after which they will play the last level (300/600 with a 75 ante) before the chips are cut down and listed.
• Down at Jupiters, 42 players remain heading into the final level. The dreams of becoming the first multiple ANZPT champion have ended for Karl Krautschneider after he committed his remaining chips on a straight flush draw with J♥ 9♥ on a flop of 2♣ Q♥ T♥, and found himself up against pocket aces. The A♠ on the turn still left the Melburnian with outs, but the 7♦ wasn't one of them and he was out.
Dennis Huntly was also eliminated late in the last level while the third member of Surfers Paradise's own version of Animal House, Bruno Portaro, is hanging in there with 15,000.
The chip leader here is Tim luckyshades Horan with 60,000, ahead of James Honeybone (55,000), PokerStars Sponsored Player Lee "Final Table" Nelson (42,000) and Daniel Neilson on 36,000. PokerStars.net Team Australia player Celina Lin is also well placed to advance with 30,000.