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ANZPT Darwin Day 1b: Levels 3-4 (blinds 100-200, ante 25)

4:45pm: Ten-minute break

4:25pm: Benton blasts past the rockets

Another on the move is 2009 APPT Sydney champ Aaron Benton as we've had another casualty from the ANZPT Darwin Main Event.

We didn't catch the action but the cards were on their backs on the turn with Benton flopping a set holding 7♥7♦ on the board of 3♦7♣2♦9♣. His opponent held A♦A♠ and Benton's set held on the 5♦ river.

Benton is now up to 48,000 and likely to be narrowly in front.


Aaron Benton in action at the ANZPT Darwin

4:20pm: McKay on the move

Ryan McKay has gone on a nice little rush, with the elimination of an opponent followed by a couple of handy pots to now be up with the chip leaders.

His heater started when he busted an opponent on a 8♠9♠8♦ flop. The chips were in the middle with McKay's Q♥8♥ outkicking his opponent's 8♣6♣. McKay improved to a full house on the Q♠ turn as the 5♠ river completed the board.

Moments later McKay opened to 550 before Marcel Schreiner three-bet to 1,200 in position. McKay called and they saw a flop of T♥2♠5♦. McKay checked and Schreiner bet 1,325. McKay thought for a moment before tossing 10,000 into the pot. Schreiner only had 7,600 behind and he decided to save them as he folded to jump McKay up to 44,000 chips.

4:00pm: Boxell doubles through Levy

"I'm about to knock out Leo for you Jesse!" yelled Grant Levy across the room.

"Oh no you're not Grant!" scoffed Bev Boxell from the rail like a mother chastising her children.

Boxell's last chips were in the middle preflop but he was in good shape with K♦K♣ against the T♠T♦ of Levy.

There were no surprises as the board ran out A♣7♥3♦2♠2♣ to double Boxell to 26,000 and see Levy drop to 19,000.


Leo Boxell survives and doubles up

3:50pm: English on the river

Adam Brown raised to 525 before Tim English popped it to 1,250 on the button. Brown made the call and the flop landed 9♣K♦8♠. Brown check-called for 1,500 before both players checked the T♣ turn.

The river was a dangerous looking J♣ and Brown checked to English who thought for a few moments before checking behind and opening J♥J♦ for a rivered set, much to the annoyance of Brown. English chips up to 15,000.

3:45pm: Level up, blinds 100-200, ante 25

3:35pm: Apostolidis wins round two

John Apostolidis is getting the better of Ryan McKay as round two in their duel has again gone his way. Apostolidis limped in from early position and once again McKay raised it up to 850. Apostolidis called and the flop came down 8♦6♥4♠.

Both players checked and the turn brought the 2♠. Apostolidis threw out 1,500 and McKay called before the 7♦ completed the board. Apostolidis quickly splashed 3,000 into the middle and McKay looked him up, only to muck when Apostolidis showed 4♥4♦ for a flopped set.

Apostolidis is back to 24,000 with McKay slipping to 13,000.

3:25pm: Levy recovers

Grant Levy has made a nice comeback as ANZ Player of the Year leader Leo Boxell is now the one struggling.

In a recent pot, the two collided in a three-bet pot. Boxell opened, Levy three-bet from the small blind and Boxell called to see a 5♣Q♦3♠ flop. Levy led out for 2,625 and Boxell quickly called as the T♠ hit the turn.

That would be as far as we'd get as Levy slid out enough to put Boxell all in. The Australian Poker Hall of Famer quickly released to save his last 12,000 for another spot as Levy chips up to 30,000.

3:15pm: King Kroesen claims scalp in bizarre circumstances

"I just played the most bizarre hand of my life!" exclaimed Ricky Kroesen as the table excitedly recalled to us the details of how Kroesen recently eliminated a player to jump up to the top of our chip count leaderboard.

It started with Kroesen raising from under the gun. The table folded to David Blanchette who made the call on the button, however Kroesen didn't realise. When the two blinds got out of the way, Kroesen sighed, "No, don't fold, I have pocket kings!" as he slammed his cards down on the felt, with one of them flashing so several of the players could see.

It was then pointed out to Kroesen that there was another player still in the hand, and he quickly grabbed his cards before the dealer could scoop them up.

Incredibly, the hand continued with Kroesen's bet of 500 on a flop raised to 1,000 by Blanchette. Kroesen called and spiked the money card when the hit the turn.

Kroesen checked, Blanchette bet 2,000 before Kroesen check-raised to 5,000. Blanchette called and when the river was a brick, Kroesen moved all in.

Kroesen recalled to us that Blanchette commented that he saw that Kroesen flashed one king, but he obviously didn't hear his comment that he held of pair of them as he made the call for his tournament life.

Kroesen showed his set of kings and Blanchette could only sigh and muck his set of deuces.

Incredibly, despite telling the table what he held, and flashing his cards, Kroesen turns a two-outer and gets paid off in full to climb to 48,000 in chips!


Ricky Kroesen just can't put a foot wrong!

2:55pm: Prizepool Information

The doors have been locked and the official numbers are now in. We have a total of 64 entrants for the ANZPT Darwin Main Event with the top nine players set to finish in the money. A minimum cash will be worth $4,480 while first place will be crowned our newest ANZPT champion and take home $36,480 in prize money.

2:45pm: Play resumes

The players are back following the break, and with the "no shows" now taken out we have ourselves 26 players remaining today with Jesse McKenzie our current chip leader. With registration now closed, we'll have official confirmation of numbers and the prizepool for you shortly.

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