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ANZPT Sydney Day 1b: Levels 1 & 2 (blinds 75-150)

2:30pm: Ten-minute break

2:25pm: Assadourian ready to play for stacks

Eric Assadourian opened with a raise to 350 and found a caller before the button raised it to 850 to go. The small blind cold-called and the other two players came along to see a four-way flop of A♠9♦6♣.

Action checked to the button who bet 1,700. The small blind called but Assadourian put in the check-raise as he made it 6,100 to go. The late position player folded, as did the button, but the small blind wasn't going to budge so quickly.

"It's all or nothing!" yelled Assadourian, indicating that he was ready to play for stacks, but his opponent eventually let it go, as Assadourian chips up nicely to 22,000.

2:20pm: O'Rourke coolered

Liam O'Rourke won't be matching his ANZPT Gold Coast final table in this event, after he was just bundled out in the second level of the day in a cooler of a hand against Manny Stavropoulos.

The chips were in preflop with O'Rourke tabling K♣K♠ but he'd run smack-bang into the A♣A♥ of Stavropoulos. The flop of J♦T♥9♠ did give O'Rourke a few outs with a straight draw, but the 6♠ turn and J♣ river completed the board to leave O'Rourke empty-handed. Stavropoulos is off to the perfect start as he climbs to nearly 40,000 in chips.

2:10pm: Gorr recovers

After a poor start, Aussie Millions champ David Gorr has recovered a few chips from tablemate John Maklouf.

Maklouf raised it up from middle position to 400 with Gorr the lone caller in the small blind. The flop fell 3♦T♣4♠ and Gorr checked to Maklouf who followed up with a continuation bet of 800. Gorr went with the continuation call as the A♥ hit the turn.

Gorr checked once again and Maklouf bet 1,100, only to find Gorr check-raise all in for an additional 4,325. Maklouf folded, what he claimed was pocket queens, as Gorr indicated he had caught two pair. Gorr is back up to nearly 8,000 in chips.

2:00pm: Huang owned

After a raise to 600 from middle position, Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang toyed with his chips before matching the bet, but the player in the big blind put in a three-bet to 1,500. Both opponents called and they saw a flop of T♣J♠9♥.

The big blind led out for 2,500 with the middle position player flat calling as Huang tossed away his card and stepped away from the table.

"The middle position player is a friend of mine," said Huang. "His name is CS and he is one of the smartest guys I know."

As the hand continued the big blind led out with another 2,700 on the repeat T♥, before CS moved all in for an additional 12,100. The big blind cringed and released as CS raked in the chips.

"I folded pocket eights," indicated Huang. "He had a full house there everytime."
CS then proved everyone wrong as he flashed the 6♠!

"Owned!" laughed Huang, who is back to 15,000 in the early stages.


Bryan Huang in action at the ANZPT Sydney

1:50pm: A few late arrivals

A couple more late arrivals include Eric Assadourian, Jesse McKenzie, Tyron Krost and the man known simply as Sheldon. We're still awaiting the arrival of 2005 World Champion Joe Hachem who is expected to take his seat sometime today.

1:40pm: Nelson triple barrels without success

With a limper in front of him, Lee Nelson raised it up on the button and found calls from both blinds and the middle-position limper to see a flop of 3♣J♣5♣. The table checked around to Nelson who bet 800. The small blind made the call as the other two players stepped aside.

The turn brought the 6♥ and again it was checked to Nelson. He fired 1,750 and again his bet was called as the 2♦ bricked the river. For the third time play was checked to Nelson and he released a third bullet worth 3,200. His opponent made the call and Nelson tossed his cards straight into the muck in resignation as his opponent revealed A♣K♦ for just ace high!

Nelson is down to just 6,225 as he has been joined by the late arrival of Mr.ANZPT himself, Tony Hachem.


ANZPT Adelaide champ Octavian Voegele and Lee Nelson

1:30pm: Level up, blinds 75-150

1:10pm: The illusion of disinterest

Dan Neilson is one of Australia's most successful live tournament players over the last few years. He also looks like the most disinterested player at the table you'll ever see. Neilson creates an illusion of a care-free attitude and it couldn't have been more evident when we saw him bet 4,700 on the turn on a board of J♣T♥5♣K♠.

"Pocket fives?" squeezed his opponent, but Neilson remained stone-face with his chin firmly resting on his right hand looking at if he'd rather be on the harbour cruise than inside a casino. It's an image that works for Neilson as he is able to plunder unsuspecting opponents, as this time his opponent tossed his cards into the muck to give Neilson a nice early pot.

12:50pm: What a lineup!

It's a super lineup here today for Day 1b with the cream of the Australian poker crop in attendance and every table in the poker room in use.

The field is highlighted by our three Team PokerStars Pros Joe Hachem, Bryan Huang and reigning ANZPT Player of the Year Tony Hachem. We've got a few Australian Poker Hall of Famers in Billy "The Croc" Argyros, Lee Nelson and Jeff Lisandro.

Aussie Millions champion David Gorr is seated next to our blogging desk so we'll be able to keep a close eye on him, on a table that also includes ANZPT regulars John Maklouf, Ricky Kroesen and Brendon Rubie.

Some of the other names in the field include Micheal Pedley, Tim English, Daniel Laidlaw, Jeff Rossiter, Michael Guzzardi, Sam Khouiss, Matthew Pilat, Nobbi Tanaka, Sean Dunwoodie, Dan Neilson, Johnathan Karamalikis, Aaron Benton, Brad Bower, Bruno Portaro, Nik Lackovic, Kent Hunter, Stevan Lackovic, Vesko Zmukic, Michael Mariakis, Ben Richardson, Ali Khalil, Manny Stavropoulos, Mitch Carle, Josh Barrett, ANZPT Melbourne champ Martin Kozlov, ANZPT Adelaide winner Octavian Voegele and the ANZPT POTY leader Danny Chevalier.

12:40pm: Today's format

As always on the ANZPT, players will start with 20,000 in chips and enjoy generous one hour levels with the blinds kicking off at 50-100. As per yesterday, we'll be playing a full eight levels today before we bag and tag for the day.

12:30pm: Capacity field for Day 1b

While some are lucky enough to be out in the sunshine enjoying a luxurious harbour cruise and lunch (it's not bad being a PokerStars qualifier!), the rest of us are hard at work as we bring you live updates from Day 1b of the 2011 ANZPT Sydney Main Event.

The Star City Poker Room will be stretched to the limit this afternoon as a big field is expected to hit the tables once again.

The players have found their seats and the cards are now in the air as Day 1b is underway!


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