Melbourne Poker Championships $1,100 Main Event - Day 1b

Day 1b completes with Simon Kidson holding chip lead

That’s it for Day 1b of the 2012 Melbourne Poker Champs Main Event.  Our field of 104 has been reduced to 32 by the end of the day with Simon Kidson holding onto the chip lead with a stack of 142,400.  Brent Thomas, Stephen Quon and Haibo Chu will also bag up over the 100k mark.

Keep an eye on the Poker Asia Pacific home page for a wrap article of today’s action and we’ll release the official end-of-day chips a little later in our poker forum.

Players have one more shot at glory tomorrow as the third and final opening flight is likely to produce the biggest field of the event so far.  Action kicks off at 12:10pm tomorrow and we hope you’ll join us again then!

Aston catches Truong in the cookie jar

With a raise to 2,700 from early position, both Anthony Aston (pictured) and Tam Truong made the call out of the blinds to take a flop of 8 clubsK spades8 hearts.

Action checked around all three players and the turn brought the 2 diams.  Aston checked and Truong bet 3,000.  The preflop raiser folded, but Aston called to see the 5 hearts hit the river.  Aston checked and Truong thought briefly before tossing out 8,000.  Aston deliberated before matching the bet.

Truong cringed and opened 9 diams3 diams for nothing but an air-ball as Aston showed A spadesQ spades for just ace-high which was good to take down the pot.  A great read by Aston will see the ANZ POTY leader bag up around 55,000 at the end of the day, as Truong slips to around the same amount.

Double double for Quon

Stephen Quon has quickly halted the momentum of Brent Thomas with consecutive double ups.

The first one saw Thomas’ pocket eights out-pipped by Quon’s pocket nines, before the it happened again moments later when Thomas found J heartsJ diams, only for Quon to table Q spadesQ diams.  The board ran out A heartsA diams5 diams6 hearts10 hearts to see Quon double to 95,000 with Thomas slipping back to 130,000.

Brent ThomasThomas surging again

Brent Thomas (pictured) started the day with a bang and now he’s finishing with one.  In this last level, he has increased his stack significantly to now clearly hold the chip lead.

Thomas recently eliminated yet another opponent (if it was a Terminator event, he’d be rich), with a dominant ace.  Thomas held A hearts8 spades which held against his short-stacked opponent’s A clubs2 clubs when the board bricked out.

Thomas is now up to a commanding 180,000 chips.

The ride is over for Eddy

Luke Edwards’ rollercoaster ride around the Crown Poker Room has come to an end.  He three-bet jammed his K clubs9 clubs but his opponent made the call with 9 hearts9 diams.

The board was spread 4 diams4 clubs10 spadesQ clubs8 diams to see Edwards sent to the rail late on Day 1b.




The 43 remaining players are now taking their last ten-minute break of the day.  When they return we’ll play the 600/1,200/200 level then we’ll call it a day.

Simon Kidson is still our chip leader, although Brent Thomas and Haibo Chu aren’t too far behind.

English exits

Tim English was crippled to his last 5,900 which he moved all in from early position.  The table folded around to Tam Truong in the big blind who gambled with a call holding Q diams2 spades.  English showed K clubs5 hearts for the lead but he fell behind on the board of 4 hearts8 hearts2 diams10 clubs6 diams.

English is out with Truong up to 70,000.

Anunu gets in trouble with the ladies

Just as we talked up Mishel Anunu, he’s lost a big pot to be severely dented.  Anunu recalled the action to us.

Jie Gao opened the button to 2,200 before Anunu three-bet to 5,200 with pocket queens in the big blind.  Gao called and they took a queen-high flop where Anunu led out for 6,000 with his set.  Gao made the call and they both checked the ace turn.

The river was an eight, and Anunu checked to Gao who fired a bet with Anunu making the call, only to discover Gao had rivered a straight with his jack-ten.

Gao climbs to 60,000 with Anunu dropping to 15,000.

Breaking tables

A recent table break has seen our chip leader in Simon Kidson join the same table as Brent Thomas and Andy Hinrichsen.  We have the potential to see a massive pot in the final level of the day.

Also on the move was Luke Edwards who finds himself moved to his fifth table of the day.  Not a bad effort considering there were only nine tables in operation.

“So much for building my tight image!” laughed Edwards as he found his new home.

Anunu sends Lee packing

Mishel Anunu raised the button to 2,000 before Andy Lee moved all in for around 18,000 from the small blind.  Jarred Graham folded his big blind, and after a count, Anunu made the call with K heartsQ hearts.  Lee tabled 10 spades8 spades for live cards.

Lee caught the lead on the 7 clubs3 hearts8 clubs flop, but it swung back to Anunu on the K clubs turn.  The river fell the 3 spades to see Lee depart as Anunu continues to prove himself as one of the most consistent players on the tour at the moment as he moves up to 56,000.

Andy HinrichsenHinrichsen hungry for more success

WSOPE bracelet winner Andy Hinrichsen (pictured) is on the march towards a big stack.  He’s just taken a slice from Brent Thomas and with the two sitting almost 100k deep, expect some fireworks here late on Day 1b.

In a recent pot, Thomas opened with a raise before Hinrichsen three-bet to 5,500 from the small blind.  Thomas called and the flop landed 3 diamsJ diams6 hearts.

Hinrichsen led out for 4,900, before Thomas popped it to 12,300.  Hinrichsen deliberated for some time before declaring himself all in for an additional 48,500.  Thomas asked for a count before giving it up as Hinrichsen moves up to 90,000.  Thomas slips to 100,000.

The curse of “Big Chick”

Peter Matusik limped in before Brent Thomas continued his aggressive ways and popped it to 6,400.  Action folded back to Matusik who moved all in for his last 11,300 with Thomas making the call.

Matusik opened A diamsQ diams but found himself dominated by Thomas’ A heartsK hearts.

“Argh, I guess it’s just not my day,” sighed Matusik as the board ran out J hearts3 diams4 clubs9 diams6 spades.  Matusik is out as Thomas climbed to 127,000.

Moments later on the same table, Shoshiro Karita met the same fate when his last chips were in preflop with ace-queen against Michael Kanaan’s ace-king.  The board bricked out and Karita joined the rail.


Crown Poker regular Peter Aristidou has been eliminated.  He really couldn’t get anything going to today and was barely able to get above his start stack all day.  Aristidou eventually made a move with A clubs4 hearts but Tam Truong made the call with 8 diams8 clubs which held through the board of 8 hearts5 hearts10 diams3 diamsJ hearts.

Aristidou is out as Truong moves up to 40,000.

James BroomMelbourne Poker Championship Retrospective: 2008

By the time 2008 rolled around, the small field size of the inaugural Melbourne Champs was just a memory as another big increase to the field size would see 668 players hit the tables of an expanded Crown Poker Room.

In the end it was the aggressive James Broom (pictured) who became the 2008 champion, trumping the field to pocket a massive $134,602. That wouldn’t be the last time we saw Broom in the spotlight, with two ANZPT final tables coming in 2009 in Adelaide and 2011 in Canberra.

Who will become this year’s champion? Stay locked into Poker Asia Pacific for live updates, and stay tuned for the remaining years in our series on the history of the Melbourne Poker Championships.

Graham accumulates

Picking up the action on the flop of 9 heartsA diamsJ hearts, the small blind checked to Jarred Graham in the big blind who tossed out a half-pot bet of 2,500.  Joel Dodds made the call as the small blind folded.

The turn was the 5 spades and both players checked before the river brought the 4 hearts.  Graham casually splashed out 4,300 with a mixture of chips but Dodds instantly tossed out a single 5,000-denomination chip to call.

Graham tabled K hearts2 hearts for the flush which was good as Dodds mucked.  Making a rare tournament appearance, Graham is now looking dangerous with a stack of 65,000.

GG Tollgate

“GG,” said Tom Grigg as he wandered past our blogging desk to let us know of his elimination.

“Got it in with a flush draw.  Didn’t get there,” he added.

Simon KidsonKidson builds the big stack

We have a new chip leader as Simon Kidson (pictured) is putting on a clinic on his table.  We just caught him eliminate and opponent with all the chips in on a flop of K hearts8 hearts4 hearts.  His opponent had flopped the flush with 10 hearts9 hearts as Kidson held 8 spades8 clubs for a set.

The turn was the J diams but the river was the K spades to give Kidson a full house to take down the massive pot.  His table then quickly let us know that he had been running white hot with aces, kings and ace-king all getting action on multiple occasions.

Kidson, who actually final tabled this event last year, is now a clear chip leader with 140,000.

Speidel spikes Benton

Oliver Speidel has recently eliminated Aaron Benton as 66 players remain from our original field of 104 on Day 1b of the Melbourne Champs Main Event.

It was recalled to us that Spidel bet a J-6-5 flop in a multi-way pot before Benton check-raised all in on the 8 turn card.  Benton held J-9 for top pair and a straight draw, but Speidel had spiked a set of eights on the turn.  The river bricked and Benton was busto as Speidel climbs to 65,000.

Thomas still swinging for the fences

Brent Thomas is still our chip leader but he has slipped back into pack a little, despite recently eliminating another opponent.

Thomas opened and then called the shove of a short stack for under 10,000.  Thomas held 5 spades6 spades and was prepared to gamble against his opponent’s A spades10 diams.  That gamble paid off when he connected with the board of Q diams5 clubs2 diamsK clubsK diams.

Thomas currently sits with 88,000, with Jarred Graham likely to be next best with around 58,000.



Break time

The players are now taking their second break of the day.  That also means that registration is now officially closed for the day so we should get confirmation of today’s numbers shortly.

Misread costs Occy

Octavian Voegele has been eliminated after misreading his hand.  He thought he opened with 5 spades6 spades and flopped two pair on the A clubs5 clubs6 diams flop, but when the chips went flying and the cards were turned over, Voegele discovered that he actually held 7 spades6 spades.  Oops!

His opponent held A diamsQ spades and Voegele couldn’t improve on the 3 diams turn or K clubs river.

“Look what happens.  I have half a beer and I’m misreading my cards!” laughed Voegele.  “Now I have to come back here instead of going to the beerfest tomorrow!”

Not a misprint

Ok we had to double check this one with Grant Levy himself, as we were somewhat shocked at what we’d just seen.  Levy confirmed the action as follows.

Levy opened to 900, call, call.  The big blind then raised to 4,000, before Levy moved all in for 16,400.  One of his opponents called again as the second caller, and the original raiser, both folded.

Levy had 9 spades9 clubs.  A legitimate hand.  His opponent? 5 hearts4 hearts. Hmmm. Shall we say speculative?

Levy was eyeing off a 40,000-chip pot, as the flop landed 2 spades7 hearts6 spades to give Levy’s opponent and open-ended straight draw.  It got even more interesting when the 9 hearts appeared on the turn.  Levy hit a set but his opponent now had even more outs to a flush.

Surely not?

Yep.  The turn was the 3 diams to complete his opponent’s straight to leave a shell-shocked Levy to pack up his gear and head for the rail.

"I knew I was gone as soon as I hit the set.  If the turn is an ace, I win every time," sighed Levy.

Raj runs into rockets

With the blinds at 200/400/50, Raj Ramakrishnan tossed out 600 from the cutoff in an attempt to raise, but was ruled to make it a minimum 800.  It didn’t matter, as the button player quickly three-bet to 2,000.  Ramakrishnan called, and then called bets of 1,500 on the flop and 2,500 on the turn as the board read 10 hearts2 clubs7 spades9 diams7 hearts.

Both players checked the river but Ramakrishnan had to muck when he was showed A clubsA diams.  Ramakrishnan slips to 65,000.

Crown CasinoWSOP Freeroll at Crown Poker

Apart from taking down the Aussie Millions Main Event, we can’t think of any dream bigger for a poker player than winning a WSOP bracelet. Thanks to Crown Poker, punters will be given the chance to win their way to Vegas in three exciting ways, including a massive unprecedented freeroll.

Dubbed the Ultimate Vegas Bracelet Chase, Crown Poker will be hosting the huge freeroll starting on Saturday the 23rd of June.  The free-to-enter Mega Satellite will be the first step in claiming the prize package worth more than a staggering $40,000.  Included in this prize is a $10,000 WSOP Main Event seat, $5,000 spening money, twelve nights’ accommodation and an anetyr into the $25,000 Big Drop for One Drop Mega Satellite. Imagine winning your way into the largest buy-in tournament ever through a freeroll!

Crown Poker is also offering players the chance to win a $13,000 WSOP package through a $550 weekly tournament series and a $4,000 WSOP package through a weekend-warrior friendly $200 weekly tournament series. Find out more about Crown Poker’s biggest ever promotion right here.

Thomas on top

Brent Thomas is crushing right now.  He’s already up to 120,000 in chips, which would’ve been good for a top five stack yesterday, and we’re not event half way through the day!

Most recently, Thomas dispatched of 2011 ANZPT Darwin champ Jack Drake.

Thomas raised to 1,000 preflop and found a call before Drake three-bet to 3,000.  Both opponents made the call to see a flop of J hearts9 clubs2 clubs.  Action checked to Drake who bet 5,000.  Thomas called as the third player got out of the way.

The turn brought the J clubs and Thomas decided to lead out for 20,000 which was enough to put Drake all in.  He made the call with 10 clubs10 spades but would need to improve to get past Thomas’ K spadesJ spades for trips.

The river bricked and Drake was sent to the rail as Thomas steamrolls his way to a big chip lead.

Backdoor nuts

With a raise to 550 from the cutoff, Tom Grigg made the call from the small blind to see a flop of K diams2 clubs5 hearts.  Grigg check-called for 500 before doing so again for 1,000 when the A hearts hit the turn.

The river brought the 10 hearts and Grigg checked for a third time but his opponent checked behind, opening J clubs10 diams for a pair of tens.  Grigg opened K hearts6 hearts for the nuts but unfortunately for him, his opponent didn’t bite.  Grigg is chipping away with about 12,000 in change.

Ace-high enough for Speidel

“Just win a 40k pot with ace-high,” chirped Grant Levy as Aussie Millions champ Oliver Speidel raked in a recent pot.

Speidel had gone to war with another player on a flop of 4 spades4 clubs3 clubs.  Speidel only held A clubs10 clubs for  a flush draw, but found himself in great shape as his opponent opened 6 clubs5 diams for an inferior draw.

The turn was the 3 hearts and river an equally bricky 8 spades to see Speidel’s ace-high enough to rake in the pot and double through to 40,000.

Tables of death

We’ve just noticed a couple of interesting tables have formed.

One table contains four previous ANZPT/APPT champions which would have to be some sort of record with Leo Boxell, Jack Drake, Danny Chevalier and Peter Matusik all seated together.  Also on that table is Tom Grigg who has an APPT runner-up result to his credit.

Another table that has formed is interesting, not so much for poker titles, but perhaps for what is likely to be a record consumption of alcohol ever recorded on a single table in a poker tournament.  The trifecta of Michael Pedley, Jai Kemp and Joel Dodds all find themselves together due to late registration.  Grant Levy informed us that he was one registration away from also drawing that same table!

Straight-flush for Thomas

Brent Thomas would be among the early chip leaders after a brutal elimination of Mario Ljubicic.  The details of the action are a little sketchy but the end result was the river brought Ljubicic a full house, only for Thomas to improve to a straight-flush!

Moments later Thomas made quads to win another nice pot as he climbs up to 80,000 in chips.

What’s news?

We’ve just seen one of the more bizarre arguments seen at a poker table.  One gentleman was quietly sitting back in his chair reading today’s newspaper and apparently that didn’t please the guy to his direct right.

We’re not sure if his problem was to do with him crowding his space, or just the fact that reading at the table is not allowed.

“You can use your phone, but you’re not allowed to read!” exclaimed the irate gentleman as he called over the floor staff.

It was explained that the ruled have been relaxed and that it was ok to read as long as you’re not disrupting the play.  That wasn’t enough for Mr. Disgruntled.

“We’re here to play cards mate!” he continued.  “It looks like you’re bored.”

The two continued to exchange words for several minutes before the player decided it was just easiest to fold up his newspaper and catch up on world news a little later.

A few more latecomers

A couple more players spotted recently taking their seats in today’s field include Michael Pedley, Jai Kemp and Tim English.




The players are now taking their first ten-minute break of the day.  When they return, the antes will kick in for the first time, with the blinds up to 100-200 with a 25 ante.

Here they come

The latecomers are starting to trickle in with Julian Cohen, Grant Levy, Tom Grigg, Liam O’Rourke, Andy Hinrichsen and Jarred Graham all recently spotted loitering around the casino floor.

Soul reads by Aston

Anthony Aston just recalled to us a couple of nice folds that could’ve easily seen him bundled out early.

With a raise to 500 from under the gun and a three-bet to 2,100 from late position, Aston looked down at his jacks in the small blind and had a decision to make.  The late position player had about 6,000 in total, but before Aston had acted, the UTG-player raised to 6,000 out of turn.  That made the decision easier for Aston who folded his jacks, as one player’s pocket queens bettered ace-king.

A little later in the level and Aston had flopped bottom set of threes and improved to a full house by the river, but when he bet out for 5,300, his opponent moved all in.  Aston couldn’t put his opponent on a hand that he beat, so he folded his full house, only for his opponent to table pocket queens for a bigger full house.

Most people would be broke right there, bust Aston’s solid read sees him sit with a steady 17,000 chips.

Strike two for Jackstar

Jackie Glazier has been sent crashing to the rail in her second early bustout in two days.  Glazier recalled to us that every premium hand she played today went sour with ace-king losing twice, pocket jacks losing twice, and ace-queen losing to pocket kings on a queen-high flop.

Her final hand saw her pocket jacks fall to an opponent’s ace-king with all the chips in preflop.  One more bullet tomorrow!

Haibo ChuMelbourne Poker Championship Retrospective: 2007

As part of our coverage, we've been looking back at the history of the Melbourne Poker Championships.  Today, we look at the year 2007 and by that stage it was obvious that poker was here to stay as the Melbourne Poker Championship field size saw another huge increase. By the time it was all over the champion would become the local Melbournian and very talented youngster, Haibo Chu (pictured).

That effort of overcoming a field 449 players was worth $107,760 to Chu and it was the first time a six-figure prize would be awarded to a single player in the Melbourne Champs. Over the next few years Chu would be seen raking in results online and live, even finishing on an Aussie Millions’ final table in 2011.

Chu is part of today's field as he looked to become the first two-time Melbourne Poker Championships winner.

Aston takes a seat

A few late arrivals are starting to fill out the tables here in the Crown Poker Room.  One player who recently took his seat is Anthony Aston.  Hot off the heels of back-to-back third place finishes on the ANZPT, the current ANZ Player of the Year leader will be looking to make an impression in Melbourne for the first time.

Kondevski runs into queens

Jie Gao raised preflop and Tony Kondevski defended his big blind with a call to see a flop of 8 diams7 clubs3 diams.  Kondevski check-called for 675, and then again for 1,000 on the J diams turn.

The river brought the 10 spades and with straight possibilities out there, both players checked it down.  Gao showed Q heartsQ diams which was too good as Kondevski mucked.

Kondevski slips to 15,000 with Gao chipping back to 17,000.

Cautious start

It’s been pretty slow going in the early stages of today, with only two eliminations that we’re aware of so far.  Yesterday it seemed that players were prepared to push the action, knowing they had two more flights to fall back on, but today’s players seem to be holding back on the gamble at the moment.

Boxell finds kings

We arrived at the table to see four players commit what appeared to be 1,025 apiece to see a flop of 9 diams6 clubsA diams.  Action checked around and the turn brought the 5 diams.

A bet of 2,200 was met with two folds, but Leo Boxell (pictured) made the call before leading for another 2,200 when the J diams river put four diamonds on board.

“Argh you got me on the river,” sighed the player before folding.

“You should never have even got there.  I should’ve raised him (preflop),” replied Boxell as he flashed K diamsK clubs for the nut flush.  Boxell chips up to 24,000 in the early going.

Small but stacked

It’s a smaller field for Day 1b with eight tables currently in operation but that may increase if a few more late registrations filter into the Crown Poker Room.

While it’s a smaller field, it’s certainly loaded with several very tough tables.  Some of those we’ve spotted for the first time this Main Event are Brent Thomas, Leo Boxell, Peter Matusik, Joe Cabret, Jie Gao, Shoshiro Karita, Dale Townsend, Andrew Mellado, Michael Kanaan, Graeme Putt, Ash Gupta, Mishel Anunu, Andy Lee, Sean Keaton, Ted Nguyen, Sherrie Gelberg, Octavian Voegele and the reigning ANZ Player of the Year, Danny Chevalier.

There’s also a few players back to fire another bullet this afternoon.  Those guys making use of the repechage include Mario Ljubicic, Toothpick Tony, Jackie Glazier, Raj Ramakrishnan, Luke Edwards, previous Melbourne Champs winner Tony Kondevski and the reigning Aussie Millions champion Oliver Speidel.

Championship structures for a bargain price

One of the great things about the Melbourne Poker Championships is that players will be able to enjoy a quality structure for just an $1,100 buy-in.  Players will start with 20,000 in chips with the blinds at 25/50 and will play ten 40-minute levels which should see play wrap up by about 7:30pm local time.  Just in time to hit the cash game tables!

On Day 2 the levels will be bumped to 60 minutes to give players a little more game time deeper into the event, while the final table players will enjoy championship quality 75-minute levels.

The cards are in the air!

The players have taken their seats and the cards are now officially in the air for Day 1b of the 2012 Melbourne Poker Championships Main Event.

Melbourne Poker ChampionshipsLet’s do it again!

We’re back in the Crown Poker Room for live coverage of the 2012 Melbourne Poker Championships Main Event.

Last night we saw 123 players enter Day 1a with 38 surviving the day.  Peter Tsioustas led the way with a stack of 150,200.  Will someone better that today?  Click here for the full Day 1a chip counts.

Some of those eliminated will return today for Day 1b to take advantage of the repechage format for a second chance at redemption.  We’re also sure to see plenty of new faces as they take a shot at firing their first bullet of the Melbourne Champs.

The action kicks off at 12:10pm which is only a few minutes away, so stay locked into Poker Asia Pacific as we bring you exclusive live updates from the floor of the Crown Poker Room.

Live updates provided courtesy of Poker Asia Pacific