2012 Winter Poker Championships $1,100 Main Event - Day 1b

That’s all she wrote

Day 1b has come to an end with 14 players surviving the day.  It appears that Bruce Hall has ended the day as a clear chip leader with around 123,900, to lend further evidence to the theory that the biggest stack often comes from the flight with the fewest players.  The fast-finishing Ivan Zalac and "The Tank" Mike Ivin fill out the top three

Player Name Chip Count
Bruce Hall 123900
Ivan Zalac 88200
Mike Ivin 82000
Baden Burbidge 62400
John Shin 57800
Paul Elliott 53600
Craig Blight 45700
Greg Mosdell 43800
Dale Townsend 42500
Andrew Ryan 40900
Bob Crossman 37400
Steve Baker 36600
Dan Neilson 33300
David Brand 30000


We'll have details of the redraw for Day 2 and a complete wrap of today's action for you shortly.

Bruce bounces Roy

It looks like Bruce Hall (pictured) is going to be tough to beat as the chip leader from today’s flight after he won a huge pot to send early chip leader Roy Agresta to the rail.

Dale Townsend opened the action with a raise to 4,500 before Hall three-bet to 20,000.  Action was then with Agresta and he moved all in for a total of 39,600.  Townsend thought long and hard before folding as Hall committed to the call.

Agresta tabled Q clubsQ diams but he was trailing the K diamsK clubs.  Agresta caught a queen in the window, but a king was close behind as the final board was spread Q spades7 heartsK hearts3 heartsA hearts.

Agresta is bundled out as Hall climbs to giddy heights with a stack of 125,000.

Double for Shin

John Shin has landed a handy double up as we enter the last level of the day.  Shin was all in preflop with 4 hearts4 clubs against A spadesQ hearts and the baby pair held on the board of K hearts9 clubs6 clubs8 spades2 clubs.

Shin doubles to about 30,000 in chips.

Stev LackovicNo luck for Lackovic

“I have the nuts!” exclaimed Stev Lackovic (pictured) as he committed his last 12,000 and opened the old 8 clubs5 clubsPaul Elliott had made the call with his A heartsJ hearts as Lackovic held live cards to try and get himself back into contention.

Lackovic paired the flop, but so did Elliott as the final board ran out 8 diamsJ clubs7 heartsK diams6 diams.  Lackovic is out as Elliott climbs to 75,000 in chips.

Current chip leaders

Andrew Ryan – 80,000
Bruce Hall – 78,000
Paul Elliott – 75,000
Mike Ivin – 65,000
Craig Blight – 60,000

Lackovic hangs on

Stev Lackovic still has a pulse in this tournament.  Lackovic found a double up with 2 clubs2 diams against the A spades2 spades of Mike Ivin when the board ran out K clubs2 hearts7 hearts4 diams4 spades.  That got Lackovic a little ammunition and he was about to move all in moments later to steal the blinds and antes to claw his way back to a stack of around 12,000.

Aston out

Anthony Aston won’t be adding any ANZ Player of the Year points to his tally in this event after his recent elimination from the tournament late on Day 1b.

Facing an open to 6,000, Aston shoved all in with ace-king but couldn’t win the coinflip against pocket queens.

Mike IvinLackovic run down by the Tank

A brutal bad beat has crippled Stev Lackovic as Mike Ivin (pictured) has pulled off a remarkable runner-runner to scoop a pot worth around 65,000 chips.

The action was recalled to us as Ivin opening to 3,300 before Lackovic three-bet to 8,100.  Apparently Lackovic had four-bet the previous hand and showed a bluff, so this time Ivin made the call to see a flop of K diamsA spades4 hearts.

Ivin decided to lead out for 8,000, but Lackovic came back over the top by moving all in to put Ivin to a decision for his last 14,000.

After several moments of thought, Ivin decided to make the call with just Q heartsJ diams for queen-high and a bare gutshot straight draw.  It seemed like a bizarre call, but clearly Lackovic’s image had paid off as his pocket queens were well in front.  But incredibly the J clubs turn and J spades river delivered Ivin runner-runner trip jacks to the shock of the entire table.

Ivin is now up to 65,000 with a stunned Lackovic down to just 5,000 in change.

Benton busts

Aaron Benton hasn’t been able to recover from his previous body blow as his tournament is now over.  It was a cooler that did it, with Benton’s K heartsK clubs running into the A spadesA clubs of Paul Elliott.

The board ran out 2 diams6 spades3 spadesQ diams8 hearts to see Benton send crashing to the rail.

Neilson stays alive

Facing a limp and then a raise from Aaron Benton on the button, Daniel Neilson decided to move all in for his last 14,400 from the big blind.  The limper folded but Benton made a quick call with 5 clubs5 diams to be up against Neilson’s K clubsJ spades.

These two guys have enjoyed a lot of success as professionals, so we were expecting to see some sort of unlikely chop, but Neilson won the race when the board ran out 2 clubs6 clubs4 diamsK spadesJ diams to give him two pair.

“That’s a bad shove,” directed Benton to Neilson after the hand.  “I’m never folding and it’s a shit hand.”

Neilson just gave a shrug as he doubles to 32,000, with Benton back to 17,000.

Ryan races ahead

Andrew Ryan has been well-placed throughout the day today, but he’s now making a run for the chip lead after eliminating a short-stacked opponent.

Ryan made the call preflop with A spadesJ clubs and the race was on against 10 spades10 hearts, but it took until the river for Ryan to connect on the board of 3 spades9 hearts3 clubs7 heartsA diams.

Another one to the rail as Ryan climbs to 75,000.

Prize pool information

With registration closed, the prize pool and payouts have been announced for the 2012 Canberra Winter Poker Championships.

With 60 entrants on Day 1a and 38 here today on Day 1b, a total field of 98 players have created a prize pool of $98,000.

The top 15 players will be paid, with a minimum cash worth $1,715, while first place will pocket a tidy $26,950 and, of course, the Winter Poker Championships trophy!

1st $26,950
2nd $17,150
3rd $10,045
4th $8,330
5th $6,860
6th $5,635
7th $4,655
8th $3,675
9th $2,940
10th – 12th $2,205
13th – 15th $1,715

Chip count update

Greg Mosdell – 75,000
Steve Baker – 70,000
Roy Agresta – 65,000
Anthony Aston – 60,000
Andrew Ryan – 42,000
Aaron Benton – 38,000
Craig Blight – 38,000
Mike Ivin – 35,000
Dale Townsend – 33,000
Stev Lackovic – 27,000
Dan Neilson – 26,000
Ivan Zalac – 24,000
John Shin – 19,000



The players are now taking their last ten-minute break of the day.  The remaining 23 players will return to play three more full levels before our day concludes.

Blight doubles through Neilson

On the final hand of the level, Craig Blight has landed a big double up through Dan Neilson (pictured).  The chips were in preflop with Blight’s A heartsK clubs in control against Neilson’s A clubsJ spades and it stayed that way through the board of 8 diamsQ clubsK spadesJ clubs4 hearts.

Blight’s stack of 18,175 was doubled as Neilson slips to 26,000.

Benton in the thick of the action

There’s never a dull moment in the life of Aaron Benton, as another double up has gone his way.  This time he had the goods with his A spadesA hearts getting action from an opponent’s J heartsJ spades.

The board ran out Q clubs5 diams6 clubs10 clubs2 hearts to see Benton’s stack double to a little over 30,000.

“How do you get aces?” said Benton’s opponent.       

“Gotta get them some time!” chirped Benton in reply.

Blight swims on the river

Craig Blight has landed a much-needed double up after he moved all in for his last 5,500 on a flop of J diams4 diamsQ spades.  His opponent made the call with A heartsQ clubs as Blight was drawing with K clubs10 diams.

Blight stood to his feet, but he’d have to sit down again pretty quickly, as the 8 spades turn and 9 clubs river completed the board to give him a straight for the double up.  He’s up to 20,000.

Roy AgrestaWhen chip leaders collide

Much like yesterday, our big stacks seem to have congregated close to each other with Roy Agresta (pictured) and Anthony Aston sitting side-by-side with only the dealer separating them on Table 5.

The two clashed in a recent battle of the blinds.  Agresta started things off with a raise to 1,600 from the small blind with Aston defending his big blind with a call as the two took a flop of 5 spades2 clubsJ spades.  Agresta continued with the aggression as he bet 2,600.  Aston made the call before both players checked the J diams turn.

The river brought the 4 diams and Agresta splashed out a hefty bet of 7,700.  Aston rocked back in his chair, anguished by the decision, before making a crying call.  Agresta tabled a creative J hearts4 spades for a full house which was well and truly good.  Agresta jumps to 80,000 for a clear chip lead with Aston slipping to 55,000.

Kemp done by the ladies

The taxi can now head back to Sydney town with a full load as Jai Kemp has joined travelling partners Joel Dodds and Grant Levy on the rail here in Canberra.

Kemp was fighting valiantly with his short stack, and 10 spades10 hearts looked like a pretty good hand to shove all in, but he ran into an opponent’s Q diamsQ spades.  The board fell A spades5 clubsA heartsK spades5 diams to leave Kemp empty-handed.

“Oh well, see you at the next one!” said Kemp as he headed for the exit.

Aaron BentonBenton bounces back

It’s been a wild few minutes for Aaron Benton (pictured).  After losing a big pot with a flush draw versus ace-king, Benton moved all in for around 12,000 with A hearts10 spades and looked in trouble when an opponent made the call with a monster K diamsK spades.

However Benton caught good when the board rolled out 4 clubsA diams6 heartsQ clubs6 diams to see Benton spike his ace for a handy double up.

Benton is back up to 27,000 chips.

Final three tables

They’re starting to drop away now as a recent table break sees just 27 players remaining in today’s flight.

The latest casualty came at the hands of John Shin.  The Canberra local, who final tabled at the ANZPT Perth event, looked down at Q spadesQ hearts in the big blind and made an easy call after the cutoff player shoved all in for his last 5,725 with A clubsJ clubs.

The board ran out 8 hearts8 spades7 clubs2 spades10 hearts as Shin sends one to the rail on his way to a stack of 26,000.

Benton busts Dodds

Aaron Benton is a dangerous man with chips in hand and the 2009 APPT Sydney champ is now sitting with a very healthy stack and has removed one of his toughest opponents.

Benton opened with a raise to 1,300 from early position before Joel Dodds moved all in for his last 4,575.  Benton made the call with Q-J and was racing against Dodds’ pocket fours.  A jack fell on the flop and that was enough for Benton to collect the pot and send Dodds to the rail.  Benton is now up to 42,000.

Casino CanberraChip counts

Roy Agresta – 80,000
Andrew Ryan – 55,000
Dan Neilson – 46,000
Anthony Aston – 40,000
Sam Alhassan – 35,000
Stev Lackovic – 35,000
Aaron Benton – 35,000
En Hong – 30,000
Dale Townsend – 28,000
Jai Kemp – 19,000
John Shin – 18,000
Ivan Zalac – 16,000
Joel Dodds – 16,000
Craig Blight – 14,000
Mike Ivin – 6,000


Break it down

The players are now taking a ten-minute break.  When they return, the remaining 32 players will be playing Level 7, with the blinds at 300/600 with a 50 ante.

Townsend takes a hit

Dale Townsend opened with a preflop raise to 925, and picked up two callers including Anthony Aston in the big blind to see a flop of 2 diams7 diams5 clubs.  Action checked to Townsend who continuation bet for 1,200.  The player in late position made the call as Aston stepped aside.

The turn brought the 2 clubs and Townsend checked to his opponent who bet 3,000.  Townsend took a moment and asked for a count of his opponent’s stack before making the call.  The river was the 8 diams and that slowed both players to check it down.

Townsend’s opponent opened 9 diams9 spades for the overpair which was good to take it down.  Townsend slips to 28,000.

Crossman triples

Facing a raise to 800 and a flat call from Bob Crossman on the button, Jai Kemp moved all in for around 15,000 from the small blind.  The initial raiser called off his last 8,000 or so chips, as Crossman was also happy to commit his last 6,850 as a huge three-way all-in pot had exploded.

Kemp tabled J clubsJ diams, Crossman held K spadesK hearts while the third player opened A clubs10 spades.  The flop landed 4 spadesA diams4 hearts to pair the ace, as the 5 diams turn changed nothing.  However the river was the K diams to give Crossman a set of kings for a very nice triple up to over 22,000.  Kemp slips to about 9,000.

Agresta flushes another

Roy Agresta is continuing his dominance over this Day 1b field after eliminating another opponent.  The chips went all in on the turn with the board reading 4 spades3 spadesA heartsA spades.

The short-stacked player was probably feeling pretty good with his A diamsK clubs until Agresta tabled K spades9 spades for the nut flush.  The river blanked the 5 hearts to see Agresta take it down to move up to a very healthy 75,000 in chips.

Grant LevyGrunter cracked

Grant Levy (pictured) is stuck looking for a lift back to Sydney after his tournament has come to an abrupt end.

Levy just couldn’t get anything going today, battling on the short stack since the first hands of the day.

Levy recalled to us his final hand saw him raise with pocket aces and his opponent defended with “the old five-three”.  A couple more threes landed on the flop and that was enough to spell the end for Levy.

With roadtrip buddies Joel Dodds and Jai Kemp still in contention, Levy will have to stick around a while longer as he contemplated grinding online majors tomorrow on his iPad.

Straight for Aston

ANZ Player of the Year leader Anthony Aston is starting to make a little noise here in his home town of Canberra.

We recently caught him firing bets of 1,750 on the turn and 4,550 on the river on the board of K diams3 clubsJ hearts9 hearts8 hearts with opponent Roy Agresta making the call.

Aston showed Q hearts10 clubs for the straight to scoop the pot and move up to 38,000 chips.

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Benton builds

With a couple of limpers and a raise to 625 from Paul Elliott on button before him, Aaron Benton looked down at his cards in the big blind and decided to bump the price to 1,600.  The limpers got out of the way as Elliott made the call to see a flop of 5 clubs2 spades4 hearts.

Both players checked and the turn brought the J spades.  Benton led out for 2,200 and Elliott called as the 4 clubs completed the board.  Benton released another bullet as he made it 3,100 to go.  Elliott thought for a moment but released as Benton appeared to give a grimace as if he wanted a call.  Benton raked in the pot to move up to 32,000.

Early chip counts

Roy Agresta – 65,000
En Hong – 45,000
Ivan Zalac – 38,000
Aaron Benton – 30,000
Stev Lackovic – 29,000
Dale Townsend – 28,000
Anthony Aston – 28,000
Sam Alhassan – 27,000
Dan Neilson – 23,000
John Shin – 21,000
Jai Kemp – 18,000
Mike Ivin – 17,000
Joel Dodds – 15,000
Craig Blight – 12,000
Grant Levy – 8,800
Toothpick Tony - 0
Raj Ramakrishnan - 0



The players are now taking their first ten-minute break of the day.  35 players remain in contention from today’s flight.

Raj removed

Raj Ramakrishnan commented to us that he only flew in from overseas last night as he took his seat in today’s field.  Well, he’ll now have a chance to shake off any jetlag after his early elimination from the Winter Poker Championships Main Event.

It was recalled to us that Ramakrishnan got his last chips in with 8-6 on a flop of 6-6-5.  The only problem was that Roy Agresta held A-6 for trips with a better kicker.  Ramakrishnan couldn’t improve and was eliminated from the tournament.

Aces for Alhassan

Sam Alhassan just commented to us that he doubled up courtesy of a nice cooler of a hand.  Apparently Alhassan limped in with his pocket aces and got a few callers, before an opponent raised to 1,200.  Alhassan popped it up to 3,200 to force the limpers out of the way, before his opponent moved all in.  Alhassan made the call, and his aces held against his opponent’s pocket kings when the board ran out safely.

Alhassan is up to 39,000.

Lackovic takes one from Shin

With the blinds at 100/200, Stev Lackovic opened with a preflop raise to 450 before John Shin popped it up to 1,150 next to speak.  Action folded back to Lackovic who made the call to see a flop of 3 clubs9 diams8 diams.

Lackovic checked and Shin bet 1,075.  Lackovic made the call but action slowed up when both players checked down the Q spades turn and Q diams river.  Shin tabled A heartsK diams for ace-high but Lackovic took it down with his 10 clubs9 clubs for a pair of nines.

Lackovic moves up to 26,000 with Shin back to 23,000.

En HongHong claims first casualty

We’ve had our first elimination of the day as En Hong (pictured) has busted Davor Derek from the tournament.

The flop was already spread 2 diams9 clubsA hearts when we arrived to the table to see the players turn over their cards, but neither were obviously too deterred by the ace on board as Derek went with his J heartsJ clubs, only to see Hong trump that with her Q diamsQ clubs.

The Q spades on the turn sealed the deal for Hong as Derek was drawing dead with the 6 clubs completing the board.  Derek is out as Hong moves up to nearly 60,000 to be the early chip leader.

Raj gets loosey goosey

Picking the action up on a flop of A spades7 diams10 clubs, Raj Ramakrishnan check-raised from the big blind, making it 1,100 to go after the button player had bet 550.  The min-raise was called as both players checked the 6 hearts turn.

The river brought the 8 diams and Ramakrishnan fired 1,300 but his opponent made the call with A diams4 diams for top pair as Ramakrishnan’s creative J spades6 spades hit the muck.  Ramakrishnan slips to 15,000.

Zalac catches Levy

ANZ regular Ivan Zalac informed us that he was the chip leader after he won the first hand of the day.  He’s not got some legitimate claim to being the early chip leader after catching 2007 APPT Sydney and 2011 ANZPT Perth champion Grant Levy with his hand in the cookie jar.

The board read 10 clubs6 heartsK clubsJ spades6 diams as Zalac’s bet of 1,200 was raised to 3,575 by Levy.

“I’m not folding,” said Zalac.  “I’m just deciding between the other two.”

Zalac eventually made the call and Levy knew he was beat as he slid his cards straight into the muck.  Zalac didn’t have to show as he chips up to 25,000 in the early stages with Levy down to 13,000.

They keep trickling in

2009 APPT Sydney champ Aaron Benton has just taken his seat in today’s field on the same table as Joel Dodds.

Another tough table has formed which sees Craig Blight, Dan Neilson, Stev Lackovic and John Shin all seated next to each other.

ANZ Player of the YearANZ POTY points up for grabs

The Winter Poker Championships may not be a full ANZPT event, however it does offer players the chance to earn ANZ Player of the Year points.

As an ANZ POTY qualifying event, the top ten place finishers will each receive points in the ANZ Player of the Year race.  Those points could prove crucial in deciding which two players share in the $40,000 in prizes that are up for grabs.

With Canberra local Anthony Aston currently leading the way, and his nearest rival, Scotsman Gordon Huntly, unlikely to make an appearance here in Canberra, it’s an opportunity for the locals to gain the ascendency in the ANZ POTY race.

Rough start for Dodds

We arrived at the table to see a pot with around 4,000 in the middle and Joel Dodds tapping the table on a board of 5 clubs10 clubsQ spadesA spades.  His opponent tossed out a bet of 1,700 and Dodds made the call before a dangerous-looking K diams completed the board on the river.

Dodds checked again and his opponent fired again with a bet of 3,000.  Dodds thought briefly before making the call, only to muck when his opponent showed J clubsQ clubs for the rivered straight.  Dodds slips to 15,000 in the first level of the day.

A few latecomers

Joel Dodds, Jai Kemp, John Shin and Grant Levy have all recently taken their seats in today’s field.

Small but stacked

Looks like there will be around 40 runners today which hopefully tip the total number of players over the 100-player mark.  Currently there are five tables in action but registration is still open for latecomers to make their way to Canberra to take their seats.

Some of those spotted in today’s field include Craig Blight, Ivan Zalac, Raj Ramakrishnan, Toothpick Tony, Mike Ivin, Dale Townsend, Stev Lackovic, John Shin, Dan Neilson and the current ANZ Player of the Year leader in Anthony Aston.

Let’s go

Another beautiful day here in Canberra as Day 1b of the Winter Poker Championships gets underway.  It looks to be a slightly smaller field that yesterday, but there quite a few sharks lurking as the cards are now officially in the air! 


Casino Canberra

A fresh batch of hopefuls will return to Casino Canberra this afternoon to take their shot at glory in the Winter Poker Championships Main Event.

60 players entered the first flight yesterday with just 17 surviving a long twelve levels of play.  Jesse McKenzie bagged the chip lead, with several other sharks surviving to reach Day 2 action.

Today's field should be equally impressive with several players arriving from interstate last night, and plenty of locals set to hit the tables to get their first taste of major poker tournament action.

Stay locked into Poker Asia Pacific as we bring you live and exclusive updates from the floor of Casino Canberra and the 2012 Winter Poker Championships Main Event.  Day 1b kicks off at 1:15pm so we look forward to your company then!