After starting with a field of 100 players, creating a total prize pool of $200,000, we are down to the money earners, the final 12 who will return tomorrow in order to crown our newest ANZPT champion. Day 3 saw 32 players return and it wasn’t long until the numbers would drop at a frantic pace, including a number of the local contingent. Once we were down to 20 and nearing the money bubble, play slowed right down.
The big mover of the day was Brotha D who continued his recent hot form, after winning a ANZPT Darwin $550 No Limit side event earlier this week on the back of his breakthrough APPT Auckland title last month. The celebrity hip hop artist from New Zealand continued to deliver beats all day to accumulate a healthy stack which saw him as chip leader as we reached our final two tables.
Two important players remained in contention for not only the ANZPT Darwin title but the overall ANZPT Player of the Year - Tony Hachem and Aaron Benton. Tony Hachem’s pathway to back-to-back POTY titles was opened a little further when Benton fell victim to the top end’s deadly icon, the croc! Billy “The Croc” Argyros took a near-fatal bite of Benton’s chips when the river delivered a queen to see Croc’s ace-queen crush Benton’s dominant ace-king. With mere crumbs left, Benton couldn’t recover and hit the rail shortly after in 15th place - a devastating three positions off the cash and the all important POTY points. His elimination guaranteed who our top three POTY would be - Tony Hachem, John Maklouf and Andrew Scarf - but the order was still to be decided. All Hachem needed to do from here was hold on until 12th position, and as Daniel Laidlaw became our bubble boy in 13th position, Hachem did just that. Congratulations to Tony Hachem for winning back-to-back ANZPT POTY titles.
Tim English held the chip lead for a significant part of the day, but dropped back slightly towards the end. Jai Gao has played a super-aggressive game all tournament which saw him surge to the chip lead late in the day. “Big Slick” was kind to Billy The Croc after firstly cracking the big hand to cripple Benton, he later used it to his own advantage to burst the money bubble and send Daniel Laidlaw’s 8-7 suited packing.
The final 12 will return tomorrow and with a back-to-back ANZPT POTY champion, acclaimed ‘Godfather of New Zealand’ hip hop, previous ANZPT champions and an Australasian poker icon still left in the field, we are guaranteed to see some great beats and bites as the closing chapter in the 2010 ANZPT is written.
Jie Gao (PokerStars Qualifier) - 299,000
Billy "The Croc" Argyros - 247,000
Danny "Brotha D" Leaoasavaii - 231,000
Tony Hachem (PokerStars Team PRO Australia) - 187,000
Tim English - 165,000
Chris Levick (PokerStars Sponsored Player) - 153,500
Trevor Potts - 146,000
Angelo Limanis - 114,000
Anthony Flanagan - 103,500
Ben Savage (PokerStars Qualifier) - 103,500
Bruno Portaro - 102,000
Luke Edwards (PokerStars Qualifier) - 76,000
* Image courtesy of PokerStars Blog
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Jie Gao will enter the final day of the ANZPT Darwin Main Event as the chip leader
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