Today was Day 3 of the 2010 ANZPT Gold Coast Main Event with 42 players returning to the felt of the Jupiters Poker Room to first reach the money, and then attempt to make the final table.
The action was rapid early as many of the short stacks failed in their attempts to recover as the bubble approached. Chris Kittos was the bubble-bubble before a double all in on the money bubble left Mark James and Michael Spilkin both sweating their tournament life. James fell when his ace-nine failed to improve against Maurie Pears’ ace-jack, but Michael Spilkin found a double up to leave James as the bubble boy.
John Maklouf was one of the first to head to the cashier in 30th place as he made his fourth cash from four ANZPT events. This was enough to put him into the lead in the Season 2 ANZPT Player of the Year race ahead of Tony Hachem.
Esan Tabrizi was eliminated in 25th and International poker star David Steicke fell in 22nd after losing a race to Joel Dodds who was steamrolling his way into the chip lead as the field reduced.
Overnight chip leader Nick Wong lost two big pots to exit in 19th while Sheldon survived to the last two tables before being eliminated in 18th. Maurie Pears’ gallant run ended in 16th place after Nauv Kashyap slowplayed his pair of aces preflop. Kashyap went on a hot streak as he picked up several big pairs to move into the chip lead as Dodds slipped back into the field. ANZPT Sydney champ Angelo Hamataj was out in 15th while PokerNetworker Luke Edwards busted in 14th.
As the final table approached it was the hot form of PokerStars sponsored Aaron Benton that burst the final table bubble when he eliminated day one chip leader Darko Balaban. It was Balaban’s pocket kings against the ace-jack of Benton, but the board brought two more jacks to seal Balaban’s fate and jump Benton into a strong position for tomorrow’s final table.
It’s a stellar line up with plenty of youth, yet hours of online experience in Joel Dodds, Dominic Coombe, Ricky Kroesen and Liam O’Rourke. The chip leader is Nauv Kashyap who has more than double the chips of his nearest rival and will be the man the catch tomorrow.
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