By JAMES PUGSLEY, AUGUST 28TH, 2011
After two more days of grueling deep stacked play, the final table of APPT Snowfest is ready. There were a number of harsh casualties as the play continued onto day 2, with Koray Turker taking an early lead above day 1C chip leader Alicia Sale. Koray dominated play for a long time, only to later find himself all in with A5 offsuit against Tom Grigg’s pocket Kings.
Starting out with a lot of history and action between the two, the spot finally came when Griggs 3-bet Turker’s initial raise of 1800 to 4750, only to have Turker reportedly tout that Griggs was “about to get owned”, as he clicked it back to roughly 12,000 total. Griggs followed with the 5-bet to induce further action, and Turker pulled the trigger only to be shown Griggs’ monster hand with the pot around 192,000, or 250 big blinds. It was then not to be for Turker, who crashed out spectacularly as the day wore on, which also saw Alicia Sale’s dreams crushed, as her big stack was swiftly acquired by 2010 APPT Sydney champion Jonathan ‘xMONSTERxDONGx’ Karamalikis.
After a massive call hero call against Tom Griggs with AQ high in a 4-bet pre-flop pot, German Marcus Schreiner shot to the chip lead at the end of day 2, which left the field with 21 players. Day 3 was delayed to a late start in order to give players some more rest, and more time to enjoy the deep structure. APPT and SKYCITY officials eventually made some changes to the structure, in order to keep the average stack size as large as possible. After a few eliminations, the first of the big names to go was Cole Swannack, who pushed his stack into the middle after Matty Yates made a 3-bet preflop. Swannack was instantly called by pocket kings, only to table a measly 56 offsuit himself. Swannack found some hope when the flop ran out A 2 4, but ultimately found bricks on the turn and river to finish in 15th.
As the day wore on, Ben Paurini saw his great tournament come to an end; after picking what looked like a great cold 4-bet spot, shipping AQs over the top of active players Matty Yates and Marcus Schreiner. Schreiner, who eventually made a relatively thin call off with 55, then held to knock out Paurini, who was rewarded $6,000 for his efforts. Shortly after, Ryan Mckay’s tournament life came to an end too, as he found himself all-in and crushed by Hugh Cohen’s pocket tens, with Ryan holding 33. Gavin Vickers was the next to join the rail, having turned his initial freeroll qualifier on Pokerstars into a healthy $7,720 for 12th. Eleventh place went to Charles Caris after shoving all-in pre-flop with A2o and failing to improve against Karamalikis’ pocket tens.
The day finally came to an end in brutal fashion, with kiwi Jackson Zheng falling just short of another big final table. Zheng had raised from under the gun with KcQc, only to have Matty Yates call from the small blind. The flop fanned Th Ks 4d, which was met with a check, a bet from Zheng, and a flat call from Yates. The turn brought the Queen of spades, which led Zheng to follow with another barrel, this time for 24,000 total. Yates then check-raised all in for a further 90,000 to Zheng, who instantly made the call, despite the boards’ dangerous texture. Zheng obviously knew he was ahead as he watched Yates table just As Qh for just middle pair and a gutshot. Excitement ensued on the rail as the river was left to be dealt. Thinking perhaps that he could fade a card through calling for it himself, Zheng then called for the Jack to the come on the river. Moments later the dealer had put out the J of hearts, dashing Zheng’s chances of a commanding chip count going into the final table, eliminating him in 10th for $7,720 in change. Behind Schreiner, Yates is now second in chips, holding the highest count of any New Zealander left.
Here are the final table chip counts:
Seat 1: Hugh Cohen (Australia) 146,500 PokerStars Qualifier
Seat 2: Marcel Schreiner (Germany) 591,500
Seat 3: Daniel Laidlaw (Australia) 193,000 PokerStars Qualifier
Seat 4: Jonathan Karamalikis (Australia) 174,000 PokerStars Qualifier
Seat 5: Carl Knox (New Zealand) 180,500
Seat 6: Tom Grigg (Australia) 296,000
Seat 7: Matty Yates (New Zealand) 523,500
Seat 8: John Waterman (New Zealand) 153,500 PokerStars Qualifier
Seat 9: Xiao Dong Xia (China) 107,500
For more profiling information regarding players not covered here, please see Pokerstars’ ongoing blog for the event, found here. With a table combining many Aussies and Kiwi’s, it’s certainly shaping up to be a trans-tasman battle of epic proportions. We’ll be doing a round-up to cover action after the final table is concluded, so stay tuned — it’s going to be a long day.