The 2012 PokerStars.net Australia New Zealand Poker Tour Queenstown Snowfest Main Event played down to a final table on Saturday. Ken Demlakian leads the final nine and is in the best position to take home the title and the NZD$110,600 first-place prize.
The penultimate day of play began with 31 players, all with high hopes of making the final table. It took just a few minutes to eliminate three players at the start of Day 3 and from there, the eliminations kept flying fast and furiously. Six players were eliminated during the first level of the day, and almost half the field was gone by the end of the second.
In the early stages of the third level, 2009 APPT Sydney champion Aaron Benton was crippled when he three-bet shoved holding and ran into Tatjana Zizic’s . Benton held just a couple of big blinds after that hand and was eliminated a short while later when he ran into Ricky Kroesen’s .
It was also during the third level of the day that the money bubble was reached. First, Billy "The Croc" Argyros was eliminated in dramatic fashion two spots off the money. Argyros got his stack all-in holding against David Zhao's and managed to turn a set after a paired flop housed an . It was looking good for Argyros to stay alive, but an on the river would give the lead back to Zhao and eliminate Argyros with no money to show for his three days at the felt. After Argyros' elimination, hand-for-hand play would last around half an hour before Michael Kanaan was sent home as the “bubble boy.”
Kanaan had a roller coaster afternoon, first losing a huge chunk of his stack in a cooler situation when he lost set versus set against the eventual chip leader, Demlakian. It would then be Demlakian who sealed Kanaan’s fate, with Demlakian hitting a set on the river of a board after Kanaan got it in good on the flop holding .
With the bubble popped, the 15 remaining players were guaranteed at least a min-cash of NZD$7,050. The first few in-the-money eliminations occurred quickly, with Jason O’Brien going home in 15th place, Tatjana Zizic in 14th and Michael Fadersen in 13th. David Wonson was then eliminated in 12th place and only 11 players remained.
Play started to slow down at this point, with the prospect of making the final table fresh in the players’ minds. Eventually Stewart Ballard was eliminated in 11th place, followed by Chiu Yeung Lee in 10th. Lee got all his chips in the middle holding against Jordan Westmorland's . The board ran out , giving Westmorland a straight and sending Lee home as the unlucky final table bubble-boy.
A stacked final nine includes some of the best players from around Australasia. Demlakian, who finished Day 1b as the chip leader, is followed closely by Westmorland and Zhao. Also at the final table are David Allan, Matt Wakeman and Kroesen. These three players are some of the most talented in Australia and so can not be ruled out. Also still in contention and looking to solidify his name as one of the best in the region is Team PokerStars Pro, Bryan Huang.
The full final table lineup, including chip counts, can be seen below.
2012 ANZPT Queenstown Snowfest Final Table
One of the above nine players will claim the ANZPT title and the NZ$110,600 first-place prize. Who will become the newest ANZPT champion? Make sure to join the PokerNews live reporting team from 1230 NZST Sunday (Sunday 1700 PDT) to find out!
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