World Series of Poker Europe APPT Auckland, Main Event Day 2: Final Table Nearly Reached APPT Auckland, Main Event Day 2: Final Table Nearly Reached 0001

Day 2 of the Asia Pacific Poker Tour Auckland Main Event saw lots of crazy action, a bursting bubble, and some big-name eliminations. Among the players still in the hunt for the APPT title on Day 2 were Assadour Assadourian, Joe Hachem, Tony Hachem, Grant Levy and Celina Lin. By the end of Day 2, only 11 competitors were left standing, and the day ended with the final table looming on the horizon.

Action was fast out of the gate on Day 2, and James Honeybone was one of the early notable eliminations. All of the chips went into the middle on the turn with the board reading {j-Spades}{6-Spades}{3-Spades}{10-Hearts}. Honeybone shoved with {9-Clubs}{8-Clubs} for a straight draw, and Nathanael Seet thought for a long moment before calling with {j-Diamonds}{8-Diamonds}. The {3-Hearts} on the river was no help to Honeybone, and he was eliminated.

Joe Hachem's tournament ended earlier than he had hoped after he moved all in preflop with {k-Hearts}{10-Hearts}. Paul Hockin called with {a-Hearts}{q-Clubs}. Hachem took the lead on the flop of {7-Clubs}{j-Clubs}{k-Diamonds}, but the pendulum swung back to Hockin when the {a-Clubs} fell on the turn. Hachem momentarily thought he had dodged a bullet when the river came a king, but it was the {k-Clubs}, giving Hachem trips but giving Hockin the nut flush and sending the 2004 WSOP Main Event champ to the rail.

Graeme "Kiwi G" Putt put on a tough performance, but busted just outside the money. Putt moved all in preflop with {5-Clubs}{5-Spades}, and Grant Levy moved all in over the top to isolate. It worked, and his {10-Spades}{8-Spades} was racing Putt's pocket fives to the {j-Diamonds}{8-Hearts}{4-Spades} flop. Putt picked up a straight draw on the {6-Clubs} turn, but the {10-Diamonds} on the river sent Putt home just off the bubble.

Alex Bond earned this event's title of bubble boy when he and Wang Che Jung got it all in preflop. Bond was well ahead with {a-Spades}{q-Hearts} to Jung's {q-Clubs}{10-Diamonds}. Jung picked up a straight draw on the {j-Spades}{9-Clubs}{2-Diamonds} flop, and the {10-Clubs} on the turn moved him into the lead. The river was the {3-Clubs}, ending Bond's tournament life on the bubble.

After the bubble burst, the remaining 32 players headed off to dinner break, and came back to see breakneck action for the rest of the evening. On the first hand back from break, Assadour Assadourian moved all in preflop with {k-Diamonds}{8-Diamonds}, and found not just one caller in Trevor Saunders with {a-Diamonds}{a-Hearts}, but Peter Jones as well. Jones held {a-Spades}{2-Spades}, when along came Sreten Cvetkovski with {q-Hearts}{4-Hearts} for a four-way pot with three players all in. The board of {9-Clubs}{9-Hearts}{5-Clubs}{7-Clubs}{8-Hearts} couldn't crack Saunders' aces, and he sent Assadourian and Jones to the rail. Cvetkovski was the lone player who wasn't all in on the hand, but he took a hit to his stack. Other notable eliminations on Day 2 included Grant Levy, Penny Parker, and Tony Hachem.

The brother to World Champion Joe Hachem, Tony, picked up a little bragging rights on his brother by outlasting him in this event. Hachem moved all in preflop with {10-Spades}{10-Clubs} and ran into Wang Jung's pocket aces. Hachem picked up a straight draw on the {q-Clubs}{j-Clubs}{9-Diamonds} flop, and added a flush draw when the {5-Clubs} landed on the turn. The river was the {2-Spades}, and Hachem was done in 24th place ($5,998).

After Michael Mitchell was eliminated in 17th place ($5,998), play consolidated to two eight-handed tables, and the action continued to race along. Soren Erickson busted in 15th place when his {k-Clubs}{q-Diamonds} didn't catch up to Nathanael Seet's {a-Diamonds}{k-Spades} on a {4-Clubs}{k-Diamonds}{8-Spades}{10-Hearts}{7-Hearts} board. Sreten Cvetkovski picked up $7,711 for 14th place in his first major live tournament when he ran pocket sixes into Luke Stanford's pocket jacks. The board of {5-Hearts}{5-Clubs}{3-Diamonds}{k-Clubs}{q-Spades} was no help, and Cvetkovski's tournament was over.

Play stopped for the day with 11 players remaining, shortly after one-time big stack Andrew Pantling busted in 12th place ($10,281). All the money went in preflop, with Pantling's {k-Clubs}{j-Spades} behind Edward Holdcroft's {a-Spades}{q-Clubs}. Holdcroft made two pair on the {a-Diamonds}{q-Hearts}{6-Spades} flop, but Pantling picked up a straight draw. No help came on the turn or river, as they ran out {5-Diamonds} and {2-Hearts}, and he was done.

Luke Stanford finished Day 2 with the chip lead, with a sizable lead over his nearest competitors. As players bagged their chips, the survivors and their chip stacks looked like this:

Luke Stanford - 575,000

Nathanael Seet - 400,000

Wang Che Jung - 400,000

Daniel Craker - 335,000

Michael Miriakis - 210,000

Eric Mutrie - 170,000

Wai Yuen - 160,000

Edward Holdcroft - 140,000

Matthew Konnecke - 115,000

Dan Sing - 73,000

Jani Karke - 70,000

Join PokerNews at 12:15pm Auckland time for all the live updates as the remaining 11 players make their way to the final table and the APPT Auckland title.

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