Day three of the PokerStars.net Asia Pacific Poker Tour Auckland Main Event kicked off with 32 eager players returning to play down to a final table. Leading the way was Auckland resident Jason Brown who started with 632,000. Behind him were fellow New Zealander Simon Watt (430,500), German Jens Walther (349,500), and American Michael Shinzaki (346,500).
With seven players starting the day with around ten big blinds, play started at a frenetic pace, but with 13 eliminations within the first level of the day, the pace exceeded the wildest of expectations.
Among the early eliminations were defending champion Daniel Craker, who capped off a remarkable title defense by cashing for $5,523 NZD. When PokerStars Team Australia Pro Eric Assadourian was eliminated, dreams of a father-and-son final table we're shattered. His father, Assadour Assadourian, did survive the day and will take his place at the final table.
The unluckiest player of the day had to be Shilton Smith bceause he opened with a raise preflop only to see Richard Lancaster move all-in over the top for around 275,000. Smith instantly called tabling , which was in good shape against Lancaster's . Lancaster didn't spike an ace but instead hit two diamonds on the flop and completed his flush with the river. Smith was left with just 52,000 chips after being in a position for over half a million. Two hands later, Smith was eliminated on the last hand of the day as the final table bubble boy.
The final table will be a multicultural affair with four New Zealanders competing against a German, a Frenchman, an American, a Chinese national and an Australian. There are also four players who won their seats through PokerStars on the final table. Leading the way with just about a 500,000 chip lead over the rest of the field is Gerome Guitteau with over $1.2 million. Here's how they will line up tomorrow.
Seat 1: Jason Brown - 709,000
Seat 2: Richard Lancaster - 568,000
Seat 3: Ke Sijia - 294,000
Seat 4: Assadour Assadourian - 231,000
Seat 5: Simon Watt - 581,000
Seat 6: Gerome Guitteau - 1,204,000
Seat 7: Lance Climo - 350,000
Seat 8: Michael Shinzaki - 620,000
Seat 9: Jens Walther - 335,000
The action gets underway from the SKYCITY Auckland Casino at 12:15 p.m (GMT+13). Follow all the action live with PokerNews" live updates. Also be sure to check out TV.PokerNews.com for videos like this "Kiwi Appreciation" instant classic.