After an exciting day of poker at the Crown Casino on Sunday, the nine-handed final table was secured in the APPT Melbourne Main Event. The chip leader heading into Monday's finale is Ashley Mason, who will have tough competition from experienced players like Billy “The Croc” Argyros, Joe Cabret and David Yan.
The day started with 42 hopefuls, but within the hour, six had left the room. That brought the money bubble, and after several players had committed their stacks and survived it was Kwong Phung who was given the unwanted title of bubble boy. Phung was short-stacked and moved all in for his last 40,500 holding . Phi Luu made the call with and held as the board ran out queen-high to leave 36 players earning a guaranteed minimum of $5,000 for their efforts.
Jonathan Karamalikis was the first player to reach a million in chips after taking out Joel Feldman with his pocket aces versus pocket jacks. The next big milestone occurred when Pravin Harji was eliminated in 31st place. He was unable to hold with his pocket fours against Australian Poker Hall of Famer Jason Gray’s . His exit from the tournament guaranteed Iori Yogo the title of 2013 ANZ Player of the Year.
The next few hours saw many more fall, before Joe Cabret looked like the next to join the casualties with 18 remaining. He was involved in a big hand against Matthew Rolfe where his was out-flopped by on a board. He was left with only a 5,000-chip and was in for less than a small blind the very next hand. Three double-ups later and Cabret was nursing a 140,000 stack, and fast forward an hour, the 2013 Aussie Millions Main Event runner-up had taken the chip lead sitting behind 1.3 million chips with 16 to go.
Several more players exited with two tables left, including Martin Kozlov (16th), Billy Jordanou (15th), Ivan Zalac (14th), and Jason Gray (11th). The eventual final table bubble was none other than the online superstar Karamalikis. In the final hand of the night he moved all in from the big blind with pocket fives after two players limped into the pot. Bowdy Tolhopf decided to make the call with and eventually took down the hand when he rivered a ten to scoop the almost million-chip pot.
Here's how the final nine looked heading into the final day of play.
APPT Melbourne – Final Table
Be sure to check in with the PokerNews Live Reporting Team to find out who wins the 2013 APPT Melbourne Main Event and the top prize of $217,000!