APPT Sydney 2007: Didgeri-who?

By Sean Callander

More than 170 players have taken their seats on Day 1, Flight 1 in the APPT Grand Final at Star City Casino.

It was an unusually early start for players – the breakfast buffet was getting a workover ahead of the 10.30am start.

We’ve just had a traditional welcome from a local Aboriginal troupe, complete with didgeridoos, a long cylindrical wind instrument used by Australia’s indigenous people in ceremonial performances.

The order to shuffle up and deal came from two of Australia’s biggest celebrities – actor Daniel McPherson and David Campbell, the star of popular local musicals like Shout, Sunset Boulevard and Les Misérables. Joe Hachem joined them on stage to celebrate the start of this historic event: the biggest tournament ever held in Sydney.

McPherson and Campbell have taken their seats for the tournament, both keen poker players eager to make their mark against some of the world’s best.

Today’s field includes two of the four world champions here in Sydney, Team PokerStars pros Chris Moneymaker (yet to make his appearance in the floor) and Greg Raymer, along with Raymond Rahme, the 62-year-old South African who was third in 2007 WSOP main event.

We’ve also spotted Lee Nelson, Terrance Chan and local Sydney player Eric Assadourian (who won the APPT High Roller event in Macau) wearing PokerStars colours, 2006 WSOP bracelet winner Mark Vos, top Aussie pros Mel Judah and Martin Comer and APPT Seoul champion Ziv Bichir.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in