ANZPT Adelaide: At the bell there are still 37 in the ring
The first day of the PokerStars-sponsored ANZPT Main Event began with 104 players sitting down for the 12:15pm "shuffle up and deal" announcement performed by Team PokerStars Pro Joe Hachem.
The poker room at the SKYCITY casino in Adelaide has 12 poker tables, all of which were initially in use. Players either paid $3,000 AUD or won their way in through various satellite options - 28 of them on PokerStars. A final number of entrants will be known after the second flight begins tomorrow - but it is looking like close to the 200 mark.
Shortly after the beginning the inevitable happened - kings under the gun found aces in the big blind, no real help for the kings and the first departure took place. Steve Tapakas was the beneficiary, taking the early tournament lead. He survived the day finishing on 32,000 chips, so he lost ground from hand two onwards as the starting stack was 20,000.
Of the PokerStars sponsored and Team PokerStars Pro players - Stewart Scott, 2009 Aussie Millions champion, departed fairly early.
Team PokerStars Pro player Lee Nelson had Sydney-sider Garry Benson at his table, and after a few skirmishes between the two it was Garry collecting the last of Lee's chips with his A-K dominating the lesser A-T hand.
Joe Hachem, who won the World Series in 2005, slowly built his stack today, finishing with an average 43,700. PokerStars sponsored Emad Tahtouh came with his game face firmly intact, and survived with 37,900.
Eric Assadourian, another PokerStars sponsored player, lasted until 10 minutes to go in the final level, calling for all his chips with his A-8 when the board read A-3-5. His opponent, however, turned over A-Q and Eric was on his way to the rail.
Eventually 37 bags of chips were turned in to be collated. Those 37 players get a rest for one day and will front up with tomorrow's survivors on Friday.
By far, the most valuable bag of chips belonged to James Broom who had 183,500. During the evening we had witnessed him time and time again swallowing up the entire stacks of players brave enough to take him on. Things often take a turnaround on Day 2 of large events, but James will be coming back on Friday with a handsome buffer unless someone can kick clear of the pack tomorrow.
Following up James is Derren Bullock on 125,000, and the very popular - his entourage on the rail looked near 12 - Robert Goodwin on 108,600.
Two PokerStars qualifiers are next, Karl Krautschneider amassing 107,100 and Michael Guzzardi with 105,300 in chips.
Tomorrow should prove to be equally as calamitous for some and as successful for others.
Of those surviving today it is hard to go past James Broom and Michael Guzzardi as picks to go on both having the credentials. As an outsider journeyman and one of the "old brigade", David Gorr has a bit to do.
You can catch up on all the overnight chip counts right here.
Chris "The Barracuda" Newton