ANZPT Melbourne: Nelson to keep Team Australia on its toes

By Landon Blackhall and Sean Callander

PokerStars.net ANZPT points leader and Team Australia member Tony Hachem has just given the order to shuffle up and deal for day one of the AUD $2700 ANZPT Melbourne event. There are a few cases of 'Mondayitis' in the Crown poker room today after last night's welcome party, but the field of close to 200 have quickly settled into rhythm.

The field may be smaller than the 496 players who entered the last ANZPT event in Sydney, but it's certainly not lacking for quality. Joining the PokerStars.net Team Australia contingent of Tony Hachem, Grant Levy, Celina Lin, Eric Assadourian and Emad Tahtouh (seated next to each other on table 50) is Team PokerStars Pro Lee "Final Table" Nelson, fresh from his appearance in the PokerStars EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo.

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Lee Nelson salutes the judge in the PLO event at the Aussie Millions earlier this year

Crown, and particularly the Aussie Millions, has been a happy hunting ground for the New Zealander. He won the Speed Poker event in 2005, took out the Aussie Millions Main Event in 2006 for AUD $1.3 million and was victorious in the AUD $1000 Pot Limit Omaha event earlier this year.

Previous ANZPT event winners Karl Krautschneider (Adelaide) and Paren Arzoomanian (Sydney) are here to continue their charge and hopefully secure a second ANZPT title. Arzoomanian's ANZPT Sydney final table rivals are also keen to go one better here in Melbourne, with John Caridad, Chris Kittos, Joel Dodds and Billy Argyros in the field.

Others in action today include 2009 Aussie Millions Main Event champion Stewart Scott plus final table participants Raj Ramakrishnan and Sam Capra, 2009 NZ Poker Champs High Rollers winner Dennis Huntly, Australian Poker Hall of Fame inductee Gary Benson, online young guns Jarred FlopNutsOnYou Graham, Andrew Adgee Jeffrey, James AndyMcLeod Obst, Dean ninhjo Nyberg, Michael TheBigSiCkO Guzzardi, Jonathan Karamalikis and Ben Delaney.

There's also a huge hometown contingent headed by 2008 Melbourne Champs Main Event winner James Broom, 2007 champ Haibo Chu, Tim English, Jim Sachinidis, David Gorr, Antonio Casale, Michael Guttman, Leo Boxell, Peter Aristidou, Bruno Portaro, Marwan Nassif, Bill Jordanou, Marc DesAnges and Steve "The Big Show" Topakas.
Players have a start bank of 20,000 and we've been informed by ANZPT boss Danny McDonagh that play will continue for nine 60-minute levels today.

Level 1: 50/100
Level 2: 75/150
Level 3: 100/200
Level 4: 100/200 (ante 25)
Level 5: 150/300 (ante 25)
Level 6: 200/400 (ante 50)
Level 7: 300/600 (ante 75)
Level 8: 400/800 (ante 100)
Level 9: 500/1000 (ante 100)