ANZPT Queensland: Local players basking in the limelight

We're thrilled to announce that the first major poker tournament to be held in Queensland has surpassed all but one other ANZPT event in terms of entries and prizepool.

With seats still available in Brisbane for tomorrow's day 1B flight, the field has already surpassed 230, making it the second biggest event in the first season of the PokerStars.net ANZPT behind Sydney (493). The current prizepool of AUD $575,000 is also certain to grow.

In addition to PokerStars qualifiers from Germany, Switzerland, UK, USA, New Zealand, Brazil, Austria, Mexico, Netherlands and Australia, local players have turned out in force to support this historic tournament.

In addition to higher profile Queensland players like Jamie Pickering, Lisa Walsh and Milo Nadalin, a number of cash-game hardened Gold Coast and Brisbane players have been making their mark today.

Guys like Richard Leal, Craig Matthews and Michael Driesenaar have occupied a rare moment in the spotlight, while young guns like Steve Ford and Mitch Carle (who share an apartment and found themselves seated next to each other when play started today) have been waving the flag for the younger guard at Treasury.

It's been an up and down session for the locals at Jupiters, with "King" Richard Holmes sent to the rail after he found his pocket kings snookered by the pocket aces of George Hess, while Jamie Pickering's remaining chips disappeared when his J-4 came up against A-Q, with his opponent making a pair on the flop.

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Danny Joukhader (pictured with Hugh Cohen, left) is the current chip leader on the Gold Coast

But Danny Joukhader goes from strength to strength, who ascended the chip count when he lured a call from an opponent who showed 6♥ 7♥ for a flopped straight on a board 5♦ 9♦ 8♣ Q♥. With all the emotion of a concrete slab, Joukhader showed J♠ [10d] for the higher straight, sending his stack above 70,000.

With play about to tick into level six (200/400 and an ante of 50), the Gold Coast field has been culled from 62 to 46, with those players condensed into five tables for the first time.
The latest news from Brisbane, where Landon Blackhall is following the action is that 46 of the original field of 54 are still seated in the Treasury casino poker room.

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The poker player's poker player, Brisbane day 1A chip leader David Steicke

Coming out of the second break of the day, it was David Steicke continuing his charge to add an ANZPT title to his resume on 52,000. Local boy Taner Durust has taken second place, getting up to 51,000 after his 9-7 played against an opponent's 9-8 on the board reading 9-8-10-6-10.

PokerStars.net Team Australia Pro Tony Hachem is finding no love at his table - despite having won several small pots, he's battling on 16,500. Former editor of Cards Magazine and Australian poker media pioneer Darryl Lanyon is sitting pretty on 22,000, while ANPZT Melbourne third-place finisher Greg Shillig is on 32,500.

Our first table has also been broken here in Brisbane after PokerStars qualifier Darren Lukas got his money into the middle on a flop of Q♦ 9♦ Q♠ holding Q-x against an opponent's J♦8♦. The 4♦ fell on the turn, making the opponent's flush, but the Q♥ would appear on the river, giving Lukas quads.