ANZPT Queensland: Two venues, twice the fun

Queensland's tourism motto is "beautiful one day, perfect the next". That's certainly the case today with brilliant sunshine greeting players making their way to the two venues being used today for the opening day of Queensland's first major casino-based poker tournament.

The battle for the final PokerStars.net ANZPT title for 2009 is underway, with a capacity field of 60 at Conrad Jupiters on the Gold Coast and 56 players seated at Conrad Treasury in Brisbane.

Notables playing at Jupiters include a pair of PokerStars.net Team Australia pros, Eric Assadourian and Emad Tahtouh, ANZPT Sydney runner-up and Gold Coast local Lisa Walsh, wily veterans Milo Nadalin, Mike Ivin and Richard Holmes along with Sydney's Pierre Bush, who is still recovering from a serious bout of swine flu he suffered while in Las Vegas for the 2009 WSOP.

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Smiling assassin: PokerStars.net Team Australia pro Emad Tahtouh

The reigning Aussie Millions champ Stewart Scott, who recently relocated to the Gold Coast from South Australia, and Queensland's highest profile player Jamie Pickering are also in today's field.

ANZPT Queenstown runner-up Andrew Hinrichsen is also playing here today, and claimed the first scalp of the session when his A♦ A♥ held up against his opponent's K♠ K♣. A total of 21 PokerStars qualifiers, players and pros are in action here today

• In Brisbane, Landon Blackhall reports that nine PokerStars qualifiers and players are among the list of entrants, with all eyes on PokerStars.net Team Australia pro Tony Hachem as he chases the overall ANZPT points title.

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Tony Hachem is aiming for an astounding fifth ANZPT cash in as many events

Other big names spotted at Treasury include 2009 Aussie Millions $100,000 Hold'em Challenge winner David Steicke, Brisbane's own Greg Shillig (third in the ANZPT Melbourne event), Duncan McKinnon and Mitchell Carle plus Darryl "The Dazzler" Lanyon, who started Australia's first poker magazine Cards.

We'll be playing seven one-hour levels at both venues today, with all players holding a start bank of 20,000. The structure for today's play is:

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)