ANZPT Queenstown: Measey on the mark

After a very civilised five one-hour levels, day 1A has been completed in the PokerStars.net ANZPT Queenstown Main Event - the first major tournament to be played in this idyllic resort town, deep in New Zealand's South Island.

A total of 27 players were registered for day 1A, with four no-shows and five eliminations leaving 18 players to progress through to day two.

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Big-time tournament poker arrives at SKYCITY Queenstown

Mark Measey finished the day as chip leader with 58,075 ahead of Paul Chisnall (44,950), PokerStars.net Team Australia Pro Tony Hachem (39,000), PokerStars qualifier Jerry Calder (35,425) and Kristian Lunardi (33,300). Hachem remains on track for an incredible fourth successive ANZPT cash.

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Fresh from his first WSOP, Kristian Lunardi has started strongly in Queenstown

The short stacks started to make a move in the final hour, with SKYCITY Queenstown qualifier Kenny Frisby becoming the second player KOed for the day when his A-J ran into A-Q.

Etienne Raubenheimer committed his remaining chips with middle pair (4-5) only to find Kristian Lunardi holding top pair (A-7) on a flop of 10-4-7. Running deuces sent the Kiwi to the rail.

It was a horror session for Aussie-based Dane Peter Rønfeldt, who was crippled when he pushed all-in with 10-9 on a flop of J-10-9 but ran into the nut straight (K-Q) of Paul Chisnall. Rønfeldt bowed out soon after when Darko Balaban's A-Q held up against the A-J of the PokerStars qualifier.

Ariya Iawato was also eliminated after losing most of his chips to Ben Barclay (14th in the ANZPT Sydney event) with pocket 10s against pocket aces, after which the remaining players were condensed into two tables for the final 30 minutes of play.

Play resumes tomorrow at 12.30pm (3.30am GMT), with the second of the four day one flights. Good evening from SKYCITY Casino in Queenstown, New Zealand.