ANZPT Sydney: It's a jungle out there
By Landon Blackhall
There are lot of animal references in poker - tough players are called sharks, timid players are known as fish and the inexperienced players who get lucky are labelled donkeys. If you hold K-9 off suit, you've got the dog hand, pocket threes are called crabs and pocket twos are known as duck.
Inspired by all these animal references, we just took a Safari-esque expedition around the tables and found several species of fauna not native to the shores of Australia, let alone the felt-like habitat of the Star City Casino poker tables.
On table 10 we ran into Dennis Huntly with a pair of meerkats. Usually found in the plains of Africa and on popular television series Meerkat Manor, this pair of meerkats was found in a souvenir shop in New Zealand.
"(My partner) Jennifer and I love Meerkat Manor and I found this pair at this shop in Christchurch," Huntly said. "They were my mascots during the NZ Championships High Rollers Event and I ended up winning it - hopefully they'll bring me some luck here in Sydney!"
Nearby on table 11 Monica Nguyen has been the talk of the table with her poker duck, which she has been using as her good luck charm since kidnapping it for ransom at the Joe Hachem Deep Stack Series from yours truly.
It has been bringing her some luck so far, however fellow Melburnian Andrew Jeffreys has been cited for animal cruelty, taking his frustration for a slow start today out on the poor creature!
Finally, we got up close and personal with Raemin Alexander and his moose on table 23. Alexander explained to us that he's been through a number of card protectors, but the Canadian beast has been bringing him the most luck.
The players have now migrated their way out of the poker pit for their first break of the day. We have lost 18 of the 260-strong herd in today's flight. The total number of entrants for the ANZPT Main Event has been confirmed at 493 with an AUD $986,000 prize pool.
Stay tuned as we bring you all the big game action - even if it's raining cats and dogs. Who will be king of the poker jungle? Who will lose and go ape? Will there 'bee' any more animal references? That's probably enough ...