ANZPT Sydney: Nguyen in (medium) rare form

"It was a tough steak": that was the reply from Bruce Nguyen when we inquired to his whereabouts during the first 20 minutes of level seven on day 1A of the ANZPT Sydney Main Event.

But his extended absence over the dinner break did little to dent his stack of 114,000, easily the biggest in the room as we enter the latter stages of the opening day here at Star City.


Well done: New day 1A chip leader Bruce Nguyen

Close behind Nguyen is one of only five Australians to have won a WSOP bracelet, Jeff Lisandro. Born in Perth but now best described as a resident of the world, Lisandro just claimed another victim when his J♣ 4♠ made two-pair on a flop of J♠ 4♥ K♥ against his opponent's A♠ K♦, with the turn 7♣ and river 6♣ bringing no change. Lisandro, who also finished 17th in the 2006 WSOP Main Event, is now up to 75,000.

Likewise, Michael Guzzardi's stack has headed north since the dinner break, with his latest pot taking his stack above 40,000. Max Veenhuyzen also dropped by tell us his delight that A-K didn't suck out on his 7-3, which leaves the affable Sandgroper just below his starting stack of 20,000.

In contrast, the hopes of securing the ANZPT Sydney title have ended for Melbourne cult poker figure Steve "The Big Show" Topakas. Tired of Thorsten Schafer's constant bluffing, Topakas made a stand with pocket fives, only to find Schafer waiting with pocket aces. The board ran out 4♠ J♦ 7♦ 3♣ [10d], and the curtain had fallen on "The Big Show".

Likewise, Sydney bookmaker Stewart Davidson has been eliminated after his pocket threes were smashed by a set of fours. Team Australia player Eric Assadourian delivered the KO blow in his verbal stoush with Martin Comer when the money went in on a board showing K♠ 8♠ A♦ [js[. Comer showed K♦ J♥ for two-pair, while Assadourian's A♠ 2♠ needed help, which duly arrived in the shape of the 2s on the river.

More than 100 of the 233 starters have now been sent to the rail, and with two hours remaining, that figure is sure to increase. Blinds will soon be at 400/800 with a 100 ante for the penultimate level of the day's play.