ANZPT Sydney: Rowe sails back into the spotlight

Who better than Sydney's own Eric Assadourian to issue the order to shuffle up and deal in the PokerStars.net ANZPT Sydney Main Event here at Star City.

The PokerStars.net Team Australia player, who won the 2007 APPT Macau High Roller event, heads an impressive list of players who've joined the day 1A field of 230.

ANZPTSyd091A4.jpg

Home turf: Sydneysider Eric Assadourian

For the first time since winning the 2008 PokerStars.net APPT Grand Final, Martin Rowe is making a welcome return to the felt - appropriately, at the venue where he won AUD $1 million late last year.

ANZPTSyd091A5.jpg

Welcome back Martin Rowe

Others in action today include Jason Gray, who finished runner-up to Rowe, 2007 WSOP $2k Seven-card Stud bracelet winner Jeff Lisandro, 2008 APPT Macau High Roller runner-up Andrew Scott, the top two finishers in the recent NZ Championships Main Event Soren Eriksen and David Borg and ANZPT Adelaide winner Karl Krautschneider.

Australian Poker Hall of Fame inductee Billy "The Croc" Argyros (a late arrival, who welcomed everyone at table 18 with a piece of chocolate), "Kiwi G" Graeme Putt, Martin Comer (seated on the same table as Assadourian), Saidal Wardak, Steve "The Big Show" Topakas, "Toothpick Tony" Kambouris are playing today, as are some of Australia's top online players such as Michael Guzzardi, Daniel Neilson, Joel Dodds, Tyron Krost, Jarrad Dale and Daniel Kochan.

It hasn't taken long for the chips to start flying with a handful of players already on the rail. Karib Karib became an early victim when he ran 8c-7c into Ks-10s pre-flop, and the board ran out 9s-7s-8s-Kd-Ac, sending his opponent to 44,500 and the early chip lead.

ANZPT tournament director Danny McDonagh just dropped past to mention that 50 seats are still up for grabs tomorrow, which would take the field soaring towards 500. Did someone mention a global financial crisis? Blinds are about to pop up to level two (75/150).