ANZPT Canberra: Capital attracts big field for poker's return

The temperature has finally crawled back into the black after starting firmly in the red, but it's a stunning day to start the first Australia New Zealand Poker Tour (ANZPT) Canberra Main Event.

Welcome to Australia's capital city for the fourth event on season two of our domestic poker tour. The doors are yet to swing open at Canberra Casino (noon opening for a 12.15pm tournament start), but the excitement among the staff and management is palpable as they ready the tournament area for the first of two day one flights and the return of major tournament poker to the venue.


The bells are ringing from the National Carillon to make the start of ANZPT Canberra

Despite a limited poker program at Casino Canberra, the team have created an international standard setting. There's a small café at one end of the tournament area, which overlooks some of the parkland for which this city is famous.

We're expecting close to a capacity field of 100 for the opening flight, with many of the big names in Aussie poker due to take their seats. They include Team Australia trio Eric Assadourian, Grant Levy and Emad Tahtouh, 2009 APPT Sydney winner Aaron Benton, reigning ANZPT Adelaide champ Rennie Carnevale, online gun Chris Evans (currently third in the overall points race), Joel Dodds (third on last year's Player of the Year leaderboard), veterans Graeme Putt, Roy Vandersluis and Bob Crossman along with plenty of eager PokerStars and Casino Canberra qualifiers.

ANZPT boss Danny McDonagh expects at least eight one-hour levels, which will take play through to a very civilised 9pm this evening. And being the Friday night before the Queen's Birthday long weekend, we're expecting the rail to grow throughout the day. Structure for today's play will be:

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)
Level 8: 400/800 (ante 75)
Level 9: 500/1000 (ante 100)