ANZPT Canberra: Levels 1-3 updates
2.45pm: Recent arrivals
Two of the recent big winners in Australian poker have just arrived at Casino Canberra. Angelo Hanataj, who won the last ANZPT event in Sydney, is watching from the rail while Brendon Rubie, who took out the recent Melbourne Championships Main Event, will also be in action tomorrow.
2.30pm: Assadourian out
The focus of PokerStars.net Team Australia's Eric Assadourian has shifted to the WSOP after being eliminated just after the first break on day 1A of ANZPT Canberra. Work commitments have meant Assadourian hasn't been able to focus on the WSOP in recent years but he's planning to play several events this year.
2.20pm: Time for a coffee
Players have taken their first break of the day, and blinds are up to 75/150 (level 3).
2.10pm: Living the dream
Ever wanted to play poker professionally? Nigel Brine is now living his ultimate poker dream thanks to PokerStars.net and the Dream Job Australia promotion. He won a sponsorship package worth $100,000 including $40,000 for tournament entries and a $5000 per month salary after being voted the winner.
The South Australian was voted winner after six weeks of blogging, Tweeting and Facebooking his poker exploits, emerging victorious over nine other players. ANZPT Canberra marks his debut as a sponsored player but luckily he has Sydney's Jai Kemp at his table to set him straight should he step out of line.
1.55pm: Walkin' the walk
The ANZPT isn't limited to the region's best players. It's great to see one of Star City's poker managers Jason Wicks in today's field. Who knows, maybe he qualifies as one of the region's best poker players!
1.40pm: Lakers down, Levy up
While watching Boston put the Lakers to the sword, Grant Levy has started the ANZPT Canberra Main Event solidly. The PokerStars.net Team Australia Pro is up to 28,000. Talk at his table has now turned to the World Cup. Might be a bit of that going on in the next four days.
1.20pm: Level 2 (75/150)
Not too many big pots to report, with many of the 84 starters more interested in the NBA finals score than what's happening at their table. Celtics seem the popular pick to win this one and go all the way among the bigger punters. Get on board!
1.10pm: Tough table
There won't be too many cheap pots at table four, where Tony Paino, Graeme Putt, Daniel Neilson, John Caridad and Roy Vandersluis are seated. PokerStars.net Team Australia's Eric Assadourian is on the next table over, seated next to Aussie poker icon Sam Khouiss, who final-tabled ANZPT Melbourne last year.
1pm: Sam sent packing
Local player Sam Alhassan has earned the unwanted title of first person KOed from the ANZPT Canberra Main Event. His A-K ran into the pocket kings of PokerStars Qualifier Mishel Anunu, a regular participant in APPT and ANZPT tournaments. Mishel = chip leader, with 40,000.
12.45pm: Sounds of silence
It takes a few minutes to realise why it's relatively quiet in Casino Canberra. No slot machines! So the ruffling of chips (and the '80s soundtrack over the PA) will be the dominant sound over the next four days.
12.30pm: Level 1 (50/100), play underway
Veteran poker identity Graeme "Kiwi G" Putt has just issued the order to shuffle up and deal after a welcome from ANZPT commissioner Danny McDonagh. Putt was front and centre when Casino Canberra hosted the National Championships here from the late 1990s until 2002.