ANZPT Melbourne: The Life of Andy_McLEOD
Australia is a country with a proud sporting tradition, and this is no more evident than the utter dominance of our team over at the Commonwealth Games which is currently in full swing in Delhi. Despite the limited opposition we love nothing more than winning every medal on offer in every sporting discipline. It doesn't matter if we're beating the Poms in the swimming, defeating the Seychelles in Badminton or claiming a rare gold in the Greco-Roman wrestling. If it moves, and it's wearing the green and gold, we'll be cheering it home.
It's that same dominance that youngster James Obst must enjoy every day when he sits down at a poker table. It doesn't matter if it's Hold'em, Stud, Badugi or Go Fish, Obst always has an edge. It also doesn't seem to matter if its live or online anymore, as Obst is now a man in total control of his game.
The story of "Andy_McLEOD" is already a long one, and incredibly he's only a tender twenty years of age. Before he was even legal, Obst was crushing the online poker world to become the best in the game. He was playing more hands of poker than most live grinders had played in a lifetime, and Obst hadn't even yet set foot inside a brick and mortar casino.
The second coming of Obst was when he finally turned 18 and emerged on the live circuit, however it took the youngster a while to adapt to the slow pace of the live game as his results were not as Earth-shattering as his reputation.
Obst continued to grind away online, and recently re-emerged as the most feared online poker player in the world when he won the highly-respected PokerStars WCOOP Player of the Series. 11 cashes, 4 third place finishes and over US$200,000 in winnings were enough to put Obst firmly back on the International poker map.
With confidence at an all-time high, Obst yesterday rose through the pack in an effortless and efficient display of chip accumulation. We never caught Obst in a big hand, yet his stack was always ascending.
It will be an incredible story if Obst can go coast-to-coast to win his first major live title as he enters day two with the chip lead, but he won't have it easy as this field is no second-rate swimmer.
PokerStars player Ryan McKay is lurking close behind, while PokerNetwork Player of the Year leader Dan Neilson is also in the top five chip counts.
Others still in contention include reigning Aussie Millions champ Tyron Krost, 2008 APPT Sydney winner Martin Rowe, WSOP bracelet winner Simon Watt, Michael Guzzardi, Sam Capra, Jackie Glazier, Toothpick Tony, Raj Ramakrishnan, John Caridad, Josh Barrett, James Broom, Aleks Brkovic and WCOOP bracelet winner Kelvin Beattie.
PokerStars is still well represented with Team PokerStars Pros Tony Hachem and Lee Nelson going strong, while The Poker Star Amanda De Cesare has also reached day two along with 25 PokerStars online qualifiers.
The action recommences at 12:10pm local time with the plan to get as close to the final table as possible. It will be likely that it will take a full ten levels of play, and we may have to return tomorrow with two tables left. Stay locked into the PokerStars Blog to find out!