ANZPT Melbourne: Unstoppable Obst Leads Day 1

Sometimes a sporting event brings a real air of anticipation. It's a rare feeling of nervous excitement at the prospect of the best coming together to produce a battle for the ages. Melbourne is no stranger to great sporting moments and today's play at the PokerStars.net Australia New Zealand Poker Tour certainly had the air of a heavyweight boxing contest.

The best players in the game had flown in from all corners of the country, as well as several visitors from overseas, to take part in one of the biggest tournaments of the year. The hype was about the potential million dollar prize pool, but we fell just short as 310 players took to the felt - a significant increase on the 218 who participated last year.

All the big names were here and most of them found themselves seated across from each other as there were few soft spots in the field. Marcus, Obst, Ravesi, Krost and Ivin must've raised their eyebrows at their draw, as did Watt, Kroesen, Carle and Dalessandri. However the table of Pearson, Ciric, Khalil, Watson, Silk and Zmukic was certainly one to watch as things only got tougher from there. Such is the depth and talent in the country that the ANZPT events are getting stronger by the hour.

Of course not everyone had a great day on the felt with some early knockouts including Van Marcus, Billy Argyros, Grant Levy, Peter Aristidou, Jarred Graham, Joel Dodds, Ricky Kroesen, Rennie Carnevale and Tom Grigg. Some soothed their wounds by hitting the Vegas Bar while others were quickly on the next plane home.

At the other end of the scale it was the aggressive play of James Broom who was whipping up a storm and a big stack after the creative elimination of Liam Moffett with J♣3♣. Broom is known for making moves and he certainly terrorized his table for the rest of the day. At one stage Broom was up to around 130,000 chips but such is the volatility of his style that he ended the day with 69,600.

Brad Bower was also an early mover as the players started to drop away. We lost a world champion as Joe Hachem had some kicker problems to be sent to the rail, as brother Tony grinded his way safely through the day with 51,900. Hachem and Andrew Scarf (86,100) both have a chance to take the lead in the ANZPT Player of the Year race after the elimination of points leader John Maklouf blew the race wide open.

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Tony Hachem continues to grind his way through the ANZPT fields to reach yet another day two

After David Morton surged into the lead before slipping back late, it became a two-horse race for the end-of-day chip lead. James Obst was slowly, but surely, accumulating chips while Sydney's Ryan McKay shot into the chip lead following a big clash that resulted in the elimination of Billy Jordanou. Both players made a backdoor flush, but McKay held the bigger flush to skyrocket up the leaderboard.

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Ryan McKay talked the talk and walked the walk on the ANZPT Melbourne felt

McKay got himself to 180,000 before losing some chips late to end the day with 154,600 to narrowly trail the 156,200 of Obst. What a story it would make if Obst could capture this time. Coming off the back of a record 11 WCOOP cashes that resulted in him winning the WCOOP Player of the Series title, Obst has carried his online form into the live arena and is now a genuine shot of winning his first major live tournament title.

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James Obst is in a rare breed of form and will lead the pack into Day 2 action

He'll lead the way tomorrow as 105 players will return to play it down to a final table. Joining Obst tomorrow will be Dan Neilson (138,300), Bruno Portaro (114,400), Raj Ramakrishnan (92,400), Daniel Laidlaw (88,900), Aleks Brkovic (86,300), Ed Fogarty (79,400), John Caridad (78,400), Lee Nelson (78,300), Graeme Putt (75,800), Tyron Krost (68,600), Liam O'Rourke (65,400), Michael Guzzardi (57,300), Simon Watt (55,100), Martin Rowe (50,100), Kelvin Beattie (46,300), Amanda De Cesare (44,100), Jackie Glazier (32,500) and Nigel Brine (23,600).

Join us again tomorrow from 12:10pm as the PokerStars.net ANZPT Melbourne Main Event continues. Until then, so long from the Crown Poker Room!

Day Two Table Draw

Table 10
Seat 1: Karib Karib - 28600
Seat 2: Chris Pappas - 32400
Seat 3: Stephen Lindeblad - 46600
Seat 4: Amanda De Cesare - 44100
Seat 5: Antonis Kambouroglou - 54400
Seat 6: Jackie Glazier - 32500
Seat 7: Adam Monaghan - 58800
Seat 8: David Allan - 31200
Seat 9: Martin Kozlov - 86300

Table 14
Seat 1: Michael Chon - 136500
Seat 2: Paul Ravesi - 13400
Seat 3: Sam Capra - 38900
Seat 4: Michael Guzzardi - 57300
Seat 5: Nigel Brine - 23600
Seat 6: Raemin Alexander - 31400
Seat 7: Robert Mills - 20900
Seat 8: Martin Rowe - 50100
Seat 9: Dean Mciver - 30600

Table 19
Seat 1: Nicholas Owens - 24700
Seat 2: Matthew Rolfe - 38800
Seat 3: Rajkumar Ramakrishnan - 92400
Seat 4: Peter Hauerslev - 12000
Seat 5: Danny Silk - 47700
Seat 6: Lee Nelson - 78300
Seat 7: Sam Steindl - 76700
Seat 8: John Apostolidis - 106600
Seat 9: Simon Watt - 55100

Table 24
Seat 1: Ali Khalil - 29000
Seat 2: Constantin Harach - 25700
Seat 3: Graeme Putt - 75800
Seat 4: Elias Srour - 37700
Seat 5: Andrew Fava - 72250
Seat 6: Nikolas Schlie - 52400
Seat 7: Benjamin Savage - 44300
Seat 8: Milan Gurung - 23700
Seat 9: John Dalessandri - 26400

Table 25
Seat 1: Rodrick Solomon - 74300
Seat 2: Mark Iskander - 107500
Seat 3: Michael Levy - 23500
Seat 4: Nicholas Dallimore - 104000
Seat 5: Oliver Gill - 31400
Seat 6: Danny Andrews - 37700
Seat 7: Eric Sclavos - 18400
Seat 8: Jonat Lister-smith - 39300

Table 26
Seat 1: Alexandros Palantinis - 83900
Seat 2: Craig Matthews - 36300
Seat 3: Andrew Scarf - 86100
Seat 4: Kelvin Beattie - 46300
Seat 5: Vesko Zmukic - 24700
Seat 6: Matthew Colasante - 32600
Seat 8: Khac-Trung Tran - 46900
Seat 9: Tony Hachem - 51900

Table 27
Seat 1: Jie Gao - 22700
Seat 2: Joshua Budin - 55200
Seat 4: Roel Pijpers - 87600
Seat 5: Antonio Paino - 85000
Seat 6: Robert Salter - 27500
Seat 7: Omer Silajdzija - 46300
Seat 8: Robert Trask - 24300
Seat 9: James Obst - 156200

Table 28
Seat 1: David Gorr - 70900
Seat 2: Gregory Katsaros - 90400
Seat 3: David Chilcott - 82900
Seat 4: Jim Andreadis - 30200
Seat 5: Dean Carter - 26400
Seat 6: Peter Andersson - 55100
Seat 7: Bradley Bower - 69800
Seat 8: Dennis Huntly - 30000
Seat 9: Yeeng-jau Khaw - 23600

Table 29
Seat 1: Ryan McKay - 154600
Seat 2: Carl Booth - 121500
Seat 3: Ted Nguyen - 77200
Seat 4: Aleks Brkovic - 86300
Seat 5: James Broom - 69600
Seat 6: Tyron Krost - 68600
Seat 7: Joe Allis - 133500
Seat 8: Kristina Jeney - 106700
Seat 9: Josh Barrett - 44100

Table 31
Seat 1: Floyd Bassett - 110500
Seat 2: Jackson Zheng - 47900
Seat 3: Nobbi Tanaka - 51100
Seat 4: Michael Pedley - 43500
Seat 5: Nicholes Putt - 46200
Seat 6: David Brennan - 46600
Seat 7: Logan English-smith - 77700
Seat 8: Stuart Kerr - 67100
Seat 9: Tom Pongrass - 34500

Table 32
Seat 1: Anthony Grange - 10300
Seat 2: Daniel Neilson - 138300
Seat 3: Stewart Davidson - 38300
Seat 4: Steven Vun - 86300
Seat 5: Thuy Quach - 53200
Seat 6: John Caridad - 78400
Seat 7: Andrew Cockle - 46200
Seat 8: Bruno Portaro - 114400
Seat 9: Liam O'rourke - 65400

Table 33
Seat 1: Qi Xu - 84600
Seat 2: David Morton - 65500
Seat 3: Simon Morris - 25000
Seat 4: Todor Kondevski - 57500
Seat 5: Joshua Wilson - 47600
Seat 6: Daniel Laidlaw - 88900
Seat 7: Daniel Christieson - 83800
Seat 8: Mark Deutsch - 23700
Seat 9: Ed Fogarty - 79400