ANZPT Perth: Andy shows he's more than handy

A record-breaking prizepool for a Western Australian poker tournament has been established in the first ANZPT Perth Main Event at Burswood Casino. After yesterday's modest entry list of 83, the main event field bumped up to 222 thanks to today's 1B field of 139. A total of 112 players will be back tomorrow for the chase to an in-the-money finish in the top 24.

The big guns came to play today, with the field featuring all four Team Australia players - Grant Levy, Tony Hachem, Eric Assadourian and Emad Tahtouh - along with Team Asia's Bryan Huang.

Day 1B also featured the first live tournament appearance of 2010 Aussie Millions Main Event winner Tyron Krost, with other notables including 2009 APPT champions Aaron Benton (Sydney) and Simon Watt (Auckland), Australian Poker Hall of Famer Billy "The Croc" Argyros and the players who finished behind Tony Hachem in last year's ANZPT Player of the Year count; Joel Dodds and Chris Levick.


After a slow start to the day, Aaron Benton stormed back to be among the day 1B chip leaders

With another big field of top locals and respected players from the east coast, expectations were high of a quality day's poker, and we weren't disappointed.

Perth's own Yu-chang "Andy" Cheng topped the day 1B field on 101,425, but narrowly trails fellow local Nik Lackovic (104,625) overall. Joel Dodds (97,600), Dominic Sinagra (93,350), Aaron Wilson (90,950) and Chris Evans (87,600) filled out the top five for day 1B.

Other notables who'll be back tomorrow include the in-form Aaron Benton (74,900), PokerStars Sponsored player Michael Pedley (40,775), PokerStars Qualifier Leo Boxell (40,100), Kristian Lunardi (36,325), Ben Savage (23,700) and Tyron Krost (23,550). Team Australia Pros Grant Levy (34,025), Tony Hachem (32,600) and Eric Assadourian (28,575), who lost two-thirds of his stack in the final 20 minutes of play, will also return for day two.


Eric Assadourian steadied after losing a big pot in the final level to cement his spot for day two

We'll be back in the tournament area at Burswood Casino from 12.30pm tomorrow, where players will face another seven one-hour levels in the race for a spot in the money and a shot at the first prize of AUD $132,750. In the meantime, we're off to the Little Creatures Brewery in Fremantle to do our bit for the local economy.