ANZPT Perth: Day 1A, level 3 (blinds 100-200)

3.40pm: Fairer sex well represented

Today's 1A field in the ANZPT Perth Main Event features one of the largest line-ups of female players of any tour event in the past 14 months. The list includes local player Lynn Brooks, who won a Sapphire Series Main Event here two years ago, joining a handful of women to have captured a major Australian title.

Joe Hachem Deep Stack Series III Main Event winner and The Poker Star winner Amanda De Cesare is also here today, along side Adrienne Whareorere, PokerStars Qualifier Lizzie Clarke and Deborah Fisher.

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Amanda De Cesare is making her second ANZPT start after winning The Poker Star

3.20pm: Nik keeps nailing them

Home-field advantage seems to agree with Nik Lackovic, who has bolted to a massive lead in the early stages of the PokerStars.net ANZPT Perth main Event at Burswood Casino. Lackovic has claimed three scalps so far today and holds a massive stack of 93,000.

Other big movers in the early going include Lackovic's older brother Aleks (45,000) while Damien Morrison holds 58,000 after KOing Andrew Jeffreys earlier this level. However, it's been a tough start to the day for The Poker Star winner Amanda De Cesare (4500), her good friend Peter Aristidou (6500) and ANZPT Adelaide winner Rennie Carnevale (8000). Of the 83 players in today's field, 75 remain with the chip average at just under 22,000.

3pm: On the edge of nowhere

As visitors to this part of the world quickly discover, Western Australia is one of the most sparsely populated regions of the planet (aside from Perth and a few other regional centres). An example of the state's vast emptiness occurred on May 28, 1993 when an earthquake measuring 3.9 on the Richter scale rocked an area of the Great Victoria Desert in the vicinity of the Banjawarn sheep station.

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An agoraphobic's nightmare - the Aussie outback

The quake had all the hallmarks of a meteorite strike, but no crater could be found. Instead, stories began to emerge of a bright flash in the sky, the sound of a distant but massive explosion and spectacular sunsets in the days immediately following the quake.

The story took another mysterious turn when it was discovered that Banjawarn station was owned by Aum Shinrikyo, a doomsday cult based in Japan that was responsible for the death of 12 people in a sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway in 1995. It was alleged that Aum Shinrikyo had recruited two former Soviet nuclear engineers around the same time.

Could Aum Shinrikyo have been responsible for the blast? It took four years for any serious investigation to be undertaken, but where to start on a property the size of an average English county? The mystery was never solved, but the disquieting possibility remains that an atomic weapon could have been tested without anyone really taking notice. On that disturbing note, we're back to action!