ANZPT Sydney: Final table first-timers chase their poker dreams

It took just six and a half levels to slash the field from 59 to nine, who'll return at 12.30pm tomorrow to contest the 2010 PokerStars.net ANZPT Sydney Main Event final table. Despite the presence of some of the biggest names in Australasian poker at the start of day three, the final table participants are all celebrating their first ANZPT cash, with all eyes on the first prize of AUD $219,432.

We've become accustomed to the results of PokerStars.net Team Australia pro Tony Hachem, and the reigning ANZPT Player of the Year was in the headlines again today after collecting his third successive ANZPT cash for 2010 and seventh in the eight ANZPT events held so far. He is already assured the points lead heading to Canberra for the next tour event.

Hachem's Team Australia stablemate, Lee "Final Table" Nelson, collected his first ANZPT in-the-money finish for 2010 (and second overall) but it was a mostly unsung band of players who stole the spotlight on the penultimate day of action in the Star City Poker Room.

anzpt10syd3mog03.jpg

Chip leader Michael O'Grady is the man to catch at tomorrow's final table

Michael O'Grady was the dominant player and holds more than 25 per cent of the chips in play heading into the final table. But the result is far from assured, with a band of players from along Australia's eastern seaboard hoping for their first success in a major regional tournament. The presence of wily veteran Mike Ivin at tomorrow's final table adds an intriguing element to the mix.

It promises to be an enthralling day, set against the backdrop of ANZAC Day, Australia's day of memorial for our service personnel. The cards will be in the air at 12.30pm, which will allow us time to partake in that great ANZAC Day tradition, a few spins of Two-up!