ANZPT Sydney: Level 3 (100/200) & 4 (100/200, ante 25) updates
4.30pm: The (SEA)BEAST is back
After a hectic start to the day's play, things have slowed up in the fourth level, which gave us a chance to catch up with Jay SEABEAST Kinkade. The 2008 Victorian Poker Championships Main Event winner and past number one ranked online player in Australia, Kinkade has taken some time off in recent months to focus on his tertiary studies. But his passion for poker hasn't waned, thus we find the Melbourne-based Western Australian seated here for the ANZPT Sydney Main Event, and sitting pretty with 33,000.
4.15pm: Better late than never
One of only three players to have reached two ANZPT final tables, Billy "The Croc" Argyros, has become the latest player to join today's field. After a marathon session in the PLO "big game", which hasn't long finished, "The Croc" only needed a powernap to recharge the batteries as he chases successive ANZPT Sydney final table appearances. John Caridad, who placed third in this event last year, is also playing today.
4pm: No justice for Jeffreys
Registration remains open for today's first flight of the ANZPT Sydney main Event, with 161 players already signed up. ANZPT commish Danny McDonagh has indicated tomorrow's flight will almost certainly be sold out, which will take the total field well north of 400. A total of 30 players have been eliminated in the opening three hours of play, with the latest KOs including Helen Davis (Australian female player of the year in 2008) and Andrew adgee Jeffreys, whose flopped two-pair (nines and 10s) were overtaken by an opponent's turned set of kings.
Best known as a cash-game player on PokerStars, Tian Shou has gradually made a move into the tournament ranks, with considerable success. He bubbled the final table in last year's ANZPT Adelaide Main Event before cracking the top 100 in the 2009 WSOP Main Event. The Sydneysider is today making his mark on home turf, with a stack of 55,000 good enough for second spot on the chip count behind dale Marsland (60,000).
3.20pm: International flavour
The ANZPT Sydney Main Event field is, not surprisingly, dominated by Sydney locals and fellow Aussies, but a smattering of internationals have taken their seats today. New Zealand PokerStars Qualifier Elliot EeeTee2008 Nicholls has trekked to Sydney from the South Island city of Dunedin. He just took down a nice pot after a five-bet shove with pocket aces against an opponent's pocket kings and is well entrenched among the biggest stacks in the room.
Daniel Strelitz from Irvine, California, has also received a dose of poker karma after his long flight across the Pacific. Down to just 9000, Strelitz shoved over the top of an opponent's big pre-flop bet. The opponent mucked and showed pocket 10s. Known online as Deoxyribo, Strelitz banked $177,000 for his second place in a PokerStars Sunday Million in October last year.
3pm: Poker Stars still shining
Six months after the winner of the first series of The Poker Star was decided, the players who featured in Team PokerStars pro Joe Hachem's reality poker show are still making basking in the public spotlight.
Series champion Amanda De Cesare is in Europe to play in the PokerStars EPT Grand Final as part of her prize, while fellow contestants Donna Ciric and Shane Astill-Hoskin both took their seats for today's flight of the ANZPT Sydney Main Event.
Donna's day came to a premature end when her set of eights were run down by a set of aces on a board that fell A-J-2-8, while Shane is hanging tough on 14,000 after the first two hours of play.
2.45pm: Dale dominates early
Fresh from his fourth-place finish in the ANZPT Perth Main Event, Dale Marsland has shown he's out to go one better here in Sydney. The schoolteacher from WA holds 57,000 after the opening two levels of day 1A, and leads from fellow Perth player Jay Kinkade (50,000) and 2009 ANZPT Melbourne winner Chris Levick (45,000).