SKYCITY Darwin Qualifiers Lead The Way on Day 1B

Another five levels have been played out on the felt of the SKYCITY Darwin Casino with 22 of the original 31 Day 1b entrants surviving to see another day.

We only saw nine casualties with Nick Putt the first to hit the rail, with other notables Rennie Carnevale and Michael Spilkin also failing to survive. Their eliminations mean that their ANZPT Player of the Year aspirations have also ended. Carnevale's fall from grace was a brutal one after he ran a full house into the quads of Daniel Laidlaw, before his king-ten was out-flopped by an opponent's queen-ten.

This was good news for Team PokerStars Pro Tony Hachem. After grinding away for large portions of the day, Hachem peaked late in the day with a rush of cards to end the day well placed with 39,325 chips.


Team PokerStars Pro Tony Hachem is safely through to yet another Day 2

Following the day's play Hachem was left ruing a missed opportunity where in the final minutes of play Aaron Benton was able to fold pocket queens on a jack-high flop against Hachem who held pocket aces. "I almost had his stack! How does he fold?" lamented Hachem as Benton was able to hang onto 29,825 at the end of the day.

We didn't see too many big all-in clashes today, but one of the key moments came when Daniel Laidlaw and Daniel Neilson clashed preflop. Neilson had been a dominant force until that point, but his pocket tens failed to hold against Laidlaw's ace-king when a couple of cowboys landed on the flop. This gave Laidlaw a top three stack as he ended with 52,600 to carry on his good form from Melbourne.


Daniel Laidlaw gunning for back-to-back ANZPT final tables

At the other end of the scale, Neilson's dominance was halted as he was left with just 8,800 at the day's end. He'll have plenty of work to do on day two, along with fellow short stacks Josh Barrett (15,475), Danny Silk (14,025), Matthew Pearson (7,275) and ANZPT Melbourne champ Martin Kozlov (6,325).

Late in the day the movers came from the local SKYCITY Darwin Casino satellite winners in Clint Dixon and Anthony Flanagan. Dixon was able to double up as he won a race with ace-queen against Jason Lambert's pocket jacks, before finishing the job with his set of deuces rolling Lambert's top pair. Dixon bagged up 65,600 but it wasn't quite enough for the honours of chip leader.

Anthony Flanagan is from the United Kingdom but qualified for this event through a last-chance satellite here in the SKYCITY Darwin Casino. His big moment during the day was the elimination of Michael Spilkin when his flopped two pair held up against Spilkin's top pair. From there Flanagan held onto his chips and built himself to 72,475 for the official end-of-day-chip lead.


Anthony Flanagan ended Day 1b as our chip leader

We'll return tomorrow, same time, same place to do it all over again. It's the third and final flight of the ANZPT Darwin Main Event with many big names expected including Bruno Portaro, Billy "The Croc" Argyros and ANZPT POTY leaders John Maklouf and Andrew Scarf.

Join us from 12:30pm (GMT+9:30) tomorrow for our live and exclusive coverage on the PokerStars Blog. Until then, it's been mentioned to us that tonight in Darwin is traditionally "TOT". We'll leave you to figure out what that means, and what we might be up to this evening!