Barbaro rocks out the chip lead at ANZPT Gold Coast

If you've travelled to any PokerStars event, anywhere in the world, you'll know that they know how to throw a party! It's always one of the highlights of the week. At the World Series of Poker we've seen stars such as rap artist Snoop Dogg and burlesque sensation Dita Von Teese. On the European Poker Tour parties have been set in multi-level night clubs with dancers swinging from the ceiling.

The ANZPT Gold Coast and Jupiters Casino have taken the poker party to the next level.

After a long day of flops, check-raises and bad beats, we're about to head to the Atrium Bar at Jupiters Casino for none other than Brian Mannix and the Absolute 80's band! Rock and roll baby! We've got our denim jackets and mullets ready to go, but before we rock it like we've never rocked before, we have a day of poker to review.

It was a day that started slowly but hit some high notes late in the day with some epic bluffs and rapid-fire eliminations. That's what happens when you put the likes of Tom Grigg, Liam Moffett and WSOP bracelet winner Mark Vos on the same table. Throw in Matt Brown, Daniel Laidlaw and big stacks Greg Shillig and Simon Barbaro, and you've got a lethal combination for some rock and roll poker.

Liam Moffett provided some highlights as our early chip leader, including a classic five-bet bluff with just six-high. But ultimately Moffett's aggressive style caught up with him as he was eliminated late in the day when Tom Grigg flopped a straight.


Mark Vos couldn't survive as the chip leaders continued to dominate. At the end of seven levels it was Barbaro who emerged as the lead singer of this band. He had several impressive towers of chips in front of him, and appeared to hardly lose a pot all day.

Barbaro grabbed a lot of his chips early when he flopped the nuts with Q♠T♠ on a flop of 8♣9♦J♠ against an opponent holding J♥J♣. Later in the day he flopped a set of nines against Tom Grigg's two pair to launch Barbaro to a commanding 153,400 by the day's end.


Tom Grigg had a story of his own to tell today. After being crippled to just 4,000 in the first level of play thanks to a two-outer with aces versus kings, Grigg staged a remarkable recovery to get himself back to a respectable 69,925 by the day's end - good for the fourth biggest stack in the room.

Others to make it through include James Burgoine (119,050), Greg Shillig (117,725), Daniel Laidlaw (61,550), ANZ Player of the Year leader Jesse McKenzie (54,300), Hugh Cohen (49,975), Michael Guzzardi (42,500), Harris Pavlou (26,975), Julian Cohen (25,600) and Kosta Varoxis (18,925) as 37 of our starting field of 81 survived the day.

Of course there were a few stars who didn't make it through the auditions this time around as Stewart Scott, Grant Levy, Aaron Benton and Martin Rowe won't be part of the band this time around.

Click here for the end of Day 1b chip counts

Well, the band is warming up and the players are quickly re-hydrating at the bar, so it's time to join the party. We'll be back tomorrow to do it all over again on Day 1c of the ANZPT Gold Coast Main Event with the likes of John Maklouf, Andrew Scarf and Australian Poker Hall of Famers Bill Argyros and Maurie Pears confirmed starters in what should be a capacity field. Play recommences at 12:00pm tomorrow (GMT+10) and we look forward to your company then!