Kerr leads by a toothpick on Day 1a of ANZPT Canberra

Stretching to every mainland state and territory in the country, the PokerStars.net Australia New Zealand Poker Tour offers players more than just a poker tournament. It's the opportunity to visit somewhere new, and experience something different. Canberra is not your typical tourist destination, so for many, the chance to visit our nation's capital for the ANZPT Canberra Main Event was a moment not to be missed. Sure it's a little cloudy and a little chilly, but the unique attractions of the city will no doubt provide an enlightening experience for those that venture here this week.

Of course, some players just aren't fans of exploring. Ricky Kroesen is one who hopped straight onto the next plane home following his abrupt elimination the ANZPT Canberra Main Event as Day 1a kicked off this afternoon.

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Kroesen jumped out of the gates to be an early chip leader and if his pocket aces held against the pocket queens of George Moussa, Kroesen would've had 80,000 chips in the second level of play, which was almost enough for the end-of-day chip lead. Such is the way of this cruel game, a queen hit the board and Kroesen became one of the first casualties of the day.

As we rolled through seven levels, some of those who joined him were Michael Pedley, Joe Cabret, Daniel Laidlaw and ANZPT Perth champion Grant Levy. A mistimed four-bet jam with queen-eight into Brett Chalhoub's pocket kings saw Levy hit the highway back to Sydney.

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While almost half of the 61 entrants were sent packing, at the other end of proceedings George Moussa was prominent throughout the day, while James Broom, Jai Kemp and Antonis "Toothpick Tony" Kambouroglou all had moments at the top of the leaderboard.

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"Toothpick" is an amazing force in Australian poker, with consistent tournament results, cash game prowess and razor-sharp focus. Not to mention a cult-hero like status in the community. He looked likely to end the day as chip leader, until he was pipped at the post by PokerStars qualifier Scott Kerr.

The 2009 ANZPT Queensland champion was involved in an enthralling duel with Jai Kemp throughout the day, but ended up getting the upper hand to bag up 86,525 for a narrow chip lead.

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ANZPT Canberra Day 1a Top Ten Chip Counts
Scott Kerr (Australia) (PokerStars Qualifier) - 86,525
Tony Kambouroglou (Australia) - 86,375
Tristan Bain (Australia) - 68,775
Gioreio Graziani (Australia) - 64,050
Xiuming Huang (Australia) (PokerStars Qualifier) - 59,050
James Broom (Australia) - 58,700
George Moussa (Australia) - 54,200
Brett Chalhoub (Australia) (PokerStars Qualifier) - 53,000
Rohan Aldridge (Australia) - 47,050

Click here for the complete end of Day 1a chip counts

We'll return to Casino Canberra tomorrow to do it all over again for Day 1b of the ANZPT Canberra Main Event. It should be a near capacity field with defending ANZPT Player of the Year Tony Hachem set to go head-to-head with the current ANZ POTY leader Jesse McKenzie. Hachem will need a result if he's to make it a three-peat while McKenzie will be looking for more points to extend his advantage at the top.

Join us tomorrow from 12:15pm (GMT+10). Until then, the ANZPT Player's Party beckons at Galaxy nightclub here at Casino Canberra. Giddy up!

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