ANZPT7 Melbourne Day 1A: Start your engines

And we're off!

The Crown Poker Room is bustling with an air of excitement this afternoon as the ANZPT Main Event finally gets underway. There are a couple of cash games still running, a few lurkers at the overlooking bar, but of course it's the tournament floor that has most of the attention.

It was at 12:30pm that we officially kicked off. Crown Tournament Director Joel Williams took to the microphone to welcome players and remind them about the mobile phone rule. Players must step away from the table to make a phone call, and must refrain from using their mobiles while they're in a hand. And with the formalities out of the way, the cards were in the air!

crown tournament floor.jpg

We're chasing another record here in Melbourne this week, and by all reports things are looking promising. Melbourne made ANZPT history last season with a 516-player field and a prize pool that pushed over the million dollar mark. ANZPT Commissioner Danny McDonagh confirmed that there have already been 300 satellites qualifiers, and as the poker room is now buzzing with a growing number of poker hopefuls, we could be on track to finish the ANZPT legacy with the biggest prize pool yet.

It's still early days but we've managed to spot a bunch of notable names. The other players at Table 33 look like they could already be running bad. They'll have to contend with one of the newest faces on the PokerStars Team roster, Taiwan's Chen-an Lin. Also making sure it's a tough table are 2012 APPT Melbourne champion Sam Razavi, and 2008 APPT Sydney Main Event winner Martin Rowe.

Another player who started off the year right was Aussie Millions Main Event Champion Manny Stavropoulos. He took home $1,385,000 for that victory and has pulled up a seat here today looking for another big score in Melbourne.

Manny.jpg

Reigning Aussie Millions Champ Manny Stavropoulos

The plan for today is seven one-hour long levels so including breaks the action should wrap at 8pm just in time for the ANZPT Players Party. We'll be following all the action over the next five days, so be sure to stay with us for everything from ANZPT Melbourne.