ANZPT7 Melbourne Day 1A: Champions and chip leaders

Late registration is now locked out as we move into the closing stages of ANZPT Melbourne Main Event Day 1A. We saw a total of 206 try their luck this afternoon, but already so many have found the rail among this shark-infested field.

Today attracted champions with both Manny Stavropoulos and Edison Nguyen in the running to take out another title at Crown Melbourne.

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Reigning champion Edison Nguyen at the table last year

Nguyen proved victorious in last season's ANZPT Melbourne, conquering the record-breaking 516-player field to pocket $217,500 after a heads up deal. He returned today in a bid to defend the title but the reigning champ had somewhat of a troubled first few levels.

"Defending and winning last #anzptmelbourne title begins today! Not the best start so far. Down to 13k from 20k start" Nguyen shared with his followers on Twitter.

Nguyen appeared to climb back slightly before things took a turn for the worst again. He eventually found himself with only 550 in chips and while he got it in and made a straight to quadruple up, reports say that he busted shortly after. Unfortunately for Nguyen it won't be a back-to-back victory this time.

For Stavropoulos his latest and greatest live score came in January this year when he bested a field of 648 runners to win the Aussie Millions Main Event for $1,385,000. He's had a slow start to the day but still has plenty of chips with around 25,000 to play with.

And on to a player who could very well be our next champion, Korea's Min Jae Park is ahead of the pack. Just when we thought Tony 'Unique' Tartaglia was making a run at cashing his first ANZPT Main Event, Park crushed him in a giant pot with a brutal bad beat to launch himself into the lead.

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Current chip leader - Min Jae Park

Both players had big stacks and with the board reading 6-7-3-8 Park made a bet of 9,000 before Tartaglia moved all in over the top to the tune of 42,000. Park quickly called it off and saw he was in rough shape to win the pot.

Tartaglia had turned a set of eights to put Park's pocket aces way behind. As they say though it isn't over until the river and Park peeled a two outer as an ace landed to eliminate Tartaglia. Park scooped the monster pot and was the first player to eclipse 100,000 in chips. Since then he has extended his lead further with a few smaller pots and hovers around 122,000.

With things almost drawing to a close here, Park might be able to hold his lead until the chips are bagged up. We'll be on the look out for any other big stacks emerging and also seeing how Stavropoulos fares here on ANZPT Melbourne Day 1A.