ANZPT7 Melbourne Day 1A: Park pushes ahead

Every beginning has an end.

And we just reached ours here as Day 1A of ANZPT Melbourne concludes.

Last year's prize pool record was in the back of everyone's minds this afternoon, with the Melbourne stop of Season 6 the only one to surpass a million dollars. At the close of late registration today it was a total count of 206 entrants which puts us well on track to finish off the ANZPT era with a new record.

Those 206 didn't have an easy task among the star-studded field here. Newest addition to the PokerStars roster Chen-an Lin was at the tables, as was this year's Aussie Millions champion Manny Stavropoulos. They finished the day with stacks of 60,900 and 59,800 respectively. Joining them were familiar faces Liam O'Rourke (80,700), Michael Guzzardi (33,500), Stevan Chew (58,700), Anthony Legg (21,300) and Billy 'The Croc' Argyros (33,500). They would all bag up chips at the end of play and will return for the official Day 2 on Sunday.

Ahead of all the Day 2 qualifiers emerged Min Jae Park. He skyrocketed into the lead after a lucky two outer meant he was the first player to hit the 100,000 chips mark. He would slightly extend his lead further into the night and ultimately finishes the day on a stack of 118,500.

Min jae park hendon pic.jpg

Leading the way for Day 1A - Min Jae Park

Park already has seven live cashes on Australian soil including a victory in the ANZPT $1,100 No Limit Hold'em Six Max last year for $48,150. He has found himself in a great position here tonight and looks like he could make another deep run in Melbourne.

While 93 would hang on to keep their ANZPT Main Event dream alive, others weren't so lucky. Reigning champ Edison Nguyen had a rough start to the day and wasn't able to turn things around. Joining him on the rail was Australia Poker Hall of Famer Gary Benson, 2008 APPT Sydney Main Event winner Martin Rowe, and Melbourne regular Peter Aristidou.

edison nguyen wrap.jpg

Last season's ANZPT Melbourne Champion Edison Nguyen

Also finding the exit was circuit favourite Tony 'Unique' Tartaglia. He just needed to fade two outs to propel himself into position of prominent chip leader earlier today but it wasn't to be as current chip boss Park spiked one of two remaining aces on the river to make a higher set than Tartaglia's eights. Tartaglia will have to be content with the trophy he was presented with at the first break.

ANZPT7 Melbourne Day 1A Top Ten Chip Counts
Min Jae Park (South Korea) - 118,500
Graham Cowan (Australia) - 100,300
Nick Morales (Australia) - 91,100
Evan Mijo (Australia) - 88,500
Chia-Chang Ku (Australia) - 86,900
Tristan Bane (Australia) - 85,200
Ross Grammer (Australia) - 83,900
Liam O'Rourke (Australia) - 80,700
Adrian Indovino (Australia) - 79,200
Gary Retallick (Australia) - 79,200

Now whether it's to console themselves or celebrate a good day at the felt, players are heading to the ANZPT Melbourne Welcome Party. We'll be sure to tell you all about it tomorrow here on the PokerStars Blog.

So that's all for today's poker action. We'll be back tomorrow as another group enter the Crown Poker Room for Day 1B. We hope you can join us then!