ANZPT7 Perth Day 1b: International interest

The sounds of shuffling chips and poker banter fill the room here at Crown Perth as the second Day 1 flight of the ANZPT Main Event is now underway.

A field of around 80 are already battling it out on the felt, with more expected to join the action over the next hour or two. The field today comprises mostly of the strong local contingent, but a few notable players have been spotted trying their luck out here in the West.

The first of which is tournament boss Steve O'Dwyer. After issues getting his bag past security here at Crown Perth, he has finally taken his seat. With over US$9 million in live cashes, the other players at his table may feel they are already running bad.

O'Dwyer started off the year right with a sixth place finish in the $25,000 Event at the Aussie Millions for a score of $156,000. He has made the trip over from Melbourne and will be looking to add to his already impeccable poker resume this week.

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Steve O'Dwyer after winning the ACOP Super High Roller

Another international wizard in the building today is Englishman Stephen Chidwick. Like O'Dywer, he also had trouble with security, actually being refused entry due to his sandals. Chidwick since switched to some more appropriate footwear and made his way back to the poker room to get among the action.

Chidwick also had an incredible January here in Australia, finishing fourth in the Aussie Millions $25,000 Event for $250,000. It appears a cool quarter million wasn't enough to cue complacency, as Chidwick is going to war on the felt today in search of an ANZPT title.

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Stephen Chidwick in Perth for the ANZPT

We happened to spot German MTT crusher Martin Finger here too. With close to $US5 million in live tournament earnings to his name, he'll be another one to watch this week in Perth.

Finger also made an appearance at the Aussie Millions last month. Aside from a small cash in the $1,250 Six Max event, he was unable to make any deep runs. Currently at the tables trying to improve on his recent results, we'll see if Finger can make a splash here at Crown Perth.

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Martin Finger at Crown Perth

We'll be following these three closely this week to see how they fare against the locals here. Make sure to check in with the PokerStarsBlog regularly for updates on the tournament and for all the stories from right here in the west.