Pilat takes control of Gold Coast Day 1a flight

Arriving on the Gold Coast brings back many fond memories of years gone by. Growing up as a young Taswegian, the Gold Coast was the ultimate family holiday destination to escape the winter blues of the south. The Gold Coast was exciting. Great weather, theme parks, incredible beaches, bright lights - it was like Las Vegas for Australian kids.

A few years down the track and sure, we're now tall enough to ride on that rollercoaster, but the kid at heart still comes out in all of us when we arrive. Quite simply, the Gold Coast is a fun place to be. Young or old.

The ANZPT is about providing more than just a poker tournament. It's about travel destinations and tourism options that offer players and qualifiers a complete experience both on and off the felt. The Gold Coast always offers so much to visitors, so it's no wonder its one of the most popular stops on the ANZPT.

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With three day one flights we're expecting the $2,500 ANZPT Gold Coast Main Event to push last year's field of 287 players. Today we saw things kick off with a moderate start, as 64 players, took to the felt for Day 1a. The field comprised primarily of locals and Jupiters satellite winners, with a sprinkling of PokerStars qualifiers.

We saw a few previous ANZPT champions in the field with Angelo Hanataj, Rennie Carnevale and Octavian Voegele headlining the field. At the end of seven levels Voegele was the only ex-champ left standing as 28 players survived to see Day 2 action.
It was an entertaining day with some creative play, several bad beats and some devastating coolers, but it was a day that was dominated by our chip leaders who jumped out to a brisk start and managed to maintain their position throughout. Kiwi Paul Hockin was prominent, while Mike Ivin continued his good form with a solid day on the felt. However the day belonged to young Queenslander Matthew Pilat.

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Pilat jumped out of the blocks with an early pot holding pocket aces, before he cracked the same hand as Pilat made a flush to eliminate 2010 ANZPT Sydney champ Angelo Hanataj. From there he was able to steadily accumulate before he cemented his place atop the leaderboard with another elimination late in the day.

Pilat held pocket queens against an adventurous opponent who chose K♣T♣ to ship his last 17,250 into the middle. Pilat caught a set on the flop but it wasn't as easy as that as the Q♣8♣T♠ flop gave his opponent a flush draw. However the T♥ turn improved Pilat to a full house and it was all but over. The case ten didn't arrive on the river and Pilat surged to an overnight chip count of 112,550 for the end of day chip lead.

Others to progress safely through to Day 2 included PokerStars qualifier and last year's runner up Ricky Kroesen (79,250), Jason Kenna (57,900), Graham Woodbine (37,975) and Octavian Voegele (30,300).

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

Also through to Day 2 is Australian poker legend Darryl "Dazzler" Lanyon.

Lanyon was one of the true pioneers of poker in Australia. Not only did he run a popular home game in Brisbane he produced the first poker publication in Australia known as Cards Magazine.

Dazzler was also well known for a number of outfits he would wear to major tournaments. One of his favourites is the Maverick outfit which he wore today.

This outfit got him into some hot water at Crown Melbourne over 10 years ago. Back in those days the outfit included a holster and toy gun. A toy gun was legal in his home state of Queensland but little did Dazzler know it was against the law in Victoria, until the police came knocking on his door after the hotel reported the presence of the gun in his hotel room!

Dazzler qualified into this event via a Jupiters Stage 1 satellite for only $120. He ended the day with 58,975 in chips and has another outfit lined up for Day 2 on Friday.

Before then, we'll have another batch of fresh-faced hopefuls joining us tomorrow for Day 1b of the ANZPT Gold Coast Main Event. Already confirmed to play are ANZPT Perth champ Grant Levy, Paul "The Voice" Khoury, Aaron Benton and Australia's number one online player, Brendon Rubie.

The action recommences at 12:00pm tomorrow (GMT+10) with all the live updates brought to you exclusively on the PokerStars Blog!

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