ANZPT Sydney: Nothing wrong for Truong
The final hands have been dealt and the players have bagged, tagged and called it an evening with approximately 129 surviving the day. For some, it was a long day with eight levels and a dinner break, while others could take their time over dinner down on the Sydney harbour after being eliminated earlier in the day.
We started out with another massive field as 246 players took to the felt for Day 1b. This took the total number of entrants to 461 which was much-improved on last year's number. PokerStars were able to satellite in over 140 players and when you consider the event was only announced on February 1st, it's a very impressive number.
The total prize pool reached $922,000 with the top 54 players to be paid. A minimum cash is worth $3,688 while reaching the official ANZPT final table of nine will net $17,518. However the prize they are all chasing is the first place of $226,812 and the title of ANZPT Sydney champion!
While yesterday brought a younger field for the twilight start, we couldn't help but notice the old schoolers representing today with decades of poker experience spread around the tables. We spotted five members of the Australian Poker Hall of Fame in action today, and if you include Jason Gray and Billy Argyros from yesterday's flight, and throw in ANZPT Commissioner Danny McDonagh running the floor, then we had a total of eight Hall of Famers who were part of this event. That's a record that APHOF Chairman Maurie Pears will be pleased to hear.
David Gorr was an early casualty while Gary Benson shot out to the early chip lead. Leo Boxell was consistent as ever, while Mel Judah and Lee Nelson battled on the short stacks for most of the day.
One player who enjoyed the benefits of the "Star snap" today was PokerStars qualifier Luke Edwards.
Edwards surged out to a big lead during the sixth level of the day and by the time the dinner break was taken, he already had amassed a stack that was the equivalent of the leaders of yesterday's flight.
We also had a couple of interesting international players grace us with their presence this evening. Poker starlet Maria Ho was a welcome addition to the field while the red spade was represented by Mexican Team PokerStars Pro Angel Guillen.
Guillen had travelled from the APPT Seoul to the EPT Berlin and then back down under for the ANZPT Sydney event, which we are guessing is one of the longest and most diverse poker trips ever undertaken. Guillen had a few days to explore the city, but on the felt it appeared that jetlag had taken hold as he was unable to get anything going at all during the day. After slipping into dangerous territory in the final level of the day, Guillen was able to steal some blinds to end the day with 23,500.
It probably didn't help that Guillen had to contend with the giant-killing Tam Truong on his direct right. Truong went on a tear late in the day as it seemed his opponents were gifting chips, with a large portion of Truong's wealth coming when a tilted player overbet shoved preflop with jack-nine and Truong picked it off with pocket kings.
This catapulted Truong into the chip lead which he held until stumps as his stack of 120,700 was good for the chip lead with Justin Cohen (110,625), George Marando (104,950) and Bill Kennedy (102,675) the only other players we could spot with more than 100,000 chips as approximately 129 players survived the day. We'll have confirmation of chip counts of the field available later this evening but we can confirm that Sheldon Mayer (99,300), Luke Edwards (85,150), Leo Boxell (45,700), Gary Benson (36,375), Danny Chevalier (33,775), Mel Judah (19,925) and Mario Ho (13,800) will all live to fight another day.
We'll be back tomorrow from 12:30pm local time with a big task ahead of us to reduce a 200-plus field to something near a final table. It's going to be a marathon so we better get hydrated - off to the Player's Party! See you tomorrow!