ANZPT Sydney: One of the greatest achievements of all time
We've seen some remarkable achievements in the poker world. Brunson winning back-to-back WSOP championinships in 1977 and 1978. Chan doing likewise in 1987 and 1988. Ungar winning it all in 1980 and 1981 before returning sixteen years later to do it all again in 1997. More recently, there's Hachem's breakthrough win for Australia in 2005, and then the immortal one, Phil Ivey, reaching the WSOP Main Event final table in 2009.
Today we may see an achievement of equivalent magnitude. Somehow we are trying to turn 208 players into 9 by the end of the day. It would be one of the greatest achievements of the modern poker era if we can possibly reach that elusive final table. Somehow I don't think we'll get there as our story will be lost forever, lumped into the category of "what might have been".
"You'll be surprised how fast things will go," said ANZPT Commissioner Danny McDonagh last night when we asked him for his thoughts on today's proceedings. It was at the player's party and we know that Danny does his finest work after midnight, but we would definitely be surprised if today wasn't a long day.
It's unlikely we'll reach the final table, but if we can get somewhere near the final two tables, after 10 levels of play, then that's about as good as we can hope for.
Leading the way will be Day 1a chip leader Toby Ryall with 138,500. Ryall's rise to the top supports a little theory I have that the Day 2 chip leader more often comes from the opening flight with the smallest number of players. I'm yet to figure out the science behind this phenomenon, but be assured, it happens more often that you might think.
In fact the top five chip stacks from today all came from Day 1a with Nabil Edgtton, Gordon Huntly, Rhys Gould and Toan Nguyen all well placed at the top of the leaderboard. Day 1b chip leader Tam Truong will have to be content with sixth chip position as the day gets underway.
With Oliver Speidel, Tony Hachem, Leo Boxell, Martin Rowe, Gary Benson, Danny Chevalier, Billy Argyros, Mel Judah, Lee Nelson, Peter Matusik, Maria Ho, Team PokerStars Pro Angel Guillen and the defending champ Michael Kanaan all still in contention, it looks like we're going to have some quality at the pointy end of this event.
Stay tuned into the PokerStars Blog coming to you live from The Star in Sydney as the ANZPT Sydney Main Event continues.