ANZPT Sydney: Pushing the records in Sydney
Poker players are used to running on little sleep and grabbing a bit of rest wherever and whenever they can. The online grinders are usually up before the birds to grind on PokerStars, with many known to have fallen asleep at the table during the breaks. Then there's the cash game grinders who enjoy nothing more than pulling an all-nighter at the cash game tables if the game is juicy enough. Of course with so much travel available for poker players nowadays, they'll happily steal a few winks on the plane to their next destination.
A few poker reporters have also been known to be able to back up after a late night on the town to stagger through the next day patrolling the tables. Perhaps our age is starting to catch up with us, but following a late finish last night, we've got the coffee extra strong this morning as we attempt to kick-start the motor for another big day in The Star Poker Room as the second flight of the ANZPT Sydney Main Event takes off.
There's a massive field here this afternoon, with Danny McDonagh confirming that we'll beat last year's number of 393 entrants, and possibly even push the all-time ANZPT record of 493 players from back in 2009.
While it's going to be hard to match yesterday's throng of past ANZ poker champions, we have already spotted a lot of heavy hitters in this Day 1b flight. Some of the notables we've spotted include Gary Benson, Julius Colman, Minh Nguyen, Mel Judah, Graeme Putt, Leo Boxell, Lee Nelson, Patrick Healy, John Maklouf, Vesko Zmukic, Martin Drewe, Ali Khalil, Mike Ivin, Dennis Huntly, Josh Barrett, Haibo Chu and 2011 Aussie Millions champion David Gorr.
We also have a few international stars among us today with poker starlet Maria Ho making a surprising appearance here in Sydney, while our lone representative of Team PokerStars is Mexican Angel Guillen.
It's been a busy time for Guillen after travelling from the APPT in Seoul to the EPT Madrid before heading back down under for this event at the ANZPT in Sydney. That's one way to clock up the frequent flyer miles!
The cards are in the air on Day 1b, and already in the early stages of play we have a clear chip leader as Josh Barrett recalled to us a virtual double up on his very first hand. He sat down in the big blind and found pocket kings - must be nice! However when he committed his chips on a J-T-9 flop he was in trouble when his opponent tabled K-Q for the nut straight! Barrett has been suffering from whooping cough for the past four weeks, but perhaps his luck is turning around after catching running hearts to make a backdoor flush and double his starting stack!
With another eight levels to be played today, there will be plenty of interesting stories developing throughout the day at the 2012 ANZPT Sydney Main Event and we'll bring them to you right here on the PokerStars Blog.