ANZPT Sydney: The thrill of the sweat

"Bottle of water?" announced one of the perky Star Poker waitresses as she stood next to table two here in the Oasis Lounge.

"Anyone?" she sighed.

"I'll take it if no one wants it," shouted Erich Stadler from across the table.

The waitress came over and delivered the water, as Stadler stood and fumbled for his wallet. In the blink of an eye, his two mates seated on the rail had leapt to their feet and splashed the waitress' tray with cash. One tossed out a $10 and the other a $20 - an ample amount for a little H2O.

"Well played boys, well played!" laughed Stadler as he thanked his railbirds for their support.

"You have some good friends," I said.

"Yeh, they are good friends when you're this deep in a tournament!" replied Stadler.


Without going into specifics we're pretty sure that the blokes spending their Sunday afternoon inside a casino watching some cards, probably have a vested interest in the action. Sure, it's about wanting your mates to do well, but nothing beats the thrill of having a "horse" going deep in a major tournament. It's all the excitement of the big cash without the stress of having control over what's happening.

Looking around the Oasis Lounge this afternoon and there are a few interesting onlookers. We've spotted Aaron Benton heavily sweating the action of Mishel Anunu for the past three days as he's made it pretty public that he has a large piece of the action. Some others we've spotted on the rail recently include Grant Levy, Brendon Rubie, Daniel Neilson, Ali Khalil and Reza Vakili.


Mishel Anunu in action with Aaron Benton watching on closely

With 22 players to go, things are starting to get interesting. Earlier today we lost 83-year old Bill Kennedy as our first casualty of the day while Luke Edwards' run also came unstuck when his pocket aces were cracked in 26th place. Luke Brabin, John Parker and 2010 APPT Sydney 4th place finisher Peco Stojanovski are the others who have visited the cashier today.

Nick Heather is still going strong but he's been overtaken for the chip lead by young gun Liam "RAWKZ" O'Rourke who sits with 1.15 million. Aussie Millions champ Oliver Speidel is also continuing on his merry way as he has chipped up over the one million chip mark. hostess Lynn Gilmartin caught up with Speidel for a chat before play kicked off:

@PokerStars in Sydney