ANZPT Auckland: Caris Creeps to the Day 1c Chip Lead

The sun went down hours ago and it's probably on its way back up as Day 1b of the ANZPT Auckland Main Event has come to a close in the early hours of Friday morning. It all started at 6.30 pm and for a while there, only 40 players were at the tables. However, that rapidly changed as more and more late comers joined the tables and eventually we had 56 official entrants on the second of three Day 1 flights.

Combined with the 66 entrants from Day 1a, a total of 122 have already entered the Main Event and with tomorrow's field expected to be another solid showing, we wouldn't be surprised if the numbers come close to 200. That would make it the largest PokerStars tournament in New Zealand since the 2010 APPT Auckland Main Event.

One of the players in today's field was the recent APPT Melbourne champion Sam Razavi. Having only arrived in Auckland a couple of hours before the event started, Razavi was looking to continue his solid form of late with another deep run in a PokerStars event. But alas, it simply wasn't meant to be for the affable UK player as he was sent home during the early stages of the tournament.


No Auckland love for APPT Melbourne champ Sam Razavi

Despite being an honorary Kiwi, Didier Guerin was also one of the early casualties. That makes it only one day in Auckland so far for Guerin, but don't worry, he tells us he is going to hang around for the PokerStars player party that is being held later in the week.

Plenty of other players joined Guerin and Razavi on the rail throughout the day, including 2009 APPT Sydney champion Aaron Benton, Dean Francis and the reigning ANZ Player of the Year Mishel Anunu. Unfortunately none of these players will be able to win the first-ever SKYCITY Festival of Poker gold bracelet that is on offer to the eventual ANZPT Auckland champ.


No go for Anunu in Auckland

One player who did make it through the night was prominent local player Richard Lancaster, albeit, with a lot less chips than he could have had. Unfortunately for Lancaster he would rumble with Jie Gao late in the night and send Gao soaring up the chip leader board.

Some of the others who were doing well toward the end of the night were Jason Lee and Peter Field. Both of these players will be in contention come Saturday's Day 2 and both will be looking to make a deep run here in Auckland. Mark Wittkopf was another player who had a great late half of the night accumulating 108,600 in chips. Amazingly, that amount would be just 300 chips shy of the chip lead.

None of the above players had a better night than Charles Caris. A huge last level of the night would see Caris bag up 108,900 in chips as he will now head into Day 2 second on the chip leader board behind Day 1a's Angie Fitzgerald. A key hand for Caris saw him and Jason Lee rumble with nothing but over cards on a low flop, with Caris holding ace-king against the ace-jack of Lee. Both players ended up pairing their ace, but Caris' king kicker held up and the rest is history.

Charles_Caris_ANZPT.JPGCaris slid over the line to be the Day 1b chip leader

The third and final Day 1 flight is set to take place in around eight hour's time at 12.30 pm local time and so, off to bed us humble poker bloggers go! Be sure to join us tomorrow for Day 1c action and in the mean time, check out Lynn Gilmartin's humorous edition of the nightly notables with New Zealand's famous poker dealer Spencer Burgess.

Joshua Bell
@PokerStars in Auckland