ANZPT Auckland: Field of Stars on Largest Day 1

The cards are in the air and dust is starting to settle here on Day 1c of the ANZPT Auckland Main Event. At last count, there were 86 entrants, but only eight tables full of players. That is fairly typical of an ANZPT, with some players qualifying online and then deciding not to make the trek from the far reaches of Europe.


The fullest the poker room has been all week in Auckland

What really matters though is the overall total of entrants, as that is what sets the prize pool. At the moment, 86 from today and 122 from the last two Day 1 flights makes for a 208-player field. That means Season 5 ANZPT Auckland has already become the largest event in New Zealand for the year 2012. It also means that the prize pool is already in excess of NZ$400,000.

With the largest Day 1 field of the week, it is no surprise that the room is the most stacked it has been in three days. Just as expected Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang, 2009 APPT Auckland champ Simon Watt and 2010 Danny 'Brotha D' Leaoasavaii are all in the seats, along with 2011 Aussie Millions Main Event victor David Gorr. One player who is noticeably absent is the reigning Queenstown Snowfest champion David Allan.


Brotha D could become the indisputable Auckland poker champion

Some of the other players who have taken to the felt here on Day 1c include two players who have had a massive year on the tables of the ANZPT. The players in question are Stewart Ballard and Anthony Aston. Ballard is coming off the back of a final table finish at ANZPT Sydney and a deep run at the Queenstown Snowfest.

Finishing runner-up on the Season 4 ANZ Player of the Year leader board, Aston will be
looking to have another big showing during this season of the ANZPT. In actual fact, Aston is already one of the early contenders for the prize after he finished 8th at the recent ANZPT Melbourne. That made it Aston's third ANZPT final table of 2012 - the equal most final tables in one year, tied with John Maklouf in 2010.


Anthony Aston, breaking records and taking names

Maybe Aston can make it another final table here in Auckland and set a record. Or, maybe Brotha D can become the indisputable champ of Auckland with another title in this lovely city. Only time will tell, so make sure to stay locked to the PokerStars Blog throughout the day and the rest of the week.

Joshua Bell
@PokerStars in Auckland