ANZPT Auckland: It's Business Time

Poker can be fun sometimes. It's arguable that Day 1 of a poker tournament can be the most enjoyable of days. There's lots of chips, the blinds are small, the bad players are gifting chips and the money is too far away to truly worry about. Well, that's simply not the case on Day 2 of a tournament. The blinds are starting to get big, the money is nearing and the cream of the crop is starting to rise to the top.

Today will see 76 players return to the SKYCITY Auckland Casino to continue playing the ANZPT Auckland Main Event. It's Day 2 and with only one more day scheduled, there will only be nine players by the end of a long night. Before we get to the final table though, we need to burst through the money bubble and award the top 24 players at least NZ$3,726.

Perhaps the player in the best shape to make it at least to the money is the overall chip leader heading into today's action. His name is Xiaodong Xia and a huge Day 1c saw him accumulate a stack of 180,600. That's almost 50,000 more chips than Xia's nearest rival. Speaking of Xia's nearest rival, her name is Monica Eastick and she also had a big Day 1c to see herself enter Day 1c with 137,000 in chips.

Monica_Eastick_ANZPT_Auckland.JPG

"Wait, i'll pose for you" - Monica Eastick

Eastick isn't the only lady sitting high up on the chip leader board, with the third overall chip stack being held by Angie Fitzgerald. It was Day 1a that Fitzgerald dominated as her 113,500-chip stack will make her one to watch throughout Day 2.

While 98,000 in chips sees his him fall just shy of a six-figure stack, Michael Guzzardi's stack is still good for to sit in the top ten of the chip leader board. Guzzardi has been in form of late, taking down a side event here in Auckland earlier in the week and of course, finishing 3rd in the ANZPT Melbourne Main Event a few weeks ago.

Michael_Guzzardi_ANZPTAuckland.JPG

Can Guzzardi continue his strong year?

Plenty of other notable names make up the 76 remaining players, including Ashley Warner, Ivan Zalac, Patrick Healy, Graeme "KiwiG" putt, Cole Swannack and the recent ANZPT Melbourne champions, Paul "KingPaulie" Hockin.

The players are starting to file into their seats at this very moment, with the unbagging of the chips commencing and play just a short while away at 12.15 pm local time. Be sure to stay locked to the PokerStars Blog all day as we bring you plenty of stories from Auckland, while PokerNews will once again be on deck providing live updates. Only a final table will remain at the end of the day and the final nine will be in contention for the NZ$107,640 first-place prize. Don't miss it!

Joshua Bell
@PokerStars in Auckland