ANZPT Auckland: Kiwi Cash

We have just passed the halfway mark of the ANZPT Auckland Main Event and as such, registration has been long closed and the official numbers are in. The room is packed today with 85 official entrants and we have recently received word that yesterday was in fact a 55-player field and so, the total number of entrants is set at 207.

That amount of players is a great result for the first-ever ANZPT Auckland and easily surpasses the last PokerStars event that was held in New Zealand. The event in question was the Queenstown Snowfest, where 149 players created a prize pool of NZ$402,300. Even though the Snowfest featured a slightly higher buy-in, ANZPT Auckland still managed to sneak past the Queenstown prize pool, with NZ$414,000 on offer this week.

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Who will have all of these come Sunday?

If players want to pick up a piece of the aforementioned prize pool then they are going to have to make it to the top 24. That is expected to happen late tomorrow evening, so it's still a long slog until we burst that bubble and start awarding some cash.

Of course, no player enters an event hoping to min-cash, well, most players don't seem to have that as their ultimate goal. No, what most players strive for is the top prize and here in Auckland, the champion will be sent home with NZ$107,640. The players who managed to find a spot on the final table will be guaranteed at least NZ$10,350 and that's certainly nothing to sneeze at. We had a quick word with ANZPT Commissioner Danny McDonagh and below is what he had to say about the numbers.

"It's great to have a number that almost matches our last APPT event here two years ago and it's a great new poker room in the SKYCITY Casino, so it's good to be back in Auckland," McDonagh said. "Also, with the move of ANZPT Melbourne to the end of May next year, we really expect this event in Auckland to significantly grow in 2013."

Right now we are in the fifth level of play on Day 1c of the ANZPT Auckland Main Event. That's a long way from hitting the money. Dozens of players are going to have to go home empty handed before we start making our way to the final table. While it is too far away to start making predictions, one of the players here on Day 1c who is putting himself in good shape is Luis Arrilucea. He is easily the chip leader at the moment with a stack of around 65,000 and will be the one to watch in the second half of the day.

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Luis Arrilucea is doing great in Auckland so far

Make sure to keep checking the PokerStars Blog for plenty of feature stories and take a look at all the live updates provided by PokerNews. The players are looking ready to start making moves here in the Nation's Clubrooms, so don't miss all the action from Auckland.

Joshua Bell
@PokerStars in Auckland