ANZPT Auckland: Up Go The Big Stacks

It's getting to that stage of the night. The stage when players starting the rail at every moment and the big stacks start to surface. Sometimes there will be one player who went on a heater and other times the top of the chip leader board will feature multiple players, battling it out of the top of the charts. That's the kind of night we are having here on Day 1a of the ANZPT Auckland Main Event.

However, for much of the day we did have one player storm the chip leader board, but since then, a couple of players have caught up. The player in question is Angie Fitzgerald and she was easily the first player to storm past six figures. Within six hands during the first couple of levels and Fitzgerald had quadrupled her stack. Everyone was still grinding and nursing their starting stack, and Fitzgerald was crushing.


Angie Fitzgerald had a great start to the day

While Fitzgerald may have been the early chip leader, even seeing her stack move up to 115,000 at one point, it wouldn't stay that way for too long. As Fitzgerald's stack dwindled to around 70,000 - which is still good for a top 5 chip stack - a few other players began to prosper.

One of the players who moved past Fitzgerald was Ivan Zalac. The ever-affable Zalac is currently sitting with around 80,000 in chips, which we believe leaves him with the second largest stack in the room. With as many chips as he has, Zalac will surely be one to fear, especially considering Zalac's form in New Zealand. In July, Zalac made the final table of the ANZPT Queenstown Snowfest Main Event, eventually finishing in 8th place. Let's see if Zalac can muster some similar form here in Auckland.


Ivan Zalac is storming the chip leader board

Doing even better than Zalac and one player who is clearly in smoking hot form is Michael Guzzardi. A big day at the felt sees Guzzardi currently sit with over 90,000 in chips, which is good enough to have him storm the top of the chip leader board.

We just alluded to Guzzardi's recent form, but perhaps not everyone is aware of Guzzardi's recent exploits. Just a few weeks ago, Crown Casino in Australia hosted the ANZPT Melbourne Main Event. There were 345 players involved in that massive tournament, creating a prize pool of AUD$690,000. Guzzardi ended up finishing in 3rd place, with a three-handed deal sending him home with AUD$112,000.


Can Guzzardi make it back-to-back ANZPT final tables? Will Zalac make another final nine here in New Zealand? Can Fitzgerald regain her once massive chip stack? Only time will tell and time is running out on Day 1a as the last level of the night is looming.

Joshua Bell
@PokerStars in Auckland