ANZPT Melbourne: A new beginning
The location looks the same, but a fresh start greets us as a new season of the Australia New Zealand Poker Tour kicks off today in the familiar setting of the luxurious Crown Casino in Melbourne. It's Season 5 of the ANZPT and less than two months since Brit Sam Razavi claimed victory in the season-ending ANZPT Grand Final on this very same felt.
A new season always brings an element of excitement as players make a renewed start at ANZPT glory. And what better way to kick things off than another massive field and huge prize pool here at the heart of tournament poker in Australia inside the Crown Poker Room.
Online satellites have been cranking along nicely, so we're expecting in excess of 300 players and four long days of poker before we crown the newest champion of the Australia and New Zealand region.
Sam Razavi has picked up more frequent flyer points and is in town to defend his title, along with Team PokerStars Pros Angel Guillen and Bryan Huang, to provide an international flavour to this event. But the locals will also be out in force with several of Australia's best players spotted on the tables during the preliminary events including Jarred Graham, Aaron Benton, Grant Levy, 2005 World Champion Joe Hachem and several previous ANZPT winners.
The players are currently taking their seats with play to get underway at 12:10pm AEDST. Players will enjoy a 20,000-chip start bank and one hour levels with the blinds starting at 50/100.
Stay tuned into the PokerStars Blog throughout the day as we bring you all the stories from behind the scenes of the event, while the boys at PokerNews bring you live updates of all the action on the floor.