ANZPT Repechage: Quality and quantity

Day 1b of the ANZPT Repechage Main Event is nearing the half-way mark and looking around the room we see a rather impressive field, both in terms of quality and quantity.

Yesterday we mentioned how there were a few nervous thoughts about a potential overlay in this event with the advertised $750,000 prize pool guarantee. However today's Day 1b field is estimated to be around the 250-player mark which is very healthy for a working day in Melbourne. It seems that a few more interstaters have arrived in town, while Supersonic and Step 2 satellites have been cranking in the poker room throughout the day. With tomorrow's field likely to exceed 350, we should surpass the guarantee comfortably. Hoorah!

Some new faces spotted today include the likes of former ANZPT champion Octavian Voegele, James Obst, Ben Richardson, Matthew Wakeman, Paul Birman, Michael Chrisanthopoulos, 2011 Aussie Millions champion David Gorr and the ANZ Player of the Year leader Dejan Divkovic. After winning in Perth and finishing runner-up in Sydney, the young Bosnian will be looking for another big result to extend his advantage at the top of the POY leaderboard.

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Of course there also are many players back for a second chance. Some have already busted twice with Kristian Lunardi, Dave Allan, Ivan Zalac and Bruno Portaro amongst those who will be requiring a third bullet in this one. Others who are making the most of their second chance include Tony Tartaglia, Daniel Neilson, Tom Grigg, Ashley Warner and Didier Guerin who are currently sitting with the chip leaders.

At this point of the day, anything can happen. The blinds are about to really hurt and the fast-paced structure of this tournament will start to catch up with some of the short stacks.

Former Joe Hachem Deep Stack champion Daniel Botta just turned to us and asked what the average stack was from yesterday. ANZPT Chief Danny McDonagh did some crude mental arithmetic and threw up an answer of "around 120k". It was enough to make Botta cringe. Moments later he was eliminated.

There's no doubt the repechage format requires an element of gamble. Chip stacks can fluctuate very quickly but six figures should be the goal to give players the best chance of success on Day 2.

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Earlier in the day, PokerStars.tv hostess Nicki Pickering caught up with PokerStars qualifier Liam O'Rourke to check in on his progress: