ANZPT Auckland Day 1c: Amant is the man to catch

There were high expectations for the third and final flight of the ANZPT Auckland Main Event and we were not disappointed as a huge field of 103 players took to the felt this afternoon. The SKYCITY Auckland poker room was virtually at capacity with the two overflow tables out on the main gaming floor also in use to try to squeeze everyone in.

Today's field brought our total number of entrants for the ANZPT Auckland Main Event to 213 which exceeded the total for this event from last year. It's one of the rare events in the region to show growth which is a tremendous result for all concerned. The prize pool of NZ$426,000 will ultimately go to the top 24 players with first place set to receive a very nice NZ$110,760 in prize money. But we'll have more on that tomorrow.

For now, the Day 1c players had to simply focus on navigating their way through seven levels of play. For some, that proved a task too tough.

ANZ Player of the Year runner-up Luke Brabin was one of the first notable players to be eliminated when his straight fell to the nut straight of Tom Grigg. It was a great start for the Full Tilt Poker ambassador, but such is the wild nature of his play, those chips were given back, with some interest, as Grigg himself became a casualty when his ace-eight couldn't improve against pocket queens.

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Some of the other notable players to fall included Yesha Punjabi, Alicia Sale, former ANZPT Melbourne winner Paul Hockin and the 2011 Aussie Millions champion David Gorr as just 50 players survived the day.

Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang was in the middle of today's action, experiencing a rollercoaster ride throughout the day. Huang had his tournament life on the line when short-stacked and holding A♥T♠ against an opponent's Q♠J♦. Huang survived and managed to bag up 15,500 chips to live to fight another day.

There were a number of players contending for the chip lead at the end of the day with Steven Zhou, Kani Edwards, George Manolas and Jason McMahon all prominent, however it was Amant Nauhria who surged late in the day to bag up an impressive 107,200 chips.


Following play, Nauhria said to us that he was down to just 3,500 in chips early on, and only eliminated one other opponent during the day. He was able to gather his chips through a series of small pots to now claim the overall chip lead entering into Day 2 of play tomorrow.

Others to survive include Jan Suchanek (61,800), WSOP bracelet winner Simon Watt (55,100) and reigning ANZ Player of the Year Iori Yogo (32,800). Head to the Live Updates section for the full counts of the survivors as well as the Day 2 seating draw.

Day 2 of play will start at the slightly earlier time of 12:15pm (GMT+12) on Saturday as the surviving 104 players will return to the SKYCITY Auckland poker room. Their first priority will be to make the money for the top 24, before pushing towards the ANZPT Auckland final table.

We'll be here to capture all of the action as it unfolds, right here on the PokerStars Blog. We hope you'll join us then!

Heath "TassieDevil" Chick is a Freelance Contributor for the PokerStars Blog.

@PokerStars in Auckland