ANZPT Auckland Day 1c: The stars come out to play

The SKYCITY Auckland poker room is a hub of activity this afternoon as the players flow in for Day 1c of the ANZPT Auckland Main Event.

Today's field is as diverse as it is large and Danny McDonagh has already had to contend with a myriad of issues before play kicks off. First there was the German PokerStars qualifier who needed to have his identity verified. Then there was a guy who had qualified online through an account that had his mother's name on it. A quick phone call to sort out the confusion and the player was granted his entry into the event. Just another day in the life of the ANZPT Commissioner.

Next, in walks 2011 Aussie Millions champion David Gorr. We haven't seen Gorr on the circuit recently and he stopped by the media desk to tell us that he hasn't played a tournament since May. Instead, he's enjoyed some time off with a bit of travelling.


Then, sitting quietly in the corner of the room, we spot none other than New Zealand's only WSOP bracelet winner in Simon Watt. Of course, Watt's win was arguably the greatest moment in New Zealand poker history as he became the "durrrr killer" by defeating online phenom Tom Dwan to claim the bracelet. Watt has also tasted success in this very poker room when he won the APPT Auckland event to burst onto the poker scene back in 2009.


Finally we're also expecting to shortly be joined by Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang. The Singapore native has a liking for New Zealand and will be our lone red spade representation in the field today.

Also joining Huang in today's field are the likes of reigning ANZ Player of the Year Iori Yogo, former ANZPT Melbourne champ Paul Hockin and Full Tilt ambassador Tom Grigg. It's a quality field so we should have plenty of great reports coming to you throughout the day.

Once again, we'll be playing a total of seven levels this afternoon. Keep your browser locked into the PokerStars Blog throughout the day as we bring you the stories both on and off the felt, while the guys at PokerNews provide the live hand updates in the section at the top of the page as Day 1c is now under way!

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

@PokerStars in Auckland