APPT Auckland: Kiwi leads as Day 1B ends

By James Potter and Eliot James

PokerStars.net APPT SkyCity Auckland Festival of Poker Day 1B has come to a close, locking in our contenders for Day 2 tomorrow. After a great day of poker we have 47 players left out of the 142 that started the day. That brings the total entrants for the event to 306, an amazing record breaking effort for New Zealand, the APPT, and SkyCity.

The most notable early departure was Eric Assadourian who lasted less than ten minutes before he was making his way to the rails. The other big name player to go was Team PokerStars Pro Lee Nelson who was knocked out when he pushed on a draw. The crew from PokerStars.tv had an opportunity to chat with Assadourian leading up to today's event:


Watch APPT Auckland 08: Eric Assadourian on PokerStars.tv

With the bad beat stories also come the happier ones with a few of the big names making an impact. Team Pokerstars Pro Joe Hachem is still in the tournament with just under 22k in chips. He will have to make an impact early on Day 2 which will make for some interesting poker. The other name to make it through is APPT Sydney Main Event 2007 Champion Grant Levy, on just over 30k, who will be confident of going on with the job tomorrow. Local Jockey Shane Dye remains in the game with a little over 20K, a huge effort given that he slipped to under 3k earlier in the day.

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Joe Hachem receiving a helping hand in getting through Day 1B.

The chip leader for Day 1B was a neck and neck battle between local Amant Nauhria (94K) and Bryan Huang from Singapore (93K). Huang held a commanding chipstack throughout today's flight and is looking to better his third place in the APPT Macau Main Event last month. They will both join Nathanael Seet from Singapore (Day 1A chip leader with 75k) on top of the leader board.

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Day 1 chipleader, Amant Nauhria, with friend New Zealander Ted Everard who just managed to hold on through Day 1A yesterday.

Poker was again the winner and field of just over 100 players who have made Day 2 should all be well rested with the relaxed structure of the Day 1 flights. Tomorrow is when it all starts, however, and we could well be in for a long one. The blinds will start to go up, the chip leaders will gain some dominance, and the shortstacks will feel the pressure as we approach the bubble at 33rd place. There will be plenty of play time and Danny McDonaugh the APPT tournament director expects around 9 to 10 levels in what will undoubtedly be another lively battle here at SkyCity Auckland.

Look forward to seeing you all tomorrow for Day 2 at 12.15pm NZ time.