APPT Sydney: Harnessing experience for the big one

By James Potter

Tournament director Danny McDonagh has just announced that players will be playing seven levels, which means we have 75 minutes remaining on day 1A of the APPT Grand Final. McDonagh likes to keep the opening day as short as possible for APPT events.

“We understand that players come here for a holiday. We don’t want to kill them on the first day. It’s also nice to start off with a large field on day two. There is plenty of time to test them out as the tournament progresses,” he said.


Separated at birth: APPT tournament director Danny McDonagh and Team PokerStars Pro Chad Brown.

McDonagh is an Australian poker icon, and his work on the APPT has underlined his reputation as one of the world’s most respected tournament directors.

Leo “The Mechanic” Boxell is also held in high regard in the local poker community. A motor mechanic from suburban Melbourne, his poker achievements are far too numerous to cover on this blog entry. He’s won numerous Australian and New Zealand titles but his most notable effort was when he finished second to Peter Costa in the 2003 Aussie Millions main event.


"The Mechanic" Leo Boxell tunes-up for another big buy-in event.

He always carries a lucky wombat with him (a small, furry, tank-shaped Australian marsupial) that sits upon his chips, keeping guard. Leo’s loving wife Bev is also always close by during most tournaments in which Leo plays.

Boxell is flying at the moment with just under 50,000 in chips,. He’s seated next to Team PokerStars Pro Chad Brown. The two most experienced players at the table, they’ve not tangled in too many pots.

Dan Ginnane is up there with the chip leaders on 80,000. Dan resides in Coogee Bay, one of the many beautiful seaside suburbs on Sydney’s east. Dan is quite the personality around town thanks to his work on Triple M radio as a rugby league presenter.


The future's so bright, Dan Ginnane has to wear shades!

“My two passions are certainly rugby league and poker. I have been playing for about four years and am having a blast in this tourny,” he said.

With the blinds now at level 7 (300/600 with a 75 ante), the chip leader is Phil Wilcox (120,000), David Lovell (101,000), Shane Dye (80,000), Greg Cook (78,000) and Stewart Davidson (64,000). Half of the field who started the day (54 of 108) are aiming to survive day 1A. And what would they do if they went on to win? See here...

Watch APPT Sydney S2: Dreams may come true... on