APPT Sydney: Packed to the Rafter

The day 2 field has been decided for the APPT Grand Final, with 207 players set to return to Star City in Sydney tomorrow in pursuit of a top 48 finish, then a shot at the AUD $1 million first prize.

Over the past three days, 477 players have taken their seats in one of the day 1 flights, and more than half have been eliminated.

One of the day 1C chip leaders was Anthony Rafter from Ireland (85,000), but he finished well behind the overall pacesetter Jason Gray, who takes a stack of 184,000 into battle tomorrow.

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After yesterday’s lop-sided finish, today’s chip count was very even with 11 players finishing within 25,000 of the biggest stack.

Also returning from the day 1C field will be Team PokerStars Pro Chris Moneymaker, who looked at ease in compiling an impressive stack of 65,000.

Other notables to secure a day 2 berth include well known Melbourne players Jimmy Siu (70,000), Michael Guzzardi (56,000), David Gorr (46,000), Dory Zayneh (33,000) and Julius Colman (22,000).

Frank ‘The Bank’ Bianco (42,000) is aiming for another cash after sneaking into the money at the APPT Macau main event. Sydneysiders Scott ‘Punty’ Smith (58,000) and Patrick Fletcher (41,000) performed strongly as did our Big Brother contestant Nobbi Tanaka (38,000).

Carter Gill, who finished 28th here last year, remains in contention with 51,000 while John Juanda is still in the hunt to add an APPT title to his four WSOP bracelets but faces an uphill battle (13,000).

PokerStars Sponsored players Ivan Tan (53,000), Masa Kagawa (48,000) and Van Marcus (11,000) also progressed, but Team PokerStars Pro Joe Hachem, his brother Tony, Emad Tahtouh, Eddy Sabat, Bryan Huang, Daniel Craker and Brian McFadden were all eliminated.

Moneymaker joins Lee Nelson and Gavin Griffin as the only Team PokerStars Pros to return tomorrow, while PokerStars Sponsored player Eric Assadourian will also be waving the flag for the event sponsor.

We’ll be back from 12.30pm tomorrow as the race starts in earnest for the final title on season two of the APPT.