APPT Sydney: Team on the tear

After losing Vanessa Rousso and Chad Brown on day 1A, the Team PokerStars crew in today’s field have stamped their authority in the early going on day 1B in the PokerStars.net APPT Grand Final. The two biggest stacks in the room belong to South Africa’s Raymond Rahme and “triple crown” winner Gavin Griffin.

Rahme was here in Sydney last year and won over everyone with his friendly demeanour. He also impressed on the felt, charging out to the chip lead on the opening day. Despite finding himself on a tough table featuring Andrew Scott and Dennis Huntly, Rahme has been quick to establish a tough table image, taking his stack to more than 50,000.

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Raymond Rahme, on the move.

Griffin’s table draw also did him no favours, but he’s steered clear of Chris Levick (two cashes on the APPT) and Manny Stavropoulos to be sitting on 45,000 late in level 2.

The other Team PokerStars Pro in today’s field, Lee “Final Table” Nelson, has been working tirelessly in the past few days after guiding his latest batch of students at the official APPT seminar (along with Joe Hachem). But Nelson will need to put some of that knowledge to practise after suffering a couple of early hits to be down below 15,000 in the early going.

Last year’s champ Grant Levy also looks relieved to finally take his seat after a heavy promotional schedule in recent weeks (including a role in a TV commercial that has made the Sydneysider a national celebrity). His stack headed south initially, but he’s now back to close to his start stack of 20,000.