APPT Sydney: To be Frank, Saffioti is the man

A gruelling but enthralling day 2 has ended with the 48 players guaranteed of a cash after the bubble burst on the final hand of the day in the APPT Grand Final.

We started with 217 players, including a trio of Team PokerStars Pros (Lee Nelson, Gavin Griffin and Chris Moneymaker) plus PokerStars Sponsored players Ivan Tan, Van Marcus, Masa Kagawa and Eric Assadourian. Only Assadourian, the one Sydney based player of that group, remained at the end of the day.


Eric Assadourian: the hometown hero

Other big names to tumble during day 2 included John Juanda, Wooka Kim, Dory Zayner, Chris Levick, Harris Pavlou, Julius Colman, Jimmy Siu, Martin Cardno, Mark Vos, Dennis Huntly, Carter Gill, Nobbi Tanaka, Emanuel Seal, Warwick Mirzikinian, Alex Dickinson, Suzy Khoueis, Assadour Assadourian, Andrew Scott, Leo Boxell, Sam Korman, Kent Hunter, Tony Dunst and Jonathan Karamalikis.

The chip leader is Frank Saffioti, who was at the heart of the hands that ensured the bubble burst after a long and tense period on the precipice of the payouts.

David Sanis was the unfortunate victim. On a flop of 8d-5c-Jd, the money went in with Sanis holding pocket aces and Saffioti Q-9. Sure enough, the turn came 6h and the river 10h to rake in a massive pot. Then Sanis shoved with A-8 but found Tim English holding pocket queens. The board came 8s-Qc-9c-10s-3h, and Sanis was out in 49th. Tough break fella.

But that hand was typical of a day when the best hand with the money going in was often overtaken, and set over set or flopped quads weren’t unusual.

Behind Saffioti were Melbourne’s Brendan Edmonds (500,000), Phil Willcocks (390,000), Marlon Goonawardana (370,000) and Jamie Pickering (360,000). Other prominent players still in contention for the AUD $1 million first prize are Jason Gray (270,000), Graeme Putt (130,000), champion jockey Shane Dye (130,000), David Gorr (115,000), and Frank Bianco (65,000).

We’ll be back at 12.30pm for a massive program, including the race for spots on the final table of the 2008 APPT Grand Final, plus the AUD $15,000 High Rollers Challenge from 6.15pm.

We'll leave you inside the minds of Team PokerStars Pro couple Vanessa Rousso and Chad Brown - they seem to know each other pretty well!

Watch APPT Sydney S2: Inside the mind of a pro couple. on