APPT Sydney: You'll come a Waltzing Matilda

The temperature is nudging 85 degrees outside; the ferries are chugging across Sydney Harbour in the brilliant Australian sunshine and in the Star City poker room, the anticipation is reaching fever pitch as players begin to assemble for the first of the three day 1 flights in the PokerStars.net APPT Grand Final.

Last year, the finale of the APPT’s first season attracted a massive field of 561. Registrations are ticking over, meaning this year’s field could still surpass that figure. Last year’s winner Grant Levy, a born and bred Sydneysider, has just given the order to shuffle up and deal after a short word from APPT president Jeffrey Haas.

We also had a stirring rendition of Australia’s unofficial national anthem Waltzing Matilda, which seamlessly morphed into every poker player’s favourite The Gambler. Nice touch.

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"Know when to hold'em, know when to fold'em"

Many of the big names have confirmed their entries for days 1B and 1C, but that’s not to say the day 1A field isn’t without some talent. Leading the entry list are Team PokerStars Pros Vanessa Rousso and Chad Brown, along with PokerStars Sponsored players Celina Lin and David Saab (seated two spots to the right of well known jockey Shane Dye, these two should get the table talk going before too long).

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Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Rousso gets busy early on day 1A.

The list of PokerStars qualifiers includes two of Australia’s premier online players Daniel puntnko Kochan and James Andy McLEOD Obst. Kochan has a runner-up finish in the PokerStars Sunday Million to his name while Obst won the $215 Pot Limit Omaha (w/ one rebuy and one add-on) event in the recent WCOOP on PokerStars.

Others in action today include veritable minefield of Western Australia’s best players – Nino Marotta (fifth in the 2008 Aussie Millions), Kent Hunter, Jay SEABEAST Kinkade, Michael Pedley, Sam Jessop, Jovan Skekic and Matthew Kirk.

Others representing the host nation include young guns Joel Dodds (14th in the past two APPT Macau main events), Julian Powell, Steve stevo Leonard, Harris Pavlou, Jarred Graham and Michael Chrisanthopoulos. Play is expected to run for about 8-9 hours depending on the number of players eliminated. The structure for today’s play (75-minute levels) is:

Level 1: 50/100
Level 2: 100/200
Level 3: 100/200 (25 ante)
Level 4: 150/300 (25 ante)
Level 5: 200/400 (25 ante)
Level 6: 250/500 (50 ante)
Level 7: 300/600 (75 ante)
Level 8: 400/800 (100 ante)
Level 9: 500/1000 (100 ante)

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Watch APPT Sydney S2: A taste of things to come on PokerStars.tv