APPT Auckland: Team Pro tops the tables

By Landon Blackhall

Day 1A of the PokerStars.net APPT Auckland Main Event at SKYCITY has come to a close and the remaining 67 players have bagged and tagged their chips in preparation for Day 2 on Friday.

Play started shortly after noon with a performance by representatives of the local Maori community. PokerStars.net Team Australia Pro Emad Tahtouh embraced the spirit of the warrior and, after seven one-hour levels, sat atop the chip count with 162,900, followed by Michael Shinzake (109,800), James Ciurlionis (105,600), Daniel Hall (93,600) and Jacky Tastavin (73,300).

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Day 1A chip leader Emad Tahtouh found himself battling fellow big stack Michael Shinzaki (foreground) towards the end of the day

Others who'll return on Friday for Day 2 include PokerStars Players Assadour Assadourian (41,900) and Dennis Waterman (36,400), PokerStars Team Australia Pro Grant Levy (35,200) and Team Asia Pro Celina Lin (16,300), as well as prominent locals 2008 APPT Auckland champion Daniel Craker (37,000), Mike King (20,700) and Dan Sing (15,000).

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Grant Levy worked his way back into the tournament after being down to just 4000 in chips

The Australians booking their early flights home include Stewart Scott, Daniel Neilson, Joel strongplay Dodds, Martin Cardno, Stephen "The Big Show" Topakas.
Robert Wang, Lee "Final Table" Nelson and Brooke Howard-Smith were also eliminated today; they will be watching from the sidelines and supporting their fellow Kiwis.


Watch APPT Auckland 09 : Lee Nelson on PokerStars.tv

We chat with Lee Nelson about his brief stay at the tables today

That's all from us here at SKYCITY Casino in Auckland for the night - be sure to join us tomorrow at 12.15pm local time (GMT + 13 hours) for Day 1B of the PokerStars.net APPT Auckland Main Event/NZPT SKYCITY Festival of Poker Main Event.