APPT Sydney: Dunst and dusted for day 1A

A dramatic opening day of the APPT Grand Final has been consigned to history after seven one-hour levels in the brand new poker room here at Star City Casino.

A total of 81 players took their seats at the start of play, with 51 set to return for Friday's day two session. Big names in action on this tumultuous Tuesday included hometown hero and Team Australia Pro Eric Assadourian, PokerStars Sponsored Player Lee "Final Table" Nelson and a gaggle of PokerStars Qualifiers and Sponsored Players along with scores of the region's toughest competitors.

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The line-up also featured top Aussie players Jason Gray, Jamie Pickering, Michael Pedley, Kent Hunter, Mike Ivin, Graeme "Kiwi G" Putt, Peter Aristidou, Joel Dodds, Steve Leonard, Julian Powell, Julian Cohen, Tony Dunst, Daniel Kochan and The Poker Star contestant Donna Ciric.

The international contingent featured Casey Kastle, Dennis Waterman and PokerStars Supernova Dustin Dorrance-Bowman.

As the clock ticked past 9pm local time, the chips were bagged up with Australian-based American online whiz Tony bond18 Dunst leading the way on 104,300. Others near the top of the chip count were Australia's Carmelo Graziano (104,000) and PokerStars Qualifier Alan Brown from UK with 99,300.


APPT Grand Final day 1A chip leader Tony Dunst

Team PokerStars Australia Pro Eric Assadourian holds 61,900 while PokerStars Sponsored Player Lee Nelson finished with 27,500. In addition, 10 PokerStars Qualifiers progressed to day two.

Players signed up for day 1B will be front and centre from 12.30pm tomorrow for the second day of play in the 2009 APPT Grand Final.

• Action wasn't limited to the APPT Grand Final today. Play in the AUD $15,300 APPT Sydney High Roller also commenced. Some of the big names in action included 2009 WSOP Player of the Year Jeff Lisandro, reigning Aussie Millions $100,000 Hold'em Challenge champion David Steicke, PokerStars Sponsored Player Terrence Chan and 2008 APPT Sydney High Roller champ Jarred Graham.

Five of the 26 players will receive a payout with the winner taking home AUD $156,000, second AUD $91,650, third AUD $66,300, fourth AUD $44,850 and fifth AUD $31,200.