APPT Sydney: Blagov gets judges' nod on day 1C

After two run-of-the-mill day one flights, the gloves were well and truly off day 1C of the APPT Grand Final at Sydney's Star City Casino.

Perhaps inspired by Danny Green's stunning first-round victory over Roy Jones jnr in the previous evening's IBO Cruiserweight title fight at nearby Acer Arena, there was carnage aplenty as the day 1C field was slashed from 206 to just 106.

That meant the total field was confirmed at 396 players, generating a prize pool of AUD $2,376,000. The top 48 players are guaranteed a minimum payout of AUD $9504, with the winner taking home AUD $594,000. A total of 226 players will be back tomorrow, including 59 PokerStars Qualifiers.

Players from the respective Team Pros were left bloodied and bruised, with only Team Australia's Grant Levy and Team Asia's Raymond Wu (who chatted with the team earlier today) through to day two:

Watch APPT Sydney 09: Raymond Wu - Day 1C on

The casualties included Joe and Tony Hachem, Emad Tahtouh, Celina Lin, Jonathan Lin and 2008 WSOP Main Event winner Peter Eastgate. Lee Nelson and Eric Assadourian won through to day two on day 1A.

The departure of ANZPT Player of the Year Tony Hachem was particularly cruel. In the final hands of the day, he lost the bulk of his chips with A-K against the pocket kings of Ben Delaney before being sent to the rail when he shoved with A-10 against the pocket jacks of Mark Vos.


Tony Hachem shares a laugh with Ben Delaney before being crippled late in the day by the online young gun

Other big names to be sent to the rail on day 1C included current Aussie Millions champ Stewart Scott, four-time WSOP bracelet winner Jeff Lisandro, Andrew Scott, David Saab, Warwick Mirzikinian, Bruno Portaro, Rayan Nathan, Con Tsapkounis, James Broom, Tim Horan, Steve Topakas and Jonathan Karamalikis.

The day 1C, and overall chip leader, was Anton Blagov on 166,800. Fellow Australian Haibo Chu, who made the final table of the 2008 APPT Grand Final, finished day 1C with 151,300. Jarred Graham, who successfully defended his APPT Sydney High Roller title last night, was fifth in chips with 117,100.

Join us from 12.30pm local time tomorrow for the race to the money, with a maximum of six 75-minute levels set on day two of the 2009 APPT Grand Final.