APPT Sydney: Grigg's big day out

From the moment that 2008 APPT Grand Final winner Martin Rowe was eliminated in the opening hand of the day, the steady stream of departures showed little signs of slowing as the field of 226 was slashed to just 66 in an enthralling day of poker in the PokerStars.net APPT Grand Final at Star City Casino in Sydney, Australia.

Locals have won this title in the past two years, and another Sydneysider has signalled his intention that the trend continues. Tom Grigg dominated play on day two, and topped the chip count at numerous points of the day. He finished on 598,600 and, judging from his win in last week's Semi-Shootout/Bounty event on the APPT Sydney preliminary schedule, the 24-year-old has the game to go all the way.

apptsday2tran.jpg

Count 'em up: Jimmy Tran's impressive stack at the end of day 2

The top five is filled out by Australia's Jimmy Tran (541,300), Dutch PokerStars Qualifier Ernst Hermans (398,800), New Zealander Joe Allis (398,000) and Kitson Kho of China (394,300).

But ominously poised are several big names, including PokerStars.net Team Australia Pro Eric Assadourian on 338,600. After a lean year on the tournament circuit, the 2007 APPT Macau High Roller champ is hoping to end 2009 on a high here in his hometown.

Also returning for day three is Grant Levy, the PokerStars.net Team Australia Pro who won this event two years ago, becoming the first Aussie to win a million-dollar prize on home soil. He'll be assured huge support as he launches an assault on this unprecedented double holding 123,900.

apptsday2levy.jpg

2007 APPT Grand Final winner Grant Levy remains in the hunt to make it two out of three

Other notables back tomorrow are youngsters Aleks Brkovic (254,500) and Jarred Graham (204,500), PokerStars Qualifier Leo Boxell (163,700) and Julius Colman (120,200) while two female players - Jackie Glazier (96,000) and Effie Bouyioukos (91,500) - are also still in contention.

As if the race for the money (the top 48 players will be paid) won't be enough excitement, the final two days of play will be held in the new Sports Theatre at Star City, taking poker to the masses on what is sure to be a busy weekend at Sydney's premier entertainment destination.

apptsday2grigg03.jpg

Day 2 chip leader Tom Grigg leads narrowly with the money just 18 spots away

We'll be front and centre for the run to the final table from 12.30pm. In the meantime, we're off to sample some of the 36 vodkas on offer at Star City's 36 Degrees Bar ... maybe all 36 of them.