APPT Sydney: Rowe sails in for title defence

Play is underway in the brand new Star City poker room on day 1B of the APPT Grand Final, with more of the region's biggest names in action today.

Leading the field is 2008 APPT Grand Final winner and Sydney's own Martin Rowe. The million-dollar man has kept a relatively low profile on the national tournament scene over the past 12 months, so it's great to see him back to defend his crown.


Defending champion Martin Rowe has his eyes on another million-dollar payday

Winner of the first series of Joe Hachem's reality TV series The Poker Star, Amanda De Cesare is also playing today. De Cesare is coming off a stunning victory in last week's Joe Hachem Deep Stack Series III Main Event in Melbourne, underlining the improvement in her game under the tutelage of the Team Australia Pro and 2005 WSOP Main Event winner.


APPT president Jeffrey Haas, Star City poker manager Debra Rillo and The Poker Star winner Amanda De Cesare

Others in action today include Team Asia Pro Celina Lin, 2009 ANZPT Sydney winner Paren Arzoomanian, 2009 APPT Auckland champion Simon Watt, 2009 APPT Cebu final table participant Phillip Willcocks, 2005 WSOP $5k Pot Limit Hold'em winner Brian Wilson, "The Flying Scotsman" Gordon Huntly and high stakes guru David Steicke.

Top Aussies Tino Lechich, Leo Boxell, Julius Colman (fresh from two wins at the Joe Hachem Deep Stack Series III), Jai Kemp (fifth in this event two years ago), Sheldon Mayer, Terry Gardiner, Australia's number one ranked online player Jay SEABEAST Kinkade, Kristian Lunardi, Dennis Huntly, Aaron Benton, Michael Guzzardi, Brendan Rubie, Tom Rafferty and Emanuel Seal.

There's also a strong contingent of female players including Japan's Wooka Kim, Jackie Glazier, PokerStars Qualifier Letitia Rowlands and Hong Kong's Sarah Lee.

It didn't take long for the first elimination - it was France versus Spain with the pocket queens of Frenchman Jean-Claude Baillon cracked by the flopped set of jacks landed by Asier Aberro.

Earlier, our crew took a look at Sydney, venue for this final event on season three of the APPT:

Watch APPT Sydney 09: Day 1A Introduction on