APPT Auckland: Buckle up for the bubble burst!
Every year thousands of tourists venture to New Zealand for a thrill-seeking adventure of a lifetime. It is after all, the adventure-sports capital of the world.
From hitting the magical ski slopes, to a wild jet boat ride, to a bungy jump of a variety of structures and stunning locations, New Zealand offers something for anyone looking to get the blood pumping and the heart racing.
Within just one block of the SKYCITY Casino here in the heart of the city you can fling yourself fifty metres into the sky and bounce around for a few minutes in a steel cage attached by just a bungy cord, or you can take the terrifying 192-metre "SkyJump" from the SkyCity Tower as several players have enjoyed already this week.
Of course for a poker player looking to get the heart racing, then try getting your money into the middle of a pot on the bubble of a tournament! The tension, the adrenaline and, if you win, the relief is comparable to any adventure sport.
There's no greater thrill than the bubble bursting and the release of tension once you reach the money. However for four of our players today, they will experience a different sort of emotion. Four players have applied themselves for over two days here at the PokerStars.net APPT Auckland Main Event and this afternoon they will discover that it will all be for nought. It's the equivalent of your bungy cord snapping at the last possible moment - it hurts!
For the rest they'll bounce back up into the sky and the ride will continue as they seek to reach our final table of nine by the day's end.
The man out in front is PokerStars qualifier Tom "tollgate" Grigg who went from rags to riches yesterday to storm through the field in a ruthless display of power poker. With over one-eighth of the chips in play, and more than double his nearest rival, Grigg is a short-priced favourite to reach the final day.
However there are still a few sharks lurking in the waters. Australian tournament veterans Julius Colman and Leo Boxell have seen it all before, Tamas Lendvai is the 2010 Italian Poker Champion, Day 1 chip leader Noah Vogelman is still going strong, while Lance Climo will be looking for a repeat of his final table result in this event last year. Then of course, there's the unknown quantity of Danny "Brotha D" Leaoassavaii. Known as the "Godfather of New Zealand hip hop", Brotha D qualified for this event in a SKYCITY Casino Celebrity Challenge - for the second consecutive year. Clearly capable of handling himself on the felt, there are clearly no "bad beats" around this guy.
We're in for an exciting, and likely abbreviated, day of poker ahead. So clip on your safety harness and hold on tight as this could be one helluva ride!
Top Ten Chip Counts
Tom Grigg (PokerStars qualifier) - 546,300
Santi Soriano Ramos (PokerStars qualifier) - 265,300
Danny 'Brotha D' Leaoasavaii - 245,800
Srdjan Mitrovic (PokerStars qualifier) - 245,200
Lance Climo (PokerStars qualifier) - 217,100
Noah Vogelman (PokerStars qualifier) - 195,900
Ropati Toleafoa - 194,500
Tamas Lendvai (PokerStars qualifier) - 166,800
Ardmore Vakalahi - 159,600
Aaron Sue - 151,900