APPT Sydney Day 1a: I Wanna Be a Billionaire, So Frickin' Bad...

By Landon Blackhall

A beautiful sunny morning has greeted us here at the Star City Casino in Sydney, and while it may not help those who are nursing sore heads from last night's festivites at the Player Party in the Astral Bar, there's no doubt that the adrenalin rush of playing in this year's APPT Grand Final will help get rid of the hangover (perhaps accompanied by a couple of aspirin and a strong coffee).

It's time to get down to business folks. In just over an hour's time, the cards will be in the air for Day 1a of the 2010 APPT Grand Final. One player who will be taking his seat today has already been there, done that - defending APPT Grand Final champion Aaron azzabentonaces Benton, who pocketed AUD $594,000 after his victory in this event last year.

Benton has since gone on to cement his status as one of this region's finest poker players, with final table appearances at the ANZPT Adelaide, Perth, Queenstown and Gold Coast Main Events, resulting in an impressive fourth place finish in the ANZPT Player of the Year race.

The one question that has to be asked is can Benton, the pride of Wollongong, go back-to-back? We can't answer that now, but we do know that come Sunday, only one player will remain, posing for their winner's photo and inheriting riches beyond their wildest dreams.


And speaking of dreaming rich, we can't forget that, from today, Australia will be graced with the presence of one of the world's wealthiest - billionaire extraordinare Oprah Winfrey.

For those who don't keep up with entertainment news, a few months ago, Winfrey surprised her studio audience by giving them an all-expenses paid trip to Australia. While she was busy at the White House yesterday receiving honours from US President Barack Obama, the 300 lucky fans and her 150-strong crew were already on a plane flying over and have landed this morning.

As part of their "Ultimate Oprah Australian Experience", they'll be travelling out to the Hunter Valley wine region, touring the Blue Mountains and taking surfing lessons in Byron Bay before shooting two special episodes of the Oprah Winfrey show at the Sydney Opera House. It's estimated that Sydney will receive AUD $45 million from this trip alone, plus with the power and influence of "The Big O", Australia's tourism industry will be reaping the benefits for years to come.


Oprah Winfrey and her crew are heading down under
(Image courtesy of ABC News Australia)

Perhaps there are a few poker players amongst Winfrey's followers? In any case, everyone's welcome to get amongst the action of the 2010 APPT Grand Final Main Event and we invite you to sit back, relax and keep hitting F5 for all the latest updates live from the Star City Poker Room, right here on PokerStars Blog!