APPT Sydney Day 1b: Levels 1 & 2 (blinds 100-200)

2:30pm: 10-minute break

2:25pm: Oh, the woe of Marcus and Rowe

2008 APPT Grand Final champion Martin Rowe and a young player that only identified himself as Sheldon, called a preflop raise by Sydney's Craig Blight before the dealer spread a flop of K♦[10s]3♠. Blight led out, Sheldon folded and Rowe called before calling Blight's bet of 1650 on the turn of the A♠, only to muck after Blight fired out a third shell worth 4500 on the river of the 5♥.

It's also been a rocky start for 2008 APPT Manila champion Van Marcus, who slipped to less than 17,000 in chips after going head-to-head against local player Rodney Louie all the way down the board of [10h]7♦3♥K♠9♥, but was no good against Louie's K♣9♦.

2:10pm: Right read, wrong result for Negreanu

Daniel Negreanu is off to a solid start today but he's just taken a hit against 2009 Aussie Millions champion Stewart Scott.

We arrived at the table on a flop of 6♣8♥A♠ with Negreanu checking over to Scott who bet 650. Negreanu made the call and the turn brought the 8♠. Again Negreanu check-called, this time for 1,750.

The crowd huddled closer on the rail to see the 9♦ hit the river and Negreanu check for a third time. Scott didn't hesitate in firing 5,025 into the middle to send Negreanu into the tank. After several minutes of though he committed to the call but mucked when Scott opened 7♥5♥ for the straight.

"Ah, I had the right idea!" claimed Negreanu. "I didn't think you had the ace...I called you with two queens!"

1:55pm: Celina keeping the boys in line

Mitch Carle opened with a raise to 600 from under the gun and found two callers including Celina Lin in the cutoff to see a flop of K♦J♦3♥. The ultra-aggressive Carle fired out 1,300. The early-position player folded but Lin made the call. Both players checked down the 5♠ turn and A♦ river. Carle tabled J♠T♥ but Lin had top pair with her K♣7♣ to move up to 35,000 chips.

1:45pm: APPT Grand Final Day 1b Intro

APPT Events Manager Luke Lichtenstein heads up the PokerStars.tv crew today, recapping the action yesterday's Day 1a flight and preview's today's action. The team also caught up with Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu. Check out the video below:


1.30pm: Level up, blinds 100-200

The empty seats have filled out and tables have broken to provide us with seven full tables. Some of the notable late arrivals include last Aussie standing at this year's WSOP Matthew Pearson, online sensation Jay "SEABEAST" Kinkade and 2007 APPT Grand Final champion Grant Levy.

1:25pm: Must be nice ...

2009 APPT Auckland champion and New Zealand's first ever WSOP bracelet winner Simon Watt has almost doubled his starting stack of 30,000 in only the third hand of the day on table 16.

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Simon Watt - the boy runs good

As Watt recalled to us, he raised before the flop from late position with a rather junky 9♣4♣, only to flop a flush against his opponent who called from the blinds. Brutal. Not so much for Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu, who managed to pick up pocket queens preflop, improve to a set on the flop and then turn quads before being paid off by his opponent on the river!

There were no eliminations from either one of those hands, so we still have 68 players as we tick over into the second level of the day.

1:15pm: Care free Carle

Upon arriving into the Star City Poker Room today, Mitch Carle wandered past our blogging desk and we discovered that he was feeling a little tired.

"I haven't slept!" exclaimed Carle. "I was playing the big game here all night!"

Apparently the 100-200 PLO game got up last night with a full table but unfortunately for Carle things didn't go his way. Despite the lack of sleep, Carle has jumped straight into the Main Event, and in his usual style, has splashed around in the early goings.

After showing an early bluff with a lowly 6-4, Carle got paid off when he recently rivered a flush. Carle called 700 on the flop, 1,100 on the turn and was facing a third barrel of 3,000 on the board of 4♥3♥7♦K♣T♥. Carle thought for a moment before raising to 8,300 and his opponent paid to see.
Carle opened J♥5♥ and his opponent wasn't happy.

"You're joking!" he exclaimed as his Q♥Q♦ hit the muck. Carle is now up to 42,000.

1pm: Star power!

The Star City Poker Room is filling a lot faster than yesterday, but considering that Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu is into today's Day 1b field, it seems that not even the local pros can resist the opportunity to play alongside one of poker's biggest international superstars!

We can't forget that fellow Team PokerStars Pro Celina Lin is in the field - the 2009 Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon Main Event champion (try saying that three times fast) is here, along with 2007 APPT Grand Final champion and Star City Ambassador Grant Levy, 2009 Aussie Millions Main Event champion Stewart Scott and 2009 Aussie Millions High Roller champion David Steicke.

2008 APPT Manila champion Van Marcus and 2010 ANZPT Melbourne Main Event winner Martin Kozlov are also here, along with a considerable amount of other local talents including Ben Savage, Liam RAWKZ O'Rourke, Liam Moffett and Mishel Anunu.

12:45pm: Table dynamics

We may only have a small field here this afternoon - the big screen is currently displaying only 68 entrants - but there are a couple of really intriguing table lineups on display.

Dave Allan, Van Marcus and Dan Neilson are currently enjoying four-handed play on table 18 until the latecomers arrive, while table 25 features Jesse McKenzie, Sean Dunwoodie, Casey Kastle, Sheldon and 2008 APPT Champion Martin Rowe.

Of course the railbirds are already flocking around the table of our International visitor in Daniel Negreanu. His tablemates are in for a fun day, but the only notable we've spotted at his table so far is Andrew Hinrichsen. The Aussie young gun is certainly fearless and extremely aggressive so we may see a big clash of these titans during the day.

We thought we were in for an early taste when the two clashed on a flop of T♥5♠3♥. Hinrichsen bet 375 and Negreanu called, but when the 5♥ hit the turn, Hinrichsen check-folded to Negreanu's 1,100-chip bet.

12:30pm: Cards are in the air!

Daniel Negreanu may have been living the high life over the last couple of days here in Sydney, but it's all business for the Canadian Team PokerStars Pro today, as he was up at the crack of dawn to appear on the Australian morning television show Sunrise before returning to the Star City Casino to take his seat today's Day 1 flight.


No kidding around from Kid Poker!

Negreanu quickly gave the order to shuffle up and deal and we're officially underway - as was the case with Day 1a, each player will start with 30,000 in chips and seven one-hour levels will be played before bagging and tagging at approximately 8pm AEDST.

PokerStars Blog live updates courtesy of Landon Blackhall and Heath "TassieDevil" Chick