APPT Sydney Day 1b: The illusion of disinterest has Neilson in front

It was a small field but it produced a big day of poker as Day 1b of the 2010 APPT Grand Final took centre stage in the Star City Poker Room in Sydney this afternoon. 68 players hit the felt, highlighted by four-time WSOP bracelet winner and PokerStars Team Pro Daniel Negreanu. He was joined by fellow PokerStars Team Pro Celina Lin, 2009 Aussie Millions champ Stewart Scott and previous APPT champions Grant Levy, Martin Rowe, Eddy Sabat and Van Marcus.

It took several hours for the first bustouts of the day but some of those who failed to survive included Van Marcus, David Steicke, Sheldon Mayer, Cole Swannack, Liam Moffett, Matthew Pearson, Martin Kozlov and Celina Lin who lost a race with ace-king against PokerStars qualifier Roel Pijpers' pocket queens.

Celina Lin couldn't survive the day

Despite the small field we saw some of the biggest stacks so far of this APPT Sydney Grand Final. Aaron Tran was causing major headaches for his opponents as he wielded his big stack with efficiency to force big folds from the likes of Martin Rowe and David Borg on his way to a plus-100k stack.


Aaron Tran was a dangerous foe with a big stack in hand

Tran was the first past the century and looked a likely end-of-day chip leader but it was Australian Daniel Neilson who surged late to grab the advantage. For those unfamiliar with Neilson, his personality brings similarities to his style of play. He gives an appearance of quiet disinterest, but will then unleash a sharp strike of extreme efficiency that makes you sit up and take notice.

However Neilson's results speak for themselves as he has had quite an amazing year. The current leader in the PokerNetwork Player of the Year award, Neilson has netted a remarkable 12 final table in major events in Australasia this year including a win in the Western Poker Classic and the ANZPT Sydney High Rollers event for the second consecutive year.


Day 1b chip leader Daniel Neilson

Neilson ended up bagging a massive 164,100 which will be hard to top tomorrow, despite the expected increase in numbers. Aaron Tran was comfortably in second place with 147,200 with Sean Dunwoodie a distant third with 95,400.

Grant Levy (92,900), Jay Kinkade (82,500), Eddy Sabat (79,200), Liam O'Rourke (65,700), Andy Hinrichsen (64,000) and WSOP bracelet winner Simon Watt (59,200) all enjoyed solid days on the felt and will come back on Friday with above average stacks.

Also safely through is Daniel Negreanu who was able to accumulate chips without too much difficulty to end the day with 57,400.

Brendon Rubie (46,700), Casey Kastle (45,400), Martin Rowe (24,100) and 2009 Aussie Millions champ Stewart Scott (18,500) were all part of the 39 survivors from today's flight but they will have some work ahead of them on Day 2.

Day 1c is the third and final opportunity for players to enter the 2010 APPT Sydney Grand Final, and we'll need well over 150 entrants to reach a total number of 300 entrants. It should produce the largest of the starting days and will include the likes of Joe & Tony Hachem, Jeff Lisandro, James Obst, Tyron Krost and 2003 World Champion Chris Moneymaker.

The action will recommence at 12:30pm (GMT+11) tomorrow and we look forward to your company then. Until then, goodnight from Sydney!