APPT Sydney Day 1c: Levels 3 & 4 (blinds 150-300, ante 25)

4:40pm: Ten-minute break

4.35pm: Reberia reigns supreme

As we approach the second break of the day, we walked past Australian PokerStars Qualifier Mark Reberia, who had his chips stacked in tens. There were quite a few of those ten-high stacks and as it turns out, the Sydneysider is the first to reach 100,000 in chips.

Fellow Aussie PokerStars Qualifier John Azzi is also storming up the chip counts, sitting on 61,000 in chips. Azzi has been a prominent player amongst the Sydney pub poker scene and qualified for this event online. It's been a great year for the 30-year-old plumber, who will be taking his seat in next year's WSOP Main Event after winning a seat in the Australian Poker League (APL), as well as celebrating the birth of his first child with his wife, Jacky.

4:20pm: Graham ponies up

One of the last registrations of the day is none other than Australian sensation Jarred Graham.

Graham has won multiple titles down under, on top of one of being one of the country's most successful cash game players. Graham has sat down to the direct right of John Caridad on a table which also features George Moussa and the smack-talking Steve Lindeblad.

We're moments away from official registration being closed but it looks like 146 will be the number from today, putting the overall total for the 2010 APPT Sydney Main Event at 289. We'll have the official confirmation of number and prize pool for you shortly.

4:10pm: A little Gray

Jason Gray has some mixed emotions about the APPT Sydney Main Event. Back in 2008, Gray almost went all the way only to fall at the last hurdle, finishing runner-up to Martin Rowe. Gray netted AU$476,000 that day, which is the biggest cash of his career, but was painfully close to the $1 million first place prize and, of course, the title.

Since that day, Gray has put part of the pain to rest after grabbing an elusive trophy in the inaugural ANZPT Canberra event.

He's taken a hit in today's event after opening with a raise to 825 with both blinds making the call to see a flop of A♥6♣9♥. Action checked to Gray who fired 1,900 which was called by the big blind. The turn was the K♠ and again it checked to Gray who released a second barrel worth 4,300. His opponent again quickly called and the river bricked the 2♦.

The big blind checked for a third time and Gray thought for a moment before checking behind. The big blind opened K♥Q♥ for missed flush draw with a pair of kings as Gray was somewhat relieved to big with his T♥8♥.

"I guess I should've bet again," sighed Gray as he slips to 20,000.

jason_gray_appt_sydney.jpg

Jason Gray in action at the APPT Sydney Grand Final

3.55pm: Brotha D's steppin' up

2010 APPT Auckland champion Danny "Brotha D" Leaoasavaii has managed to score a big pot back from Team PokerStars Pro Joe Hachem as their battle continues on table 12.

On a flop of Q♠3♠[10s], Norway's Tore Lukashaugen, Hachem and Brotha D checked before Lukashaugen led out for 1700 on the turn of the 5♦. Hachem called, but Brotha D made it 5300 to go. Lukashaugen folded before Hachem asked for a count.

The TeamPokerStars Pro flat-called before check-calling Brotha D's bet of 7000 on the river of the 8♣; Brotha D rolled up J♠8♠ for the flush and Hachem tapped the table before sending his hand into the muck.

As a result, Joe is down to 22,000. It's been a tough road for all the Team PokerStars Pros, with Lee Nelson on 25,500, while brother Tony is down to 19,000. Chris Moneymaker is also struggling, sitting on less than 14,000 in chips.

3:40pm: Level up, blinds 150-300, ante 25

3:35pm: Brens makes his debut

Roel Pijpers has been a regular on the PokerStars.net APPT for the last couple of years, but fellow Dutch PokerStars Qualifier Bas Brens is playing for the first time here in Sydney today. Having said that, he's putting in a solid effort and is up to around 40,000 in chips.

The action folded to Brens who raised to 625 from middle position; Aleks Brkovic and Michael "Tigger" Tran made the call before the player in the big blind reraised to 2,700. After two minutes' deliberation, Brens four-bet it to 6,500 and Brkovic and Tran folded before the big blind called to go heads-up to a flop of J♠Q♥4♠.

Both players checked the flop and the turn of the 4♥ before the big blind player check-called Brens' bet of 6,625 (one chip of every colour), only to slap the table in fury after Brens rolled up pocket aces.

3:30pm: Obst run over by the hippo

James "Andy_McLEOD" Obst has been unable to continue his form from last night's High Rollers Event after he was recently eliminated by Ali "Peppermint Hippo" Khalil.

The action went down on a flop of Q♠J♣2♣ when the two players got into a raising war that saw Obst's last chips in the middle. He held Q♣8♣ for top pair and a flush draw but Khalil was in front with Q♥J♠ for top two pair.

The turn was the 8♠ to improve Obst to two pair but the river was the T♠ to send him to the rail and jump Khalil to around 80,000 chips.

Khalil has a habit of accumulating a very big stack very early on day one of big tournaments. Unfortunately he also has a habit of losing them just as fast. Let's hope he can hang onto them today!

3.15pm: Whose house? Roman's house!

Adelaide young gun Roman "ROMES_HOME" Priplotski is certainly no Mickey Mouse player (despite the shirt he's wearing) - he recently shipped US$29,406 after winning Event #29 in the 2010 PokerStars WCOOP, defeating a field of 990 players.

He's also just taken out the cantankerous Sammy Khouiss on table 25. As Priplotski recalled to us, the money was all in on the turn. "Nuts versus second-nut flush," Priplotski said. That'd just about do it, we reckon!

3:05pm: Brkovic wins button battle

One of the more interesting clashes in poker is the old button versus blinds battle. No one likes a thief, so the button "steal" never gets any credit, especially against those who defend their blinds like they are golden.

This is compounded when you get two young, aggressive players tangling, just as we saw when Aleks Brkovic and Michael Tran collided.

We arrived at the table on a flop of 6♦Q♠3♣, and there had already been enough aggression that 5,000 was in the pot and a bet (or raise) of 2,700 in front of Brkovic on the button. Tran made the call, and then led from the small blind on the A♥ turn. The bet was 3,700 but Brkovic responded with yet another raise to 8,500.

Tran, decked out in a rather impressive "Tigger" hat, thought long and hard, perhaps contemplating another move, but instead he let it go to slip back to 28,000. Brkovic is up to 36,000.

michael_tran_appt_sydney.jpg

Michael Tran will bounce and bounce and bounce and bounce and bounce and bounce and bounce and bounce!

2:50pm: Kashyap KO'ed, Egan eliminated

The rate of attrition is certainly a lot faster than the previous two Day 1 flights and amongst the players to have recently hit the rail include Michael Egan and Nauv Kashyap.

Egan moved all his money into the middle on a board that read J-K-4-6 with pocket aces, only to see his opponent show K-J for flopped two pair which held after the dealer produced a repeat six on the river.

Earlier, Kashyap found himself all-in on an almost identical board of K♥6♠4♦A♥, but despite tabling A♦K♠ for two pair, he ran into his opponent's pocket fours for bottom set, which held up after the 5♠ was snapped up on the river, sending the 2010 ANZPT Gold Coast champion packing.

2.45pm: Bling blang blow, Sookoo's gone now

Jay Sookoo, who had earlier been crippled by Enh Pheng's quad jacks, has just had the last of his chips taken from him in another cooler against Australia's Hugh Cohen.

Sookoo moved the last of his short stack into the middle before the flop with Q♠Q♦, but Cohen woke up with A♥A♣. The dealer ran out a board of 8♥K♥5♦3♦9♣ and Sookoo was sent to the rail.

Hugh Cohen, who is one half of the other brotherly duo in the field (his brother Julian won this year's ANZPT Queenstown event), is now travelling along nicely with a stack worth more than 57,000 in chips.

2:40pm: Play resumes

The players are back following the break with Barry Forrester possibly taking the afternoon off to take a harbour cruise as his near-90,000 chip stack is good for a massive chip lead, and likely enough for a top ten spot on the leaderboard at the day's end.

Chris Moneymaker will also be happy to have doubled up after his early indiscretion with the wrong chip denominations while fellow PokerStars Team Pros Joe Hachem, Tony Hachem and Lee Nelson are all hovering around their starting stacks.

During the break the PokerStars video team caught up with Chris Moneymaker to chat about the first two levels of play...

APPT Sydney live updates brought to you courtesy of Heath "TassieDevil" Chick and Landon Blackhall.