APPT8 Auckland Day 1A: Adding some international flavour

We're heading towards the final break of the day here on Day 1a of the APPT Auckland Main Event, and with four tables left, our field definitely has a very local feel to it. There's a sprinkling of a few Australians but mostly it's the local qualifiers dominating today's lineup.

But this is an APPT. It's an international event! So we've brought our own international flavour to the party today with, quite possibly, the only American in the room in Sarah Grant Herring.

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The recently-married PokerStars.tv presenter has travelled all the way from the other side of this small world to be here with us at the APPT Auckland this week. She'll be chatting to the players and checking out the sites of Auckland to bring you an insight into what makes an APPT event tick.

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However it wasn't an easy journey for the blue-rinse, blonde bombshell to be here at all.

Sarah's original flight from the United States to Sydney was forced to detour via Hawaii after one of the passenger's became ill. A seasoned traveller, Sarah already had a bad feeling about her trip:

After missing her connection in Sydney, Sarah eventually made it to Auckland, and surprise, surprise, her bags were missing. Things went from bad to worse, as that was enough for New Zealand customs agents to detain Sarah for a couple hours of questioning about her travel activities. American solo traveller with no contacts in New Zealand, no bags, blue hair and illegally-stowed fruit - that seemed like a valid story for a poker presenter as Sarah was eventually allowed into the country after over 40 hours in transit.

"Lucky I love New Zealand!" said Sarah who is always happy to look on the bright side of life, and after a drop or two of the local vino, her travel dramas were put behind her. Ever the professional, Sarah even shot her welcome video (below) dressed in her casual travel clothes, accompanied with moccasins.


Sarah wasn't the only international to have some travel dramas. Our photographer Long Guan flew in from Hong Kong yesterday, and also had to endure a couple hours of interrogation from the dedicated customs staff.

Thankfully Long and Sarah made it to Auckland to bring you the visual splendour of the APPT Auckland Main Event and add a little international flavour to the day.

Heath "TassieDevil" Chick is a Freelance Contributor for the PokerStars Blog.