Carle is King of the Castle in Melbourne
The chips have been bagged and tagged, the players have signed off for the night and with the clock having just ticked over 8pm local time, the PokerStars Blog team are already wrapping things up here in the Crown Casino Poker Room!
Only eight hours ago, 2003 WSOP Main Event champion and American Team PokerStars Pro Chris Moneymaker gave the order to shuffle up and deal for the inaugural PokerStars.net Asia Pacific Poker Tour Melbourne Main Event. Though the field 260 players was comparatively small to previous APPT events, it certainly wasn't lacking in star power.
Team PokerStars were once again out in force, with Moneymaker taking to the felt along with PokerStars Team Asia Pro Bryan Huang and Team Online Pro Keiran Harris. While they all survived, 2005 WSOP Main Event Champion and Australian Team PokerStars Pro Joe Hachem wasn't so lucky, bowing out midway through the day.
There were plenty of past APPT champions in today's field, including Grant Levy, Van Marcus, Martin Rowe, Aaron Benton and Jonathan Karamalikis, along with Aussie Millions champions Stewart Scott (2009) and David Gorr (2011).
Today's field also featured several previous ANZPT champions - Grant Levy, Octavian Voegele, Julian Cohen, Michael Kanaan as well as two-time ANZ Player of the Year and 2010 ANZPT Perth Main Event champion Tony Hachem, plus other big names like Graeme "Kiwi G" Putt, Billy "The Croc" Argyros, Sammy Youssef, Sammy Khouiss and Leo Boxell - just to name a few.
But when all was said and done, they were all topped by Australia's Mitch Carle, who finished the day with a whopping 187,900 in chips after his pocket aces picked off a big bluff late in the day.
He's still got some stiff competition behind him, in the form of fellow Kyle Cheong (126,825), online phenom David Allan (123,700), 2009 ANZPT Queensland runner-up Phil Wilcocks (110,100), New Zealand PokerStars Qualifier Koray Turker (109,800) 2010 ANZPT Melbourne runner-up James Obst (108,800) and Hong Kong-based Aussie David Steicke (107,050).
Other notables to have made it through the day include Jonathan Karamalikis, Sammy Youssef, Ali Khalil, Steven "The Big Show" Topakas, Michael Guzzardi, Daniel Neilson and Jackson Zheng.
Of course, there were also plenty of big names who fell by the wayside, including Jai Kemp, Ben De'laney, Julian Cohen, Bruno Portaro, Jackie Glazier, Brendon "brendooor" Rubie, Joel "Strong Play" Dodds, Jay "SEABEAST" Kinkade, Andrew Scarf and Aaron Benton.
In all, 146 players will be returning tomorrow at 12:10pm AEST (GMT +10) to continue their charge at the first Season 5 APPT title and the lion's share of the $1.22 million prize pool. Be sure to join us here at the PokerStars Blog when we resume our live coverage. Until then, goodnight from Melbourne!