Chips fly in huge Queenstown Sale

When we started Day 1c of the APPT Queenstown Snowfest Main Event today we thought it was going to be very tough to top the action of the previous two days. We'd seen the Kiwi domination on Day 1a and the Aussie invasion on Day 1b - what could the third and final flight have in store for us?

44 entrants was the official number today but with multiple "no shows" there was additional money left in the prize pool to provide a tidy overlay for the players. The official numbers came in at 127 entrants producing a prizepool of NZ$342,900 - a record for tournament poker in Queenstown.

Amongst those who took to the felt today were Joel Dodds, Dennis Huntly, Andrew Scott, Brad Bower, Octavian Voegele, defending ANZPT Queenstown champion Julian Cohen and ANZ Player of the Year leader Leo Boxell.

However undoubtedly the day belonged to a young lady from New Zealand by the name of Alicia Sale. Even before the cards were in the air, Sale was in the spotlight as she was awarded a snowboard for her victory in a side event earlier in the week.


Despite being a dominant force throughout the day, not everything went smoothly for Sale as she was crippled to just 4,100 in chips at one point during the day, but an incredible series of double ups saw her recover in staggering fashion.

A highlight was her preflop call holding a somewhat marginal K♦2♦ against the four-bet of Octavian Voegele. Sale caught gin on the 6♣2♠2♣ flop as Voegele was committed with his J♦J♣. The board bricked out and Sale was back in business.


Several more hands went her way until the defining hand of the day saw Sale clash with APPT regular Joel Dodds. The action was heavy with Dodds raising preflop, bet, three-betting the flop, and virtually moving all in of the turn on a board of 3♠A♣5♣K♦. Sale was pained with the massive decision but she committed to the call as Dodds' final sprinkling of chips were in on the 4♠ river. Sale called and showed down A♠3♥ for two pair as Dodds revealed Q♥T♥ for a failed bluff attempt.


That shot Sale to the top of the tree and she didn't relinquish her grasp, finishing the day with a massive 91,750 which was good for the tournament chip lead.

Octavian Voegele recovered to finish in good shape with 59,975 while Ben Paurini flew under the radar to accumulate 77,225 by the day's end.

Top ten chip counts
Alicia Sale (New Zealand) - 91,750
Ben Paurini (New Zealand) - 77,225
Octavian Voegele (Austria) (PokerStars Player) - 59,975
Charles Caris (Australia) - 57,100
Jeremy McDonald (New Zealand) - 51,900
Jamie Lunt (New Zealand) - 44,550
Daryl Hussey (New Zealand) - 37,200
Roland Keiso (Estonia) (PokerStars Qualifier) - 32,175
Carl Knox (New Zealand) - 32,000
Xia Dong Xia (New Zealand) - 29,375

Click here for the End of Day 1c chip counts

23 players survived the day but of course along the way there were a few casualties including Joel Dodds, Dennis Huntly, Andrew Scott, defending champion Julian Cohen and the leader in the ANZ Player of the Year race in Leo Boxell.

Tomorrow the remaining 71 players will come together for the first time as the APPT Queenstown Snowfest Main Event continues from the SKYCITY Queenstown Casino. Day 2 kicks off at 12:30pm (GMT+12) with Landon Blackhall and myself bringing you all the live updates from the tournament floor. Until then, good night from Queenstown!

Photography © Joe Giron | Joe Giron Photography |

@PokerStars in Queenstown