APPT Melbourne: Rubie rules Day 1a

It felt like a long wait. The APPT Melbourne event was on everyone's poker calendar and finally the wait was over. It had only been a month since Dave Allan collected the title at the APPT Queenstown, yet somehow the wait felt longer.

Perhaps it was the excitement over a larger $5,000 buy-in event. Perhaps it was the possible drama with the ANZ Player of the Year race reaching an exciting climax. Or perhaps it was the thrill of being back in the Crown Poker Room for some major championship poker. It's undoubtedly the hub of poker in Australia and the stage for many of the biggest moments in Australian poker history. Was a new chapter in that history about to be written?

After a slow start to the day a total of 98 entrants took to the felt for Day 1a of the APPT Melbourne Main Event. It's a solid turnout, and with twice as many players expected tomorrow, we should see some growth on last year's number of 260.

Among today's entrants were the likes of Dale Marsland, Benn Skender, Kristian Lunardi, Mitch Carle, Jarred Graham, Ricky Kroesen, Didier Guerin, Julius Colman, Haibo Chu, Liam O'Rourke, Will Jones, Tom Grigg, Brendon Rubie, Jackie Glazier, Jay Kinkade and ANZ Player of the Year leader Anthony Aston. Throw in Australian Poker Hall of Famers Jason Gray, Billy Argyros and Gary Benson, previous ANZPT champions in Michael Kanaan, Danny Chevalier, Martin Kozlov and Julian Cohen, APPT Queenstown winner Dave Allan, Aussie Millions champ Oliver Speidel, and PokerStars' own Raymond Wu and Roy Bhasin, and we had ourselves one helluva stacked field!


PokerStars Team Online member Roy Bhasin in action today

While the red spade struggled early in the day the chips were flying on the aptly nicknamed "Table of Death" on Table 48.

Early on it was Glazier, Rubie, Grigg, Kinkade and Lunardi all seated in a row, but Glazier made a rare early exit when she ran her pocket jacks into Grigg's pocket kings. It put Grigg out in front, but in the end it was Brendon Rubie who emerged as the man to catch.


After a hugely successful World Series of Poker campaign where a runner-up result in Event #28 netted him US$242,458, Rubie has brought that form back home with a big day out today. In his typically aggressive manner, Rubie overcame a tough table draw to end the day as our likely chip leader with 103,575. We couldn't spot anyone else above 100k, with Michael Kanaan (96,675), Will Jones (92,025), Andy Lee (85,325) and Gary Benson (84,300) also among the chip leaders. Roy Bhasin (51,325) and Raymond Wu (12,850) also gave Team PokerStars a perfect two from two for today as 65 players survived the day.

We'll be able to confirm the counts for the field once the official chip counts are released in the live reporting section of the blog later this evening.

After a little shut-eye, we'll be back in action bright and early from 12:10pm tomorrow for Day 1b of the APPT Melbourne Main Event. Bryan Huang, Angel Guillen, Celina Lin and Vivian Im will highlight a big field as we're set for another big day of poker. We hope you'll join us then!

@PokerStars in Day 1a