Queenstown Snowfest: Allan has the right read on Day 1a

With the madness of the World Series of Poker out of the way, attention has turned back to poker in Australasia as Season 6 of the APPT was launched today with Day 1 of the Queenstown Snowfest Main Event.

Queenstown is quickly gathering a reputation as one of the most popular poker destinations in this region and today's healthy field of 51 supported that case. It was the largest single sitting in the history of the Queenstown event and sets us well on the way towards a record field, with 130 entries already confirmed.

While the Welcome Party claimed a few victims after a big night, those who were feeling fresh as part of today's field were the likes of Minh Nguyen, Kristina Griffiths, Dave Allan, Ryan Boswell, Ryan Hong, Mishel Anunu, Daniel Neilson, Tristain Bain, Didier Guerin, Kiwis Cole Swannack, Jackson Zheng and Richard Lancaster, ANZPT Sydney champ Michael Kanaan and WSOPE bracelet winner Andrew Hinrichsen.

The Kiwis were out for redemption after dominating this day last year, with Cole Swannack starting well while Richard Lancaster picked up some chips through the middle stages of the day.

Australians Dave Allan and Michael Kanaan were also prominent, with the 2011 ANZPT Sydney champion fortunate to stay alive after five-bet shoving king-jack into Lithuanian Laurynas Levinskas' ace-king. A king on the flop was followed by a jack on the turn to see Kanaan double up to motor into contention.

After six levels of play, the field was reduced to 27 players when the chips were bagged and tagged. At one stage David Wonson was well over the 100k mark, but lost a couple of late pots - one saw Richard Lancaster make trip threes to pip Wonson's top pair before a flush over flush saw Queenstown's Fergus Spary double through the chip leader. Wonson ended with 92,575 which was good for second best as he was narrowly pipped at the post by online poker phenom Dave Allan.


Allan made a remarkable river call against Richard Lancaster with just A♠5♦ on a board of T♥7♦3♥4♣5♠. Lancaster had raised the turn with the nut flush draw holding A♥Q♥ before barrelling the river unsuccessfully. Interestingly, Allan commented to us after play had wrapped up that his initial intention was to bluff big on the river if a heart fell, which obviously would've led to disaster.

In the end, Allan bagged up 98,200 chips for the lead ahead of Wonson (92,575) and Michael Kanaan (88,350). Andy Hinrichsen, Kristina Griffiths, Ben Barclay, Bobby Zhang and Cole Swannack also made it safely through to Day 2 play on Friday.

A new batch of locals, amateurs, professionals and PokerStars online qualifiers will be back in the SKYCITY Queenstown Casino tomorrow as Day 1b kicks off at 12:30pm (GMT+12). Once again the PokerStars Blog team will be on deck to bring you all the stories from behind the stacks of the Queenstown Snowfest.


Images from the Queenstown Snowfest event are provided with thanks to Kenneth Lim Photography

@PokerStars in Day 1a