It was clear this morning that today was going to be a little different than yesterday. Not only were quite a few more tables decked out with ANZPT caps and chip stacks of 20,000, but our media desk had been moved to the opposite side of the room. We weren't sure at the time why it was moved, but now it has become clear it is all because of the big night ahead of NRL (National Rugby League) matches.
Over the last couple of hours dozens of people have been filing into the poker room here at The Star. Not because they are interested in poker, although they might be after tonight, but because the poker room here actually doubles as a massive sports bar facility. There's dozens of screens, even more TAB outlets and a restaurant for those peckish sports fans. I wish we could record a sound bite of the poker room right now as it was recently as loud as a sports stadium after the kick off of the NRL game.
It seems that all the new arrivals in the room tonight are here to watch the NRL Round 3 game between the West Tigers and Parramata. The patrons are getting comfortable, food is being delivered around the room as kick off is just around the corner. All of these people are seemingly oblivious to the poker tournament that's happening just under their noses, but some of them are starting to snoop around the rail and check out all the action.
A huge amount of the players seem just as happy as anyone that the screens will be showing the NRL tonight, with quite a few little conversations about the upcoming match being over heard. What seems to be over shadowed here in Sydney is that the NRL's rival code, the AFL, has the first match of the 2013 season beginning tonight. Considering there are at least two dozen flat screens surrounding the poker tables, we are sure the small amount of AFL fans in the room will get their fix along with the monster crowd of NRL aficionados.
We are just heading into the last level of the night and at the moment it is Sydneysider
Brendon Rubie who is holding the chip lead. Rubie has around 150,000 and that is the only stack that we can find that is over the six-figure mark. If Rubie manages to survive the night, he and the rest of the Day 1b survivors will have to dodge through the crowd of NRL fans as the big game is just about to kick off. Being that I'm from Melbourne, I wont offer any tips as to who is going to win the NRL game, but I will put good money on Rubie being right among the chip leaders heading into Day 2.
Be sure to check back with the PokerStarsBlog soon as we find out who survives the night, how many will be returning for Day 2 action and who will best pressed to start making their way toward winning the Season 5 ANZPT Sydney title.