Early this year, the first induction of the Australian Poker Hall of Fame was announced. The eight inductees were PokerStars.net Team Australian Pro Joe Hachem, PokerStars Sponsored Player Lee "Final Table" Nelson, dual WSOP bracelet winner Mel Judah, Gary Benson, Billy "The Croc" Argyros, Tony G, local poker identity Maurie Pears and Jeff "The Iceman" Lisandro.
Hachem was elevated to Legend status at the first induction ceremony, and the smart money is that Lisandro will be bestowed a similar honour in January 2010 at the Aussie Millions. While Hachem is undoubtedly Australia's highest profile poker player, Lisandro has closed the gap when players argue who is the greatest poker player from the land Down Under.
He became the first Australian to win four WSOP bracelets when he captured the $2500 Seven-card Razz, $10,000 Seven-Card Stud Hi-Lo Split World Championship and $1500 Seven-Card Stud bracelets at the 2009 WSOP.
Born in Perth, Western Australia, Lisnadro cashed five times at the 2009 WSOP, while his overall WSOP record reads four wins, 12 final table appearances, and 31 in-the-money finishes. He also holds a WSOP Circuit championship ring earned at Lake Tahoe in 2005, and placed 17th in the 2006 WSOP Main Event.
But the "x-factor" in Lisandro's record as a poker player lies in his standing among the most respected high stakes live cash-game players in the world - an element missing from the repertoire of many of his contemporaries.
The 2009 WSOP Player of the Year just utilised some of those skills when he shoved all-in over the top of Lin Wenjiang's bet of 15,000 on a board showing 7-7-7-2. Lin spent a head-scratching couple of minutes before conceding the pot to Lisandro, who took his stack to 38,000.
In-form young Aussie Sal Fazzino is the early chip leader on 80,000. He ran deep in the ANZPT Melbourne and APPT Auckland tournaments and has collected some nice online scores in recent times. Late in level three, Fazzino holds slightly more than 80,000.
Meanwhile, our PokerStars.tv crew chatted with a potential Australian Poker Hall of Famer, PokerStars.net Team Australia Pro Eric Assadourian:
Watch APPT Sydney 09: Eric Assadourian - Day 1A on PokerStars.tv