ANZPT6 Sydney Day 1A: All that Jazz

March 20, 2014

The Australia New Zealand Poker Tour (ANZPT) returned to the harbour city today with Day 1A of the ANZPT Sydney Main Event kicking off at The Star. The recently refurbished casino has come up a treat with the new poker room area providing a spacious and luxurious space for players to enjoy their time on the felt.

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A total of 211 players took to the felt for Day 1A. Their first steps would be to navigate eight one-hour levels to safely reach Day 2 of play.

Among today’s starters were the likes of James Bills, Stevan Chew, Phil Willcocks, Patrick Crivell, Jim Collopy, Scott Davies, Ivan Zalac, Mile Krstanoski, Jordan Westmorland, former ANZPT champions Scott Kerr, Michael Kanaan, Martin Kozlov and Dave Allan, APPT winners Aaron Benton, Billy Argyros and Grant Levy, WSOPE bracelet winner Andy Hinrichsen, Australian Poker Hall of Famers Jason Gray and Mel Judah and Team PokerStars Online member Roy Bhasin.

Also among the entrants was debutant Meg Brandenburg, an online qualifier and girlfriend of Full Tilt Ambassador Tom Grigg. Brandenburg was able to win the last longer bet after Grigg had his aces cracked, but ultimately Brandenburg suffered the same fate.

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“At least I got a hat though,” posted Brandenburg on Twitter as she looked at the positive side of her time at the tables today.

Joining the poker couple on the rail were the likes of Grant Levy, Henry Wang, Andy Hinrichsen, Aaron Benton, Ivan Zalac, Jackson Zheng, Sam Rotar, David Lim, Toothpick Tony, Jason Gray, Jim Collopy, Patrick Crivell, Brad Bower and Ken Demlakian.

Poker is a zero sum game, so where there are losers, there must be a few winners. Anthony Aston, Alex Lee, Michael Kanaan and Danny Zhong were all enjoying strong days on the table, but none were able to match the day of Jazz Mathers.

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With the music blaring from the nearby Rock Lily lounge, perhaps it was appropriate for a man with the name “Jazz” to end the day as chip leader, but Mathers didn’t have it all his own way. By all accounts, Mathers was down to just a few thousand in chips earlier in the day, but really got his day going in the right direction with a huge call with ace-high against Australian Poker Hall of Famer Billy “The Croc” Argyros. From there, Mathers was able to power ahead. Late in the day we caught Mathers eliminate an opponent with his king-queen spiking a couple of kings to crack his opponent’s pocket queens, to leave Mathers with a commanding 195,200 in chips.

Mathers finished in 9th place at last year’s APPT Melbourne event, and will be keen to better that here in Sydney.

Danny Zhong (164,500), Alex Lee (148,000), Anthony Aston (113,000) and Jordan Westmorland (111,600) were other notables above the century mark as just 73 players survived the day. Team PokerStars Pro Roy Bhasin also survived with a good stack of 51,100 chips. We’ll have confirmation of the complete chip counts in the live reporting section of the site shortly.

The second and final flight will kick off at The Star at 12:30pm local time. Another huge field is expected to turn out for Day 1b with the $2,200 ANZPT Sydney Main Event set to roll towards the magical one million dollar prize pool barrier. We’ll see you then!

Heath “TassieDevil” Chick is a Freelance Contributor for the PokerStars Blog.

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