2:30pm: Ten-minute break
2.15pm: Barry binks a beauty!
The cry of “All in, call” went up from the dealer on table nine and we rushed over to see three players on their feet over a flop of 8♦Q♣10♣. Two players rolled up A♣5♣ and K♣6♣ for the nut and second-nut flush draws, but Barry Forrester revealed 8♠8♥ for a flopped set!
Needing any club, the dealer burned and turned the 5♥, then produced the 6♥ on the river. No clubs there. The two players stormed out of the room angrily while Forrester happily stacked up 86,000 in chips. This game can be so easy sometimes…
2:15pm: Money money money
We watched on with baited breath as one of the headline acts of today’s field, Chris Moneymaker, just shipped his stack all in. But there wasn’t much to worry about as Moneymaker had the goods and left his opponent drawing dead.
Moneymaker and his opponent saw a flop of 6♣5♣2♠ where Moneymaker check-raised his opponent’s bet of 2,500 to make it 6,000 to play. His opponent called and the 9♥ hit the turn. Moneymaker casually splashed 6,500 into the middle and his opponent deliberated before reluctantly raising enough for Moneymaker to commit his last 4,500. Moneymaker didn’t hesitate as he called and opened 8♣7♣ for the nuts as his opponent wanted to toss his K♦K♠ straight into the muck as he was drawing dead.
The meaningless 2♣ hit the river and Moneymaker doubled up to around 40,000 as one of his tablemates claimed to have folded 4♣3♣ which would’ve made a straight-flush!
2.00pm: Brotha D takes on Hachem
2010 APPT Auckland and ANZPT Darwin champion Danny Leaoasavaii, AKA New Zealand hip-hop icon “Brotha D” has waged a mini-war against Team PokerStars Pro Joe Hachem but has come up short twice.
Just before the blinds ticked over, Hachem and Brotha D took a flop of 9♣3♠2♥. Hachem checked, Brotha D led out for 1900 and Hachem check-called before both players checked the turn and river of 6♣, 10♥. Brotha D showed A♠K♥ but was no good against Hachem’s pocket eights.
A few hands later, the action folded around to Hachem who raised to 550 from late position and Brotha D called from the small blind before both players check the flop which read K♦4♦8♠. On the turn of the 2♠, Hachem fired out 800.
Brotha D called, then check-called Hachem’s bet of 1900 on the river of the 8♥, only to muck after Hachem tabled 10♥9♥. Hachem is up to more than 32,000 in chips.
1:50pm: The G is in the house
We’ve spotted one familiar face just enter the Star City Poker Room, and that is none other than Australian Poker Hall of Fame member Tony G.
Looking fit and ready to fire, Tony G is currently wandering around the room catching up with some old buddies, and we expect him to take his seat in today’s field sometime soon.
1:40pm: Enh Pheng on song
Table 25 is located right next to the PokerStars Official Media Table and for some strange reason, all the huge hands play out there, which is great for us!
In one such hand, we found Enh Pheng all-in on the river on a board that read A♠7♠J♣A♥J♥ against Jay Sookoo. Sookoo called and revealed A♦K♣ for a full house, but Pheng showed J♠J♦ for quads – ding!
1:30pm: Level up, blinds 100-200
1:25pm: Apostolidis and Khouiss clash heads
The floor staff and security were surrounding table 21 as Sammy Khouiss and John Apostolidis were bellowing at each other over the table.
We’re unsure as to what led to this argument, but there was clearly bad blood between the pair and despite Khouiss acquiring the services of the Best Hands massage team, he was still yelling at Apostolidis. “Are you still on tilt?” Apostolidis asked, “If you are, good – stay on tilt.”
“I’ll give you tilt in a minute!” Khouiss barked as he began to stand up out of his chair. The floor staff were quick to sit him back down.
“Turn up the tempo!” Jeffrey Lisandro joked to the massuese. For the record, Apostolidis is now on 50,000 while Khouiss is down to 20,000 and is still steaming.
1:20pm: Roland rolls into town
The Day 1c field for this year’s APPT Grand Final is already well loaded, so sometimes you’ll have others slip in unnoticed – England’s Roland De Wolfe happened to be one of them!
The former poker journalist and now Triple Crown-winning poker player has been in the country for quite a while, but told us that he only found out that the APPT Grand Final was on a few days ago. De Wolfe is here for a different reason – he’s travelling all over the country and following the English Test cricket team as they battle against the Aussies for “The Ashes”.
De Wolfe explained that he has already been to Brisbane and Adelaide and will be flying over to Perth this weekend for the third Test. Should England win over at the WACA (Western Australian Cricket Arena), they will retain The Ashes. We’ll have more on the history of this century-old rivalry tomorrow.
1:15pm: Jetlag burns 5k
It’s great to see Chris Moneymaker here in Sydney once again and the 2003 World Champion has been a big supporter of this event over the years. However it’s a long way from Tennessee to Sydney and the 30-hour flight might has already taken its toll.
“It doesn’t help when you burn off 5,000 on your first hand!” exclaimed Moneymaker as we wandered past his table.
Apparently Moneymaker went to call a raise to 600, but instead of grabbing a purple 500 chip to go with his black 100 chip, he accidentally tossed out a yellow 5,000 chip! We’ll blame the jetlag.
1:10pm: Hungry hungry hippo!
Sydney poker playboy Ali ‘Peppermint Hippo’ Khalil was our first all-in for the day but has just managed to move up to 45,000.
With a sizeable pot already built up beneath a board that read 10♣5♦3♥5♥2♦, Khalil shoved for his last 12,750 and sent his opponent deep into the tank. Eventually, the player folded, flashing pocket kings.
2010 ANZPT Gold Coast champion Nauv Kashyap wasn’t so lucky over on his table, trying to bluff another player out of a pot with 10♣8♣ on a 5♠7♠4♦3♦5♥ board, however his opponent showed Q♣6♦ for the straight.
12:50pm: The stars come out to shine!
Though we’re yet to see the Hachem brothers or Chris Moneymaker, fellow Team PokerStars Pro Lee ‘Final Table’ Nelson is already here, along with 2009 ANZPT Queensland champion Scott Kerr, 2010 ANZPT Gold Coast winner Nauv Kashyap, 2010 ANZPT Player of the Year runner-up John Maklouf and 2010 Aussie Millions Main Event champion Tyron Krost.
Other notable locals include Leo Boxell, who reached the final table of this event in 2009, as well as John Caridad, who finished fourth place in the WPT Bellagio Cup VI in Las Vegas earlier this year. We’ve also spotted cult heros Ali Khalil and Antonis “Toothpick Tony” Kambouroglou.
12:40pm: It’s a loaded field
Today’s field is certainly a solid one. Of course, many of the biggest names in the country took part in the High Rollers Event that clashed with the opening two flights, so that left them to all enter day 1c today. Last night it was James Obst who defeated Jeff Lisandro heads-up to claim the High Rollers trophy and $150,000 first place prize. Both Obst and Lisandro are amongst the action today, in a field which also includes Jarrad Graham, Ben Delaney, John Caridad, Team PokerStars Pro Lee Nelson and back-to-back ANZPT Player of the Year Tony Hachem.
We’ve also got APPT Manila champ Binh Nguyen and ANZPT Darwin & APPT Auckland winner Brotha D amongst the action today.
However the feature acts of today’s line up is of course our two world champions in 2005 World Champion Joe Hachem and the man who started the poker boom, 2003 World Champion Chris Moneymaker.
12:30pm: The third bullet
The players are back in the Star City Poker Room and undoubtedly this is going to be our largest flight of the event. It’s the third and final opportunity at APPT glory. Already the big screen is showing 130 registrations but we expect that to continue to grow. If we can get past 157 players today then we’ll crack the 300 total entrants mark.
Before play kicked off we caught up with 2003 World Champion Chris Moneymaker and APPT Commissioner Danny McDonagh to give their thoughts on the day ahead…
APPT Sydney live updates brought to you courtesy of Heath “TassieDevil” Chick and Landon Blackhall.