One of the main stories that was always going to emerge today on Day 1c of the APPT Auckland Main Event is the battle around the 2014 Australia New Zealand Player of the Year. As the final event of the season, the race for the title will reach an exciting climax here in Auckland with a number of players still in contention to win.
At the start of this event, ANZPT Melbourne champion Edison Nguyen held a narrow lead with the top five looking as follows:
Edison Nguyen – 141.65
Sal Fazzino – 133.71
David Lim – 130.30
Luke Spano – 121.90
Steven Zhou – 109.90
The top four are all in Auckland while the only other player in the top ten that we think will play this event is Dean Blatt who sits in tenth place and is already safely through to Day 2.
Lim also made it through yesterday with a healthy stack, while Fazzino and Spano are both in action on Day 1c.
The twist to the tale is that we are yet to see an appearance from the leader in Edison Nguyen. We’re confident he’s in town and his brother Minh played yesterday, but so far we’ve yet to sight Edison today.
He may be planning to late register, but it’s worth noting that leg reg in this event is just three levels which is a little shorter than some other stops on the tour. That’s about 90 minutes from now.
Simply registering for this event is vital for Nguyen’s chances in the ANZ POTY, so we hope that he doesn’t make a disastrous miscalculation. Each player receives 10 participation points just for showing up in Auckland, so if Nguyen fails to register on time, then he will be instantly overtaken for the lead by Fazzino who lurks less than eight points in arrears.
The top two in the ANZ POTY will share in over $38,000 in cash and prizes including sponsorship into the Asia Championship of Poker and Aussie Millions.
We were expecting to be talking about the Player of the Year race later in the day, or perhaps tomorrow when we hit the money and the points bubble, but here we are. Registration is yet to close and we might already have a sweat on our hands.
The clock is ticking Edison and the registration desk is ready and waiting.
Heath “TassieDevil” Chick is a Freelance Contributor for the PokerStars Blog.