With major poker tournaments going on all over the globe, there were still plenty of superstars on hand at the Star City Hotel and Casino in Sydney for Day 1b of the PokerStars.net Asia Pacific Poker Tour Grand Final. Among the big names in attendance were 1998 World Champion Scotty Nguyen, Tony Hachem, Jeff Lisandro and Lee 'Final Table' Nelson.
Hachem's day ended early when he rivered a straight with the same gin card that gave his opponent a flush. Hachem and Michael Haddad got all the chips in the middle on the river when the board read , and Hachem tabled for the rivered straight. Haddad made the nut flush with , and Hachem made an early exit.
Van Marcus rode a roller coaster early in the day when he moved a ton of chips in back-to-back hands. In the first, Marcus re-raised preflop after one player went all in and found another caller. Marcus then bet enough in the dark to put his remaining opponent all in, who called. The flop came down , and the players tabled their hands:
Opponent 1 –
Opponent 2 –
The turn and river were ugly for Marcus, as they came down to give both his opponents straights. On the very next hand, Marcus sold the tilt-betting well enough to get called on every street on a board of . Marcus turned over to boost his stack back up to a healthy size. Marcus made it through Day 1b in the middle of the pack.
Henrik Gwinner took over the chip lead late in the day in a huge pot with James Potter. Gwinner raised preflop from the button and Potter called from the small blind. Potter checked the flop, and Gwinner bet out. Potter raised, and Gwinner called. The came on the turn, and Potter check-raised again, going all in over the top of Gwinner's raise. Gwinner made the call with for the flopped straight, and Potter tabled for top two pair. No help came on the river for Potter, and he was eliminated as Gwinner stacked a massive pot.
Popular local pro 'Aussie' Sarah Bilney went to the rail after tangling with Jim Kilarjian in a big hand. Kilarjian bet out on the flop of and Bilney called. Both players checked the turn, and Bilney pushed all in when the came on the river. Her was no good to Kilarjian's pocket kings, and she was eliminated. APPT Seoul runner-up Jozef Berec was among the other notable players eliminated on Day 1B.
Scotty Nguyen drew a huge crowd of spectators, as always, and put on a good show for them, finishing the day with one of the biggest stacks. In one of the last hands of the day, Nguyen made a huge call against Terris Preston on a board of with pocket nines against Preston's pocket eights. The river sent Preston to the rail and Nguyen to near the chip lead.
42 players made it through Day 1b, including Scotty Nguyen and Lee 'Final Table' Nelson. Here are the top ten chip stacks as play wrapped up for the night:
Henrik Gwinner - 390,400
Scotty Nguyen - 250,400
Gary Diamond - 239,000
Julious Colman - 196,600
Larry Wright - 180,600
Matthieu Logel - 150,200
Sol Bergren - 142,600
Leo Boxell - 142,100
Jai Kemp - 109,000
Sid Kim - 107,300