Day 1c of the PokerStars.net Asia Pacific Poker Tour Grand Final attracted more big names to Sydney's Star City Hotel and Casino. The last of three opening days featured both local stars such as Billy 'The Croc' Argyros, Gary Benson and Emad Tahtouh, and worldwide poker celebrities including Isabelle Mercier. Also taking the field on day 1C was Australia's most famous poker son, 2005 World Series of Poker Main Event Champion Joe Hachem, who also took part in the opening ceremony to start the day.
Team PokerStars pro Mercier was the first high-profile elimination when she ran pocket eights into the pocket tens of Brooks Bingman. Mercier picked up a flush draw on the turn, but couldn't catch the last diamond and was eliminated. Joining Mercier on the rail soon after was Glenn Stewart, a popular player for the Manly Sea-Eagles of the Australian Rugby League. Stewart got all his chips in early in the day with against Colin Ford's . Stewart hit an ace on the flop, but it also brought a ten for Ford, as the board ran out to send Stewart to the rail.
Billy 'The Croc' Argyros also exited early when he lost a coin flip to Bruno Portaro. Argyros pushed all in preflop with pocket tens, and found a caller in Portaro with ; a king in the door ended Argyros' APPT Sydney main event. Portaro claimed another scalp late in the day when he busted Emad Tahtouh. All the money went in the middle on the flop of and Tahtouh tabled for top pair with the nut flush draw. Portaro was ahead with , and when no jack or spade came on the turn or river, Portaro's aces held up to bust Tahtouh.
Joe Hachem was very active early, picking up pocket tens to scoop an early pot, then sending Chris Levick to the rail after cracking Levick's pocket pair on a re-raise steal. Levick rasied preflop with pocket tens and Hachem re-raised, with Levick calling to see a flop of . Hachem led out, and Levick moved all in over the top. Hachem insta-called with for the nut straight, and faded Levick's few outs to scoop a big pot. Hachem was among the survivors moving on to Day 2 action, finishing the day in the middle of the pack.
Guy Mosel took over the chip lead late in the day when he flopped gin, holding as hit the board. He got his action on the turn when another king landed. John Kim made trips on the turn with and all the chip went in the middle. No help showed for Kim on the river and Mosel's Broadway straight was good for the pot and the chip lead, at least for a little while.
As the play on Day 1c drew to a close, Carter Gill raked an enormous pot to move to the top. On a board of , John Kim led out with a big bet and Carter made the call. The came on the river and Kim fired again, this time enough to put Gill all in. Gill quickly made the call with for the nut flush, and Kim's was no good.
As action closed for the day, Michael Guttman held on to a narrow lead over Alexander Estrellado and Colin Ford as the players were bunched tightly at the top. The top ten chip counts of Day 1c were as follows:
Michael Guttman — 162,500
Alexander Estrellado — 160,000
Colin Ford — 153,200
Bruno Portaro — 147,700
Rabii Maatouk — 145,200
Guy Mosel — 138,200
Aleks Lackovic — 134,100
Rick Furay — 128,500
John Vinsant — 126,200
Darren Rispin — 122,200
Join PokerNews tomorrow for the latest live repots as the remaining players from all three opening days converge on the Star City Hotel and Casino as action in the PokerStars.net APPT Sydney grand final continues.