Day 1b of the PokerStars.net Asia Pacific Poker Tour Auckland Main Event kicked off at SKYCITY Casino with 142 players joining the field, bringing the total number of entrants in the event to 306; the largest big buy-in poker tournament in New Zealand history. The defending APPT Auckland Omaha champ Eric Assadourian, whose father, Assadour Assadourian, played Day 1a, was in the field on Day 1b, as were 2004 WSOP Main Event champ Joe Hachem, Lee "Final Table" Nelson, Carter Gill and Mark Vos.
Assadourian's day ended earlier than his father's Day 1a performance, as he busted in the first level of play. The flop came down and Raymond Walker bet out. Assadourian moved all in over the top, and Walker quickly called with pocket jacks. Assadourian showed pocket kings and had a dominating lead as the turn came down . But the on the river gave Walker a set, sending Assadourian packing early.
Carter Gill became another early elimination when he got all of his chips in the middle on a board of . Gill tabled for two pair, but his opponent held for the Broadway straight and Gill was done. He was joined on the rail by Mark Vos, who found himself all-in against two opponents while holding A-K. One of the opponents also tabled A-K, and Bryan Huang showed pocket aces for the dominant hand. No help came for Vos, and Huang sent two opponents to the rail with one big pair. Huang's aggressive play continued throughout Day 1b, as he busted several opponents and ended the day with one of the biggest stacks.
Joe Hachem finished Day 1b with a healthy stack just outside of the top ten chip leaders. A big piece of his stack came when he busted two players in one hand midway through the day. Hachem limped under the gun with , and the player in the small blind moved all in with pocket fours. The player in the big blind called with , and Hachem called as well. The flop came down great for Hachem, running out J-J-x, but there were two clubs on the board. Both Hachem and the big blind player checked the flop but when a king landed on the turn, the player in the big bind moved all in. Hachem called with trip jacks, and an ace on the river moved him up the chip ladder as he sent two opponents to the rail.
Amant Nauhria ended Day 1b with the chip lead, as he took down a huge pot late in the day. Nauhria limped from middle position and Marcus Veenhuyzen raised from the big blind. Nauhria called with and the flop came down . Veenhuyzen fired out a bet and Nauhria moved all in with middle set. Veenhuyzen called with , and he needed help to stay alive. The on the turn gave him a straight draw, but the on the river ended his tournament and gave Nauhria the big stack as play drew to a close on Day 1b.
The players with the most chips at the end of Day 1b were as follows:
Amant Nauhria - 94,000
Bryan Huang - 93,500
Michael Rasmussen - 46,000
Jerome Dyer - 40,000
Grant Levy - 33,000
Sreten Cvetkovski - 33,000
Tony Yalden - 32,000
Mark Erickson - 30,000
Raymond Walker - 27,400
Graeme Putt - 26,000
Jai Kemp - 26,000
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