PokerStars.com APPT Sydney, Day 1c: Tight Leaderboard in Final Starting Session
Day 1c of the PokerStars.com Asia Pacific Poker Tour Grand Final at the Star City Casino in Sydney was the largest of all three days, with 197 players joining the field, bringing the total number of entrants in the event to 477. Among the players on Day 1c were three World Series of Poker Main Event Champions: Joe Hachem, Chris Moneymaker and the newest man to earn that title, Peter Eastgate. Also in the field were all the Season 2 APPT champions, including Edward Sabat, Yoshihiro Tasaka, Daniel Craker and Van Marcus. WSOP Europe Main Event champ John Juanda also joined the fray on Day 1c.
Australian pop singer Brian McFadden was in the field on Day 1c, but he was an early elimination after flopping top pair with A-K and running into a flopped set. Other early eliminations included Joon Hee Yeah and PokerNews Cup champion Nali "Iraqi Nick" Kaselias. Kaselias ran A-J into A-K and busted when he found no help on the board.
Day 1c was tough on world champions, as two of the three WSOP main event winners headed to the rail. The first to fall was the newest, as Peter Eastgate busted early in the day. Eastgate never really got going in the event, and eventually found himself all in preflop with , only to be called by Jarred Grimshaw, who tabled . Eastgate caught an eight on the flop, but didn't improve on the turn or river, and the young champ was done. Eastgate's elimination out of the money saved Billy "The Croc" Argyros AUD $10,000, as the colorful Aussie pro had put up a bet that he would outlast the young world champ in the event. After Argyros busted on Day 1b, his only hope of keeping his cash was if Eastgate didn't make the money in the tournament.
Joe Hachem became another casualty when his pocket nines were outflopped by Marcus Bechara's A-K. Bechara caught an ace on the flop, and one more on the turn for good measure as Hachem became the second world champ to bust. Hachem's brother Tony fared slightly better on Day 1c, if only by outlasting his brother to win any sibling rivalry bet. Tony Hachem also busted before the dinner break when John Juanda's won the coin toss against Hachem's . The board of gave Juanda the hand and sent the younger Hachem to the rail.
Day 1c was as hard on APPT champs as it was on WSOP champs, as all but one of the Season 2 APPT champions were eliminated. APPT Seoul champion Yoshihiro Tasaka was the first to fall, busting to Jay Huxley just before the dinner break when his A-10 was no good against Huxley's on a board of . Huxley took the chip lead with Tasaka's elimination, and finished the day near the top of the leader board.
Daniel Craker took down the APPT Auckland event, but busted at the hands of Josh O'Brien early in the evening. O'Brien called Craker's preflop raise, then called another bet on the flop. Both players checked the turn, but the action really took off when the came on the river. Craker led out, O'Brien put in a stiff raise, and Craker moved all in over the top. O'Brien snap-called with for the rivered set, while Craker was collecting his belongings before the hand was even shown down. After Eddy Sabat's departure late in the day, Van Marcus was the only APPT champion still standing in the tournament.
Chris Moneymaker finished Day 1c as the only world champ still standing, outlasting Joe Hachem and Peter Eastgate. He doubled up early in the day when he turned a set of jacks to crack an opponent's kings, and continued to pile on chips as the day wore on. As the players bagged their chips for the night, unofficial chip counts showed Manish Sansi as the Day 1c leader, with Dory Zayneh among those in the chase.
Join PokerNews at 12:30 PM Sydney time on Friday (Thursday night in the Americas) as the remaining players from all three Day 1 flights converge for official Day 2 action in the APPT Sydney Grand Final championship. The top ten chip counts from Day 1c action were as follows:
Manish Sansi - 103,600
Patrick Carron - 98,300
Wang Che Jung - 95,300
Dory Zayneh - 81,200
Jay Huxley - 72,900
Anthony Rafter - 68,600
Shane Moran - 68,100
Karim Jomeen - 66,800
Frits Van Beek - 65,800
Thadd Wolff - 62,900