The Asia Pacific Poker Tour Grand Final began Tuesday afternoon in Sydney with Team PokerStars Pro and former World Series of Poker Main Event champion Joe Hachem kicking off play with the official call: "shuffle up and deal."
The first of three starting days saw 81 hopefuls take to the felt. About 50 of them are now trailing Tony "Bond18" Dunst who took the Day 1a chip lead with a late-day surge.
Dunst, who began slowly by dropping well below the 30,000 starting stack, clawed back to average with a series of small pots. His first big double-up came at the expense of Jason Gray who got all-in with pocket queens agaist Dunst's . A king on the flop sealed the deal for Dunst who climbed to 56,000 after the hand. He later strengthened his stack on a flop holding against his opponents . The on the turn completed Dunst's straight, busting his foe and catapulting Dunst over the 100k mark.
Others sitting near the leaderboard top include a slew of PokerStars qualifiers including Alan Brown, Dennis Waterman, Roel Pijpers, Nicholas Owens and Phillip Kober.
Also seeing action today and making it through to Day 2 were Team PokerStars Pro's Eric Assadourian and Lee Nelson, local notables Graeme "Kiwi G" Putt, Jamie Pickering and Peter Aristidou.
One of the contestants on Joe Hachem's Australian poker TV show "The Poker Star", Donna Ciric, road a roller-coaster day. At one time she held the chip lead, but she could not maintain her momentum and ended the day with less than her starting stack at 23,000. Lynn Gilmartin caught up with Ciric during one of the breaks.
The action was not relegated to the felt on Tuesday at Darling Harbour's Star City Casino when a fight broke out in the poker room about midway through the day. The altercation involved a player identified as Mark Ericksen who was playing in the APPT High Roller event when he exchanged words with an unknown not involved in any poker action in the room. Words turned into punches with Ericksen on the receiving end of most of them before Star City security quelled the melee. PokerNews recapped the incident in full in the live reporting blog.
About 50 players remained in the field when the clock was stopped. They will join entrants from Days 1b and 1c on Friday when the field merges for the first time. Be sure to join PokerNews on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. (GMT +11) for full coverage of day 1b.
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