With 109 players hitting the felt for Day 1b of the Asia Pacific Poker Tour Grand Final in Sydney, Leo Boxell finished the day as chip leader with about 148,000, putting himself in position to claim the anticipated million-dollar cash and the title.
Boxell, one of the weathered Aussie tournament veterans, gathered a large part of his stack by eliminating former WSOP bracelet winner and PokerStars Qualifier Brian Wilson. The two were all-in preflop, Wilson holding and Boxell with . Wilson hit his king on the flop, but when a fourth heart hit on the turn, he was sent packing and Boxell was left stacking.
Others rising to contention Wednesday were Brendon Rubio, who hit some huge hands early on, and David Hibbot, Joel Cohen and Tom Grigg.
Grigg was involved in a huge hand with about an hour left in the day when he faced off against Brendan Edmonds. With the board reading , Grigg called Edmonds' 28,000 river bet with pocket jacks. The jacks were good, besting Edmonds' king-high for a pot that put Grigg close to 120,000. He closed things out by eliminating another player during one of the final hands thereby putting himself over 140,000.
Also seeing action were David Steicke and Wooka Kim, two players who survived the same table; Martin Rowe, last year's APPT Grand Final champion; Amanda De Cesare, winner of the Aussie television show "The Poker Star"; and Michael Guzzardi.
Day 1c on Thursday is expected to see the largest number of entrants, including the majority of the better-known players including Team PokerStars Pros Joe Hachem, Peter Eastgate and Celina Lin. Be sure to join PokerNews at 12:30 p.m. (GMT +11) for all the action.