It was another beautiful day down in Aotearoa – or the Land of the Long White Cloud as it is known in traditional Maori – as the fourth season of the PokerStars.net Asia Pacific Poker Tour continued in Auckland, New Zealand, at the SKYCITY Auckland Casino!
Bettering the number of 89 players yesterday, 129 from around the world took their seats in the SKYCITY Poker Room as part of the Day 1b field to form a final tally of 218 players. Although that number fell short of the last two year’s figures, the caliber of players who formed today’s field nearly made up for it with Team PokerStars Pros Tony Hachem and Lee Nelson being joined by ANZPT Queensland Champion Scott Kerr, ANZPT Gold Coast Champion Nauv Kashyup, 2008 New Zealand Poker Championships winner David Borg and the defending champion and durrrr-killer, Simon Watt, all taking part.
Straight out of the door there were early casualties with Borg flopping the nut straight against top set only to find the river pairing the board after all the money went in on the turn. Kerr followed soon after when his flopped set of eights were outdrawn by Daren Yoon’s after he made the nuts as all the money went in on the final board of . Yoon, however, didn't put his chips to good use after a runner-runner full house was delivered on him; he made a move with a flush draw and a pair in a blind-on-blind battle, but once the board blanked out and Lance Climo happily raked the pot, Yoon soon exited.
Two of New Zealand’s top players, Nelson and Watt, didn’t figure too heavily throughout the day. Nelson managed to battle his way to the final hand as Watt was clipped early, never recovered and was out the door mid-tournament. For Hachem, it simply wasn’t his day because within a matter of hands he saw his aces cracked by two-pair and a Broadway straight rivered on him before his was run down by Leo Boxell’s to put the ANZPT Player of the Year and Perth Champion on the rail.
Although not a household name, Mads Smith-Hansen became the story of the day as the Denmark player from Cyprus ran deep in PokerStars WCOOP Event 28: $1,050 No-Limit Holdem (Two Day) before bowing out just a few places shy of the final table in 11th place. Arriving in the tournament with two levels left in the day and with a 11,100-chip stack to work with, Smith-Hansen barely lasted a level and bit the dust holding pocket eights.
Aussie Millions final tablists Julius Colman and Boxell began chipping up as online phenom Jay ‘SEABEAST’ Kinkade joined the casualty list. It was Kashyup, however, who put his foot down as his held up against before he used that momentum to soar to the top of the leaderboard to join fellow PokerStars.net online qualifier Noah Vogelman in topping their respective Day 1 fields.
Top Ten Chip Counts
Nauv Kashyap (AUS) – 99,075
Koray Turker (AUS) – 87,075
Michael Kroger (AUS) – 79,400
Julius Colman (AUS) – 78,025
Kevin Petersen (USA) – 71,500
Aaron Sue (NZ) – 69,250
Ross Stevenson (AUS) – 66,300
Leo Boxell (AUS) – 64,075
Ropati Toleafoa (NZ) – 63,675
Julian Parmann (USA) – 61,125
With Kashyup unable to end the day in the six-figure club, but still atop the 55 players remaining, he was in great shape to repeat his success from just several weeks earlier at the sixth stop of second ANZPT season. Trailing him slightly are fellow Australians Koray Turker (87,075), Michael Kroger (79,400) and Julius Colman (78,025) while Boxell (64,075) rounds out the Australian-dominated top ten.
New Zealanders Climo (48,800) and Nelson (39,625) are still in contention while Australians Raj Ramakrishnan (41,225), Jai Kemp (24,200) and Joel Dodds (20,925) still remain with a chance of walking away with part of the $473,412 (NZ$654,000) prize pool. As the combined 96 players return tomorrow, their focus will not only be making the 24 paying spots but also reaching the final table where a $123,058 (NZ$170,000) first prize awaits.
The PokerNews Live Reporting Team will again be on the floor tomorrow from 12:15 p.m. local time providing continuous live updates of all the Day 2 action as the 96 remaining players battle their way down to the money in the 2010 PokerStars.net APPT Auckland Main Event!