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2011 APPT Queenstown Day 1a: Swannack Tops Small Starting Field

Cole Swannack

The second stop on the 2011 Asia Pacific Poker Tour kicked off with a bang on Tuesday at the SKYCITY Casino in the beautiful snowy mountains of Queenstown, New Zealand.

Even though only 40 players took to the felt on the first of three Day 1 flights, the excitement could be felt all around town as more and more elite poker players arrived by the hour. With Queenstown known as the adventure sports capitol of the world, it is understandable that many of the players are taking a few days to get amongst the action off the felt, before they take to the tables on either Day 1b or Day 1c.

It was only a six-hour day for the players who managed to survive to Day 2, but it was an even quicker day for the likes of Aaron Benton, Ryan Hong, Joel Feldman and Trung Tran. Those players headed for the exit well before the end of play.

Eight countries were represented in the field Tuesday, including Australia, the U.S., U.K., New Caledonia, and Spain, but at the end of the day it was all New Zealand at the top of the chip leaderboard. The three heftiest bags at the end of Day 1a belonged to New Zealand natives Cole Swannack, Koray Turker and Jackson Zheng. Swannack is no stranger to success on the APPT. He finished third at the 2010 APPT Macau event. He will return on Friday for Day 2 with 86,050 in chips.

The name Koray Turker is quickly becoming recognizable during the fifth season of the APPT. Turker not only managed to accumulate a monster stack at APPT Melbourne, but has done the same in Queenstown. He ended the day with one thousand less than Swannack, bagging 85,075 in chips.

While his countrymen will be looking to stop Zheng from winning this event, he knows what it takes to win on home felt. He took down the New Zealand Poker Open in Auckland earlier this year for a nice NZ$50,615 score. With Zheng returning for play with 80,125 in chips, he has set himself up nicely to make a run at another victory on his home soil.

Day 1a Top Ten Chip Counts

PlacePlayerCountryChip Count
1Cole SwannackNew Zealand86,050
2Koray TurkerNew Zealand85,075
3Jackson ZhengNew Zealand80,125
4Semesa BrownAustralia43,125
5Wayne BellNew Zealand40,125
6Rachel BellardNew Zealand37,525
7Werner SoamesUnited Kingdom34,175
8Joseph AllisNew Zealand32,675
9Harry KyriacouAustralia32,500
10Joel DouaglinNew Caledonia29,975

As the chip leaderboard shows, the New Zealanders have a dominating lead. The next closest player is Australia’s Semesa Brown who bagged around half that of Zheng.

Play at Day 1b is set to kick off at 1230 NZST (1700 PDT). Join the PokerNews Live Reporting Team as they again bring all the coverage from the APPT Queenstown Main Event.

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