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2014 ANZPT Sydney Main Event Day 1a: Jazz Mathers Grabs Early Lead

Jazz Mathers

The third stop on Season 6 of the Australia New Zealand Poker Tour (ANZPT) began on Thursday evening as a large field made their way to The Star Casino for Day 1a of the ANZPT Sydney Main Event. The $2,200 buy-in tournament attracted 211 players on the first of two Day 1 flights, and at the end of eight 60-minute levels, exactly 73 survived. Leading the way with 198,400 in chips was Jazz Mathers, while Bobby Zhong finished not too far behind.

Day 1a Top 10 Chip Counts

1Jazz Mathers195,200
2Bobby Zhong164,500
3Alex Lee148,100
4Nicholas Polias132,000
5Colin Morris-Denby128,500
6Eugene Zanozn124,600
7Anthony Aston117,100
8Jordan Westmorland111,600
9Michael Kanaan103,900
10Karl Spiegel89,100

Kicking off in a brand new poker room, Day 1a of the ANZPT Sydney Main Event was set to host a large field. When 211 hit the felt, the ANZPT team were starting to suggest that they were looking good to see more players than last year’s 460-strong field and even looking to move towards a 500-player field in order to make it the largest ANZPT in the tour's history.

For all the players on Day 1a, the numbers weren’t of top importance. What was important was making it through the first eight levels of action. One player who would only make it through one level was Full Tilt Poker ANZPT Ambassador Tom Grigg. It just wasn’t Grigg’s day, as he first lost most of his chips when a preflop all-in situation would see his {a-}{k-} outdrawn by a player’s {a-}{j-}. Grigg got the rest of his chips in with {a-}{a-} and was once again outdrawn, this time by {j-}{j-}.

Grigg wasn’t the only player to hit the rail on Day 1a, with Akira Ohyama, Brad Bower, World Series of Poker bracelet winner Andrew Hinrichsen, former Asia-Pacific Poker Tour Sydney champion Aaron Benton, and dual APPT/ANZPT champion Grant Levy just a few of those to be eliminated. Levy found himself short stacked during the fourth level of the day and ultimately got his last chips in the middle on a {a-Clubs}{3-Diamonds}{j-Clubs} flop holding the {7-Clubs}{5-Clubs} and wasn’t able to improve against Mel Judah who held the {a-Diamonds}{k-Hearts}.

While all of the aforementioned players were busy hitting the rail, Mathers was busy winning chips. Mathers didn’t start the day too great as he was one of the shortest stacks halfway through the action. Then, Billy “The Croc” Argyros let the PokerNews Live Reporting Team know that Mathers made a big river call holding just the {a-Hearts}{9-Clubs} for ace-high on a {7-Diamonds}{8-Spades}{2-Spades}{j-Diamonds}{8-Clubs} board, with Argyros himself having bluffed with the {5-Spades}{3-Spades}. From there, it was smooth sailing and Mathers capped off a big night by eliminating a short-stacked opponent who was all in preflop holding the {q-Clubs}{q-Spades} and couldn’t stay ahead of Mathers’ {k-Clubs}{q-Hearts} after a king-high board.

Mathers will be joined at the felt on Day 2 by the likes of Alex Lee, Anthony Aston, Jordan Westmorland and former ANZPT Sydney champion Michael Kanaan, along with Brett Chalhoub, Mile Krsatonski, Emmanuel "Curly" Seal, and Dylan Honeyman.

All of the 73 surviving players will return on Saturday for Day 2 and in the meantime, a new batch of players will hit the tables from 12:30 p.m. on Friday for the second and final Day 1 flight, so be sure to return then for continued live coverage of the ANZPT Sydney Main Event.

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