Day 1b of the PokerStars ANZPT Darwin Main Event has been confined to the history books and it is the 2009 APPT Sydney champion Aaron Benton who has finished as the chip leader after turning his 20,000 starting stack into a very respectable 58,075, nearly 14,000 chips more than his nearest rival.
A crowd of 28 entered the International Room of the SKYCITY Darwin Casino including John Apostolidis, Charles Caris, Tim English and Mario Ljubicic. There were also three of the ANZ Player of the Year contenders in the house in the shape of Jesse McKenzie, Ricky Kroesen and Leo Boxwell, the latter delaying his trip to the upcoming World Series of Poker Europe so he could participate in this tournament.
The aforementioned McKenzie got off to a flying start when he and Song Yu got their entire stacks in on a flop reading , Yu holding and McKenzie for top set and the mother of all coolers! No poker strategy can prepare you for that! The on the turn improved Mckenzie to quads and locked up the hand, rendering the on the river pointless. This massive pot saw McKenzie take an early lead with 40,000 chips and stayed around this amount all day long, finishing with a stack of 39,575 chips.
The tournament director brought play to an end after five levels had elapsed, just as he had done on Day 1, and when everyone had bagged up their chips it became apparent that Benton was the chip leader with 58,075. His nearest rival, with 45,825 chips, was Liam O'Rourke, closely followed by Ryan McKay with 42,975.
The 21 surviving players from Day 1b will join up with those who made it through Day 1a unscathed meaning 47 hopefuls will return to their seats for the start of Day 2. Half way through Day 1b the prizepool was announced so those players still in the ANZPT Darwin Main Event are playing for a min-cash of $4,480 with the eventual champion claiming the $36,480 on offer.
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