The Crown Poker Room played host today for 528 amateur players from all corners of the country for one of the premiere events on the Australian Poker League calendar. The APL Wild Turkey Poker Classic kicked off in extravagant style with red carpet treatment for players, showgirls, dancers and a confetti bomb to kick off the event. With a guaranteed prize pool of $500,000, the atmosphere may have been social but there was some serious money up for grabs!
Players had qualified for this event from pubs, leagues and clubs around Australia as well as through qualifiers held on Full Tilt Poker. For some it was their first experience at a live brick and mortar casino, and what better way to hit the felt than at the world-class Crown Poker Room.
The day was separated into two flights, with the first kicking off at 10:10am with 263 starters hitting the felt. While many expected the amateurs to stack off lightly, it was actually the opposite as most enjoyed the game time that a 10,000 chip start bank allowed. At the end of ten levels it was Hany Hannah taking the unofficial chip lead with around 70,000 chips, just ahead of Denny Taylor and Tara Kann.
After the chips were bagged and tagged, a new batch of fresh hopefuls hit the felt at 4pm for their shot at glory. 265 players entered flight 1b and again the play was cautious and conservative for most of the day, as clear chip leaders were hard to find.
At the end of the day, approximately 115 survived flight 1b with Eddie Pauls claiming the unofficial chip lead with around 65,000 chips, just ahead of Josh Kessanis and a late surging Dean Storey.
Day two action will commence at 10:10am tomorrow morning as around 250 remaining players come together in the Crown Poker Room for the first time. The showgirls will be back, the Wild Turkey bourbon will be flowing, and the PokerNetwork team will be on the tournament floor providing all of the live updates right through until we crown a new APL champion. Stay tuned to PokerNetwork.com!
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