A return to a former home for Australian poker is how the ANZPT Canberra tournament is being billed, and the event certainly brought out some of the stalwarts of the Australian scene to play. Among the 84 players to come to the felt today was Dr Bob Crossman, a well known figure in Australian poker over a number of years, and a man who has been instrumental in assisting the game in recent times. Despite the World Series of Poker being in full swing at the moment, the usual cast of stars came out to play with Grant Levy, Emad Tahtouh, Eric Assadourian, Daniel Nielson, Joel Dodds, Sam Khouiss, Jai Kemp, Julian Cohen, Aaron Benton and Rennie Carnevale all among the starters on day 1a.
After eight levels of action, just under half of the field would remain with 40 players returning on Sunday for Day Two. Of the players to get through local Phillip Batticiotto is the chip leader 103,600, but some big names are looming large on the horizon. Second in chips is defending ANZPT Adelaide champion Rennie Carnevale on 87,700, while his housemate Aaron Benton is also possesses a healthy 67,300. Joel Dodds is fifth in the counts at 71,100, and will be joined on day two by Ben Savage (50,200), Sal Fazzino (43,200), Emad Tahtouh (36,500), and Chris Evans (29,600).
But “Kiwi G” Graeme Putt has them right where he wants them, playing the underdog role from the shortstack. Kiwi G will take just 1,600 chips into day two, but they will be tough chips to win. Grant Levy, Eric Assadourian, Sam Khouiss, Daniel Neilson, Jai Kemp and Julian Cohen can all take in some of Canberra’s sights before getting out of there, because they won’t be back for the second day of play.
Around 100 players are confirmed for tomorrow’s day 1b including Tony Hachem and Brendon Rubie. The prizepool will be in excess of AU$360,000. PokerNetwork will bring you a wrap of day 1b after play finishes tomorrow.
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Canberra local Phillip Batticiotto has the chip lead after day 1a at Casino Canberra
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