The future of casino-based tournament poker in Queensland has received a massive boost with a field of 249 players creating a prizepool of AUD $622,500 in the first PokerStars.net ANZPT Queensland Main Event.
The number of entrants makes this the second biggest event on the first season of the ANZPT; a remarkable achievement given this is the first time a major tournament has been played north of the Tweed River.
After 60 players qualified for tomorrow's day two from day 1A, an additional 70 players made it through today at Conrad Jupiters in Broadbeach and Conrad Treasury in Brisbane.
Here at Conrad Jupiters Hotel and Casino on the Gold Coast, 60 players plus five alternates joined the day 1B field, with 36 remaining after seven one-hour levels.
Big names in action included PokerStars.net Team Asia pro Celina Lin, PokerStars Sponsored Player Lee "Final Table" Nelson plus numerous players who've final-tabled ANZPT events this year - Adelaide winner Karl Krautschneider, Melbourne runner-up Heath Chick and Sydney third-place man John Caridad heading the list.
Other accomplished players lining today were Steve "The Big Show" Topakas, Bruno Portaro, Jai Kemp, Graeme "Kiwi G" Putt, James Honeybone, Julius Colman, Ray Sukkar, Andy Meldrum, Dennis Huntly, Daniel Neilson, Tim Horan, David Zhao, Andrew Scott, Mark Erickson, Craig Duffy, Aaron Benton and Martin Cardno.
After the early elimination of Andrew Scott and Steve Topakas, play slowed to almost glacial pace as the quality field hunkered down for one of the toughest sessions of the entire ANZPT season.
Finally, after five levels, the shackles started to ease and the stream of eliminations continued steadily throughout the evening, with Huntly, Zhao, Kemp, Sukkar, Krautschneider, Cardno, Erickson and Benton among those sent to the rail.
The day 1B chip leader was local player Craig Duffy. Better known as a cash-game player, he stayed under the radar and amassed 74,825 ahead of PokerStars Qualifiers Dan Magro (66,350) and Jeff James (58,400). The chip count was incredibly even, reflecting the quality of play today.
PokerStars Sponsored Player Lee "Final Table" Nelson is ideally positioned on 51,350 while James Honeybone (48,375), Daniel Neilson (44,550) and Heath Chick (41,200) are also in good shape.
Play resumes tomorrow at 12.30pm (1.30am GMT), with day two flights at both properties. It's good night from Conrad Jupiters Hotel and Casino on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia.
PokerStars.net ANZPT Queensland Day 1B chip counts from Jupiters Casino
Craig Duffy (Australia) 74,825
Dan Magro (Australia) PokerStars Qualifier 66,350
Jeff James (Australia) PokerStars Qualifier 58,400
Paul Eden (Australia) 57,800
Bradley Walker (Australia) PokerStars Qualifier 57,800
Adam Ralphe (Australia) 56,650
Jonathan Weitzel (Canada) PokerStars Qualifier 51,950
Lee Nelson (New Zealand) PokerStars Sponsored Player 51,350
James Honeybone (New Zealand) 48,375
Daniel Neilson (Australia) 44,550
Heath Chick (Australia) PokerStars Qualifier 41,200
Steven Bristow (Australia) 40,500
Brett Oliver (Australia) PokerStars Qualifier 39,675
Jim Doumit (Australia) 38,650
Jaimie Faux (Australia) PokerStars Qualifier 38,550
Bruno Portaro (Australia) 38,450
Graeme Putt (Australia) 36,975
Shoshiro Karita (Australia) PokerStars Player 36,800
Celina Lin (Australia) Team PokerStars Asia 33,275
John Caridad (Australia) 31,500
Paul Silverstein (United States) 29,550
Danette Morway (Australia) 29,375
Scott Smith (Australia) 29,125
Rajesh Patel (Australia) PokerStars Qualifier 24,625
Julius Colman (Australia) 23,850
Ricky Kroesen (Australia) PokerStars Qualifier 22,900
Wolfgang Wurzer (Germany) PokerStars Qualifier 22,325
Russell Gray (Australia) PokerStars Qualifier 19,525
Robert Wang (New Zealand) 18,425
Michael Schiffer (Australia) 14,525
Derek Cheung (Hong Kong) 13,050
Andrew Meldrum (Australia) PokerStars Qualifier 9550
Daniel Seremet (Australia) 6000
Jeremy Norton (Australia) PokerStars Qualifier 5350
Ramiro Garcia Pineda (Mexico) PokerStars Qualifier 2975
Tim Horan (Australia) DNR