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December 8 - SPSS Main Event Day 1 Flight 2


8pm: Day 2 field of 121 players to chase 18 spot in the money

The numbers are in for the 2011 Star Poker Summer Series Main Event with a total of 164 players spread across two flights and 106 signing on for today’s 1B field. Combined with the 44 day 1A survivors, the 77 players still standing at the end of day 1B mean 121 players remain in the hunt for the title.

The top 18 players will be paid with the winner taking home $270,000 while the minimum payout is $13,500. The field of 164 players and AUD $1 million guarantee meant the tournament is running with an overlay of $180,000 – amazing value for the Main Event field.



The dominant player on day 1B was Tom Rafferty (pictured above). He eliminated a number of players from his table in the Oasis Room and at one point held almost 180,000 in chips. Chasing an unprecedented third final table in this event in just five years (he finished ninth in 2008 and third last year), Rafferty enters day two as the overall chip leader holding 137,000.

The other players near the top of the chip count also played today, including Daniel Laidlaw (127,050), Isaac Lau (112,000) and Dien Nguyen (109,200) while both Star Poker ambassadors Grant Levy (45,550) and Aaron Benton (26,100) will be back tomorrow.
Other notables to survive day 1B included Ricky Kroesen (77,125), Leo Boxell (71,625), current Aussie Millions champion David Gorr (68,950), Andrew Scarf (67,650), Sheldon Mayer (63,500), Steve Leonard (60,800), Tony Hachem (59,800, pictured below), Jesse McKenzie (52,625), Matthew Pearson (52,500), Julian Powell (47,625), Sean Dunwoodie (37,875), Liam Moffett (30,100), Ali Khalil (28,750), Sam Khouiss (28,725), Ben Delaney (23,075), Nabil Edgtton (20,575), Roy Vandersluis (19,525), Kahle Burns (12,750) and Joel Dodds (5875).



We’ll be back in the Star Poker room from 12.30pm tomorrow for a long day of poker as the Star Poker Summer Series Main Event field sets sail for a slice of the $1 million prizepool.


7pm: And that's that


The final hands are now being played on day 1B of the Star Poker Summer Series Main Event, with 80 of 106 players who took their seats at 12.30pm poised to join yesterday’s 42 survivors for tomorrow’s day 2. Tom Rafferty looks certain to take the overall chip lead into Friday’s action, but check back here later this evening for the complete chip counts and seat draw for day 2.


6pm: The rich getting richer


Everytime we’ve taken a walk through the Oasis Room this afternoon, Tom Rafferty has been adding his chips to his stack. He just claimed another victim after calling an all-in on a flop of 4-7-8 with pocket kings. His opponent rolled over pocket nines but an extra K on the river put it beyond doubt.


Rafferty is now up to 180,000 and is a monster chip leader. Isaac Lau is the only other player with more than 100,000 (105,500 to be exact), Leo Boxell is still well positioned on 75,000 while Ricky Kroesen has enjoyed a solid session and holds 65,000.

There is less than one hour left on day 1B of the Star Poker Summer Series Main Event, with 84 of the 106 starters still in contention for a day two berth. Blinds are at 200/400 with an ante of 50.


5pm: Leapin' Leo tops the count


Leo Boxell’s climb up the chip count has continued after almost felting Sarne Lightman in the early stages of level five on day 1B of the Star Poker Summer Series Main Event. After calling Boxell’s pre-flop raise to 81000, Lightman then faced another big decision after Boxell (pictured below) shoved on the flop of 3d-6d-4d.



“Miracles happen,” Boxell quipped, and Lightman called showing pocket queens including the Qd. Boxell held black aces, and they duly held up as the board bricked. The Melbourne player climbed to almost 80,000 after that hand.

We’ve also just received confirmation of the prizepool for the Main Event. The official field was confirmed at 164, with the top 18 players to be paid, according to the following payouts:


1st $270,000
2nd $170,000
3rd $100,000
4th $80,000
5th $67,500
6th $55,000
7th $45,000
8th $35,000
9th $27,500
10th $20,000
11th $20,000
12th $20,000
13th $16,500
14th $16,500
15th $16,500
16th $13,500
17th $13,500
18th $13,500


4pm: That's the super sorted for our poker veterans


It’s been a banner year for some of Australia’s poker stalwarts. It started back in January with David Gorr’s stunning victory in the Aussie Millions Main Event for AUD $2 million. Gorr (pictured below) hasn’t let poker stardom go to his head – he was happy to take the train and light rail to The Star rather than hail a cab from the airport!



The two ANZPT titles offered in Melbourne during the year were also claimed by veterans – Leo Boxell added the APPT title to his win in the Six-handed event at the 2011 Aussie Millions before Lee Nelson took out the ANZPT crown. That trio are all aged in their late-60s. Nelson’s focus is now firmly on running his new health retreat in New Zealand’s South Island, but Boxell and Gorr are still grinding the circuit and both are playing here today.

We just watched Gorr dish out a nasty beat to an opponent when his set of threes improved to a full house on the river against his rival’s turned flush. That took Gorr to more than 45,000, while Boxell is back up to 28,000 after surviving an all-in with pocket aces against his opponent’s flopped pair of kings.


3pm: Rafferty rules after three levels of play


Tom Rafferty has stolen and early march on the field as the clock runs down in level three on day 1B of the Star Poker Summer Series Main Event. We just watched Rafferty dispatch another player to the rail after he called an all-in on a flop showing 8d-10c-9c. It was 9d-8c for Rafferty against black kings, and the dealer put the pot beyond doubt with Ac on the turn and 9s on the river, making Rafferty’s boat.



The Main Event field looks to have reached 164 players, but we’re awaiting final word from tournament staff for the official number. Rafferty leads the field on 70,000 while Sam Khouiss is on 40,000, Aaron Benton (pictured above) 36,000, Tony Hachem 35,000, Leo Boxell 34,000, David Gorr 32,000, Grant Levy 32,000, Ali Khalil 24,000, Sarne Lightman 20,000, Joel Dodds 14,000 and Tom Grigg 8000. Play in level four has just commenced.


2pm: Day 1B field cracks 100


Players are still trickling into the Star Poker room and with just over 20 minutes until registration closes, the day 1B field has climbed to 100 in the Summer Series Main Event. Latest arrivals include Joel Dodds, whose taken a seat just a couple of spots down from his old sparring partner Tony Hachem, and Star Poker Ambassador Grant Levy (pictured below), who finds himself at one of the tougher tables in the main room featuring Steve Leonard and Nabil Edgtton. Three players have been eliminated so far today.



Hand of the day so far goes to Tom Rafferty, who is chasing a third appearance at a Star December Main Event. After some aggressive betting on every street (including six pre-flop), Rafferty shoved on the river with the board showing Ah-6c-9s-10d-8h. His opponent tanked for several minutes until making the call, but sent his cards into the muck when Rafferty showed 5h-7d!


1pm: Value aplenty assured as big overlay looms


News of a potential overlay in the Star Poker Summer Series Main Event had phones running hot last night with the result that a bigger field has amassed at The Star today eager to join the battle for a slice of the AUD $1 million prizepool. That said, the tournament is almost certainly going to offer a significant overlay with the Main Event field total hovering around 150 as play ticks into the final stages of the opening level.



After yesterday’s celeb-fest, it’s the poker fraternity who dominate the day 1B field, headlined by 2009 champion and Star Poker ambassador Aaron Benton, dual Australia-New Zealand Player of the Year Tony Hachem, reigning Aussie Millions champ David Gorr along with his good mate 2011 APPT Melbourne and Aussie Millions six-handed winner Leo Boxell.

Others in the room today include Ali Khalil, Ben Delaney, Nabil Edgtton, Liam Moffett, Jai Kemp, Steve Leonard, Daniel Laidlaw, Todor Kondevski, Tom Grigg, Sam Khouiss, Sarne Lightman and hometown favourite Sheldon. So far, the 89 starters have successfully negotiated the first 40 minutes. The structure for today’s play is six one-hour levels:

Level 1: 50/100

Level 2: 75/150
Level 3: 100/200
Level 4: 100/200 (ante 25)
Level 5: 150/300 (ante 25)
Level 6: 200/400 (ante 50)



12.30pm: Welcome to day 1B of the Star Poker Summer Series Main Event

Welcome to PokerMedia Australia’s coverage of the second flight of day one in the $5000 buy-in Star Poker Summer Series Main Event, live from The Star in Sydney. Today’s coverage is proudly provided with thanks to Sokyo, where the buzz of Tokyo meets a Sydney beat.

Chef Chase Kojima has a thoughtful Japanese palate, and you’ll witness first hand his traditional Japanese food creations with a twist. In the exquisitely stylish dining room, prepare yourself for mouth-watering dishes such as Tuna with Plum Wine Jelly and Umami Garlic Soy, or Binchota Grilled Lamb Chops and Maple Miso – all with a personal sake sommelier recommendation of chilled sake and the sounds of the resident DJ.

Chase has come a long way from his culinary career start as an 11-year-old dish hand in his father’s traditional Japanese restaurant. Born and raised in San Francisco, California, Chase has a contemporary and edgy take on Japanese food, which is an honest reflection of his American upbringing and the cooking traditions he learned from his father.

Chase first joined Nobu Las Vegas and never looked back. At only 29, he’s headed kitchens all over the world for the iconic Nobu restaurant group. After four years in Vegas, he circled the globe working in Dubai, London and LA before finishing at the Bahamas as Executive Chef. Chase is primed to explore the finest of Sydney culinary delights in his menu. In fact, he spent his first four months in Sydney discovering the local fishmongers and produce suppliers.

• Sokyo is located on the ground floor of The Star’s new lifestyle boutique hotel, The Darling. It is open for dinner Monday-Thursday (6-10.30pm and Friday-Saturday 6-11.15pm). The Bar & Lounge is open Sunday (noon-10.15pm), Monday-Thursday (noon-11.30pm) and Friday-Saturday (noon-1am).