SYDNEY CHAMPS: Ayoub tops day 1B Opening Event count

Reporting by Ben Blaschke

2007 APPT Sydney champion and Star City poker ambassador Grant Levy and 2008 APPT Sydney winner Martin Rowe were notables in the Opening Event day 1B field, which brought the total number of starters to more than 300 heading into today’s third and final flight. Andrew Scarf, Sam Khouiss, Mike Ivin and Sheldon Mayer also stumped up the $330 entry fee for their chance at a hefty payday.

It wasn’t a happy day for the big names however with Levy, Ivin and Scarf all eliminated early although they will have the chance to buy back in with the third flight doubling as a repechage round. Sheldon, Khouiss and Rowe, meanwhile, all snuck through with small-medium sized stacks and will join the likes of Aaron Benton and Brendon Rubie on Day 2 (Friday).

Topping the chip counts in Flight 2 was local Chris Ayoub, who bagged up 103,200 following a series of big cooler hands that saw him sitting behind a mountain as play pushed through the nine scheduled levels.

“I picked up some pretty big hands and that helped me chip up. I had A-K against A-Q, Kings against Jacks and a few other hands like that. I’m pretty happy – everything went pretty well for me today,” Ayoub said.

Ayoub is one of only two players to pass the 100,000 chip mark over the first two flights but still finds himself well behind overall chip leader Uzziah Thomas who boasts a hefty 176,200 after a massive hand in Tuesday’s first flight in which he made quads to best an opponent’s nut flush.

A total of 78 players have progressed to Day 2 so far from the 305 starters with around 200 expected today to push the field to around 500. The $330 Opening Event is the first of nine events scheduled for this year’s Sydney Championships with the Main Event to kick off on Thursday, September 8.

Sydney Poker Championships $330 Opening Event top 10 chip counts (after day 1B)

Uzziah Thomas 176,200

Chris Ayoub 103,200

David Rodwell 84,200

Marcial Dias 81,300

Michael Harrington 72,800

Aaron Benton 72,000

Jose Guinto 67,800

Christopher Bridle 67,000

Didier Guerin 66,600

Shuai Chang 64,900

• For all information and results from the 2011 Sydney Poker Championships, click here

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