SPSS TODAY: Nov 27; Celebrity tournament kicks-off 2012 schedule

Welcome to PokerMedia Australia’s coverage of the second Star Poker Summer Series. Over the next two weeks, we’ll be providing a daily wrap-up from The Star as the biggest names in Aussie poker converge on the harbour city for the last major tournament series of 2012.

In addition, our team will be reporting live from The Star on Sunday (December 2) for the third running of the $1100 PokerMedia Australia No Limit Hold’em Special, and we’ll back from December 6-9 with wire-to-wire coverage of the $5000 buy-in Star Poker Summer Series Main Event.

The official schedule doesn’t kick-off until Wednesday (November 28) with the first flight of the $330 No Limit Hold’em Opening Event but there’ll be a big event atmosphere at The Star tonight (Tuesday) for the Star Poker Summer Series Celebrity tournament.

In addition, a Main Event Phase 2 satellite will be played from 6.15pm. The buy-in is $550, levels are 25 minutes and players will start with a stack of 6000 in tournament chips.

While this is the second time that this event has been played under the banner of the Star Poker Summer Series, it’s actually the sixth time that The Star has hosted a major series at this time of the year.

PMA’s Sean Callander followed the first season of the Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) in 2007 as a blogger, and recalled the chaotic lead-up to the first APPT Sydney Main Event.

“Adding a tournament in Macau as part of that first APPT season was a huge coup, but it came together at the last minute which meant there was just a fortnight between the two events,” Callander said.

“But online qualifiers had been running for the Sydney event well in advance, which helped build a field well beyond the expectations of everyone involved with the first major tournament hosted at Star City.”

The first running of APPT Sydney, a $6300 buy-in No Limit Hold’em tournament that started on December 13, 2007, attracted a staggering field of 561 players. The prizepool of $3,366,000 remains the biggest ever offered on Australian soil outside the Aussie Millions.

The line-up also included the greatest line-up of former WSOP Main Event winners ever assembled in Australia, comprising Scotty Nguyen, Chris Moneymaker, Greg Raymer and Joe Hachem.

After four long days, Sydney school teacher – now Star Poker ambassador – Grant Levy (pictured) has etched his name in local poker folklore as the first Aussie to have claimed a $1 million prize on home soil.

Unlike the Aussie Millions Main Event crown, The Star’s December championship title has never been claimed by an international player. Indeed, until Jonathan Karamalikis’ victory in 2010, each winner had hailed from the host state.

The 2012 edition of the Star Poker Summer Series Main Event looms as another battle among Australia’s leading players along with the five defending champions, all of who are expected to be in Sydney once again in pursuit of one of our nation’s leading poker trophies.

The Star gallery of champions

2011 Star Poker Summer Series Main Event (164 players; prizepool AUD $1,000,000; 19 players paid)

1 Andy Lee (Australia) $270,000
2 Tom Rafferty (Australia) $170,000
3 Matviy Bilenky (Australia) $100,000
4 Peter Skouteris (Australia) $80,000
5 Michael Kanaan (Australia) $67,500
6 Mark Wright (Australia) $55,000
7 Jonathan Karamalikis (Australia) $45,000
8 Jay Malig (Australia) $35,000
9 Dien Nguyen (Australia) $27,500

2010 APPT Sydney (289 players; prizepool AUD $1,734,000; 32 players paid)

1 Jonathan Karamalikis (Australia) $459,510
2 Ben McLean (Australia) $294,780
3 Tom Rafferty (Australia) $164,730
4 Peca Stojanovski (Australia) $121,380
5 Antoine Amourette (France) $97,970
6 Eddy Sabat (USA) $79,765
7 Manuel Hamsimikali (Australia) $65,025
8 Roland de Wolfe (UK) $50,285
9 Daniel Negreanu (Canada) $36,415

2009 APPT Sydney results (396 players; prizepool AUD $2,376,000; 48 players paid)

1 Aaron Benton (Australia) $594,000
2 Ernst Hermans (Netherlands) $381,348
3 Leo Boxell (Australia) $213,840
4 Wayne Carlson (Australia) $166,320
5 Tom Grigg (Australia) $130,680
6 Andrew Hiscox (Australia) $106,920
7 Barry Forrester (Australia) $83,160
8 David Formosa (Australia) $65,340
9 Thomas Slifka (USA) $47,520

2008 APPT Sydney results (477 players, prizepool AUD $2,862,000, 48 players paid)

1 Martin Rowe (Australia) $1,000,000
2 Jason Gray (Australia) $476,000
3 Tony Basile (Canada) $266,000
4 Antonio Fazzolari (Australia) $182,000
5 Tim English (Australia) $140,000
6 Frank Saffioti (Australia) $100,800
7 Daniel Kowalski (Poland) $72,800
8 Hai Bo Chu (Australia) $53,200
8 Tom Rafferty (Australia) $39,200

2007 APPT Sydney results (561 players, prizepool AUD $3,366,000, 56 players paid)

1 Grant Levy (Australia) $1,000,000
2 Jeremiah Vinsant (USA) $621,540
3 Lei He (Australia) $322,280
4 Sol Bergren (Canada) $230,200
5 Jai Kemp (Australia) $158,830
6 Barry Kohlhoff (USA) $115,100
7 John Matwey (USA) $92,080
8 Vijayan Nagarajan (Malaysia) $69,060
9 Larry Wright (USA) $46,040

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