STAR POKER: Rowe steers course through Main Event opening flight

A new era for the Sydney Poker Championships was launched last night with the first edition of the Main Event at the boosted buy-in of $3000, up from $1650. A field of 88 players took their seats at The Star last night for the first of two day one flights, with 41 players surviving the eight 60-minute levels and a long night at the tables.

In a blast from the past, 2008 APPT Sydney champion Martin Rowe finished among the chip leaders on 146,525 while Peter Skouteris (98,025), Daniel Laidlaw (97,650), John Caridad (91,950), Karam Bahi (73,225) and 2010 Aussie Million champion Tyron Krost (71,850) among the chip leaders. Other notables to progress included Phillip Willcocks (57,950), Martin Williams (56,725), Jonno Karamalikis (48,925), Andy Lee (40,025), Brendon Rubie (27,800) and Kahle Burns (24,200).

The Sydney Champs are one of the newer events on the national calendar. Appropriately, it was Australia’s newest WSOP gold bracelet winner who won the first Sydney Champs Main Event title back in 2009 for $121,500. Having placed third in 2009, Milan Gurung went one better to place second but again fell agonizingly short of victory as Andrew Capelin won the second edition of the Sydney Champs Main Event and the first prize of $136,942.

Errolyn Strang joined an elite club of female players who’ve captured a major Australian title when she won the Sydney Champs Main Event crown in 2001, pocketing $119,542. Last year, Dean Yuen earned the championship trophy and a payout of $127,133 when he defeated David Borg for the title. The Main Event continues at The Star today with flight two scheduled to kick-off at 12.30pm. The PMA team will be back on the rail to provide live reporting right through the Main Event.

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