Cole Swannack Leads APPT Snowfest

Cole SwannackCole Swannack leads the PokerStars sponsored Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) Main Event in Queenstown, New Zealand, after a Day 1A which saw a modest entry, but plenty of quality play.

Just 40 players entered the NZ$3,000 buy-in event on the first of three Day 1s but, as with any competition where Aussies and Kiwis are across the table from each other, the action was far from quiet.

First Blood to the Kiwis

An early, major elimination was 2009 APPT Sydney winner Aaron Benton. His 7 6 was no match for Koray Turker´s A 4 on a board which fell Q♣ 5 J / Q / 6, and he was one of the first players to go and admire the scenery.

Dual winner of the New Zealand Poker Open, Jackson Zheng, was also among the early chip leaders when his set of three´s crushed qualifier Stephen Moon´s pocket Aces, and the 21 year old professional “student” Cole Swannack hit a heart flush with Q 5 to send veteran Australian poker player Khac-Trung Tran to the rail.

Turker Takes a Massive Advantage

Three major hands saw Koray Turker storm into a commanding chip lead. First a pre-flop five-bet against Brett Chalhoub saw his 10 9 best Chalhoub´s A♣ K on a board which fell 10♠ 5 3♠ / Q / Q♠. He then found a wheel (A-5 straight) on the flop when holding 4 2, and followed that up by cleaning out PokerStars sponsored John Maklouf with a backdoor flush which gave him over 100,000 chips – an eighth of all the chips in play.

A late slip in the day when risking J 9 against Jacky Wang´s A Q♣ saw Turker slip back and allow Cole Swannack to be overnight chip leader, but Turker, Swannack and Zheng take very healthy stacks into Friday´s Day 2 of the APPT Snowfest.

End of Day 1A Chip Counts APPT Snowfest

With a field dominated by players from New Zealand, it was inevitable that the majority of the 20 players who made it through to Day 2 would be home based, but maybe in not such commanding numbers as was anticipated. Only two Australians will feature among the top ten players when play resumes at the Skycity Casino in Queenstown.

1 Cole Swannack New Zealand 86,050
2 Koray Turker New Zealand PokerStars Qualifier 85,075
3 Jackson Zheng New Zealand PokerStars Qualifier 80,125
4 Semesa Brown Australia 43,125
5 Wayne Bell New Zealand PokerStars Qualifier 40,125
6 Rachel Bellard New Zealand PokerStars Qualifier 37,525
7 Gareth Dale New Zealand PokerStars Qualifier 36,800
8 Werner Soames New Zealand PokerStars Qualifier 34,175
9 Joseph Allis New Zealand PokerStars Qualifier 32,875
10 Harry Kyriacou Australia PokerStars Qualifier 32,500