The man personally responsible for the game's popularity Down Under, 2005 WSOP Main Event champ Joe Hachem, kicked things off with the call to shuffle up and deal just after 12:30 p.m. local time before joining the other 196 Day 1c starters on the felt.
In fact, fellow WSOP Main Event champs and Team PokerStars Pro members Chris Moneymaker and Peter Eastgate joined Joe today, as did 2008 WSOPE Main Event title holder and Team Full Tilt pro John Juanda, just to name a few.
With the total number of Day 1c players set at 197, the number of starters for the Grand Final added up to 477, making the prize pool a respectable $2,862,000 AUD. What that means is 48 people will be paid when this thing is all said and done, and the player on top will enjoy an impressive $1 million AUD.
Once things got going today, a man named Hachem grabbed the early headlines, but it wasn't Joe. His brother Tony managed to find himself on the wrong end of a set-over-set debacle and fall below $5k early, only to make quad aces a few hands later and jump back into contention.
As the day wore on, Hachem grabbed our attention again, but this time it was Joe, when he ran nines into big slick and lost the flip to make an all-too-early exit.
Within minutes the APPT Grand Final went Hachemless as Tony's tens failed to fade one of John Juanda's two overs.
However, the big names really were not the big news early - Sydneysider Jay Huxley was.
He won a Star City satellite to get here and seemed determined to make the most of it, jumping up close to $100k in just the third level of the day by flopping top set against some unlucky opponent's middle set, then rivering quads to add insult to injury.
But before he could start playing big-stack poker and adding to his lead, APPT Auckland third-place finisher Wang Che Jung managed to vault himself up around the $100k mark, magically flopping a yacht against an opponent who turned a boat and, just as quickly, he was moved just two seats to Huxley's right.
The rest of the day was a wash between the two as they swapped spots at the top of the leaderboard more than a few times, taking turns spreading their wealth around the table, then taking it back.
In fact, although they ended the day neck and neck for the Day 1c chip lead with a third player by the name of Anthony Rafter, neither managed to build on his early good fortune, and they will both come into Day 2 tomorrow with around $80,000 in chips.
In all, 98 survived the day of carnage that was 1c, but the aforementioned Peter Eastgate was not among them, having run jacks into kings, then a weak ace into a pair of them, before saying goodnight.
All four Season 2 APPT champs hit the felt today, but Macau winner Edward Sabat, Auckland winner Daniel Craker and Seoul man Yoshihiro Tasaka all hit the rail before the day was through as well.
In fact, only Manila champ Van Marcus made the cut, but barely.
Of the three WSOP Main Event champs in attendance, Chris Moneymaker was the only one to survive the day. He was among the midday leaders on over $60k when they went for dinner, but by the time it was all over, he had dipped below $30,000, leaving some serious work to be done Friday.
WSOPE champ John Juanda has an even bigger job to do as he'll return for Day 2 on the same $20k he started Day 1 with.
Tomorrow, today's 98 survivors will join the 118 from the first two Day 1's under the same roof for the first time, with plans to play to the 48-person money bubble and beyond.
Sitting at the top of the group will be 2008 WSOP Omaha Hi-Lo final tablist Jason Gray and his almost $180 stack with only Team PokerStars Pro's Gavin Griffin and Day 1a Kiwi chip boss Phillip Willcocks even close.
As you know, PL.com will be here in Sydney from start to finish tomorrow. They're not within a cooee of crowning an APPT Grand Final champion just yet, but you must have a kangaroo loose in the top paddock if you think we'll miss this one.