Macau is home to one of the most iconic events on the world's sporting calendar each year, not that many outside a core of enthusiasts know of its existence. Each November, the streets of the city roar to life to the sound of racing cars representing the four corners of the world for the Macau Grand Prix.
With most of the major international series run and won by this time of the year, the Macau event always attracts plenty of interest among motorsport insiders although the event receives little mainstream coverage outside the immediate region.
That's a shame, as the tight and twisty Macau track is reminiscent in many ways of the Monaco street circuit as cars roar through the parkland around Guia Hill, through the centre of the city and along the harbourside.
First run in October, 1954 as a club race for local enthusiasts, the Macau Grand Prix has evolved into what many believe is the finest street circuit race meeting in the world. The first race ran for four hours over 51 laps of the 3.9-mile circuit, much of which comprised cobblestones. Today the Macau Grand Prix features the FIA Formula 3 Intercontinental Cup, Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix and the finale of the FIA World Touring Car Championship.
Poker might not have the high-speed, tyre-smoking appeal of motorsport, but there'll be just as many heart-stopping moment and adrenalin-fuelled moments here at PokerStars Macau in the Grand Lisboa Hotel and Casino today for day two of the 2009 PokerStars.net APPT Macau Main Event.
With 196 players remaining of the 429 who entered, many of who start the day short-stacked, we're expecting plenty of fender-benders in the first hour as the backmarkers make their charge through the field - or finish with the hood up in the garage.
Underlining the international appeal of poker and Macau as a destination, the top 10 chip stacks are held by players representing 10 different nations, with Norwegian-based Australian Kristoffer Myhre staring down on the field with 183,400.
But there's a starting grid full of marquee names eager to chase him down, led by Team PokerStars Pros Joe Hachem and Bertrand ElkY Grospellier, PokerStars.net Team Asia trio Celina Lin, Jonathan Lin and Dan Schreiber, three PokerStars.net Team Australia pros Grant Levy, Eric Assadourian and Tony Hachem, WSOP bracelet winners David Chiu and Isaac Galazan, Aussies David Saab, Van Marcus, Andrew Scott and James Potter and the man with a "Michael Schumacher-like" record in Macau events - Hong Kong-based Australian David Steicke. For the full seat draw for day two, click here.
Players face eight one-hour levels today, which should leave us close to the bubble of 48th-place - the green flag will drop in the next few minutes!
Level 8: 500/1000 (ante 100)
Level 9: 600/1200 (ante 100)
Level 10: 800/1600 (ante 200)
Level 11: 1000/2000 (ante 200)
Level 12: 1200/2400 (ante 300)
Level 13: 1500/3000 (ante 300)
Level 14: 2000/4000 (ante 400)
Level 15: 2500/5000 (ante 500)
Top 10 chip counts after day 1
Kristoffer Myhre (Norway) 183,400
Peter Nielsen (Denmark) 141500
Roel Pijpers (Netherlands) PokerStars Qualifier 125500
Wei Cheng "Jacko" Chiang (Taipei) PokerStars Sponsored Player 124,800
Botabavzv Darkhan (Kazakhstan) 124,500
Tom Hall (UK) PokerStars Sponsored Player 120,700
Suen Kit Cheong (Australia) 118,300
Daniel Hansson (Sweden) PokerStars Qualifier 110,500
Brandon Demes (USA) PokerStars Player 102,200
Preetinder Bhayana (Canada) PokerStars Qualifier 99,300
Watch APPT Macau 09: Day 2 Introduction on PokerStars.tv