They have reached the end of Level 13 (1,000/2,000/300) and the dinner break. The field has now shrunk to 33 players, meaning that once they return from dinner the money bubble will be looming as only the top 22 finishers in the Asia Championship of Poker will be making the cash.
Among those lost during the last level was Team PokerStars Pro Vivian Im. Im became short-stacked and committed her chips with 7♦5♦ against Alan Sass's ace-jack. The flop brought a five and hope for Im, but a jack fell on the river and Im was out.
Sass, who had been leader just a while ago, found himself in another big confrontation with Andrew Gaw last level in which both players had big pairs once again, and again Gaw had the better of it preflop with K♥K♣ against Sass's Q♦Q♣.
The better hand held this time to boost Gaw's stack back up close to 200,000. Meanwhile Sass still sports a lead-challenging stack of 340,000 as the break nears.
Meanwhile, Michael Kanaan of Australia has pushed up to a 350,000-chip stack and second position, while the young Macanese player Yue Hin Lam has once more snuck back into the top spot with about 380,000.
Among the short stacks at present is Victorino Torres, the 2010 APPT Macau Main Event champion who hails from tiny Northern Marina Islands, one of the U.S. territories.
Torres' topped a field of 342 to win the 2010 Macau Main Event, then a $40,000 HKD buy-in event, and took away a first prize of $3,246,200 (HKD) or the equivalent of about $418K USD. That marked the biggest score by far in Torres' career, although he has a few other APPT cashes to his credit.
Meanwhile, updating the the $1 Million ACOP Challenge between Team Hong Kong and Team Australia, the latter group still has but one representative left in the Main Event, Andrew Hinrichsen, albeit with a super-short stack of less than 50,000.
Team Hong Kong still has two players alive, with Edmund Lee still sitting reasonably comfortably with about 140,000 and Sparrow Cheung on the short side with about 50,000.
When they return, Torres, Cheung, Hinrichsen and the other short stacks will want to be making a lot of a little in short order. Speaking of, Lynn Gilmartin accompanied Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier to the Mobile Lounge where ElkY -- as others of us did earlier in the week -- accepted the Zoom Challenge. Take a look:
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.