The Day 1b flight of the APPT Seoul Main Event has come in at 139 entrants, and when combined with yesterday's numbers, has produced a total field of 268 players to shatter all previous records for a poker tournament in Seoul in terms of both number of entrants and prizepool. They'll all be fighting to reach the top 28 which is where the first KRW5,000,000 (US$4,473) payout will be awarded. Reaching the final table on Sunday is worth KRW15,889,600 (US$14,215) while our champion will receive a massive KRW194,000,000 (US$173,555) - impressive numbers in any currency.
The red spade of PokerStars is being well represented today with 41 players patched up, including 25 PokerStars qualifiers, a couple of sponsored players and two Team PokerStars Pros. They are Mexican Angel Guillen and Singapore's Bryan Huang.
After a recent table break, both of our Team PokerStars Pros found themselves seated on the very same table, which made things a little easier for us to check in on their progress.
We observed Guillen was in good shape and appeared to be pretty active on his table, making his presence felt in a number of pots. Looking relaxed in his blue-rimmed shades, and what appeared to be a game of chess going on his iPhone, he had built his stack up nicely to around 40,000 at the second break of the day.
At the other end of the table was Huang who didn't look as comfortable. His head was rested at an angle upon his clenched fist as he gazed towards his opponents, seated behind his last 15,000 chips. Unfortunately just moments later, those chips would enter the pot, never to return.
It started with a raise under the gun to 625 with Guillen making the call next to speak. Action then folded around to Huang on the button and he came along to make it three ways to a flop of Q♠8♣6♣. Two checks and Huang decided to commit a bet of 1,525. It looked strong, but his opponent's check-raise to 5,500 looked even stronger. Guillen obviously had a hand as he pondered his decision for a few moments before ducking out of the way, before the action was back with Huang.
He sunk down in his chair, took a deep breath and splashed his last chips across the betting line for a 8,725-chip raise. It wasn't enough to force a fold, but Huang tabled the best hand with his A♠Q♦ ahead of his opponent's A♣K♣. The 8♠ turn was a brick but the K♦ on the river brought an end to Huang's tournament.
"Rough day in the office Bryan?" was all I could muster in an attempt to pot a positive spin on his demise.
"It's been a rough year," lamented Huang. "There were a few soft spots on the table so it's disappointing but that's how it goes I guess."
So what's next for Huang?
"I might try and qualify for ANZPT Sydney, but I don't mind if I don't go. I just want to get back to playing online again and grind twenty tables at once!" he said with a glimmer in his eye.