Dream day for Nitsche as German pro leads ACOP Main Event

October 25, 2017


Dominik Nitsche: Leading the last 89

So it’s the end of Day 2 at the biggest ever Asia Championship of Poker (ACOP) Main Event at the PokerStars LIVE! card-room at the City of Dreams Casino, Macau. When registration closed today, 308 players had entered, beating last year’s record by six.

That means there is a whopping HK$28,674,000 in the prize pool and the winner will take home HK$6,615,000 in cash and a HK$100,000 seat into the 2018 Main Event. It really is all to play for.

After five levels today, there are just 85 (tbc) runners left and Day 2 has seen some very familiar names rise to the top.

Daniel Dvoress, Alan Lau, Jason Les, Quan Li, Brian Altman and Isaac Haxton, plus defending champion Vladimir Geshkenbein, all chipped up (and some eventually slipped back) but it’s Dominik Nitsche who made it stick. He is our chip leader going into Day 3 tomorrow with 519,000 and he is the only one to have broken the half million mark.


Quan Li: Again with the big stack

Nitsche began with a modest stack but after playing his A game (one of the best in the world) and having the poker gods smile on him at least once (he cracked aces with pocket fives), Nitsche leads the field.

“Long time since I had the chip lead in a tournament,” Nitsche said. “Need to make the most of it.”

Nitsche gave that as an excuse not to go to tonight’s party. He’s going to spend his evening staring at the chip-count page.

Sadly for Celina Lin and Randy Lew, today wasn’t their day. They’re free to hit the party as they both hit the rail early on. Of the Team PokerStars Pros in action today, only Aditya Agarwal remains. He goes into Day 3 with 39,000, after losing a huge pot towards the end.


No luck for Lin


Agarwal will need to rebuild

That’s it for tonight’s coverage as players from all events are heading off to the aforementioned PokerStars party, which is taking place on the level three pool-deck. These events are always good fun.

Unfortunately if you want to know what happens there, you’ll have to use your imagination, as what happens in Macau, stays in Macau. However, everything from today’s poker is below. You can read that to your heart’s content.


• PLAYERS LEFT: 89 (of 308)
• Follow @PokerStarsBlog on Twitter

10:21pm: Six more hands
Level 13 – Blinds: 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

We’re now playing the last six hands of the day, then it’s all over. — HS

10:20pm: Nitsche wins big and picks six
Level 13 – Blinds: 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

Dominik Nitsche and Wayne Zhang were on the river of a 7♠10♣K♣2♠10♠ board and there was about 72,000 in the pot.

Nitsche was on the button and bet 55,000 when checked to. Zhang thought for a bit and then called.

“Flush,” Nitsche said and turned over K♠5♠. Zhang mucked and Nitsche chipped up to 515,000 for the tournament chip lead. Tournament staff were also waiting right next to him so he could draw a seat card to see how many hands we’d play to end the night.

Nitsche drew a six. –AV

10:15pm: Su sucks out
Level 13 – Blinds: 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

A bump in the road for defending champion Vladimir Geshkenbein, as he just doubled up Hao Su. The latter was all-in for 36,000 with 6♦6♠ and Geshkenbein was looking to score the knockout blow with A♣10♣.

The 4♦A♦Q♣ flop meant that Geshkenbein was the first player to suck out in this hand, but Su had a runner-runner up his sleeve as the K♦9♦ turn and river meant he rivered a flush to stay alive. He’s up to 75,000 and Geshkenbein is down to 180,000. –NW

10:10pm: Battle of the blinds: Ho vs Song
Level 13 – Blinds: 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

It was a battle of the blinds with about 14,000 in the pot and a 5♣3♠8♥ flop on the felt. In the small blind, weighing in at some amount we don’t know, was Maria Ho. In the big blind, weighing in at another amount we don’t know, was Jianzhong Song.

Ho started the postflop action off with a jab of 6,500 and Song countered with a body blow of 15,100. Ho then went for the all-in uppercut, putting her remaining 49,400 in. Song tried to go in for the KO by calling with 6♠3♣, but Ho turned over 10♦10♣ for an overpair. The turn brought a Q♦ and a 4♥ completed the board.

Ho denied Song the KO and chipped up to 105,000 for winning the round. Song on the other hand dipped to 160,000. We’ll see if they battle it up from the blinds again. –AV

10:05pm: Watson uses Doyle to juice Li
Level 13 – Blinds: 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

Juicy Li sat contemplating her fate on the river. There were 35,000 in the middle and she had 56,400 behind. Her opponent was Mike Watson and he set her all-in.

The board rested as 4♦K♥A♣3♥5♦ and Li went into the tank. She has a fierce stare and you feel it when sat next to her. Watson’s very experienced and sat there looking very cool and emotionless. That would soon change though.

Li called with A♣9♣ but Watson opened 10♠2♦ for a rivered straight. Li looked stunned, left very quickly and Watson afforded himself a very big smile. He’s up to 235,000. –MC

10pm: The only way is up for Altman
Level 13 – Blinds: 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

Brian Altman continues to win pots and stack chips. He got his latest boost in a blind on blind hand against Terry Tang. I picked up the action on a 2♠Q♦10♣ flop to see Altman betting 5,400, Tang – who finished second in the PokerStars Championship Macau Main Event – called and the dealer placed the A♥ on the turn.

Curiously Altman made a smaller turn bet than his flop bet, wagering just 4,000. Tang had about 34,000 behind and he elected to fold. Altman is up to 425,000 as a result. –NW

9:55pm: Christner shoves
Level 13 – Blinds: 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

Christian Christner just took down a pot after putting Tse An Lee to a decision for all his chips.

The board was spread 4♠8♦K♣9♣ and Christner led for 29,000 from the big blind. Lee made the call and the J♣ completed the board. Christner then bet enough to cover Lee’s last 63,000 which sent the latter deep into the tank.

Lee looked like he changed his mind a couple of times before finally relinquishing his hand. Christner scooped the chips and added to his stack that now sits at 290,000. — BK

9:50pm: Big names, small boom
Level 13 – Blinds: 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

Dominik Nitsche, Tom Alner and Stephen Chidwick entered a pot. It’s not a joke, but it is an enticing start to an underwhelming pot.

Things started out promising though. Alner raised to 5,500 from the hijack and and Nitsche called from the cutoff. Chidwick then went along from the big blind and players saw a promising flop with two face cards: Q♦5♥K♣. Then, a round of checks. A 10♣ followed the checks and prompted another round of checks.

The river brought a 2♣ and some action. Nitsche bet 15,000 when checked to and Chidwick quickly folded. Alner thought for a bit, but eventually decided to fold as well.

Nitsche took down the pot and is near the lead with 425,000. –AV

9:45pm: Cohen applies big-stack pressure
Level 13 – Blinds: 1200/2400 (ante 400)

Sam Cohen has over twice the average stack and she used it to her advantage in this hand.

After Chane Kampanatsanyakorn opened in middle position, Cohen three-bet to 15,000 only to find herself facing a 37,000 four-bet.

She peeled and the flop came down an interesting 2♦4♦5♦.

The flushing board may have been what put Kampanatsanyakorn off. He chose not to continue and deferred to Cohen who bet 50,000 or around half Kampanatsanyakorn’s chips.

After thinking for while, he passed and Cohen has increased her stack to a very healthy 348,000. -LY

9:40pm: Small win for Demicki
Level 13 – Blinds: 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

When you’re relatively short, they all count. Actually, the ACOP Main Event structure is so good that a 50 big blind stack is short compared with the 68 big blind average the players currently enjoy. Daniel Demicki was battling chip leader Brian Altman too, so that has an added effect.

The two players were heads up to the river of an A♠7♥A♣4♥10♥ river and Demicki led for 12,000 from big blind. Altman dwelled before he flicked in the call. Demicki opened 10♣9♣ and Altman mucked to drop to 387,000. –MC

9:35pm: Christner doubles through Smith
Level 13 – Blinds: 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

Not long after Dan Smith knocked out Phachara Wongwichit (see below) he doubled up Christian Christner. It was a cooler situation with Christner holding pocket kings and Smith big slick. No ace appeared on the 9♣J♥5♠9♠6♠ board and Christner doubled up. He was all-in for 115,000. Smith is down to 180,000 after that hand, which is still plenty. –NW

9:30pm: Tough and deep
Level 13 – Blinds: 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

As an indication of how this tournament is getting both tougher and deeper, take a look at this table:

Seat 1 — empty
Seat 2 — Aditya Agarwal 130,000
Seat 3 — Steven Calzada 95,000
Seat 4 — Tom Alner 105,000
Seat 5 — Dominik Nitsche 395,000
Seat 6 — Donghui Xu 45,000
Seat 7 — Chin Wei 240,000
Seat 8 — Stephen Chidwick 145,000
Seat 9 — Wayne Zhang 252,000

There’s a little more than one hour left until the end of the day. — HS

9:28pm: Chinese aces for Smith
Level 13 – Blinds: 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

Dan Smith moved up to 295,000 by eliminating the short-stacked Phachara Wongwichit after a pre-flop showdown.

Wongwichit moved all-in for his last 18,000 holding 6♥6♦ and was only called by Smith who held 8♥8♠. The board ran 7♠7♣3♦2♠2♦ to improve neither player. –MC

9:25pm: Agarwal takes out Tang
Level 13 – Blinds: 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

Wayne Zhang raised to 5,600 from early position and Devin Tang moved all-in for 22,700. Team PokerStars Pro Aditya Agarwal called and action folded back around to Zhang.

Zhang thought for a bit, he had the largest stack of the three, with 260,000 compared with Agarwal’s 115,000 and Tang’s 22,700. Zhang decided he wasn’t going to play though and folded A♠Q♣ face up.

It would’ve been the winning hand. Tang tabled 6♥6♣, Agarwal showed J♦J♥ and the board ran 3♦10♠Q♥10♦5♣. Tang took a permanent leave of absence while Agarwal chipped up to nearly 150,000. –AV

9:20pm: Cun can’t hang on
Level 13 – Blinds: 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

Cun Zhang has hit the rail after ending up on the wrong side of a flip against Lijo Bereciartua.

It folded around to Zhang in late position and he moved all-in for 27,800 and after a slight moment on contemplation from Bereciartua he called it off.

Zhang: 4♠4♣
Bereciartua: A♣8♣

It was a fair fight but Bereciartua wound up with the best of it on the 9♠9♣J♥8♦Q♦ run out when he paired up on the turn. That was enough for Bereciartua to send Zhang packing and increase his own stack to 120,000. — BK

9:15pm: It’s tough at the top
Level 13 – Blinds: 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

About 20 hours ago Wayne Yap scored by far the biggest cash of his poker career when he took down the 2017 ACOP Single-day High Roller. That win was worth $720,000 and near tripled his previous high.

However, Yap finds himself on the rail having busted out of the Main Event, not to worry though there’s a Mini High Roller to get stuck into tomorrow. –NW

9:10pm: Wise check behind
Level 13 – Blinds: 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

David Calzada showed some aggression on the turn but wisely checked back the river as he was shown a full house and dropped to 80,500.

He was heads up versus Wayne Zhang and the board read Q♠3♥10♣J♦ at the turn. Zhang bet 7,300 from middle position and called after Calzada raised to 26,400 from the cutoff.

The J♦ fell on the river and both played checked. Zhang opened Q♣J♣ and moved up to 275,000 after his opponent mucked. –MC


Wayne Zhang: Dangerous

9:05pm: Last level
Level 13 – Blinds: 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

Off we go on the last level of the day. There’s a pretty formidable look to the top of the leader board at this stage:

Name Country Chips
Brian Altman USA 430,000
Qiang Fu New Zealand 390,000
Dominik Nitsche Germany 385,000
Gabriel Le Jossec Amar Canada 320,000
Samantha Cohen United States 320,000
Alan Lau Hong Kong 315,000
Jason Les United States 310,000


Sam Cohen: Into the top 10

8:55pm: Get your glad rags on

It’s very nearly party time. But before that, there’s a 15-minute break, then one more 90-minute level. Then the bags come out and the players’ party gets going. — HS

8:45pm: Where did that come from?
Level 12 – Blinds: 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Vladimir Geshkenbein shocked his two opponents with a surprise river check-raise. It worked to get them to fold, though, and he moved back up to 190,000.

There was 17,700 in the pot from pre flop action and no more chips went in until the river when the board rested as 5♠4♠J♠3♠4♥. Geshkenbein (SB) checked and Alan Lau bet 12,000 from the big blind. The third party folded before Geshkenbein slid over a stack of chips worth 100,000. Lau’s eyes opened wide, then he folded to drop to 315,000. –MC

8:40pm: Double figures
Level 12 – Blinds: 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

At this stage, double figures isn’t great if we’re talking stack sizes. But it’s pretty good if we’re talking “players left” and you’ve still got a seat.

In the past five minutes, a player was knocked out in 100th position, leaving this record field down to only 99. When about two thirds of them have gone, they’ll all be in the money. (Should happen some time tomorrow.)

8:35pm: Smith chipping up
Level 12 – Blinds: 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

It’s been an up and down day for Dan Smith. He was as low as 10 big blinds earlier but he’s now up to 265,000 (132.5 big blinds) after eliminating Zhikui Shi.

Smith was the initial pre-flop aggressor. He made it 4,700 to go from middle position, Shi three-bet to 15,000 and Smith was the only caller.

On the 4♦10♦2♠ flop, Smith checked, Shi shoved for what looked to be about 1.5 times the pot and Smith called.

Shi showed A♣Q♣ but Smith had out-flopped him with Q♥10♥. The 4♦3♦ turn and river kept Smith in front. –NW

8:30pm: From Wu to Tang
Level 12 – Blinds: 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Jack Wu raised to 4,300 from under the gun and Tianyuan Tang moved all-in for 26,400 from middle position. Action folded back around to Wu and he called.

Wu turned over A♣J♣ and Tang showed a dominating A♦Q♥. Both players paired on the Q♣9♥J♠9♠3♦ board, but queens were the bigger pair and they gave Tang the double up. The hand put Tang up to 60,000 while Wu dropped to 40,000. –AV

8:25pm: Big pairs, small double
Level 12 – Blinds: 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

You’d never say no to holding a big pair when someone else has a slightly smaller pair, but the optimal spot is surely when both you and your opponent has a stack to make a difference.

Chane Kampanatsanyakorn isn’t complaining, but he only had 28,800 in his stack when his kings went up against Atanas Kavrakov’s jacks and so his double-up still only put him to around 60,000.


Chane Kampanatsanyakorn: Small double

For the completists, the hand played out as follows: Kavrakov opened to 5,300, Kampanatsanyakorn jammed for 28,000 and everyone else folded. Kavrakov called instantly.

Kavrakov’s J♣J♠ trailed Kampanatsanyakorn’s K♦K♣ all the way through a board that ran 6♦3♦2♥Q♣K♥. Kavrakov still sits with right around 200,000. — HS

8:20pm: Li plays the hero
Level 12 – Blinds: 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Bjorn Li just made a huge call for his tournament life but unfortunately for him Yuliyan Kolev had the goods.

Li was in the big blind and checked it over to Kolev on the button who bet enough to cover Li’s last 31,800 with the board reading 7♥6♠K♠A♥10♦. Li went into the tank but ultimately decided on a hero call with J♦6♣ for just bottom pair and a blocker to Broadway.

Kolev flipped over 9♣8♦ for the second nuts and that was all she wrote for Li. — BK

8:20pm: Feshcenko doubles
Level 12 – Blinds: 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Daria Feshcenko was down to 41,200 and put it all-in from the hijack. Bernhard Michael Steiner called from the big blind and we had a good old-fashioned race.

Steiner turned over J♣J♦ and Feshcenko tabled A♣K♠.


A double for Daria Feshchenko

The flip fell in Feschenko’s favor along with the 6♠A♥2♥2♣10♥ board and she doubled up to 85,000 while Steiner slipped to 105,000. –AV

8:15pm: Dvoress mixes his bet-sizes
Level 12 – Blinds: 1000/2000 (ante 300)

Our chip leader from yesterday, Shaoqing Liu, made it 4,500 from under the gun and and was called in three spots. First by Daniel Demicky in the cutoff, then by Daniel Dvoress in the small blind and finally Yuliyan Kolev joined them from the big.

The Q♣5♦8♥ flop saw the action stagnate with checks all round. But the turn and river was where it got interesting.

After a 9♥ came on the turn, Dvoress elected to lead with a bet of 26,000, more than pot. Only Kolev saw reason to call.

When a J♣ river came out, there was a one-card straight on the board and Dvoress bet a (relatively) paltry 16,000. It was enough, though.

Dmitry didn’t like it and sent his cards into the muck. -LY

8:10pm: Not their day
Level 12 – Blinds: 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

We’re down to the final dozen tables in the Main Event as just 108 players maintain an interest. We’re still someway off the money (36 get paid) so it’s not a case of what might have been for the following players, more a case of it just not being their day at the office.

JC Alvarado, Sam Greenwood, Igor Yaroshevskyy and Bjorn Wiesler are three of the high-profile casualties and Michael Falcon, Qi Liu, Bao Ho, Hao Tian, Raul Martinez, Akira Ohyama, Cameron Couch, and Chunjie Liu are also out. –NW

8:05pm: Cleaning up the chip counts
Level 12 – Blinds: 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

The chip-count page has just had one of its occasional spruce-ups, principally to reflect the fact that Brian Altman has the first 400,000+ stack in the room. Check out the leaders.


Bryan Altman: Flying

8:05pm: Triple D: Daniel Demicki Doubles
Level 12 – Blinds: 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Daniel Demicki won a classic flip to get a much needed double up. He got his 41,200 stack in preflop versus 2016 Asia Player of the Year, Jack Wu.

Demicki: Q♥Q♠
Wu: A♥K♥

The board ran a blank 5♥7♣2♦10♠3♦ and Wu dropped to 106,000. –MC

8pm: Yurasov barrels three streets
Level 12 – Blinds: 1000/2000 (ante 300)

Players were on the flop by the time I came along and it was Dmitry Yurasov versus Daniel Demicky on the cutoff and button respectively.

The flop was 5♣6♦A♠ and Yurasov bet 4,500, which seemed to be a no-brainer for Demicky who called fast. The turn brought the 8♦ and Yurasov upped the cost to 16,000 and Demicky thought a little longer this time before making the call.

The 2♣ river saw Yurasov barrel a third street but the 36,000 bet was deemed to expensive for Demicky who folded. Yurasov takes it down before showdown. -LY

7:55pm: Smith surges
Level 12 – Blinds: 1,000/2,000 (ante 200)

Dan Smith moved all-in one hand and called an all-in the next. He survived both and is now up to about 185,000.

In the first hand, Yian Zeng raised to 4,000 from early position and got a plethora of callers. They included Christian Christner, Hung Wang and Dan Smith. Action checked to Zeng on the A♠Q♥5♠ flop and he bet 8,800. Christner called, Wang folded and Smith moved all-in for about 80,000. Zeng folded and Christner thought for a bit before doing the same.

Song Yang then raised to 4,000 from middle position the following hand and Smith three-bet to 13,000 from the small blind. Yang moved all-in for 65,000 and Smith called. Smith turned over J♣J♦ and Yang was flipping for his tournament life with A♦K♣.

The 9♠7♠8♦8♥J♠ board gave Smith a full house and the elimination. The pot put Smith up to about 185,000. –AV

7:50pm: Hao is that fair?
Level 12 – Blinds: 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

The poker gods are smiling on Dominik Nitsche today – he just cracked aces to send Hao Tian packing.

It looked like after an under-the-gun open from Tian, Nitsche three-bet to 9,000, only to be four-bet to 26,500. Nitsche made the call and the flop landed 4♦K♥4♥. Tian continued for 26,500 and Nitsche peeled one to see the 5♦ appear on the turn.

Tian jammed, Nitsche snapped, and Tian saw he was in terrible shape.

Nitsche: 5♠5♥
Tian: A♠A♦

Nitsche had turned fives full and Tian was down to two outs. Neither would come on the 8♦ river and Tian took a walk as Nitsche raked in the pot and climbed to 335,000. — BK

7:40pm: Agarwal flying Red Spade still
Level 12 – Blinds: 1000/2000 (ante 300)

I spy Aditya Agarwal, who has just returned off the break along with the other 111 remaining players. With only two levels to go before the end of Day 2, the last Team PokerStars Pro is holding steady on 106,000. This is somewhat below average but still a comfortable 53 big blinds to play around with. -LY


Aditya Agarwal: Flying the Red Spade solo

7:35pm: Don’t mess with the champ
Level 12 – Blinds: 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Defending champion Vladimir Geshkenbein has moved back above average (162,000) after he five-bet jammed on neighbour Jiangzhang Song.

Song opened to 4,400 from the hijack before Geshkenbein three-bet to 11,600 from the cutoff. Song came back with a four-bet to 29,400 and that caused Geshkenbein to look confused. He stared at Song for a second and then moved all-in for around 127,000.


Vladimir Geshkenbein: A strong defence

Song gave it some thought, relinquished his hand to drop to 280,000, and was shown A♠Q♠ by Geshkenbein. –MC

7:30pm: Cold deck sees Nguyen fall
Level 12 – Blinds: 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Huu Dung Nguyen has been sent reeling from the tournament floor after top set wasn’t good enough versus Han Yu.

We caught up on the turn with the board reading J♥A♥10♠7♣ and the pair of them ended up with all the chips in the middle. A♠A♣ is usually a pretty strong holding on that board but for Nguyen it meant he was down to ten outs once against Yu’s 9♠8♠ for a straight.

Unfortunately for Nguyen the 4♠ rolled off on the river to signal the end of his Main Event run. Yu meanwhile builds to 220,000. — BK

7:25pm: Christner takes out Difelice
Level 12 – Blinds: 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Alex Difelice busted to Christian Christner on the very first hand back from break.

Maria Ho opened to 5,000 from under the gun before Difelice three-bet all-in for 43,500 from the next seat. Christner was in the cutoff, asked for a count, and then moved in for a little more. Ho, and everyone else, folded.

Difelice: A♦K♦
Christner: J♠J♥

The board ran a blank 3♣10♠2♠9♥7♥ to send Difelice on his way. Christner moved up to 105,000. –MC

7:20pm: Back to it
Level 12 – Blinds: 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Players have returned to their seats and will be hoping to play two more levels tonight before bagging a stack to take into Day 3 tomorrow. Michael Falcon has now been blinded out, so he will not be returning.

7:06pm: Break time
Level 11 – Blinds: 800/1,600 (ante 200)

That’s another 15-minute break. Join us again shortly.

7:05pm: Falcon flies the coop prematurely
Level 11 – Blinds: 800/1,600 (ante 200)

An interesting hand played out just now between Yang Zhang and Michael Falcon. The latter lost the hand and wasn’t happy about it. He stormed off even though he had two big blinds left.

The hand started with a limp and a raise to 5,800 from Koray Aldemir. Zhang called from the hijack and Falcon then made it 16,000 to go from the cutoff. Aldemir called before Zhang moved all-in for around 75,000. So did Falcon. Aldemir elected to fold and leave them to it.

”What do you have?” asked Zhang.
“I called you mate, you have to show first!” insisted Falcon.

Zhang: 9♦9♥
Falcon: A♦Q♣

As the board ran out 3♦J♣3♥7♠10♣ Zhang got more excited and Falcon more frustrated, letting a few f-bombs come out of his mouth. After the river was dealt, Falcon stormed off and was out of sight before anyone could catch him to tell him he actually had Zhang covered and wasn’t officially felted just yet. –MC

7pm: Double Finger
Level 11 – Blinds: 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Donghui Xu raised to 3,600 from under the gun and Ying Chan called from the button. Martin Finger was on the big blind and popped it up to 14,000. That wasn’t enough for Xu though and he four-bet to 51,000.

Chan got out of the way and Finger moved all-in for 63,200. Xu called and showed 10♦10♠ while Finger tabled K♥K♣. Kings held on the Q♥J♥5♦2♣6♠ board and Finger doubled to 130,000. –AV

6:55pm: Oh no Luigi
Level 11 – Blinds: 800/1,600 (ante 200)

After an early position open to 4,000, Luigi Curcio decided to move all-in for his final 23,900. Hiroshi Nishiyama wanted a count and he then called from the small blind.

The original raiser left them heads-up and it was time for showdown.

Curcio showed A♥J♥ but he’d run into the nuts because Nishiyama held A♣A♦.

The 6♠8♠6♦Q♣J♠ board didn’t save the Italian and he headed to the exit. –NW

6:50pm: A pair of pairs
Level 11 – Blinds: 800/1,600 (ante 200)

There were pairs everywhere. A pair of players had pocket pairs and the flop had a pair too. Only one player would win the pot though. Sam Greenwood raised to 3,500 from under the gun and Billy Argyros called from Greenwood’s left. Action folded to Hao Tan’s big blind and he called as well.

A 9♠7♥9♦ flop hit the board and Greenwood bet 4,000 when checked to. Argyros called, Tan folded and a 2♥ came on the turn. Greenwood checked and Argyros made it 10,000 to go. A 6♣ completed after Greenwood called and both players slowed to a check. Then they both showed pocket pairs. Greenwood showed 8♥8♦ and Argyros had him beat with J♣J♦.

Greenwood dipped to 96,600 while Argyros rose 80,000. –AV

6:45pm: Small losses for Dvoress and Westmorland
Level 11 – Blinds: 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Daniel Dvoress and Jordan Westmorland lost small heads up pots to drop to 125,000 and 210,000 respectively.

Dvoress raised into Dmitry Yurasov’s big blind and bet an A♣K♦A♥ flop. Yurasov stuck with him before the 2♣6♣ turn and river were checked through. Yurasov opened Q♦10♦ and it was good as Dvoress mucked. He moved up to 225,000.

Moments later, on a nearby table, Westmorland opened from under the gun. Yunsheng Sun called from the big blind and check-called 4,000 on an 8♦8♥4♠ flop. Both players checked the 3♦ turn before Sun led for 8,000 on the 4♦ river. Westmorland tanked and then tapped the table as he folded. –MC


Jordan Westmorland: Small hit

6:40pm: On the rail
Level 11 – Blinds: 800/1,600 (ante 200)

The Main Event dreams of Russell Thomas, Sangjun Lee, Zhenyu Song, Wikot Malinouski, Xingbiao Zhu, Yifan Zhang, Jingjun Xia, Emmanuel Seal, David Steicke, Hongyu Su, Daniel Tang, Timothy Adams, Wai Wa Chan and Rong Fan are over. After all that, 125 players remain. –NW


Timothy Adams: Swept away

6:30pm: Lau wins off Li
Level 11 – Blinds: 800/1600 (ante 200)

There is a table today that features last year’s Super High Roller Champion Yuan Li, the Main Event defending champion Vladimir Geshkenbein and the current leader of the Asia Player of the Year leader board Alan Lau. We are expecting plenty of action, especially now the bottle of wine Geshkenbein ordered has arrived.


Yuan Li: Tough table

Meanwhile it was Lau and Li in a pot together. Following a 4,000 raise from Lau in middle position, Li defended from the big blind and the flop came a juicy A♦J♦10♣. With a check from both players, the 9♠ turn was dealt. This time when Li checked, Lau made it 5,500 to continue and Li made the call.

The river was a 6♠ and Li check-called Lau’s 9,000 bet. When Lau showed A♥Q♣, Li sent his cards into the muck. -LY

6:25pm: Smith short after a hit from Ho
Level 11 – Blinds: 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Dan Smith is down to around 10 big blinds now after Maria Ho got the best of him in a recent hand.

On a flop of A♦K♦7♥ Smith checked it over to Ho who fired for 3,500 from early position. Smith made the call and the Q♥ arrived on the turn. Again a check from Smith and a bet from Ho – this time for 6,200 – and Smith continued to stick around before the fall of the J♠ river card.


Lean times for Dan Smith

With four to a straight on board they both checked their two pairs, Smith with K♥J♦ to Ho’s superior A♥J♥. Following that clash Smith is down to 17,100 while Ho now up to around 95,000. — BK

6:20pm: Smith versus Christner
Level 11 – Blinds: 800/1,600 (ante 200)

We’ve seen Dan Smith and Christian Christner in the High Roller events this week and today they are both sat at Table 4, with Smith two seats to Christner’s left. Both are playing below average stacks, with Christner currently operating off 56,000 (35 big blinds) and Smith from 48,000 (30 big blinds). The two just played a decent sized pot against each other.

In the hand in question Christner raised to 3,800 on the button, Smith three-bet to 12,500 from the big blind and Christner called. The flop fell 2♠K♣K♠, Smith bet 6,000 and Christner called. The Q♦ fell on the turn and Smith check-folded to Christner’s bet of 9,000. That drops Smith down to 29,500 and boosts Christner to 66,500. –NW

6:10pm: Altman trips up
Level 11 – Blinds: 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Brian Altman built his stack up to 330,000 chips at one point today has dropped down to 283,000. That was part due to him running into the trips of Alex Difelice.

Difelice raised to 3,500 from middle position and was called by Altman on the button. The flop spread 10♣4♠4♦ and Difelice check-called 4,000 before leading himself for 12,500 and 42,500 on the A♥3♣ turn and river. Altman called quickly on the turn but took several minutes to call the river bet. Difelice opened 4♥5♥ and Altman mucked. –MC

6:05pm: Lau axes Xia
Level 11 – Blinds: 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Alan Lau has done fairly well on the Macanese poker scene this year. Lau has 20 cashes in tournaments across Macau this year, including a win in the MPC26 Red Dragon Main Event for HK$3.3 million.

Now Lau is near the top of the leader board in the 2017 ACOP Main Event. Lau’s stack recently got a bump after he eliminated Jingjun Xia.

Vladimir Geshkenbein started that hand off with a raise to 3,600 from early position and Lau re-raised to 11,500 from middle position. Xia was on the big blind and threw in a four-bet to 20,100

Geshkenbein folded and Lau looked over to see how much Xia had left: 11,100. Lau put in a pile of chips and Xia called all-in. Xia turned over A♦Q♦ and Lau had him dominated with A♠K♣.

There was a pair of nines on the 9♠3♥10♦4♣9♣ board and Lau took down the pot, knocked out Xia and chipped up to nearly 300,000. –AV

6:01pm: Les leaps into leads
Level 11 – Blinds: 800/1600 (ante 200)

Looks like we have a new chip leader…

Coming to the table with the 7♣2♦9♦ flop already out, there was some serious betting going on. Jason Les bet 8,000 and Michael Falcon called on the button. Then Hongyu Su raised it up to 25,000 and was called by both.

The turn was K♥ and Su barrelled to the tune of 106,000, putting him all-in. Les paused and decided to jam all-in over the top for about 50,000 more and Falcon got out of the way.

The cards were put on their backs and Su’s 10♣9♥ was drawing dead to Les’s top set K♣K♠, meaning the river was inconsequential.


Jason Les: Leaping up to the top

The monster pot puts Les at the top of the field with a chip for every day of the week (roughly). He has 365,000. -LY

6pm: Nationality pie-chart
Level 11 – Blinds: 800/1,600 (ante 200)

The best thing about registration closing is that we get a pie-chart showing the nationalities of the players. Here’s the one from this event:


Click to enlarge

The raw data looks like this:

Country Players % of Field
China 110 35.7%
USA 28 9.1%
Australia 22 7.1%
Hong Kong 19 6.2%
Canada 16 5.2%
Germany 13 4.2%
UK 13 4.2%
Japan 8 2.6%
Taiwan 6 1.9%
Korea 5 1.6%
Malaysia 5 1.6%
Russia 5 1.6%
Spain 5 1.6%
Bulgaria 4 1.3%
Ireland 4 1.3%
Italy 4 1.3%
Singapore 4 1.3%
Vietnam 4 1.3%
Denmark 3 1.0%
France 3 1.0%
New Zealand 3 1.0%
Poland 3 1.0%
Switzerland 3 1.0%
Thailand 3 1.0%
Other 15 4.9%
Total 308 100.0%

“Other” includes: Belarus, Kazakhstan, Netherlands (2 players each); Austria, Finland, India, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Mexico, Mongolia, Norway and Ukraine (1 player each).

6pm: Demicki picks off Yurasov
Level 11 – Blinds: 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Danny Demicki is stacking some well-deserved chips after making a big river call versus Dmitry Yurasov.

Preflop Yurasov raised to 3,500 from the cutoff and both Demicki and Daniel Dvoress called from the button and big blind respectively. The dealer fanned a flop of 3♣10♣4♣ and two checks saw Yurasov continue for 3,500. Demicki stuck around, and when Dvoress folded, the 9♣ turn card was revealed.

The action was checked through and the 5♠ river prompted Yurasov to wager a hefty 14,000 in chips. Despite the four clubs on board, Demicki picked it off with A♠10♥ which was good enough versus Yurasov’s 6♠6♥.

That call means Demicki now has 160,000 to Yurasov’s 220,000. — BK

5:55pm: Pete’s house and Christian’s river
Level 11 – Blinds: 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Pete Chen has got his day back on track, and a lot has to do with getting paid with a full house. Around 36,000 had made it into the middle by the time he and an opponent had reached the river of a 2♠K♣5♦2♥3♣ board. Chen bombed for 35,000 with 5♣5♠ and his opponent called and mucked upon seeing his hand.

Christian Christner was in a precarious position on a nearby table. He was heads up versus Yian Zeng and didn’t have many chips to play with. The flop read 3♦J♣4♠ and Christner (MP) check-called a 5,000 bet from Zeng (button).

The turn was the J♥ and he check-called another 5,000. The river was the A♦ and both players checked. Christner opened A♥Q♥ and moved up to 45,000 as Zeng mucked to drop to 140,000. –MC

5:50pm: Ding-dong between Dongs
Level 11 – Blinds: 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Dong Zhao moved all-in from early position for 22,800, Dong Kim, who was next to act, called and everyone else folded. Zhao showed 4♣4♠ and was in trouble against Kim’s Q♣Q♦. Kim led from start to finish on a 9♦A♠5♣6♣2♠ run out and eliminated Zhao. –NW

5:45pm: Watson whacks Tang
Level 11 – Blinds: 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Daniel Tang moved all-in for about 30,000 from the hijack and action folded to Mike Watson’s big blind.

Watson looked down at his hand: Q♠Q♥. Easy call. Tang turned over J♦10♦ and didn’t get any help on the 8♥5♠K♣2♦3♣ board.

Tang was tossed from the tournament while Watson is now up to about 170,000. –AV

5:40pm: Full payout details
Level 11 – Blinds: 800/1,600 (ante 200)

The 2017 ACOP Main Event is a record breaker. Here’s all the important info, with full payout schedule available on the payouts page.

ACOP 2017 Main Event ($25 million guarantee)
Dates: October 23-28, 2017
Buy-in: HK$100,000 ($95,000+$5,000)
Players: 308
Prize pool: $28,674,800

Places paid: 36
Min-cash: HK$186,000
Winner: HK$6,815,000* (US$872,950)

*includes a seat to 2018 ACOP Main Event, worth HK$100,000

5:35pm: Level 11
Level 11 – Blinds: 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Here it is. Here’s Level 11.

5:20pm: Break time

That’s the end of Level 10. Level 11 will be right along in 15 minutes. — HS

5:10pm: Ho eliminates Yang
Level 10 – Blinds: 700/1400 (ante 200)

It was a middle position battle between Maria Ho and Renjun Yang, with the former opening with a bet of 3,200. Yang, sat on Ho’s left, called and with everyone else out of the way, it was heads up to the flop.


Ho bet again, this time for a slightly larger 3,500. Yang opted to raise it up, making it 8,300 for Ho to call. She went one better though, spying Yang’s 14,000 or so chips behind, she placed a stack of yellows over the line and set him all in.

Yang didn’t look happy and thought for a minute or two before making the call. It was the wrong thing to do this time as his 9♣9♦ was crushed, having only one out against Ho’s K♥Q♥ top pair and flush draw.

The K♦ turn doubled Yang’s outs but the 8♣ brick couldn’t get him there and he stood up to leave. Ho has been building nicely today. She started with 68,300 and now has around 90,000 to play with. -LY

5:10pm: Cohen grabs some off Alvarado
Level 10 – Blinds: 700/1,400 (ante 200)

It’s an interesting table to watch, but one we’d be terrified to sit at. With Billy Argyros, Dominik Nitsche, JC Alvarado, Sam Cohen and Sam Greenwood, any pot won at Table 12 is a pot well-earned.

One recently went to Sam Cohen. Alvarado raised to 3,200 from early position that hand and Cohen called from the hijack. Argyros was on the big blind and went along for the ride as well.

The flop came 2♠2♥3♣ and Argyros checked. Alvarado bet 4,200 and only Cohen called, bringing a 10♥ on the turn. Alvarado upped the bet to 14,000 and Cohen put him to the test by moving all-in. The test ended quickly with a swift fold from Alvarado.

The pot put Cohen up to about 100,000 while Alvarado is hovering at about 65,000. — AV

5:05pm: Falling short
Level 10 – Blinds: 700/1,400 (ante 200)

More than half of the 308 players have now been eliminated. Among the latest to take their leave are: Tao Fan, Quan Zhou, Renjun Yang, Yongbo Guan, Ryo Naito, Xuan Liu, Yingpeng Jiang, Ping Lin, Xixiang Luo, Geoffrey Mooney, Mustapha Kanit, Elie Saad, Manig Loeser, Sparrow Cheung and Julien Rouxel.

At time of writing 138 players remain and the average stack is 111,500. –NW

5pm: Lok down
Level 10 – Blinds: 700/1,400 (ante 200)

Wai Lok was the most recent Main Event evictee after he ran into the pocket aces of Hiroshi Nishiyama.

It was Akira Ohyama who opened the action before Lok three-bet jammed for 30,500 from the cutoff. Nishiyama made the call from the small blind and Ohyama let it go before Lok saw he needed a lot of help.

Lok: K♠J♠
Nishiyama: A♥A♣

He received that help immediately on the J♥8♠K♦ flop, spiking top two pair to take the lead, but the fall of the A♦ on the turn meant he was already drawing dead.

The Q♣ river card made it official and Lok headed for the exit. — BK

4:45pm: Spano sends some to Liu
Level 10 – Blinds: 700/1,400 (ante 200)

Robert Spano is down to 45,000 after paying off Day 1B chip leader Shaoqing Liu.

The board was showing 6♠7♦3♦9♥2♣ and Liu barrelled for 35,000 on the end. After a moment of consideration Spano tossed in a call to see that he was behind Liu’s Q♥Q♦.

That pot takes Liu even higher in the counts – he now sits with 340,000. — BK

4:40pm: Luo busted by Xu
Level 10 – Blinds: 700/1400 (ante 200)

Halfway through the second level of the day and the action is heating up with more players looking to double up.

We joined the table as Xixiang Luo made a 3,200 open from middle position, almost getting it through until Donghui Xu called from his big blind.

The flop came down 4♣2♦3♥ and the action got very big, very quickly. Xu checked and Luo continued for almost 5,000. Xu then three bet to 11,500 and Luo got it in sharpish. Xu called the 40,000 all-in and both players tabled their hands:

Luo: 10♣10♦
Xu: A♥5♥

On seeing his over-pair was up against Xu’s made straight, Luo got up from his seat. Xu protested that he shouldn’t stand up yet…not sure why, as Luo needed an awful lot of luck on his side to redraw from here. Nothing untoward happened and Xu almost doubled up as a result. -LY

4:35pm: Paik packs up and heads up
Level 10 – Blinds: 700/1,400 (ante 200)

APPT Seoul champion Albert Paik has hit the rail as Ike Haxton and a third party chopped up his chip stack.

Paik had seemingly moved in pre-flop as the 5♦K♣10♦4♠ board was already on display and Paik had nothing but an all-in triangle in front of him. Haxton checked and then called a bet of 20,000 from the other active player before the 3♥ completed the board.


Albert Paik: Careful what you wish for

Daria Feshchenko was next to Paik and gave him a spin of her fidget spinner for good luck but it proved ineffective as two checks on the end saw Paik flip up A♣Q♥ to find out he was beat by J♠J♦ and J♥J♣.

“I was praying for a J and they both had jacks,” Paik said with a laugh before heading for the exit. — BK

4:25pm: Nitsche jammin his way to over 200k
Level 10 – Blinds: 700/1,400 (ante 200)

Dominik Nitsche has got his stack up to 226,000 after he three-bet jammed on Yongbo Guan, who dropped to 53,500.


Dominik Nitsche: Started with crumbs, up to 200K

The action happened on a 5♣10♥6♦ flop. Nitsche led for 15,000 from the big blind before Guan clicked it to 30,000 from early position. Nitsche wasted little time in moving all-in and Guan tank-folded and shook his head a few times. –MC

4:20pm: Hong takes a hit
Level 10 – Blinds: 700/1,400 (ante 200)

At the end of Day 1A it was Nan Hong who bagged the most chips of all. He carried 269,500 through to Day 2. He had not been planning to play, as he felt unwell, but wanted to play the Single High Roller (which he did), which took place at the same time as Day 1B of the Main Event.

He’s still clearly under the weather as there’s a bottle of cough syrup on the drinks table behind him, and perhaps it’s been affecting his poker as he’d slipped back to 240,000 by the time the following hand took place.

He raised to 3,200 from middle position and Simon Burns then three-bet to 8,800 from the cutoff.

It folded back round to Hong and he responded with a four-bet and made it 28,000 to go. Back on Burns, he surveyed the situation and then moved all-in. Hong wanted a count and it was established that Burns was all-in for 96,800.

Hong tanked for over two minutes before deciding to relinquish the pot to Burns. –NW

4:10pm: Bjoern breaks one
Level 10 – Blinds: 700/1,400 (ante 200)

Bjoern Wiesler had plenty of time to warm up before the Main Event.

The German player finished Day 1 of the HK$25,000 Warm-Up with the chip lead and rode it to an eigth place finish. Wiesler didn’t come close to bagging the lead in the Main Event — he started Day 2 near the bottom of the field with 38,300 — but now he’s up to about 90,000 after taking out a player.

Dominik Nitsche started that hand off with a raise to 3,000 from early position and then Elie Saad moved all-in for about 35,000. Wiesler was on his left and rejammed for 45,000. The rest of the players folded and players tabled their hands.

Saad showed A♣J♥ and Wiesler turned over a dominating A♦K♦. The Q♣3♣5♥3♥10♣ board tip-toed around players without giving them anything and Wiesler took down the pot.

Saad hit the rail while Wiesler chipped up to about 90,000. –AV

4:05pm: No more nanonoko
Level 10 – Blinds: 700/1,400 (ante 200)

PokerStars Team Online Randy “nanonoko” Lew had been flirting with the danger zone for quite some time and was finally relegated to the rail by Jamie Lunt. And this time he really is out.

Lew was down to only 4,500 when Lunt button-raised to 3,500. Lew flicked in the rest of his chips from the small blind and Jack Wu called from the big blind before a flop of Q♠5♥A♥. Wu checked and then folded to Lunt’s continuation bet of 3,000 before Lunt’s and Lew’s cards went on their backs.

Lew: A♦6♥
Lunt: A♣K♦

Lew had top pair but kicker problems and the 7♠ turn and K♣ river would signal the end of his run. He departs as Lunt moves up to 95,000. — BK

4pm: Small loss for Watson
Level 10 – Blinds: 700/1,400 (ante 200)

A dangerous looking turn card might have saved Mike Watson some chips as his opponent, Chane Kampananatsanyakorn, took the pot-control line.

Kampananatsanyakorn opened from early position and Watson called from the big blind. The flop fell 6♠A♣9♠ and Watson check-called 6,000 before the 10♠4♦ turn and river got checked through.

Watson opened A♦7♥ and nodded when Kampananatsanyakorn showed him a winning A♠J♣.

Kampananatsanyakorn moved up to 61,000 and Watson dropped to 78,000. –MC

3:55pm: The power of position, Dominik Nitsche edition
Level 10 – Blinds: 700/1,400 (ante 200)

Skill, position and chips, that’s a heady combination when it comes to poker. Dominik Nitsche just used all three to increase his stack.

He opened to 3,000 from the cutoff and was then faced with a three-bet from Bjoern Wiesler, who was in the small blind. It was 9,200 total for Nitsche to continue and he eyed up Wiesler’s stack, which amounted to 80,000, and then made the call.

On the Q♥A♣3♠ flop Wiesler continued for 6,600 and Nitsche made the call, utilising one of every chip denomination in play to do so as he threw in 1x 5K chip, 1x 1K, 1x 500 and 1×100.

The 10♦ fell on fourth street and Wiesler slowed down. He check-called a bet of 18,000 and looked on as the 4♥ completed the board. Wiesler checked and Nitsche put him to the test by moving all-in.

It was a bet of roughly 54,000, as that’s what Wiesler had left, his opponent tanked for a minute or so, but then folded. Pot to Nitsche. –NW

3:51pm: Cohen hits the river
Level 10 – Blinds: 700/1400 (ante 200)

Action folded round to Dominik Nitsche, who made it 3,000 on the hijack. Bjorn Wiesler called the button and Sam Cohen defended from the big blind.

It was a K♥K♣10♣ flop and Cohen checked as did Nitsche, our pre-flop aggressor. Wiesler decided to take the initiative and made a small bet of 4,200, around one third pot. Neither Cohen nor Nitsche wanted to fold there and we continued three handed to the turn.

It was a 8♦ and there were checks all round. Nothing changed on the 9♣ river, with no further chips going into the pot.

Cohen was the only one to show her cards and she turned over 7♣8♣, scooping the pot with a rivered flush. She currently has approximately 75,000 in play. -LY

3:50pm: The Randy resurrection
Level 10 – Blinds: 700/1,400 (ante 100)

Randy Lew lives! Despite being reported out in the last level, it turns out that nanonoko has not actually been knocked out of this tournament yet. He is clinging on with a short stack.

3:40pm: Break time

That’s the end of Level 9 and they now enjoy the first break of the day. Registration will shortly slam shut, so we’ll have a confirmed number of players. It’s already more than the previous ACOP Main Event record, but by how much have this week’s players extended it?

3:39pm: Lin out
Level 9 – Blinds: 600/1,200 (ante 100)

Day 2 hasn’t worked out the way Celina Lin had hoped. After a positive end to Day 1B, she had dropped to 40,000 chips since then and was looking to make a move. She found a spot, or so she thought as we came up to the first break of the day.


Short day for Celina Lin

There had been an under-the-gun raise by Lijo Lander to 2,500 and two calls directly to his left. It then passed round to Lin who squeezed on the hijack to 12,000. When the action came back to Lander, he moved all-in.

Jinhai Zhang and Pakinai Lisawad quickly folded and Lin snap called. She turned over A♠K♥ but unfortunately found herself behind Lander’s K♦K♣.

Then the board: 7♣J♥3♦3♥2♣

The pre-flop raiser held on after the jack high board and Lin stood up from the table. That’s it for the Team PokerStars Pro.

Lander is now playing a stack of at least 110,000. -LY

3:37pm: What a set up
Level 9 – Blinds: 600/1,200 (ante 100)

By the time I picked up the action, a A♦4♦8♣ flop was already exposed. There was a bet of 5,000 in front of Jie Xu (big blind) and Bernhard Steiner (under the gun) had called. Xuan Liu was on the button and she made it 16,200 to play.

Xu got out the way but Steiner shoved for 56,900 total. Call from Liu. She showed A♥8♥ for top two pair but Steiner had flopped bottom set with 4♠4♣.

The 4♥ turn improved him to quads and the inconsequential 3♣ completed the board. As a result of that loss Liu drops to 23,500. –NW

3:36pm: Finger finds a double
Level 9 – Blinds: 600/1,200 (ante 100)

Most players are normally tense when they have a sweat while all-in but it seems Martin Finger is not one of them. He was all-in with aces versus an opponent who had a flush draw. Finger crossed his arms and relaxed back into a seat as the board ran out. It was if he was at home and had just put a DVD on.

The German pro opened to 2,500 from early position and was called Guoliang Wei in the next seat. The flop fanned 5♣K♣7♣ and Finger checked to face a bet of 2,500. He raised to 11,500 and called all-in for 43,400 when Wei three-bet jammed.

Finger: A♠A♥
Wei: A♣9♣

The board ran out 4♥7♦ and Finger will probably give the hand a five star review. –MC

3:35pm: Yap can’t call
Level 9 – Blinds: 600/1,200 (ante 100)

Single-Day High Roller champion Wayne Yap pocketed HK$5.614 million for his victory this week but he’s had somewhat of a rough afternoon so far.

In a recent hand the board read 6♣J♦A♦ when Yap checked in the small blind and then called 4,100 when Wei Liu fired from the big blind. On the Q♥ turn card, both players checked before the A♥ river prompted Yap to lead for 7,000.

That wasn’t enough for Liu who raised it up to 21,500 and was met with a quick fold from Yap.

Yap is still far from danger with 75,000 in his stack. — BK

3:31pm: Agarwal ascending
Level 9 – Blinds: 600/1,200 (ante 100)

Team PokerStars Pro Aditya Agarwal has crossed the 150,000-chip mark.

The boost that sent him over started when Xuming Qi raised to 2,500 from the hijack. Agarwal called from the small blind and Rong Fan did the same from the big blind. All three players checked the Q♥9♠J♥ flop and a 4♥ came on the turn.

Agarwal bet 5,000, Fan folded and Qi called. The river was an A♣ and Agarwal fired off 21,000. It was too much for Qi and he let his hand go. –AV

3:30pm: Lew among the vanquished
Level 9 – Blinds: 600/1,200 (ante 100)

Bad news for Randy Lew fans, the Team Pro Online member has vanished, presumed out. Also on the rail, having lost their chips during level nine, are: Zhang Liming, Zdravko Duvnjak, Dimitar Danchev, Bowen Wang, Qiuming Qin, Yin Liu, Yuan Zhou, Tatiana Barausova, Di Liu, Qinghu Guo, Ryan Pignatelli, Shiguang Zeng, Tobias Ziegler and Daniel Laidlaw. –NW


Randy Lew: back to bed

3:28pm: Diamonds are a girl’s best friend
Level 9 – Blinds: 600/1,200 (ante 100)

Xuan Liu had lost some chips during the first level of the day, but she’s gotten back up to around 70,000 after making a flush versus Pete Chen.

Chen opened to 2,600 off the button and Liu defended her big blind. Both checked the 7♥A♦A♣ flop before Liu led for 3,700 and 8,400 on the 9♦Q♦ turn and river. Chen called and mucked when Liu showed 5♦6♦ for a flush.


Pete Chen: Small loss

Chen dropped to 42,100. –MC

3:25pm: Mysterious Haxton
Level 9 – Blinds: 600/1,200 (ante 100)

At least one player at Isaac Haxton’s table thought he was bluffing, but we’ll never know for sure. There was a lot of staring during the hand though, we know that much.

Tianyuan Tang started the hand off with a button raise to 2,600. Haxton peeked over at Tang’s stack and then called from the small blind. Lander Bereciartua called from the big blind and all three players went to the J♣3♦Q♦ flop.

Haxton bet 2,200, Bereciartua folded and Tang called. Haxton then checked the 10♥ that came on the turn and Tang bet 3,200. Haxton stared at Tang for a while and then called, bringing an 8♠ on the river.

Haxton bet 6,700 and the staring started back up again. Tang took off his face mask and counted his stack, prompting Haxton to snap his gaze back at Tang. Tang looked back at Haxton and the two players, who are seated right next to each other, held a steady gaze for some time. Whatever Tang got from the stare-down prompted him to fold.

“Show the bluff,” someone at the table told Haxton before he released his hand. “Show a king.”

“I can show a king,” Haxton said. He squeezed his hand and looked at his cards again. “Ah, no king!”

Haxton threw his cards in the muck of mystery and chipped up to 170,000. –AV

3:20pm: Off to the races for Ziegler and Myung
Level 9 – Blinds: 600/1200 (ante 100)

Table 1 has just seen a classic flip take place between Tobias Ziegler and John Myung.

Ziegler opened 2,700 from under the gun and was three-bet in middle position by Yingpeng Jiang, who made it 7,700. Finally John Myung, also in middle position, flung in four yellow chips to make it a round 20,000 to call.

Unsurprisingly everyone else got out of the way and with the action back on Ziegler, he flicked in 28,000, which put him all-in. Once Jiang had tank-folded, Myung was committed to call the rest.

Off to the races we go…

Ziegler: J♦J♣
Myung: A♥K♦

Then the flop: 10♠5♦8♥

The flop put Ziegler ahead and he just needed to fade the last two cards to stay in the tournament. The 9♦ on the turn was a safe card but the river brought an A♣. Myung won that one and we have to say goodbye to Ziegler.

Myung now has in excess of 120,000. -LY

3:16pm: Westmorland over Steicke
Level 9 – Blinds: 600/1,200 (ante 100)

David Steicke looked like he regretted not betting the river in a hand against Jordan Westmorland. Dimitar Danchev started the betting action with an open to 2,600 from middle position. Steicke three-bet to 7,200 from the cutoff and both Westmorland (big blind) and Danchev called.

On the 5♣2♦7♣ flop Steicke c-bet 10,300 and Westmorland was the only caller. The 8♠2♠ turn and river checked through and Westmorland’s A♣K♠ was the winner. He’s up to 150,000 and Steicke is down to around 100,000. –NW

3:15pm: Lunt lives
Level 9 – Blinds: 600/1,200 (ante 100)

Jamie Lunt collected HK$580,800 for his third place finish in the Warm-Up last week and he’s still cruising in the Main Event after a lucky double up through Yongfu Yun.

Lunt was all-in and at risk pre-flop holding Q♣8♣ and needed help to outrun Yun’s A♠J♣. The 9♣4♥3♠ changed nothing but the Q♠ turn card meant Lunt spiked top pair to shoot into the lead. The 6♠ river card was safe for Lunt and he secured the double up.

That encounter set Yun back to 45,000. — BK

3pm: No Spano in the works for Yang
Level 9 – Blinds: 600/1,200 (ante 100)

Robert Spano and Renjun Yang both won tidy pots at Table 16 just now.

Spano won his off Maria Ho. They had amassed a 50,000 pot by the time we reached the table. The turn and river of a 10♣5♦A♥3♦8♥ board were checked through and Ho mucked when Spano opened K♣K♥.

On the very next hand, Mustapha Kanit raised to 2,800 from early position. He was called by Qinghu Guo in the next seat but folded after Yang squeezed to 8,600 off the button. Guo called to a 10♣5♦A♥ flop where he check-raised Yang’s 5,300 c-bet up to 22,000. Yang responded by shoving for an additional 5,200 and Guo asked for a count then flicked in the the extra.

Yang opened A♠J♣ and survived the 3♦8♥ turn and river versus Guo’s Q♥10♥. –MC

2:52pm: Score one for the pocket pair
Level 9 – Blinds: 600/1,200 (ante 100)

It’s the classic race that plays out thousands of times a day all over the world, but this version of ace-king versus queens took longer than usual to go from start to finish.

As I arrived, there was a bet of 18,000 in front of Chunqing Wang and an all-in shove in front of Hiroshi Nishiyama. Although Nishiyama was all-in for 108,000 his bet was an effective 70,000 as he had Wang covered.

His Chinese opponent was deep in the tank, he could fold and leave himself with 52,000, a stack that’s more than playable at this stage of a slow-structured tournament, or call it off. He seemed unsure as to the best course of action, but after a decent amount of tank time he called off his remaining chips. Nishiyama opened A♦K♠ and Wang was looking to hold with Q♥Q♦.

The A♣2♣Q♣ flop connected with both players but this was no longer a race as Wang flopped middle set to take a commanding lead. The 7♦ turn and 8♣ river kept Wang in front and he doubled to 143,000. –NW

2:50pm: Wayne wins one
Level 9 – Blinds: 600/1,200 (ante 100)

Wayne Zhang had a strong Day 1 and he’s continuing here on Day 2 after scooping in another nice pot. This time Aleksandr Gofman was his victim.

The community cards were all dealt out and read Q♠7♣3♥8♣4♣ when Zhang led for 18,500 from the big blind. Gofman was on the button and called off to see Zhang had flushed it with 10♣5♣.

That misstep from Gofman meant he dropped to 35,000 while Zhang continues to climb, now sitting with 285,000. — BK

2:45pm: Newey nixed
Level 9 – Blinds: 600/1,200 (ante 100)

Brian Altman raised from middle position and then Paul Newey threw in a three-bet to 6,500 from the small blind. Altman called and a K♦2♦10♠ flop hit the felt.

Newey hit top pair with A♠K♠ and bet 8,500. Altman paired his king too, but he also hit a pair of tens with K♣10♣. Altman moved all-in and Newey, who had less than 40,000 behind, called all-in.

Newey showed his pair of kings and Altman tabled two-pair. A Q♦ came on the turn to give Newey hopes of a Broadway straight, but the river brought a 10♥ to fill Altman up.

Altman chipped up to 310,000 while Newey hit the rail. –AV

2:40pm: Alvarado off the mark on Day 2
Level 9 – Blinds: 600/1,200 (ante 100)

Play folded round to JC Alvarado who made it 2,700 to go. Only Dmitry Yurasov called from the button and the two went heads up to the flop: 2♥9♦K♦

Alvarado continued for 2,800 and Yurasov swiftly made it 8,000, which Alvardo called.

The turn came 9♣ and Alvarado checked with Yurasov betting 8,100 this time. Again it was called so on to the river 10♣.

When Alvarado checked for a last time, he waited to see if there was another barrel but Yurasov gave up and mucked his hand when Alvarado tabled K♥J♦.

Not a bad start to the day. — LY

2:25pm: Can’t keep Kempe down
Level 9 – Blinds: 600/1,200 (ante 100)

If you fail once, try again the very next hand. Especially if you pick up kings the second hand, flop top set and get action.

Rainer Kempe raised from the cutoff and called after Yungshen Sun three-bet to 8,600 from the big blind. The flop came 5♠7♦8♦ and Sun moved all-in. Kempe had around 30,000 left and folded.

The very next hand, Kempe opened to 2,600 and Bobby Zhang defended his big blind to see a J♣4♥K♥ flop. Kempe continued for 5,400 and was check-called before he faced an all-in shove (he had 21,300 remaining) on the 3♠ turn. The German star called and opened K♠K♦.


Rainer Kempe: pocket kings

He wasn’t home and dry yet though as Zhang opened A♥J♥ for a flush draw to go along with his pair. Zhamg improved to trips on the J♦ river but that also filled up Kempe and he got a full double up to over 60,000. –MC

2:25pm: Nitsche takes a big one off Cohen
Level 9 – Blinds: 600/1,200 (ante 100)

Pakinai Lisawad raised to 2,800 from early position and Dominik Nitsche called from the hijack. Sam Cohen was on the big blind and called as well.

The three players checked the Q♥3♦K♦ flop and then a 5♣ came on the turn to spark more action. Cohen started it off with a bet of 4,400 and Lisawad called. Nitsche thought for a bit and then raised to 17,000.

Cohen then took a minute and reraised to 42,000. Lisawad quickly folded and Nitsche called. An A♦ completed the board and Cohen check-folded after Nitsche moved all-in.

The hand left Cohen with about 83,000 while Nitsche chipped up to nearly 140,000. –AV

2:20pm: Steamroller
Level 9 – Blinds: 600/1,200 (ante 100)

Alan Lau sits atop the Asia Player of the Year rankings and he’s off to a flyer on Day 2.


Alan Lau: Leader board leader

He bet 12,500 on the turn of a 3♣7♣J♦2♦ board only to get check-raised to 25,500 by Jingiun Xia. As Lau was contemplating his decision Vladimir Geshkenbein arrived and filled the empty seat to his right.

Lau plumped for a call and the dealer produced the 7♥ on the river. Without missing a beat Xia bet 35,000.

He had about 40,000 behind and Lau made him play for it all as he announced that he was all-in. Xia made a swift fold and the pot went to Lau. He’s up to 190,000 now. –NW

2:15pm: Huang hits the rail at the hands of Haxton
Level 9 – Blinds: 600/1,200 (ante 100)

Shan Huang has been eliminated early here by tablemate and top pro Ike Haxton.

We arrived at the table as the two of them were exchanging in some friendly banter after Haxton had checked from the big blind and Huang had fired for 10,000 on a board of 7♠9♥7♦3♦. Haxton decided to put Huang to the test and bet enough to cover Huang’s roughly 40,000 behind.

Huang called it off with A♠A♣ but saw he had just two outs when Haxton revealed K♥7♣ for trips. The river failed to save Huang and he hit the rail, but not before finishing his conversation with Haxton.

“Okay, good luck,” Huang said. “I’m happy to give my chips to you because I need to leave Macau today.”


Isaac Haxton: Any more donations?

Haxton was happy to accept the donation and moved up to around 160,000. — BK

2:05pm: Kicking off with quads
Level 9 – Blinds: 8,00/1,200 (ante 100)

Table 4 kicked off with a cheeky quads over full house runout between Timothy Adams and Chunlong Tu. The latter had the quads and doubled his short stack.

Adams, starting the day with 164,800, raised to 2,600 from the cutoff and called after Tu three-bet all-in for 15,100 from the big blind.

Tu: 6♦6♠
Adams: Q♥10♥

The board ran out 10♠6♣10♣6♥Q♥.

That certainly woke everyone up at the table. –MC

2pm: Cards are in the air
Level 9 – Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 100)

“Gooood afternoon!” this is TD Rex at PokerStars Macau speaking. “Welcome back to ACOP two thousand seven…..teen.”

He then ran through the formalities and told dealers to shuffle up and deal. Registration is open for another 90 minutes, and then we’ll know just how big this one was.

So far 301 players have already bought in, and probably at least a third of them will be knocked out by the end of our five levels. — HS

Welcome back to PokerStars LIVE Macau for Day 2 of the ACOP Main Event!

There were 112 lucky runners from the Day 1 flights to make it through and they’ll all be back from 2pm for another stint of exciting poker action. That number is also expected to climb with late registration still open for the first level of today’s proceedings.

The frontrunner at kick off will be Nan Hong who climbed the highest on Day 1A. He returns with 269,500. Joining him are a whole host of notables including Gabriel Le Jossec (175,600), Timothy Adams (164,800), Daniel Dvoress (164,300), Stephen Chidwick (129,100), David Steicke (128,000), Maria Ho (68,300), Paul Newey (50,700), Martin Finger (40,000) and Dong Kim (39,500). Reigning champion Vladimir Geshkenbein also had a great Day 1 and returns with 160,000.

Joining them will be our three Team PokerStars Pros. Aditya Agarwal (123,900), Celina Lin (55,400) and Randy ‘nanonoko’ Lew (29,400) all survived Day 1 and will back this afternoon.

Now all that’s left to do is to wait until 2pm for cards in the air. We hope you can join us then!


PokerStars Blog reporting team on the HK$100,000 Main Event: Marc Convey, Brad Kain, Howard Swains, Alex Villegas, Nick Wright and Lisa Yiasemides. Photography by Kenneth Lim Photography.


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