The 2017 Asia Championship of Poker (Oct. 13-29) is officially underway and if you’ve missed the previous blogs, info, and news I’ve got the key pieces right here for you below.
For regular ACOP updates follow us on Twitter @PokerStarMacau with hashtag #2017ACOP
With that out of the way, let’s get into the five burning questions heading into this year’s ACOP:
1. Will King Steve-O be dethroned as money leader?
Steve O’Dwyer has a trophy from every major tournament hosted by PokerStars LIVE Macau but the American pro is in a category of his own when it comes to the ACOP. Since his first ACOP appearance in 2014, O’Dwyer has amassed more than HK$17 million ($2.2M USD) and is the only player with 7-figures on the all-time money list.
To dethrone King Steve-O, someone needs a trio of factors to fall favorably. First off, you need the bankroll to compete at the highest level. Then, you need the skill and confidence to beat the world’s best on a regular basis. Finally, there’s the luck factor. You could be winning everything in sight but you still need to keep O’Dwyer off the scoreboard to overtake his massive lead.
TOP TEN MONEY LEADERS
1. Steve O’Dwyer (USA) — HK$17,128,100
2. Ryan Fee (Canada) — HK$9,950,000
3. Andy Andrejevic (USA) — HK$8,725,000
4. Sunny Jung (Korea) — HK$8,602,000
5. Jimmy Zhou (China) — HK$7,986,000
6. Joseph Cheong (USA) — HK$7,023,000
7. Yuan Li (China) — HK$6,924,150
8. Paul Newey (UK) — HK$6,715,000
9. Connor Drinan (USA) — HK$6,619,000
10. Pratyush Buddiga (Canada) — HK$6,550,000
2. How big will the Super High Roller this time around?
China’s Yuan Li is a fearless young gun and the 27-year old made his mark after winning last year’s Super High Roller and HK$6.7 million. Li leads a contingent of more than 40 players who have already registered for the HK$800,000 ($100K USD) buy-in event.
That’s more than HK$30 million in the prize pool already for the mathematically challenged.
When the SHR begins on October 21, the starting field should easily have 50+ runners and the betting man in me indeed thinks we’re going to see a new record for both field size and prize money.
3. Will this be the biggest ACOP ever?
Last year, the ACOP player numbers increased by 47%. Every major poker tournament at PokerStars LIVE Macau has been a record-breaker in 2017. The ACOP Super High Roller is poised for an all-time high.
All indicators say that the participation (4,479) and prize money (HK$116.7M) records will fall.
4. How much more awesome can there be in the APOY race?
Last year, Jack Wu set two single-season records on his way to claiming the 2016 Asia Player of the Year Award – in points (9,492) and final tables (23).
Both of those records have fallen… and by a large margin.
Alan Lau won the recent PokerStars LIVE Manila Super Series 4 Main Event. That victory makes him the first player to break the 10,000-point barrier as he currently sits at an ungodly 12,250 points. Lau is the clear favourite to win the APOY award again after accomplishing the feat in 2015.
However, Sparrow Cheung has also done the unthinkable with 30…THIRTY…final tables this season! You can only feel for the president of the Hong Kong Poker Player Association as he’s done something no one ever thought possible and yet still finds himself 2,836 points behind Lau.
Pete Chen and Jack Wu hold the No. 3 and No. 4 positions respectively. Neither has a realistic shot at catching Lau but it’s notable that three of the Top Four players are former APOY winners.
ASIA PLAYER OF THE YEAR RANKINGS
1. Alan Lau (Hong Kong) — 12,250 pts
2. Sparrow Cheung (Hong Kong) — 9,414 pts
3. Pete Chen (Taiwan) — 6,020 pts
4. Jack Wu (Taiwan) — 5,374 pts
5. What’s on the StarsFun menu?
StarsFun at ACOP has two dates you want to circle on the calendar.
Location: Hard Rock Café
Date: Saturday, October 14
If you’re here for the opening weekend then everyone is welcome to join us at the Hard Rock Café for drinks, food, and games.
Why is it called the Foosball Party?
Because there’s a Foosball competition! This year, we’re going to be a running 2 vs. 2 tournament and the winning team gets their own PokerStars trophies.
ACOP PLAYERS PARTY
Location: Poolside at Countdown Hotel
Date: Wednesday, October 25
The ACOP Players Party is exclusive to Main Event participants and once again we’ll be poolside at The Countdown Hotel (formerly Hard Rock Hotel). You should dress to impress and ready yourself for a long night of activities.
The annual Beer Pong Championship returns as will the after party at Club Cubic for those still standing at that time.
2017ACOP LIVE COVERAGE
Live coverage will be available on the PokerStars Blog beginning October 20 for the following events:
ACOP Warm-up [3M GTD] (Oct 20-22)
Super High Roller (Oct 21-23)
Main Event [25M GTD] (Oct 23-28)
Single Day High Roller (Oct 24)
High Roller (Oct 27-29)