2017ACOP: Bjorn Wiesler bests Warm-up Day 1

October 20, 2017

The ACOP Warm-up is now cooling down here for Day 1.

The action started at 6pm and by the time late registration was locked out at 12:45am we had a total of 267 runners. With the field numbers finalized that meant we were also privy to payout information and can reveal that the total prize pool is set at HK$5,956,770 (~$763,400) with HK$1,414,700 (~$181,000) going to the eventual champion come Sunday.

The man with the best chance of scooping the lion’s share at this stage is end-of-day chip leader Bjorn Wiesler. The German has over half a million in live scores with his second and third biggest coming right here in Macau. His largest, however, was for sixth place in the 2014 EPT Prague Main Event for $213,590.

ACOP2017 Bjorn Wiesler.jpg

While today’s tale was Wiesler’s to tell, the subplot was certainly the flurry of notable names who pulled up seats. The most recognizable of those was undoubtedly the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event champion Martin Jacobson. He took home a ridiculous $10,000,000 for that victory and has set his sights on Macau and the ACOP this week. Jacobson will return tomorrow with a modest 28,000 in chips and look to spin it up further on the penultimate day.

ACOP2017 Martin Jacobson.jpg

Others joining Jacobson on Day 2 include Albert Paik (132,100), Ryan Yu (127,000), Alexandra Janikova (117,100) and Adrian Attenborough (93,600).

While they secured seats for tomorrow it was a different story for the following names. Sam Cohen, Juicy Li, Bryan Huang, Shivan Abdine, Kahle Burns, Vladimir Geshkenbein, Maria Ho, Benjamin Hamnett, Thomas Ward and Jordan Westmorland were all eliminated during the eight levels today.

For the survivors though it’s back again tomorrow for a 2pm start. The plan is to play down to a final table so we may be in for a long night. Join us then for all the action direct from the tournament floor right here in Macau!

That’s a wrap!

Day 1 is in the books. At this stage it looks like Bjorn Wiesler is in the lead with 156,300. We’ll be able to finalize that as soon as everyone has bagged up.

Stay tuned for a full wrap of today’s proceedings.

2:15am: Seven hands remaining
Level 8: Blinds – 400/800 (100 ante)

Current chip leader Bjorn Wiesler was given the honor of doing the end of day hand draw and he pulled the card reading seven.

That means there’s not left long here on Day 1. Let’s see if Wiesler can maintain his lead or if one of the other big stacks will usurp the throne in the dying stages.

1:55am: Great call sees Honeyman double
Level 8: Blinds – 400/800 (100 ante)

Dylan Honeyman has doubled up after being put to the test for his entire stack and passing with flying colours.

On a flop of K♦10♥8♦ Honeyman called a bet of 4,500 before he was shoved on at the fall of the 6♥ turn card. Honeyman couldn’t beat top pair but after quickly looking back at his cards he called off for his tournament life.

Honeyman: Q♦Q♣
Opponent: 5♦4♦

Up against a gut shot and flush draw Honeyman faded it as he improved to a set on the Q♠ river. The dealer cut down his last 10,425 and his tablemate matched it before all the chips were pushed to Honeyman.

1:30am: Busto for Burns
Level 7: Blinds – 300/600 (100 ante)

Kahle Burns registered late for this event but unfortunately for the Aussie he was unable to spin it up. Burns was down to less than 9,000 in chips when he found himself all in preflop and at risk.

Burns: A♣9♦
Opponent: K♣J♦

Burns had the best of it but things quickly changed as the dealer revealed the 10♥9♠K♥ flop. Down to just five outs Burns was unable to find one as the 2♣ turn and Q♦ river arrived to eliminate him.

1:05am: Feng runs into aces
Level 7: Blinds – 300/600 (100 ante)

Zhiyi Feng just lost some chips at the hands of a cold deck. It was his big pair versus the biggest pair there is as he quickly found out after calling an 11,400 all-in preflop.

Feng: Q♥Q♣
Opponent: A♠A♣

The 8♥6♥4♥ flop gave Feng nine additional outs to a flush but the 10♣ turn and 9♠ river both bricked off the see the aces hold. Feng shrugged and passed over around 20% of his stack. He still has 45,000 in play.

12:35am: Take a break

Players have commenced a 15-minute break.

12:15am: Ho hurt by her own trap
Level 6: Blinds – 200/400 (50 ante)

Maria Ho just set the perfect trap only to be stung by the deck and a dirty river card.

The action was opened before Ho opted to flat which prompted Dianlei Zhang to move all in for his remaining 7,475. The initial raiser folded but Ho snapped it off to see she was in great shape.

Ho: Q♥Q♦
Zhang: 10♥10♣

The board ran out clear to the turn with the cards reading A♠7♥K♦2♣ and Zhang was out of his seat and ready to accept his fate. That was until the 10♦ rolled off on the end to see Zhang spike the two outer to double through and stay in the hunt.

Ho will be licking her wounds but still has a healthy stack of right around 20,000 after the beat.

ACOP2017 Maria Ho.jpg

Maria Ho

11:50pm: He hit by Okada
Level 6: Blinds – 200/400 (50 ante)

Ken Okada has received a timely double up after slow playing pocket aces versus Xiangling He.

Okada raised to 800 from early position preflop before He three-bet to 2,300 on the button. Okada called and the flop fell 7♠4♣6♠. Okada checked and then beat He into the pot after he bet enough to cover Okada’s 4,450 behind.

Okada: A♠A♥
He: A♦K♦

He was drawing almost dead and Okada had locked it up by the time the 10♣ landed on the turn. The 10♥ river merely a formality as Okada doubled up and He dipped to 17,000 in chips.

11:30pm: GG for Ji
Level 5: Blinds – 150/300 (50 ante)

Chunhui Ji is the most recent Warm-up evictee after he was once again bested by Benjamin Hamnett.

The history between the two seemed to play a part as Ji found his last 8,300 in the middle preflop before the cards went on their backs.

Hamnett: A♣J♠
Ji: K♣J♥

The K♥8♥Q♦ flop saw the tables turn with Ji taking the lead but the A♠ turn card meant the roles reversed back almost immediately. The 5♠ river failed to save Ji and his chips went to Hamnett who moves up to 19,000.

11:05pm: Tian takes Yong out
Level 5: Blinds – 150/300 (50 ante)

Hao Tian just administered a bad beat to Christopher Yong to send the latter packing.

Yong three-bet jammed for his last 7,000 in chips preflop with a premium holding and Tian was met with some laughs from tablemates after calling with his less than premium holding given the situation.

Yong: A♦K♦
Tian: A♠8♦

Tian had the worst of it until the 8♠10♦Q♥ flop saw him shoot into the lead. Yong picked up outs to Broadway and then to a flush on the 2♦ turn but the 6♥ river signalled the end of his Warm-up run.

10:25pm: Scheduled break

It’s time again for players to take a break. Play resumes in 15 minutes.

10:15pm: Chip counts
Level 4: Blinds – 100/200 (25 ante)

Here are a few chips counts from some notable players.

Alexandra Janikova – 37,000
Dennis Huntly – 35,000
Martin Jacobson – 33,000
Maria Ho – 27,000
Linh Tran – 21,000
Bryan Huang – 20,500
Wayne Zhang – 19,000
Juicy Li – 18,500
Danny Demicki – 17,500
Martin Finger – 17,000
Yuki Ko – 16,000
Geoff Mooney – 15,000
Tim English – 13,000
Shivan Abdine – 11,000
Kelvin Beattie – 8,000
Albert Paik – 7,500

9:55pm: Hamnett hammering away
Level 4: Blinds – 100/200 (25 ante)

Benjamin Hamnett finished fourth in the MPC25 Red Dragon last year for $83,800 and he’s having another good day on the felt here for the ACOP Warm-up.

We arrived to see the community cards all laid out and reading K♣A♠3♣6♠5♦. Chunhui Ji checked it over to Hamentt who shipped all in for 12,100 into a pot of around 15,000.

Ji went deep into the tank and tablemate James Romero finally called the clock. Ji then made his decision before an official could even begin the countdown as Ji’s cards went sailing into the muck.

The pot was pushed to Hamnett who lifts to 27,000 in chips.

9:35pm: Just a royal flush for Janikova
Level 4: Blinds – 100/200 (25 ante)

Alexandra Janikova is stacking chips after making the rarest hand in poker and getting paid off.

Her and Haoran Liu made it to the river with the board reading 2♥K♠J♠10♠10♦ and after Liu fired for 2,000 into a pot of 3,000, Janikova quickly splashed out a bet of 7,000.

Liu smiled and went into the tank before ultimately cutting out a call and putting the chips in the middle. Janikova tabled A♠Q♠ for the stone cold nuts and was met with laughs from tablemates as she scooped the pot to build to a new total of 34,000.

9:15pm: Jacobson sends one packing
Level 3: Blinds – 75/150

2014 WSOP Main Event champion Martin Jacobson won $10,000,000 back in 2014 and he just eliminated a player here in the ACOP Warm-up event.

After an open to 450, Jacobson next to act three-bet to 1,400 from the hijack seat. Linglin Zeng was sitting in the cutoff, and after some time in the tank, she committed her last 5,800. The initial raiser folded but Jacobson snapped it off with the best preflop hand in hold’em.

Zeng: K♠Q♣
Jacobson: A♥A♣

They both connected with the Q♦10♠A♦ flop and while Jacobson had improved to top set, Zeng had four outs to Broadway. Unfortunately for her the 2♥ turn and 2♦ river spelled the end of her Warm-up run as Jacobson climbed to 27,000.

ACOP2017 Martin Jacobson.jpg

Martin Jacobson

8:50pm: Demlakian puts the pressure on
Level 3: Blinds – 75/150

Ken Demlakian is here and chipping up after putting a tablemate to the test for all his chips.

Demlakian checked in the small blind on a flop of K♦4♠3♠ before he faced a bet of 800. He responded with a quick call and the 3♦ turn paired the board.

Demlakian checked again and after a smaller bet of 750 from his opponent, Demlakian bet 5,000 for enough to cover the 3,000 behind of the man sitting across from him. Demlakian nonchalantly browsed his phone as his tablemate tanked before ultimately giving it up.

Demlakian now has 19,000 in chips at his disposal.

8:10pm: First break

Players have stepped away for their first 15-minute break of the night. Coverage will resume shortly.

8pm: Even more big names
Level 2: Blinds – 50/100

As we approach the first break the field has now eclipsed 200 runners and more prominent poker pros have made an appearance.

Two of those include 2014 WSOP Main Event champion Martin Jacobson and reigning ACOP Main Event champion Vladimir Geshkenbein.

A few others in the mix are Daniel Demicki, Linh Tran and Ken Demlakian.

7:40pm: Li loses to Romero
Level 2: Blinds – 50/100

Juicy Li is down to just 5,500 now after James Romero got the best of her in a recent hand.

It was Romero who kicked things off with an open to 250 before Li bumped it up to 850 from the big blind. Romero stuck around and the flop was spread 6♥J♠4♥. Li continued for 650 and Romero called before the K♥ turn card saw checks from both players.

Li led at it for 1,400 on the Q♠ river but Romero opted for a raise to 4,000. Li didn’t hesitate long before committing the chips and then wincing when she was shown Romero’s Q♥Q♣ for a rivered set.

That was good to take Romero up to 30,000 in play.

2017 ACOP Juicy Li.jpg

Juicy Li

7:20pm: More notable names
Level 2: Blinds – 50/100

We’ve entered the second level now and more familiar faces have joined the action.

Perhaps the most notable is previous ACOP Main Event champion Gabriel Le Jossec. He won the festival’s flagship event back in 2014 for $812,361. Amazingly that was his third-ever recorded live cash and with none since he appears to have returned to Macau to rectify that.

Also recently spotted at the tables were Dylan Honeyman, Tim English, Kakwan Lau, Yuki Ko, Wayne Zhang and Sam Cohen.

7pm: Guo gives up some chips
Level 1: Blinds – 25/50

Dong Guo is a staple on the Asian poker circuit but he hasn’t had the start he would’ve liked in this year’s ACOP Warm-up.

On a flop of 10♠8♥3♣ Guo was checked to in the hijack seat and he bet 300 before subsequently calling a check-raise from the big blind for 800. The J♠ arrived on the turn and both players checked to see the 10♣ river complete the board.

The big blind loaded up again and bet 2,600 before Guo called only to see he was beat by 10♦8♠ for a rivered full house. Guo’s stack now sits at right around 10,000 in chips.

6:40pm: Huang hurting early
Level 1: Blinds – 25/50

Mike Huang just took a hit to his stack after a sizable pot went the way of his tablemate.

The two were active on a flop of K♥Q♠K♠ and after it was checked to Huang on the button he fired for 500 into a pot of 1,000. He then faced a check-raise to 1,800. Huang flicked in the call before the action was checked through on the J♣ turn.

The 4♦ river prompted further aggression from Huang’s opponent, this time it was a bet of 4,800, and Huang paid it off before being shown Q♥Q♣ for a flopped full house.

That hand sees Huang drop to 6,500 from the 15,000 he had earlier.

6:20pm: Familiar faces in the field
Level 1: Blinds – 25/50

The field continues to grow in the first level here and we’ve already spotted some notable names among the pack.

Mike Huang is in the Warm-up hunt – he’s fresh off a Red Dragon final table appearance for $40,000 and looking for another big score here in Macau. Also at the felt are Dong Guo, Juicy Li, Jordan Westmorland, Shivan Abdine and Bryan Huang.

6pm: Cards in the air!
Level 1: Blinds – 25/50

Play has begun.

Those pulling up seats will have a 15,000-chip starting stack and the plan tonight is to play eight 60-minute levels. Registration is open until 12:45am with today’s action concluding at around 2:45am.

Things are Warming Up

It’s almost time to commence our coverage for the 2017 Asia Championship of Poker! We’re here in Macau and ready to see cards in the air for the HK$25,000 (~$3,200) ACOP Warm-up event.

Boasting a HK$3,000,000 (HK$385,000) guarantee the Warm-up kicks off at 6pm local time (GMT+8) and will run for three days before the eventual champion is crowned on Sunday.

And that’s just the beginning.

We’ll be bringing you everything direct from ACOP for the next ten days so be sure to keep your browser locked to the PokerStars Blog as we witness what is expected to be the biggest and richest poker festival in the far East.

You can also follow along or get involved on Twitter using the hashtag #2017ACOP.


ACOP Warm-up reports by Brad Kain. Photos by Kenneth Lim Photography courtesy of PokerStars LIVE Macau


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