APP10 Macau: Day 1A coverage archive

May 25, 2016

This is an archive of previous coverage. Follow live updates from the tournament floor.

Day 1A of APPT Macau has drawn to a close after eight levels that suggest we will likely have a total field of more than 500 for this event. By the time registration slammed shut for the evening, there were 222 players registered, of whom around 90 lasted the day. Given that Day 1B is always significantly bigger, that 500 number is well and truly in our sights.

It was one of those days on which nobody really wanted to be leader. Several players poked their heads above the parapet, but were soon chopped back down. But when the klaxon did finally bring play to a close at around 10:35pm local time, two players had almost identical stacks: Deok-yeong Lee, of South Korea, who had 162,800, which was 800 bigger than Yijun Lou’s 162,000.


Deok-yeong Lee: Leading

They both have an eight-fold increase on the starting stack of 20,000, so they will be well-armed for Friday’s Day 2.

Lee took the steady route to his pile of chips, coming to our attention when he wriggled out of a trap set by Dajia Chen (see 7:40pm post). Meanwhile we noticed Lou thanks to his habit of stacking his chips on the back of his phone, which made his towers look even taller than they actually were. But under closer examination he actually did have a pile.


Yijun Lou: Second, but only just

Other notable stacks this evening are rammed into bags bearing the names of Wu Fan (145,000) and Mikal Blomlie (103,800) among others. The full counts are now on the chip-count page.

Three Team PokerStars Pros made an appearance today, but by about 9:30pm, none were left. Yaxi Zhou outlasted Vivian Im and Kosei Ichinose, but there’s no financial consolation for that last-longer. They will all now be free to take their shot at the High Roller, which starts on Saturday.

Before that, it’ll be that bumper Day 1B, which begins at 2pm tomorrow. Take a look back on today’s coverage by scrolling through this page. And then check back for the full end-of-day chip counts.


10:20pm: Six more hands
Level 8 – Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

PokerStars LIVE Macau’s Rex Cheong has announced that only six more hands will be played here on Day 1a.

Who will hang on and secure a Day 2 seat? Stay with us for the exciting conclusion of this opening flight.  — BK

10:10pm: Lou leading the way
Level 8 – Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

It looks like we have a new chip leader here in the dying stages of Day 1a. Yijun Lou has emerged as the biggest stack after muscling his way through a recent hand.

With the board reading 5♣3♣K♠4♣ the player in the cutoff made a bet of 20,000 and Lou instantly dropped a stack of 80,000 in chips in front of himself, with more than enough to cover his opponent.

The player with the decision stared Lou down but ultimately decided against a call, throwing his hand away and surrendering the pot.

Lou now stacks up a whopping 180,000 and looks a favourite to be our end-of-day chip leader. — BK



8 500 1,000 100

9:35pm: No need to sleep
Level 7 – Blinds 400/800 (100 ante)

The main event may be winding down for the night–we have about one hour left–but there’s no need to go to bed. A turbo deepstack event kicks off at 10pm local time, with registration open until ten after midnight.

What’s more, you even if you’re feeling tired, there are fridges here stocked full of complementary Red Bull, official energy drink partners of PokerStars LIVE Macau.


Help yourself, sleep is for wimps

9:30pm: The Red Spade cull is complete
Level 7 – Blinds 400/800 (100 ante)

Number of Team PokerStars Pros left in the field: 0

Yaxi Zhu was recently seen spotted heading to the rail, following Vivian Im and Kosei Ichinose out of the door. Must try harder. — HS

9:15pm: Li lifted
Level 7 – Blinds 400/800 (100 ante)

Yuan Li’s stack has just doubled after he found aces at the same time as a willing adversary had pocket sevens. They got it all in–45,100 total for Li–and he now has at least double that getting close to the final level of the day. — HS

9pm: Double Nelson
Level 7 – Blinds 400/800 (100 ante)

Our confirmed list of runners for today is now 222. Someone sneaked in right at the end. — HS

9:00pm: Zhu shuts down
Level 7 – Blinds 400/800 (100 ante)

Our lone surviving Team PokerStars Pro Yaxi Zhu just lost a pot but she managed to minimize the damage by toning down the aggression.

After Zhu raised from early position preflop, her opponent defended in the big blind and the two saw a flop of Q♠2♠K♠.

The big blind checked and Zhu continued for 1,800. The bet was called and the 3♣ arrived on the turn. The action quickly went check-check and the river brought the Q♠.

The big blind then led for 2,500 and Zhu instantly relinquished her hand.

“Nuts” came the announcement of the player who won the pot.

“Nuts?” Zhu asked.

“Well, second nuts” came the response as he tabled K♥Q♥ for a full house.

Zhu lost close to the minimum but still dropped to 23,000 in chips. — BK

8.55pm: Sun clouded over
Level 7 – Blinds 400/800 (100 ante)

Yunsheng Sun open-shoved from under the gun for not much more than 6,000 total, but players passed all the way round. However, on the very next hand, action folded to Chang He in the small blind and he open-shoved, covering Sun. Sun decided to have another crack at this double up and called.

“Jesus Christ,” Billy Argyros said as the two players revealed their hands. He had made his move with 10♠8♣ and Sun had called for his tournament with J♥7♠.

Sun was right that he was beating He’s range, but poker doesn’t always reward calls like this one. And the 8♥ on the flop put He ahead, where he remained when the rest of the board ran Q♠3♥ 4♥ 7♦. — HS

8:35pm: Even worse for Zhou
Level 7 – Blinds 400/800 (100 ante)

A quick update/correction to our 8pm post: it turns out that not only is Quan Zhou out of this tournament, but he has also now been deposed at the top of the Asia Player of the Year standings. Weiyi Zhang finished third in a PLO event that finished yesterday here in Macau and that was enough to help him leapfrog Zhou.

In case you were wondering, the APOY leader board is definitely worth winning. The top player from the APPT season gets a season-long sponsorship package with PokerStars LIVE, and that’s a whole host of buy-ins to the biggest events in this region.

Full details are over at the PokerStars LIVE page. Just don’t look in your name is Quan Zhou. — HS

8:35pm: Through to the end
Level 7 – Blinds 400/800 (100 ante)

That was the final break of the day, meaning the remaining players will now hope to remain in their seats for the next two hours before bagging for the night.

Registration is now closed for the day, and it seems we got 221 players through the door for this opening flight. That will be confirmed in due course.



7 400 800 100

8:20pm: Scheduled break

The remaining players have stepped away from the tournament area for the last break of the night. Play resumes in 10 minutes. — BK

8:10pm: Zhu doubles through
Level 6 – Blinds 300/600 (75 ante)

Team PokerStars Yaxi Zhu has been working a short stack for longer than she’d like but she found a slight respite after the previous hand.

Zhu got the last of it all in as a considerable favourite holding the best preflop hand in poker.

Her A♠A♥ meant she had a commanding position over her opponent’s J♦3♦. Trying to fade a bad beat to stay alive, the board obliged, as she found top set on the 9♥3♣A♦ flop and avoided any runner-runners when the K♠ turn and 10♣ river sealed her a double up.

Zhu is the last remaining Team Pro here on Day 1a. She now has 14,400 in chips. — BK

8pm: Leader board leader lost
Level 6 – Blinds 300/600 (75 ante)

Quan Zhou might be leading the Asia Player of the Year standings, but he won’t be adding to his tally in the main event. He is out, send to the rail by Malaysia’s Jun Wah Yap.

Zhou open-shoved for his last 4,725 from under the gun and was pretty-well armed with his A♠Q♥. It even wasn’t that bad for Zhou when Yap called and tabled 10♠10♥ but the board of 2♥K♣5♠4♣6♥ was a whiff. The pocket pair held and Zhou headed off.


Quan Zhou: The end

Fan Wu is the captain on that table, however. He has the best part of 120,000. — HS

7:50pm: Alner outta here
Level 6 – Blinds 300/600 (75 ante)

Englishman Tom Alner final tabled the MPC24 Red Dragon in this very room earlier in the year, but it looks like he won’t be making another impressive finish in this Main Event.

Alner had been peddling a short stack for a while and after a button raise to 1,400, Alner moved all in from the small blind for his remaining 5,625. With the big blind out of the way the initial raiser made the call to put Alner at risk.

Alner held A♥9♣ but was dominated by A♣Q♦. He failed to improve when the community cards fell 2♣6♥5♥K♠5♠ and leaves us here halfway through Level 6.

7:40pm: Three tens good for Chen
Level 6 – Blinds 300/600 (75 ante)

Dajia Chen didn’t manage to get anyone to fall into his carefully constructed trap, allowing Deok-Yeong Lee to wriggle out with the minimum of damage.

Lee opened to 1,500 from the cutoff and Chen called from the small blind. It was only those two for whom the flop of 6♠8♣Q♥ was in any way relevant. Chen checked, Lee bet 1,800 and Chen called.

The turn was the 10♦ and, although we weren’t to know it at the time, that was great for Chen’s 10♠10♣. He checked, baiting the trap, but Lee checked behind.

The 2♥ came on the river, which was hardly a scare card for Chen. But he checked again and presumably hoped to face a bet. But those hopes were dashed by another check, forcing him to sheepishly expose the turned set and take a small pot. Lee mucked, of course. — HS

7.35pm: Ichinose departs
Level 6 – Blinds 300/600 (75 ante)

Kosei Ichinose, the Team PokerStars Pro from Japan, is now out, having pushed one too many times with his short stack and eventually getting picked off. Peiran Liu got him, calling Ichinose’s shove with A♥10♠ and only improving on a board of 8♦A♣3♠K♥A♦. Ichinose’s J♣Q♦ was behind all the way.

It’s not been what you’d call a red letter day for Team Pro. Vivian Im has also been knocked out, as detailed below, and although Yaxi Zhu is still in, she also has a short stack. She just shoved pre-flop actually, for about 11,000 after an early-position open. If she wanted or call or not, she didn’t get one. — HS

7:30pm: Im out the door
Level 6 – Blinds 300/600 (75 ante)

Team PokerStars Pro Vivian Im just took to Twitter to share with her followers that she was eliminated by way of bad beat.

Holding aces, she got a sizable stack in on a 5♠7♠9♠ flop against her opponent holding K♣9♣ and unfortunately for Im the other player improved to two pair. — BK




6 300 600 75

7:10pm: Shabelnyk scoops one from Zhu
Level 5 – Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

Valentyn Shabelnyk brought it in from a raise to 900 and it folded around to Team PokerStars Pro Yaxi Zhu in the big blind. She defended and the flop landed K♦4♥8♦.

Zhu checked and Shabelnyk made it 1,000 to go. With a call the dealer turned the Q♠. Another check from Zhu and Shabelnyk continued for 3,600. Zhu called again to see the 5♠ river.

A final check from the Team Pro prompted a final bet from Shabelnyk, this time for 6,600. Zhu didn’t hesitate long before calling to see she was beat when her opponent tabled Q♥8♥ for two pair.

“I have two pair too” Zhu said with a smile and she mucked her cards.

She drops to 10,400 while Shabelnyk gets a boost to 47,000.  — BK

7:00pm: Gu gone when Ward fills up
Level 5 – Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

Huafeng Gu is headed to the rail after shipping the last of his chips over to Alex Ward.

On a flop of A♦5♠J♣, when checked to, Gu bet 3,200 and Ward called. The A♣ paired the board and Ward opted to lead for 3,500. Gu went into the tank, counting out a call in relation to his stack. In the end he chose to raise to 10,000 and Ward asked how much he had behind.

Around 7,000 was the answer and Ward then moved all in. Ward snapped and the two tabled their cards.

Ward: J♠J♦
Gu: A♠Q♦

Gu was behind Ward’s jacks full and at risk of elimination. He couldn’t find one of his few outs as the 4♦ appeared to signal the end of his tournament.

Ward raked the pot and climbed to 49,000 in chips. — BK

6:45pm: Lift off for Luo
Level 5 – Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

Yijun Luo has his chips stacked on the back of his phone, which gives them an artificial lift. But even without the boost, his is the most lofty stack in the room. It sits at around 120,000, and it’s not clear that anyone else is even within 30,000 of him.

Luo has a decent string of results, including victory in the Macau Millions in March 2014. This tournament is set to have an even bigger first prize than the HK$550,000 he picked up back then.

Other notable stacks at this stage include:

Fu Bang Huang: 81,000
Fan Wu: 70,000
Ting Ting Du: 67,000

6:40pm: Is not nice for Inotsume
Level 5 – Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

You have to feel for a player who hits the precise card they were hoping for, but it ends up costing them their tournament life. Such was the case for Kazuma Inotsume, who is now out of this event, busting to Zhang Lante.

Lante got the ball rolling, raising to 1,000 pre-flop from early position. Inotsume, two seats along, became one of four callers. He led Fan Wu, Jiabin Cui and Quan Zhou into the pot, the latter in the big blind.

The five of them saw a flop of 4♠3♣8♥ and, after Zhou checked, Lante bet 2,400. Inotsume called, but everybody else gave it up.

The turn was the 7♥ and Lante rifled again. This time it was for 7,000 but Inotsume didn’t give up. He called for a 3♥ river. Lante now shoved all in, for about 18,000, and despite a shorter stack, Inotsume snap-called. He proudly tabled A♥9♥ for the ace-high flush.

But it was not the nuts, as Lante’s 7♦7♠, a rivered full-house, quickly demonstrated. That was all she wrote for Inotsume. — HS

6:30pm: Chop pot as Ichinose at risk
Level 5 – Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

Team PokerStars Pro Kosei Ichinose’s stack is beginning to dwindle. Down to only 3,325 in chips from a start bank of 20,000 he looks like he will need some help to survive the day. He recently got that last 3,325 in with the best of it but ended up with little more than a refund.

After a limp in the hijack, Ichinose moved all in from the cutoff with A♠3♠. He sat sucking a lollipop as his opponent pondered a call, and saw he was in good shape to survive against A♥2♠ when the chips were committed.

The board ran out 4♣4♦10♣5♥6♣ with neither kicker playing and the pot split in two. — BK


Kosei Ichinose: Refund



5 200 400 50

6:15pm: Break time
Level 4 – Blinds 150/300 (25 ante)

That’s the end of Level 4. My guess is that it’ll be Level 5 when players return from a 10-minute break. — HS

6:10pm: Crack a jack
Level 4 – Blinds 150/300 (25 ante)

Claudio Piedrabuena just got there with A♥3♥ against a frustrated Kai Yu Tse, whose pocket jacks were rivered by the ace.

Piedrabuena seemed to limp from the hijack and then called Tse’s raise from the cutoff. Only those two saw the flop of 5♥5♦4♥. Piedrabuena, from Spain, check-called Tse’s bet of 800 and the pattern repeated on the Q♣ turn. This time Tse’s bet was 1,400.

The A♠ on the river meant both players checked, Piedrabuena because he had just got there; Tse because he clearly thought he’d been toasted. He frustratedly turned over his J♣J♦ after he was proved right. — HS

6:05pm: Aces for Croccy
Level 4 – Blinds 150/300 (25 ante)

Billy ‘The Croc’ Argyros is in the running today and just scooped what he probably hoped was a bigger pot.

Kah Boon Teh was on his direct right and opened to 750 before Argyros made it 2,400 to go. Teh made the call and the flop fell 6♦J♥6♥.

After a quick check from Teh, Argyros tossed another 2,600 into the middle. Teh looked back as his cards and released his hand.

“Check! Check!” cried Argyros after losing his customer, flashing A♠A♦ to the table as he was awarded the pot.

The hand brings Argyros up to 26,000 in chips. — BK

5:55pm: Peiran Liu living the high life
Level 4 – Blinds 150/300 (25 ante)

A stack of 60,000-plus is good going at this stage. Players only started with 20,000 and action is a mere four levels deep. Peiran Liu has north of that, however, and is strong-arming his action table.

He won two pots back-to-back: the first came when he raised to 700 from under the gun and picked up only Aaron Lim as a caller in the big blind. Lim check-folded the 2♦K♣Q♠ flop when Liu bet 1,500.

The next pot was slightly bigger. Zhongwei Wang raised to 700 from the cutoff and Liu three-bet his big blind, making it 2,300 to play. Wang called and it was just the happy couple to a flop of 9♥A♣5♣.

Liu bet 1,500, which Wang called, and they went to a turn of the 4♦. Liu had another stab, this time for 3,200, and that was enough for Wang to walk away.

Liu has around 65,000. — HS

5:40pm: Chen chipping back up
Level 4 – Blinds 150/300 (25 ante)

2014 Asia Player of the Year Pete Chen is at the table today and while his Main Event hasn’t started as well as he would’ve liked, he just scored himself some chips in a recent pot.

The flop was spread 9♦4♣K♣ and Chen checked from the big blind before his opponent in the cutoff fired for 1,000. Chen called and the turn brought the 7♦.

Again Chen check-called, this time for 1,900 and the 10♣ completed the board.

The river prompted Chen to lead out, sliding a neat 3,200 into the middle. His opponent gave it up with a tap of the table and Chen built back up to 11,800 in chips. — BK

2016 APPT Macau Day 1a Pete Chen.jpg

Chipping back up – Pete Chen
5:35pm: In the money in the $50K

The bubble has burst in the HK$50,000 freezeout, leaving 12 players to battle to the HK$1,208,000 first prize. I think it was Thomas Ward, who spent long hours yesterday as the chip leader, who went out just short of the cash.

At this stage, Houmao Hua is leading, with a stack of around 930,000. The overnight leader Ryan Yum is still close behind, with 890,000.

That first prize is more than US $150,000, by the way, so certainly worth winning. A min-cash is HK$91,000 (close to $12,000) so, yeah, you’d take that too. — HS

5:25pm: Deuces loses
Level 4 – Blinds 150/300 (25 ante)

The online game has made poker betting patterns pretty much internationally recognised. You go raise, call pre-flop; check, c-bet, call on the flop; and you both then check the turn. That much is broadly being followed here in Macau, but river action is slightly different. In the small sample size of three levels of play today, it seems that players are much more likely to bluff the river, and also much more likely to be looked up.

Here’s another example of a sigh-call on the end that turned out to be right.

Ming Cui opened from UTG+1 and Chong Hua Wen, one seat to his left, three-bet to 2,000. Everyone else folded, but Cui called to take them to a flop. It came J♥9♠4♦. Cui checked, Wen bet 1,500 and Cui called. That meant they were both able to check the A♣ turn, as dictated by those betting patterns.

The J♣ on the turn prompted a bet of 5,000 from Cui, which put Wen into the tank.

After toying for a little while with a pile of five 1,000-denomination chips, Wen flicked them over the line and Cui resignedly exposed his 2♦2♣. Wen turned over 10♦10♠ and that was good enough. — HS

5:20pm: Chan chops down Tollefsen
Level 4 – Blinds 150/300 (25 ante)

Norway’s Henrik Tollefsen was one of Level 4’s first casualties here after he clashed with Justin Chan in a hand just gone.

On a flop of 4♥2♥8♠ Tollefsen checked and Chan fired for what appeared to be 2,000. Tollefsen bumped it up to 4,300 to go but Chan came back over the top with an all-in move just shy of 20,000 – enough to have Tollefsen covered.

The Norwegian called with 10♥9♥ for a flush draw but saw the bad news when Chan tabled A♥Q♥ for a superior one. Tollefsen was dead when the Q♣ turn paired Chan and Tollefsen was out of his seat as the inconsequential 3♠ rolled off.

That hand moves Chan up to 36,700 in chips.  — BK

4 150 300 25

5:10pm: Tevis’s hero call on the (Ichi-)nose
Level 3 – Blinds 150/300

Not sure how this one played out in full, but Vitaly Tevis just made a hero call against Kosei Ichinose that turned out to be bang on.

I arrived when they were already at the turn. The nearly-complete board read 6♣J♣8♠3♠. It looked as though Ichinose had checked, prompting a bet of 1,600 from Tevis, but then a check-raise to 3,800 from the Team PokerStars Pro. Tevis called.

The 8♥ came on the river and Ichinose flicked out a yellow 5,000-denomination chip, announcing his bet as 2,800. Tevis took a few seconds to decide what to do but called eventually. His instincts were rewarded when Ichinose turned over A♦7♠, for nothing but ace high. Tevis’s 4♥6♥ was a winner. — HS

5:05pm: Mai says goodbye
Level 3 – Blinds 150/300

Jie Mai was recently eliminated after getting his last 2,725 in the middle preflop against the dominant hand of Reginald Rowan.

Mai: A♦7♠
Rowan: A♣J♦

Mai was in bad shape and chasing a seven to survive. The 8♣A♥4♦ brought some backdoor straight possibilities but nothing would eventuate on the 10♣ turn and Q♠ river.

Tapping the table Mai was up from his seat and heading out of the tournament area as Rowan moved up to 19,800, just shy of starting stack. — BK

4:55pm: Im back in five figures
Level 3 – Blinds 150/300

Vivian Im was down below 10,000, but she has just crept the right side of the five-figure line after picking up a small pot from Cheng Cheng.

Cheng opened to 800 from under the gun and Im raised to 2,500 from one seat to his left. Nobody else was interested in joining the two early-position players and action folded back to Cheng. He called.


Team PokerStars Pro Vivian Im

The flop came 2♣9♥5♠ but prompted nothing but passivity from both players. They checked to a turn of 5♥ and both checked again. After Cheng also checked the Q♣ river, Im had seen enough. She shoved for 7,075 and seemed to know what was coming. Cheng folded.

The chip-leader at that table is Ronny Schenk, who is sitting with about 46,000. — HS

4:50pm: Orange crush
Level 3 – Blinds 150/300

No one is going to miss Thomas Shelley today. He is dressed as though straight from a Wall Street trading floor, where he might be representing a Dutch bank. To translate: he is head to toe in vibrant orange, including orange pinstripe suit and orange hat.

He has a stack of around 25,000 too, having just won a small pot from his neighbour Stephen Zhou.

Zhou bet 1,000 at a flop of 4♣J♣K♣ and Shelley called. (Only those two were involved at this stage.) Then after the K♦ turned, Shelley called Zhou’s bet of 2,100.


The distinctive stylings of Thomas Shelley

Zhou gave up after the Q♠ river, check-folding to Shelley’s 3,000 bet. — HS

4:45pm: Chen chewed up
Level 3 – Blinds 150/300

The 2014 Macau Millions champion Hao Chen just met a relatively early demise here after getting his short stack all in preflop against Zhong Zhang.

Chen: K♥J♣
Zhang: Q♠Q♦

Chen needed help to stay alive but couldn’t improve on the 6♠A♦7♦9♥8♦ runout.

Zhang’s queens held and he climbed to 22,000 as Chen found the exit. — BK

4:30pm: Three-way accounts for Chen
Level 3 – Blinds 150/300

Another wander, another three-way all in. They love this kind of stuff over here.

Jianyu Chen opened to 700 from under the gun and, two seats to his left, Raymond Dye called. Action then skipped a chair to Yauheni Zenkivich–manning Belarus’s Macau outpost–and he raised to 2,000.

As soon as the decision came back to Chen, he announced that he was all in, for a little more than 8,000. Seconds later, Dye announced that he was all in too, with a covering stack, and Zenkivich also snap-called all in, with about 6,000 back.

Dye: 10♥10♠
Zenkivich: J♦J♣
Chen: A♠K♠

Fair enough, I suppose.

The board then bricked, running entirely dry for all of them. That meant that Zenkivich picked up a triple up, Dye won the side pot and Chen headed out the door. — HS

4:25pm: Myrmo no more
Level 3 – Blinds 150/300

Norway’s Espen Myrmo was just sent packing at the hands of Ukraine’s Valentyn Shabelnyk after a preflop confrontation.

The two got all the money in before any community cards to see that Myrmo’s fate would be decided by a coinflip.

Myrmo: A♥K♥
Shabelnyk: Q♠Q♦

Myrmo found an ace on the 9♥Q♣A♠ but Shabelnyk spiked middle set to almost already lock up the hand. The 7♣ turn and K♠ couldn’t save Myrmo and he hit the rail here on Level 3.

Meanwhile Shabelnyk climbs to 36,000 in chips. — BK

3 150 300

3:55pm: Yu flushed
Level 3 – Blinds 150/300

Three players were at a flop of 5♥7♥3♣ and regardless of how long they took to get there, the rest of the hand played out in a matter of seconds. Those were the final seconds of Xunhuan Yu’s tournament too as what looked like a gin card for him on the turn turned out to spell disaster.

Yu, who would have been in the small blind pre-flop, bet 3,100 at that board, which persuaded Chang He to fold. But Yifan Zhang called from what would have been the cutoff and the pair saw the K♥ fall on the turn.

Yu checked. Zhang bet 6,400 and almost instantly, Yu moved all in. Even more quickly, Zhang called and the two hands were exposed. Yu had K♦K♣ and had turned a set. But Zhang’s Q♥J♥ was a flush that was not out-drawn on the total blur of a river.

Yu skittered away as Zhang stacked up about 40,000. — HS

3:55pm Break time
Level 2 – Blinds 100/200

That’s the end of the day’s second level, and players are heading for their first break of the day. — HS

3:50pm: Liu’s mis-Givens
Level 2 – Blinds 100/200

More than 200 players have now registered for today’s action–204 to be precise–of whom at least six have already been eliminated. I’m yet to witness anyone spiralling out of contention first hand, but it’s not for want of trying.

William Givens nearly became that man, asking for the red all-in triangle in the 10 minutes before Level 2 drew to a close. He got involved in a bit of a weird hand, started by Daniel Laidlaw’s open to 600 from mid-position.

Douglas Chan called from the hijack and then Chunjie Liu made it 2,100 to go from the button. Givens was in the small blind and, after a while to ponder his options, he raised to 6,000. The big blind got out of the way and both Laidlaw and Chan had also seen enough. But Liu, with position, called.

The flop brought the 3♥6♠7♣ and, with it, an almost immediate shove for precisely 10,000 from Givens. Liu seemed anguished and pondered a call for a long while. But he eventually thought better of it, leaving Givens short of the double up but with chips to fight another day. — HS

3:45pm Im collects a pot
Level 2 – Blinds 100/200

Much like her teammate Kosei Ichinose, Team PokerStars Pro Vivian Im had a rough start but is doing well to accumulate chips as the day progresses.

A recent hand saw Im climb back over the 20,000 starting stack with a well-timed check-raise.

We arrived at the table with three active players, the board reading 8♠6♥2♦ and around 4,500 in the pot indicating considerable preflop action.

Im, first to act, checked her option as did the player in late position. Ben Cade on the button, however, bet 1,800. Im made the call and with the third party out of the way the dealer turned the 10♥.

Im checked her option again but this time when faced with a bet of 2,800 she put in a raise to 5,800 – leaving herself only 1,275 behind. Cade shuffled his chips and considered his options before ultimately throwing his hand in the muck.

Tablemates laughed and debated whether Im had 7-9 or a set of eights as the Team Pro stacked up 21,000 in chips. — BK

3:30pm: Kosei climbs back
Level 2 – Blinds 100/200

Japanese Team PokerStars Pro Kosei Ichinose is among the action today and is fighting back after a less than desirable start.

Ichinose appeared to have fallen to almost half of the 20,000 start stack before the hand that just transpired. We caught the action on the flop of 3♦9♣4♣ where he checked from the big blind and his opponent did the same behind.

Ichinose checked again after the Q♦ turn peeled off and when faced with a bet of 700, he reraised to 2,000. The Team Pro’s repop was called and the 4♥ arrived on the river.

“4,500” announced Ichinose throwing in a 5,000 denomination chip.

The final wager was called and Ichinose tabled Q♠9♠ for top two pair to win the pot. With that he is close to starting stack once again with 18,500. — BK

3:15pm: Tough to read these two
Level 2 – Blinds 100/200

Here’s an intriguing pot from Table 21, where Kai Chen demonstrated quite clearly that he is a non-believer and Zhenhua Lu showed precisely why he is not to be believed.

Chen was under the gun and he opted only to call the 200 big blind. Action folded to Lu on the button and he raised to 700. The blinds folded, but Chen called.

Those two took a flop of 6♥A♠8♦ and Chen now found his betting rhythm. He moved 700 over the line, which Lu called. That drew the Q♦ on the turn and Chen bet again, this time 1,300. Lu responded with a raise, making it 2,800. Chen called and this was now getting big.

The 8♥ came on the river and Chen opted to check. Lu, however, had another stab. He bet 4,500. Chen responded by asking his opponent to lift his hands so that he could see how many chips he had remaining, quickly learning it was in the region of 14,600.

Chen threw out what looked like a sigh-call, more out of curiosity than expectation. But curiosity in this instance rewarded the cat: Lu showed 6♣2♣ for a pair of sixes. Chen got to show his slow-played K♠K♥.

The cowboys may have got him into trouble on an ace-high flop, but somehow Chen got close to the maximum with them. — HS

2 100 200

3:05pm: Set over set goes Ashitianizarandi’s way
Level 1 – Blinds 50/100

A sizable pot just went down on Table 3. The hand began with Bassel Zammar opening from early position to 250 before the player in the cutoff, Shahin Ashitianizarandi in the small blind and Henrik Tollefsen in the big blind all called to see the 10♠6♦5♦ flop.

The action checked to Zammar who continued for 425. The cutoff tossed his hand away but Ashitianizarandi quickly moved all in for 5,550. Tollefsen surrendered his hand before Zammar snapped it off to see he’d been hit by a cold deck.

Ashitianizarandi: 6♥6♣
Zammar: 5♠5♥

The flop had brought a set over set scenario and left Zammar chasing one lonely out to scoop the pot. It wouldn’t arrive as the 4♦ turn and 9♣ river completed the board and Ashitianizarandi doubled up.

“I was so close to having a cigarette” said Zammar with a sigh, lamenting on the fact he’d even been dealt in. After a solid run early in proceedings Zammar is still in good shape with 28,000 in chips. — BK

3pm: Tong gets tough
Level 1 – Blinds 50/100

Somehow, Zhou Tong found himself with only about 5,500 in his stack and found a fine spot to get it in. Cheng Cheng limped for 100 from under the gun and Vivian Im, one seat to his left, maybe hoped to continue a limping party. She called too.

However, after action folded through another couple of players, Tong shipped it all in, about 55 blinds. The table chuckled as it folded, one-by-one. Tong turned over A♣K♣ to show that he was packing. — HS

2:55pm: HK$50,000 resumes

In addition to the commencement of the main event, the two-day HK$50,000 plays to a winner this evening at PokerStars LIVE Macau. Its 100-strong field was sliced to its last 32 over yesterday’s eight hours, but there’s still a long way to go until a champion is crowned.

The top five at this stage are:

Ryan Mingho Yum (China) – 621,500
Dong Zhao (China) – 369,000
Houmao Hua (China) – 312,000
Jordan Kaplan (Malaysia) – 282,000
Matthew Moss (Hong Kong) – 263,500

The field also still features Juicy Liu and Billy Argyros. — HS

2:50pm: Two hundred in our sights
Level 1 – Blinds 50/100

The tournament entry board shows 171 players already registered for today’s action, with an expectation now pervading the room that we should comfortably surpass 200 for this first flight. Day 1Bs are always significantly larger, so there’s every chance we’re on for a 500+ tournament. — HS

2:45pm: Slow tank, chop
Level 1 – Blinds 50/100

A ponderous hand played out on Table 11, with the most frustrating of all results for fans of big swings: a chopped pot. This one had potential, but fizzled out.

There were four players to a flop of 10♠3♠A♠, each having contributed 250 each to the 1,000-value pre-flop pot. After Jia Zhou and Deok-yeong Lee checked, Hui Zhang bet 700. Only his neighbour to the left, Kin Wai Tang, called.

Those two saw a turn of 5♦ and Zhang bet 1,600. Tang, after a long and deliberate pause, called and they saw the river: 6♦.

Zhang now checked–I think he was most likely the opening raiser too, but now slowed down a bit–and Tang checked behind. Zhang turned over his A♦J♠ but was only getting half of it after Tang showed his A♥J♥. — HS

2:40pm: Demlakian loses some to Lee
Level 1 – Blinds 50/100

Australian Ken Demlakian made an impressive 7th place finish in the PCA Main Event earlier this year but he’s not faring as well so far today after losing some chips to Korea’s Deok-yeong Lee.

Demlakian opened the cutoff to 250 before Lee three-bet to 650 from the small blind. After a call from Demlakian players went to a flop of 5♠A♣K♦.


Ken Demlakian: From the PCA back to Macau

Lee continued for 700 which was met with a call before the dealer turned the 8♣. Lee fired again, this time for 1,100 but Demlakian played back at him for 2,800. Lee popped it up to 7,600 sending Demlakian into the tank.

After a couple minutes deliberation Demlakian sighed and exposed the A♠ as he threw the hand away. –BK

2:25pm: Team Pro pulls up a seat
Level 1 – Blinds 50/100

Day 1a is only just kicking into gear and we’ve already spotted our first Team PokerStars Pro among the field. Korean Team Pro Vivian Im is among the action, but with six hours of late registration and another flight tomorrow we are expecting a few more to join the hunt.

Fellow team members Chen An Lin, Celina Lin, Bryan Huang and Yaxi Zhu were all at the tables for earlier events in the festival so it’s likely they will show their faces for the Main Event. — BK

2:15pm: Gift box
Level 1 – Blinds 50/100

When action got under way, there were 119 players registered for this opening flight. It’s certain to grow considerably, and there’s a line still at the registration desk to buy in.

In addition to a stack of chips, players sitting down at the table also receive an invitation to the APPT Macau players’ party, taking place tomorrow night, as well as a shiny gold card souvenir card protector on top of a mysterious gift box.


Welcome to the table at APPT Macau

That slim, black envelope actually contains a display holder for the souvenir card protector, with four other slots. There’s a different gift on offer at each of the APPT events on Season 10, meaning a player competing at each destination can complete the set.

Full details of the APPT schedule are on the APPT page. — HS

2:00pm: Cards in the air!
Level 1 – Blinds 50/100

PokerStars LIVE Macau’s Fred Leung just took to the microphone to welcome now only our players but also to introduce Mark Blake, the new APPT president, who was given the “Shuffle up and deal” duties. With that we’re underway and in store for eight one-hour levels here on Day 1A.


Fred Leung, left, and Mark Blake

Tables here are filling up quick and with a line still at the registration booth it looks like players will have a big field to contend with.

Now it’s time to head to the tournament floor to catch the action.

1.30pm: Welcome to the City of Dreams

Good afternoon everybody and welcome to Macau. That’s not specific enough. In particular, welcome to the PokerStars LIVE poker room at the City of Dreams Casino, home for the next five days to the Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) main event.

The buy-in for this one is HK$25,000 (approximately US$3,200) and, with around 500 players expected, it’s going to be worth winning. The entrants will be split across two opening flights–today and tomorrow–with a 2pm start time on both days.

Players get a 20,000 starting stack and registration is open until the end of the sixth one-hour level, round about 8.30pm. Blinds start at 50-100 and you can see how they progress, as well as viewing all the festival information, in the APPT10 Macau Player’s Guide.

Stick around here on PokerStars Blog, the only English-language outlet with coverage until the bitter end.


PokerStars Blog reporting team in Macau: Brad Kain and Howard Swains. Photos by Kenneth Lim.

The APPT Macau festival at PokerStars LIVE at the City of Dreams runs until Sunday, May 29. Full details are available on the official APPT website or via the PokerStars Macau page.


Next Story