Dozens of people are currently filtering into the Paradise Casino Walkerhill. Some of them are certainly here to go enjoy some Baccarat or Black Jack, but at least 92 of them have one thing on their mind – poker.
You see today is Day 2 of the APPT Seoul Main Event and with ₩685,363,200 (~$US650,000) on the line, these players need to be focused. At least 28 of them will be finishing in the money, while one of them will reign supreme and pick up the latest Asia Pacific Poker Tour title and the ₩185,000,000 (~US$175,000) top prize. Of course, with 28 making the money, this means 64 players will go home disappointed.
It could be argued that there is one player in the Day 2 field who is the least likely to go home disappointed and that is the chip leader Raiden Kan. Not only does Kan have the largest chip stack (156,400), but he also has plenty of experience in tournament poker, having taken down the Macau Poker Cup Championship in 2011.
Kan is not the only player who starts Day 2 with plenty of chips in front of him. Take Tim Place for instance, he has 155,400 – just one single 1,000-denomination chip less than Kan. Players like Masato Yokosawa (146,800), Tsun Ming Chan (128,300), Sam Cohen (107,700), Kelvin Beattie (107,000) and Toshiyuki Onda (100,200) also have big chip stacks.
As is always the case on any Day 2 of a standard multi-table poker tournament, not everyone can have big chip stacks. There are stacks of all kinds of sizes littered throughout the poker room, no discrimination here.
There’s prominent regulars of the Asia-Pacific scene like Ken Demlakian (59,800), Ryan Piganatelli (59,200), Juicy Li (52,400), Chane Kampanatsanyakorn (50,200), Minh Nguyen (44,800), Sam Razavi (37,300), Edison Nguyen (35,100) and Winfred Yu (36,900), just to name a few!
One player we would be remiss to mention is a man who we just noticed in the poker room for the beginning of Day 2. He happens to be wearing a PokerStars Team Online patch and also happens to be Japan’s only WSOP gold bracelet winner – Naoyo Kihara.
There is a bit of an entourage currently following Kihara around, including a video team who have been filming his play all day long and interviewing him between breaks. Kihara doesn’t really speak too much English and despite having studied Japanese for one year in High School, I have no idea what he is saying. But alas, he starts Day 2 with 39,200 in chips and will be looking to make a deep run here at APPT Seoul
All of these players we have mentioned and the rest of them that make up the 92 returning names will be at the felt for exactly eight 60-minute levels today and that’s regardless of how many players remain. In that time we expect to make the money, though probably won’t get much closer to a final table than that.
It’s not only the poker players that will be here for eight levels of action today – yours truly will also be here writing all about this event! You can find feature stories, along with live reports on the APPT8 Seoul page. Be sure to tune in and find out how Day 2 plays out.