The clock is approaching 3:00 p.m. and dozens of players are congregating near the tournament registration desk here at PokerStars LIVE at the City of Dreams.
What are they doing here? Well, they are all ponying up HK$25,000 in the hopes of becoming the next champion on Season 8 of the Asia Pacific Poker Tour.
The players are more specifically here for the second and final Day 1 flight of the APPT Macau Main Event. They clearly opted to not play yesterday and will instead take to the felt today.
Perhaps some of the players chose to play today so they could see where the benchmark was set on the Day 1a. I can tell you that it was set at 166,000 by a player named Bo “Box” Xie.
There will certainly be some players at the felt today who will be aiming to chase that amount down. Others will simply be hoping to survive the day and secure a place in tomorrow’s Day 2 along with the 87 who made it through Day 1a.
There will certainly be a few familiar faces at the tables on Day 1b, none perhaps more familiar than Team PokerStars Pros Celina Lin and Raymond Wu. Both of these players have built the foundations of their careers in this very poker room and will be looking to strengthen that foundation this week.
Another player who will be at the felt today is Alexandre Chieng. Switched on poker enthusiasts from this region will recognise this name as the one that conquered this event last year.
Chieng overcame a total field of 388 players to claim the first prize of just under US$300,000. He had to defeat a final table which included Kenny Leong, 2013 ANZPT Sydney champion Dinesh Alt, prominent pro Jay Tan and Aussie regular Trung Tran.
While Chieng will be looking to defend his title, a few hundred others will be hoping they will be the brand new APPT Macau champion.
Saying a “few hundred” is a little ambiguous, but that’s the info we have at the moment. Yesterday APPT President Danny McDonagh was hoping to see a field of around 300 today and crack the 500 total players mark. He’s not 100% confident on reaching that goal, but is still very confident on reaching 450 total players and will certainly see an increase on last year’s field.
Registration is open for the first four 60-minute levels and just like yesterday, Day 1b will last seven and a half levels before calling it a night. During that time you will be able to find plenty of stories and live updates on the APPT8 Macau page, so be sure to tune in and find out all the latest.
For now, check out the video below as Nicky Pickering explores this crazy (and beautiful) city called Macau.