APPT Macau 2007: 352 players chasing first APPT Macau crown

By Sean Callander

Poker players love a good prop bet, and the Hong Kong dollars were flying thick and fast as to the number of starters in the Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) Macau: Asian Poker Open main event.

The line seemed to be set around 200-220, so those who took the overs are celebrating with the final number confirmed at 352 players: a remarkable figure for this historic tournament and a credit to everyone involved in the organisation of the event.

Opening Day APPT Macau 2007

We’re into level three (100/200), and already 26 players have been eliminated, including a pair of Team PokerStars Pros, Lee ‘Final Table’ Nelson and Emad Tahtouh.

The 2006 Aussie Millions champion pushed his remaining 2900 in chips with Qc 10s, and received a call from Philippines-based Canadian Mischa Peters, holding Ad 2d with the board reading Qd 9c 6d. Nelson made trip queens on the turn, but Peters completed his flush on the river (4d) to send the Kiwi on his way.

Emad Tahtouh is known as a bit of a lady’s man, but queens proved his downfall in consecutive hands, when his A K was twice bested by pocket dames: the fairer sex delivers another broken heart for the young Australian.

Emad talks strategy with Alison on the APPT video blog

Fellow Aussie Jozef Berec has also been KOed. The runner-up of the APPT Seoul main event, Berec has been in cracking form this year but barely lasted an hour here.

Crippled earlier when his A K was dominated by Christoffer Stahle’s pocket kings, Berec was headed for the rails when kings of his own came up against A 10 on a board of 5 10 A J 6. Stahle is the early chip leader on 44,000.

However, Berec – a sometimes-fiery character at the table– was on his best behaviour once eliminated, fearful of a local rule that has every player in the Grand Waldo on their toes.

Tournament director Matt Savage delivered a stern warning to all players before the start of the main event in regards to the abuse of dealers.

Strict policies are in place to combat dealer abuse, and if an incident is deemed serious enough, a perpetrator could be arrested and jailed by local police. Maybe the law should be extended to card rooms all over the world!!

Early movers on the chip count include Liz Lieu (28,000), Gary Benson (26,000), Chad Brown, David Saab and Joe Hachem (all 21,000).

APPT Video Blog
Alison finds out which players pre-game strategies involve words like "on the rocks".

Brad Willis
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