APPT Macau 2007: Race to final table heats up as bubble bursts

By Sean Callander

The bubble has burst here at the Grand Waldo Hotel and Casino with Canada’s Winfred Yu confirmed as the 41st-place finisher in the APPT Macau: Asian Poker Open main event.

A cheer erupted in the room when Denmark’s Sean Jensen sent Yu to the rail, thus ensuring the remaining 40 players a payout of at least $US3238, but all eyes remain focussed on a spot at tomorrow’s final table.

It took just over three hours to slash the field from 77 to 40, with some of the big name eliminations including 1998 world champion Scotty Nguyen.

From middle position, Nguyen moved all-in for his last 30,000 in chips and was called by Swede Markus Duberg from the cutoff. Duberg showed pocket queens, which held up against the Prince of Poker’s Ac Kh.

A popular addition to the APPT Macau field, Scotty departed to warm applause, but not before he’d made a round of the tournament area to wish every player still in the field the best of luck – all class.

Isabelle Mercier’s day two experience was short and sweet. Barely settled into her seat after this morning’s bungy jump off Macau Tower, No Mercy’s pocket kings ran into pocket aces in the first serious showdown of the day. Ouch.

Masa Kagawa was also left with plenty of time to see the sights of Macau when he (and Aussie Paul Gianfriddo) were KOed by Hong Kong’s Nicholas Wong.

APPT Macau 2007: Masa Kagawa
APPT Macau 2007: Masa Kagawa

The Japanese player had As Jc, Gianfriddo pocket queens and Wong pocket kings, which held firm on a board of 6c 8c Jh Kc 8h. The pot, worth 130,000, was the tournament’s biggest so far.

We also lost APPT Seoul champion Ziv Bachar just before the bubble burst. The 25-year-old Israeli made a brave charge at successive titles only to bow out in 43rd position.

APPT Macau 2007: Ziv Bachar
APPT Macau 2007: Ziv Bachar

But some heavy hitters remain very well placed to have a major say in who will take home the APPT Macau trophy.

Team PokerStars duo Joe Hachem and ElkY Grospellier are both sitting comfortably inside the top 10 and within reach of chip leader Hosung Kim (180,000).

APPT Macau 2007: Joe Hachem Bungee  Jumping from Macau Tower
Macau 2007: Joe Hachem Bungee Jumping from Macau Tower earlier today

Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier at APPT Macau 2007 day two
Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier at APPT Macau 2007 day two

And a great story is emerging in the form of Celina “id4eva” Lin, a young Australian who was born in Shanghai, China, before moving to Melbourne as a four-year-old.

APPT Macau 2007: Celina Lin
APPT Macau 2007: Celina Lin

One of Australia’s emerging online stars, Lin is playing in her first major live tournament. Down to just 8000 in chips late yesterday, she’s rallied to build her stack beyond 100,000. With the first aim of making the money ticked off, she’s now eyeing a spot at the final table.

Current chip count (approximate)

  1. Hosung Kim (Korea) 185,000

  2. Tobias Schulze (Germany) 170,100

  3. Dinh Le (Vietnam) 168,000

  4. Pang Leng Ang (Singapore) 135000

  5. Bertrand Grospellier (France) 125,000

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in