APPT Macau: Travel diary

Macau has been in the poker spotlight for quite some time now. It's always been a pivotal stop on the PokerStars.net Asia Pacific Poker Tour, attracting hundreds of players and awarding millions of Hong Kong Dollars, every year. In recent times it became even more marked on the map thanks to the cash games operating in various poker rooms, involving amounts of money that most of us could never imagine holding at any one time.

The APPT stop in Macau is usually held in the middle of the year, in Macau's warmer months. This year, it was pushed to November, a refreshing time of year where it's still humid, but slightly cool outside. Personally I much preferred this time of year to the scorching, sticky heat that can come with May.

Although, when 90 percent of the time is spent inside hotels and casinos in typical Las Vegas fashion, the weather isn't really that big a deal, but it's nice to be able to enjoy the one day spent on exploring the pebble stone streets that are jam-packed with vendors, hiding away 16th century ruins just waiting to be discovered.

With the long days of work, hitting the town at night wasn't an overly available option for someone who needs their sleep like I do, except for one crazy night where we celebrated the kick off to the Main Event and PokerStars' 10th Anniversary at one of Macau's most popular nightclubs, D2. Usually the male to female ratio at poker parties is so heavily skewed, it was a pleasant surprise to see so many females when we arrived. Check out the video if you don't believe me!

A record-setting field participated in Season 5's Macau stop, with 575 players from all corners of the globe taking their seats in the PokerStars Macau Poker Room, including lucky satellite winners, local grinders and some of the biggest international names such as Phil Ivey, Johnny Chan, David Steicke, Jose 'Nacho' Barbero and of course, the champion, Randy 'nanonoko' Lew who was so happy even to have made it to his first-ever final table. Here's a look at the final nine players.

One of my favorite things about working in the poker industry is the awesome people that you get to meet and work with. It's rare for me to meet a poker player that I dislike. I don't know Randy 'nanonoko' Lew, a member of Team PokerStars Online, that well, but from what I do know, he is an awesome guy, and with that added to his monster online-cash-game skills, you've just got to love him! We could see it in his face with each all-in moment he had at this final table, just how much his heart and soul was in it to land that title. And that he did. Congratulations. Randy!

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Grand Lisboa hotel, home of PokerStars Macau

Lynn Gilmartin
@PokerStars in PokerStars news