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APPT7 Macau: Yu, Chiew and Vlad playing deep-stack chicken

Following a poker tournament when you are far away from the room can sometimes actually be the best way to do it. Even though you're reliant only on third party updates, it is far easier to aggregate the various sources when you aren't surrounded by all the sound and fury. You can stay removed enough to get a balanced overall picture.

On the other hand, armchair poker commentators can sometimes get things spectacularly wrong, hammering out ill-informed observations with Cheeto-stained fingers on to the various forums and social network sites. A good example came at the GuangDong Asia Millions (GDAM) last week, where the structure came in for an enormous pounding from the online warriors, apparently hell-bent on missing the point.

It's true, the biggest stack going to the final table, where they were carving up the best part of US $11m, was only 28 big blinds deep. But the precipitous blind increases and a short three days was exactly what had been requested by the people putting up the lion's share of the buy ins.

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Shuyang Yu: SPOILER - about to win the pot described below

This was essentially a home game for wealthy high rollers from Asia, which was gatecrashed by some top American and European pros. And if you are wealthy enough from your business endeavours to be able to afford US $130,000 just for a bit of fun, you usually haven't got the time to be away from the office for too long.

They wanted a big field to play but had only three days to get it wrapped, and they wanted them to be short at that.

Flash forward a week and we are deep into day three of the APPT Macau main event, which, in contrast to the GDAM, is designed specifically to reward patient and accomplished tournament play. Organisers here are among the most efficient in the world at plotting these things, and they have achieved their stated aim once again. It is currently approaching midnight in Macau, there are 13 players (from the original 388) and the tournament complexion is perfectly balanced. No one is critically short, but there are a few with shoving-only stacks. Meanwhile there's also plenty of opportunity for the best-chipped to play some complicated, deep-stack poker, that sometimes even gets past the flop.

Take this hand, contested by the two tournament leaders Ern Chiew and Shuyang Yu, plus Vladimir Troyanovskiy. It got under way when the latter made it 35,000 to play from the cut off. (Blinds were 8,000-16,000 with a 2,000 ante.) Chiew called from the button, from a stack of about 1.3m, but then Yu, in the big blind, sensed a squeeze opportunity and made it 116,000 (from about 1m).

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Ern Chiew: trapped in the middle

Troyanovskiy was the effective stack here, with about 500,000. But he called the additional 81,000. Chiew then also came along.

The flop came 8♠7♠J♥ and Yu checked. Troyanovskiy bet 140,000 which gave Chiew cause for caution. He was now trapped with Yu still to act after Trovanovskiy had re-opened the action, and he decided to fold, putting the decision back around with Yu.

He wasn't scared of his Russian adversary, however, and pushed forward three stacks of yellow chips, representing 300,000. A chastened Troyanovskiy flicked his cards away and Yu took over the chip lead.

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Vladimir Troyanovskiy, chastened

A reminder on how to follow our coverage from Macau. There is hand-by-hand coverage at the top of the main APPT Macau page, which includes chip counts and a list of eliminated players via the "Payouts" tab. Feature coverage will filter in beneath the panel. All the information about the Asia Pacific Poker Tour is on the APPT site, and PokerStars Macau also has its own home.

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