In search of the elusive Double Spadie Winner
The 2014 Asia Championship of Poker starts on October 24 at the 'PokerStars LIVE at City of Dreams' poker room in Macau. All poker players in this part of the world are starting to focus their thoughts on it, and in fact players from around the world are as well. It's expected to be a big series with some huge fields.
This will be the third year for the ACOP, which features what is probably one of the biggest buy-in Main Events in the world, and certainly around the Asia Pacific region. The buy-in is HK$ 100,000, which is the equivalent of about $13,000 USD. Along with the Aussie Millions, everyone looks forward to the ACOP all year as a possible chance to bink something really big.
I know a lot of pros are coming to Macau this year for the ACOP, including Jonathan Duhamel, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Randy "nanonoko" Lew, Terrence Chan, Mike McDonald, and a number of others. It's definitely a series that tends to attract a lot of international pros, not just for the Main Event but for the HK$ 250,000 High Roller and a HK$ 500,000 Super High Roller (with two rebuys) as well.
Right now there's some added intrigue surrounding the ACOP because of all the talk about everyone racing to become the first player to win two "Spadies." Players who win an ACOP event -- any of the numbered ones -- receive a beautiful trophy that earned the nickname after there was a competition to name it last year.
In the history of the ACOP, many players have won one Spadie, but no one has yet won two. So at the moment there's a lot of talk about who will get the second one.
Out of the Team Pros, Raymond Wu and I have each won one Spadie. I won mine at the very end of last year's ACOP in the HK$ 8,800 NLH event, and the memory of that finish is making me look forward to this year's ACOP even more.
Actually I may have a slight advantage to win a second one first because one is awarded to the winner of the Ladies Event, although I would really prefer to win an open event if I could choose.
The ACOP schedule is 17 days long and it's a real test of skill and mental will to endure the whole schedule. By the last weekend you'll see a lot of players exhausted and that includes myself. In fact, last year on Day 1 of the HK$ 8,800 NLH event I was literally still in bed at 7 p.m. when the tournament started! I'd played every day up until then and hadn't really seen any fruits of my labor, and I was so tired I nearly skipped it.
But I found the motivation, pulled myself out of bed and jumped into the tournament about a half-hour after it started. I was the chip leader after Day 1, maintained my lead throughout Day 2, then got to heads-up against my good friend Ted Wang and after three or four hours I took it down.
It was an unexpected to win -- especially after I almost didn't even play the event -- but everything just fell into place. Perhaps because I didn't have a lot of expectations, I didn't put too much pressure on myself and thus performed better. In any case the experience proved how important it can be not to give up and to keep persevering.
It's still fresh in my thoughts as the ACOP comes back around.
Some people have suggested skipping the first week so they stay fresh at the end. But you never know which event is the one you're going to go deep and win. Volume is so important and so my focus is to prepare for the grueling schedule and stay mentally fit so I can remain positive regardless of results and how many days in a row I've played.
I'm really motivated now to win a second. If I were to bet on it, I would wager that "someone" will be picking up a second this time.
And why not me!