APPT10 Macau: One hundred up, guaranteed
With about 15 minutes left on the clock in Level 9, Lori Lagrosas, Operations Manager of PokerStars LIVE Macau, came over to her colleagues in the tournament area and offered them a high five. The number of entries into the HKD$50,000 freezeout at this APPT festival had just ticked to 100--significant particularly for Lagrosas as she had boldly "guaranteed" that the tournament would attract that many players. She hit her guarantee with a quarter of an hour to spare.
So it is that the final warm-up before tomorrow's main event hits a record high, boding well for a bumper turnout for the week's flagship tournament. When the clock ticked to the end of the level, representing the end of the late-registration period, there were still an even 100 involved. That created a prize pool of more than HKD$4.4 million, with the full prize breakdown to be determined soon.
The young New Zealander Thomas Ward continues to dominate proceedings at this early stage. When he moved tables shortly before the end of Level 9, he needed racks sufficient to carry a stack of about 210,000, which is more than four times what he started with.
"How good is this guy?" a table-mate said as Ward found his new seat assignment, half in relief and half in frustration that the table's chips were heading elsewhere. Ward now sits on the same table as Dong Guo, who is in China's top 20 money earners and will be looking to add to his career total this week.
Speaking of China's rich list, Devan Tang was one of the late registrants to this tournament. Tang lies fourth on the all-time China money list, largely thanks to four huge scores. In January of this year, Tang picked up USD$1,405,500 for finishing third behind Fedor Holz and David Peters in a super high roller tournament in Manila. The five men who finished immediately behind him were Steve O'Dwyer, Phil Ivey, Daniel Colman, Paul Phua and Mike McDonald. He can play tough.
Winfred Yu showed up late to this tournament, but he has already been eliminated. So has Quan Zhou, who currently leads to APOY leader board. Zhou is becoming a regular on the European Poker Tour too and most recently cashed in the €25,000 high roller at the EPT Grand Final.
But he couldn't get A♣K♥ to beat Xin Liu's J♦J♥, especially after a J♣ flopped. "Runner runner!" Zhou encouraged the dealer, but the dealer could not oblige.
There's still a long way to go for the 57 players who remain at this stage. They will play another two one-hour levels tonight before returning to play to a winner at 3pm tomorrow.
We'll return an hour prior to that for the commencement of the main event, and also to catch up on what's been going on in the various side events.