APPT10 Macau: Stars arrive for $50K freezeout
The HKD$50,000 event here at PokerStars LIVE Macau has kicked off in predictably energetic fashion. When the first cards were dealt, there were 39 players in their seats. By the time the first 40-minute level had been played, the number had swelled to 61. With registration still open until the end of Level 9, the number is certain to grow considerably.
Perhaps even more remarkable is the fact that at the end of that first level, no one had been knocked out. That has to be some kind of record for a tournament in these parts. That said, with a 50,000 starting stack and blinds beginning at 100-200, it would have been reckless even by established standards to be on the rail already.
Stop press: We're now up to 82 players. That's a record for this event (albeit only the second time it's been played.)
There's no mistaking the stars in the field at this stage. The Team PokerStars Pros Bryan Huang, Yaxi Zhu and Chen An Lin are all seated, the former making a return to the felt after the birth of his son. Huang said he's getting used to the idea of remote parenting, talking to his growing family back in Singapore via video link. But no doubt the focus will be on the table: he now has another mouth to feed.
As for Zhu and Lin, both were recently in Monaco for the EPT Grand Final. Zhu picked up a min-cash in the record-breaking FPS Main Event, while Lin made the final table of the FPS High Roller, finishing third for a career-best €96,150 result.
He has done most of his best work in Macau, however, with numerous final table appearances at APPT and Macau Poker Cup (MPC) festivals. He is comfortable in this company.
Other familiar faces in today's field include:
Tony Cheng (APPT9 Macau winner), Yuguang Li (Red Dragon winner), Quan Zhou (No 1 ranked in Asia Player of the Year standings), Alvan Zheng (2016 Macau Millions winner) and Andjelko Andrejevic, who comes to Macau on the back of victory in the WPT Amsterdam main event.
Actually, Andrejevic too does his best work in these parts. He won the super high roller title at the Asia Championship of Poker (ACOP) in November last year, picking up more than USD$1.1 million in the process. When you note that he beat a final table also including John Juanda, Bryn Kenney, Steve O'Dwyer, Anton Astapau and Erik Seidel, you get an idea of his talents.