APPT Macau: Irishman leads on historic day for poker in Asia


Watch APPT Macau 08: Day 1c Update on PokerStars.tv

An historic day for the emergence of poker in Asia concluded at the Grand Waldo Hotel and Casino with 88 of the 229 players in day 1C of the PokerStars.net Asia Pacific Poker Tour set to return for tomorrow’s day 2 action.

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The Grand Waldo is quickly establishing a reputation as the home of Asian poker.

With the total entry confirmed at 538, the APPT Macau main event has smashed every record for a poker tournament on Asian soil.

The total prize pool of HKD $12.643 million (approximately USD $1.62 million) and first prize of HKD $3,540,040 (USD $453,851.28) also represent previously unscaled heights for an event in Asia.

Day 1C was also characterised by one of the most impressive line-ups of poker talent ever assembled on the Asian continent, headlined by Team PokerStars Pros Joe Hachem, Lee “Final Table” Nelson, Isabelle “No Mercy” Mercier and Hevad Khan.

The field also included PokerStars Sponsored players Tony Hachem, Neil Arce, Franco Mabanta, Terrence Chan, Emad Tahtouh, Ivan Tan and surprise entrant John Phan (fresh from his WPT Legends of Poker win less than a fortnight ago), six-time WSOP bracelet winner Men “The Master” Nguyen and his wife Van, Shaun Deeb, LAPT San Jose final table participants Max Steinberg and Steve Silverman, last year’s APPT Macau main event winner “All-in” Dinh Le and a trio of star players with proud Asian heritage – J.C. Tran, Nam Le and David Chiu.

But emerging from the galaxy of stars was PokerStars qualifier Mark Walsh from Ireland, who finished the day with 95,000.

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Irishman Mark Walsh, chip leader on day 1C..

He’s followed by 2005 WSOP bracelet winner “Mighty” Quinn Do (83,600), Ole Johan Steinvik (68,900), Tian Chen (62,500) and Kevin MacPhee (61,900).

Notables to made it through to day 2 were Carter Gill (48,400), Men “The Master” Nguyen (39,500), Van Nguyen (27,800), PokerStars Sponsored duo Emad Tahtouh (28,800) and Terrence Chan (22,800), Frank “The Bank” Bianco (20,000), Nam Le (14,500) and David Chiu (13,000).

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Van Nguyen and her husband Men "The Master" will both be back in action on day 2..

A trio of Team PokerStars Pros survived the day. Lee “Final Table” Nelson is best placed with 29,900 (just above the average) but Isabelle “No Mercy” Mercier (8200) and Joe Hachem (5500) face a stern test.

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Team PokerStars Pro Joe Hachem faces an uphill battle on day 2..

The other Team PokerStars Pro in action today, Hevad Khan, bowed out after Raymond Wu rivered a set of threes on a board of Kc-Js-Ac-6c-3s, then David Chiu made a set of aces against Khan’s set of nines.

Other casualties of day 1C included PokerStars Sponsored players Ivan Tan (who finished second in this event last year), Tony Hachem, Neil Arce and John Phan, plus Shaun Deeb, Steve Joonhee Yea, defending champion Dinh Le, Steve Sung, Jo Berec, J.J. Liu and J.C. Tran.

Day 2 is scheduled to kick-off at 1.30pm local time, with play again scheduled for seven one-hour levels. See you tomorrow as the chase for the money heats-up.

All photography © Joe Giron/IMPDI