APPT Macau: Demes the dominator on day 1A

By Landon Blackhall and Sean Callander

We started with the traditional changing of the mask and finished with the traditional bagging of the chips - the 2009 Asian Pacific Poker Tour is off and running after the first of three day one flights in the APPT Macau Main Event in the PokerStars Macau poker room here at the breathtaking Grand Lisboa Hotel and Casino.

Under the bright lights and chandeliers of this stunning space, 119 players took their seats for day 1A in pursuit of the most prestigious poker title on Asian soil.


A full house in PokerStars Macau for day 1A of the APPT Macau Main Event

The field included two former world champions, PokerStars Sponsored player Johnny Chan and 1990 winner Mansour Matloubi, Team Australia trio Emad Tahtouh, Eric Assadourian and Grant Levy, Team Asia's Dan Schreiber, Jonathan Lin and Raymond Wu plus 2009 Aussie Millions winner Stewart Scott, "November Nine" finalist James Akenhead and scores of PokerStars qualifiers representing nations from Europe, North America and right across the Asia-Pacific region.

After seven one-hour levels, just 60 players remained and the chip leader was US PokerStars Player Brandon b7zzy Demes. A Sunday 500 winner on PokerStars earlier this year, Demes was the only player to crack the six-figure mark today, finishing with 102,200 in chips.


Chip leader Brandon Demes (left) prepares to stack up some more chips on his way to the day 1A lead

Canadian PokerStars Qualifier Dbinder Singh also finished near the top of the chip count, mainly thanks to a massive pot he snared just after the final break. The money was all in the middle pre-flop between Singh and PokerStars Macau Satellite winner Raymond Chow of Hong Kong. Chow held 9♥ 9♦, but was way behind Singh's K♦ K♣. The board ran out Q♥ 8♦ 7♣ 8♣ J♠, eliminating Chow and sending Singh skyrocketing to 97,000 in chips.

Chinese PokerStars Macau Satellite winner Jeff Su also shot up the chip tally, climbing to 65,000 in sensational circumstances. Su and his opponent both held A-K but the board fell 7♣ 3♣ J♣ 5♣ 8♦. Su held the ace of clubs. Ouch. Aussie PokerStars Qualifier Mark Cornwall, Japan's Kazuki Ikeuchi, David Steicke, Dane Anders Christensen and well known Asian poker identity Mike Kim also finished in the top 10.


Guess who's got chips? Yep, David Steicke

It was a solid finish to the day for Teams Australia (Grant Levy and Eric Assadourian progressed) and Asia, with Jonathan Lin earning a timely double-up when he called an all-in bet with K♦ J♣, well ahead of the opponent's K♠ 9♠.

The flop of J♠ 7♣ K♣ propelled Lin further ahead, but the [10h] on the turn gave his opponent a gutshot straight draw. The 6♦ bricked out on the river, ensuring Lin a nice pot and a place in the day two field on Friday. Lin will be joined by Raymond Wu and Dan Schreiber in the day two line-up.

Players sent to the rail on day 1A included Vivek psyduck Rajkumar, Bill Jordanou, 2009 Joe Hachem Deep Stack series runner-up Sam Higgs, Will Ma (sixth in last year's APPT Macau High Roller), Poker Hall of Fame member Johnny Chan, Team Australia's Emad Tahtouh plus compatriots Ben Savage, Sean Keeton, Joel Dodds and Jay SEABEAST Kinkade.


A duck on the river sunk the hopes of Mansour Matloubi

And on one of the final hands of the day, Mansour Matloubi was eliminated when he flipped his A♠ K♣ against the 2♦ 2♠ of Schreiber. Matloubi looked home and hosed as the flop fell K♦ 5♣ K♥, and 7♣ on the river, but the 2♣ on the river filled up Schreiber as Matloubi quietly shook his head and made for the exit.

Like we're just about to do - we'll be back at 12.15pm (GMT +8hrs) tomorrow for day 1B of the APPT Macau Main Event. Garçon, start carving that duck.

Day 1A top 10 chip count

Brandon Demes (United States) PokerStars Player 102,200
David Steicke (Hong Kong) PokerStars Qualifier 82,300
Jeff Su (China) Pokerstars Macau Satellite Winner 82,000
Dbinder Singh (Canada) PokerStars Qualifier 79,900
Mark Cornwall (Australia) PokerStars Qualifier 79,000
Daniel Schreiber (United States) PokerStars Team Asia Pro 78,700
Kazuki Ikeuchi (Japan) Pokerstars Macau Satellite Winner 76,400
Ye Wei Wu (China) 70,700
Anders Christensen (Denmark) Pokerstars Macau Satellite Winner 70,200
Carlos Chang (Taiwan) PokerStars Qualifier 68,200