APPT Macau: Chiang leads day 1C, Myhre still on top

We've reached the end of the beginning in the 2009 PokerStars.net APPT Macau Main Event, with the last of the three day one flights consigned to history and the day two field decided. A total of 196 players will return to PokerStars Macau at the Grand Lisboa Hotel and Casino, with 77 contenders from day 1C joining the 119 who'd qualified on days 1A and 1B.

It's been another massive night here at PokerStars Macau, with the culmination of the day ones, the HKD $4000 Knockout Bounty event, a HKD $1500 Ladies event and some very juicy cash games.

Earlier today, 185 players took their seats for day 1C, taking the total field to 429 players, representing 46 countries. Thanks to the increase in buy-in to HKD $40,000, up from HKD $25,000 last year, the total prize pool is HKD $16,130,400, the biggest ever offered in Asian poker history. The top 48 players will earn a spot in the money, with the winner assured HKD $4,194,000.

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Joe Hachem is on track for a second APPT Macau final table

The day 1C line-up included PokerStars.net Team Australia pros Joe Hachem and his younger brother, ANZPT Player of the Year Tony Hachem, PokerStars.net Team France Pro Bertrand ElkY Grospellier, PokerStars.net Team Asia pros Celina Lin and Bryan Huang along with 52 PokerStars Qualifiers and 13 PokerStars Macau satellite winners.

Others playing today were PokerStars Sponsored players Lee Nelson, Neil Arce and Terrence Chan, JC Tran, David "Chino" Rheem, Andrew Scott, Quinn Do, David Chiu, Yevgeniy Timoshenko, Amnon Filippi, David Saab, JJ Liu, Theo Tran, Wooka Kim and Carter Gill.

Perhaps reflecting the quality of today's line-up, only two players finished with more than 100,000 in chips - PokerStars Sponsored Player Wei Cheng "Jacko" Chiang from Taiwan (124,800) and well known Asian poker businessman and PokerStars Sponsored Player Tom Hall, who held 120,700.

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Day 1C chip leader and Asian poker celebrity Wei Cheng "Jacko" Chiang

Hall lost some chips late in the day when he lost a race with Celina Lin late in the final level. Lin pushed all-in for 11,000 in chips and Hall snap-called. It was off to the races with Hall holding A♥ Q♦ against Lin's 7♠ 7♣, but the board ran out 2♣ 9♦ K♥ 8♥ K♦ and Lin doubled through up to 24,000.

ElkY went on a mad run towards the end of the day and climbed to more than 60,000 after being dangerously short-stacked at the start of level seven. It was four-way action on a flop of 3♣ 2♦ 2♥; Grospellier fired out 4400 from under the gun, only to see an opponent in middle position move all in for 17,875.

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Fifth here in Macau in 2007, ElkY is hoping to go deeper in 2009

Grospellier snap-called and tabled K♠ K♣ while the opponent turned up A-4 offsuit. The opponent was drawing thin on the turn of the J♥, while ElkY was up to 64,500 in chips after the Q♥ bricked out on the river.

Others prominently placed at day's end were PokerStars qualifiers Sunny Bhayana (99,300) and Sida Yuen (72800), Theo Tran (62,600) and Amnon Filippi (54,000). Notables who'll also be back tomorrow include Tony Hachem (50,400), Joe Hachem (48,400), David Saab (44,700), David Chiu (44,000), Andrew Scott (33,200) and Celina Lin (19,400).

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Celina Lin will be waving the PokerStars.net Team Asia flag tomorrow

With many players heading for a night of karaoke at a nearby bar, the PokerStars blog team is preparing its rendition of Unchained Melody as we call it a night from PokerStars Macau. We'll be back from noon tomorrow (GMT +8hrs) for day two of the PokerStars.net APPT Macau Main Event. "And time goes by, so slowly ..."

In the meantime, enjoy this video blog featuring Team PokerStars Pros Lee Nelson and Tony Hachem...


Watch APPT Macau 09: Lee Nelson & Tony Hachem Share a Table. on PokerStars.tv