APPT Macau: One step for man, a giant leap for Asian poker
We've just witnessed another historic moment in Asian poker history at an official ceremony to open day 1C of the PokerStars.net APPT Macau Main Event at the Grand Lisboa Hotel and Casino.
Dignitaries including Sociedade de Jogos de Macau (SJM) Director and Chief Operating Officer Mr Louis Ng and SJM President - Joint Ventures and Business Development Mr Frank McFadden joined APPT President Jeffrey Haas and PokerStars Asia Regional Director David Jung for the opening, which included the presentation of congratulatory mascots by a bevy of local models, followed by a traditional mask-changing ceremony and an appearance by Team PokerStars Pro Chris Moneymaker as the Chinese "God of Wealth".
Importantly, there was a massive Hong Kong and Macau media contingent on hand to report on the ceremony, which will provide poker with crucial primetime coverage in the Asian media and further consolidate poker's position in this fledgling market.
Many of the reporters have stayed to capture footage of the celebrity event, which is also about to kick-off on a feature table on the main gaming floor, where they've been joined by PokerStars.net Team Asia Pros Dan rekrul Schreiber and Raymond Wu.
The cavalcade of big names also continues to flow into PokerStars Macau - we've also spotted dual WSOP bracelet winner JC Tran and his brother Hien, PokerStars Sponsored Player Terrence Chan, Alex assassinato Fitzgerald, Tony bond18 Dunst, David "Chino" Rheem (2008 WPT Five-Diamond Classic winner and seventh in last year's WSOP Main Event), Andrew Scott and Quinn Do (second and third respectively in last year's APPT Macau High Roller), the last two WPT Championship winners David Chiu and Yevgeniy Timoshenko, ANZPT Queenstown runner-up Andrew Hinrichsen, Amnon Filippi, David Plastik, Kenny Ng and reigning PokerNews Cup champion Nali "Iraqi Nick" Kaselias.
It didn't take as long as yesterday for the first elimination, which came after UK PokerStars Player Sida Yuen called an opponent's all-in after the flop. Yuen showed 6♦ 5♦ for the nuts and a straight flush draw on a flop of 3♠ 7♦ 4♦, while his opponent reluctantly showed 7♥ 7♠. The board ran out A♣ 5♣ and Yuen is our chip leader with 40,000.
The unofficial tally for today's 1C field is 175, taking the total field to 419 - we'll confirm the official numbers and prizepool as soon as it's announced. Blinds have ticked up to 100/200 after the first hour of play.