APPT Macau: Poker spotlight firmly focussed on Grand Lisboa
By Landon Blackhall and Sean Callander
When the Grand Lisboa opened in 2007, the mould for everything that came before in Macau had been shattered. The excitement of the Grand Lisboa opening had barely subsided when new broke that the property would also become home to the new "PokerStars Macau at the Grand Lisboa" live poker room.
Located on the second floor of the famous Grand Lisboa in the heart of Macau, PokerStars Macau is the largest poker room in continental Asia. PokerStars Macau at the Grand Lisboa hosts the largest regular weekly poker tournaments in Asia and the premiere "Macau Poker Cup" series every other month, along with the APPT Macau Poker Festival.
The arrival of PokerStars Macau at the Grand Lisboa has proved extraordinarily popular with players, who've been packing the restaurants such as The Eight, Don Alfonso Macau 1890, The Kitchen and The Grand Buffet while enjoying the five-star amenities on offer such as the stunning Lisboa Spa by Clarins, a quiet and beautiful place to relax and release the daily stresses of tournament poker.
The Grand Lisboa and PokerStars Macau have become a home away from home for the region's best players, such as PokerStars Team Asia Pros Celina Lin, Bryan Huang, Raymond Wu and Jonathan Lin.
It's Lin versus Lin in the race for the overall Macau Poker Cup title, with Celina narrowly leading Jonathan, with the top five filled out by Ming Fang, Ted Wang (also our PokerStars.net Chinese blogger) and Sammy Huang.
The next Macau Poker Cup event will be held from October 19-25, followed by the gala final event for 2009 from December 12-20, culminating in the HKD $20,000 buy-in Main Event with a HKD $2 million guaranteed prize pool.
Celina Lin and Bryan Huang have both survived the first four hours of play today, but both have less than the staring stack of 20,000 as does ultra-popular UK pro Liv Boeree.
On a board that read 7♣ 9♦ [10s] 9♣, Boeree checked to Sydney's Kenny Ng who fired out 4000 into a pot of 15,000. Boeree could only shake her head as she laid it down.
Meanwhile Team PokerStars Pro Joe Hachem is also having one of "those" days. The deep frown on his face said it all in when he was heads-up on a flop that read 7♠ Q♥ 3♣. His opponent checked and he slammed all but 100 of his remaining chips into the middle. Respect - his opponent folded.
Local player Peter Nguyen has had a massive chunk taken out of his stack by Hong Kong-based player Wing Cheong Chong. The money was all in pre-flop; Chong was way behind holding 9♦ 6♦ against Tran's A♥ K♥, but the flop of 9♥ A♣ 6♥ saw Chong jump out of his seat and clap. Nguyen stood there stunned as he watched the turn and river brick out 3♠ J♥. Chong moved up to close to 40,000 in chips while Nguyen was crippled down to 19,000.
Meanwhile, PokerStars Qualifier Theo Tran has bolted to the top of the chip count, with a monster stack of 78,000, narrowly ahead of fellow PokerStars Qualifier Sida Yuen on 75,000.