APPT Macau: Scandi steamrolls his way to chip lead

The girls from Tokyo Nights, one of the shows here at the Grand Lisboa Hotel and Casino, have just made their nightly parade past PokerStars Macau, meaning we must be into the final hands of the night on day 1B of the 2009 PokerStars.net APPT Macau Main Event.

The second of the three day one flights started with 125 players, including 2003 WSOP champion and Team PokerStars Pro Chris Moneymaker, fellow Team PokerStars Pro Raymond Rahme, PokerStars.net Team Asia Pro Tae Jun Noh, 2008 APPT Manila winner Van Marcus, several PokerStars Macau satellite winners and scores of PokerStars Qualifiers representing nations from all over the world. Only 55 survived the day, representing a higher rate of eliminations compared to day 1A.

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Chris Moneymaker's first trip to Asia ended late on day 1B

Like day 1A, the bulk of the action came late in the day, which created a new look at the top of the chip count. But despite holding one of the bigger stacks entering the final level, a line was drawn through Moneymaker's name during the final level.

The Team PokerStars Pro found himself in a hand with Kazakhstan's Darkhan Botabayev. After a pre-flop raise to 2400 from Botabayev, Moneymaker moved all-in for 12,000. Botabayev snap-called with pocket queens and was well ahead of Moneymaker's A-4. The board bricked out king-high, Moneymaker was out broke and Botabayev was inside the top five. As one of Kazakhstan's finest would say, "Is nice!"

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Darkhan Botabayev was one of the quiet achievers in today's field

In contrast, there were double-ups for Aussie James Potter, India's Aditya intervention Agarwal and Singaporean Ivan Tan late in the final level, but PokerStars Sponsored Player Van Marcus' stack was decimated when he ran pocket sevens into pocket kings although recovered to end the day on 38,500.

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Kristoffer Myhre takes a massive stack into day two

If day 1B was a horse race, the stewards would have ordered an inquiry. Norwegian Kristoffer Myhre routed the field to finish with 183,400 in chips - 80,000 more than day 1A chip leader Brandon Demes. Four other players - Dane Peter Nielsen (141,500), Dutch PokerStars Qualifier Roel Pijpers (125,500), Kazakhstan's Darkhan Botabayev (124,500) and Australia's Kyle Cheong (118,300) - also broke the 100,000-chip barrier on day 1B.

Other notables who'll be back for Friday's day two action were Agarwal (93,300), Kristian Lunardi (57,900), Ivan Tan (54,500), Potter (48,100), Young Phan (40,900), Jonathan Karamalikis (29,900) and Dave Lee (20,100). Dennis Huntly will also return, but he lost a big pot in the final hand of the day and holds just 4400.

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Ivan Tan is chasing another deep finish after placing second here two years ago

The list of players eliminated on day 1B included 2009 WSOP $2500 Pot Limit Omaha/Hold'em champ Rami Boukai, 2008 Masters Classic of Poker runner-up Yvo Molin, Singapore's Nathaneal Seet, PokerStars Qualifiers Andrew Chen and Aaron Benton, Korean PokerStars.net Team Asia Pro Tae Jun Noh, Team PokerStars Pro Raymond Rahme and Aussies Mike Marvanek, Daniel Neilson and Julian Powell.

With the sizzle of some sumptuous Cantonese beef beckoning, it's time for us to call it a night. Join us again from 12.15pm (GMT +8hrs) for day 1C of the PokerStars.net APPT Macau Main Event.