APPT Cebu: Hinrichsen dreaming in paradise
Andrew Hinrichsen has been around the poker tour for the last two years. In that time he's acquired a few 1st-place finishes, a few 2nd-place finishes, and a handful of other cashes. One thing that has eluded him, however, is that holy grail to professional poker players - the six-figure cash in a live tournament. Hinrichsen took a baby step towards that grail at Day 1A of the 2010 PokerStars.net APPT Cebu Main Event. He was the only player in the room to accumulate more than 100,000 in chips and will enter Day 2 as the Day 1A overnight chip leader.
I know what you're thinking. No poker tournament was ever won on Day 1. It's a long way from the end of Day 1 to the end of the final table and we shouldn't anoint Hinrichsen as the champion just yet. Hinrichsen is going to need to maintain focus over the next few days, and it wouldn't hurt if he reached down into his toolbox and found a pinch of luck.
The truth is that if Hinrichsen continues to play as well as he did today, he'll be tough to beat. He certainly had some good fortune today. It started when he was dealt pocket kings that held up in a three-way pre-flop all in against the pocket tens of Jessie McKenzie and the ace-queen of Danny Silk. That pot, in the middle of the day, boosted Hinrichsen into contention.
It was late in the day, however, that Hinrichsen made his move to the top. Hinrichsen's A♥8♥ connected very well with a flop of 9♥8♦5♥. Middle pair and the nut flush draw held against an opponent who got frisky with A♦6♥.
By the end of play, Hinrichsen had amassed a tournament-leading 124,900 chips. He'll be joined on Day 2 by APPT Macau champion Victorino Torres (39,850), APPT Auckland runner-up Tom Grigg (roughly 60,000), Jukka Juvonen (85,425), Canadian Kevin Park (about 90,000), and local favorites Wally Sombero and Sunshine Samson.
Some other players had a rough day. Manila pro Neil Arce was knocked out early, victimized by Jarred Graham making a "math" call. Kelly Flynn flopped the nuts against Samson, but she turned a bigger hand to send Flynn to drown his sorrows with a weng-weng at the beach bar. Kiwi Daniel Francis struggled to make it through the day and got clipped just as time was expiring.
It's not all bad though. For one thing, an early elimination means a player has extra time to enjoy the posh surroundings at the Shangri-La Mactan Resort. For another, tonight the APPT is throwing a welcome party for all of the Main Event players. It's being held on the resort's beach and, if last year is any indication, will feature more food and drink than anyone could possibly consume. It's a small example of the added value that players get at APPT events.
Tomorrow the rest of the field will take their seats for Day 1B. Tournament organizer expect significantly more players than the 75 who registered for today. They'll play the same six levels before the whole field consolidates on Sunday for Day 2. Maybe Hinrichsen will still be in the pole position at that point. Maybe he won't. He'll certainly still be chasing a dream - with a gorgeous paradise as his backdrop.
There are worse ways to spend a week.