APPT Macau: Day 1B, level 1, 2 & 3 updates (100-200, 25 ante)
3.05pm: JC Tran eliminated
JC Tran has just been eliminated from the tournament.
Unable to gather any momentum today, Tran committed on a ten-high board holding [Q] but ran into an opponent's [K].
The river blanked out and the PokerStars sponsored player hit the rail.
2.55pm: Lendvai leaves
Tamas Lendvai's trip to Macau from Hungary has ended prematurely. He was crippled earlier in when his full house of kings over aces was bested by David Steicke's quad aces, and now he's out. On a 6♦[10s]A♥ flop he bet 1,500 and was called Kai Yat Pham from Singapore.
The turn was 5♠ and Lendvai, a PokerStars qualifier, moved all in for his last 4,575. Pham dwelled for a few moments before tossing in a yellow 5,000 chip.
That was bad news for the Hungarian, and the 9♠ river was no help.
"I really thought I was ahead," he said, "but that's it for me now. I will have a look at the schedule and probably play some more events. And of course there is the party tonight!" -- SY
2.45pm: JC Tran straightened out
On a board of 8♦4♠7♥ with around 5,800 in the pot, one player led out for 2,300 only to have another move all in for 4,075.
JC Tran made the call as the fourth player involved - Neil Arce - laid his hand down as the flop aggressor made the call.
The turn fell the J♠ and a 5,000-chip bet prompted a check-fold from Tran's opponent.
With Tran needed the board to pair to eliminate his opponent, he would unfortunately see the A♦ peel on the river to see him triple his opponent with a straight while slipping to roughly 8,500 in chips. -- TD
2.30pm: Cards in the air
Level three is under way. Blinds are now 100-200 with a 25 ante. -- SY
2.20pm: Level done
That's the end of level two. We're now on a ten-minute break. -- SY
2.15pm: Hall downed in huge pot for Chen
This was a monster that ended with the demise of Tom Hall, who had threatened a miracle comeback (see 2.05pm post below). Hall had opened for 1,200 and the player in seat one raised to 4,000. It was folded around to Chiy Yen Chen who moved all in for 16,550.
Hall, who never looked like he was getting out of the way, put down the earphones from his iPad and called all in for around 8,000. The player in seat 1 called after a dwell, but still had 14,000 left:
Seat 1: A♣K♦
Chen was looking in great shape - and he stayed there as the board rain 9♠J♣3♣6♣J♥. He's now up to 44,000, Hall is off to watch the rest of his film from the rail. -- SY
2.10pm: Erb survives by cracking aces
Didier Erb was all in for his last 9,000 with pocket nines, but was looked up by local PokerStars qualifier Shi Guxin Vinson with the pocket rockets. The dealer wasted no time in saving Erb, putting out a 3-9-10-6-8 board for a set.
That sent the Frenchman back up to his 20,000 starting stack - and Vinson down to 15,000 -- SY
2.05pm: Hall trying to haul back
Tom Hall had a big accident a little earlier and was down to just 1,700 chips. They all went in the middle when he had A♥K♥, and he found a caller with A♦Q♣. The big slick held up on the 2♣3♠8♣5♠[10s] board, and Hall was back up to 3,400.
From the way he was sitting at the table enjoying a film on his new iPad - first time I've seen one of them at a table - you would not think he was fighting for his tournament life, but the very next hand he pushed again, but this time got no takers.
A few hands later and Hall was back at it again, getting all in with pocket twos against the Q♥8♥ of Neil Arce, who had just sat down after busting from the high roller event. It looked grim for Hall on the 6♦6♠8♣ flop and the 4♥ turn, but wouldn't you know it? The river was 2♦ and he's now up to 8,000! -- SY
2.00pm: Phan cut down
John 'The Razor' Phan opened to 600 from the button before Roger Spets bumped the action to 2,000 from the small blind.
Phan pushed his last 6,550 into the pot and Spets made the call.
The board ran out K♦7♦3♦3♠5♥ to see Phan hit the rail rather early as Spets climbs to just over 28,000 in chips. -- TD
1.45pm: Assadourian willing to go whole way with Phan, but won't mess with Hagen
John Phan opened to 600 from the button and both Eric Assadourian and Phillip Hagen made the call from the blinds.
The flop of 5♦4♦Q♣ was checked to Phan who fired out 800 and was quickly check-raised by Assadourian to 2,200. With the action on PokerStars online qualifier Hagen, he put in a three-bet to 4,875.
Phan took his time before folding and Assadourian followed also flashing the K♦ or K♥ as Hagen raked in the pot.
"I'm not letting my hand go against you" Assadourian directed towards Phan.
"Really?" Phan added before Assadourian continued, "I've seen you play enough and I wouldn't let that hand go against you.
"Don't you think I was light?" asked Hagen.
"No. But I was strong though, just not against you." Assadourian stated to Hagen as Phan just nodded away.
The following hand four players committed 500 preflop to see a A♠J♥K♥ flop fall and Assadourian 1,500-chip bet called by just the preflop raiser.
A 3,100-chip bet when the 4♠ fell on the turn was enough to see him take the pot down and recover from the previous hand while also returning to just under his starting stack. -- TD
1.40pm: The field
We gave 84 players today, with registration still open until the end of this level. Added to the 88 runner yesterday, and the huge field expected tomorrow we're expecting to at least match last year's turnout. -- SY
1.35pm: My, haven't you grown
As we begin season 4, the video team looks at how the PokerStars APPT has blossomed over the years....
1.25pm: Steicke soaring
On a board reading J♠5♦[10d]7♦ and around 17,000 in the pot, David Steicke fired out a pot-sized bet of 17,000.
His lone opponent remaining in the hand - PokerStars online qualifier Hosien Abbas - took around two minutes before committing his remaining 11,000 .
With Abbas needing one of 16 outs to fall on the river to stay alive, he would unfortunately see the 6♠ drop to end his main event while Steicke's love for Macau continued as he soared to 53,700 in chips and the chip lead. -- TD
1.20pm: Level up
Level one is done and dusted already. We're now playing blinds of 100-200. -- SY
1.15pm: Phan caught out
John Phan tried to nick this one, but Andriyan Lebedev from Russia was having none of it. On the K♠7♦K♥3♣ board Phan bet 1,000 and Lebedev called. Lebedev checked the 2♠ river and Phan thought about betting again but checked. He mucked when Lebedev showed J♣7♣. Phan is down to 15,000 in the early stages. -- SY
1.10pm: Spets holds up
Roger Spets from Sweden is an APPT regular and has taken his place in Macau where he finished 35th last year for $8,000. He saw a flop of 2♠8♣[10s] and called a bet of 800 from Troy Burkholder, a PokerStars qualifier from the US. Both then checked the 2♦ turn and 6♠ river, and Burkholder showed A♣K♥ - beaten by Spets' pocket fours. Spets is up to 24,000. -- SY
1.05pm: Kick start for Steicke
David Steicke opened to 400 in middle position only to have Tamas Lendvai bump the action to 1,200.
Steicke made the call to see the 9♦[10d]A♥ flop fall and Lendvai continue with a bet of 1,600. Steicke made the call to see the K♣ land on the turn and Lendvai checked this time to prompt a 3,000-chip bet from Steicke.
Lendvai took his time before making the call to see the A♦ fall on the river and once he checked, Steicke fiddled round with his chip stack before coming to the conclusion of a 6,625-chip bet.
As the media circled the table and players locked onto the action as such a healthy pot was brewing, Lendvai slowly tossed a 5,000-chip into the pot, then a 1,000-chip then a couple of 500-chips to signify a string-call.
Steicke bobbed up in his chair and peered over at Lendvai across the table to make sure he had put all the necessary chips into the pot before slowly flipping his A♣A♠ and sliding them right up to match the two Aces that were already on the board.
Lendvai just shook his head and amazingly flipped his K♦K♥ for the second nuts as he slipped to around 7,000 in chips.
"You played it well not to go broke" uttered Steicke in his usually quirky manner as he raked in the pot to climb to 33,600 in chips.
12.55pm: More arrivals
Some more big names have taken their seats. John 'The Razor' Phan has sat down next to Team PokerStars Pro Eric Assadourian from Australia - much to the rest of the table's dismay. Also here is JC Tran and Mads Wissing from Denmark. -- SY
12.50pm: Chan lets one go
Terrence 'Unassigned' Chan is a man to be respected, but he got none of in this hand. On the 7♣5♦8♠ flop his opponent check-called Chan's 250 bet. Both then slowed down to a check on the A♣ turn - and on the 9♦ river. Chan's opponent had been trapping on turn with A♥Q♦ but got scared off by the dangerous river. -- SY
12.45pm: Haven't we seen you somewhere before?
Sitting on David Steicke's table is a familiar face. On closer inspection it turns out to be Tamas Lendvai, the Hungarian player who routinely qualifies for EPT events, and has now managed the same trick to book his seat here in Macau.
He sits in seat 3, a few places along from Steicke, who will be a tough opponent today. This poker lark is a world away from his real job - he works in the drag racing industry!-- SY
12.41pm: Who's about?
The early levels of tournaments are always hit and miss.
On some days action is heated after those cards hit the air, while on others it appears as though everyone is still in need of a coffee and some breakfast before voluntarily putting a single chip into the pot.
So far today action has been on the slow side and consequently we thought we should update you on who is here and some interesting table dynamics.
Over on table four we find EPT regulars Roger Spets and Andrew Scott seated with Australian online qualifiers Liam Moffett and Sal Fazzino while on table three we find Terrence Chan and Ricky Kroesen battling it out.
High stakes players Mike Kim, Matthew Kirk and Tom Hall are also spread around the room while David Steicke has just taken his seat and is looking to add to his four final tables and five cashes here in Macau. -- TD
12.20pm: And we're off
The dancers have done their thing - and it was Michael Jackson again. It was a pretty impressive routine - wearing tradition dress, they had masks over their faces which changed repeatedly in the blink of an eye.
After that it was up to Team PokerStars Pro Raymond Wu to get the day started. "I want to welcome you to PokerStars Macau here at the Grand Lisboa Hotel for the APPT Season 4 main event. Macau is always my favorite place to come and play poker, and I want to wish you good luck - let's shuffle up and deal."
Today's field will do well to match Wu, who ended up last night in third place with 87,475. -- SY
11.30am: Dancing in to Day 1B
Yesterday is but a distant memory. Today is all about a new group of players starting out on their quest for the APPT Macau title. It's day 1B, the second of three opening day flights, and the target - apart from making it through the day - is to chase down last night's chip leader Alex Chieng who bagged up 113,100.
But before everyone settles down to play here at the PokerStars Macau Poker Room in the Grand Lisboa Hotel and Casino, we're expecting another dazzling opening ceremony performed by two dancers in local costume. Yesterday they unexpectedly kicked things off dancing to Michael Jackson's Billie Jean rather than something a little more traditional. What price on Prince today?
We're due to kick off at 12.15pm. Stay tuned, and in the meantime why not catch up on last night's wrap? -- SY
PokerStars Blog reporting team dancing in Macau: Tim Duckworth and Simon Young (words), Joe Giron (pictures)