APPT Macau: Day 1C, level 1, 2 & 3 updates (100-200, 25 ante)

3.32pm: Level up
That's it for level 3. We head in to level 4

3.28pm: Nitsche napped
Dominik Nitsche opened to 500 from middle position and Dinh Le and another opponent made the call from the button and big blind respectively.

Following a check on the 4♥5♠[10s] flop, Nitsche fired out 800 and was called by Le before the player in the small blind check-raised to 3,500. Nitsche committed his last 8,950 and once Le passed, the small blind made the call.

Nitsche: A♦A♠
Opponent: J♠7♠

The turn landed the 3♠ to put the PokerStars online qualifier behind but leave him still drawing live to a fourth spade.

Unfortunately for Nitsche the river landed the 2♣ to send the German to the rail. -- TD

3.10pm: What we're playing for
Registration is closed and the men in a quiet room have been bashing away at their calculators to come up with our prizepool and payouts. 40 players will get paid at APPT Macau, with the winner picking up a cool $3,246,200 HKD - around $416,000.

We'll be creating a prize page soon for you to scan each and every payout position at your leisure. -- SY

3.05pm: Lerner out
Derek, that is. Aaron is still going strong. Mr D Lerner pushed his last 9,400 on a J♣6♠Q♣5♦3♦ board with K♣Q♥ but that was no match for his opponent's Q♠J♥ for two pair. -- SY


Derek Lerner

2.55pm: Rubie makes huge call to double to chip lead
Julian Cohen opened to 550 from early position and was called by Wing Cheong Chong before Brendon Rubie made it 1,600 from the button.

Cohen folded but Chong made the call to see a 8♦9♣6♣ flop fall and a check follow from Chong before Rubie fired out 2,300. Chong then pushed his 42,250-chip stack into the pot to put Rubie to a decision for his 33,450 stack.

Time ticked away as Rubie was contemplating a tough decision - eventually stating to fellow Australian Aaron Benton that he held 8♣7♣. Rubie attempted to exchange some banter with Chong, but the Hong Kong native wasn't having a bar of it, and after a further minute of contemplating he made the call.

Chong: Q♣[10c]
Rubie: 8♣7♣

With Rubie in the lead but still sweating the outcome, the 4♦ on the turn changed little, but when the dealer delivered the 8♥ on the river, Rubie doubled though to over 71,000 in chips after making a huge call for his tournament life. -- TD


Brendon Rubie

2.40pm: Boy, what a party
As promised a little earlier, here's the lowdown on last night's PokerStars party at the Grand Lisboa Hotel. Set in the cavernous Grand Ballroom, hundreds of players and guests enjoyed the free bar (best not to try and engage Team PokerStars Blog in conversation today), sumptuous food and a live band.

There was also a turbocharged live act from Asia's most famous Michael Jackson impersonator, otherwise known as Jordan Sam. He's been doing this since he was eight, apparently.


Beat it: 'Michael Jackson' performs at the PokerStars party

They love Jacko over in Asia, so while some of the westerners present were somewhat bemused, the larger local crowd absolutely loved it, taking videos on their phones and photos (including, I may say, Team PokerStars Pro Raymond Wu!). -- SY


Raymond Wu enjoys Jacko


David Steicke enjoys a party drink with Wooka Kim

2.20pm: Level done
That's the end of level 2. We're on the first ten-minute break of the day. When we come back blinds will be 100-200 with a 25 ante. -- SY

2.18pm: Benton doubles
Four players put 600 in preflop to see a K♣5♥8♦ flop fall and a continuation bet called by just two of the active players.

The turn landed the [10c] and after a 2,500-chip bet and a call, Aaron Benton moved all in for 6,925. The turn aggressor made the call as the other player passed to put Benton's tournament life on the line.

Benton: K♥Q♣
Opponent: K♦2♦

The river landed the Q♠ to see the PokerStars APPT Sydney Champion double through to over 24,000 in chips as players head to break. -- TD

2.15pm: Nitsche doubles
Dominic Nitsche, winner of LAPT Argentina last year for $381,000, had suffered a few early set backs and dropped to around 10,000, but the young German has just doubled up, his Q-10 making two pair to crack his opponents pocket jacks. -- SY

2.05pm: Chip leader
Our chip leader in the early stages is Benny Cheng, who has five baby towers of chips. "I have around 70,000," he said. "I busted one player." Also sitting on this table is Patrick Carron from the US, who yesterday won the high roller event here in Macau for around $145,000.

He has 14,000 and is busy tangling with Cheng to his left. Carron raised to 525, Cheng re-raised to 2,200 only for Carron to fire again for 12,500 - effectively putting himself all in. Cheng gave it a good dwell, but elected to fold, -- SY


Benny Cheng

1.55pm: Nguyen doubles
It has been a tough start for the PokerStars APPT Manila Champion Binh Nguyen in today's event.

After recently getting pushed off a hand when his opponent moved all in, a visibly frustrated Nguyen three-bet from the small blind to 2,000 following a 600-chip open. His opponent made the call and when the A♠4♣K♥ flop fell Nguyen fired out 2,025 only to get shoved on. Nguyen made the call for his last 7,600 total and the cards were tabled.

Nguyen: A♣K♠
Opponent: A♥J♥

The turn and river blanked out with the 8♣ and 8♠ to see Nguyen return to his starting stack. -- TD

1.40pm: Sombero slides out
Wally Sombero limped in under the gun only to have Michael Pedley bump the action to 700. The big blind made the call, as did Sombero, to see a [10d]K♦5♣ flop fall and the action checked to Pedley.

The Australian tossed in a bet of 1,700 to force an insta-fold from the big blind, but an even quicker all in from Sombero to the amount of 8,825.

"Really? I think you have a flush draw," stated Pedley as he riffled chips between his hands before eventually making the call.

Pedley: A♣K♥
Sombero: A♦4♦

"I read you right," uttered a semi-relieved Pedley.

"Yeah you did," added Sombero as the camera crews rushed over to film the action as the dealer produced the 8♠ on the turn.

"C'mon, baby!" screamed Sombero as he stood up awaiting his fate, but unfortunately for the high-stakes Filipino player the river fell the 4♥ to send him to the rail as Pedley climbed to 29,000 in chips. -- TD

1.35pm: Another early ouch
This time it was Gabriel le Jossec who got hit by the ouch stick. He was all in pre-flop with A♠K♥ against Harry Su' A♦K♥. You'd be right to expect a split pot, but the flop came 3♦K♦5♦ giving Su the flush draw, which duly came on the 8♦ turn. The river was an irrelevant 9♠. Su up to 33,000, Le Jossec has 8,000 left. -- SY

1.30pm: Wake up, chaps!
This was an odd one. On a board of [10h]K♠K♥2♥ PokerStars qualifier Sang Kyoun Kim from Korea bet 1,350 and Team PokerStars Pro Taejoon Noh made the call. The river was a fourth heart, 9♥ and this time Kim checked and Noh checked behind.

That was a little surprising as Kim had A♥[10d] for the ace-high flush (and did not give the impression he was trap-checking) - and Noh had A♠A♦ for cracked aces. He seemed to miss the fact that he had been flushed - asking why he wasn't being given the pot. -- SY


Taejoon Noh

1.21: Level up
Level one is done, so - you know the score - we're now in level 2. Blinds are 100 -200. -- SY

1.20pm: Le makes great river call
Three players put in 2,000 a piece to see a Q♥8♣7♣ and a 3,500-chip bet follow from the player first to act.

The first ever PokerStars APPT Macau Champion Dinh Le was next to act and spent over two minutes deliberating before making the call as the remaining player in the hand passed.

Both players checked the 9♥ on the turn and when the river landed the Q♠ the preflop aggressor fired out a healthy bet of 6,500. Le didn't take too long to call, and when his opponent sheepishly rolled over his A♠J♦ for air, Le slammed down his A♣K♣ for better air as he took the pot to move to over 35,800 in chips. -- TD

1pm: Early ouch
There will be a few of these today, but the first ouch moment goes to Wally Sombero from the Philippines who's pocket kings were outrun by K-Q - which made a straight on the river. Sombero down to 6,000 already. -- SY


Can you feel Wally Sombero's pain?

12.51pm: Yea flushed
On a board reading 3♠3♥J♠K♠A♠ and a pot of 8,000 brewing, Steve Yea checked the action over to his opponent who took his time before firing out a bet of 7,000.

Yea made the call and tabled his A♣Q♠ to best his opponent's 9♠7♠ to climb to 32,000 in chips. -- TD

12.45pm: Some early hiccups
Two late arrivals into the tournament have already experienced their first hiccup of the day to now both sit with 15,000 in chips.

PokerStars APPT Champion Aaron Benton has been under the weather over the last few days after suffering some food poisoning, but has made into the Main Event. Unfortunately for Benton he lost a 5,000-chip pot on a nine-high board when his Jacks were unable to improve against an opponent's Kings.

PokerStars ANZPT Perth Champion Tony Hachem kick-started his day with some confusion of chip dominations and consequently fired out a 1,500-chip bet instead of a 600-chip bet on a [Q][8][8] board holding [Q][J]. Facing a min-raise to 3,000, Hachem made the call before both players checked the K♥ on the turn. The river landed a third heart and when faced with a bet, Hachem relinquished his hand to slip to 14,500. -- TD

12.35pm Hawkins wins early pot
Gordon Huntley made it 350 under the gun and it was folded around to Keith Hawkins in the big blind, who tossed out the extra 250 to make the call. They saw a flop of 4♠8♦8♠ and Hawkins checked then called Huntly's 400 continuation bet. Both then slowed down to check the 5♣ turn and Q♦ river.

Huntly turned over K♦[10d] for king high - but Hawkins had him beat all along with 6♦6♠. -- SY

12.25pm: And we're off
The dance routine is done and Team PokerStars Pro Celina Lin has done the shuffle-up-and-deal routine to get us going. A quick first look around the room reveals some familiar names - Team PokerStars Pros Tony Hachem and Taejoon Noh, Keith 'The Camel' Hawkins, Nam Le, Quinn Do, the Lerner brothers and Aaron Benton (APPT Sydney champion).


Tony Hachem

12.05pm: Once more with feeling
We've done this twice already, so we're getting used to the drill - 12.15pm start after a pleasant dance display from a couple of blokes in traditional costume letting rip to Michael Jackson's Billie Jean.

A couple of important differences today, however. Firstly everybody is a little 'fragile' after a successful PokerStars party last night which, incidentally, also featured Michael Jackson heavily. More of that a little later.

The second big difference will be today's field, expected to be much bigger than days 1A and 1B. We'll be playing seven levels today, and once registration closes we'll get word of the prizepool and payouts. -- SY


PokerStars Macau Poker Room

PokerStars Blog reporting team slightly tired in Macau: Tim Duckworth and Simon Young (words), and Joe Giron (photos)