APPT Macau: Henrik Gwinner the winner on day 1B
For the most part, today's story was all about David Steicke, the fearsome high roller who makes a habit of tearing up tables, particularly here in Macau. He arrived a little late today, soon hit quad aces to beat the unfortunate Tamas Lendvai's full house - and never looked back. As play drew to a close he bagged up 124,950, more than yesterday's chip leader Alex Chieng, but despite all that his name is still not at the top of the day 1B chip count leaderboard.
Instead, that honor goes to Henrik Gwinner, a Dane who, like Steicke, lives in nearby Hong Kong. Gwinner went on the rampage in the last few levels of play and bagged up a hefty 140,700 to take the combined day 1A/1B chip lead. That will be a tough ask for tomorrow's day 1C field to better.
Gwinner is no stranger to big events with bulging prizepools. In EPT season 4 he finished ninth in the Monte Carlo Grand final for $200,000, in 2005 he finished second in the London Open for $400,000, and back in 2003 he won the Amsterdam Master Classics of Poker for another $128,000. With that sort of form, it's no surprise to see him leading here, even if his name is not as widely known as a player like Steicke.
Gwinner had won some key pots to propel him toward the chip lead - then found aces which held up against pocket jacks to make him clear leader. Steicke, with more than $1.7million in tournament winnings, was second today with 124,950, while Romanian PokerStars qualifier Ramon Cserei ended up third with 118,250.
Australian Eric Assadourian was the only Team PokerStars Pro player today, and he avoided any major mishaps to survive with 14,575. Not a lot, but enough to work with when they return for day 2 on Friday.
Of the many who will not be coming back - only 36 survived from today's 84 starters - we had some big name casualties. Among them were PokerStars player Terrence 'Unassigned' Chan, JC Tran and John 'The Razor' Phan.
With that, we are two thirds of the way through day 1. Tomorrow we will play 1C, the final day 1 flight. Expect a far bigger field than the two so far. Around 100 are registered aleady, we have a huge and noisy satellite going on as I write, plus there will be the usual walk-ups.
So that's it for now. While we head off to the official PokerStars party here at the Grand Lisboa Hotel ballroom, you can enjoy all of today's action in more detail from our earlier reports:
Levels 1, 2 & 3
Levels 4, 5, 6 & 7
Videos galore can be found over at pokerstars.tv.
My thanks go to co-writer Tim Duckworth and to peerless snapper Joe Giron. He has good lawyers, so you'd better not 'borrow' his pictures. Until tomorrow, goodnight.