APPT Macau: Judges holds court for day 1C
Getting through the first day of any poker tournament is something of a trial. If you play your best and make the right moves, all you can do is hope the cards go your way and justice is done. You give your opening statements, making your intentions clear to the table, and then cross examine your rivals to expose their weaknesses. If it goes belly up and you bust, you just have to try to make a case for your defence (ie tell a bad beat story to anyone who will listen).
One man who held court successfully during day 1C of PokerStars APPT Macau was Darren Judges. He was not one of those shouty types, though, and we barely heard him coming as he eased through the 100,000 chip barrier and then pushed on to 150,000 by busting Team PokerStars Pro Tae Joon Noh from Korea. His closing statement was written on his bag at the end of play... 173,800.
Judges, from London, bought in direct to this event, and is hoping to build on his success today to add substantially to his $131,000 in career winnings to date. His chip stack tonight is more than enough to give him the overall chip lead, way ahead of anyone from days 1A and 1B.
Once he got going in the later stages, no one showed any real signs of catching him. Brendon Rubie had led earlier and bagged up 114,375, while Ralph Westphal won a huge pot late on against Peter Triphause to finish with 112,025. The first man to take the honor of chip leader was Benny Cheng. He ended with 82,050. You can read the full chip counts here.
Noh's elimination by Judges left Tony Hachem as the only Team PokerStars Pro in the field. He was last season's ANZPT player of the year, and tops this season's ANZPT rankings as well, but the Australian was unable to get his game going today, finishing with 15,000. A perfect example of his form was an opponent rivering a full house to beat his turned flush.
As this was the final day 1 flight, it meant the men with calculators were able to produce the prize payouts. You can see the full list of what everyone is playing for right here, but the big news is the 342 entries will generate a first prize of $3,246,200 HKD - around $416,000 USD.
Of those 342 starters, only 160 get to come back to play out their courtroom dramas tomorrow as the real business of chasing down the cash begins.
But while you wait for all that, catch up with today in more detail by clicking on the following reports:
Thanks once again to my fellow writer Tim Duckworth, who made better sense of the local names than I did. All pictures from Macau come from the steady lens of Joe Giron. Don't pinch his photos or you could be involved in a courtroom scene of your own.
Until 12.15pm tomorrow, goodnight from the Macau. We leave you with a video of last night's PokerStars party, featuring 'Michael Jackson'....