APPT Macau: TJ Vorapanich takes chip lead at the death
What a day. First Brendon Rubie ran away with the chip lead, then Kai Paulsen joined him. TJ Vorapanich caught up as well, before both he and Rubie got pegged back. It looked like Paulsen would take the honor of being top dog - until the last hand of the night when Vorapanich scooped a big pot to leave him way out in front.
We had 160 players starting out, and the plan was to play seven full levels or stop when we made the money with 40 players left. In the event it was close, but the seven levels came first with the tournament screens showing 44 remained in their seats. Tomorrow's mission is clear: play down to our final table of nine.
Vorapanich will sleep easiest tonight. His surge up the leaderboard began when he busted David Steicke, a big stack from day 1B, in one of the larger pots of the day. Steicke's pocket queens could not overtake Vorapanich's kings and the man from the US never really looked back.
The day began with the ball very much in Darren Judges' court. Chip leader at the start with 170,000, he dwindled in chips but managed to survive with 106,700. That left the likes of Rubie, Paulsen and Vorapanich to take control. Rubie ran with it first, soaring to the lead when he made a brilliant call to bust Jun Liu. With 120,000 in the pot already and the board showing 2♦K♦9♣3♦[10h], Lui moved all in for another 100,000. Rubie called, and his pocket queens were superior to Lui's pocket fours.
At one stage PokerStars qualifier Rubie was on 445,000, but he ended bagging up 299,300 after losing a big pot late on against Costa Rican PokerStars qualifier Brian Green. Paulsen was the other big mover of the day, climbing gradually before flopping a set of sevens to beat Julian Powell's pocket aces. That sent him over 300,000 and he ended by bagging up 416,800.
Team PokerStars Pro was left with just one representative at the end - Marcel Luske from Holland. He had started with only 15,000 but finished with 93,000, wining big pots with aces and kings. Team Pro colleagues Raymond Wu, Celina Lin, Tony Hachem and Eric Assadourian failed to make it through.
My thanks go to Tim Duckworth for his words of wisdom, and to Joe Giron for his powerful pictures. Join us tomorrow at 12.15pm when we'll ease in to the money and then begin the headlong charge towards the final table.
We'll leave you with the seat draw and chips for tomorrow:
1 1 - Takuya Suzuki Japan 96,000
1 3 - Timothy Cherep United States 146,800
1 4 - Mikael Rosen Sweden 37,600
1 5 - Matthew Holley Northern Mariana Islands 50,900
1 6 - Barbara Rose Australia 39,500
1 7 - Jeppe Drivsholm Denmark 224,400
1 8 - Robin Portnoff Sweden 88,900
6 1 - Takashi Ogura Japan 67,500
6 3 - Andriyan Lebedev Russia 250,700
6 4 - Keith Hawkins United Kingdom 54,200
6 5 - Victorino Torres United States 86,300
6 6 - Mikhail Mazunin Russia 205,000
6 7 - Kenny Nielsen Denmark 166,100
6 8 - Rundulf Gonzales Philippines 109,400
7 1 - Conrad Coetzer South Africa 36,900
7 2 - Marcel Luske Netherlands 93,000
7 3 - Albert Kim United States 125,300
7 5 - Cole Swannack New Zealand 160,200
7 6 - Yong Hyun Yoo Korea 188,700
7 7 - TJ Vorapanich United States 472,900
7 8 - Sparrow Cheung Hongkong 172,300
15 1 - Jonas Kronwitter Germany 241,900
15 2 - Elton Tsang Hong Kong 233,000
15 3 - Henrik Gwinner United Kingdom 116,200
15 5 - Patrick Jensen Denmark 152,000
15 6 - Lam Trinh United Kingdom 57,600
15 7 - John Chong Hong Kong 148,100
15 8 - Jesse Haabak United States 136,700
16 1 - Colin Ip Macau 189,700
16 2 - Brendon Rubie Australia 299,300
16 3 - Darren Judges United Kingdom 106,700
16 4 - Brian Green Costa Rica 190,900
16 5 - Wee Yee Tan Singapore 112,700
16 6 - Raffi Cedric France 165,000
16 7 - Jukka Juvonen Finland 204,400
16 8 - Niklas Lindberg Sweden 39,300
20 1 - Jessica Ngu Australia 149,700
20 2 - Oscar Teran Venezuela 212,200
20 3 - Alexandre Chieng France 103,100
20 4 - Michael Durrer Germany 218,600
20 5 - Kai Paulsen Norway 416,800
20 6 - Samuel Aronov United States 102,000
20 7 - Guillaume Patry Canada 127,000
20 8 - Binh Nguyen United States 87,400