2014 ACOP Main Event Day 1: Young leads largest field in event history

At the start of Day 1 of the 2014 ACOP Main Event we asked APPT President Danny McDonagh how many entrants he was expecting. He told us 250 and that number would make him very happy.

Well, by the time seven levels were over on the opening day, 286 players had ponied up the HK$100,000 (~US$13,000) buy-in and registration is still open until the beginning of Day 2.

McDonagh was happy.

"This number is huge," McDonagh said. "Every event here at PokerStars LIVE Macau has exceeded expectation and with a record number at ANZPT Melbourne and great numbers at ANZPT Perth and the Aussie Millions, it's just been a great year all round."

It is likely that there will be one or two entrants before Day 2 begins, but regardless, this is the second time in the event's three-year history that the numbers have gone up. There were 184 entrants in the inaugural year, 203 last year and now somewhere nearing 290.

That's a more than 40% increase on last year's field.

These sorts of numbers aren't only good for PokerStars LIVE Macau, they are also great for the players considering they will be able to have a crack at sharing in a prize pool that will be around HK$28 million (~US$3.6 million). The official entrants will be confirmed shortly after Day 2 begins.

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Lining up for the start of the 2014 ACOP Main Event

While it's all fun and games to talk about the money up for grabs in such a massive poker tournament like this, it's important to remember that we are long way away from the money being in the equation.

Players started the tournament with 30,000 in chips, the first four levels lasted 60 minutes and the next three lasted 90 minutes - just as they will for the rest of the tournament. It's certainly a great slow structure for the players.

But no matter how good the structure, sometimes coolers happen just like they did to Team PokerStars Pro Vivian Im as she was one of the first players eliminated from the tournament.

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Vivian Im did not have the day she was hoping for

It was during the first level that Im found herself with bottom set on a 3♣Q♦6♥ flop and ran into Chen Man Hang's middle set. No help came for Im and it was a quick exit for the South Korean Team PokerStars Pro.

Im wasn't the only Team PokerStars Pro eliminated on Day 1. Team Online member Randy Lew was also sidelined. Lew was actually eliminated at the hands of the eventual chip leader Rory Young.

It was late in the day and Lew cold four-bet jammed in the big blind with ace-king. Young, who was the three-bettor, called it off with a dominated king-queen, but ended up making a king-high straight to send Lew to the rail and see himself soar into the chip lead.

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It was unlucky end to Lew's quest for a second ACOP Main Event final table

Young has had a great 2014, recently winning a WSOP gold bracelet in the Dealer's Choice event at Crown Casino and also having made the final table of ANZPT Sydney early in the year.

Young will begin Day 2 with 150,100 in chips which is ahead of reigning Asia Player of the Year Jian Yang (147,600), high roller specialist Daniel Colman (102,900) and Joseph Cheong (94,300).

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Rory Young

Considering the field was so large and there were so many big names in the field it's no surprise that names like Terrence Chan, Connor Drinan, Joe Hachem and Team PokerStars Pros Bertrand Grospellier and Celina Lin were just a handful of the notables who bagged chips at the end of Day 2.

The 172 total survivors will return to the felt from 3:00 p.m. local time on Wednesday and continue playing towards an ACOP champion, along with continuing the maddening quest for the Asia Player of the Year.

There will be five levels on Day 2, then the players will head off to the (in)famous ACOP player's party poolside at the Hard Rock.

Until then, you will be able to find out Day 1 played out, and a full Day 2 seating draw and chip counts, in the live reports section at the top of the 2014 ACOP page.

Joshua Bell
@PokerStars in Asia Pacific Poker Tour