2014 ACOP Main Event Day 3: Bubble bursting mindset

It's hard to know what's going through someone's head during the money bubble.

Some players, I'm sure, are as relaxed as can be.

Take experienced players like Joseph Cheong, Sorel Mizzi and Terrence Chan while on the bubble of the 2014 ACOP Main Event. They were cool, calm and collected. That's also probably because all three of them had enough chips to not stress too much.

On the other end of the scale there was Indian Shashank Jain.

Being the shortest stack on the bubble when the min-cash is worth more than the accumulative total of all your career results looked stressful. He was getting up and out of his chair between every hand to look around the other tables to try and get a feel for where he was at. There is no other way to put it than to say where he was at was not good.

Jain was under the gun when he glanced to his right saw that the big blind he would have to post the next hand was for half his stack.

Then APPT President Danny McDonagh announced that Austrian Thomas Muehloecker was all in on a nearby table and Jain bounded out of his chair to try to get a view of what was happening.


Watching on as Thomas Muehloecker was all in

What Jain would find was Muehloecker all in holding A♥Q♦ against Zuo Wang with K♦K♥. He would then watch on Muehloecker's rail screamed for an ace. No doubt Jain was not on the same wavelength as the rail and so when the dealer spread out a J♦Q♠9♥8♦5♦ board, relief spread across Jain's face - the exact opposite expression that bubble Muehloecker had on his face.

With the bubble having burst, Jain, and 30 other players had locked up at least HK$202,000 (~US$26,000). More importantly, the players kept themselves in contention to take a shot at the HK$6,300,000 (~US$815,000) up top.


Thomas Muehloecker exits the ACOP as the bubble boy

One player who was very happy to make the money considering she was all-in on the stone-cold bubble not long before Muehloecker was eliminated was Team PokerStars Pro Celina Lin.

Luckily Lin's pocket tens were able to hold up against ace-king and with that, Lin was able to storm into the money and keep herself alive and in with a chance to continue proving why she is one of the most successful poker players in the region.


The bubble was an emotional time for Celina Lin

"I had a real sweat on the bubble, but managed to double up and make the money," Lin told us during the last level of the day.

"My friend Nanonoko (Randy Lew) actually made Day 3 last year with 9,000 and he final tabled this very event," Lin added. "So in my mind, whatever I have is that not that bad and I can still possible make the final table. I just kept thinking about that and it gave me confidence."

Lin's next challenge is to make it through to Day 4, which is the penultimate day before the final table is set. Lin will have to fight it out with a few dozen other players though all hoping to do the same thing.

Be sure to keep your eyes on the live reports section on the 2014 ACOP page. Right there you will be able to find updated results as players are eliminated in the money and more. Also return to the PokerStarsBlog later this evening for a full recap of Day 3.

Joshua Bell
@PokerStars in Asia Pacific Poker Tour