2014 ACOP Main Event Day 3: Zhu stampedes into penultimate day lead

There were 62 players to kick off Day 3 of the 2014 ACOP Main Event and exactly half of them would have to hit the rail without any cash for a tough few days of poker.

It was somewhat of a slow start to the day as weary players were getting back into the groove of things after the official ACOP poolside party the night before.

However, some energising help from PokerStars LIVE Macau's new sponsor allowed the players move into the next gear as dozens were eliminated at a steady pace throughout the day.

Team PokerStars Pro Raymond Wu was one of the early eliminations on Day 3. Wu was getting short stacked when he looked down at Q♣Q♥ and was happy to get his chips in to try to double up and continue another deep run in an event in Macau.

Unfortunately Wu's queens were up against the cowboys of Jeff Chotikul, however, and so Wu was sent to the rail.


Not a great day for Team PokerStars Pro Raymond Wu

Some of the others who joined Wu on the rail without getting a sniff of the money included the USA's Connor Drinan and Dan Smith, along with the UK's Jack Salter, recent WSOP APAC champion Scott Davies and Billy 'The Croc' Argyros.

One of the building story lines as 33 players remained was the Daniel Colman was continuing his massive 2014 that has seen him post more than US$22 million in results in a single year.

Colman made the final table of the ACOP Super High Roller just a few days ago and was at it again in the Main Event. Well, he was until he went all in preflop with ace-jack and ran into the pocket kings of Sunny Jung to be sent home two spots off the money.

Jung himself has actually been a big talking point here at PokerStars LIVE Macau. Not because he dealt Colman's elimination, more because he made it into the money and survived through to the penultimate day twelve months after having won this very event.

Back-to-back victories, in such a massive tournament doesn't happen very often, but could happen here at the ACOP and Jung will certainly be hoping that's the case.


Sunny Jung is very comfortable at the ACOP felt

Once Colman was eliminated play went hand-for-hand and it was looking like it might take quite a long time for the bubble to burst.

But then Austrian Thomas Muehloecker got his chips all in with ace-queen against pocket kings and 31 players rejoiced in having made the money.


Someone has to bubble and on this occasion it was Thomas Muehloecker

One of the players to make the money was Team PokerStars Pro Celina Lin. For a short while it was looking like Lin might not make it as her stack was dwindling. However, a timely double on the stone-cold bubble gave Lin breathing room and she ultimately made it into the money and survived through to Day 4.

Lin is one of the short stacks, but she tells us that doesn't worry her because she knows that her fellow Team Pro Randy Lew was down to just a few big blinds on Day 3 of last year's ACOP Main Event and went on to make the final table.


Team PokerStars Pro Celina Lin had an emotional bubble

Lin will be hoping to finish higher than Lew's seventh-place finish and that's not hard to imagine considering Lin has had so much success at PokerStars LIVE Macau including being the only two-time MPC Red Dragon champion.

Lin and Jung will both be ones to watch on Day 4, but neither of their stacks come close to Yaxi Zhu who finished as the chip leader with a monster stack of 1,019,000.

Zhu, one of two ladies to make Day 4, had a massive day at the felt, culminating in the elimination of Mike "Timex" McDonald in 25th place. McDonald got aggressive with J♣9♣ on a 4♠K♦9♥T♣A♥ board, check-raising big on the turn and moving all in on the river. Unfortunately for McDonald, Zhu had Q♥J♠ for the nut straight.


Yaxi Zhu having fun, winning chips and taking names

Some of the notable names who will be joining Zhu, Lin and Jung at the felt on Day 4 include Canadian Sorel Mizzi, 2014 Aussie Millions champ Ami Barer, the USA's Byron Kaverman, Terrence Chan and Joseph Cheong. You can find full chip counts and the table draw in the live update section at the top of the 2014 ACOP page.

The cards will be back in the air from 3:00 p.m. local time on Friday and once again you will be able find live reports and feature stories right here at the PokerStarsBlog. Be sure to return and find out which of the 24 total survivors makes the final table.

Joshua Bell
@PokerStars in Asia Pacific Poker Tour