2014 ACOP Super High Roller: Cheong leads opening day of plentiful rebuys

By: Ben Wilson

If the numbers are anything to go by then the 2014 ACOP is proving that the Asian poker boom is still very much on the rise. Especially when it comes to big buy-in events.

Day 1 of the HK$500,000 'Macau Billionaire Poker' Super High Roller attracted 52 super high rolling individual entries, several of whom did not skimp on the re-buys with a wallet-emptying 50 extra bullets taken in total.

This ballooned the prize pool to an impressive HK$48,470,400 (~US$6,260,000) with the eventual winner taking home a very meaty HK$14,050,000 million (~US$1.8 million) for three days of high-pressure tournament grinding.

This is one of the largest events to ever be held in Macau, though it comes in at just under half of the HK$119 million prize pool for the June 2013 GDAM High Roller here at PokerStars LIVE Macau. However, the buy-in for this is half as much.

Click here for full prize pool information

According to PokerStars Macau's Fred Leung this completely obliterates the previous high roller record for the ACOP, coming in at nearly five times as much as the previous prize pool record, which was a not insignificant HK$10.2 million.

Big money attracts big players with the likes of Phil Ivey, 2014 high rolling monster Dan Colman, German high roller specialists Tobias Reinemeier, Fabian Quoss, Philipp Gruissem and Igor Kurganov, US pros Brian Roberts and Isaac Baron.

With rebuys allowed at any time during the first six levels, and with just seven levels played on Day 1, only five of the starting field failed to make the cut. Those who won't be at the felt on Day 2 are China's Schichen Wu, Russia's Vladimir Troyanovskiy and Ismael Erkenov, and the USA's Bryron Kaverman and Olivier Busquet all busting as play progressed.

Busquet took the most brutal beat of the day by far, busting at the hands of Joseph Cheong after the latter three-bet Busquet - who was holding Ace King - with Q♥3♥. Cheong floated the J♦K♣3♣ flop, hitting the money card on the 3♦ turn and rubbing further salt into the wound rivering quads and value shoving for stacks.

That spot of good fortune saw Cheong seize a chip lead he would not relinquish, eventually finishing the day on just over 3 million.

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Good things came in threes for Joseph Cheong

However, Cheong has not locked it up just yet with current tournament supernova Dan Colman hot on his heels with a stack of 2,583,000. Germany's Tobias Reinkemeier rounds out the top three concluding play with a stack of 2,567,000.

Plenty of other big names will be joining Cheong on Day 2 including Phil Ivey, Dan Smith, Sorel Mizzi and Mike McDonald, just to name a few. You can find the full Day 2 seating draw and end-of-day chip count information on the link at the bottom of this page.

There were also exactly three members of Team PokerStars at the felt on Day 1 and all three of them made it through the night. The most prosperous of the bunch was Jonathan Duhamel with 1,038,000 in chips, while Team PokerStars Online Isaac Haxton finished the day with 908,000. Eugen Katchalov, however, didn't fare as well as his team mates and is in fact the overall short stack with 175,000.

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Jonathan Duhamel made one rebuy on Day 1 of the Super High Roller

Click here for Day 2 seating draw

The 47 returning players will be back at the felt on Sunday from 2:00 p.m. local time so join us then for more high octane tournament thrills and spills. The plan is to play down to the money and a final table of eight. Don't miss it!

Joshua Bell
@PokerStars in Asia Pacific Poker Tour