APPT Seoul Day 1B: Raiden Kan crushes way into overall lead
"Four more hands!" came the cry from the tall man Tournament Director.
At this point it looked like there were just a few more than 50 poker players trying their hardest to survive the clutch moments of Day 1b of the APPT Seoul Main Event.
Some of these players had nothing to worry about as they sat behind big chip stacks.
Others had everything to worry about, with their short stacks dwindling in the dying moments of the day.
In the end it was exactly 47 players who survived the fast-paced action of the second and final Day 1 flight and now they will combine with the 45 from yesterday for tomorrow's Day 2. That's 92 total returning players.
Leading the way with 156,400 in chips is a very familiar faces of the Asian poker scene - Raiden Kan. That stack is enough to see Kan move into the overall chip lead, surpassing all of those from Day 1a.
Back in 2011, Kan took down the Macau Poker Cup Championship for a large HK$1,250,000 (~US$160,591). Since then Kan has posted plenty of results around Asia and will be looking for even more here success here in Seoul.
When Day 1b of APPT Seoul kicked off, it was all about the numbers. The hopes from APPT President Danny McDonagh was to at least match the Day 1a field and therefore surpass last year's field of 222 players. Once registration was closed, 138 players had entered the tournament, bringing the total field to a very solid 256.
Once the amount of entrants was known, the next thing the powers that be needed to do was count up all the KRW 3,000,000 buy-ins and let everyone know about the all-important prize pool. When the maths was done, the total amount was a gigantic KRW 685,363,200. All those numbers look impressive in the local currency, but even when it's converted to the more than 650,000 in US dollars, it's still impressive.
There were plenty of players on Day 1b who would have been hoping to stay in contention for a piece of that prize pool, but ultimately couldn't survive the day. One of the players who was looking good at crafting his way into a Day 2 berth was Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand Grospellier, but ultimately it wasn't meant to be.
Grospellier's final hand saw him get his remaining chips in holding J♦3♦ on a 3♠Q♦6♦ flop against Toshiyuki Onda, who held A♠6♠. The Q♥ turn and the T♠ river didn't bring Grospellier the help he needed and he was sent to the rail. Considering Grospellier's affinity with a country he used to call home, we are sure he won't be too disappointed to enjoy some extra time relaxing in South Korea.
Grospellier wasn't the only player representing the Red Spade on Day 1b of APPT Seoul and wasn't the only Team PokerStars Pro who was eliminated throughout the day as Raymond Wu wasn't able to make Day 2.
Wu's final hand occurred when he got his last 17,000 chips in the middle on the river of an ace-high board holding A♠Q♥. Wu's opponent, Claudiu Gurau, held K♣9♣ and had managed to river two-pair to send Wu to the rail.
With Wu and Grospellier eliminated on Day 1b and Celina Lin and Bryan Huang being sent to the rail on Day 1a, PokerStars Team Online member Naoyo Kihara will be the only PokerStars sponsored pro at the felt on Day 2
While the Team PokerStars Pros couldn't navigate Day 1b, there were plenty of others who were able to survive and secure a place on Day 2 along with end-of-day chip leader Raiden Kan.
One player who got oh-so-close to being the chip leader himself was Tim Place with just 1,000 in chips less than Kan. That stack puts Place is second, ahem, place, overall heading into Day 2. Sam Cohen (107,700), Toshiyuki Onda (100,200), Ryan Piganatelli (59,200), Chane Kampanatsanyakorn (50,200) and Dylan Honeyman are just a few of the players who also survived Day 1b. You can find the full end-of-day chip counts and the Day 2 table draw in the live reporting feed at the top of the APPT Seoul page.
All of these players will return from 12:00 p.m. on Saturday and fight it out for another eight sixty-minute levels before (hopefully) having made it through to the final day. Be sure to return to the PokerStarsBlog then for further coverage of the APPT Seoul Main Event, along with plenty more video blogs!