APPT8 Macau Day 1a: Bo "Box" Xie booms into lead

Macau never sleeps. There is always something happening. It's quite simply a fast paced, action packed city - a sentiment that was mirrored during the lightening quick beginning of the third stop on Season 8 of the Asia Pacific Poker Tour.

The expectations were high for Day 1a of the APPT Macau Main Event. The President of the tour, Danny McDonagh, was hopeful that we would see around 200 entrants, which would put the event on track for field of 500. That has only happened on two other occasions in the history of this event. So when 212 players hit the felt of the HK$25,000 event, those expectations were met.

All of the players had expectations and dreams of their own, first and foremost, to make it through to Day 2. In the end only 87 players managed to do that and the player who will sleep the best tonight and likely dream of imminent riches is end-of-day chip leader Bo "Box" Xie.

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Box! What a nickname!

Before Xie excelled enough to fill his chip bag to the brim, there were dozens of notable players at the felt trying to do exactly the same thing. Two of those were Team PokerStars Pros Bryan Huang and Vivian Im and they started the day at the same table and finished that way. It wasn't the same table though, they spent much of the middle section of the day on different tables and then during the final moments of the night, Im was moved directly to Huang's right.

And that's when things turned sour for Im as she looked down at pocket kings, got all her chips in and ran into the pocket aces of eventual end of day leader Xie. Following this hand Xie had a six-figure stack and ultimately finished Day 1a with 166,000 in chips.

Unlike Im, Huang was able to survive Day 1a, although he seemed disappointed with his stack of 31,300. That's nothing like Xie's stack, but is still around 30 big blinds, and enough for Huang to stay in contention for the APPT8 Macau title.

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Bryan Huang finished 3rd at APPT Macau five years ago. Can he do better this year?

While Huang and Im played poker, for us in the media, Day 1a was like playing a game of spot the player of the year. There was reigning ANZ Player of the Year Iori Yogo, reigning Asia Player of the Year Jian Yang, current year leader Hao Chen and several others in contention on the leader board. Of these players, only Yogo was able to survive the first Day 1 flight of APPT Macau, giving himself a chance to add more POY points to their arsenal.

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Iori Yogo has 37,500 in chips heading into Day 2

As is usually the case in poker, there were plenty of players at the felt with nick names. This included Billy "The Croc" Argyros and none other than 10-time WSOP bracelet winner Johnny "The Master" Chan. Unfortunately only one of these veterans of poker was able to survive the night and unfortunately for Johnny Chan fans, it was not him.

Chan only played poker for a short time on Day 1a, late registering at the last minute and then getting all his chips in holding A♣3♣ on a K♣5♠T♣ flop and was unable to improve against Liu Xiao's A♠K♠.

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Johnny Chan has ten bracelets. He has no APPT8 Macau title

While Chan wasn't able to survive, The Croc and plenty of other players certainly did This includes Kai Yat Fam, Christian Haggart, Victor Teng and 2010 APPT Macau champion Victorino Torres. All of these players have plenty of chips, though of course, not as many as the aforementioned chip leader Xie. The only two players with a stack comparable to Xie's are Alvan Zhang (151,400) and Jaswinder Suri (149,500).

Each and every one of the 87 survivors will have tomorrow off and return for Friday's Day 2, presumably combining with a large surviving pool of players from tomorrow's Day 1b.

Speaking of Day 1b, be sure to join us again for more action from 3:00 p.m. local time tomorrow. For now, we head to the APPT Macau player's party for a drink or two! In the meantime, find all the end-of-day chip counts in the live reports section at the top of the APPT8 Macau page and check out the nightly notables with the beautiful Nicky Pickering and a slightly less attractive PokerStars blogger below!