APPT8 Macau Day 1a: Expectations on the opening day

Expectations. Hundreds of poker players will have high ones this week, wanting no less than to come home with the latest title on Season 8 of the Asia Pacific Poker Tour.

It's not only the players who have expectations though. The staff here at PokerStars Live at the City of Dreams also have them. This is especially true as we are edge very close to the beginning of Day 1a of the APPT8 Macau Main Event.

Dozens of players are currently filtering into the PokerStars LIVE at the City of Dreams poker room, readying themselves for the start of Day 1a. We caught up with APPT President Danny McDonagh to find out some of his expectations for today and the tournament in general.

"Looking at a really nice field today," McDonagh quipped. "Should be close to 200 players, which puts us in a great position for 500 total players, which we would be over the moon for. The last two side events are up a third more than last year, so if it's the same in the Main Event, that really does put us on track for 500 players."

If the APPT Macau Main Event does reach 500 players that would make it the largest field size for this tournament since 2011 when a record field of 575 players hit the felt of the HK$25,000 event. PokerStars Team Online Randy Lew overcame that massive field, claiming HK$3,772,000 for the effort.

Since then, APPT Macau has hosted fields of 184 in 2012 when the buy-in was HKD$100,000 (US$13,000) and the event was ran in conjunction with the ACOP (those events are now separate entities) and a field of 388 last year when Alexandre Chieng took home the title.

Out of the seven previous incarnations of the APPT Macau Main Event there has only been a field of 500 or more on two occasions, so to say breaking 500 this year would be a great result would be an understatement.

"I don't think we will be able to break the record field," McDonagh added. "But we will definitely be up year-on-year which is a fantastic result we would be very happy with."

So with the expectations being that Day 1a will have a field of around 200 players I expect to recognise plenty of faces. As the start of player is just moments away I've already spotted Aussies like Ash Warner, Rory Young, Victor Teng, Oliver Gill and Daniel Laidlaw, along with Macau regulars like Justin Chan, Percy Yung, current Asia Player of the Year leader Hao Chen and 2010 APPT Macau champ Victorino Torres.

Also spotted here on Day 1a are Team PokerStars Pros Bryan Huang and Vivian Im. Both of these players have had plenty of success right here in this very room and their expectations this week would certainly be very high.

Considering we are just moments away from Day 1a from beginning it is the dealers who are expecting to hear those immortal words of the poker lexicon - "shuffle up and deal!"

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Cards and chips getting ready to fly around in Macau

You're expectation at home reading the PokerStarsBlog should be to find plenty of stories, interviews and live updates directly from the floor of the PokerStars Live Macau poker room. You can find all that fun stuff on the APPT8 Macau page and we expect to be updating that page all day long and throughout the week!