APPT8 Macau Day 1a: No teams in poker

There are no "teams" in poker. Well, unless the tournament is a teams event, but that's not what I'm talking about. In a standard freezeout tournament like the APPT Macau Main Event, there are certainly no teams.

Unless, of course, you are one of the exclusive members of "Team PokerStars", but the many members of this team don't necessarily fit the standard definition of the word.

It's not like a sporting team where each player is one cog, helping each other in a common goal to win an event.

Poker is, after all, by its very nature, a selfish game where the only goal is to win all the chips, with no regard for your opponent along the way.

This is more of a spiritual team. A group of players brought together to represent PokerStars. They have usually excelled at the poker table, either in live tournaments, online tournaments, or cash games and excel at promoting this game called poker.

The cream of the crop, if you will.

Two players who fit that bill perfectly, especially in the Asia Pacific region, are Team PokerStars Pros Bryan Huang and Vivian Im. Both of these players are partaking in Day 1a of the APPT8 Macau Main Event.

Huang and Im make up half of the Team PokerStars Pros based in this region, with the other two being Celina Lin and Raymond Wu, both whom are expected to play tomorrow's Day 1b. These four players certainly have a special camaraderie as they share the duties of representing Team PokerStars here in Asia.

Huang and Im will have to put that camaraderie aside somewhat today as they are seated directly opposite each other on the same table. They both might be wearing the same Team PokerStars patch, but that doesn't mean they won't be willing to take pots away from each other.

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Bryan Huang is smiling now, but he won't be if Vivian Im takes his chips

The only advantage for either Im or Huang in having to start Day 1a at the same table is that they may have a good idea of each other's playing style. This is especially true considering Huang recently told us that he has played with Im plenty of times.

"Being on the same table as another Team PokerStars Pro is definitely challenging," Bryan Huang told us shortly after the start of play. "I've played on the same table as Vivian several times and she has always been tough to play against."

Doesn't really sound like an advantage when Huang puts it like that though. I'm sure both Im and Huang would much prefer to find a softer spot in each other's respective seat.

Huang's sentiments of Im being a tough player might reflect the fact that we haven't really seen these two players rumbling in any hands at this early stage of the day. That might change though and we will be sure to watch out for some fireworks.

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Fellow Team Pros Vivian Im and Bryan Huang staring each other down

What we do know is that both of these players will be hungry for success here in the APPT Macau Main Event. Huang will surely have fresh memories of 2008 when he finished 3rd in the year that Edward Sabat was crowned the champion. Im, on the other hand, will be looking to add an APPT Macau trophy to her collection which includes an APPT Cebu title.

To find that success here at APPT Macau though, both Huang and Im will have to navigate through Day 1a and that means surviving a table that includes some stiff competition. Be sure to keep your eyes locked on the live updates at the top of APPT8 Macau page and find out if these two go to battle today! You can also find an interview with Huang below!