APPT10 Macau: Ward leads magnificent seven after dream day

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Alex Ward: Dominant chip leader in Macau

APPT Macau has reached it magnificent final seven, the result of a swashbuckling day in the PokerStars LIVE card-room at the City of Dreams--and one that came straight from the dreams of the young British player Alex Ward.

Really, this could not have gone better for Ward, who has an enormous chip lead heading to tomorrow's final. He has previously picked up a title when the APT headed to Cebu, in the Philippines, but it was worth a relatively meagre US$37,469. 

Tomorrow, Ward has 4,715,000 chips in his stack, which is about 45 percent of the total chips in play. He will have his eyes fixed firmly on the HK$2,694,000 first prize. That's about $US$350,000, i.e., nearly ten times his previous high tournament cash.

It's all the more remarkable given that when play resumed today with 64 players, no one was yet guaranteed anything. It was the stone bubble, and Ward didn't even have one of the biggest stacks in the room.

Crucially, he didn't have one of the smallest either and was able to sit back as Hong Wang got the last of his chips in against Weijian Xie. Wang's pocket jacks were cracked by Xie's K♠9♠ and that began the frenzy of eliminations that follows the bursting of the bubble.

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Hong Wang bursts the bubble

That's when Ward went to work and was pretty much unstoppable. The likes of Mikal Blomlie, Christopher Soyza and Constantine Paparestis all picked up min-cashes before Chen An Lin became the last of the Team PokerStars Pros to perish. But Ward just went up and up.

Although Ying Fu, Yu Han and Hanyang Peng all had the lead at one point or another, none of them made the final nine. Neither, for that matter, did Juicy Li's whose tournament ended in 11th.

When they return tomorrow, they will line up as follows: 

Seat 1) Jiayi Jin, China - 465,000
Seat 2) Weijian Xie, China - 1,215,000
Seat 3) Ying Fu, China - 1,105,000
Seat 4) Zhiyi Feng, China - 685,000
Seat 5) Jian Guo Sun, China - 1,055,000
Seat 6) Alex Ward, United Kingdom - 4,715,000
Seat 7) Bernard Vu, France - 1,420,000

You can take a look back at how it all played out by scrolling through the blow-by-blow action on the Day 3 coverage page. And head to the payouts page to see what they all picked up.

Ward was coy about his chances tomorrow, reluctant to claim the title was already won. But he was by some measure the most irresistible force in the room today and is going to take some stopping when they play to a winner.

Join us from 2pm tomorrow.

Howard Swains
@howardswains in Macau