APPT Macau: 500-plus field confirms poker's arrival in Asia
The confirmed figure for today's 1C flight is 229, taking the official total of players in the PokerStars.net APPT Macau main event to a staggering 538. That's 206 more than last year, and confirms that tournament poker has truly arrived in Asia.
The growth has come from across the board - more pros, more live and PokerStars qualifiers and most importantly, more players from China, the territories of Hong Kong and Taiwan and nations throughout south-east Asia.
But the more things change, the more things stay the same - the big mover in level one was 2005 WSOP main event winner and Team PokerStars Pro Joe Hachem.
On a board of 8d-5h-2d-Ad, Joe bet 800, his opponent shoved all-in and Hachem called, showing Jd-10d for a flush, which had his opponents set of aces dominated. It stayed that way with the 3h on the river, and Hachem had doubled up to 21,000. And keeping it in the family, Joe's cousin Billy Sukkar has just been seated to Joe's right on table 12.
PokerStars Sponsored player Terrence Chan has just been rewarded for his decision to skip his 10-year high school reunion to make the long trip to Macau.
After some fierce pre-flop action, the money went in on a flop of Ah-Qh-3h, with Chan showing pocket aces for set over set against pocket queens. Chan stayed ahead on the turn (8c), then just to rub salt into his opponent's wound, the remaining ace (Ad) sailed down the river.
If any of Terrence's former school friends want to see how their classmate turned out, keep an eye on the PokerStars Blog for the next few days, we have a feeling there'll be no shortage of updates on his progress.
Another PokerStars Sponsored player, Emad Tahtouh, has ensured an early end to one PokerStars qualifier's day. However, he was made to work for it - the action started with a raise to 150 from Emad in middle position, with one caller behind.
He committed another 300 on a board of 2c-Js-8c - again came the call. He upped it to 800 on the turn (9s), his opponent made it an extra 2200 and Tahtouh called. The river was a danger card (6c), with Tahtouh checking his option before the all-in bet of 3750 came from his opponent. Emad made a great call with pocket 10s, while his opponent showed Qc 4c for busted straight and flush draws. Emad's pulse is almost back to normal.