APPT Macau: Steicke sinks Saab to top chip count
Talk about a wolf in sheep's clothing - the likeable David Steicke has again underlined his status as one of the big improvers on the world poker stage to lead the day 1B field at the PokerStars.net Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) Macau main event.
Steicke, who reached the final table of last year's APPT Macau High Roller event, shot to the top of the chip count when he turned a flopped set into a full house against David Saab's trip jacks, sending the 2008 APT Manila champ to the rail and improving his stack to almost 70,000.
He finished with 87,700, trailing only day 1A chip leader Andre Wagner (109,700) in the overall standings. Celebrated poker writer and PokerStars qualifier Dennis Waterman finished behind Steicke with 75,800.
Watch APPT Macau 08: Chad Brown on PokerStars.tv
Day 1B kicked off with a field of 184 players who included a trio of Team PokerStars Pros (Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier, Chad Brown and Vanessa Rousso), PokerStars Sponsored players Van Marcus (Australia) and Hong Kong's Elton Tsang.
'ElkY' remained the talk of the room all day as he pulled off a remarkable impersonation of The Joker from The Dark Knight. With his eyes rolling in his head and sweat pouring off his brow, it was scarily accurate.
Watch APPT Macau 08: Elky the Joker on PokerStars.tv
The field also featured two former world champions - Johnny Chan and Mansour Matloubi - plus dual WSOP bracelet winner, Mel Judah; David Saab; 2007 WSOP Europe H.O.R.S.E. winner Thomas Bihl; and 2007 WSOP Heads-up champion Dan Schreiber.
After seven one-hour levels, the field had been whittled down to 82 players, meaning 128 players have qualified for Thursday's day 2 and taking the overall field to 309. With more than 200 players expected to take their seats for tomorrow's third day one flight, the final tally is expected to smash every record set for a poker tournament in Asia.
Few big names survived day 1A, but the notables fared better on day 1B led by Team PokerStars Pro Chad Brown (40,600), PokerStars Sponsored player Elton Tsang (31,200), PokerStars qualifier Chris Grigorian (24,400), world champs Mansour Matloubi (20,900) and Johnny Chan (12,800) and Team PokerStars own clown prince ElkY (15,100).
Eliminations included Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Rousso (on one of the final hands of the day), recently crowned Victorian champion Jay SEABEAST Kinkade, Mel Judah, Michael Chrisanthopoulos, Patrick Fletcher, PokerStars Sponsored player Van Marcus, Max Veenhuyzen, Yevgeniy Timoshenko, Henrik Gwinner, Kasey Castle and Julian Powell.
Day 1C kicks off at 1.30pm local time, with play again scheduled for seven one-hour levels. The line-up is headed by Team PokerStars Pros Joe Hachem, Hevad Khan and Isabelle Mercier.
All photography © Joe Giron/IMPDI