APPT Macau: Day 1a live updates, levels 1-4 (Blinds 150-300-25)

4:25pm: Halfway through
With four levels of play now behind us, players are now headed out on a ten-minute break before coming back to play the second half of their day. Click on over to the APPT Macau coverage page for further updates.

4:15pm: Steicke chips up
David Steicke doesn't mind the big stage, and he loves nothing more than playing in Macau, so it's no surprise to see him starting to command a healthy stack here at the APPT Macau Main Event.

According to his table, Steicke called down a player holding pocket jacks which were good on the river when his opponent could only table a busted flush draw.
Steicke is now motoring with 55,000 chips. --HC

4:10pm: A standard triple up for Peds
Well, not quite. It was far from standard but Michael Pedley was pretty happy with the result none the less.

We arrived at the table in the middle of a heated debate between players, dealer and floor staff. We tried to get up to speed with what had happened, but thankfully two further floor staff were called and the situation explained several more times to allow us to catch up.

As recalled to us, Mishel Anunu started the action with an early position raise to 750. The cutoff player called before Smelisa Blanusa moved all in for a total of 3,925 from the button. Play was with ANZPT Sydney final tablist AJ Bertenshaw in the small blind, but before he had a chance to act, Anunu had thrown out 8,000 into the middle out of turn. This is where we arrived and the commotion erupted.

Eventually the rule was explained that if Bertenshaw raised, then Anunu's chips would stay in the pot, but even with the 8,000 out there as a sign of strength, Bertenshaw decided to just flat call the all-in bet of Blanusa.

Meanwhile a rather vocal Michael Pedley was sitting in the big blind with a monster K♥K♠, and he couldn't get his last 12,375 into the middle any quicker. Back on a shell-shocked Anunu, who was priced in at that point to make the call. The cutoff player escaped as Bertenshaw had another tough decision before he reluctantly folded pocket tens.

Anunu was trailing with his 7♠7♥ but it was Blanusa who held the goods with his A♦A♠. Just to ensure that the hand didn't end without further drama, Pedley and Anunu both spiked sets on the 6♦K♦8♥7♦5♣ board. Blanusa was banished to the rail, Anunu's set was left second best as Pedley tripled up to 36,000 in rather bizarre fashion.
"Now you know why I was so vocal about the ruling!" laughed Pedley as he stacked up his chips. Anunu slips to 10,500.--HS

4:03pm: Team Online representing
PokerStars Team Online is making sure it's well-represented here at APPT Macau. You might have read in recent months that Mickey 'mement_mori' Petersen joined the ranks of PokerStars' elite team. Since then, he's showed up on the EPT a couple of times. He cashed in a few EPT San Remo side events last month, but is still looking for a big main event score as a member of Team Online. He's traveled here to Macau to make that happen.


Mickey Petersen

3:58pm: Kaneko eliminated
Just in from our Japanese blogger Jenn: Mayumi Kaneko of Japan is out already. Kaneko won her entry by winning the final event of the first Japan Poker Tour series. A popular player in Japan, Kaneko also plays in a number of events abroad, especially at PokerStars Macau. In fact, she has cashed in 6 PSM events in the past 2 years. Expect to see her in side events throughout the week.


Mayumi Kaneko

3:54pm: Official numbers in
We've just been handed the official registration list for the day. Day 1a of the APPT Macau main event is hosting 269 players. If you're in the area, Day 1b registration is still open. --BW

3:36pm: On to Level 4
We're now in the fourth level of the day with the blinds at 150-300-25. --BW

3:10pm: Young moves to the rail
Kim Gap Young has become one of our first high-profile casualties of the APPT Macau Main Event after getting a little out of line against 2007 APPT Sydney champion Grant Levy.

Levy opened the action with a raise to 550 from under the gun as Young defended his big blind with a call. The action unfolded on the 8♠5♥T♣ flop with Young checking to Levy who bet 625. Young decided to check-raise shove all in for another 5,700 which Levy was happy to pay with J♥T♠ for top pair. Young showed an imaginative J♠7♦ for just a gutshot straight draw which bricked on the A♦ turn and 8♦ river.

Young heads to the rail as Levy moves up to 55,000 chips. --HC


Kim Gap Young

3:14pm: Action Dave
"He's in every hand," declared one of David Steicke's tablemates.

While that might be a bit of an exaggeration, it's probably not far off if his last showdown is much of an indication. After facing a 1,000 bet from across the table. Steicke twisted his lips in a way that made him seem unhappy. Finally, he tossed in his yellow chip. His opponent tabled two aces on a J♦K♥4♣5♣7♦ board.

Steicke looked closely at the aces, looked closer at the board, and then said quietly, "You have one pair."

Everyone looked at Steicke closely as he said, "I have two pair." He tabled K♦5♥ and raked the pot.

"You might have had a set of jacks," Steicke said.

It didn't appear to console his opponent. --BW


David Steicke

3:10pm: Better late...
Among the late-comers to the Day 1a field, Russian Team PokerStars Pro Alex Kravchenko.--BW

3:09pm: Spets cracks
Getting all your chips in preflop with pocket aces is usually a good thing in poker, but Roger Spets just felt the wrath of the poker Gods as his aces were cracked wide open. And it wasn't even a two-outer as it looked like it was going to be a chopped pot when Mongolian Erdenebold Begzjav tabled the very same hand.

Begzjav opened A♣A♥ as Spets showed A♠A♦ and watched on in horror as the board ran out 4♦J♥K♥T♥5♥ to give Begzjav a flush and the massive double up.

"That's f#@%ing incredible!" exclaimed Spets as he stood and walked from the table as Begzjav's stack of 35,400 was doubled. Spets slips to 22,000. --HC

3:00pm: A few more Aussies
Just in case we haven't mentioned enough Australians this afternoon, here's a few more...and they are a couple of young guns.

Jonathan Karamalikis is the 2010 APPT Sydney champion and one of the most accomplished online players, not only in Australia, but worldwide. The man they call "MONSTERDONG" has taken his seat in today's field, along with Andrew Hinrichsen who recently hit headlines when he won a bracelet at the World Series of Poker Europe. --HC

2:42pm: Photo evidence
For those who might have been wondering if the Phil Ivey Returns story was legit, we offer this photographic evidence taken just moments ago. --BW


Phil Ivey at APPT Macau main event

2:30pm: Back to it
Players are back in their seats for the third level of the day. --BW

2:23pm: Inside the APPT number crunching factory
While we're waiting on the players to come back to their seats, here's some facts from the the APPT statistics factory.

  • 0 - Players with more than one APPT titles
  • 0 - Players with more than one major Asia title
  • 5 - Players who can catch No. 1 Shaq Lin for Asia Player of the Year by Main Event alone (based on approximately 3200 APOY points for 1st place)
  • 10 - Single season record for Final Tables in Asia; tied between Aaron Lin & Alexandre Chieng
  • 169 - Number of PokerStars qualifiers in current APPT Macau Main Event
  • 538 - Record field size for APPT Macau in Season 2
  • 2,080,999 - Number of dollars in the record prize pool for APPT Macau in Season 3 (HKD $16M)
  • --BW

    2:20pm: Break time
    Players are now on a ten-minute break. When they return, they will be at 100-200-25 blinds and antes --BW

    2:07pm: Phil Ivey takes his seat at APPT Macau
    There really isn't a headline that does this story justice unless I could put it in 72-point font. Phil Ivey just sat down at the APPT Macau main event. It happened here in the waning moments of the second level.

    Outfitted in a modest blue shirt and looking the part of your everyday poker player, Ivey walked in without fanfare and sat down in the six seat of a table in the middle of the room.

    Anyone who follows poker knows Ivey hasn't been seen at a major poker tournament in more than six months. It's been more than eleven months since he posted a live tournament cash (his last came in December of last year for an 80th place finish on the WPT).

    Suffice it to say, this tournament just got a little more interesting. --BW

    1:45pm: Chan stopped by kings
    While it's hard to gauge early chip counts for a field this large, Victor Chen is one who has improved his stack considerably in the early stages, doubling up with a set against two pair to be the early pace-setter with around 60,000 chips.

    Heading in the other direction is 2010 Macau Millions champ Justin Chan who became tangled in a big preflop war with an unknown player in the big blind. We arrived with 14,000 already in the middle following some preflop aggression to see a flop of T♠2♥7♣. The big blind led out for 3,800 and Chan made the call from under the gun to see the A♣ hit the turn.

    Action checked to Chan who bet 9,000. His opponent deliberated and made the call as the J♣ hit the river. After some deep thought from both players, it went check, check as the big blind was relieved to see his K♠K♦ was good as Chan's cards hit the muck.
    Chan slips to 10,300. --HC

    1:57pm: Macau in moving pictures
    If you are new to the world of poker in Macau, you might need a little primer on how things work in this part of the world. I'll put you in the capable hands of Lynn Gilmartin for your tour of Macau. --BW

    1:25pm: Bianco bluffing, Steicke slips
    As we wandered past the table of Frank Bianco we couldn't help but notice the stack of the Crown Casino Tournament Director had already been sliced in half.

    "I bluffed it off mate," said Bianco as an interesting hand was developing on his table involving David Steicke.

    "He plays every hand!" chirped Bianco as we watched Steicke three-bet to 2,100 from the cutoff following a mid-position open to 600. The action was then with the big blind player who cold four-bet to 4,400. The original raiser folded but Steicke tossed out a call.

    The flop came down 2♥3♥8♦ and the big blind tossed out a single 5,000-denomination chip which was enough as Steicke surrendered. Steicke sits with just under his starting stack.--HC

    1:16pm: Level up
    Players are now working with 100-200 blinds. --BW

    1:15pm: A few more arrivals
    A few late arrivals include Emanuel "Curly" Seal, Ted Wang, Michael Pedley, World Gaming Magazine CEO Andrew Scott, and high-stakes cash game players Nathanael Seet and Julian Powell. --HC

    1:12pm: A first look
    I've been all over the PokerStars world of poker tours...almost. This is my first time on the APPT. There is a learning curve, to be sure. I'm still figuring my way around town and around the Grand Lisboa. That said, even once I do figure it out, I'm not entirely sure I'll have the words to properly express it. This place is brilliant and completely different than any place I've ever seen. PokerStars Macau is as nice a poker room as you'll find anywhere. The people are friendly. The service is great. It's enough to make an old blogger--for the first time in a while--wish he was sitting and playing instead of taking notes around the room. Nonetheless, APPT Macau looks to have an amazing main event. --BW


    On the way in to the PokerStars Macau poker room

    12:45pm: Who's here?
    It's a massive field here in the PokerStars Macau Poker Room here today for Day 1a of the APPT Macau Main Event with 25 tables at full capacity and we believe there are even a number of alternates standing around waiting for their opportunity.

    On our first lap of the room we've spotted a number of notables players with a sprinkling of internationals among the throng of locals. Some of those players include Roger Spets, Brice Renaud, Mishel Anunu, JJ Liu, Mikael Rosen, Gordon Huntly, Frank Bianco, Josh Barrett, Kim Gap Young, Ivan Tan, Tim English, Michael Kanaan, Craig Cockburn, Justin Chan, Kai Paulsen, Mitch Carle, Raemin Alexander, Michael Mariakis, Jie Gao, David Steicke, Haifeng Xue, Jai Kemp and Macau Poker Cup Championships winner Raiden Kan.

    At the moment we've only spotted one Team PokerStars Pro in the field with Raymond Wu taking his seat. However due to the deep-stacked structure of this event, many players prefer to avoid the early levels and will likely arrive shortly.
    Waiting in the wings for their opportunity as an alternate, we've spotted previous APPT champions Grant Levy and Aaron Benton, as well as WSOP bracelet winner Mark Vos. --HC

    12:30pm: Day 1a underway
    Well, of couse we're here. What made you think otherwise? After sorting out some internet issues, our live reports for Day 1a are now up and running. The cards have been both shuffled up and dealt. --BW

    11:10am: APPT Day 1a set to begin
    Greetings from the Grand Lisboa Hotel and Casino, home of PokerStars Macau and the APPT Macau main event. Day 1a is set to kick off a little after noon. We're looking at a bumper field today. Level 1 will being with 50-100 blinds. To get a look at what we're in for, check out my partner Heath's piece, "The big boys in town for Asia's showcase event."

    At this hour, the APPT brass are introducing themselves to the local media. After that, the players will begin making their way to their seats, and we will be underway. --BW


    APPT Macau press conference

    Live updates form APPT Macau brought to you by Heath "TassieDevil" Chick and Brad Willis


    Brad Willis
    @BradWillis in Macau