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

4:24pm: Break time
Players are on a ten-minute break. We'll be closing out this post and moving on to a new one right here.

4:15pm: Solid start for Lykov
Russian Team PokerStars Pro Max Lykov has made a solid start in his first APPT appearance, although we did just see him lose a small pot.

Following a limper, Lykov raised it up to 1,100, only to find the big blind pop it to 2,800. The limper folded but Lykov called to see a flop of 4♣T♣5♣ as both players checked. The turn brought the 2♠ which appeared innocent enough, but the big blind's bet of 3,500 was met with an insta-fold from Lykov. He's sitting at 40,000 chips. --HC

4:11pm: Cooler cripples Maeda
WSOPE 6-handed runner up Azusa Maeda was just crippled on a Q-3-A-K-8 board when his opponent showed 3-3. Maeda had A-K. --JB

4:00pm: Percy takes a pot
Percy Yung is a popular personality in the PokerStars Macau Poker Room, bringing a little glamour to the tables, which certainly gets our approval. She's also got game to boot - she'll take your chips and give you a smile at the same time.
We recently saw Yung three-bet 1,700 in late position following an under-the-gun raise. Her opponent called and they took a flop of 9♠2♥J♣. Action checked to Yung who bet 2,500. Her opponent made the call and both players checked the T♣ turn. The river was a repeat T♦ and the UTG-player led out for 3,800. Yung insta-called with A♦J♦ for top pair which was good against her opponent's A♥Q♣. Yung chips back up to 28,000.--BW

3:30pm: Shaq shut down
In such a big field it can be difficult to locate and track all of the notable players, and it took us a while to finally find the number one ranked player in the Asia Player of the Year race in Hung-sheng "Shaq" Lin.

That's about as far as the good news goes, as we arrived to see Lin already crippled, and moments later, eliminated.

Lin moved all in for his last 4,400 from early position with A♠Q♥ and looked good for a double up when his opponent in the big blind made the call with A♥J♦. However a jack in the window on the J♥4♠3♥K♣3♦ board left Lin to make a hasty exit. While we don't have official confirmation as yet, baring a miraculous performance from one of his rivals, Lin should still secure APOY honours. --HC

3:23pm: An angry Arce
We didn't catch any of the action but a huge thump on the table by Neil Arce was enough for us to rush over and see what had just gone down.

The board was showing 6♥2♦4♦4♣9♠ with Japan's Manami Hayamizu raking in the pot with pocket nines for a full house. It all seemed relatively normal until we saw that Arce toss his 3♦5♦ into the muck - a flopped straight with a straight-flush draw that had been run down in devastating fashion.

Arce stood from his chair to take a walk and cool off as his stack drops to 38,000. Hayamizu is well placed with 60,000 chips.--HC

3:22pm: Blinds up
Players are now entering the fourth level of the day. They will be playing at 150-300-25 blinds. --BW

3:16pm: Leonard wastes no time
After recently taking his seat following the first break of the day, Steve Leonard hasn't wasted any time getting to work. The board read 9♦2♣4♥3♠4♠ when Leonard fired 7,500 on the river. His opponent was Devan Tang who took a few moments before making the call.

Leonard opened 3♦3♥ for a full house which was too good for Tang as his cards hit the muck. Tang is still in good shape with 50,000 with Leonard moving quickly to 42,000. --HC

3:15pm: Schedule change
If you're following along elsewhere but planning to head over to PokerStars Macau for the side events, you should know about some changes. The huge field here has required that today's 4pm event be moved to 9pm tonight. Also, tomorrow's 2pm event has been moved to 3pm. --BW

3:03pm: New School: 1, Old School: 1
Celina Lin sits in her chair, legs pressed tightly together, a purse covering the hem of her skirt. She's prim, measured, and quiet. What no one at the table can see is that she clutches several thousand Hong Kong dollars in her hand. It's unclear why she's holding the cash or why she hasn't put them in her purse. The riches seem irrelevant to her, perhaps in part because she's facing off against Johnny Chan.

Lin was not necessarily pleased to see the WSOP champion sit down at her table, but it hasn't stopped her from tangling with him. In just the last few minutes, she's managed to get involved with him twice. On the first hnd, Lin took the pot when Chan folded to her bet on a 5♠8♦4♠ flop. The next hand went to the turn. This time Chan took it down with a bet on a T♥Q♣3♣7♥ board.

It's just level three, so we have a ways to go today to let this one play out. Meanwhile, we'll keep an eye on Lin's clutch of cash and see what she plans to do with it. --BW


Celina Lin

2:55pm: Three pair good for Sabat
After losing half his chips in the first level of the day, Eddy Sabat is feeling a little better about life after making a nice call for most of his chips to get himself back into contention in this tournament.

We arrived with the board reading 3♥5♥5♠K♠. Sabat led for 700 from the big blind before his opponent raised to 2,100 from under the gun. Sabat called and the river delivered the A♦.

Sabat check and his opponent bet a hefty 6,000 which represented about half of Sabat's chips.

"Why so much?" questioned Sabat before he reluctantly tossed out calling chips.
His opponent opened 8♠8♦ as Sabat's K♦3♦ was good. Sabat rights the ship to now sit with 25,500 chips.--HC

2:45pm: More names to the felt
The alternates are still rolling into the PokerStars Macau poker room with Devan Tang, Joel Dodds and Steve Leonard among some of the new additions to our field. -HC

2:40pm: New record
It's now official. APPT Macau is now both the largest main event in Macau and the largest APPT in history. Today's total entries number 306. With yesterday's 269 on Day 1a, this main event is hosting 575 players, beating both the Season 2 APPT Macau main event (538) and the biggest APPT in history (Season 1 APPT Sydney, 561). --BW

2:26pm: Players back in action
With the ten-minute break behind them, the Day 1b players are back in their seats for 100-200-25 blinds. --BW

2:13pm: Break time
With two levels down, the players are on their first break of the day. --BW

2:00pm: Allan fills up
David Allan might not be well known to his tablemates, but it won't take long for them to recognize that he is one of the most talented young players in Australia. Holding no fears playing against the likes of Celina Lin and Johnny Chan, Allan has been in the thick of the action so far today. It wasn't all rosey for Allan early as he dropped some chips, but a recent flopped full house has seen him climb back up very quickly.

We picked up the action on the turn with the board reading 4♦J♦4♦K♥. A middle position player bet 1,200 which was called by both Ryota Hisayama in the cutoff and Allan on the button before the 7♠ landed on the river.

The MP-player fired again into his two opponents, making it 2,800 to go. Hisayama called before Allan postured with his chips and tossed out 7,500, leaving little more than that behind. His opponent called as Hisayama made a reluctant fold.

Allan tabled J♠J♥ for a flopped boat as his opponent flashed 7♥7♦ for a full book on the river! Allan was happy to scoop the pot, even though we're sure he would've liked to have seen a re-raise, to move back up to 27,000 chips.--HC

2:05pm: The morning after the night before
Bryan Huang tweeted that he woke up unexpectedly this morning after accidentally pouring a glass of water on himself. Hmmm. Perhaps not the greatest way to start the day, but despite feeling a little seedy after a big night at the player's party last night, the Team PokerStars Pro is grinding away on the felt today.

We recently saw Huang win a small pot to get himself back to near his starting stack. Catching the action on a flop of T♦A♦7♦, Bryan Huang check-called for 1,200 but not after the floor was called to rule on his opponent's string bet. The bet of 1,200 stood and the turn brought the J♣. Both players checked and Huang was able to take it down with a bet of 1,400 on the A♣ river.

Huang is back up to 28,000.--HC


Bryan Huang

2:00pm: Well, hello, Joe
It's just been revealed to us that 2010 WSOP November Niner Joseph Cheong has taken a seat in the middle of the room. You might recall, Cheong finished third that year in the Penn and Teller theater. --BW

1:57pm: McDonagh will not be defeated!
Just to update the previous post...McDonagh and his staff have somehow found a padded rail for the new table. The crisis that was never really a crisis has been averted.--BW

1:45pm: Bumper field, no bumper
Let me preface this by saying PokerStars Macau's poker room could not have been more prepared for this event. It's an exceptionally well-run tournament, and the staff is beyond capable. But who would've thought the field would get this big? Halfway through the second level of Day 1b, players are still coming in, and it's becoming a struggle to find a place to put them all.

Danny McDonagh, king of all things APPT, is not one to let a little problem like this spoil an otherwise perfect event. He's been seen in recent minutes marshaling a crew of people around the room like a general at war (a very happy, jovial war).

"We have more than three hundred players today," he just announced. "We've seated...about three hundred."

As McDonagh works to fit everyone in, he's making full use of the equipment at his disposal. His most recent solution was constructing a new table on the edge of the room. It has the same felt as all the other tables in the room, but lacks the padded bumper rail you've come to expect from a poker table. Said rail is good for a lot of things, most notably keeping the cards from flying off the table, but it's not essential equipment.

As such, ten more people now have seats.

"Okay! Let's go!" McDonagh said brightly.

He paused for a moment, and then looked at the dealer. "But...uh...just don't pitch too hard." --BW

1:38pm: Player in disguise
When you see Azusa Maeda at the table, you wouldn't think that he's a successful poker player. You might see his sunglasses, his good sense of style and think he's a successful business man. You'd be wrong about the poker, right about the business. Maeda is a regular at PokerStars Macau events and a very well-known player within Japan.

He's cashed six times in Macau, but more impressive than that, he recently took 2nd place that the WSOPE 2500-euro 6-max NLH event for a $178,299 cash. He's playing Day 1B, but don't think those sunglasses are meant to fool you, his opponent. He recently tweeted that he wears them so that he can disconnect from reality. --JB



1:28pm: Glazier running on fumes
"I'm running on two hours sleep!" sighed Australian Jackie Glazier as we wandered past her table.

While many of today's field might be feeling similarly fatigued following last night's player's party, Glazier's lack of sleep is not attributable to too much partying.

Part of Team Australia that competed at the recent International Federation of Poker Nation's Cup, Glazier had to jet from Australia to London to compete before flying straight back to Macau for the APPT Macau Main Event. It's a long way to travel for a game of cards and it appears that crossing too many timezones is starting to catch up. Fortunately we're only playing eight levels this afternoon so hopefully Glazier can safely navigate her way through. --HC

1:25pm: A few more names
Some late arrivals to today's field include Brendon Rubie, Jackie Glazier, Kelly Flynn, Sammy Huang, Team PokerStars Pro Celina Lin and the ten-time WSOP bracelet winner Johnny Chan.

The late arrivals have produced a couple of interesting table dynamics. Chan and Lin find themselves seated together along with Aussie online pro David Allan, while Eddy Sabat and Ben McLean have become reacquainted on the same table after they both final-tabled the APPT Sydney last year. Sabat and McLean are joined by Phil Willcocks, Jordon Lo and Ben Gilholme.

However the table of death is undoubtedly the one up against the rail featuring Team PokerStars Pros Nacho Barbero and Vivian Im, 2011 Aussie Millions 3rd place finisher and recently crowned Joe Hachem Deep Stack Series champ Jeff Rossiter, WSOP bracelet winner Joe Ebanks and ANZPT Canberra champ Sammy Huang. --HC


Vivian Im

1:22pm: Supernova shining
More from Jenn over at the Japanese blog: Kosei "shinbunshi" Ichinose has spent the last few years in Vancouver, BC, doing virtually nothing but playing online poker. Thanks to that he was a Supernova Elite until September and remains a Supernova on PokerStars (see full interview here). He also helped Team Japan earn its spot at the PokerStars World Cup of Poker live finals at the PCA in January. He's finally come to Asia and today he will play in his first live event on the continent.

1:20pm: Japanese star shining in new game
This just in from Jenn over at the PokerStars Japanese Blog: Some would be satisfied with winning the most prestigious mahjong event in your league, more than once, and publishing a book on the subject. Not professional mahjong player Takashi Ogura. A few years ago he picked up poker and ended up taking a break from mahjong for it. Since 2009 he's posted over 20 cashes in international tournaments, six of which were in the last two months in Las Vegas.

He's cashed six times in the WSOP in the past two years and five times in Macau, including 3 final tables. He's on the same table as Takuya Suzuki, who posted 2nd place at the Macau Poker Cup High Roller in August.

1:15pm: A few words with...
Our Lynn Gilmartin just caught up with Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang before he sat down to play. Have a look at the video below. --BW

1:11pm: Level up
Players have now moved on to the second level of the day and will be working with 100-200 blinds. --BW

1:02pm: Mr. Macau tests his popularity
"C'mon, we've got a dress out the back!" exclaimed APPT Events Manager Robin Lim. His comment wasn't directed to one of the stunning APPT models that are loitering around the tournament floor, but instead it was to the man they call "Mr. Macau".

Charles Chua is a popular character in these parts, but not even Mr. Macau was able to get more Facebook likes than the Queen of poker in Asia, Celina Lin. Apparently this was a prop bet between the two and Chua was well and truly defeated.

"I got all the Chuas in Malaysia to sign up, but it wasn't enough!" he laughed.
Apparently the deal was that if Celina had lost she would have to wear a t-shirt saying "I slept with Mr. Macau" while Chua would have to play the event wearing a dress.

However it seems that a settlement has been reached as Chua is currently happy playing in shorts and a t-shirt.--HC

1:01pm: Lin's new friend
Celina Lin was feeling completely comfortable with her table draw today until a familiar face showed up. Her Twitter feed reveals she's now not quite as happy. She just said, "Wasn't a bad table until mr Johnny Chan just arrived & sat down. Never played him b4." --BW


Johnny Chan

12:55pm: Team Pro adds another
Another quick walk of the floor has revealed Max Lykov in the field. If you're not already familiar with Lykov, you should be. Lykov won his first WSOP bracelet this year. He is also the proud champion of EPT Kyiv. Like Nacho Barbero, Lykov is looking for his first APPT cash. --BW

12:40pm: Another stacked field
It's another stacked field here for Day 1b of the APPT Macau Main Event with the big screen currently showing a total of 287 entrants. Of course, registration is still open and there will be alternates, with a number of notable players expected to arrive later in the day.

Some of those already in their seats include Martin Cardno, Ben McLean, Will Cheong, Dave Allan, Jeff Rossiter, Sixiao "Juicy" Li, Jay Tan, Phil Willcocks, Jordon Lo, Azusa Maeda, Ben Gilholme, Julius Colman, Joe Ebanks, Victor Chong, Kelly Flynn, Terrence Chan, Kent Hunter, 2007 APPT Macau champ Dinh Le, 2008 APPT Macau winner Eddy Sabat, 2009 APPT Sydney champion Aaron Benton and the defending champ Victorino Torres.

We also have several of Team PokerStars hitting the felt today with Bryan Huang, Vivian Im and Nacho Barbero, as well as Team Online pro Randy "nanonoko" Lew all in their seats, with Celina Lin also expected to arrive shortly.--BW

12:31pm: Nacho's Big Adventure
Team PokerStars Pro Jose "Nacho" Barbero walked in today with the look of a guy who just got off a plane. He's already settled into his seat and playing his first APPT Macau main event. He's looking to conquer a new continent. Already a two-time champion on the Latin American Poker Tour, an EPT High Roller champ, and a title-holder on the French Poker Series, Nacho has yet to post a live score in Asia. We'll see if he can change that over the next couple of days. --BW

12:26pm: Slow start
We're not going to call any names this early in the day, but it should be noted that the PokerStars Welcome Party was last night and was rumored to have gone on until the early morning hours. The members of Team Blog played it safe last night and bedded down early. Nonetheless, we feel pretty comfortable in saying that the field may be a little...well, tired today. We'll try to keep it down until the coffee kicks in. --BW

12:21pm: A couple more notables
A quick look around the room has uncovered a couple more players of note. Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang and Team Online's Randy "nanonoko" Lew are both in their seats for Day 1b. --BW

12:10pm: Play underway
The dealers are now shuffling and dealing to a packed PokerStars Macau poker room. Day 1b is underway. --BW

11:28am: Day 1b set to break record
Season 2 of APPT Macau holds the record for the largest-ever poker field in this city with 538. Today, the APPT Macau main event will break that record. After yesterday's field of 269 players on Day 1a, we needed just as many to show up today. Word on the street, we're going to get that and some.

Among the people we're expecting in the field today, are Team PokerStars Pros Jose "Nacho" Barbero, Celina Lin, and Vivian Im. Former champions Eddy Sabat and Victorino Torres will also be joining us, along with such notables as Johnny Chan, Terrence Chan, and APOY leader Shaq Lin.

Play is scheduled to begin at 12:10pm local time. Join us then for live coverage all day long. --BW


Macau Tower

Live updates form APPT Macau brought to you by Heath "TassieDevil" Chick and Brad Willis (with occasional and very welcome updates from our Japanese blogger Jenn Barr).

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in Macau