APPT Macau: Day 1b live updates, levels 5-8 (Blinds 500-1,000-100)

9:00pm: Play ends
Day 1b has just finished up. Sha Jun of China finished the day with 169,400, good for the Day 1b chip lead and second place overall headed into Day 2. Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang is not far behind with 154,100. We'll be back with a full wrap-up in just a bit. --BW

8:55pm: Johnny still the master
Steve Bouya limped in from middle position before Joe Ebanks made it 2,500 to go. Action was then with Johnny Chan in the small blind and he made it 10,500 to go. Back with Bouya and he shoved for another 13,400 on top which forced Ebanks to fold, but after a pause for a count, Chan made the call and tabled A♠K♣. Bouya held a dominated A♦Q♦ and was in trouble.

The board ran out 3♠J♣K♥7♠Q♣ to give the pot to Chan to end the tournament for Bouya. Chan will bag up over 70,000 to be in good shape entering Day 2.--HC

8:50pm:: Sabat succumbs
Eddy Sabat won't be the first two-time APPT champ, at least for now, after losing a big flip in the final minutes of the day.

Sabat recalled to us that he shoved for 34,000 holding A♦K♥ over the top of a short-stacked, all-in player. However a big stack behind him made the call with Q♣Q♥ as the short stack was in trouble with K♠Q♠.

The board bricked out [t][t][5][6][2] to send Sabat to the exit.--HC

8:45pm: Benton cops beat and a verbal spray
Another massive eruption has unfolded in the poker room as the orange jackets are earning their money in the PokerStars Macau Poker Room this week.
This time it was 2009 APPT Sydney champ Aaron Benton in the thick of it after copping a bad beat and then pushing his opponent Andrew Ong to the point where he simply snapped.

First it was the bad beat. As recalled to us, Benton three-bet preflop and then raised Ong's bet on the flop of T♣8♦3♦. Ong deliberated for some time before moving all in for a little more with Benton making the call with pocket aces. Ong showed A♦9♦ for a flush draw which connected on the 2♦ turn.

Ong jumped from his seat and roared with delight as the 7♥ hit the river. The celebrations obviously irritated Benton who told him to settle down and stop carrying on as the 120,000-chip pot was pushed his way, to leave Benton with just 6,000 in change.
While that was a story in itself, the real story came in the aftermath of the hand.
Benton commented on multiple occasions about what a terrible play it was and said that he would've rather his chips gone to someone who would use them to actually win the tournament.

Benton continued to commentate on the hand and stood to convey the story to his friends on the rail. After several minutes of commentary, Ong had seen enough!

"Shut your mouth!" shouted Ong out of nowhere. "Shut your f#&%ing mouth! You copped a bad beat, take it like a man and shut your f#&%ing mouth!"

Wow! Security ran in and floor staff instructed both players to settle down. Benton remained calm while copping the verbal spray, but Ong decided he needed to take a good, long walk to cool off. A self-imposed penalty perhaps?

A dramatic way to end the day!--HC

8:10pm: Lykov bounced in brutal fashion
You could boil coffee on Max Lykov's forehead right now--if you could catch him. He's probably already halfway back to Russia by now. It started like this:

Up against a foe with whom he'd already had words earlier, Lykov called a raise in the big blind with 5♥6♥. What kind of flop was he looking for? 3♣4♣2♦ isn't bad. He check-raised the 3,500 bet to 8,800. His opponent didn't think long before making the call. On the 7♠ turn, Lykov led for 8,800. Again came the call.

The dealer put out the 3♥ on the river. Lykov took about ten seconds before putting his remaining chips, more than 20,000, out in front of him.

Snap-call.

Why? The 4♦4♥ boated up on the river.

Lykov did not stick around to shake hands. --BW

8:06pm: And Lin goes down
Just after staying alive, Celina Lin has fallen. Her pocket kings lost all-in pre-flop against ace king. In her words: "Rivered." --BW

8:00pm: Lin stays alive
After losing a coinflip with ace-queen against pocket nines, PokerStars Team Pro Celina Lin was down to her last 2,900 in chips and in desperate trouble. However a few moments later, a much-needed triple up sees her up to around 10,000, and with a pulse once again with ten big blinds.

Following a raise to 2,200, Lin moved all in for 2,900. Victorino Torres made the call as did the original raiser before the two live players checked down the board of 4♠2♦J♣3♠K♥.

Lin was up against A♦T♦ and pocket sixes, but Lin's J♦Q♥ caught the only pair on board for the triple up.

"Thanks very much boys!" giggled Lin as she gets back to 10,000 chips.--HC

7:40pm: Last level of the night'
With one hour left to play tonight, we'll finish off with 500-1,000-100 blinds. --BW

7:28pm: Wave that flag
We may be in Asia, but the most represented nation at APPT Macau: Australia. Here's a breakdown of the top ten most represented countries in this year's main event.

  • Australia 67
  • China 66
  • Japan 48
  • Hong Kong 42
  • United States 29
  • Russia 28
  • Chinese Taipei 27
  • United Kingdom 27
  • Korea 22
  • Germany 19

  • 7:25pm: Max wants a muck
    It wasn't much of a hand but there was a little controversy, and we love nothing more than a little controversy.

    It started with a raise to 2,100 from a player in early position. Team PokerStars Pro Max Lykov three-bet to 5,600 before the player in the big blind moved all in for just 3,875 in total. With the extra chips in the pot, the original raiser made the call.
    With two live players still in the hand, there was plenty of tension despite no betting action, as each player took their sweet time in checking the action back and forth on a board of 6♣T♣4♣5♦8♣.

    "Flush," said the short-stacked player as he opened 2♣2♠. This is where things got messy. The EP-player went to muck his cards, forgetting about the small side pot that was up for grabs. When it was pointed out, he retrieved them from a few inches in front of himself and opened A♥9♠.

    "That's a muck!" exclaimed Lykov and after some debate the floor was called. An animated Lykov pleaded his case but ultimately his opponent's cards were ruled live and the pot pushed in his direction when Lykov couldn't better ace-high. He slips to 40,000.--HC

    7:20pm: If interestinger were a word
    If the non-word "interestinger" needed to start a marketing effort for true word-hood, it could start by putting up a picture of Nacho Barbero's table. It's been one heck of a sight all day long with more notables than any other felt in the room. In just the last few minutes it got...say it with me...interestinger. Why? Well, one Mr. Chan...Johnny Chan...took a seat at the table. This is a table that is unlikely to break in the next hour and seventeen minutes. There are tons of chips on it. Indeed. Interestinger. --BW

    7:12pm: Lo on the up
    A short-stacked Jordon Lo has found a double up at the expense of Eddy Sabat. Luckily for the 2008 APPT Macau champion, it wasn't a huge blow as Lo was all in for just his last 7,375 with A♦4♠. Sabat made the call with 9♣9♥ but Lo hit his overcard when the board ran out Q♠Q♦A♠8♦3♣.

    "I put him on a four," chuckled Sabat as he drops to 35,000 with Lo getting himself to 16,000.--HC

    7:04pm: He wouldn't be Nacho...
    ...if he weren't working on the chip lead. Moments ago we saw him raking yet another substantial pot, this one apparently the product of a couple of aces (again). An approximate count puts him near 120,000 in chips. If that's not the chip lead at this hour, it's gotta be close to it. It comes as little surprise, in any case. He's Nacho, after all. --BW

    6:50pm: NSFW
    So...there was a party. You've come to expect that from PokerStars and the APPT. And there is video. You've come to expect that from the PokerStars Blog. All that said...well, this just isn't safe to watch at work unless you feel like explaining how...oh...just wait until you get home and then watch this. --BW

    6:49pm: Blinds upThe players are back in their seats for the last two levels of the day. They'll now be playing 400-800-50 blinds.

    6:45pm: No hats!
    If you were looking for PSM regular and highly vocal player Hirotoshi "Hirobo" Nakabo this event and his signature sparkly poker hat, you might have missed him. That is because he has just adopted a no-hat policy. Apparently he posted some good results recently without the hat and the only event this series that he brought the hat back, he busted out in the first round.

    It seemed to be working at first when he took the first hour of the tournament off before sitting down to A-A. At last check, however, he was on life-support, claiming to be the "cheap" leader. --JB

    hirobo_nakabo.jpg

    Hirobo Nakabo

    6:40: Break time
    Players are on a ten-minute break. --BW

    6:35pm: Arce eliminates another
    Neil Arce has sent another one to the rail as the players start to drop away approaching the end of the sixth level of the day.

    Holding A♦K♣, Arce would need some help to get past a short stack's K♦K♠ and that's exactly what arrived as the board ran out 5♦3♦Q♦Q♣T♦ to give Arce the nut flush. He's now up to a commanding 85,000 chips. --HC

    6:25pm: Im tames Flynn
    Kelly Flynn has made his final stand and unfortunately for him, his timing was pretty bad.
    The action started with Joe Ebanks who raised to 1,300 from under the gun. He picked up one caller before Flynn popped it up to 3,500 in late position. Play then folded around to Team PokerStars Pro Vivian Im who cold four-bet to 7,700. Ebanks and the caller were quick to escape but Flynn committed his last chips. Im made the call and showed A♣A♦ as Flynn's J♣J♠ were in trouble.

    The board ran out 9♦2♥2♣A♥9♥ to give Im a full house for a little extra salt in the wound as Flynn hit the rail. Im is now up to 70,000 in chips and looking good to reach Day 2.

    Other recent casualties include Jackie Glazier and "Mr. Macau" Charles Chua.--HC

    6:11pm: APOY update
    Now that the final numbers coming together, we're getting a better picture of how the Asia Player of the Year race is shaping up.

    As we've reported before, Shaq Lin has 6,028 points and a firm hold on the top spot. He was eliminated early on Day 1b, and as such will be earning no further points in the main event. Raiden Kan, the man currently in second place, has 4,936. However, he was also eliminated already.

    The tournament staff reports that the top two finishers of the main event will earn 3,297 and 2,748 points respectively. If we're doing the math correctly, that leaves three people who could conceivably catch Shaq Lin. We know for a fact Haifeng Xue has advanced to Day 2. Should he place first or second in the main event, he would overtake Lin.

    We're unsure as of this moment whether Aaron Lin or Charles Lam still have chips. If so, Lin could take the first spot with a first or second place finish. Lam would have to win the main event.

    That's all a very long way of saying, Shaq Lin could probably feel pretty comfortable with his hold on APOY right now, but there's still a chance it could be snatched away from him on Sunday. --BW

    5:55pm: Prizes announced
    The people with the calculators have just released the final prizes numbers. The top 70 runners in the main event will walk away with at least HKD $46,700. First place will earn $3,772,000. --BW

    5:42pm: Confusion leads to Barbero double
    Having heard a lot about the success of Team PokerStars Pro Jose "Nacho" Barbero on the Latin American Poker Tour, this is the first opportunity that we've had to see his talents here in Asia in the flesh. And after seeing the following hand play out, we can now understand why Barbero has had such great success - poker is easy when your opponents throw their chips at you!

    Barbero has just found a double up in rather strange circumstances in a clash with the hyper-aggressive Kelly Flynn.

    Flynn started things off with a raise to 1,100 before Barbero three-bet to 3,000. Action folded back around to Flynn who instantly tossed out a re-raise to 11,100. As is customary here in Macau, the dealer pulled in the called bet amounts to leave 8,100 in front of Flynn. If you're not used to the dealers pulling in chips, then it can become a little confusing to figure out raise amounts. So when Barbero tossed out 14,000 into the middle there were a few raised eyebrows.

    "Pretty sure you have to make it 16,200 as a minimum raise," explained tablemate Jeff Rossiter, but Barbero was still a little unsure. The floor was called and Barbero was required to add another 2,200 to the middle as a min-raise of another 8,100 on top.
    Flynn quickly matched the bet and the flop was dealt K♦4♣5♣. With so much in the middle, it was no surprise to see Flynn move all in at the pot but Barbero was just as quick to call as he tabled A♠A♦. Flynn opened 7♠6♠ which was probably not the hand anyone expected to see, and not a great hand for Barbero as Flynn had plenty of outs. However the A♣ turn and K♠ were not them as Barbero doubled to 70,000, leaving Flynn crippled to just 5,300 in change. --HC

    5:31pm: Level up
    Players are now up to 300-600-50 blinds.--BW


    5:28pm: Chan crests 80,000
    Terrence Chan has spent the entire day in the back corner of the room with a cast of characters fit for a poker movie (our personal favorite was one Chan dubbed "Rain Delay" for his inability to make anything resembling a quick decision. For his patience, Chan has been rewarded. He just reported via his Twitter account, "Over 80k, crying 5-bet shoved AK vs an amateur. He had JJ and I won." --BW

    5:26pm Team PokerStars Pro update
    As we get ready to enter the sixth level of the day, here's a look at how the Team PokerStars Pros are faring at this hour. -BBW

  • Vivian Im: 50,000
  • Nacho Barbero: 70,000
  • Celina Lin: 5,000
  • Bryan Huang: 73,000
  • Max Lykov: 40,000
  • nacho_barbero_macau.jpg

    Nacho Barbero

    5:11pm: That's not going to work
    Emi Hibuse sat in the small blind looking at a flop of 4♦K♣K♥. She check-called a bet there, and then again on the 6♠ turn. When the 7♦ fell on the river, Hibuse seemed to wake up, and led at it for less than half the pot. Her opponent seemed flustered, but couldn't fold his K♦Q♣. Hibuse knew she wasn't good even before looking across the table. Her T♠T♣ went in the muck. Though it put a dent her stack, Hibuse is still alive with around 20,000. --BW

    Emi_Hibuse.jpg

    Emi Hibuse

    5:00pm: Action for Arce
    Neil Arce has recovered from his earlier frustrations and now sits well placed after raking in a nice pot with a bit of a big blind special.

    K♥7♣ is not normally a great hand, but when we arrived on the turn with the board reading J♥K♣5♦7♠, Arce was happy to put in the check-raise over two opponents holding two pair. Yvo Molin had bet 1,200 which Victorino Torres called before Arce made it 4,200 to play. Molin folded but Torres called to see the K♦ hit the river. Arce improved to a full house and bet out 8,000. Torres made the call but mucked when he saw the bad news. Arce is now up to 60,000 chips. --HC

    4:50pm: Hot or not
    Manami Hayamizu and Nick Wong are among the big stacks in the room at the moment, with both up around 95,000 in chips as we enter the fifth level of the day. Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang has also chipped up nicely to sit with around 60,000.
    At the other end of the scale Julius Colman, Brendon Rubie and Joseph Cheong have all gone missing, presumed busto.

    4:41pm: Macau champions
    We've already mentioned Eddy Sabat and Victorino Torres in today's field. Both of them are looking to repeat as APPT Macau champions. Now seems as good a time as any to take a look back at how all the former APPT Macau champions fared over the years.

  • Season 4: Victorino Torres USD $416,446
  • Season 3: Dermot Blain USD $541,072
  • Season 2: Eddy Sabat USD $453,851
  • Season 1: Dinh Le USD $222,640
  • eddy_sabat_macau_day1b.jpg

    Eddy Sabat


    4:30pm: Back to work
    With four levels left to play in Day 1b, everyone is headed back to their seats to work with 200-400-50 blinds. There will be one more break in a couple of hours, but after that, it will be time to grind until the bitter end.

    While we're waiting, here's a picture of a villian from an 1980s action movie Team PokerStars Pro Max Lykov.

    max_lykov_macau_day1b.jpg

    Max Lykov

    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