APPT Macau: Day 2 live updates, levels 9-12 (1,200-2,400-200)
5:37pm: Break time
Players are now on break. We'll be moving on to a new post on our APPT Macau coverage page.
5:10pm: The big stacks start to emerge
With Nathaniel Seet and David Steicke currently running away with the tournament chip lead, a couple of other big stacks are starting to emerge.
Champion jockey Shane Dye is currently up to 250,000 in a rare appearance on the poker felt. Dye does have a previous APPT cash to his credit at Sydney back in 2008 and a number of big online scores on PokerStars to his credit, however he has taken a break from the game for a few years due to work commitments.
So does this event mean a comeback to poker for Dye?
"Nah, it's just a once-off mate!" laughed Dye.
Another healthy stack is Josh Barrett, who despite waking this morning with the dreaded Macau poker room flu, has built his stack up to around 225,000.
Barrett recalled to us that a large portion of his wealth came when he called a three-bet against two players and flopped a set of deuces on an eight-high flop. Barrett put in a check-raise but his opponent was able to escape as he laid down his pocket jacks. --HC
5:22pm: Lew on the rise
Team Online's Randy Lew looked in jeopardy of an early day 2 elimination, but in the last hour he's grinded his way up to close to 200,000. It may not be the 24 tables at a time he's used to playing, but the Lew magic is still in effect. --BW
5:10pm: Ivey going nowhere
Other than moving across the room earlier today, Phil Ivey can get nothing going today. He's stuck around 40,000 right now. It appeared a few moments ago as if Ivey was ready to play for it all. After facing a raise to 4,800, he made it 12,000 out of the small blind. His opponent had him covered and moved all-in. Ivey didn't take long to fold. With fewer than 20 big blinds in his stack right now, it probably won't be too long before that small blind three bet means a bit more. --BW
4:50pm: Willcocks cracked
As anyone who followed our coverage of the APPT Queenstown event would know, the New Zealanders like to breed highly-talented, hyper-aggressive poker players. Phil Willcocks is one of those Kiwis who can play any two cards at any time, but this time it was a premium hand that saw him come unstuck.
Arriving to a flop of Q♣9♥2♠, Willcocks' continuation bet of 5,500 was called as the J♠ hit the turn. Action checked to Willcocks who bet again for 9,000 but his opponent responded with a check-raise all in. Willcocks tossed in his last 30,000 or so chips with A♣A♦ and found himself still in front against Q♥K♥. That is, until the T♠ hit the river to give his opponent a straight to eliminate Willcocks from the Main Event. --HC
4:49pm: Double for Dodds
Joel Dodds had to nurse a short stack for most of day one, but he's now got some chips to work with on day two after a fortunate double up.
With a raise to 5,500 and a call in front of him, Dodds decided to move all in for 54,900 with A♠K♠. Only problem was that the original raiser held pocket kings and made the call.
With Dodds' tournament on the line, the board ran out 9♥T♥A♥8♣2♦ to spike an ace from space for Dodds to double up to 115,000.--HC
4:47pm: And back down for Nacho
If this keeps up, we may need to assign a fultime reporter to Nacho Barbero. Seconds after reporting his rise to 370,000, he's back down to around 230,000. The details of the hand are unclear (and the way Nacho is steaming right now, I'm not going to bother him to ask), but 130,000 or so of his chips are now somewhere else after he couldn't beat A♣J♠ on a T♣J♣2♠4♣2♦ board. "What could I have that he could beat?" Barbero was muttering.
"I'm going to need to change my underwear now," said Lance Richard Lee Yuen, aka the man with Nacho's chips. --BW
4:40pm: Kravchenko cut
We've recently lost one of our Team PokerStars Pros as Alex Kravchenko has been eliminated. After a strong start, Kravchenko was unable to get too much else going as his stack started to dwindle. He lost a bunch of chips against Phil Willcocks' straight, before sticking his last 7,000 into the middle with [a]. An opponent in the big blind made the call with [j] and flopped trip fours to eliminate the Russian from the tournament. --HC
4:35pm: Level up
Players are now in Level 12 and playing 1,200-2,400-200 blinds. --BW
4:30pm: Barbero crests 200k
Team PokerStars Pro Jose Nacho Barbero seems intent on putting an APPT notch on his bedpost. In the past hour, he's rode a heater all the way north of the 200,000 mark
After sniffing out the bluff from David Allan (now departed) earlier, Barbero continues to abuse his table. Just now, he three-bet out of the small blind to 13,000, got the call, continued on a T♥6♥T♣ board and took down another pot. He's now sitting around 230,000. Wait...check that...make it 370,000. My, oh, my, Nacho. --BW
4:20pm: A double for the Moose
Raemin Alexander just let us know about his recent double up which saw him jump out of the danger zone. Alexander opened with a raise, which was three-bet and cold-called by two opponents before Alexander moved all in for around 40,000 with his ace-king. One opponent folded but the second made the call with pocket jacks, but fell behind when Alexander spiked a king on the flop.
Better known as "Jake The Moose" for his moose card protector, Alexander is now up to 100,000. --HC
4:00pm: Dinh is done
2007 APPT Macau champion Dinh Le won't be adding a second title to his resume in this event as his tournament is over. After Haifeng Xue opened to 5,100, Le shoved for around 25,000 from the small blind with Xue making a quick call with 7♥7♠. Le opened A♦J♠ and was racing for his tournament, however the K♠8♥7♦T♥5♥ board smacked Xue with a set to leave Le on the rails.
Meanwhile Xue, who is currently ranked fourth in the Asia Player of the Year, is looking good to grab some more valuable POTY points in this event as he moves up to 190,000. --HC
4:08pm: Nacho: Bluff-caller
Nacho Barbero opened in early positon and got a call from David Allan. On a flop of 9♠K♥7♣, Barbero led for 4,500. Allan made the call. Barbero backed off on the J♦ flop and let Allan take the lead for 10,300. Barbero didn't take long to make the call. The 2♠ hit the river, and once again Barbero checked. Allan cut out 21,900 and put it out.
Barbero was not pleased. He gestured at the cards. He ran his hand through his hair. He gestured at Allan. He cut out the call and left it by his remaining chips. He counted his remaining chips. Nearly three minutes passed before he picked up the call and dropped it in front of his cards.
Allan looked at his own cards, muttered, "Nice hand," and pushed his cards face-down in the muck.
Barbero tabled K♠Q♦ and said, "I'm not beating anything but a bluff. Only a bluff."--BW
4:00pm: Frank The Bank busto
Frank Bianco has enjoyed his time here in Macau, but his run in the Main Event has come to an end. It was a multi-way limped pot that did the damage with Bianco check-raising all in from the small blind on a flop of 4♣7♦2♦. David Steicke had taken a stab for 5,100 on the flop but it was the player in the big blind that Bianco needed to worry about as he flat called the 26,100 shove.
Steicke deliberated for some time but made a reluctant fold as Bianco found his 5♥4♦ in trouble against his opponent's 7♥7♣.
The turn was the 2♠ and river the K♦ to leave Bianco busto. --HC
We're now down to 198 players. --BW
3:40pm: Back to action
Everybody is back in their seats for 1,000-2,000-200 blinds. --BW
3:30pm: Break time
Players are on break a ten-minute break. --BW
3:17pm: Huang back in the hunt
It's been a wild ride today for Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang. After losing his overnight big stack early in the day, Huang has now found a nice double up to get back into the six-figure club.
We arrived in the aftermath to see Huang's stack of 47,900 being match by his opponent. The board read 7♠9♠T♥8♥K♥ and we assume that Huang's A♣K♠ had caught a handy river to get past his opponent, who was likely to have gone with a sizable pair in a preflop clash.
Huang is now up to 100,000.--HC
3:07pm: Ivey on the move (but only literally)
For the entire afternoon to this point, Phil Ivey has been in a place far away from the spotlight. Situated the the farthest table out from the media, Ivey has been quietly working a short-ish stack. He's not made much progress on the leaderboard, but he is on the move. His table has finally broken. He just racked up and moved to the middle of the room. --BW
3:00pm: Ichinose in behind, out
Kosei Ichinose just got it in with ace-nine versus ace-ten. His opponent had A ten hit the flop. Though Ichinose managed to pick up a straight draw, he couldn't get there and the Supernova was out soon thereafter. --JB
2:48pm: Some change for Chong
Malaysia's Victor Chong has found a handy double up when his K♠K♦ survived an all-in clash with an opponent's 8♠8♦.
The chips were in preflop with Chong on his feet, hands together and praying for his hand to hold as the board ran out J♥5♠Q♣9♠J♣.
Chong, who finished second in the October Macau Poker, is now up to 60,000. --HC
2:38pm: The cull
There is a still a long way to go today, but we've already lost around 70 players since we started a couple of hours ago. If only we could keep up that pace, we'd have a champion in time to hit the bar tonight. That, in case you're keeping score, won't be happening. --BW
2:30pm: Level up
We're on to level 10 with 800-1,600-200 blinds.
2:18pm: Fun match-ups
In what is already an action-packed tournament, we have a few tables that require some closer attention. Nearest us is a table with Jose "Nacho" Barbero. Two seats to his left is Is Ozzy Sheikh. A few tables away sits Team PokerStars Pro Alex Kravchenjo and former APPT Macau champ Dinh Le. Nearby sits one of our chip leaders, Tsugunari Toma across from 2011 WSOP bracelet winner Joe Ebanks. --BW
2:07pm: Under suspicion
Danny McDonagh has a way of being completely threatening in the most non-threatening way imaginable. The APPT President just announced over the PA system that he has two players under suspicion for marking cards. He told the assembled crowd that if it happens again, the offending players would be DQ'd. He closed with a smile and the words, "Let's assume it's happened by accident." It was the friendliest warning of potential execution I've ever heard. --BW
2:00pm: In the hot Seet
We have a new chip leader with Singapore cash game extraordinaire Nathaniel Seet landing an enormous pot to storm to the top of the charts.
We don't have a lot of info on how the hand developed to this point, but when two deep stacks tangle in a levelling war in a button versus big blind battle, anything can happen! We arrived with already well over 60,000 chips in the middle with the flop reading K♦2♠3♣.
Andrei Taranu was first to act and he moved all in to try and take it down but Seet beat him into the pot as he opened K♥K♠ for the nuts. Seet probably felt in good shape, but Taranu surprisingly opened one of the worst hands Seet could see as his 5♦4♦ had plenty of outs to win it.
The turn was the T♥ and river bricked the 2♣ to see Taranu sent crashing to the rail as Seet move up to 225,000 in chips. --HC
1:50pm: Barrett picked off
Josh Barrett opened with a raise to 2,800 from under the gun and picked up two callers to see a J♦7♥5♣ flop. The big blind checked it to Barrett who bet 3,400. Haifeng Xue popped it to 8,400 on the button which forced the big blind out of the way but Barrett made the call as the Q♥ hit the turn.
Both players checked and the river landed the 9♥. Barrett led out with a bet of 10,000 but Xue was quick to call with A♦J♣ which was too good for Barrett's 6♥6♣. Barrett slips to 55,000 with Xue up to 70,000. --HC
1:36pm: Annnnnnd, we're back
All the tables are now in play. We're back in action with the full remaining field. --BW
1:35pm: Where's Nacho?
We're not saying Jose Barbero looks like a particular character who stands out ina crowd of people today, but you could be forgiven for wishing his shirt was red in this video below with Lynn Gilmartin. --BW
1:25pm: No love for Lovett
Jacky Wang opened with a raise to 2,600 before Brian Lovett three-bet to 7,700. Action then folded to Joaquin Torres in late position who cold-four bet to 17,700 to get Wang out of the way. However Lovett wasn't going anywhere as he moved all in for an additional 20,500.
We were expecting a quick call, but Lovett thought for a long time before eventually tossing out calling chips.
Lovett showed J♠J♥ and the race was on against Torres' A♠K♦. Despite another player saying that he folded ace-king, the board ran out K♣4♠Q♠8♥T♦ to pair up Torres and eliminate Lovett from the Main Event. Torres is up to 100,000.
1:20pm: Wang enjoys the Ivey experience a little longer
Young Aussie Jacky Wang would be forgiven for feeling a little overawed sitting with Phil Ivey to his direct right, but that hasn't stopped him from finding a much-needed double up.
Wang raised the button to 2,600 before Anson Wong moved all in from the small blind. Wang quickly called off his last chips with A♦T♥ to find himself racing with Wong's pocket nines. Wang had to sweat until the river as the board ran out 5♦4♠7♠Q♠T♣ to pair his ten for the double up to 45,000.
12:55pm: Toma to the top
Japanese player Tsugunari Toma has shot into the chip lead as the second flight of Day 2 starters gets underway.
As recalled to us, Toma took down a sizable pot with ace-king, before eliminating another opponent soon after to see his overnight stack almost double to 200,000 and good for the chip lead. --HC
12:53pm: Break for some
Now that everybody has a seat, the players who started the day in their seats will be taking a short break so the other players can catch up. If it seems a bit confusing in print, it's not as bad as it seems. Tables 1-25 will be back with us shortly. --BW
12:47pm: Huang hurting
It hasn't been a good session for Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang. After entering today as one of the big stacks of the field, Huang has seen his stack slashed in half.
As recalled to us, in a hand that was four-bet preflop, Huang made the call with ace-king when his opponent shoved on the flop of A♦T♥4♠. Huang's opponent showed jack-ten for middle pair, but incredibly found a way to win on the 4♥ turn and T♣ river. Huang slips to 80,000. --HC
12:45pm: Now fully underway
With a startling lack of drama or difficulty, it appears Danny McDonagh and his staff have managed to slip everybody in to their tables. The overflow crowd is now just part of the steady stream. Now, to tear through this field. Somehow, between now and Sunday morning, we have to reduce 300 players to nine. It's by no means impossible, but it's going to take some work. --BW
12:30pm: Crafty Kravchenko
Team PokerStars Pro Alex Kravchenko entered today with a below-average chip stack and in need of some early success. He just found it in a hand with 2007 APPT Macau champ Dinh Le.
We picked up the action on a flop of 3♥5♦7♥. Le fired out 4,600 and Kravchenko called to bring the A♠ on the turn. Le released a second barrel worth 6,500 to send Kravchenko deep into the tank. He eventually made the call, to leave himself just 16,000 more chips behind.
The river was the K♥ and Le checked to Kravchenko who bet 10,000 into the middle, with just 6,000 more behind. Le gave a smile and quickly folded as Kravchenko's strong move saw him climb up to 50,000. Le sits with 60,000. --HC
12:27pm: Sleep in?
Looking around the field and there are a number of bags still sitting unopened on the tables with players yet to show up. Perhaps they've decided to grab an extra 40 minutes rest, rather than worry about 20 minutes of play, which perhaps is not a bad idea given the unique situation.
We thought that Mr. Ivey and Mr. Chan might've decided to do the same thing as we couldn't spot them in the room, until we realised they're in the overflow flight scheduled to start at 12:30pm. --HC
12:25pm: Mixed results for early monsters
Already we're seeing some big hands tabled in the first few hands of the day. Bobo Chen picked up with A♦A♠ and three-bet to 7,000 following an open from Tim English to 2,500. However after some thought English escaped unscathed.
Moments later and Victor Chen found K♦K♣ and three-bet to 7,000 after Michael Clinton started things off with a raise to 2,900. Clinton decided to see a flop and liked the 3♣A♥6♠ board enough to lead for 11,000. Chen sighed at the dealer for putting an ace out there and open-folded his kings.--HC
12:10pm: Day 2 underway
The dealers at the first 25 tables are shuffling and dealing. Everybody else should be seated in the next 20 minutes. In Danny McDonagh's words, "Let's go." --B
11:23am: Day 2 set to begin
Day 1a starred Phil Ivey. Day 1b starred Johnny Chan and a record breaking APPT field. Now, Day 2 is upon us. Ivey is back Chan is back. More than 300 other players are back, too. Each of the story lines will resume within the next hour. It will begin what is expected to be a long day of 75-minute levels.
Due to the nearly overwhelming crowd that showed up yesterday, today will see a rare staggered start. The first 25 tables will sit down at 12:10 to begin. They will play for twenty minutes and then take a break to give the remaining six tables some room to take their seats. It's hoped that kind of start will make room for everybody to sit down.
As we begin, Shi Chieh Su has the chip lead with more than 170,000 in his stack. He's being pushed today by several other big stacks.
Stick with us as we get ready to kick off live coverage at 12:10pm. --BW
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).