Nanonoko in contention as Mohan leads final fifteen in Macau
When we started out this afternoon we knew we were in for a long day. The equation was always a difficult one to compute. Take 96 hopefuls, squeeze them into 70 cash winners then divide them into a final table of nine by the end of the day. Unfortunately algebra wasn't our best subject as we've fallen a couple of spots short of that solution, but after thirteen hours of play, we'll happily take our final fifteen and enjoy some rest before we look to crown a new APPT champion tomorrow.
For 26 players, their three days in Macau will come with a few regrets. Instead of enjoying the local scenery, trying some nice restaurants or bungee jumping off the Macau tower, they were stuck inside a casino playing a silly game of cards, that has ultimately resulted in a lot of frustration and zero profit. Among those who missed the cash today were Team PokerStars Pro Nacho Barbero, New Zealand's Jackson Zheng, Scotsman Gordon Huntly and finally the day one chip leader in Shih Chieh Su who lost a race with J♥J♠ against A♠K♣ to burst the bubble.
Once the money was reached, players were able to open up their games a little, safe in the knowledge that they had HK$46,700 safely locked up.
Julian Powell (69th), Haifeng Xue (65th), Devan Tang (64th) and Andrew Scott (61st) were among the first to visit the cashier, before they were joined by one of the headline acts of the APPT Macau Main Event.
Johnny Chan cut an epic figure in the PokerStars Macau Poker Room as the ten-time WSOP champion mixed it up with the locals, but eventually it was champion Australasian jockey Shane Dye who ended Chan's run when he turned a straight. Chan collected HK$46,700 for 60th place.
Terrence Chan (56th) soon followed as Darren Judges (54th), Manami Hayamizu (48th) and Tetsuya Tsuchikawa (44th) enjoyed the pay jump.
One of the big stories of the day was the fall from grace of overnight chip leader Nathaniel Seet. Entering the day with a five-times average chip stack, not much went right for Seet from the get-go, before he barrelled off on a four-heart board but couldn't get a fold from pocket aces to depart in 38th place.
The defending champ Victorino Torres fell in 36th, losing the last longer bet with brother Vincent, before another APPT champion in Grant Levy ended his rollercoaster ride in 25th place. Levy, who was a short stack for much of the day, soared into the millonaire's club with a rush before then falling just as fast, as his final stand came when his Q♦8♦ failed to improve against Sparrow Cheung's pocket jacks.
With 24 players left it was time for a dinner break, which effectively froze up the action upon their return. Perhaps dinner discussion revolved around the HK$3,772,000 first place prize? The eliminations were few and far between, but eventually the rising blinds and antes would catch up.
David Man made a move from the big blind which backfired to be eliminated in 24th, as Vincent Torres' battle with his short stack came to a close in 22nd place.
As play ticked over towards the 14th hour of the day, it was announced that play would be stopped at the final 16 which had the interesting effect of a rush of bustouts including a double KO to end the evening.
Shane Dye pushed his short stack with A♠5♣ from the button but ran into the giant-killing Sangeeth Mohan who insta-called with K♠K♥ in the big blind, improving to a full house when the board was spread.
At the same time, Victor Wei had committed his chips preflop with A♦J♣ but ran into the dominant A♥K♣ of Jimmy Pan. Wei couldn't overcome the disadvantage and he split 16th place prizemoney with Dye as our long day was brought to a close.
Fifteen remain with Mohan sneaking into the chip lead ahead of Singapore's Kai Yat Fan. Jeff Rossiter, David Steicke, Josh Barrett, Bobo Chen and PokerStars Team Online's Randy "nanonoko" Lew are all still in contention in what should be an enthralling day on the felt tomorrow.
Here's how they will lineup tomorrow:
Seat 1: Daniel Nordstrom (Sweden) - 786,000
Seat 2: Randy Lew (Canada) (PokerStars Team Online) - 845,000
Seat 3: Daoxing Chen (China) - 672,000
Seat 4: Sangeeth Mohan (India) - 2,423,000
Seat 5: Zheng Tai Tan (Singapore) - 985,000
Seat 6: Jimmy Pan (Netherlands) - 1,586,000
Seat 7: David Steicke (Hong Kong) (PokerStars Player) - 886,000
Seat 8: Kai Yat Fam (Singapore) - 2,358,000
Seat 1: Zuo Wang (China) - 1,511,000
Seat 2: Tsugunari Toma (Japan) - 635,000
Seat 3: Baton Fung (Hong Kong) - 338,000
Seat 4: Sparrow Cheung (Hong Kong) - 238,000
Seat 5: Josh Barrett (Australia) (PokerStars Qualifier) - 1,013,000
Seat 7: Fabian Spiedelmann (Germany) (PokerStars Qualifier) - 1,425,000
Seat 8: Jeffrey Rossiter (Australia) - 1,173,000
Play will recommence at 12:10pm tomorrow (GMT+8) where another lengthy day is expected in order to crown Asia's newest poker champion. Make sure you join us then!
All photos Kenneth Lim Photography