APPT Seoul: A Hale-storm hits Seoul

The morning after the night before. It was another romantically peaceful day in Seoul, South Korea, but it was a slow start to the day for many following the antics of last night's PokerStars player's party. Break dancing, topless Japanese men and too much soju saw many players nursing a sore head as they stumbled into the Paradise Walkerhill Casino for Day 1b of the APPT Seoul Main Event.


Of course the hard-working folk in media row weren't suffering...well, at least not that we would admit to it anyway. As we took up our seats for a busy day ahead, our attention was distracted by a nearby cash game. We learned that the $10-$20 PLO game had got out of control with some crazy straddles, wild betting and Michael Guzzardi and Ken Wong among those to have played through the entire night until the game was forced to break due to lack of tables when the Main Event got underway at 12:15pm.

As a total of 139 runners fronted for Day 1b of the Main Event, we made a couple of observations. My blogger partner Dave "F-Train" Behr noted that despite yesterday being "Healthy Day" at the Paradise Walkerhill Casino, there was a noticeable lack of massage therapists in the poker room - a rarity for a major poker tournament. We also took you on a tour of the poker room bathrooms. Yes, it's not a fun job, but someone's gotta do it. We gave you a glimpse into the hand dryers of the future and provided a handy public health announcement to provide all poker players with a breath of fresh air. It's our gift to the poker community.

As the day progressed, we shifted our attention onto the felt as the official numbers were confirmed and the prizepools announced. A total field of 268 players took part in the APPT Seoul Main Event which became a new record for tournament poker here in South Korea. The top 28 players will finish in the money with the winner to pocket a massive KRW194,000,000 (US$173,555) in prize money. Those are some impressive numbers.

Unfortunately for Team PokerStars, Bryan Huang and Angel Guillen won't be among the prize winners after their elimination during today's play. Huang had a rough day in the office and was unfortunately eliminated when his ace-queen couldn't hold on a queen-high flop. His opponent's flush draw spiked a pair of kings on the river and Huang was left to head back home to the online poker grind.


It's a long way from Mexico to South Korea, but it was an equally devastating elimination for Angel Guillen. He flopped top pair in a three-way all-in clash, but it wasn't enough as his opponent caught a set to zero the count for Team PokerStars.

The benefactor of that massive hand was Australian Jhana Hale who we discovered was based in Manila and working in oil and gas exploration. Hale's explorations today uncovered nothing but chips as he motored out to a big lead with a commanding stack of 150,000 by the sixth level of the day - well above anything that anyone could conjure for the entire Day 1a.


Hale carried that form all the way until the bags were tagged where around 55 players lived to fight another day. Hale topped the counts with 173,800, with American Clayton Chang (133,000), Japan's Daisuke Endo (110,300) and Vincent Rubianes (104,500) also prominent with six-figure stacks.

Today was "Enjoy Day" here at the Paradise Walkerhill Casino. We're not entirely sure what that means but from 8pm tonight the schedule calls for "paradise girls", "vocal Yujin" and "world beer". We hope it's not just a figment of Dave Behr's wild imagination.

Join us again tomorrow at 12:15pm local time (GMT+9) as we bring you the stories behind the chip stacks from Day 2 of the APPT Seoul Main Event. See you then!

@PokerStars in Seoul