APPT Macau: Team PokerStars came to play

Registration has now closed as we move through Level 3 of the $100,000 (HKD) Asia Championship of Poker Main Event. All told 184 players entered the tournament, creating a huge prize pool of $17,305,200 (HKD) and thereby well exceeding the $10 million (HKD) guarantee.

About 20 have fallen in the early going. Meanwhile, sitting at the top of the leaderboard are Joseph Cheong (84,000) and David Martirosyan (70,000), both of whom were recently at the top of the counts in the $25,000 (HKD) ACOP Warm-Up just last night in which Cheong finished third and Martirosyan second out of 358 runners.

Team PokerStars is well represented in the ACOP Main Event, with all 10 Team Pros still alive at present. Of the group, Eugene Katchalov has gotten off to the best start on Day 1, having nearly doubled his starting chips to build a stack of about 55,000.


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Eugene Katchalov


Another Team Pro off to a positive start is Celina Lin who is sitting with around 40,000 at the moment.

Like most players in the event, several of the other Team Pros are hovering just at or below the starting stack, including Bryan Huang and Raymond Wu with about 28,000 each, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier with 26,000, and Vivian Im who has about 25,000 at present.

Meanwhile Max Lykov (14,000), Angel Guillen (13,000), and Naoya Kihara (12,000) have each struggled a bit during the first two-and-a-half levels.


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Team PokerStars Online's Naoya Kihara


Finally, Team Online Pro Randy "nanonoko" Lew is one of those sitting just below the starting stack at the moment with about 27,000 chips. Lew is returning to Macau as the winner of the most recent Main Event in 2011. In that $30,000 (HKD) buy-in event, Lew topped a field of 575 players to take away a $3,772,000 (HKD) first prize, worth nearly half a million USD.

Lew took a moment earlier to chat with Lynn Gilmartin about his return to Macau.















Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in Day 1