APPT Macau: The celebration continues -- ACOP Main Event begins today!

Excitement surrounding the inaugural Asia Championship of Poker -- a.k.a. APPT Macau, an official event of the Asia Pacific Poker Tour -- has been building for nearly two weeks. Several preliminary events have already been decided, including the $25,000 (HKD) ACOP Warm-Up tournament won late last night by the Australian Jeff Rossiter. And there are more to come among the 18 designated as official Asia Player of the Year tournaments.

But today the focus shifts dramatically toward the one tourney everyone has been talking about here in Macau for the last several months. Indeed, poker players from across Asia and around the world have been looking forward to this one, and as a result many have traveled thousands of miles to be here today.

It's here. The Asia Championship of Poker Main Event!

Sporting an attention-getting buy-in of 100,000 Hong Kong dollars -- the equivalent of nearly $13,000 USD -- this first ACOP Main Event has a higher entry fee than the WSOP Main Event. And with a $10 million (HKD) guarantee in place, the prize pool will be eye-popping as well, with the winner due to walk away with a sizable first prize.

Oh, and this fancy piece of hardware, too...


Chatting with APPT President Danny McDonagh late last night, expectations are optimistic as far as today's turnout is concerned. At least 150 players are likely to take seats by the time late registration closes today, meaning that $10 million (HKD) guarantee will surely be met, and hopes are the number of entrants will climb even higher.

A $12,500+$1,000 (HKD) mega-satellite ran on Tuesday that guaranteed 10 seats in the Main Event. In the end 162 players came out, meaning 20 Main Event seats were ultimately secured -- and suggesting good news as far today's turnout goes.

That event went on as the final table of the ACOP Warm-Up event played out last night, and the atmosphere in the Grand Waldo was positively electric. In a recent blog post, Team PokerStars Pro Celina Lin discusses how enthusiasm for poker in Asia has been building steadily, and the ACOP's success thus far ably proves her point.


As the cake-cutting above suggests, Celina celebrated a birthday this week. But really, the whole ACOP series has felt like a celebration, with today's Main Event kickoff of the Main Event -- to be followed by tonight's ACOP Welcome Party -- providing still more reason to be excited.


We'll have start-to-finish coverage from all five days of the ACOP Main Event until a champion is crowned on Sunday. The PokerNews team has arrived in full force to help with live updates and videos. Meanwhile I'll be providing further details of the Main Event story here on the PokerStars blog, with Hong Kong portrait photographer Kenneth Lim on hand as well to help further illustrate the narrative.

Cards go in the air at 3:10 p.m. local time. See you back here then as the celebration of poker continues.

Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in Day 1