APPT Macau: Asia Team Pros battling for ACOP title

Eight Team PokerStars Pros and two members of Team PokerStars Online entered the Asia Championship of Poker Main Event, and all 10 players survived the first day of play to return today. Thus far on Day 2 six of those 10 are still with chips, including all four Asia-based Team PokerStars Pros.

Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier (France) began the day with the shortest stack of the group. He managed a double-up early on, but soon after ran into some misfortune when his A♦J♣ failed to hold up versus John Conkright's K♠J♠. All in before the flop, a king fell and Grospellier couldn't catch up.

ElkY's fellow Team Pro Maxim Lykov (Russia) has also seen his Main Event run come to a close today, as have the two Team Online members Naoya Kihara and Randy "nanonoko" Lew.

Lew, who was here defending his 2011 APPT Macau Main Event title, met his end after getting most of his chips in before a Q♦2♣9♠ flop against Timothy Finne, then committing the rest and tabling A♦J♦ to Finne's A♥Q♠. The turn was the 4♦, making the J♥ on the river too little too late for Lew.

Meanwhile, Team Pro Angel Guillen (Mexico) began the day with a short stack but has tripled his chips thus far on Day 2 to sit with 42,000. And Eugene Katchalov (Ukraine) has steadily increased his stack today as well thus far to sit with 67,000 -- a little above the average with 88 players remaining.

Speaking of Katchalov, Lynn Gilmartin caught up with him during an earlier break for an early-evening chat:

As mentioned, the four Asia-based Team Pros are all still alive as well in this inaugural Asia Championship of Poker Main Event.

Raymond Wu (Chinese Taipei) has the biggest stack of the four here at the start of Level 8 (400/800/100) with more than 105,000.


Team PokerStars Pro Raymond Wu

Vivian Im (Korea) has more than doubled her chips today to sit right around 60,000. And Bryan Huang (Singapore) has held steady thus far with about 40,000.

Finally, Celina Lin (China) started the day with more than 72,000, though she has slipped to about 40,000 herself at present.


Team PokerStars Pro Celina Lin

Lin is one of the players still in contention for the 2012 Asia Player of the Year, sitting in fourth on the APOY leaderboard at the moment. A high finish in this event (fifth-place or better) would push her ahead of current leader Yosuke Sekiya.

That's provided, of course, Sekiya doesn't finish higher, as he's still alive in this event, too. So is Nicky Tao Jin who is currently second in the APOY race. And while the 2012 APOY race will end with the ACOP, other side events remain as well that will count toward the standings.

Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in Day 2