APPT Macau: Following the leaders
They've crossed the midway point of Level 9 (500/1,000/100). Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang was just eliminated after getting his stack in on the flop with a double-gutshot versus top pair and failing to get there, following fellow Team Pro Eugene Katchalov to the rail. With Huang's elimination, they are now down to 63 players gathered around seven tables.
Start-of-day chip leader Yue Hin Lam of Macau ended last night with a rush to push up over 130,000 and into first place at bagging time. And he's essentially continued in that mode for most of today, especially of late, thereby increasing his still-leading stack up over 270,000.
At his table just now, Lam was in the big blind when he saw a player in early position open with a raise, and the Macanese player defended. The flop came 5♠J♥2♠, and Lam instantly fired a big bet of 3,800 into the pot, forcing a fold from his opponent.
Unknown just a couple of months ago, Lam made two final tables back in September at the Macau Poker Cup Championship right here in the Grand Waldo Entertainment Complex. And he's looking plenty comfortable here so far during the first two days of the ACOP Main Event.
Also looking comfortable is Andrew Gaw of the Philippines, sitting behind wrap around shades and a stack of about 265,000, good for second place at the moment. Watching him play an orbit just now, Gaw was content to fold hands including not choosing to defend his big blind against an early position raise.
Gaw has some cashes to his credit over the last year-and-a-half, including a few here in Macau and one so far at the ACOP.
Finally, Xing Zhou of China has had a good Day 2 as well, with his growing chip stack putting him in third position. Passing by his table we noticed he, too, was in the big blind, and like Lam was defending with a call against a raise (this one from the button).
Both players checked the 4♦4♣6♦ flop, but when the turn brought another small card -- the 7♥ -- Zhou fired and his opponent stepped aside.
Like Lam, Zhou is a newcomer whose first cash came at the MPCC in September where he just missed final tabling the Main Event to finish in 10th. He has about 240,000 right now.
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.