APPT Macau: Finding a final table; Day 4 of ACOP Main Event awaits
17,305,200 Hong Kong dollars. That's worth about $2,218,615 USD. And that's what the remaining 22 players still with chips in the 2012 Asia Championship of Poker Main Event are going to be vying for when Day 4 of the five-day event begins later this afternoon.
Last night the tension built throughout right up to the last hand when Linh Tran of Chinese Taipei was eliminated in 23rd, thereby bursting the cash bubble and sending the remaining 22 for a night's rest knowing they'd made the money.
Michael Kanaan of Australia had charged to the front during the latter half of the day, scoring several of the final knockouts as the tournament reached the bubble. He'd end the night still in first position with 627,500, ahead of second-place Andrew Gaw of the Philippines by the slimmest of margins.
Gaw ended with 626,500, a mere 1,000 away from the lead.
And after enduring with a short stack during the early part of play on Friday, Mike "SirWatts" Watson of Canada made a late charge to end in third with 515,000.
Of course, there are 19 others still with hopes of gathering some momentum -- and chips -- and charging to a first-place finish and that $4.24 million (HKD) share of the prize pool
Among them is the last woman standing, Yuri Ishida of Japan, is also returning today albeit to a short stack.
Also, lone remaining Team PokerStars Pro Raymond Wu of Chinese Taipei with come back today to a 12th-place stack.
Incidentally, Wu is one of those players who could make a major move in the 2012 Asia Player of the Year Race should he make a deep run to the final table in this event. Indeed, despite being just outside the top 20 in the APOY race at present, a first- or second-place finish in the Main Event would catapult Wu into the top spot ahead of current leader Yosuke Sekiya with just this weekend's last ACOP events left to go.
And speaking of those side events, we may find reason to look in on the two-day "High Rollers" event (Event #16) that kicks off this afternoon -- a $250,000 (HKD) buy-in event sure to attract many of the top pros still in Macau taking advantage of the full ACOP schedule.
Play begins at 3:10 p.m. Macau time with the plan being to play down to a nine-handed final table. It could go fast, although as has been the case the entire event, the stacks are deep. And no one is going to be in so great a hurry to see their ACOP Main Event run come up a day short of the finish.
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.