APPT Macau: The ACOP Warm-Up welcomes the world
Greetings from Macau, site of the first ever Asia Championship of Poker, an official event of the Asia Pacific Poker Tour! I'm glad you're here to check out the coverage. And I'm glad to be here, too, to help bring it to you.
This marks a first visit to Macau for your humble chronicler, and so I'll go ahead and beg forgiveness early on if I happen to indulge occasionally into marveling at, well, everything. Including having traversed all of the way from America's east coast to the "Vegas of the East" situated exactly 12 time zones away to help tell the story of this latest stop of Asia Pacific Poker Tour.
That's half a day. Half a world. Gives me half a mind to lapse lyrical about our planet and its inhabitants and the head-spinning happenstance of being sent so wildly out of one's usual orbit because of a game of cards.
But I'll resist. Because other stories are already unfolding, and they're in need of telling.
It goes without saying that many others have also made their way here, and more still will be descending upon the Grand Waldo Conference and Exhibition Centre for the $100,000 HKD Main Event starting next week. It's an exciting time to be in Macau, which after the World Series of Poker's recent finale in that other Vegas takes its turn over the next week-and-a-half as the center of poker's ever-expanding, ever-inclusive world.
For some the journey will be a short one from other points here in Macau, from Hong Kong just 65 or so kilometers away, or from the also nearby east coast of China. Others will travel longer distances from inland China as well as from other countries of the vast continent for this inaugural ACOP. And still more will come north from Australia and New Zealand, west from Europe, like me from the Americas, and from elsewhere, too.
My trip was tripped up a little early, a faulty plane requiring an extra day of traveling for me to arrive. Thus have others beaten me here, already embarking on another journey, with each one hoping this one ends after having collected a stack of everyone else's chips and a healthy first-place prize.
I'm referring specifically to the players seated a few yards away and battling on Day 1a of the ACOP Warm-Up (Event 8) which kicked off a little earlier today. The buy-in for this one is $25,000 HKD -- the equivalent of about $3,200 USD -- with the event sporting a cool $5,000,000 HKD guarantee.
A total of 167 players have assembled for this first of two Day 1 flights, having arrived from more than 30 different countries, and through the first two one-hour levels most still have their seats. There are some familiar faces among the group, something expected both for the Warm-Up and next week's Main Event.
I've already had a nice welcome here in Macau. And now that I'm here, let me welcome you to our coverage of the ACOP Warm-Up. We'll be back in a little while with an update about who is here and who is surviving and thriving on Day 1a, and we'll continue to provide regular updates from this event through its conclusion on Tuesday's final Day 3.
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.