APPT Macau: Day 1b hopefuls look to cross bridge to Day 2 at ACOP Warm-Up
It's a mild Sunday morning here in Macau. A mostly uninterrupted cloud cover hangs over the Macau-Taipa bridge that connects the Macau Peninsula to Taipa Island, with just a few glimpses of blue peeking through as we near the lunch hour.
Such is the scene offered to one gazing out from the Grand Waldo Hotel on Taipa. Meanwhile on the inside buffets are being visited, morning papers are being read, and poker players are readying for Day 1b of the $25,000 (HKD) Asia Championship of Poker Warm-Up event set to begin a few hours from now.
Yesterday saw 167 players arrive from more than 30 different countries to take their chances in the first Day 1 flight of the ACOP Warm-Up, most of whom probably crossed that same Macau-Taipa bridge to get here.
Of those, exactly 100 failed to last to the end of the eighth one-hour level with chips, including Team Online Pro Naoya Kihara (Japan), 2010 APPT Sydney winner Jonathan Karamalikis (Australia), and High Roller player Nick Wong (Hong Kong).
Of the 67 who did make it to Day 2, David Martirosyan of Russia ended the night with the biggest stack among them with 131,100.
Martirosyan's nearest challenger at night's end was Rong Fan of China with 126,400. Jordan Westmorland (Thailand) and Katsuhiro Muto (Japan) also ended the day having improved their starting stacks of 20,000 to more than 100,000, with Jeffrey Rossiter (Australia), Sangeeth Mohan (India), and David Allan (Australia) part of the group not too far behind on the Day 1a leaderboard.
Others surviving Saturday with above-average stacks included Kenny Shih (Chinese Tapei), 2012 ANZPT Sydney champion Gordon Huntly (U.K.), and Joseph Cheong (Canada).
Team PokerStars Pro Vivian Im (Korea), Homan Moushiar (Canada), Thomas Marchese (Canada), Dominik Nitsche (Germany), and Carlos Chang (Chinese Tapei) ended the day situated amid the middle group, while 2012 Macau Poker Cup Championship winner Rui Chen (China) and current Asia Player of the Year leader Yosuke Sekiya (Japan) will be among those returning on Monday to short stacks.
Today's Day 1b field should at least rival that of yesterday, if not exceed it. A number of Team PokerStars Pros are expected to appear, including Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier (France), Eugene Katchalov (Ukraine), Celina Lin (China), Angel Guillen (Mexico), Raymond Wu (Taiwan), Bryan Huang (Singapore), and Randy "nanonoko" Lew (U.S.).
Several other familiar faces should be in action on Sunday as well, including 2012 Aussie Millions winner Oliver Speidel, 2012 APPT Melbourne champ Sam Razavi, and 10-time WSOP bracelet winner and two-time WSOP ME champ Johnny Chan.
Play begins at 3:10 p.m. local time, at which time we'll see for certain who comes out. And after eight one-hour levels today we'll see who among them successfully cross the figurative bridge to Day 2 to join the 67 already on the other side.
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.