APPT Macau: Let them eat cake
There were three members of Team PokerStars left to start Day 2, with Randy "nanonoko" Lew of Team Online starting the day in the best shape, chip-wise, with a top 20 stack. Meanwhile, Team PokerStars Pros Vivian Im and Celina Lin both began the day with below-average chips, and were hoping to accumulate early to position themselves better for making the final 44 and the money.
Im found herself at risk early on in a hand in which she was dealt A♦Q♦ and raised from the cutoff, then faced an all-in shove from the big blind. She made the call with her remaining stack and was in need of improving versus her opponent's ace-king.
The flop came J-10-x with one diamond, then the 4♦ came on the turn to give Im a flush draw to go along with her gutshot to Broadway, but the river blanked and Im went out with about 100 players remaining.
Both Lin and Lew were still around by the end of Level 10 and the first break of the day, with Lin in somewhat dire straits having been whittled down to just 13,000.
That's when the APPT/ACOP staff took the opportunity to wheel out a surprise for Lin, who happens to be celebrating her birthday today. A huge cake was presented to Lin, the occasion further marked by a grin-producing, out-of-tune rendition of the "Happy Birthday" song by the staff.
An appreciative Lin blew out the candles...
...and thanked everyone before heading off for the break.
It wasn't long after play resumed in Level 11, however, that Lin found it necessary to commit her remaining chips with 4♠4♣ and found herself up against a lone opponent holding [10s][10h]. The board ran out 9♦3♣J♥8♦5♣, and Lin was out with around 90 players left.
Meanwhile, Lew had made it through the first couple of levels with his Day 2 starting stack of 80,000-plus largely intact. But then two hands in succession went the wrong way for "nanonoko," and he, too, saw his ACOP Warm-Up run end in around 80th place.
In the first hand, Lew raised from the button and got a single caller from the small blind. The flop came all diamonds -- J♦6♦3♦ -- and when his opponent checked, Lew fired a continuation bet of 3,000, his opponent check-raised to 9,000, Lew shoved, and his opponent called with his remaining chips.
Lew held A♦9♣ and his opponent K♦J♠, and when the turn and river failed to bring a diamond or ace, Lew was down to about 50,000.
Shortly thereafter Lew watched as an under-the-gun player raised and the player to his left called. It folded to Lew who reraised all in holding , and when it folded back to the original raiser he reshoved with [A][K], forcing out the middle man. The flop was okay for Lew, coming [Q][Q], but the turn brought a [K], and when no nine came on the end, Lew, too, was out.
Not the desired outcome for the trio, but there is still plenty of cake nearby -- a tasty consolation prize for the eliminated. (And for the rest of us, too... yum!)
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.