APPT Macau: The international game of poker -- it's a win-win
"Everyone at my table is from a different country!"
So said one player when looking at the seating assignments for today's Day 2. Not too surprising to hear the observation, as there were still more than 30 different countries represented among the 138 players who began the day.
China boasted the most players of any country with 16, followed by the U.K and U.S.A. with 11 each and Australia and Japan each of whom still had 10 representatives.
Meanwhile, several countries had but one representative left to start play today, including Austria, Brazil, Italy, New Zealand, Northern Mariana Island, Romania, Singapore, South Africa, and Ukraine.
Sangeeth Mohan was the lone player from India left in the field when Day 2 began. Mohan came into the day with a big stack of 88,400, but unfortunately had lost it all within the first 20 minutes.
One of the five German players who returned, Sascha Pagnia, took most of Mohan's chips in a big hand that catapulted Pagnia up over 150,000 in the early going and into the presumptive chip lead.
Jordan Westmorland, the only player left from Thailand, came into the day with a top 10 stack and improved his situation during the first hour of play.
In a big three-way hand near the end of Level 9 versus Gab Yong Kim (one of five Koreans left to start Day 2), Westmorland checked from the blinds, the board reading [10c]Q♠[10s]8♣A♥ as he did. The player in between Westmorland and Kim checked as well, then Kim fired a bet at the already sizable pot.
The action back on Westmorland, he check-raised 21,000 more, forcing a fold from the third player. Kim tanked for some time before finally folding, showing his K♣J♥ (a Broadway straight) as he did. "Beat that?" he asked, and Westmorland shook his head no and showed one card -- the Q♣ -- as he raked the chips.
"Nice hand," said Kim. Westmorland pushed up over 160,000 with that one and like Pagnia is challenging for the lead.
Another hand of note to report from today's first level of play (Level 9), this one involving Joseph Cheong and Tom Marchese, both of whom were listed among the nine players residing in Canada who are still alive to start Day 2.
The hand saw all of Marchese's chips go in on the turn with the board reading J♣4♠8♥[10c]. Marchese showed A♥J♦, but Cheong had him beat with [10d]4♦ for two pair, and after the 6♦ river Marchese was out.
"Sorry, Tom," said Cheong as he bid his friend adieu. "I go hard at my friends," he explained to the table afterwards.
"It's a win-win, you know. Either you win and get chips, or you lose and they get yours."
It's a sentiment that could be applied broadly to the tournament as a whole, bringing players from all over the world to compete against one another, yet also joining them together... just as their chips will be ultimately combined in a single player's stack.
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.