APPT Macau: 18 left to fight for ACOP Warm-Up title

It's called a "Warm-Up." And technically speaking, the $25,000 (HKD) event is one of the many preliminary events leading up to tomorrow's big Main Event with the $100,000 (HKD) buy-in.

Still, with a prize pool of 7,986,980 Hong Kong dollars -- that's a little over $1 million U.S. -- this "Warm-Up" event has less of an undercard feel than most preliminary events. And if the hard-fought play leading up to today's final Day 3 are any indication, the title of ACOP Warm-Up champion and the first prize $1,777,000 (HKD) that goes with it is something all of those who remain find plenty worth fighting for.

A long Day 2 yesterday saw the field trimmed from 138 down to the final 18, with Team PokerStars Pros Vivian Im and Celina Lin, and Team Online member and 2011 APPT Macau champion Randy "nanonoko" Lew among those coming up short of the final 44 and the money.

Meanwhile, Rong Fan (China) pushed out to a chip lead during the afternoon only to be passed by Jeff Rossiter (Australia) just before the dinner break. Then end-of-Day-1a leader David Martiroysan (Russia) rode a rush of cards during the final levels to move back into the top spot, which is where he'll be today when play resumes.


David Martiroysan

Martiroysan will start with 990,000 today, just a couple of yellow chips away from one million. Rossiter returns to a big stack as well (927,000), with the Russian Andrey Shatilov the nearest challenger to those two (601,000) and Fan in fourth position (555,000).

Also returning today to healthy stacks are 2010 WSOP Main Event third-place finisher Joseph Cheong (494,000) and two-time WSOP Main Event champion Johnny Chan (394,000). And 2012 ANZPT Sydney winner Gordon Huntly comes back as well with his stack of 381,000 just a touch below the average.

Play resumes at 3:10 p.m. today local time, the players late last night having agreed to push today's start time an hour later than had been originally scheduled. And while such a move suggests them to be agreeable, generally speaking, we're expecting plenty of conflict going forward as a winner is determined.

Come back to the PokerStars blog throughout the day for updates on the Day 3 fight.

Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in Day 3