APPT Macau: Fan finishes fourth, Cheong cut down in third
For the hour or so since the last update, the play had followed a similar pattern, with Jeff Rossiter steadily chipping up and his three opponents watching their stacks steadily decline.
By the start of Level 27 (30,000/60,000/10,000), Rossiter had built his stack up over 3.3 million, while David Martirosyan and Rong Fan hovered around the 1.5 million-chip mark and Joseph Cheong slipped back around 1 million.
Then as the level proceeded the preflop all-in bets began to come more and more frequently -- at least once per orbit, and oftentimes from Rossiter. None were called, and eventually Rossiter began shoving pretty much every time he had the opportunity to open the action.
Finally a hand arose in which Rossiter announced his all-in bet from the small blind and Rong Fan -- down to about 1.2 million -- made the call. Rossiter had K♠5♥ and Fan A♦8♦.
Fan was fine through the flop [10s]6♦9♥ flop and 2♦ turn. But the river brought the 5♠ -- and a chorus of "oohs" from the players and those watching on the rail. Rossiter's fives were best, and Fan was out in fourth for a payday of $579,000 (HKD).
Just a few hands later it was Joseph Cheong on the button making an all-in push of about 700,000 -- probably his 10th all-in of the last half-hour -- and this time Rossiter called. Cheong turned over Q♣4♣ and Rossiter 2♥2♦.
The flop landed [10c]2♠6♦, giving Rossiter a set and eliciting a similar noises of reaction from all of those watching. Cheong was already shaking hands with Rossiter when the turn brought the Q♠ and some chuckles, then the river the Q♦ and still more laughs. Too little, too late, for Cheong, out in third ($731,000 HKD).
The always upbeat Cheong was smiling with his friends Dominik Nitsche and Tom Marchese on the rail when the dealer, noticing the queen among Cheong's hole cards, called him back.
"Wait, wait!" she said. "You have three of a kind!"
The rail exploded in laughter. She hadn't picked up on the deuce that made Cheong's trips no good against Rossiter's boat, and Cheong and the others got a good belly laugh out of the inadvertent needle.
With that hand, Rossiter carries a commanding chip lead into heads-up play versus David Martirosyan with 6.125 million to the latter's 910,000. As they were already near the end of Level 27, it was decided the pair would go ahead and take their break now before commencing heads-up play.
Back soon with the final chapter of the ACOP Warm-Up story!
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.