ACOP Main Event: Chasing the gold

The preliminaries are out of the way and now it's time for the big one. The Asia Championship of Poker (ACOP) Main Event has arrived and when the doors open at 3pm today, the City of Dreams in Macau will fill with players from all around the globe taking their seats for the first of two opening flights in the HK$100,000 ACOP Main Event.

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The inaugural ACOP event last year was a huge success. So much so, that tournament organizers went and doubled the guarantee for the 2013 edition. This year, there will be a minimum of HK$20 million in the prize pool, but even that number is expected to be blown away with a host of poker stars arriving in Macau during the week.

Team PokerStars pros Eugene Katchalov, Naoya Kihara and Randy Lew (who won the APPT Macau Main Event back in 2011) are all in town and will join Team Asia representatives Raymond Wu, Vivian Im, Bryan Huang and Celina Lin in the quest to win the gold "Spadie" - the nickname given to the ACOP titles.

Last year we saw China's Xing Zhou defeat a field of 184 players to take home the trophy and a first-place prize of HK$3,547,500. The Chinese are expected to again have an enormous presence in the ACOP Main Event, however with 39 different countries represented during the ACOP Warm-Up event (won by Jian Yang), this series is truly an international affair and one of the premier events on the international poker calendar.

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ACOP Warm-Up Winner, Jian Yang

Stay locked into the PokerStars Blog throughout the week as we bring you all the stories both on and off the field at the Asia Championship of Poker, while the good folk over at PokerNews have brought out their A-team to bring you updates of all the hand action from the tournament floor. You'll find their coverage in the Live Updates section of this site.

The cards will be in the air from 3pm (GMT+8) and we look forward to your company!

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Learn a little more about Macau with PokerStars.tv hostess Sarah Grant (who apparently is pretty big in Macau):

Heath "TassieDevil" Chick is a Freelance Contributor for the PokerStars Blog.

Heath
@PokerStars in ACOP