ACOP Main Event: Ferrera in front on Day 1a
The side events were out of the way and the stage was set for the big one. The Asia Championship of Poker (ACOP) HK$100,000 Main Event had arrived as a field of 93 players came together for Day 1a to set things well on track to eclipse the advertised prize pool guarantee of HK$20 million.
It was a star-studded affair with the field a fantastic mix of highly-credentialed players, some unique poker personalities and some rising poker talent.
With 10 WSOP bracelets, Johnny Chan was the highest profile player in the room but he wasn't the only man with a bracelet here. Aaron Lim and Jarred Graham added some gold to their wrist this year and they found themselves seated next to each other today to create an interesting early dynamic. Other notables in the field included Tom Rafferty, Didier Guerin, Jordan Westmorland, Terry Fan, Juicy Li, Tom Alner, Jonathan Karamalikis, Michael Guttman, Michael Kanaan, WSOP $1M One Drop participant Paul Newey, former WSOP November Niner Ben Lamb, and four members of Team PokerStars - Bryan Huang, Vivian Im, Eugene Katchalov and Naoya Kihara.
It was only a short day on the felt, with just four 90-minute levels played before the bags were sealed. That was enough time to lose a few notable players include 2012 Asia Player of Year Yosuke Sekiya, Kenny Wong, Tetsuya Tsuchikawa, Juicy Li and Julius Colman. We also lost Johnny Chan in the dying moments of the day when his ace-king failed to improve enough to better an opponent's pocket queens.
A total of 77 players bagged up their chips at the end of four levels. Aidan Tam (102,325), Ping Chan (94,550) and David Matrirosyn (77,675) were prominent throughout the day, but it Keith Ferrera who emerged as the end-of-day chip leader with 117,825. The American has 11 WSOP cashes to his credit, so we're sure he'll put those chips to good use on Day 2.
Other notables to survive include Ben Lamb (74,425), Eugene Katchalov (49,325), Jonathan Karamalikis (49,150), Naoya Kihara (38,875), Tom Alner (38,325), Vivian Im (36,900) and Bryan Huang (23,500).
Stay tuned to the Live Updates section of the site for the full official counts of the Day 1a survivors.
That concludes our day here in Macau - short and sweet, just the way we like it. Whether you're off to dinner, a night club, or perhaps hitting the brand new PokerPro cash game tables, we hope you have a great night and we'll see you again at 3pm (GMT+8) tomorrow for Day 1b of the ACOP Main Event!
Heath "TassieDevil" Chick is a Freelance Contributor for the PokerStars Blog.