Lisawad lands PokerStars Championship Macau lead on Day 2

Another day, another six levels in the books, and Day 2 of the PSC Macau Main Event is officially done and dusted. Late registration was still open for the first two levels of play today and we saw 26 players make the most of that opportunity. They joined the 344 Day 2 qualifiers from the two opening flights to bring us up to 370 who were among the action today.

Eight hours later that field had been whittled down to just a fraction of what it once was and Pakinai Lisawad had solidified himself as the end-of-day chip boss. Lisawad got going early in the day by making two pair against 2015 APPT Macau champion Tony Cheng to send him packing. That hand took Lisawad up to 240,000 in chips and he managed to spin that up even further to finally bag up 301,200.

PSC Macau Pakinai Lisawad.jpg

Leading the way - Pakinai Lisawad

While Lisawad had a stellar day at the felt, unfortunately for others it was a different story. India's Team PokerStars Pro Aditya Agarwal was one of many who fell by the wayside. Agarwal got the last of it in good with pocket kings but couldn't hold against a tablemate's ace jack. Joining him on the rail was Kelvin Beattie who lost a flip with ace king suited versus pocket eights when he failed to improve.

PSC Macau Aditya Agarwal.jpg

Aditya Agarwal before the kings that cost him

With the tournament being locked out today we also have the prize pool information at our disposal. Ultimately the Main Event attracted 536 runners and generated HK$20,796,800 to play for. Of that it'll be HK$3,130,000 (~US$403,000) being awarded to the eventual winner and 103 lucky players locking up at least HK$62,500. Take a look at the full payout schedule.

Returning tomorrow to have a run at their share of this impressive prize pool will be Yan Li (241,700), Sergio Aido (197,200), Sofia Lovgren (132,900), Kahle Burns (119,300) and David Peters (35,900) just to name a few.

We'll have the full end-of-Day-2 chip counts on the chip-count page for you as soon as they're available, as well as the Day 3 seat draw.

For now though it's off to Pacha at Studio City for the PSC Macau Player Party. Whether players will be consoling themselves after some tough beats, or celebrating having survived to Day 3, we're sure the drinks will be flowing and it'll be a good time for all.

We'll be back tomorrow from 12pm local time to do it all again. Be sure to join us for all your live coverage needs right here at the PokerStars Blog!

Day 2 live coverage archive:

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10:10pm: Bagging
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Bagging is now under way as Level 12 is over. We'll have stacks and a wrap with you soon.

10pm: Loeser wins!
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

It was a fortunate turn of affairs for the unfortunately named Manig Loeser, who won an all-in just a few moments ago.

To cut a long story short he shoved with A♣A♠ in late position and was called by Hao Su's Q♥Q♣ directly to his left. The board ran clean and doubled up.

He's now hovering around the 75,000 mark with only a few hands left to play. -- DJ

9:55pm: Tevis secures the double KO
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Just before the clock is paused for the end of the night, Vitaly Tevis has knocked out two opponents and increased his stack significantly.

Miguel Pentima shoved on the button, only for Zhun Zhong to reshove out of the small blind. Tevis then woke up with ace-queen in the big blind with the bigger stack, and called to put them both at risk.

Both Pentima and Zhong shared the same hand - ace-eight off suit - and therefore only had two outs left in the deck to save them. However, the board ran out safely for Tevis, who got the double KO and shoots up to 110,000. --JS

9:50pm: Do not advance to Day 3
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

It's a case of the last level blues for Abbas Moradi, Vladimir Shabalin, Yuanchao Li, Jiaxiu Liu, Kanghua Dong, David Bonham, Dmitrii Afonichev, Fernando Brito, Fei Han, Gaelle Baumann and Anthony Diotte as they've all been eliminated. --NW

9:45pm: Order restored
Level 12 - Blinds: 1,000-2,000 (ante 300)

Sometimes hands are brief. Others take up three pages in a notebook. Like this one. Although to be honest, I'm still not entirely sure I have any clue what happened.

Regardless it took 10 minutes to play out, most of which was in dialogue.

It came about with the board already dealt to the turn K♦9♦K♠2♠ and two players, Vitaly Tevis and Albert Paik, still in the hand.

Then the confusion started. With the action not quite complete on the turn, the dealer prepared to deliver the river and Tevis said he saw it. He was in Seat 9 and had glimpsed the card even though he hadn't acted, and admitted as much. He then said he wanted to bet 16,000 but the dealer--who had maybe been a little hasty in preparing to deal the river--told him he could only check.


Vitaly Tevis states his case

The brought the tournament staff over to the table and their level-headedness saved the day. Players at the table said the solution was "shuffle, no burn" but the issue was over Tevis's bet (or check).

Here's a few bits I heard...

Tevis: "If you shuffle, I don't say check."

"I just want to make Day 2 (he meant Day 3). More talking, less playing!" - Pakinai Lisawad (not in the hand, but enjoying the hell out of it).

Paik: "(Silence)."

Anon: "Why you confuse everybody?"

"Did you get your sandwich?" Ping Chan (irrelevant, but you write down everything in these situations)

"I want to see a showdown! I want to see a showdown!" Lisawad again. He was told to shut up.

Tournament staff decided that the deck had to be shuffled and the hand finally played out. Tevis's bet of 16,000 stood, Paik called it and the river card was dealt 6♦. It was checked, and Paik won the pot with J♣J♦.


Tournament staff level headed in the chaos

Credit to the floor staff who restored order and tranquility without the need for a bucket of water. Oh, and Lisawad will likely see Day 3. - SB

9:40pm: Badzia ous i
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Mikita, a high roller poker player from Belarus, doesn't like the letter 'K'. Trouble is, there are two of them in his surname.

"No K-K!" he said, after shoving all-in for 20,000 in middle position. His comments were aimed at his fellow high roller Dan Smith, who was on the button. Smith peeked at his cards, shook his head, and tossed them away. Everyone else folded too.

But for you to know who I'm talking about, I'm going to have to reintroduce the K-K to this young man's surname.

Of course it's Mikita Badziakouski, the man who only a couple of weeks ago beat Tom Dwan heads-up here in Macau for $420,255.

He's having a tough time of it today though, hovering with just 23,000 now. Dan Smith meanwhile has been quietly grinding a short stack all day and is now up to 65,500. --JS

9:35pm: A lot of tanking
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

This hand lasted longer than 10 minutes, nine of which Nerijus Luksa spent in the tank on the flop. He'd raised to 4,500 from the small blind only for Roman Koronev to three-bet to 13,400 from the big blind. Tank, then call.

The flop fell 2♣8♥9♣ and Luksa led for 12,800 from his stack of around 50,000. Koronev thought for a short time and then he moved all-in. His shove was for around 45,000 (Luksa never asked for a count).

This is where the tanking began, after around eight minutes tank time an opponent at the table called the clock and Luksa mucked with about six seconds left on the countdown. --NW

9:30pm: Chip counts
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

As we enter the last hour of the day here are how some of the most recognisable players in the field stack up:

Kiryl Radzivonau - 247,000
Fabrice Soulier - 235,000
Sergio Aido - 168,000
Kahle Burns - 140,000
Sofia Lovgren - 140,000
Yao Meng - 127,000
Morten Mortensen - 126,000
Sergey Lebedev - 123,000
Michael Egan - 115,000
Elliot Smith - 108,000
James Chen - 94,000
Aymon Hata - 83,000
Artem Metalidi - 82,000
Stevan Chew - 81,000
Roman Korenev - 71,000
Michel Abecassis - 70,000
David Peters - 67,000
Mikita Badziakouski - 57,000
Georgios Zisimopoulos - 48,000
Manig Loeser - 46,000
Angelina Rich - 44,000
Dan Smith - 38,000
Gaelle Baumann - 36,000
Vasilios Argyros - 21,000

9:25pm: No beauty for the Van Beest
Level 12 - Blinds 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

You know when people run to catch a bus, miss it, and then transform that run into a subtle jog followed by a brisk walk, in order to try and save some face? Poor old Geoffrey Van Beest from the Netherlands just performed the poker equivalent.

The hand started with a 4,200 open from Wellhang Chan which Van Beest called in the hijack. Hao Su then three-bet squeezed up to 13,100 from the cutoff and it folded to Van Beest who called.

The flop came K♣4♣7♠ and Van Beest checked it, putting his hand on his head like he was in despair. He only had 31,000 behind after all. But Su checked too.

The turn was then the K♠, pairing the board, and Van Beest checked his cards then checked again, with head in hand. This time Su led for 11,000, only for Van Beest to instantly shove for the aforementioned 31,000. Su snap-called.

Van Beest - 4♠4♥
Su - Q♥Q♠

Van Beest had sucked out on Su's bigger pocket pair, and had then turned a full house. Van Beest shot out of his chair and not only fist-pumped but body-pumped in celebration.

But he celebrated too soon. The K♥ arrived out of nowhere to counterfeit his boat and give Su a better one, kings full of queens. The whole table murmured with shock, but to be fair Van Beest handled it well, shaking hands with everyone and taking a photo of his bad beat for his books.

The Van Beest then strolled off into the night, to look for beauty elsewhere.

Meanwhile, Su stacked up his new chips and sits with 142,000 now. --JS

9:15pm: If at first you don't succeed
Level 12 - Blinds: 1,000-2,000 (ante 300)

Dan Smith seemed pretty fed up with having just 15,000 chips to his name, so when ace-king came along it was time to shove and hope for improvement. He did, and got a caller too, but they also had ace-king, which ruined everything.

So on the next hand, when Kanghua Dong shoved on the button, Smith, on the small blind, counted up his stack and tried again, this time having found 3♣3♦.


Dan Smith: Grinding away

Dong turned up A♣4♦ and the pair of them watched the board land Q♦5♣K♦Q♥2♠.

Dong graciously tapped the table as the dealer gave him back 10,000 in change. Smith meanwhile bounces back to nearly 40,000. - SB

9:10pm: Peters gets one through
Level 11 - Blinds: 800-1,600 (ante 200)

David Peters is against the ropes, but staying true to the Muhammad Ali t-shirt he's sporting by battling on. He just got an important one through against Jingjun Shen.

It came following an UTG limp from Shen and a raise to 3,600 on the button from Peters.

The flop was the 9♠6♦Q♥ which Shen quickly checked. Peters continued with the same bet he'd made pre-flop of 3,600. The Q♠ turn slowed the action with two checks.

On the 8♣ river, Shen took the lead with a 9,000 bet. Peters thought for a while, before announcing all-in. It wasn't a snap call from Shen, who bided his time before eventually deciding to fold.

It means that Peters adds some vital chips to his stack and is now back up to around 52,000. -- DJ

9:05pm: Egan again
Level 11 - Blinds: 800-1,600 (ante 200)

Michael Egan won one, and then lost one, but he's still up to about 144,000.

In the first he was all-in for around 82,000 with ace-king, which did well against Morten Mortensen's ace-jack on a board of 9♠Q♠7♣9♥4♥ (which left Mortensen with 115,000). Then Egan, still busy stacking his new chips, played the next hand against Shyngis Satubayev of Kazakhstan.

Satubayev opened, betting 3,500 under the gun, which Egan called, as did the big blind. On the flop of 8♦A♣6♦ Satubayev bet 3,500 again, which Egan alone called for a J♣ turn card. Another bet from Satubayev, 12,500 this time, and another call, taking things to the river card 5♥.

Now Satubayev moved all-in, for around 36,000 total. Egan said, "Hmm," but didn't waste anyone's time thinking unnecessarily. He folded. - SB

9pm: The Poker Gods giveth, and the Poker Gods taketh away
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Poker is a cruel game sometimes, and Fernando Brito can attest to that after just receiving a stern reminder.

He was all-in, at risk, and dominated - not exactly where you want to be in a tournament. His A♣Q♦ was in dire straits versus A♠K♠, that was until a queen arrived on the turn to see Brito take the lead. The board read 2♦5♦J♥Q♠ and he looked good for a double up to stay alive.

Just as quick as Brito had taken the lead, however, he lost it when the T♦ river rolled off and his opponent made a Broadway straight.


Fernando Brito: Everything's going great...Oh

"Oh no!" Brito cried in defeat, before saying his goodbyes and leaving us here in the penultimate level of the day. -- BK

8:55pm: Paik's run at the top comes to a quick end
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Albert Paik was very close to the chip lead for around half an hour or so, but he's doubled up Ping San Chan in a huge pot.

It started with an open to 3,500 from Vitaly Tevis which Chan flat called in the hijack. Over to Paik on the button, he three-bet squeezed up to 11,000, which shook off Tevis but got a call from Chan.

The two then saw a T♣J♥2♠ flop, and as you'd expect, Chan checked. Paik continued for 13,500, only for Chan to raise to 40,000. Paik took a good look at the rest of Chan's chips (he had 84,400 in total) and announced all-in. Chan called quickly.

Paik - A♠A♦
Chan - J♠T♠

A perfect flop for Chan had sent him in the lead and on the verge of cracking aces. The turn was the 3♦ meaning any three, deuce or ace would eliminate him, but the 4♦ river changed nothing.

Paik couldn't believe it, leaning back in his chair to let out a big sigh and even getting his phone out and taking a photo of the hand's aftermath while Chan's chips were being counted.

Chan is up to around 200,000 now, while Paik drops to 177,000. --JS

8:50pm: On their way home
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

We're down to 189 runners now in the Main Event and with the top 103 getting paid we're still someway off the money places. However, for the likes of Jack Salter, Daniel Dvoress, Minggeng Bo, Stefan Grunewald, Tim Lowe, Terence Reardon, Vladas Tamasauskas, Ali Reza Fatehi, Yu Liang, Guodong Sun and Chadi Moustapha their Main Event is over. -NW

8:45pm: Luk gets lucky
Level 11 - Blinds: 800-1,600 (ante 200)

After Kwon Lai opened, Tim Luk moved all-in for his remaining 16,200 chips.

Lai called, with a hint of reluctance - but it hardly made a dent in his stack of 100,000.

Luk flipped over A♦6♦ and was happy to be facing J♣7♣. His cards held on the K♥2♥K♠K♣3♠ board which finds him back up to the day's starting stack. Lucky in this case, but still around 60 away from the money. --DJ

8:35pm: Sun rising
Level 11 - Blinds: 800-1,600 (ante 200)

Liwei Sun just disposed of Kunal Patni to build his chip stack up to 135,000. Sun opened to 3,500 and when it folded around to Patni in the big blind he three-bet to 11,700. Sun pushed back over the top to cover Patni's 30,000 behind and Patni called it off to put himself at risk.

"Do you have a pair?" Sun asked Patni, who quickly revealed that he didn't.

Sun: 6♣6♦
Patni: A♠K♠

It was a fair fight but Patni failed to catch up when the board ran out T♦9♣4♣2♥4♦. He headed for the exit as the pot was pushed Sun's way. -- BK

8:33pm: Man with aces wins pot I didn't see
Level 11 - Blinds: 800-1,600 (ante 200)

I'm not proud of this, but everything recounted below took place as I stood with my back to it, watching another table, and trying to work out whether the glasses being worn by a dealer actually had lenses in them. Which is ironic really, given that I do wear glasses with lenses, and yet I missed everything.

What I did see, and can say on oath, is that it was a three-way all in featuring aces, kings and jacks, and that the aces won.

I can also say that Chadi Moustapha had the kings, and Dong Kim had the jacks, and that both are now on their way to the rail. Finally, I can say with cast iron 60 per cent certainty that it was Chien Chou who had the aces. - SB

8:30pm: No fruit in sight for Li, but chips a-plenty
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

If there's one thing clear about Yan Li's style of play it's that she's aggressive.

I arrived to see the magical-fruit lady in action on a flop of 5♦2♦4♥ and about 20,000 chips in the pot already.

She was heads up in late position against an under-the-gun Andrew Hinrichsen and led out on the turn with a 15,000 bet. Pricey, but Hinrichsen came along. The turn was Q♥ which Li bombed once again - this time betting 30,000 chips.


Yan Li

Hinrichsen paused for a while to consider his options before eventually folding. -- DJ

8:25pm: Paik nears the chip lead
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

We first got to know the ever-masked Albert Paik when he took down the APPT Main Event in Seoul last year. Since then, he's also had a deep tournament run here in Macau, and he's set for another one this week.

Right now he is near to the chip lead with 293,000. We don't know how he got all those chips, but we do know there's plenty of potential for his stack to get even bigger as he's sat right next to former chip leader Pakinai Lisawad, who now has 253,000. --JS


Albert Paik: Up at the top

8:20pm: River means Law's race is run
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

A short-stacked Chun Ho Law was all-in and at risk with Q♣5♣ and looking to get there against Hongjun Zhao's A♣K♦. The 7♠T♠Q♥ flop gave him the lead and he held onto it on the 3♣ turn. But - there's always a but isn't there? - the river was the K♥ and Law was eliminated. --NW

8:15pm: Not a lot for Waterlot
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Geoffrey Waterlot limped under the gun and it folded to the button of Han Yu. He bumped it up to 5,000, and when the blinds got out of the way Waterlot called.

The two saw a 4♠J♣Q♥ flop, and Waterlot opted to lead out on this board for 5,000. Back to Yu, he then instantly raised it to 11,000. Waterlot only took about five seconds to fold, showing the 4♣ for third pair as he did so. This prompted Yu to show the Q♠ as he raked in the chips.

It's a friendly game here in Macau. Waterlot has 106,000 now, while Yu is playing 112,000. --JS

8:10pm: Bad hand doing good
Level 11 - Blinds: 800-1,600 (ante 200)

There was a flop of T♠J♠8♣ and four players with a stake in what happened next.

Gaelle Baumann checked, so did Zihan Cong and Sergey Lebedev. Jingxuan Zhu, on the button, figured he might as well do something, so he bet 8,400, forcing folds from Baumann and Cong, and a call from Lebedev.

The turn was the 6♦ which was checked for a 3♥ river card.

This time Lebedev figured he would have a crack at things and bet 15,000. Zhu wasn't easily put off and called, throwing in a single chip and turning over T♥8♥. Two pairs, which easily defeated Lebedev's K♣Q♣ busted straight draw. - SB

8:05pm: Shin's stack shining bright
Level 11 - Blinds: 800-1,600 (ante 200)

Hyoseob Shin has just emerged as one of the frontrunners after scooping a huge three-way all-in to rocket up the chip counts.

It was Bernard Vu from an adjacent table who notified us of the action just in time to catch the tail end of it. We didn't even manage to see who had the two losing hands, but with the board showing 4♥3♦5♥Q♠Q♣ the face-up 6♣4♣ (flopped pair and open ended straight draw) and the 6♥3♥ (flopped pair and open ended straight flush draw) had failed to beat Shin's K♥K♦.


Hyoseob Shin is in there somewhere

Shin jumped up to a monstrous 330,000 worth of chips, and will probably spend the next 10 minutes attempting to stack them. -- BK

8pm: Lovgren scoops a bunch
Level 11 - Blinds: 800-1,600 (ante 200)

I arrived to see T♥Q♥J♠ on the flop and a pot of around 18,000 having already been built pre-flop.

The players battling for it were Swedish pro Sofia Lovgren who faced Leo Cheng heads-up.

Following a check from Cheng in the small blind, Lovgren continued with a 8,500 bet.

After taking a while to consider, Cheng raised to 25,000 - about a third of his stack. Lovgren took just as much time before asking for a count. Eventually she announced all-in for around 50,000 more. It was enough to cover Cheng.

Cheng let out a tut before eventually folding.


Leo Cheng: The tut fold

Lovgren scooped the 50,000 pot which puts her in good standing among the remaining players here in Macau as she goes back over the 100,000 mark. --DJ

7:55pm: No way!
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Yes way!

A three-way pre-flop all-in developed between Andrew Hinrichsen, Kunal Patni, Soichiro Kojiya. Patni was all-in for about 16,000, Kojiya had roughly 25,000 and Hinrichsen had them both covered. Their holdings were:

Hinrichsen: 9♥8♥
Kojiya: A♦K♠
Patni: T♥Td]

The 6♥7♥J♦ flop brought a few "Wows" from other players at the table as Hinrichsen flopped an open-ended straight flush draw. The 3♦ turn meant that Patni had to dodge a combined 17 outs to survive. The river was the 4♠ and it meant not only did Patni survived, but that Kojiya won the side pot. So, after all that drama no one was eliminated. --NW

7:50pm: Zisimopoulos claws a little back thanks to Barry Greenstein
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Earlier on, Georgios Zisimopoulos was riding high with a stack of 150K-plus. He's taken a few hits since then, but just pulled in a 40K-plus pot to ease the pain.

Asker Aloev opened under the gun, taking about a minute or two to do so. It then folded to Zisimopoulos in middle position and he three-bet to 10,500, which got folds all the way back to Aloev. He jammed for 20,000 total, and Zisimopoulos snap-called.

Aloev - Q♥Q♦
Zisimopoulos - A♦Q♣

Only three cards in the deck could win it for Zisimopoulos and eliminate Aloev, and none were present on the 5♦2♦7♠ flop nor the 6♥ turn.


Georgios Zisimopoulos: The Greek Greenstein

But then Barry Greenstein arrived. I don't mean the person, but the Barry Greenstein. Y'know how ten-deuce is called the Doyle Brunson? Well, Greenstein wrote a popular poker book. The title? Ace on the River.

The A♣ on fifth street busted Aloev, and brought Zisimopoulos up to 69,000. --JS

7:45pm: Always the optimist
Level 11 - Blinds: 800-1,600 (ante 200)

We arrived at the table to see Jack Salter all-in and at risk for his tournament life with the worst of it.

Salter: K♣T♣
Miguel Cieri Di Pentima: A♣7♦

"I think the jack of clubs will make a straight for me," predicted Salter, who was seemingly unfazed about being behind.

While his premonition proved wrong, Salter's optimism was on the money, as he caught up when the cards landed T♦8♥8♦Q♠3♥.

"Nice call though," Salter conceded, but one would imagine Di Pentima would've preferred the pot than a compliment.

Salter swings up to 43,000 while Di Pentima still has him outdone with 47,000. -- BK

7:38pm: Two more levels
Level 10 - Blinds: 800-1,600 (ante 200)

Two more levels and then we're done for the night. Away you go folks, all 207 of you left. If 104 more players are knocked out, we're in the money. (That seems unlikely tonight, but a certainty tomorrow.)-- HS

7:25pm: Break time

It's the last 15-minute break of the day. We'll be back in 900 seconds. --JS

7:24pm: Yap done
Level 10 - Blinds: 600-1,200 (ante 200)

Wayne Yap is having a longer break than his opponents. He can take as long as he likes. The Super High Roller player was eliminated on the final hand of Level 10 by Aslan Esenkulov.

There was about 33,000 in the pot and four cards out. The board was 5♣2♥9♥A♦. Esenkulov shoved for more than the 30,000 (approximately) that Yap had in his stack. After a long time to think about it, Yap called but his Q♠9♠ was behind Esenkulov's A♠Q♣.

The A♣ on the river didn't help things for Yap. He heads away, but it's a splendid resurgence from Esenkulov. He was reported out yesterday, erroneously as it now turns out. Aslan resurrected. Someone call the estate of C.S. Lewis. --HS

7:23pm: You had what?
Level 10 - Blinds: 600-1,200 (ante 200)

The seat next to Yao Meng on table 14 is not a comfortable one. A short while ago Kitty Kuo was eliminated from it, and now Lap Chan has suffered the same fate.

On a board of 3♠8♠T♣J♦3♥ he was all-in, and waiting for Ryan Yu to scare off another caller with a river card bet. When he did Yu showed 7♥9♠ to beat Chan's T♠8♦, which he wasn't all that happy about. Surprise all around. Yu meanwhile moves up to 60,000. --SB

7:22pm: To the aggressor go the spoils
Level 10 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

Sai Wu certainly isn't afraid of action. She just eliminated Zhenru Xie in a somewhat unorthodox spot after a four-bet shove preflop.

Wu initially opened to 2,700 and after she picked up two callers, Xie squeezed to 7,700 from the cutoff. It folded back around to Wu and she snap-shoved for 38,000. The two callers gave it up but Xie had a bit of a conundrum on his hands.

Despite the decision being for Xie's tournament life, tablemate Sergey Lebedev called the clock in less than two minutes, and Xie was given just one more minute to act. With under 15 seconds before his hand was dead Xie made the call and probably didn't expect to see the hand that Wu showed up with.

Xie: A♥J♠
Wu: 8♥6♥

Xie had the lead but he fell behind on the K♠8♣T♣ flop. Still with plenty of outs to retake the lead he simply couldn't do it as the 9♦ turn and 6♣ river sealed his fate.

"Yes!" cried Wu, before following up with "sorry, sorry."

Xie took the beat like a consummate professional and wished the table luck as Wu scooped the last of Xie's chips to move up to 80,000. --BK

7:20pm: Ko on the up
Level 10 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

Yuki Ko is up to 230,000 after winning a pot against Dan Smith. I only caught the river action live but with a 3♣7♣6♣K♠5♣ board on the felt Ko bet 20,500 into a pot of roughly 48,000. Smith tanked for a while and then called. Ko flipped over K♣T♥ and Smith ruefully mucked. He's down to 45,000 as a result. --NW

7:15pm: Malzanini races well
Level 10 - Blinds: 600-1,200 (ante 200)

Lan Man Yuen open-pushed for about 35,000 and it was pretty bad news when Julius Malzanini didn't bother asking for a count before he called.

Malzanini already had a stack of more than 120,000 and clearly had good enough cards to risk losing a quarter of it. Everyone else folded and we were about to find out.

Yuen: 3♥3♦
Malzanini: A♥K♣

Yeah, that figures--although it was still a race.

It didn't last long. The dealer put the A♠J♥T♣ on the felt, then the K♥ then the 4♦. That was the end of Yuen, but he got a fist bump from Malzanini before he headed away.

Malzanini now has around 165,000. --HS

7:10pm: Chewed up
Level 10 - Blinds: 600-1,200 (ante 200)

Stevan Chew bet 3,000 on a 8♠3♥T♠ flop, which Frederick Farrington had check-called for a 4♦ turn card. Farrington checked again and Chew bet again, 12,500 this time. Once more Farrington called.

Now the 2♣ river card. Another check from Farrington. Chew acted decisively and moved all in, for something like 60,000, easily covering Farrington, who now took several minutes to decide. He stood, he leaned, he stared intently at the board, and he stroked his beard. Sitting down again he finally flicked his cards away, exhaling for the first time in six or seven minutes.

Chew up to 95,000. --SB

7:05pm: All shoves on the short-stacked table
Level 10 - Blinds: 600-1,200 (ante 200)

It's funny - you walk past some tables and can barely see some players over the mounds of chips in front of them. Then you walk past others and it's just a battle to stay alive.

This turned out to be a case on a table I was witnessing the action on just a few moments ago, where the average stack among the forlorn-looking players was around 30,000 chips.

I expected there to be some all-in's relatively sharpish - and there were. In fact, there were three in a row.

The first came following an open and a shove from Louis Lam for 16,500. It was flat called by Aymon Hata, who had a deep run in Monday's Super High Roller, and folded by the initial aggressor. Hata flipped over A♦K♠ and Lam J♣J♠. With a J♥ on the board, Lam survived the all-in with Hata still on a respectable 45,000.

The second all-in came from Tang who shoved his remaining 12 big-blinds in with pocket sixes. Unfortunately for him, Artem Metalidi woke up with pocket kings in the bid-blind, which left poor ol' Tang down to just 300 chips. He was forced all in the very next hand and hit the rail. --DJ

7pm: Kozlov, Latz and Salter among the fallers
Level 10 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

Fans of David Tang, Maksim Trofimov, Alessandro Massa, Valentin Apostol, Benjamin Philipps, Mauro Francolini, Zhao Hongjun, Ryan Yum, Phachara Wongwichit, Huai Hsun Ko, Thomas Nielsen, Adrien Attenborough, Chane Kampanatsanyakorn, Martin Kozlov, Hendrik Latz, Viktor Jensen, Jussi Nevanlinna and Louis Salter, look away now. They're all out. --NW

NEIL1390_Louis_Salter_PCM2017_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Salter's out

6:55pm: Huang cruising
Level 10 - Blinds: 600-1,200 (ante 200)

Bryan Huang is a popular figure in Asian card-rooms: good player, good guy. A priceless combination. He has around 80,000 chips to his name at this stage of proceedings, even though he's sitting to the direct right of Dan Smith and across the table from the big stack of Tao Fan.

Huang and Fan actually just played a small pot against one another, with Huang coming out on top. Huang opened to 2,500 from UTG+1 and Dmytro Denysenko called in the hijack, followed by Fan in the cutoff.


Bryan Huang

Three of them looked at the dealer deposit the A♠6♣8♥ on the table.

Huang led out for 4,500 and only Fan called, from a stack of around 150,000.

The Q♦ came on the turn and Huang bet 9,500. That was too much for Fan, who folded.

Huang actually raised the next pot too, making it 2,800 from under the gun and picking up blinds and antes when it folded around. --HS

6:50pm: Chua on the chopping block
Level 10 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

Ying Lin Chua hoisted the Red Dragon trophy and scored himself HK$1,904,000 here in Macau last year, but he won't be booking another deep run in this PSC Main Event.

Chua got his last 26,300 all in preflop with big slick but couldn't rundown the ladies in Konstantin Pogodin's hand.

Chua: A♥K♠
Pogodin: Q♠Q♦

Chua shook his head at the queen in the window on the 5♦4♣Q♥ flop, and while the J♥ turn gave him a glimmer of hope with a gutshot Broadway straight draw, the 6♣ river bricked off to send Chua hurtling to the rail.


Konstantin Pogodin: Ever upward

Pogodin, however, he now has an impressive 145,000 in play. --BK

6:47pm: Kitty's roar
Level 10 - Blinds: 600-1,200 (ante 200)

A raise from 2,400 in the cut off from Yao Meng was dealt with in short order by Kitty Kuo in the seat next to her.

Kuo threw in her all-in raise into the middle almost with contempt. Had it been permitted (without threat of a penalty, or worse) one suspects Kuo would have thrown the raise in everyone's face, just to drive her point home.

In any case, her opponents got the message. Everyone quickly folded. --SB

NEIL0154_Kitty_Kuo_PCP2017_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Don't mess with Kuo

6:45pm: Deyra dents Rann
Level 10 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

The action up to the river is unknown but it was James Rann and Ivan Deyra who were heads-up. A 9♣8♦8♠2♣J♣ board was on the felt and Rann had bet 8,000 into a pot of around 14,000. Deyra had then check-raised to 26,500 total and Rann was in the tank.

He stayed there for so long that the clock was called. It wasn't called by any one individual, more by consortium, but James Chen and Vasilios Argyros were among those who felt that the time Rann had taken over the decision justified putting him on the clock. As the time ticked down Rann made the call but soon wished he hadn't. Deyra showed 9♠9♦ for a flopped full house and Rann mucked.

That pot moves Deyra up to 145,000 and drops Rann down to 72,000. --NW

6:40pm: Min loss for Minh Nguyen
Level 10 - Blinds: 600-1,200 (ante 200)

Tommy Bech opened to 1,200 from mid-position and Hau Minh Nguyen three-bet to 3,700 from the hijack, one seat to Bech's left. Bech didn't feel like giving up yet and called.

The two of them were left alone to a flop of 8♠3♥T♠ and Bech checked. Nguyen bet 3,500 and Bech called.

The turn was the J♠ and Bech checked. Nguyen bet 7,000. Bech called from a stack of about 25,000.

The river was the 8♥ and Bech checked again. This time Nguyen checked behind and Bech tabled his 7♣7♠. Nguyen mucked.

This hand isn't spectacular. But it's just something about poker players called Minh Nguyen that I like. Until we can persuade this man to play poker, it'll have to do. --HS

6:38pm: Imbrass confident of a... ah, no wait...
Level 9 - Blinds: 500-1,000 (ante 100)

Marius Imbrass was standing up. This was his big moment. He was all-in and waiting for others to determine his fate. He seemed confident though. This standing would be temporary, and he'd be back in the game in no time.

Well, not exactly.

Two players called his all-in of 14,300, including Zigao Yu, who chased out the other caller - Miguel Di Pentima - by threatening to bet the A♠9♠9♦ flop.

While those two played their game Imbrass had whispered something to someone next to him. He'd found K♦K♥ and, like I said , seemed confident, right up to the point that Yu showed his cards - A♣K♣.

That left Imbrass chasing a miracle, one that didn't come on either the 3♦ turn or Q♦ river. Imbrass said something that sounded a lot like "duck", and made his way to the rail. --SB

6:35pm: Frederik Farrington firing up
Level 10 - Blinds: 600-1,200 (ante 200)

Frederik Farrington has raked in some newly found chips after his value shove on the river was paid off by Daniel Bourdon.

With the board reading 6♠5♦A♦Q♥2♥ Bourdon checked from the big blind over to Farrington who pushed for his final 16,400. Bourdon didn't look amused but after giving it some thought he slid a single 5,000-chip into the pot to denote a call.

Bourdon immediately tabled A♥8♣ as he called but Farrington had that beat with A♠Q♠ for top two pair. Despite the setback Bourdon still has 41,000 in chips, meanwhile, Farrington shoots up to 63,000. --BK

6:33pm: Prizes, prizes, prizes!
Level 10 - Blinds: 600-1,200 (ante 200)

Tournament officials have just announced details of the prize pool to players on the tournament floor.

There were 536 entries, of whom 103 will be paid a share of the HK$20,796,800 prize-pool. The min-cash is $62,500. The winner will get $3.13 million, which is about US$403,000. --HS

6:32pm: Making new friends
Level 10 - Blinds: 600-1,200 (ante 200)

It's all smiles here on the felt in Macau as we're deep into Day 2 and players are settled on their tables. A few are even making friends with their fellow-table mates, as I found out earlier when I passed table 5.

"Do you want to swap 1%?" I overheard 2016 Red Dragon Event winner Ying Lin Chua ask tablemate Robert Piltz.

"Yeah, I'll swap 1%" laughed Piltz, as they handed over each-others players numbers for verification and to seal the deal.

The pair are both short-stacked but clearly hopeful to make the cash, having been chatting throughout the day.

On walking past the table a short while later I was surprised to see Piltz all-in for the rest of his 18,200 chips against an open from Chua.

Oh no! Could this be the end of a beautiful new friendship!?

After tanking for a while, Chua open folded A♦K♦ before tapping the table.

"You have any better?" asked Chua. Piltz did a side-to-side shake to indicate an unconvincing 'perhaps'.

It caused an uproar of laughter from the table and both players, as play continues into the day. --DJ

6:30pm: Fun house
Level 10 - Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

There was nothing fun about this hand for Fei Han. He was put through the wringer and came oh so close to making what would've been the 'correct' call.

It was Alex Ward who was first into the pot, he bet 2,200, Corey Hochman called on the button and Han came along from the big blind. On the 3♦4♥5♠ flop Ward c-bet 3,300 and both opponents called. The 5♥ turn paired the board and the action checked round. The 5♣ river now bought full house possibilities into play and the action was checked to Hochman. The American player bet 10,100 and this is where the pain began for Han.

He thought for a while and at various points it looked like a raise was coming, then a fold and then he peeled the 10,100 from his stack and placed it in front of his cards. It appeared as if he'd settled on a call, but then he reluctantly folded his hand. He did it one card at a time using just his thumb and Ward had actually finished folding himself by the time Han's second card crossed the line. Hochman couldn't help himself and showed 8♦2♦ for complete air. Han threw his arms in the air in frustration, he indicated he'd hit the three and would've called if he didn't have Ward to act behind him. --NW

6:25pm: Global appeal
Level 10 - Blinds: 600-1,200 (ante 200)

We all knew poker was popular around the world, but we didn't know how many parts of the world were represented in this Main Event until now. It's all represented in the pie chart below. --JS


6:20pm: High pitched celebrations
Level 10 - Blinds: 600-1,200 (ante 200)

It sounded like someone who had just managed to teach a small dog a trick after months of trying. It was a kind of high-pitched "Yes! Yes!" a eureka moment that might never have come. But now it had.

That's what it sounded like anyway. In reality it was Nino Franz, doubling up to more than 40,000 against Georgios Zisimopoulos and getting pretty excited about it. His ace-king had hit nothing on the 4♥7♣3♠5♣Q♦ board, but crucially neither had Zisimopoulos's J♣T♥.

Yes indeed. --SB

6:15pm: Lin cleans out the cleaners
Level 9 - Blinds: 500-1,000 (ante 100)

Chen An Lin opened to 2,200 from UTG+1 and picked up two callers: Beh Kok Weng in the small blind and Albert Paik in the big blind.

Weng is the man whose phone holder is fashioned after a bottle of cleaning product, while Paik is wearing a face-mask and could be mistaken for someone who works in the cleaning industry. They're quite an appropriate pairing.

The flop fell 3♥6♣9♣ and all three players checked.

The turn brought the 7♣ and Weng bet 3,800. Paik called but Lin raised to 13,900.

Weng thought long and hard before folding. Then Paik too took a while before letting his hand go. Lin thereby effectively wiped the surface clean of germs and can look forward to a sparkling future with about 110,000 chips. --HS

6:10pm: Allain all in and out
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Adrien Allain's tournament is no more after his light turn jam was picked off by 2016 APPT Seoul champion Albert Paik.

Paik button-raised to 2,200 preflop before Allain three-bet from the small blind to 7,500. Paik flicked in a call and players went to the 8♠T♥A♠ flop. Allain continued for 8,000 and Paik stuck around to see the 6♦ turn card.

Allain cut down his stack before announcing that he was all in. Paik was shaking his head as he pointed to the stack for a count and was told it'd be 46,100 to play. Paik didn't look happy about it but after some time in the tank he made a good call.

Allain: 8♦7♦
Paik: A♥J♥

Allain was behind and while he had a few outs the 4♥ river failed to save him. He leaves us as Paik climbs to 155,000 in chips. --BK

6:07pm: Lisawad extends chip lead
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Lisawad has a lot of yellow chips in front of him. With each representing 5,000 chips, it means he's doing pretty darn well today.

And we just saw him add even more to his stack just a few moments ago. Most of the action came pre-flop following an open from Pakinani Lisawad in early-position and a large 3-bet from Imad Deriche in late to 12,000.

Heads-up to the flop and action slowed down. Both players checked when the 6♥2♠J♥ hit the felt. The A♠ turn prompted another two checks. It wasn't until the T♦ river, that the action started again. Lisawad checked first, but this time Derwiche led for another 12,000.

And Lisawad called it off. Lisawad showed 2♥2♣ for a set of deuces and Deriche turned over 6♣8♣ for a pair. "Nice bluff-catch" quipped another table-mate.

Nice catch indeed, as Lisawad adds another 50,000 to his monster stack and now sits on an enormous 280,000 chips. --DJ

NEIL1331_Pakinai_Lisawad_PCM2017_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Lisawad's the leader

6:05pm: Weak fold
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Fabrice Soulier is having fun today. We suspect that might have something to do with his stack of 250,000. He just played a hand against, perhaps the only chattier/smiley player at the table than himself, the one and only Kitty Kuo.

It was a nothing pot really, Soulier opened to 2,400 and then folded to Kuo's three-bet. He showed A♥J♦ as he did so. "Weak fold," he said with a grin. --NW

6pm: Dvoress back in the saddle
Level 9 - Blinds: 500-1,000 (ante 100)

Of all the people who have stuck with the "posture saddles" available in all good personal improvement stores, Daniel Dvoress is the only one to have stuck with it. Granted, I've only ever seen two players use them. The other was George Danzer, who admitted that for every hour he improved his posture by sitting on one, he had to spend an hour getting a massage to smooth over the damage.

Dvorees on the other hand was undeterred, so much so that in the Super High Roller earlier this week his posture was magnificent, even though it was the first time we'd seen him without the "saddle" for some time.

All of which is a long way of saying that Dvoress is back in (on?) the saddle today. Oh, and he just tripled up.

He shoved for his last 9.500 in early position and watched Gaelle Baumann (button) and Sai Wu (big blind) call. Then he watched them check down a board of 4♦7♣T♣6♦7♦, all while holding 9♠8♠ which made him a straight on the turn.

Baumann's A♦J♠ couldn't beat that, neither could Wu's 3♣3♥. Dvoress smiled a little, so did Baumann. Dvoress well and truly back in the saddle, and up to around 35,000. --SB

5:57pm: Yu slumps and Soulier still soars
Level 9 - Blinds: 500-1,000 (ante 100)

Fabrice Soulier has continued his fine day and now has around 255,000 to his name. Ryan Yu, who was also a big stack on that table, is now down to about 20,000 though, so there's a good chance the stack-vs.-stack showdown predicted at 4:22pm may have come to pass. --HS

5:55pm: Tumbling fast
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

The format for Day 1 of the Main Event at PokeStars Championship events is eight levels on Day 1. Here that was pared back to six, so now that we've reached level nine it finally feels like Day 2. Well, we all know the start of a new day means a rash of exits and there's been plenty of those during this level.

Ike Haxton was seen vacating his chair - his cards were already in the muck so no details of his exit I'm afraid - however, he'd just ordered food and wanted to cancel the order as he was no longer in the tournament. Joining him on the rail - although probably not for dinner - are: Paphawin Laodee, Chunguang Zhang, Huu Nguyen, Zhiqiang Qian, Jian Zhang, Zhenyu Song, Asker Aloev, Liang Che, Wenwu Xue and Chun Wong. --NW

5:50pm: Big boost for Beattie
Level 9 - Blinds: 500-1,000 (ante 100)

We just witnessed some Australian on Australian crime here in Macau, and Martin Kozlov ended up the victim.

Kelvin Beattie raised to 2,300 under the gun and both Xiao Lin and Kozlov called from the button and big blind respectively. The flop was spread Q♦2♣A♦ and after a check from Kozlov, Beattie continued for 3,400.

Lin folded, Kozlov called, and the Q♣ turn card paired the board.

The action then went check-check before the 8♦ rolled off on the end. Kozlov checked a final time but Beattie decided the best play was to move all in for 16,100. He turned out to be right after Kozlov checked his cards, deliberated, checked his cards again, winced, took a good hard look at Beattie, and then ultimately called with an inferior hand.

Beattie tabled A♣Q♠ for what we can only assume was way the best of it to secure himself a double up. He now has a much healthier 48,000 while Kozlov is approaching the danger zone with just 8,500 left over. --BK

5:45pm: Cheng and the cappuccino conundrum: A short story
Level 9 - Blinds: 500-1,000 (ante 100)

I've a feeling this hand report is going to be long. Perhaps not as long as the hand actually took to play out, but longer than average. And it's not even because the hand itself was so dramatic. It was mainly because Jack Salter wanted to order a cappuccino and may as well have been asking for a mythical comestible, a never-ending gobstopper or a square sweet that looks round.

When it started, Salter wasn't even at the table. Pakinai Lisawad was, however, and he had a near chip-leading stack of about 200,000. Lisawad opened his button, making it 2,200 to go, and Yat Wai Cheng three-bet the big blind, putting 6,600 out there.

Lisawad called and the two of them saw a flop of T♦Q♣7♥.

At this point, Salter came to the table, clutching a rack of chips in his only good arm (he broke the other one in a motorcycle accident). He took a seat next to Lisawad and used the opportunity to call over a waitress to ask for a cappuccino.

The waitress quickly made it clear that she didn't speak English by running away.

Salter looked around quizzically, and hoped that another member of the waiting staff would come by. He checked with a table-mate to see if there was anyone who could speak both Chinese and English in a bid to get his drink the next time someone appeared. Someone volunteered linguistic assistance.

The original waitress then came back with an interpreter of her own and Salter again asked for a cappuccino. But the message still didn't quite get through, despite two interpreters, and Salter offered to write it down.

"I think you'll need to make it," another table-mate quipped.

As this small drama continued, Cheng bet 4,000 and Lisawad called. It brought the 2♠ on the turn.

The waitress's first interpreter was now writing something on a napkin and the waitress scooted off, looking for the cappuccino machine. Cheng checked and Lisawad bet 9,000. Cheng called.

The 3♦ fell on the river and Cheng checked again. Lisawad bet 55,000, which covered Cheng, and put him to a decision for his tournament life.

The waitress came back. She did not have a cappuccino, but she did have another member of the waiting staff with her, clutching a menu. The new waiter handed the menu to Salter, but Salter said, "I just want to order a cappuccino." The new waiter wrote it down, but then said, "We don't have cappuccino."

NEIL1377_Pakinai_Lisawad_Jack_Salter_PCM2017_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Lisawad and a cappucino-less Salter

As Salter discussed other coffee options, Cheng remained in the tank. He was clearly needing to give it a lot of thought. After a good three or four minutes, a security guard hopped over the rail and came over to Cheng. The security guard touched Cheng on the arm, breaking his concentration, and apparently relayed a message that seemed to be nothing more than, "We don't sell cappuccinos."

He had got the wrong guy and couldn't have picked a worse moment than to approach someone in the tank for their tournament life.

Cheng remained silent as Imad Derwiche took it upon himself to shoo away the security guard. Cheng then called and was shown two raggedy cards in Lisawad's hand, which had become at least two pair. (I didn't see this specifically, because they were quickly scooped up.)

Cheng's K♥Q♦ were not good enough and he heads out. Whether or not he'll be stopping for a cappuccino on the way is anyone's guess.

Lisawad now has at least 240,000 chips, however, which is currently good for the chip lead. --HS

5:40pm: Zisimopoulos going great
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Georgios Zisimopoulos is a familiar face at PokerStars events all over the world. He doesn't yet have a Macau flag to his name on his results database, but he's running up a mighty stack in the Main Event. He's currently playing 171,000 but it would've over 200,000 had he won the following pot.

Yohwan Lim was his opponent, and he opened from middle position. Zisimopoulos three-bet from the button and Lim then came back over the top. The four-bet was to 22,500 total and it was a price Zisimopoulos was willing to pay to see a flop.

That flop fell K♣6♠2♠ and Lim, who only had about 35,000 back, wagered 15,500. This sent Zisimopoulos into the think tank. He elected to fold and did so face-up, revealing he'd been holding pocket jacks. --NW

5:35pm: Pausing for thought, again and again
Level 9 - Blinds: 500-1,000 (ante 100)

He who hesitates... well, wins sometimes. As Canlin Chen just discovered.

Chen opened for 2,200, which Dmytro Denysenko of Ukraine called in the small blind. Or at least he thought he called. After a lengthy conversation, carried out almost entirely in sign language, Denysenko threw up the extra chips he'd missed the first time around. Tao Fan also called.

The flop: J♥5♠8♣

Denysenko checked, as did Fan. That allowed Chen to bet 2,700, which Denysenko wasted no time in calling. Fan meanwhile left them to it.

Now the turn card 5♥. Denysenko paused. Thinking his opponent didn't realise the action was on him, Chen gestured that he was first to act, to which Denysenko nodded like a man in deep meditation. Then he checked, which Chen did too.

They saw the river card 2♦. This time Denysenko came to life, betting 4,000. Chen figured he had to see, and called him. He looked over at Denysenko, who hesitated briefly before showing A♥J♣. Chen nodded, it was good. Denysenko up to around 75,000. --SB

5:30pm: More for Moreau
Level 9 - Blinds: 500-1,000 (ante 100)

Alexandre Moreau is approaching the six-figure mark after eliminating a tablemate and climbing to 90,000 in chips.

Moreau called off a 21,100 shove from his opponent whose name escaped us as he made a hasty exit following the knock out. The pair of them were flipping and it was Moreau's A♥K♣ against 6♠6♣.

The sixes held through the T♣4♦Q♦ flop but the J♠ turn card completed Moreau's Broadway straight to give him a lock on the hand. The inconsequential 5♦ river card made things official and Moreau raked the pot as his eliminated tablemate fled the scene. --BK

5:25pm: Zhao takes a hit as McAulay stacks up chips
Level 9 - Blinds: 500-1,000 (ante 100)

I picked up action on the river to see a big pot brewing on table 10.

The board read A♣9♠T♦8♠3♠ and Daniel McAulay had 27,600 chips laid out in front of him. The bet wasn't quite an all-in, as he still had a good 15,000 behind. But it did represent a good third of the 40,000 pot in the middle.

His heads up opponent Hongjun Zhao was quick to count up calling chips. A call would leave him with 30,000 behind.

After lifting his chips up and down to get a read from McAulay, the clock was eventually called on Zhao. It wasn't until the floorman said he had 10 seconds left that Zhao put the calling chips down on the table.

McAulay turned over Q♦J♦ for a turned straight. Zhang mucked with a sigh, and McAulay is now up over 100,000 chips. --DJ

5:20pm: Ike's out
Level 9 - Blinds: 500-1,000 (ante 100)

We've just seen Ike Haxton exiting the tournament area, shaking his head as he walked. I think that means that Haxton's busted. --JS

5:15pm: Easy game?
Level 9 - Blinds: 500-1,000 (ante 100)

Bryan Huang just moved up to around 90,000, without having to show, or even bet for that matter.

On a board of 7♣K♦3♠ Tao Fan checked to Huang, then folded at the sight of Huang even considering a bet. Sometimes it really is an easy game. --SB

5:10pm: G.O.A.T.
Level 9 - Blinds: 500-1,000 (ante 100)

David Peters has a T-shirt bearing John Rooney's iconic image of a snarling Muhammad Ali standing over a floored Sonny Liston in their 1965 title fight. Peters has been knocking out poker players across the world for several years, but there's nary a smirk let alone a snarl as he goes about his business. Peters is as impassive as he is ruthless.

NEIL1385_David_Peters_PCM2017_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Float like David Peters, sting like...David Peters

Here's a typical example. Peters just left Xiaoling Li sprawled on the canvass, at least in a metaphorical sense, and took a few from Mauro Francolini at the same time.

It looked as though this hand had started with an open-jam for not very much from Li under the gun and a call from Francolini a couple of seats along. Peters also called in the big blind.

The two active players checked a flop of J♠7♦3♥ and then the A♠ on the turn brought check from Peters, then a bet of 5,000 from Francolini. Peters called.

The river was the 9♠ and Peters led for 6,700. Francolini called but was crestfallen when his 7♣7♥--a flopped set--was now defeated by Peters' 8♠6♠.

As for Li, she flashed the J♣ as she mucked her cards and wandered away. Peters now has about 95,000.

"I. Am. The. Greatest." Peters did not say. --HS

5:05pm: Aces cracked
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

There was a decent chunk of change in the pot - at least three yellow 5K chips were visible - as a 9♣K♣6♥ flop hit the felt. There were three players still with cards in front of them and the first of those to act was Xiang Pan. He bet 13,000, Graeme Siow shoved for 40,400, Wen Lin Wang folded and Pan called the extra.

Pan showed A♦A♥ for the best hand in poker, but it was second best to Siow's 9♦6♦. The Singaporean had flopped two pair and it held up on the 4♠7♠ turn and river. After that hand Siow is up to 115,000. --NW

5pm: Tseng sends Che to the rail
Level 9 - Blinds: 500-1,000 (ante 100)

Liang Che is out of the tournament after Wei Ming Tseng sent him crashing out of Day 2 here in Macau.

The bust-out came following Tseng's early open to 2,200 which received a three-bet from a short-stacked Che directly to his left.

When action folded around Tseng dropped a stack of yellow 1K-chips in the middle to indicate all in. And he was quickly called by Che.

Tseng was first to show his Q♥Q♦, as Che turned over A♣J♣. The board of K♠6♣8♦7♦6♥ wasn't enough to save Che who shipped his remaining 17,000 chips over to Tseng before taking leave. Tseng is now up to 84,000 chips. --DJ

4:56pm: Back to business
Level 9 - Blinds: 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Players have returned, and registration is now officially closed. Right now the screens are showing that 305 of 535 entrants remain, but we'll bring you the official word on that when we get it. --JS

4:45pm: Break time

Play has reached the first 15 minute break of the day. Registration for the Main Event closes when we come back.

4:44pm: A kick in the shins for Zhou
Level 8 - Blinds: 400-800 (ante 100)

Poker can be a brutal game. With the potential for a bad beat always around the corner, sometimes your spider-senses kick-in you can feel one coming in the air.

It's perhaps what drew me to table 11. Following an open and a re-raise from Hyoseob Shin in the small blind, Yuan Zhou shoved his remaining 31,600 chips in the middle. After a count, Shin called.

Things were looking good for Zhou to double-up with his A♥K♠ against Shin's A♦J♣ on the 2♠A♣Q♥ flop. Zhou even hit a K♥ on the river.

But then, lo and behold the T♥ hit the river for a back-door straight. Nasty.

Audible 'Ouches' cried out from around the table as Zhou stood up to take leave. Before he parted he snaps picture evidence of the sick beat - undoubtedly to show others later and receive more similar reactions for sympathetic poker-mates.

Bad luck for Zhou, as Shin sits pretty on a little over 100,000 chips. --DJ

4:41pm: The slow-roll muck
Level 8 - Blinds: 400-800 (ante 100)

Carlos Sarmiento just slow-rolled Ronaid Yu, but no one was angry. It was all done for dramatic effect and Sarmiento got his timing just right.

Sarmiento and Yu had got to a flop of 3♥J♣J♦ and Yu had 6,100 out in front of him, which looked like a bet following Sarmiento's check. (Sarmiento would have been under the gun pre-flop and Yu a couple of seats around.)

Sarmiento had a full stack of 43,200 out in front of him, beside the all-in triangle. Yu was in the tank and agonised about it.

"You have that many aces?" Yu said. "Aces again?" he added, clearly referring to an earlier hand.

Yu had about 30,000 behind so this decision was for his tournament. After a good long while, rocking back in his chair, smiling, wincing and getting nothing from Sarmiento, Yu open-folded K♠K♦.

Sarmiento rapped the table in appreciation, then gripped his own cards in preparation to show either the bluff, the jack or the aces. "Show queens," Yu said.

Sarmiento didn't. He didn't show anything. The dealer gathered all the other cards, including the flop, and pushed the pot to Sarmiento. But Sarmiento still held on to his cards, continuing Yu's agony.

"I showed you!" Yu said.

Sarmiento's stony face gradually started to crack. The corners of his mouth flicked upward. He then picked up his cards high into the air and mucked them, sufficient, however, to allow Yu to see at least one of them.

Yu nodded in appreciation. Unfortunately these cards were not visible to reporters standing beside the table. So you've all been slow-rolled too. -- HS

4:40pm: Chudapal checks out
Level 8 - Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

Siarhei Chudapal is the latest player to hit the rail in this Main Event - he was just eliminated at the hands of Bernard Vu.

We caught the end of a preflop raising war where Chudapal had moved all in for 28,600 and Vu had called it off to put him at risk.

Chudapal: Q♥Q♦
Vu: A♥K♦

Chudapal was a statistical favourite until the river fell on the 7♠T♥2♥4♦A♣ runout to see Vu spike an ace to take the lead and send Chudapal packing. He departs as Vu stacks up a new total of 86,000. -- BK

4:36pm: Two in a row for... no wait, one in row
Level 8 - Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

Hao Su was one card away from scoring knockouts in consecutive hands, but as it is he just about broke even over the course of the two hands. Poker hey, fortunes can change on the turn of a card.

In the first hand Chengbei Li shoved for 15,500 with A♥8♦ and Su looked him up with 8♣8♥. The 'lucky' eights held up on a K♥5♠5♣3♦4♥ board.

On the next shuffle Weihang Chen opened to 1,800, Su three-bet to 5,500, Chen shoved for 16,200 and Su called the extra. It was a race with Chen's pocket nines up against Su's K♥Q♠. It was a race that went back and forth on a 3♥7♦7♥Q♥9♠ run out as Su took the lead on the turn only to lose it on the river. He's still well stacked though as he's got just over 100,000. --NW

4:35pm: Mortensen seeing double
Level 8 - Blinds: 400-800 (ante 100)

Morten Mortensen has seen things in double ever since he first looked at his birth certificate. And the following hand was all about things happening twice: one pair followed by another pair; one suck-out followed by another.

It ended in fitting fashion: a double-up.

It began with a raise to 2,000 from Lin Ern Chio in the cutoff. Mortensen three-bet to 5,500 from the small blind and Chio jammed for 55,000.

Mortensen had a very similar stack size, but called all-in, putting himself under threat. Chio turned over T♣T♠ but was trailing Mortensen's J♠J♦.

The flop was blank. It was 2♠5♠9♦. But the turn brought horror for Mortensen. It was the T♦. Everybody around the table was quite restrained at the sight of this outdraw, but nobody could suppress gasps when the river was the J♥--a two-outer that rescued Mortensen from being two-outered.

"Remember this moment," Stig Billgren said to Mortensen. "It's not happening again."

That puts Mortensen up to around 120,000. -- HS

NEIL1095_Morten_Mortensen_PCM2017_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Mortensen finds a miracle

4:30pm: Baumann's got mo', man
Level 8 - Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

Gaelle Baumann's had a steady day at the office in these opening levels, having more than doubled her stack.

That was thanks in part to this last pot, in which Daniel Dvoress opened to 1,600 from middle position, Zhenru Xie called to his left, and Baumann three-bet to 5,800 from the big blind. Dvoress folded, and Xie tank-called despite looking like he was about to raise several times.


Gaelle Baumann: Decent start

They saw a 7♣6♠T♠ flop and both checked, just as they did on the T♦ turn. Finally the K♥ river hit the felt and again there was no more betting. Baumann obviously knew she had showdown value with her A♠J♣, and she was right; it was good.

She's up to 61,000 now, while Dvoress has 56,000 and Xie has 44,000. --JS

4:27pm: Haxton survives and Loeser loses
Level 8 - Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

Ike Haxton has just doubled his short stack to continue into Day 2.

The action saw Haxton open from the button, which was folded around to Manig Loeser in the big-blind who bumped up the price. This prompted a shove from Haxton who put his remaining 11,100 chips in the middle. And Loeser called.

Haxton showed A♣J♦, with Loester holding A♥6♥. The board of Q♣2♥9♥4♦3♦ ran clean to double-up Haxton. He's now back up to around 24,000 as play continues. --DJ

4:25pm: Everyone loves a chopped pot
Level 8 - Blinds: 400-800 (ante 100)

We've seen a lot of chopped pots today and that trend has continued as Stefan Grunewald and Ting Lin just received refunds on the river.

It was Grunewald driving the action with a preflop jam for 12,800 before it folded around to Lin in the small blind. She called it off to put Grunewald at risk and when the big blind folded, Lin stood up to sweat the runout after seeing she had Grunewald dominated.

Grunewald: A♣T♠
Lin: A♥J♠

The A♠5♠5♦ flop brought a couple chopportunities and by the Q♥ turn Grunewald was looking pretty safe. The 2♣ river bricked off and the dealer began to divide the pot equally.

"Everyone loves a chopped pot," chirped Grunewald, beaming that he was still in the tournament. -- BK

4:22pm: Honey troubles
Level 8 - Blinds: 400-800 (ante 100)

This day is barely one third done, but it's time to make a prediction: the chip leader at the end of the six levels will come from Table 14.

That's the table that presently features Fabrice Soulier, Kitty Kuo and Yao Meng, with Soulier sitting with about 160,000 chips already. But across from Soulier is Ryan Yu, and he has about 155,000 too. That's two massive stacks--massive stacks in the mood to tangle.

Just recently, Guodong Sun opened to 2,300 from mid-position and Yu three-bet to 6,500 from the hijack. Sun was the only caller and they looked at a flop of 8♦T♥7♣. Sun checked, Yu bet 7,000 and Sun folded.

Yu then got a shove in the back from a member of the waiting staff, who wanted to tell him that she had delivered a small measure of honey to go with a pot of green tea. The honey was in a tiny plastic cup, shot-glass size, and may have been cough syrup for all anyone else would know.

Yu seemed happy, but was then sent seeking a spoon. "They didn't give me anything to stir it with," he said to Soulier.

The cards were out for the next hand and Yu put his honey troubles to one side to raise to 1,800. Soulier peeked at his cards and three-bet his button, making it 5,400. So the two big stacks are clearly prepared to go at it.

Action folded through the blinds back to Yu and he tank-folded. Soulier flashed pocket queens in Yu's direction, and the latter was grateful. "Wow," Yu said. "I was real close. Good thing my tea's here. My tea's not here, you might get some action."

The search then continued for a spoon. -- HS

4:20pm: Nice to see you
Level 8 - Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

Late registration is open until the end of the current level - about 30 minutes time. Roughly 20 new players have so far taken the opportunity to register today. They include: Alessandro Massa, Benjamin Philipps, Dmitry Yurasov, Vladimir Shabalin, Michael Addamo and Mikita Badziakouski. --NW

4:18pm: Peters means business
Level 8 - Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

David Peters has arrived today sporting a t-shirt with an infamous Muhammad Ali snap on the front. It's perhaps the most iconic images of Ali, who can be seen hovering over Sonny Liston in the middle of the ring, having knocked him out cold in the first minute of the first round on their second battle.

Perhaps a sign of things to come?

Peters has started with intent, that's for sure. When I arrived at the table he'd just 3-bet a 5,500 open to 14,500. After a while it prompted a fold. His aggressive open of the next hand also went through uncontested.

No knock-outs yet, but Peter's is certainly here to flight, and with a stack of 65,000 the 2016 GPI Player of the year is still in with a shot. --DJ

4:15pm: Tedeschi enters the Burns unit
Level 8 - Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

Having just told you that Kahle Burns' progress was being stifled, he's just taken down a big pot and eliminated France's Paul-Francois Tedeschi in the process.

The hand began with an open from Tedeschi in the UTG+1 seat which Burns would defend against from the big blind. The flop then came J♣T♠2♥ and Burns check-called a bet, followed by the 9♦ turn which he also check-called.

By the 4♠ river there was around 13,500 in the pot, and Burns checked again. Tedeschi barrelled again for 10,800, but this time Burns check-shoved on him, putting the Frenchman all in.

Tedeschi went deep into the tank and would stay there for several minutes. The clock wad eventually called on him and after it ticked all the way down he made the call.

Burns flipped over the K♣Q♥ for an expertly-played straight, to which Tedeschi could only muck. He made his exit, and Burns now sits with 142,000. --JS

4:12pm: Free to head to the party
Level 8 - Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

The Player Party takes place tonight at 11pm, but the following players can get their party started early, should they wish to, as they've all been eliminated. Bad luck to: Yang Wang, Xian Luo, Zhun Zhong, Di Hong, Yaniv Peretz, Jie Xu, Randy Lew, Enio Bozzano, Zhidong Yang, Ian Modder, Liu Qiang, Daniel Tang, Edgard Raffoul, Lingling Nie, Jun Wu, Song Li, Laurynas Levinskas, Hoa Thinh Nguyen, Ke Chen and Xiaotian Yang. --NW

4:10pm: Greenwood and Tu take half each
Level 8 - Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

Sam Greenwood and Nan Tu will have to be content with a small return on their big bets after the two found themselves all in with the same hand.

Greenwood opened to 2,000 preflop and after Wenwu Xue called from the small blind, Nan Tu bumped it up to 8,500 from the big blind. Greenwood four-bet shoved over the top for 34,500 and, after Xue quickly folded, Tu snapped it off to see that they were more than likely chopping.

Greenwood: A♣K♦
Tu: A♠K♣

The 4♦2♥2♣8♣2♠ runout brought no change and the two of them split the pot. -- BK

4:08pm: Kitai in short stack ninja mode
Level 8 - Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

Davidi Kitai is known for being an aggressive and creative player but that doesn't mean he can't move down through the gears to the level of "careful plodder" if the need arises. I recently watched him play a short stack for, what seemed like, three days in a row in the PokerStars Championship Panama Main Event. It worked there, he cashed, and it seems like he's going to have to tread a similar path here in Macau if he wants to cash.

I just saw him lose a small pot and it looks as if he's already in the danger zone of sub 20 big blind stack. --NW

4:05pm: Chai races well
Level 8 - Blinds: 400-800 (ante 100)

Changsheng Chai open-pushed for 15,500 from the cutoff and Tommy Velliama called. This was as standard a hand as it's possible to get: Vellima's A♣Q♥ was racing Chai's 9♦9♥.

The flop brought further opportunities for Velliama's over-cards. It came K♥T♥T♠. The 7♦ missed. And the 9♠ on the river only improved Chai's hand.

Chai, therefore, bounces back to slightly more than yesterday's starting stack. Actually, it's also today's starting stack. Registration remains open for another 45 minutes, until the end of Level 8. -- HS

4pm: Two down for Burns
Level 8 - Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

Every time Kahle Burns tries to get something going, he's stopped in his tracks. First action folded to him in the cutoff and he opened to 1,900. It folded to the big blind of Paul Tedeschi and he then raised it up to 7,000. Burns quickly folded.

Two hands later and with a limp in front of him, Burns bumped it up 2,500. When it got to the big blind of Hau Nguyen though, he shoved for around 17,000 and got two quick folds.

The poker might not be going 100 per cent smooth, but at least Burns' table conversation is good. He's got his good friend Michael Addamo to his right, who took down the first high roller of this PokerStars Championship.

mike_adamo_pscmacau_d2.jpegMike Adamo

Anyway, despite those two hands Burns still has 78,000. --JS

3:55pm: Petrangelo pushes
Level 8 - Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

Nick Petrangelo is still in the hunt for the inaugural PokerStars Championship Macau Main Event title after a well-timed preflop jam.

Alexandre Moreau brought it in for a raise to 1,600 before Levan Karamanishvili to his direct left reraised to 4,200. Petrangelo asked the dealer for confirmation on the size of the three-bet before pushing all in for his last 20,200.

nick_petrangelo_pscmacau_d2.jpegNick Petrangelo

Moreau folded and after a brief moment on consideration Karamanishvili did the same. Picking up that pot means Petrangelo now sits with 28,000 at his disposal. -- BK

3:52pm: Hochman bumps it up on the river
Level 7 - Blinds 300/600 (ante 100)

I saw Hochman do this yesterday.

It was a similar re-raise on the river and he had the stone-cold nuts.

This time, the board read T♣6♦9♠5♠Q♣ and Hochman faced a 1500 bet from heads-up opponent Louis Nyberg. With around 11,000 in the pot, Nyberg's bet was on the small side.

Hochman re-raised it to 6,500. After a while Nyberg called, before Hochman flipped over A♥A♦ - not exactly the nuts, but not a bad hand either. Hochman now sits on over 100,000 chips at the start of Level 8. --DJ

3:48pm: Everyone loves a happy loser
Level 7 - Blinds: 300-600 (ante 100)

Of the many appealing things about watching poker in Macau, perhaps the best is the gleeful manner in which players accept their fate. Even when a turn of the card has cost them their $40,000 buy-in plus millions in equity, they often couldn't seem to give two hoots.

"Fish! Fish!" shouted Zhidong Yang's friends a few minutes ago after he was left with only 200 in chips after a skirmish with James Rann. Yang brandished his two antes above his head with the delight of a 9-year-old egg-and-spoon race champion hoisting aloft the first trophy of an embryonic athletics career. The chips were in on the next hand, and they too went to Rann.

Yang grinned, laughed and skipped out the door.

The first pot started when Rann opened to 1,400 from middle position and Alexander Freund made it 4,100 in the hijack. Action made it to Yang in the small blind and he moved all-in for 20,200, immediately then turning his attention to Rann and goading him into a call.

Nanonoko folded his big blind and Rann took a little while to think whether he did indeed want to call. Rann had only about 20,000 chips too so this was his tournament on the line.

But Rann did call and Freund folded. Then Yang showed J♠J♥ to Rann's Q♠Q♦ and immediately found it absolutely hilarious.

The board ran 7♠3♦8♠5♣A♦ and Yang got up to leave. The chorus of "Fish!" began from a neighbouring table, but the dealer established that Yang wasn't quite a flounder just yet. Rann had 200 chips fewer, so Yang was back.

Yang found great amusement in his predicament and shouted to friends on the rail, who responded with thumbs up and grins. It was as if they had come to the card-room to witness this precise spectacle. There's no fun with a big stack, after all.

Yang got the chips in blind on the next hand and again Rann provided the opposition. Yang had found T♦T♥, which was in good shape against Rann's A♣4♣. But there was an ace on the river--the A♦--and Yang tossed the chips in and headed away, triumphant in abject defeat. -- HS

3:44pm: Bansal pays the penalty
Level 8 - Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

First a disclaimer. We didn't catch what we're about to report live, but neither player involved dispute what we're about to report. A hand between Xuan Tan and Raghav Bansal boiled over and the latter received a three hand penalty as a result.

The two players are sat in adjacent seats and a pot played out between the two. It was won by Tan. He then leaned into Bansal and began goading him by screaming at him in Chinese. If he wanted to provoke a reaction it worked. Bansal gave him the finger.

Understandably the floor was called. Bansal gave his side of the story and said. "I did give him the finger and I'm sorry for that." Discussions between Bansal and a member of the floor staff continued away from the table, at the end of which Bansal was given a three hand penalty and Tan was warned that such behavior at the table was not acceptable.

Bansal knew he'd done wrong and took the punishment on the chin, he wandered away from the table, cigarettes in hand, to cool off. --NW

3:42pm: Salter calls the clock on Shuts
Level 7 - Blinds 300/600 (ante 100)

Over on Jack Salter's table, I arrived to see a big pot in progress.

An open from Lau Man Yuen had been 3-bet from Maksim Shuts in the big-blind to 4,800. When action went back to Yuen he re-clicked it to 14,800.

Then Shuts went into the tank...for a long time.

After a good 5 minutes, Jack Salter had enough and called the clock. Shuts then folded, and Yuen scooped the pot.

Later as I walked past the same table there was commotion going on at the next table, which also involved a clock-calling incident. "It's the same over here! We've played 3 hands in the last 40 minutes." said Salter. "I mean, I'm pretty slow but there's a line". -- DJ

3:40pm: Korenev felts Lynskey
Level 7 - Blinds 300/600 (ante 100)

Roman Korenev is on the up, having just taken the last of Alexander Lynskey's chips. I didn't catch the action, but Lynskey was all-in with the A♠J♠ against Korenev's 7♥8♥, and the board showed the 5♦6♥A♣4♥A♦. Bit of a cooler then.

Korenev is up to 78,000 thanks to that hand. --JS

3:36pm: Soulier's snacks (brought to you by Kitty Kuo)
Level 7 - Blinds 300/600 (ante 100)

Kitty Kuo is good at a lot of things: poker, social media, ordering food for other players, the list goes on.

I just caught Fabrice Soulier trying to order from the menu but his requests were getting lost in translation. Luckily for him, Kuo is at his table and stepped in to complete the order for him. --JS

3:33pm: Another Team Pro punished
Level 7 - Blinds 300/600 (ante 100)

Indian Team PokerStars Pro Aditya Agarwal won't be making Day 3. The story goes that he got his chips in good with pocket kings but was run down by an opponent's ace jack.

Agarwal took to Twitter to inform his followers.

-- BK

3:30pm: Hinrichsen hammering away
Level 7 - Blinds 300/600 (ante 100)

Andrew Hinrichsen just got the best of Louis Salter after the two tangled in a pot that made it to the river. We arrived at the table on the turn with the board reading 5♠4♠2♣8♣ to see Hinrichsen fire a hefty 8,800 from the big blind.

Salter wasn't ready to give up just yet and he called before the T♦ landed on the river. Hinrichsen pondered his options before deciding on another sizable bet for 22,000. Salter couldn't stick around any longer and surrendered the pot to Hinrichsen.

They both now sit with around 62,000 apiece. -- BK

3:25pm: Mango Melanie (aka Yan Li)
Level 7 - Blinds 300/600 (ante 100)

Remember when Steve O'Dwyer won more than a million dollars the other day in the Super High Roller?

Remember how he credited it all to a lucky mango?

That mango once belonged to China's Yan Li, also known as Melanie, who gave the fruit to O'Dwyer early on at this poker festival. Li doesn't have any fruit in front of her today, but she does have a very nice stack.

She just lost a pot though, albeit a small one. Picking up the action on an A♠5♦T♦ flop, Dawie Zang checked and Li bet 2,000. Call. The turn then came the 8♠ and both checked to the J♦ river. It went check check once again, and Li was surprised to see Zang turn over a hand as strong as Q♥Q♦. Li flashed the T♠ as she gave her hand to the dealer.

Li has 110,000 currently, while Zang has 57,000. --JS

3:21pm: Early barth for...
Level 7 - Blinds 300/600 (ante 100)

It was a short day for: Fabian Quoss, Yixin Wu, Vladimir Troyanovskiy, Victorino Torres, Aaron Lim, Nan Hong, Daniel Lee, Peng Fu, Yuanhang Zhong, Oleksandr Trokhymenko, Timothy English, Nadia Wanzi, Gen Nose, Naohito Tamaya, Troy Quenneville, Jingzhi Huang, Revaz Eliava, Simon Burns and Jin Hwang Yong.

They've all been eliminated during the opening levels of Day 2. --NW

3:18pm: Dan Smith down
Level 7 - Blinds 300/600 (ante 100)

It's not been the best of starts for Dan Smith.

Having late-registered the tournament today, he opened from middle position with a bet of 1,300. It was called by Dmytro Denysenko (who sits on a big ol' stack) and Junzhong Loo on the button.

Smith continued on the flop of 2♠9♥Q♥ by leading out for another 4,000. Denysenko also came along and Loo got out the way.

Both players acknowledged the action-card that was the J♠ on the turn with smiles. But it didn't slow the action down. Smith led with a bet of 8,000, which Denysenko called once again.

The river was the 8♣ which Dan paused on before choosing to check. It was then Denysenko's turn to continue, as he threw in a single yellow chip worth 5,000.

"You make a straight?" probed Dan before open folding a monster - A♠A♦.

In return Denysenko showed the Q♥. Dan laughed, but can't be happy with that outcome. He now sits on just over 15,000 chips. --DJ

3:15pm: Kuo's aces straightened out
Level 7 - Blinds: 300-600 (ante 100)

Kitty Kuo put her game face on (that's the face that's not buried in her cellphone) and raised from under the gun. Dmitri Afonichev called on the button and Yao Meng called in the big blind. Three-handed pot, let's see a flop.


There's a strange thing that happens when you're covering poker tournaments in Macau. You keep putting everybody on pocket eights. This flop, for instance, was pretty good for pocket eights, and I immediately started wondering who had them, even though Kuo is too good a player to get stuck on one "lucky" hand and Afonichev neither has the name nor appearance to suggest that he adheres to Asian gambling lore. So Meng had them, right?

Meng checked, Kuo checked and Afonichev bet 1,600. Meng immediately folded, ending the pocket eights discussion, but Kuo called.

The 5♣ fell on the turn. Wow. Even a raggy eight is now the nuts. But both remaining players now checked.

The river was the A♣ and Kuo checked. Afonichev now bet 6,000 and Kuo called.

Still half expecting to see an eight somewhere, it was actually pretty surprising to see Kuo with A♥A♦ for actual aces, which had rivered a set, but Afonichev turning over 3♣3♥ for the bottom end of the straight.

That left Kuo with 41,000 and put Afonichev up to 36,000. -- HS

3:12pm: Boost for Baumann
Level 7 - Blinds 300/600 (ante 100)

Gaelle Baumann has added to her stack after a river jam was enough to get through both Yang Zhang and Zhenru Xie.

Zhang kicked things off preflop with a raise to 1,500 before both Xie called from the cutoff and Baumann did the same from the big blind. They went to a flop of A♥2♦9♥ and after Baumann checked, Zhang continued for 2,300. He was called in two spots and the J♦ arrived on the turn.

Another check from Baumann prompted another continuation bet form Zhang - this time for 5,500. Again he was met with two calls and the 5♥ river completed the board.

Baumann paused momentarily before moving all in for her last 10,100. Zhang let it go but Xie went deep into the tank. After a couple of minutes, tablemate Sergey Lebedev called time, and Xie was given a final minute to act on his hand.

Xie took another peek at his cards but eventually threw them into the muck before the pot was awarded to Baumann. After that confrontation Baumann moves up to 39,000 while Zhang and Xie fall to 20,500 and 13,700 respectively. -- BK

3:10pm: Chew's-bacca
Level 7 - Blinds 300/600 (ante 100)

Australia's Stevan Chew came in to the day with 69,300, but he must have lost some chips early on. However, after taking a nice pot from Elliot Smith, he's back up to 68,000.

Smith opened from middle position to 1,500, but Chew three-bet to 4,500 to Smith's immediate left. Nobody else fancied playing, but when it got back to Smith he called, putting on his shades and pulling his t-shirt over his mouth in the process.

The dealer spread a 2♥3♣9♣ flop which Smith checked to the last aggressor. Chew continued, this time for 3,000, and again Smith called.

On the 3♠ turn it checked to Chew again, and this time he sized big. He bet 13,000 into a pot of 16,700, and after a little think Smith let his hand go, leaving him with 84,000. --JS

3:08pm: Welcome to 'Slowly and deliberately', with Dvoress and Lebedev
Level 7 - Blinds 300/600 (ante 100)

Two regular high rollers, Sergey Lebedev and Daniel Dvoress, are sat in the 4 seat and 6 seat at their table. That person between them couldn't prevent the two from going to battle just now though.

Action folded to Lebedev in the hijack and he slowly and deliberately came in for a 1,400 open. It folded to Dvoress on the button, and after a minute he slowly and deliberately flatted, as did Jingxuan Zhu in the big blind (quickly).

The three went to a K♣Q♣Q♥ flop and action checked to Lebedev, who slowly and deliberately continued for 2,000. Over to Dvoress, he slowly and deliberately made the call. Zhu folded (quickly).

When the 9♣ turn came, the common turn action took place: both checked, slowly and deliberately.

But when the 6♦ river landed, Lebedev sprung back into action. OK, maybe he didn't 'spring', but he slowly and deliberately bet 6,000. Dvoress had a decision, and it was one he thought about for over a minute, staring at the board for most of the time before leaning back in his chair so he could get a look at Lebedev.

In the end, he slowly and deliberately let his hand go, leaving himself with 59,000, while Lebedev slowly and deliberately raked in the pot, bringing him to 24,000. --JS

3:05pm: Pogodin's flier
Level 7 - Blinds: 300-600 (ante 100)

Konstantin Pogodin--the hero of the post at 2:50pm below--is now up to 140,000. Daniel Lee--one of two defeated players in the same post below--is now missing in action, so presumably Pogodin finished the job against Lee soon afterwards.

Pogodin started the day with just less than 70,000 and now has double it. -- HS

3pm: Soulier vs Meng
Level 7 - Blinds 300/600 (ante 100)

Most European poker fans are familiar with Fabrice Soulier but are likely unaware of Yao Meng. In this part of the world the familiarity would be reversed (Meng is a famous actress around these parts). He makes final tables, she makes movies. Either way the two players just clashed in a big pot.

fabrice_soulier_pscmacau_d2.jpegFabrice Soulier

I joined the action on a T♥2♣K♥ flop. Given the amount of chips in the middle already it appeared that this was a three-bet pot. Soulier (hijack) checked and Meng (cutoff) bet 6,000. Call from Soulier. On the 9♦ turn Soulier check-called a further 12,000 and the J♦ completed the board.

The Frenchman came out firing for 27,000 and, after some deliberation, Meng made the call. Soulier rolled over Q♦T♣ for the rivered straight and Meng mucked. After that hand, she's down to 85,000 and Soulier is up to 170,000. --NW

2:55pm: Everyone loves a chop-pot
Level 7 - Blinds 300/600 (ante 100)

There are a lot of big stacks on table 22.

The table features yesterday's chip-leader, online qualifier Joachim Bold, who started the day with 130,500. Ukranian Dmytro Denysenko sits on the opposing end of the table with a not-so shabby stack of 118,000.

Wedged in-between the two is a new arrival today - Dan Smith, who has just registered into the tournament. He was in the action immediately and his stack of 30,000 looked quite tame when facing a hand that involved a hand with some of the big guns.

It was Bold who opened the action in middle position with a 2,200 bet. He was called by Brian Huang (on 84,000) a few seats to his left and Dan Smith in the small blind.

The flop of K♣7♥7♠ prompted checks all round. It wasn't until the A♦ turn when the betting began. Bold opened once again with a 3,700 bet. This time Huang folded and Smith continued. The river was T♣ which was checked by both.

Bold flipped over the A♠, Smith the A♥, before turning over their other cards. Dan held the 6♥ and Bold the 2♥ - only good enough for a chop. Onto the next one dealer! --DJ

2:50pm: Wanzi's sevens problem
Level 7 - Blinds: 300-600 (ante 100)

Nadia Wanzi, a PokerStars qualifier from the Netherlands, knew that the game was up. She stuck out her tongue and crossed her eyes to a spectator on the rail, a universal expression that said, "I'm toast."

The hand wasn't even technically over at this point as Daniel Lee and Konstantin Pogodin were contesting a side pot, scrapping over who would claim Wanzi's scalp and the chunky pile of chips in the middle.

The hand started when Pogodin opened from early position and Wanzi, who started the day with about 14,000, moved all-in. Lee, two seats around, just called the shove. Then Pogodin just called it too, which meant Wanzi had the chance of a triple up and the others were now starting to bet on the side.

The flop fell 7♦8♦4♥ and nobody did anything. After a minute or so, Lee reminded Pogodin that he was first to act and Pogodin thanked him, then bet 9,000. Lee called.

The 3♦ appeared on the turn and Pogodin quickly put 15,000 over the line. Lee, who started the day with 65,000, called that too, which brought them the 4♣ on the river.

Pogodin quickly moved all-in for precisely 25,000 and this is where Wanzi looked over and poked out her tongue. Whatever she had, she didn't feel it was good anymore. Lee, who seemed to half expect Pogodin's shove was coming, quickly folded.

Wanzi tabled her K♦K♥. But she was right. She was toast. Pogodin had 7♣7♠ and had flopped middle set and rivered a boat.

"I have a thing online with pocket sevens," Wanzi said afterwards, having moved away from the table. "So when I tweet this, people will say, 'Yeah, that figures.'"

She then added that she's off to find the next tournament, where she will hope for better fortune. -- HS

2:45pm: Chong takes chips from Kozlov
Level 7 - Blinds 300/600 (ante 100)

Victor Chong just took a pot from Martin Kozlov after raising Kozlov's miniscule river bet. The board was showing J♥J♠J♦3♦8♣ and into a pot of 7,600 Kozlov fired for just 900 in chips. Chong removed his headphones to check that he'd heard correctly, and when the bet size was confirmed, Chong reached deep and raised for a total of 7,500.

Kozlov thought for around a minute before it was his turn to remove his headphones and raise his eyebrows. He shot Chong a glance and smiled as Chong immediately broke eye contact. Kozlov cut out and the held calling chips in his hand but after another minute of deliberation he decided to throw his hand away.

With that Chong chips up to 24,500 while Kozlov is set back to right around 15,000. -- BK

2:40pm: Zuna bets sooner and pays the penalty
Level 7 - Blinds 300/600 (ante 100)

Picking up a two-hand penalty right off the bat? Not an ideal start for Croatia's Ivan Zuna.

The action was on Qiao Heng in the UTG+1 seat, but Zuna (to Heng's direct left) came in for a raise to 1,600. When his mistake was pointed out, he blamed the fact that Heng had his cards completely covered by his hands, and he thought he'd folded. Zuna then took back his bet, and Heng - who now had a glimpse into the potential betting future - opened himself, betting big to 3,500.

Zuna asked what his options were and tournament director Jane told him the action had now changed so all options were open, but he'd now have a penalty of two hands. He folded.

Egor Bulychev was on the direct left of Zuna and now he made the call, while everyone else folded. The two saw a 6♠7♠3♠ flop on which Heng continued for 4,000, only for Bulychev to raise to 10,000. Heng folded to leave himself with 10,000, while Bulychev has 26,000. --JS

2:35pm: Zhu, Dealer, Baumann
Level 7 - Blinds: 300-600 (ante 100)

Gaelle Baumann got involved in a battle of the blinds with another short stack during the first orbit today and watched about a third of her chips head past the dealer to Jingxuan Zhu. Baumann is in Seat 1, Zhu is in Seat 9 so this one played out with messages being whispered in one ear and relayed to the other end of the table.

They were to a flop with more than the minimum in the middle, so I'm guessing either a small-blind raise, called by Baumann. Or a small-blind limp, raised by Baumann. Either way, the flop read J♣4♠A♠. Zhu checked and Baumann bet 2,000.

The turn was the K♠ and Zhu checked again. Baumann now bet what looked like 3,800 and confirmed the amount quietly to her neighbour, the dealer, who sent the message to his other neighbour, Zhu. Zhu then said something that clearly equated to "All-in" because the dealer picked up the all-in triangle, paraded it in front of Baumann as though it was on sale on QVC, before depositing it in front of Zhu.

He had about 18,000 in his stack, but it was enough to get Baumann to make a quick fold and preserve the 20,000 she still has. -- HS

2:20pm: Rich gets richer
Level 6 - Blinds 300/600 (ante 100)

Angelina Rich has started Day 2 on a positive note after getting a preflop four-bet jam through to pick up a good portion of chips without risk of elimination.

The initial opening raise belonged to Zhong Jian Biao after he put 1,300 into the pot. The action then folded around to Xiaoyang Luo who played back at Biao with a three-bet to 3,500. Rich was next to act and she gave it some thought before sliding what appeared to be her last 17,300 out in front of her.

Biao relinquished his hand and while Luo spent about a minute deliberating he too ultimately gave it up. Rich picked up the pot and built her stack to a new total of 22,500. -- BK

2:15pm: Cui all-in on the first hand
Level 7 - Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

As players find their tables for the start of Day 2, the action is already underway. Most have just had their lunch and are getting settled in their seats for what they hope will be a long ol' jaunt of poker.

tournament_room_pscmacau_d2.jpegGetting busy: The tournament room in Macau

But not everyone's here to get cozy.

Barely 20 seconds after the start of play and all of Jiabhin Cui's chips were in the middle with three opens ahead of him, prompting a couple of smiles and scowls from the table. Either way, Cui got it through uncontested and is now back up to a Day 1 starting stack of 30,000. --DJ

2:10pm: Suited to do the booting
Level 7 - Blinds 300/600 (ante 100)

There are some very well dressed dealers dispatching the cards here on Day 2 of the Main Event. No jackets required but plenty of shirts and ties among the male dealers. The dealer in the box at table 41 is one such example, which is where the first hand of the day went to a showdown.

Vasilios Argyros - better known as Billy the Croc - bought it in for a raise, he made it 1,700 to go and picked up calls from both blinds. On the 2♦A♣Q♣ flop Argyros bet 1,700 and only Jiaxiu Liu called. Both players checked the 3♣7♣ turn and river and Liu was first to show. He opened A♠T♦, but Argyros had got there on the river with 7♥7♠. --NW

2:05pm: We're off
Level 7 - Blinds 300/600 (ante 100)

Cards are now in the air.

2pm: Nearly ready
Level 7 - Blinds 300/600 (ante 100)

A slight delay to the start, but things look pretty busy with 42 tables in operation. Just a reminder, the plan today is to play six levels, meaning we finish at 10pm. That's plenty of time to get to the player party. One more reminder -- registration remains open for the first two levels of play today. That means you have roughly two and a half hours to make up your mind and come join us. -- SB

1:45pm: Another Day(2), another dollar(HK)

Good morning all (or afternoon, if you're on our current side of the world) and welcome back to the City of Dreams in Macau. Today is Day 2, on which the survivors from Day 1A and 1B will be combining for the first time.

There's a total of 346 coming back for the day, which kicks off shortly at 2pm local time. The man in the lead right now is Day 1A chip leader Zigao Yu with 162,900, followed by Daniel Laidlaw (135,300) and Day 1B big stack Joachim Bold (130,500).

PSC Macau_Manuel_Kovsca_Jack Salter 38.jpg

Salter returns

Plenty of big names will be in action today including Jack Salter (fresh from final tabling yesterday's Single Day High Roller), Sergio Aido, Fabrice Soulier, Kahle Burns (who final tabled the Super High Roller), Kitty Kuo and Daniel Dvoress. Take a look at all of the start of day chip counts here.

We'll also be bringing you info of the prize pool and payouts today as soon as we get them (registration is still open for the first two levels), and who knows? We might even be bursting the bubble late in the day.

Join us for new updates every five minutes (roughly) throughout the day. --JS

Take a look at the official website of PokerStars LIVE, with tournament schedule, news, results and accommodation details for the PokerStars Championship Macau and all other Festival and Championship events.

Also all the information is on the PokerStars LIVE App, which is available on both Android or IOS.

PokerStars Blog reporting team on the $5,000 Main Event: Stephen Bartley, Dan Jones, Brad Kain, Jack Stanton, Howard Swains and Nick Wright. Photography by Neil Stoddart.

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