In Like Flynn at Macau Poker Cup Championship
A long day in the PokerStars Macau poker room in the Grand Lisboa Casino has seen our field of 141 players reduced to the terrific twenty. It took ten full levels of play to reach that point, with some early carnage, some tense moments around the bubble, and a late flurry of gambling to complete the day.
The early levels were dominated by two of the Team PokerStars Pros in Joe Hachem and Celina Lin. Hachem was on a rollercoaster ride as he slipped early, doubled up twice and was looking set for a six-figure stack when his pocket kings were all in against ace-king, but an ace on the flop sent Hachem to an early exit.
The birthday girl Celina Lin looked to be celebrating in style as she quickly doubled up on multiple occasions to climb from her overnight stack of 8,000 to a far more comfortable 70,000. From there she held her spot before losing a key flip approaching the money bubble when her ace-queen failed to improve against the pocket jacks of Ivan Tan. From there, Lin was unable to recover as she fell in 34th place, just three spots from the money.
Others to fall included Justin Chan, and defending champ Devan Tang, while Team PokerStars Pros Tony Hachem and Raymond Wu were also eliminated during the day. Wu in particular was terribly unlucky when his pocket queens were run down by Armand Prati's jack-ten when running tens landed on the turn and river.
Armand Prati was the wildcard of the day as he ran his chips up to a big stack and continued with his aggressive style until his pushed once too often and missed his flush draw to bust in 22nd place.
As Prati's reign came to an end, Richard Hu, Joel Dodds, Julian Hasse and Chi Chen all enjoy periods at the top of the leader board, but it was Kelly Flynn who surged late in the day to grab the chip lead.
Flynn is well known for his promotion of the game in the region, and he got his day going when his ace-king held to double up through the jack-ten of Armand Prati, before he collected another nice pot with pocket queens against Takashi Ogura's pocket jacks to end the day with 615,500 chips.
Here's how they will line up tomorrow:
Seat 1: Hung-cheng Hung (Taipei) - 132,500
Seat 2: Renyong "Richard" Hu (China) - 463,500
Seat 3: William Pastout (United Kingdom) - 234,500
Seat 4: Joel Dodds (Australia) - 288,000
Seat 5: Patrick Lik-tung Lui (Australia) - 230,500
Seat 6: Kelly Flynn (China) - 615,500
Seat 1: Kyle Cheong (United States) - 135,000
Seat 2: Julian Hasse (Germany) - 175,500
Seat 3: Takashi Ogura (Japan) - 180,000
Seat 4: Kristian Lunardi (Australia) - 82,000
Seat 5: Chi Chen (United States) - 549,000
Seat 6: Louis Kudlak (Australia) - 402,500
Seat 7: Maksim Semisoshenko (Russia) - 83,500
Seat 1: Nathaniel Seet (Singapore) - 371,000
Seat 2: Jeff Lisandro (Australia) - 210,500
Seat 3: William Potts (New Zealand) - 51,500
Seat 4: Wee Yee Tan (Singapore) - 440,000
Seat 5: Ryoichi Omori (Japan) - 155,000
Seat 6: Nelson Sheu (United States) - 172,500
Seat 7: Benjamin Schoepfer (France) - 89,000
It's a stellar line up headlined by five-time WSOP bracelet winner Jeff Lisandro who cruised through the day with very little fanfare to find himself lurking in the middle of the pack, with several highly talented young guns alive including Kristian Lunardi, Joel Dodds, Kyle Cheong and Nathaniel Seet.
With 11 different countries represented in our final 20, it's going to be a fierce conclusion to this event. Join us again tomorrow from 12:10pm local time (GMT+8) as the final twenty will play it out until our Macau Poker Cup Championship winner is crowned.
Many thanks to Kenneth Lim for his stunning photography of all the action from the tournament floor. Check out more of his work at www.kennethlimphotography.com