GDAM Day 1: Getting it noisily as outdraws begin in Macau

Winning a monstrous pot in a poker tournament is something that delights anyone, even those who prefer to keep a lid on their emotions. You will never see the likes of Philipp Gruissem or Erik Seidel leap from their chair to celebrate a huge double up, not even (perhaps especially) a gross one-outer, but they will still be inwardly joyous.

But the notion of getting it quietly, so key to the etiquette of poker in most parts of north America or Europe, manifestly does not apply in Asia. Getting it, or losing it, quietly misses the point entirely. Why would you even be involved in this game if you didn't intend to get it as noisily as possible? And if you can crack aces in the opening orbit of the opening level of the biggest high roller tournament in the world, you absolutely must celebrate it as loudly as you possibly can.

"Lucky, lucky, lucky!" shrieked Hai San Lin a few moments ago, watching with undisguised glee as his K♦Q♠ connected rather beautifully with a board of 5♥K♠4♣K♣9♠ to oust Anson Yan Shing Tsang's aces. Lin immediately assembled a tournament-leading stack of about 2,000,000 and set Tsang waving a rebuy ticket in the air, becoming the first to go looking for another $130,000.

(Remember, players have the option of two rebuys here, which they can take at any time in the first four one-hour levels.)


Hai San Lin: first to double up

Igor Kurganov, seated one chair to Lin's left, was also clearly delighted about this development. He now occupies the box seat in the attempt to separate Lin from his newly-found wealth, and Lin's big stack may have had something to do with Kurganov's decision to rebuy himself, even though he hadn't lost a pot. He now has enough chips to get a full double through if things go his way.

Shaun Deeb, one seat to Lin's right, also seemed happy enough. Although he doesn't have position on Lin in the traditional sense, and hasn't yet re-bought, just sitting at the same table is something worth celebrating (silently, of course).

The second commotion of the day occurred on table three, where Tom Hu rivered a straight against Wei Seng Phua. Phua had J♠J♥ and flopped a set on a board of 5♣3♦J♦. But the [10h] turn and Q♣ river was nothing but good news for the A♣K♥ of Hu.

I'm not sure when the money went in, but the place erupted as the river fell, which suggests it was some kind of outdraw. There will likely be plenty more as the day progresses.

Tournament update:

There are 69 unique entries to this tournament so far, ie, 69 players involved. Registration is open for four levels, so another couple of millionaire strays may wander past. The number of "entries" will be something different as that will take into account those rebuys. That number will likely trickle upward as we go through the opening levels, then take a huge hike towards the end of level four, when players will decide whether to boost their stacks for the freezeout period.

A quick guide on following the action here at the GuangDong Ltd Asia Millions. Hand-by-hand coverage is available in the panel at the top of the main GDAM page. Feature posts will come in below that. You can also watch the action from the feature table on

Howard Swains
@howardswains in PokerStars Macau