APPT9 Macau: Chasing dreams
You hear a lot of rumours about Macau. Most of which I've been warned I can't repeat, but one that didn't trip the censors is that the gambling powerhouse dwarves that of even Las Vegas.
After a host of delays on the way from Australia to Hong Kong, and a ferry across the Pearl River Delta, walking into the monumental City of Dreams I can say there might be some credence to that claim.
The impressive complex will be our home this week for the latest stop of Season 9 on the Asia Pacific Poker Tour. It's a foreign country but a familiar sight in the PokerStars LIVE Macau poker room, with players packing out the venue in the lead up to Wednesday's Main Event. It's already been a massive start to the schedule, but the HK$50,000 Freezeout on the eve of the big dance looks like a sign of things to come.
"Wish I had @kennethlimphoto right now for pix. Lineup is 4x this and a bit more chaotic right now #APPTMacau" came the tweet from PokerStars LIVE Macau's Fred Leung during the Freezeout.
The news of big crowds wasn't a huge shock after the impressive numbers already witnessed over the last six days. With the first five events attracting a total of 1,057 runners and HK$4,272,365 (~US$550,000) in prizes, it's clear that players are out in force.
And with the HK$25,000 (~US$3,200) APPT Macau Main Event that trend is expected to continue. Players will be back Wednesday for the first of two Day 1 flights, chasing the next APPT Main Event title and what will no doubt be a sizeable top prize.
Last year's Main Event saw 494 in contention, generating a prize pool of HKD$11,021,140 (~US$1,422,000). When all was said and done it was China's Jiajun Liu who emerged with the poker crown. Time will tell if he'll be back in a bid to defend the title.
APPT Macau notoriously draws an eclectic mix of recognisable players with Team PokerStars Pros Bryan Huang, Celina Lin, Kosei Ichinose, Aditya Agarwal and 2011 APPT Macau Main Event champion Randy 'nanonoko' Lew all set to be in attendance.
Be sure to join us right here on the PokerStarsBlog as we have full coverage of the APPT Macau Main Event, starting from 2:00pm on Wednesday for Day 1A as this stellar poker festival continues.