APPT9 Macau Day 1a: Yao leads the pack

Eight levels and 131 players down. Main Event Day 1a is done and dusted.

It's been a big week here at PokerStars LIVE Macau and today was no exception. At the close of late registration it was 207 who tried their luck, and after the last hand was dealt only 76 remained in contention.

For those that made it through, the end of the eighth level was music to their ears. They'll have tomorrow to recharge before Day 2 on Friday. For others though, the cards didn't fall their way.

Team PokerStars Pros Aditya Agarwal and Kosei Ichinose found the exit today, as did last year's Macau Main Event champion Jiajun Liu.

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Jiajun Liu at the table today

Notables still in the running include last year's APPT Seoul Main Event champion Chane Kampanatsanyakorn with 133,800 and current runner up in chips, China's Xiaohua Fu with 172,200.

All eyes are on China's Zhifeng Yao though. He bagged up 174,700 chips at the end of play and leads the way after the first Day 1 flight.

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Day 1a chip leader Zhifeng Yao

Top Ten Chip Counts
Zhifeng Yao (China) - 174,700
Xiaohua Fu (China) - 172,200
Weiyi Zhang (China) - 168,100
Dapeng Mu (USA) - 134,200
Chane Kampanatsanyakorn (Thailand) - 133,800
Chris Yeow Chung Chong (Singapore) - 123,200
Shen Ming Yin (China) - 117,400
Wai Leong Chan (Malaysia) - 107,100
Nicolas Cardyn (France) - 101,500
Markus Garberg (Norway) - 89,000

And now we await tomorrow to see how many more will join the action and whether we can eclipse last year's field of 494. With the player party tonight it's expected maybe those showing up tomorrow might take it easy later on.

As mentioned #APPTMacau has been getting a workout this week and today saw that continue with the hashtag now trending. Team PokerStars Pro Aditya Agarwal used Twitter to reveal that he busted the tournament on a flip.

We'll return tomorrow to catch all the action here in Macau. Join us for Day 1b to see how big the prize pool gets and if Yao can be knocked off his perch. Until then you can find the full Day 1a chip counts in the live reporting section on the APPT9 Macau page.

Brad Kain
@PokerStars in PokerStars Macau