APPT9 Macau Day 1b: Cards down, drinks up
It's all business today but last night was a different story.
When the chips were bagged up on Day 1a, the bottles were brought out as the poker players got a chance to unwind from the grind at the APPT Macau Player's Party.
Day 1a wrapped up around 10:30pm before players and staff headed across from PokerStars LIVE Macau to Soho, the entertainment district in the City of Dreams Complex.
The place was packed out with tables full of people enjoying complimentary drinks and an eclectic mix of Western and Oriental inspired dishes. Some traded stories from the felt while others maximized on the chance to relax.
APPT President Danny McDonagh was doing the rounds and handing out wrist bands for a special after-party at Club Cubic. The weak fell by the wayside, opting to get some rest before Day 1b. For those with resilience, however, it was time for the real fun to begin as we pushed on to the next venue.
Climbing the stairs to the VIP room a door was opened to reveal a pool table, karaoke lounge and a well-stocked bar. Bottles were popped again and the staff weren't shy about topping up our drinks.
Macau was beginning to show us its true colours.
Myself and blogging colleague Mateusz Pater found ourselves in the first game of pool, a two-on-two match with Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang and New Zealand's Tom Ward. Despite being somewhat fish at the game, we were convinced to wager HK$100 on the match. The poker players' hustle was strong.
It was a battle for the ages, with both teams on the black ball as Pater lined up a potential match winner. He couldn't deliver on the tough bunker shot and Ward stepped up to the plate. A focused face as he cracked the black ball into the corner pocket and crushed our dreams all at once.
Pater and I were left with nothing but a bad beat story.
"Don't worry about the bet," Ward said before a proposition. "Just write nice things about us in the blog tomorrow". Unfortunately seeing as the deal would compromise our journalistic integrity we had to decline. On a completely unrelated note, Huang and Ward are really great guys and exceptional poker players.
After our dramatic defeat it seemed the group split between more players having a shot at pool, those involved in karaoke wars and some who headed downstairs to the dancefloor amidst pumping house music and light displays. A few sat at the nearby tables and continued to drink into the early hours of the morning.
Being the professionals that we are, we left the festivities around 4am and headed back to the hotel to rest up for a long day of poker reporting. That day is now drawing to a close as we've just entered the final level of Day 1b.
With approximately 148 players left in the field here, only time will tell who manages to make it through to Day 2. You can follow all the action in the live reporting section of the APPT Macau page here at the PokerStarsBlog.