2015 ACOP Day 3: Drinan dominating into penultimate day

We're in the money!

And we're drawing close to crowning an ACOP Main Event champion and awarding the HK$5,885,000 (~$759,000) first place prize.

The ACOP Players Party was over and it was back to business today at PokerStars LIVE Macau. The day started with a charity tournament in the poker room before the Main Event got back into full swing.

Only 23 players now remain after another six levels of play. It was an action-packed day before things almost grinded to a halt as the bubble approached. Those still in the hunt were desperately trying to lock up a HK$193,000 (~$24,900) payday.

The bubble finally burst in a hand that saw Andy Chan make an ill-timed jam. The action folded around to him and he pushed for his last 81,000 in chips. Sergey Lebedev looked down at K♥Q♥ in the big blind and made the call. Chan was clearly frustrated with his Q♦9♠ dominated and the prospect of bubbling likely. The board would come down T♥6♣6♠A♣2♥ and Chan would find the exit one shy of a return on his investment.

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We would then see four more eliminations before play concluded. One of those was Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang who failed to win a flip against Raymond Wu. Huang's fellow teammate Isaac Haxton also hit the rail earlier in the day, leaving Mikhail Shalamov as the lone survivor for the PokerStars Pros. Shalamov will return tomorrow as the second shortest stack with an even 100,000.

One who isn't struggling in the stack department, however, is our new chip leader Connor Drinan. The American was enjoying a wine or six but that didn't stop him from amassing 861,000 throughout the day. Drinan already has some impressive live results to his name, the biggest of which for $3,225,000 when he finished 3rd in the Super High Roller Ball earlier this year.

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Connor Drinan had a great day at the table

Hot on Drinan's heels is the reigning APPT Macau Main Event champion Tony Cheng who bagged up 835,000 in chips. And closing out the podium is the USA's Patrick Mahoney who will take 820,000 into Day 4.

Joining them tomorrow will be Tom Alner (341,000), Yuguang Li (249,000), Christoph Vogelsang (228,000), Thomas Ward (195,000), Steve O'Dwyer (174,000), Raymond Wu (163,000), Russell Thomas (141,000) and Matthew Wakeman (126,000).

ACOP Main Event Day 3 Top Ten

Connor Drinan (Mexico) - 861,000
Tony Yat Wai Cheng (Hong Kong) - 835,000
Patrick Mahoney (USA) - 820,000
Qi Luo (China) - 515,000
Paul Tedeschi (France) - 490,000
Sergey Lebedev (Russia) - 486,000
Shunu Zang (China) - 443,000
Tom Alner (UK) - 341,000
Zhou Zhou (China) - 334,000
Nan Tu (China) - 293,000

Now players will rest up before the penultimate day tomorrow. Then we'll see 23 become six for our official final table. Be sure to join us as we push towards crowning a new champion!

Brad Kain
@PokerStars in Day 3