2017 ACOP: Tong’s flopped quads send him to top of stacked SHR field

October 21, 2017

Poker players flock to Macau expecting the unexpected. This is the land of the unpredictable player: deep pockets and a willingness to delve into them.

But Macau, and specifically the PokerStars LIVE! card-room at the City of Dreams, is becoming hugely predictable in one crucial way. This is where you can expect the biggest Super High Roller fields in the PokerStars universe, year in, year out.


Playing for rolls at ACOP

Today was Day 1 of the HK$800,000 (US$100,000) event, the biggest on the 2017 Asia Championship of Poker (ACOP) schedule. Sure enough, 56 players sat down to play. Ten of them re-entered before the end of the seven hour-long levels, meaning this is the largest tournament of this buy-in seen under the Red Spade in 2017.

What’s more, registration remains open for another two levels tomorrow, so there’s still plenty of time for more registrations–be they newcomers or re-entries.

It’s fitting tonight that the player with the biggest stack is the man who won the hand of the day. Zhou flopped quads at the same time as two opponents made full-houses (one on the flop, one on the turn).


Zhou Tong: Leading the high rollers

That won him a 20 million chip pot. By the end of the day, Zhou had added a further 5.85 million and his 25.85 million stack was the tournament’s biggest. Coincidentally, the man in second was sitting right next to him, Tim Adams had 25.835 million at the gong, marginally ahead of his friend Daniel Dvoress’s 25.5 million.


Timothy Adams: Second overnight


Daniel Dvoress: Third

But this field is still, of course, chock-a-block with awesome talent. Zhou’s huge hand helped him leap over the chip leader at the time, Fedor Holz, who finished with 25.240 million.


Customary big stack with Fedor Holz

Meanwhile, every single one of the current top 11-ranked poker players joined the fray, and 15 of the top 20, with all but one of them still there at the end (albeit thanks to a re-entry or two).

Click through for the full chip counts of the 56 remaining players. And here’s the Day 2 seat draw.

There’s a fair bet a few more players will re-emerge tomorrow as this tournament plays to its final. Bryn Kenney, the aforementioned GPI boss who was knocked out today, will probably be one of them. We’ll be here every step of the way.


• ENTRIES: 66 (inc 10 re-entries – Registration open until Day 2)
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11:50pm: The end for Petrangelo
Level 7: 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

After a squeeze all-in from Nick Petrangelo in the small blind, Daniel Dvoress, the preflop opener, made the call for 2.69 million from the cutoff.

It was a flip, with Dvoress holding a pair of nines and Petrangelo needing to hit with his ace jack.

The board ran out Q♥7♠9♣J♦8♣ and, unfortunately for Petrangelo, he was sent to the rail, having missed all his outs.

Dvoress is now challenging for the chip lead with around 20 million. — LY

11:45pm: Seven more hands
Level 7: 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

Tournament officials have paused the clock and announced that they will play seven more hands before wrapping for the evening. Stay tuned for a recap and full chip counts. — HS

11:40pm: O’Dwyer ships on Seidel
Level 7 – Blinds: 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

The pre-flop and flop action is unknown, but on the turn of a A♣K♣J♠7♥ board Erik Seidel checked, Steve O’Dwyer bet 1.2 million and Seidel called. The 8♣ completed the board and Seidel checked again. O’Dywer glanced at Seidel’s stack – around 2.65 million – and then bet enough to set Seidel all-in. Seidel sent his cards into the muck and the pot went to O’Dwyer. –NW

11:35pm: Fast and Bleiker go at it again
Level 7: 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

It folded round to Felix Bleiker on the button, who opened for 300,000 and Dietrich Fast called from the big blind. Flop came: Q♣9♥6♠.

Bleiker continued for 250,000 and Fast proceeded to check raise to 725,000, which Bleiker called.

The turn was 8♥ and Fast continued to apply pressure, this time with a 2.65 million bet. Bleiker called once again and we waited for the river: 8♦

The board paired and for the first time Fast went into the tank. After using one time bank chip he quickly put in 5.5 million, which was the majority of his stack.

Bleiker folded and Fast took a very nice pot without showdown. — LY

11:35pm: Honours even between Holz and Watson
Level 6 – Blinds: 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

Mike Watson re-entered after busting a while back, joined a new table, and went to battle with the big-stacked Fedor Holz over two hands. They both won a pot each.

In the first hand, we picked up the action on the turn where the board read 9♣3♣Q♠. Holz bet 400,000 off the button and Watson check-called from there big blind. The 3♣ completed the board and Watson check-folded to a 2.1 million bet from his young German opponent.

Holz raised to 275,000 the very next hand and called after Watson three-bet to 1million from the small blind. Both players checked the 9♣3♣Q♠ flop before Holz folded to a 1.2 million bet on the 5♦ turn.

Holz hovers around the 25 million mark while Watson is in profit on his second bullet with 8.45 million. — MC

11:30pm: A trio of three-bets
Level 7 – Blinds: 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

The three-bets are getting it done, and by it I mean winning pots. In quick succession I saw the following.

• Stefan Schillhabel raised to 300,000 but folded when Shan Huang made it 900,000 to play.
• Dietrich Fast three-bet to 900,000 after Dmitry Yurasov had opened to 260,000. The Russian player took most of his 30 seconds to fold.
• From late position Timothy Adams opened to 260,000 and Dominik Nitsche then re-raised from the small blind. It was 1.1 million in total for Adams to continue, but he elected to fold. –NW

11:20pm: Watson is wamboozled
Level 7 – Blinds: 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

This all-in was, as the kidz would say, standard. Steffen Sontheimer opened to 275,000, Bjorn Li three-bet to 925,000 and Mike Watson then moved all-in for around 4 million. It folded back to Sontheimer, who folded.

Although Li asked for a count, once he realised it was around 4 million total, he called before getting an exact count and showed Q♥Q♣. He was ahead of Watson’s pocket tens and it stayed that way on a 2♠7♠J♥7♦3♠ run out. –NW

11:15pm: Second pair good for Chidwick
Level 7 – Blinds: 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

Stephen Chidwick has got his stack up to 10.6 million after he won a small pot off Justin Bonomo.

The latter opened from the button and was called by Chidwick and Paul Newey in the blinds. The flop fell A♠J♣2♥ and Bonomo continued for 250,000.

Only Chidwick check-called before the 6♣4♥ turn and river were checked through. Chidwick opened J♥10♦ for second pair and Bonomo mucked to drop to 12.7 million. –MC

11:15pm: No mango, but man, can he go
Level 7 – Blinds: 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

We’ve barely mentioned Steve O’Dwyer today, but the Irishman, minus his lucky mango, has quietly accumulated a stack of around 14 million. That’s well above the average of 8.8 million. It’s possible Erik Seidel (4.6 million) or Mike Watson (4.2 million) may have suffered at the hands of the 2014 ACOP Super High Roller winner. –NW

11:10pm: Defending champion departs
Level 7 – Blinds: 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

Yuan Li won this event last year, coming from absolutely nowhere to surprise the best players in the world. If he’s going to repeat, he’ll need to dip into his pocket again. He lost the last of his first bullet’s chips to Adrian Mateos. The Spaniard becomes the first player to bust Li from an ACOP Super High Roller. — HS

11pm: Top 5 stacks
Level 7 – Blinds: 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

Heading into the last level of the day, here are the top five stacks of the 56 players remaining:

Zhou Tong, 25.7 million
Timothy Adams, 21.4 million
Fedor Holz, 20 million
Matt Moss, 19.6 million
Shan Huang, 19.1 million


Timothy Adams: Top five

10:45pm: Break time

That’s the last break of the day. They’ll take 15 minutes and then come back to play one level more. –HS

10:40pm: Hit and run from Alvarado
Level 6 – Blinds: 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

It’s bad form to hit and run in a cash game, but do it in a tournament, and you can walk away with a smile. JC Alvarado won a pot off Steffen Sontheimer then was immediately balanced to another table.

The Mexican opened to 220,000 from under the gun and was called in two spots en route to a 2♣4♥A♥ flop. The action checked to Sontheimer on the button and he bet 300,000. Only Alvarado called to the 9♥ turn where both players checked. The 10♣ completed the board and Sontheimer led for 775,000. Alvarado took his time and just called with A♦A♠ for top set to beat out Sontheimer’s Q♣J♣ bluff.

Alvarado walked off with around 12 million whereas Sontheimer dropped to 9.8 million. –MC

10:35pm: Double elimination
Level 6 – Blinds: 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

Don’t get too excited. This is not an update about two players busting in the same hand, but it is about bust outs. There are unlimited re-entries available in this tournament and six players have, thus far, taking up one option. James Chen is one of that half-dozen and he’s also the first player to bust twice.

We’ve caught some of the bust outs today, but not all of them. However, we can tell you that the other players who’ve definitely dusted off one bullet are: Jason Koon, Michael Addamo, Seng Yee Leow, Aaron Been, Sergio Aido, Issac Haxton, Christian Christner and Adrian Matoes.

The final three on that list are all back in the tournament and on bullet No 2. -NW

10:30pm: Flushing board puts Fast under pressure
Level 6: 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

The action started early, with Dietrich Fast opening from under the gun. Mikita Badziakouski called in the cutoff and was followed by a button squeeze from Felix Bleiker who raised it to 1.225 million.

The action was back on Fast who thought for a while before four-betting to 2.3 million. Badziakouski had to forget about seeing a flop and got out of the way. After Bleiker called, it was just two players left in this very large pot.

With several million already invested in the hand, the flop was dealt Q♣10♥5♥. No further chips were put in as both players opted to check.

Then the 8♥ turn brought a third heart and Fast decided to delay no longer, betting 2.3 million. Bleiker called in position and that left only the river card: K♥

Fast decided to slow down and check the fourth heart and Bleiker had the option to bet or check back. This time he went for a bet and put in 2.5 million, which was about half his remaining stack. The board hadn’t helped Fast and he had to fold. – LY

10:25pm: Burns bluffed
Level 6 – Blinds: 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

We confess we don’t know much about Yinfeng Jin and as far as we know this is the first Super High Roller she’s played. However, if the other players at the table thought she could be pushed around then they need to think again. Here’s proof.

Pre-flop Kahle Burns made it 225,000 to go from the hijack and Jin defended from the big blind. After Burns c-bet 180,000 on the 4♣A♠6♠ flop Jin check-raised to 600,000 total and Burns called. The 6♣ turn was checked through and the 7♦ completed the board.

Again Jin checked and Burns opted against taking a free showdown. It would cost him. The Australian fired out 650,000 and fairly swiftly Jin raised to three million.


Kahle Burns: No laughing matter

Burns shot back in his chair and let out a playful laugh. “Really?” he said. “Are you trying to bully me off?”

While he was chuckling, Jin remained poker-faced throughout. Burns, who has used both him time extension chips, mucked his hand and Jin showed K♠10♦ for a total bluff. –NW

10:20pm: Mateos busts to Sontheimer
Level 6 – Blinds: 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

Adrian Mateos has three-bet Steffen Sontheimer on more than one occasion today, but the last time he tried it on his neighbour, he was shown the door.

Sontheimer opened to 250,000 from the button and snap called after Mateos moved all-in for 3.4 million from the small blind.

Mateos: 6♥6♦
Sontheimer: A♠A♣

The board ran A♥K♥Q♥K♣4♥ to make the German a full house. I’d dare say it won’t be too long before Mateos will be back in the field. Sontheimer meanwhile has over 10 million. — MC

10:15pm: A late appearance
Level 6 – Blinds: 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

They left it fashionably late, but all of Mustapha Kanit, Dario Sammartino and John Juanda just made this field a degree tougher as we edge towards the end of the penultimate level of the day.

We’ve now seen 62 entries, including six re-entries. — HS

10pm: Attenborough shoves on Adams
Level 6 – Blinds: 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

There are a lot of chips on Table 2. It’s the table where the hand of the day took place (see 9:30pm update) and Timothy Adams, who is also at that table, has north of 20 million.

The size of the pots are matching the stacks and I just saw another three-bet pot. It was Adrian Attenbrough who made the first aggressive action, raising to 225,000 from the hijack. Action passed to Adams, who was in the small blind. He three-bet to 950,000 and it folded round to Attenborough.

He thought for a short time and then moved all-in for 6.4 million. Adams didn’t need as long to make his decision. He mucked. –NW

9:55pm: Yurasov reps big
Level 5: 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

After an under the gun raise of 200,000 by Dmitry Yurasov, play folded to Mikita Badziakouski, who made it 900,000 to see a flop. Yurasov wasn’t discouraged and called in position.

When the flop came 9♥3♣9♣, Badziakouski continued to rep strong with a bet of 2.2 million and Yurasov came along with him.

Yurasov continued with his aggressive line and shoved it all in on the 5♣ turn. He had Badziakouski’s 6 million or so remaining chips covered. Badziakouski didn’t need a time bank chip to make his decision, he had folded before the 30 second shot clock was up. – LY

9:50pm: Aldemir doubles
Level 6: Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

Koray Aldemir just scored a double up. Details are scarce, but that’s the headline news.

They were all the way to the river when I arrived, with the board reading 4♣J♦2♠K♣Q♣ and around 5 million in the pot. James Chen checked but then Aldemir jammed for 2.6 million.


Two pair good for Aldemir

Chen checked the amount a couple of times before he called. Aldemir turned over K♠Q♠ and Chen, asked to show by Fedor Holz because it was an all-in coup, showed his A♣J♥.

Aldemir rises to 11.6 million after that, while Chen has 2.9 million left. — HS

9:45pm: Small blind, bigger stack for Quan Zhou
Level 5 – Blinds: 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

Quan Zhou won one of the last hands of Level 5 to gain some much needed chips.

He was in the small blind and up against Nick Petrangelo and Sam Greenwood. A flop was out, reading 6♥3♦3♥ and Zhou led for 230,000.

Petrangelo made a quick fold and Greenwood called before the remaining two players checked the 4♦ through.

Greenwood then led for 900,000 on the K♦ river but made a quick fold after Zhou moved all-in for 3.3 million. Greenwood dropped to 4.6 million. –MC

9:30pm: Hand of the day tournament?
Level 5 – Blinds: 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

If you only read one hand update today make it this one. We promise you won’t read about a more outrageous hand all day.

The action was started by Zhou Tong. He raised from middle position and Matt Moss then three-bet to 625,000 from the cutoff. He was called by Stanley Choi (button), Aaron Been (small blind) and Tong. So four to a flop of 5♦4♠5♣ it was. The action checked to Moss, he bet 875,000, Choi folded but Been and Tong stuck around.

So, there was already over 5 million in the pot by now and the K♣ fell on fourth street. Again the action was checked to Moss and again he would bet. This time the UK pro fired out 2.1 million.

There was no shifting Been or Tong. Been called and Tong then raised all-in for 5.105 million in total. Moss asked for a count before calling and Been also called, creating a pot of more than 20 million.


Tong skewers Moss and Been, wins huge cooler

On the 7♠ river Been checked it over to Moss. Moss moved all-in for 7.6 million. There was a grimace from Been. He clearly didn’t like it but it was a grimace of a man who knew he was committed to a decision. As his time ticked down he did indeed make the call and it was time for showdown.

Tong: 5♠5♥ – flopped quads
Been: 4♣4♦ – flopped full house
Moss: K♦K♥ – turned full house

Wow! Quads vs. full house vs. full house. Don’t these hands only happen online? Tong took the main pot, which was worth 20.6 million and it was time to work out if Been had any chips left. The stacks belonging to Moss and himself were very close.

It turned out that Moss (7.6 million) had Been (7.2 million) covered by a handful of big blinds. Moss actually made a profit on that hand and has 14.8 million. Been is a has-Been.

Sergio Aido had a ringside seat:


9:20pm: The ace of spades, the ace of spades
Level 5 – Blinds: 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

For a chopped pot, the following hand between Dominik Nitsche and Isaac Haxton had a lot going on.

Nitsche (UTG) raised to 200,000 before Haxton three-bet to 675,000 from the next seat along. Nitsche then came back with a four-bet to 2 million and Haxton called.

The flop fanned K♣J♦2♦ and Nitsche continued for 1.3 million. Haxton let the clock run down and threw in a time-bank chip to give himself another 30 seconds, then he called. The turn was the 4♥ and Nitsche moved all-in and was called.

Nitsche: A♠A♦
Haxton: A♣A♥.

Immediately Yuan Li, also at the table, told the dealer to pause as he believed he had folded the A♠. The river was dealt as the 4♠ and then three floor supervisors conferred and agreed with the players that the entire deck should be spread face-up. It was and no second A♠ appeared. It was business back to normal.

Nitsche managed to chop the blinds and antes but also got Haxton to use a time bank chip so it was a small victory of sorts for the German. — MC

9:15pm: Vogelsang and Christner return
Level 5: Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

You just can’t keep a good German down. Both Christoph Vogelsang and Christian Christner have re-entered. We’ve now seen 56 entries, including three re-entries. There will be more. — HS

9:10pm: Bad beat, but to whom?
Level 5: Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

The following hand had all the makings of a bad beat–but just who was going to be beaten and who was going to do the beating wasn’t decided until the very end.

Picking it up on the flop, there didn’t seem to be much in the pot to suggest much more than an open and two calls. Luc Greenwood, under the gun, was involved, as was Dmity Yurasov, on the button, and Christian Christner in the big blind.

They were all looking at a flop of 8♦4♦7♠. Christner and Greenwood checked, but then both called after Yurasov bet 400,000. The 9♥ hit the turn.

Christner and Greenwood both checked again and Yurasov bet 1.1 million. Christner then moved all-in for around 3.3 million.

Greenwood quickly folded, but Yurasov, after a double-check of his hole cards, made the call. Christner showed him 9♣9♠ and Yurasov looked dejected with an outdrawn Q♣Q♠.

But the fat lady had not yet sung, and she was sent back without warbling when the Q♥ emerged on the turn to hit Yurasov and send Christner to the rail.

Yurasov has about 12.2 million now. — HS

9:05pm: Ramage ramps up the aggression
Level 5 – Blinds: 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

Three-bet, bet, bet, all-in. Aside from throwing in a check-raise Grayson Ramage couldn’t have taken a more aggressive line in a hand he played against Kahle Burns. The action was actually started by Shan Huang. He opened to 175,000 from the cutoff, Burns called from the button and Ramage then three-bet to 715,000 from the small blind. Burns was the only caller.


Grayson Ramage: Aggressor

On the 3♦8♠3♠2♦2♣ run out Ramage bet 550,000 (flop), 1.8 million (turn) and 4.5 million (river, all-in). Burns called the flop and turn within the regulation 30 seconds, but he used up his remaining time extension chip on the river. He likely wishes he had another as his time all but ran out before he elected to fold.

After that hand Ramage is up to 10.8 million and Burns is down to 6 million. –NW

9pm: A monster hand
Level 3: 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

Play folded around to Sam Greenwood who raised to 180,000 in the hijack and then faced a three-bet by Yuan Li in the small blind. Li made it 425,000. Greenwood called.

The flop came 8♦K♥2♣ and Li decided not to continue, with Greenwood checking behind.

When the turn brought the 6♦, Li put 500,000 over the line, which was almost half his remaining stack. Greenwood set Li in for his remaining chips and the call from Li meant they were all-in with one card to come.

Li turned over a pair of kings for top set and Greenwood was looking for only two outs to redraw a better set with his pair of aces.

Greenwood bricked the 10♦ river, giving Li a much needed double to around 4 million chips. -LY

8:55pm: Mateos takes from Sontheimer
Level 5 – Blinds: 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

Neither Steffen Sontheimer nor Adrian Mateos have gained much traction today, both down from their starting stacks, but the latter will feel better after taking a pot off the former.

Sontheimer opened to 175,000 from the hijack and called after Mateos three-bet to 550,000 from the cutoff. The flop came K♣5♥3♥ and Sontheimer check-called 400,000. He did the same for another 600,000 on the A♠ turn before the 5♣ river was checked through.

Sontheimer opened a missed draw with 10♥J♥ and lost out to Mateos’ K♦J♠. — MC

8:45pm: One in, one out
Level 5: Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

As Adrian Attenborough was taking his seat, becoming the 53rd player to sit down, Christoph Vogelsang was taking his leave having shipped his last 900,000 to Kahle Burns.

It was an open-shove from the button from Vogelsang, representing about 11 big blinds. Burns called from the small blind and those two were left at it.

Burns: K♦Q♣
Vogelsang: Q♦10♦

As Shan Huang noted, the 4♠9♦J♣ flop wasn’t bad for Vogelsang. But although he was up and down, he was also out after the 6♦ turn and A♠ river.

“I hope you come back,” Huang said as Vogelsang wandered away.
“Hopefully, yes,” Vogelsang said.

Tobias Ziegler also sat down shortly before the recent tournament break. — HS

8:30pm: Chip counts

Some more counts from around the room:

Stephen Chidwick: 5.975 million
Paul Newey: 6.525 million
Manig Loeser: 9 million
Fedor Holz: 25 million
Koray Aldemir: 8.7 million
Dietrich Fast: 7.3 million
Shan Huang: 11 million
Christoph Vogelsang: 900,000
Kahle Burns: 8.9 million
Grayson Ramage: 8.6 million
Ye Zhang: 10.6 million
Yinfeng Jin: 7.5 million
Stefan Schillhabel: 7.55 million

8:30pm: Break time

Off they go for a 15-minute break. There are 50 players seated, two of whom have re-entered.

Fedor Holz has absolutely masses. His 25 million-plus stack is about twice his nearest challenger’s. — HS


8:25pm: Nitsche with seven figures
Level 4 – Blinds: 30,000/60,000 (ante 5,000)

Dominik Nitsche has passed 10 million chips after he won a three-bet pot in position against Nick Petrangelo, who dropped to a still-healthy 8.7 million.

Both players committed 850,000 chips pre flop before the flop fell 4♦5♠6♦. Petrangelo (BB) led for 600,000 and Nitsche (UTG+1) called. The turn was the 2♦ and Nitsche took the pot away with a 1million bet as Petrangelo check-folded. — MC

8:20pm: Vogelsang down to dust
Level 4 – Blinds: 30,000/60,000 (ante 5,000)

“How can you make this call? I would’ve folded instantly.”

That was Shan Huang to Ye Zhang after the latter had made a great call against Christoph Vogelsang.

I only caught the river action, on which Vogelsang bet 3.3 million. Huang studied the 3♦10♠7♦9♣2♠ board and used most of his 30 seconds before calling. Vogelsang showd 6♠5♠ for not much at all, Huang held K♠10♥ for a gutsy call with just one pair.

After that hand Vogelsang was left with just 400,000 but he doubled up against Kahle Burns, his pocket queens holding against A♦9♣. –NW

8:20pm: Bleiker and Christner clash
Level 3: 30,000/60,000 (ante 5,000)

The action folded round to Felix Bleiker, who made it 140,000 in the cutoff. The only other player who wanted to get involved was Christian Christner, who made a sizeable 550,000 three-bet from the small blind. Bleiker called and the two were heads up. The flop came down: 5♠10♠7♣

Christner continued with a slightly smaller bet of 475,000 and there was no hesitation from Bleiker who called.


Felix Bleicker: Trips up Christner

The bottom card paired the turn 5♦ and Christner saw no reason to slow down, making it 1.325 million to call this time. Bleiker couldn’t be shaken off and called once again in position.

The K♥ river made Christner stop and think for a moment before he elected to check. Bleiker counted his up his chips before announcing his all-in and pushed his 3 million remaining chips over the line.

This left Christner with a tough decision. He went into the tank and found a call, showing his pair of Jacks but it was Bleiker who had the best of it with trip fives 5♣6♣ – LY

8:10pm: One way back to the starting stack
Level 4 – Blinds: 30,000/60,000 (ante 5,000)

As mentioned at 7:50pm, Isaac Haxton has made his way back to his starting stack. But we have a significant addition to that post: the way he did it was by becoming the first player to re-enter this tournament. We didn’t notice him busting; we didn’t notice him re-entering. But that’s the mystery solved. He’s on his second bullet. — HS

8:05pm: Koon downed by Holz
Level 4 – Blinds: 30,000/60,000 (ante 5,000)

Unfortunately for Jason Koon things only got worse for him at his new table. He was taken out by the (almost) unstoppable Fedor Holz, who rocketed into the chip lead with 22.5 million.

We missed the hand but Holz, who came second in the Triton Macau Main Event yesterday for HK$16,398,000, kindly filled us in on the details.

He open raised to 135,000 and called after Koon three-bet to 440,000 from the next seat. Koon continued for 250,000 on a K♥8♥5♥ board and called after Holz check-raised him to 440,000. Holz then led for 550,000 and (effectively) all-in for 1.7 million on the 8♦4♥ turn and river. Koon called off with queens (including the Q♥ but lost out to Holz’s full house with K♣K♠. –MC

8pm: More counts
Level 4 – Blinds: 30,000/60,000 (ante 5,000)

From our perspective there aren’t any soft tables in Super High Roller, just gradients of difficulty. However, take a look at this beauty which the random seat draw has cobbled together today.

Seat 1: David Peters, 8.45 million
Seat 2: Steffen Sontheimer, 7.375 million
Seat 3: Adrian Mateos, 8.725 million
Seat 4: Mike Watson, 3.15 million
Seat 5: JC Alvarado, 8.040 million
Seat 6: Erik Seidel, 9 million
Seat 7: –Seat Empty–
Seat 8: Steve O’Dwyer, 6.3 million

Boy is Empty up against it.

One table over Daniel Dvoress has flown out of the gates, the Canadian has added almost 50% to his starting stack and faces this line-up.

Seat 1: Yang Wang, 5.6 million
Seat 2: –Seat Empty–
Seat 3: Daniel Dvoress, 11.55 million
Seat 4: John Andress, 5.35 million
Seat 5: –Seat Empty–
Seat 6: Seng Yee Leow, 5.8 million
Seat 7: Stanley Choi, 7.35 million
Seat 8: Shuo Li, 7.6 million

Dmitry Yurasov is another player who’s padded their stack in the early levels of this tournament. Even more impressive since he didn’t enter until Level 3.

Seat 1: Dmitry Yurasov, 10.9 million
Seat 2: Justin Bonomo, 12.175 million
Seat 3: –Seat Empty–
Seat 4: Christopher Frank, 7.975 million
Seat 5: Dan Smith, 9.65 million
Seat 6: Lucas Greenwood, 10.95 million
Seat 7: Mikita Badziakouski, 9.7 million
Seat 8: Felix Bleiker, 5.2 million

7:50pm: Fifth table lucky for Haxton
Level 4 – Blinds: 30,000/60,000 (ante 5,000)

Isaac Haxton is on at least his fifth table of the tournament and must be enjoying his time there as he’s managed to get his stack back up to around its starting point.

His latest win came in a small pot win versus Quan Zhou. The latter opened to 120,000 from early position and Haxton peeled from the big blind to see a 10♥7♣6♠ flop. The action there, and on the 8♥ turn, was checked through before Haxton led for 225,000 on the Q♦ river.


Quan Zhou: Small hit

Zhou called, saw Haxton’s Q♣8♠ for two pair and mucked to drop to 4.2 million. –MC

7:40pm: Sontheimer’s bad beat
Level 4 – Blinds: 30,000/60,000 (ante 5,000)

Steffen Sontheimer is on tilt. Food tilt. He ordered food some 90 minutes ago, chicken tenders and Caesar Salad since you asked, and it finally arrived. Only it didn’t. Each food order has a number and just as he was about to tuck in, it was established that this particular order belonged to Justin Bonomo.

“When did you order Justin?” asked Sontheimer. “About 45 minutes ago,” replied Bonomo. If Sontheimer wasn’t already a little annoyed with the service, this sent him over the edge. His order has clearly been lost in the system and the man is very hungry. “Now that’s a bad beat,” said Sontheimer who, despite the mistake costing him, is still in a jovial move. –NW

7:35pm: Early pot for Seidel
Level 4: 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

Steve O’Dwyer opened from under the gun and Adrian Mateos called the 100,000 bet on the button. Erik Seidel, a recent arrival, called too from the big blind, making it three handed to the flop: 2♦J♦4♥

O’Dwyer continued for 175,000 with both Mateos and Seidel coming along for the ride.

The 2♠ turn slowed everyone down, with checks all round.

A 7♥ came on the river and Seidel saw an opportunity to make a move with a bet of 600,000, taking it down without showdown. – LY

7:30pm: Jin representing
Level 4: Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 5,000)

It’s an enduring (and regrettable) fact that poker tournaments tend to be heavily male-dominated, particularly at the Super High Roller end. But Yinfeng Jin has just sat down in this event to at least shift the 48:0 male:female ratio in this tournament. It’s now 49:1, which is a start. — HS


Yingfen Jin: Newcomer to the SHR field

7:20pm: Koon moves across the tracks
Level 3 – Blinds: 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

The 49th player entered the tournament meaning that the floor staff had to open a seventh table to accommodate the field. Jason Koon was balanced on to a table full of the Germans – Fedor Holz, Dietrich Fast, Koray Aldemir and Manig Loeser to be precise – and soon found out how tough that can be. If you don’t believe us, checked out the aforementioned players’ results these past two years and you’ll understand.

It was Loeser that cost Koon some chips after some power poker. They were heads up to an 8♠A♦K♠ flop where Koon led for 265,000.

Loser was on the button, called, and then bet a cool million (using a plaque) on the 6♣ turn after the action was checked to him. Koon curled his brow and made the call. The river was the K♦ and Koon checked to face a 3.15 million bet.

Koon looked even more confused and had to use up a time-bank chip before deciding that fold was the best option.

Koon dropped below 11 million and Loeser rose to around 8.5 million. –MC

7:15pm: Bonomo and Moss the bosses
Level 3 – Blinds: 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

It’s been a decent start for Justin Bonomo. He has the chip lead at Table 1, which stacks up thus:

Seat 1: Sam Greenwood, 6.65 million
Seat 2: Dominik Nitsche, 7.95 million
Seat 3: Justin Bonomo, 12.175 million
Seat 4: Yuan Li, 2.375 million
Seat 5: Quan Zhou, 4.75 million
Seat 6: –Empty–
Seat 7: Nick Petrangelo: 8.4 million
Seat 8: Bryn Kenney, 8 million

Over on Table 2 Matt Moss is in a similar position:

Seat 1: Timothy Adams, 6.95 million
Seat 2: Matt Moss, 11.55 million
Seat 3: James Chen, 8.050 million
Seat 4: –Empty
Seat 5: Aaron Been, 8.65 million
Seat 6: –Empty–
Seat 7: Sergio Aido, 7.35 million
Seat 8: Zhou Tong, 10.4 million


Matt Moss: Boss

Moss’s ACOP trip didn’t get off to the greatest of starts, as you’ll see below, but he seems to have got the run bad out the way early.

7:10pm: Koon building without showing down
Level 3 – Blinds: 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

Jason Koon won two pots on the bounce to see his stack rise above the 12 million mark, and won both without having to show down.

In the first, Adrian Mateos opened to 90,000 from under the gun and was called by Koon (hijack) and David Peters (small blind). He continued for 150,000 on the 4♣7♦10♥ flop but he and Peters folded after Koon raised to 450,000.

Koon (himself) raised to 90,000 the next hand and was called by Steffen Sontheimer in the small blind. The board ran out 3♦4♣5♥A♣6♦ with no chips going in until the river where Sontheimer led for 200,000. Soon raised it up to 900,000 and that got the job done. –MC

7pm: Getting bigger all the time
Level 3: Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

Last year’s version of this event, which cost HK$500,000 to enter, attracted 33 players and 12-re-entries. At time of writing, which is before the end of Level 3, we already have 49 entries to this one. And it’s an HK$800,000 buy-in this time.

It doesn’t take a mathematics whizz to realise that last year’s first place prize of HK$6.7 million is going to be crushed.

The record ACOP Super High Roller field was the 2014 edition, which was won by Steve O’Dwyer. Back then, the buy-in was HK$500,000 (~USD 65K) with option for two max rebuys. They built a prize pool of HK$48,470,400 (~US$6,260,000).

It seems obvious that too will be surpassed. — HS

6:55pm: Tong topples Addamo
Level 3 – Blinds: 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

We’ve just had the first elimination of the day and it’s Mike Addamo who’s claimed that unwanted honour. The Australian raised to 90,000 from under-the-gun, Zhou Tong called from the cut-off and Timothy Adams then three-bet to 370,000 from the button.

Both players called and a J♥9♠7♥ flop hit the felt. It checked round and the 2♠ fell on fourth street. Addamo checked, Tong bet 610,000, Adams folded and Addamo went into the tank. He had roughly 3.7 million behind and elected to wager it all. Tong asked for a count and then called the all-in.

Addamo: A♥10♥
Tong: Q♠J♠


Michael Addamo: Toppled

Tong was in front but Addamo had plenty of outs to get there. The J♣ wasn’t one of them though and he headed to the exit. He may be back though as this is a single re-entry tournament. –NW

6:50pm: Late positions play for a small pot
Level 3: 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

Daniel Dvoress raised to around 100,000 in the cutoff and was quickly three bet by Seng Yee Leow on the button, who made it 250,000. Everyone else got out of the way and Dvoress called, taking just the two of them to the flop.


Both players slowed down post flop and checked to the turn:


In the absence of a continuation bet from Leow, Dvoress took the initiative and lead with a small bet of 200,000. Leow thought for a moment and called behind.

When the river brought a 7♠, Dvoress elected to check and Leow followed suit. When Dvoress showed his pair of eights, Leow mucked. – LY

6:45pm: Top pair no good for Haxton
Level 3 – Blinds: 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

It’s not been Isaac Haxton’s day so far. He just lost another pot with a flopped top pair to drop down to around 2.2 million. Lucas Greenwood, his adversary in the pot, saw his stack grow to over 10 million.

Greenwood raised to 100,000 from the cutoff and Haxton defended his big blind. The flop fell 5♣4♥10♦ and Haxton faced a 90,000 c-bet that he check-raised to 230,000. Call.

The A♠ turn didn’t put Haxton off from leading for 235,000 and he was called once more. The 3♥ completed the board and Haxton checked. Greenwood looked visibly confused by the move and checked behind after taking 20 seconds.

Haxton opened K♠10♠ and lost out to Greenwood’s K♦K♥. — MC

6:40pm: Seidel sighting
Level 3 – Blinds: 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

Erik Seidel is presently standing at the manual seating table awaiting a chair in the tournament. — HS

6:35pm: Another table opens
Level 3 – Blinds: 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

With 44 players having now entered the tournament, there was a need for a seventh table to be opened. As is the custom in situations like this the next big blind from each of the existing tables was moved to create the new table. Christoph Vogelsang, Paul Newey, JC Alvarado, and Paul Newey were quickly in place, but play couldn’t start. That was because Matt Moss – who was due to move – was involved in a big pot against Timothy Adams.

On the river of a 2♥2♣4♣J♥K♣ board Adams bet 800,000 only for Moss to shove all-in for north of five million. Adams tanked and folded and Moss was finally on the move. Maniq Loeser has also taken up residency at the new table. –NW

6:15pm: Break time

That’s the end of Level 2 and players are taking their first 15-minute break. There are 40 of them now seated and–shock, horror–there haven’t been any re-entries yet. –HS

6:05pm: Petrangelo and Li both keen to stay in pot
Level 2: 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Nick Petrangelo min-raised to 60,000 from under the gun and only Yuan Li was keen to put any chips in. He called in the small blind and the flop came down: 9♣6♦7♥

Li checked and Petrangelo continued for 60,000, with Li quick to call.

The turn was 6♣ and this time, when Petrangelo barreled on the turn for 110,000, Li chose to check-raise for around 270,000. Petrangelo paused briefly before calling.

Yet another six, this time the 6♥, came on the river. Li lead for 400,000 and it was a no brainer for Petrangelo, who called straight away.

Li – 8♠8♦
Petrangelo – 7♣10♣

Both players had a full house but unfortunately for Petrangelo, Li’s was bigger. — LY

6pm: Holz slows Nitsche’s charge
Level 2: Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

It was all going so well for Dominik Nitsche. And then he ran into Fedor Holz.

This is one of those intriguing pots in which we never found out what either of them had. But you can have a guess if you like.

Holz started it with a mid-position raise and Nitsche three-bet what looked like 300,000 from the button. Holz called, and it was just the two of them to a flop of 3♣8♥Q♠.

Holz checked, Nitsche bet 400,000 and Holz called.


Fedor Holz: Grabbing from Nitsche

The 7♠ came on the turn and Holz checked again. Nitsche bet 1.2 million and Holz went into the tank. He used one time-bank chip, but then emerged with a raise. He made it 2.8 million.

Nitsche called and all of a sudden no one’s stack looked monstrous anymore. Nitsche had about 4 million back and Holz had 3.6 million.

Holz was first to speak again after the A♠ river. And he put a few chips forward to indicate that this was a shove. Nitsche didn’t hang around. He quickly mucked. — HS

5:50pm: Good start for Nitsche
Level 2 – Blinds: 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

The strength in depth of the German High Roller contingent means that Dominik Nitsche is not in the top 10 of the German all-time money list. His $6,942,498 in lifetime earnings is good for just 11th place and with the Stefan’s – Schillhabel and Sontheimer – less than a million back he faces a fight just to tread water.

To put this in perspective Nitsche would be sixth (Canada), fifth (France), third (UK, Ukraine) and seconnd (Italy, Russia) on the all-time money list of some other comparable poker playing nations. Nitsche has Christoph Vogelsang, Fedor Holz and Daniel Dvoress for company today and he just played a pot against Yang Wang.

The latter was the pre-flop aggressor, he raised from middle position and Nitsche defended from the big blind. On the 6♦7♥6♠ flop Wang c-bet 125,000 only for Nitsche to check-raise to 325,000 total. Wang wasn’t for budging and he called, taking the two players to a 3♥ turn card. The German pro bet 500,000 and Wang went into the tank.

A head scratch or two followed and Wang rested his right arm – which is adorned in tattoos, including once in the shape of an ace – on his forehead. His time ticked down and he elected to released his hand. So, pot to Nitsche, who is up to 9.6 million. –NW

5:45pm: Smith builds a house, charges Haxton rent
Level 2 – Blinds: 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Dan Smith’s stack has grown to 11.5 million after he flopped two pair and rivered a house versus Issac Haxton, who dropped below 3 million.

The hand was three-way to a 9♣K♥8♦ flop and Smith bet 380,000 when the action checked to him on the button. Smith called from under the gun and Lucas Greenwood elected to fold from the hijack. The 5♥ was checked through before Smith let the shot clock reach 2 seconds remaining on the 8♠ river before he led for 1.35 million.


Dan Smith: Charging expensive rent

Haxton called, was shown 8♥9♥, paid the bet, and mucked his hand while nodding in acknowledgement of defeat. — MC

5:35pm: Time to think
Level 2: 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

The team arrived to see the end of a big hand. Kahle Burns was locked in concentration, facing a 3 million bet from Sam Greenwood on the river.

The board had come down 2♥K♠6♥4♣8♦

With more than 2 million chips in the pot already, Burns needed some time to think and he put one of his time bank chips to good use. Once that time had been used up, he came to a decision and called.

Both players tabled Ace-King offsuit…chop it up. – LY

5:30pm: Sontheimer halts Mateos aggression
Level 2 – Blinds: 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Adrian Mateos emptied the clip to win one hand and tried an aggressive line the next, but was put into place by Steffen Sontheimer.

Mateos opened under the gun and was called in two spots before a 6♠6♥5♥ flop appeared. The Spanish star continued for 105,000 and was only called by James Chen on the button. The latter called another 300,000 on the 6♣ turn but folded to Mateos’ third bullet (for 800,000) on the 7♠ river.

Sontheimer completed into Mateos’ big blind the very next hand, and called after being raised to 100,000. The flop fanned J♠9♥5♥ and Sontheimer check-called 100,000. The J♦ turn was checked through and Sontheimer’s 315,000 bet on the 10♣ river was enough to force a fold from Mateos. — MC

5:20pm: Plaque attack
Level 2 – Blinds: 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

If there are green plaques in the middle of the table at this stage of the tournament, then you know it’s a big pot. It was Timothy Adams versus Mike Adamo in the hand in question and there were two of the 1 million chip plaques nestled by the community cards.

That alone made the pot 66.66 big blinds and when you totted up all the regular round chips they’d built a pot of over 4 million. The action to this point is unknown, but a curious board of 4♠4♣4♦10♣10♥ was on the table. Adams was first to act and he bet 4.1 million, Adamo took about 15 seconds to decide that he couldn’t call.

He mucked and Adams took the spoils to climb to around 10 million. — NW

5:15pm: Haxton on the move again but pays his dues
Level 1 – Blinds: 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Isaac Haxton has now been moved to a fourth table in less than an hour but his days of ducking and diving the blinds are over.


The nomadic Isaac Haxton

He and Lucas Greenwood were heads-up to a 7♠3♥4♥ flop. Haxton checked-called 70,000 before both players checked through the 8♦ turn. That gave Haxton an invitation to lead for 100,000 on the K♣ river and Greenwood called from the button with K♥J♦ to beat his opponent’s Q♥10♣. — MC

5pm: Chidwick and Adams play a small pot
Level 1: 15,000/30,000

In the first half an hour or so there have been some late entries, leading to some table balancing and we are now playing six handed.

Stephen Chidwick opened to 65,000 from under the gun and it folded round to Timothy Adams in the small blind who called. With the big blind getting out of the way, we went heads up to the flop:


With checks all round, we went straight to the turn and the 5♣ brought a third club out. Neither player thought this was the time to start betting and the 8♥ on the river seemed unlikely to make a difference to either Chidwick or Adams. However Chidwick chose to lead with a bet of 125,000 and Adams quickly called. Chidwick tabled Q♠10♠ for two pair and Adams mucked his cards. — LY


Small pot for Chidwick

4:55pm: Holz loses poker tournament shocker
Level 1 – Blinds: 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Fedor Holz is making a habit of finishing second. Yeah, you read that correctly. Yesterday he finished runner-up to John Juanda in the Triton Super High Roller, which was also held in Macau.

Rewind to April of this year and that exact same scenario played out right here in the City of Dreams when an irresistible force met an immovable object. Holz reached heads-up play against Mr Super High Roller, aka Steve O’Dwyer, and the luck of the mango prevailed with O’Dwyer taking the trophy.

There are no days off for the Super High Rollers and Holz is back in action here today. He’s at the same table as Christoph Vogelsang, Daniel Dvoress and Dominik Nitsche. As for O’Dwyer, he’s on the player list but has not yet taken his seat to play.

Perhaps he’s shopping in the supermarket for some exotic fruit. –NW

4:50pm: Marginal gains
Level 1 – Blinds: 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Sergio Aido was the latest (and 30th) player to join the fray, but he didn’t do immediately after paying the entry.

Manual seating is being used, so once players buy in they have to go to an empty table near where the Super High Roller is situated and pick a random seat card. Aido, along with the aforementioned Koray Aldemir and Dario Sammartino, were surveying the tournament and watching the ever-changing seating plan as the tournament expanded, maybe waiting for more optimal open seats to appear.

Seat draw is a big part of the variance of poker, so anyway one can find to lessen that effect is smart. Poker is getting harder, especially at this high level, so marginal gains come into play for these players. — MC

4:45pm: Do you even play bro?
Level 1 – Blinds: 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

The rail is as stacked as the field. There’s a raised bar area near the area of the tournament room that the Super High Roller is being played in, the inhabitants of which are more commonly found playing in such an event.

Chief among them is Mustapha Kanit, fellow Italian crusher Dario Sammartino is next to him, Aymon Hata is lurking, as is Koray Aldemir. The latter was chatting to Steffen Sontheimer, who is already seated.

Sontheimer recently won the coveted “purple jacket” at the recent Poker Masters at the Aria in Las Vegas. Aldemir is already paid up for this event so he’ll definitely be making an appearance later and you suspect the other three players will too. –NW

4:40pm: The nomadic Mr Haxton
Level 1 – Blinds: 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

As a tournament expands with fresh entries, new tables are opened to accommodate them. That means that some players have to get moved from their existing tables and join the fresh entries, and that can be annoying if you’re trying to get settled, unless you keep missing the blinds.

“I’m okay with it if I’m never dealt into the blind,” said Isaac Haxton. “I’ve been dealt into three hands and haven’t paid a blind yet.”

Haxton is at his third table with the likes of Adrian Mateos, Jason Koon and Mikita Badziakouski – has he finally found a home? –MC

4:35pm: Shot clock rules
Level 1 – Blinds: 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

The vast majority of Super High Roller tournaments operate under shot clock rules and, much like with the rules of poker, the exact shot clock parameters differ from event to event.


Shot-clock in Macau

This is how it’ll work in this Super High Roller:

• Players will have the standard 30 seconds to act, the dealer will inform them when they have 10 seconds left to act.
• Players begin with two time extension chips. If they advance to Day 2 they will receive an additional two chips and another two will be given to each player who reaches the final table. Each chip is worth 30 seconds.
• The chips are automatically put into play once 30 seconds has elapsed.
• The dealer will give a countdown of 10 seconds before the players hand will be dead (if facing a bet) if all time extension chips have been used. — NW

4:30pm: Chen wins small early pot
Level 1: 15,000/30,000

With only five players on the table, Matt Moss opened to 75,000 under the gun only to face an immediate three-bet from James Chen who made it 235,000. All other players quickly got out of the way, so they went heads-up to the flop:


Both players checked the flop and the turn paired the top card with a J♦. Again both players didn’t take much time to check and the river came 2♠.

For a third time, there was a tentative check by both Moss and Chen and Chen revealed A♦Q♠. Moss mucked, leaving Chen to take down the pot. – LY

4:25pm: Traditional slow start
Level 1 – Blinds: 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

When shuffle up and deal was announced there were just two tables in play and just three players seated at the second of those tables. Three is the magic number as it allows cards to be dealt. If there are only two, play can’t start.

The first pot went to James Chen, his post-flop bet forcing Paul Newey to fold, while Timothy Adams had already ducked out the way. The table of three was soon bolstered by some of the usual suspects. Sam Greenwood, Stephen Chidwick, Lucas Greenwood, Mikita Badziakouski all drew table two and Matt Moss was moved from table one.

Each players starts with 8 million in chips and the 1 million chip plaques are in play from the start. You’ve got to love a tournament that starts with plaques! –NW

4:20pm: Smith lays down a marker
Level 1: Blinds 15,000/30,000

Dan Smith took down the first pot at his table, punishing limpers into his big blind.

After three limps, he raised the 30,000 big blind up to 200,000. Only Daniel Dvoress called to the 9♥8♣Q♥ flop where the action was checked through to the 4♣ turn. Smith led for 300,000 and was called. The board completed with the 9♦ and and Smith bombed for 1.3 million. Dvoress used up half his 30-second allotted thinking time before folding. — MC

4:10pm: Off they go!
Level 1: Blinds 15,000/30,000

And they’re off. There are two tables at the start of play, but almost certainly there will be at least three by the time you read this.

The following are already seated: Justin Bonomo, Dan Smith, Daniel Dvoress, Matt Moss, Timothy Adams, James Chen, Paul Newey, Sam Greenwood and Mikita Badziakouski. Oh, and Yuan Li, defending champion. — HS

3:55pm: Getting ready
Level 1: Blinds 15,000/30,000

Players are now hovering around the PokerStars Live card-room and action looks like it will getting under way on time.

The list of players who have already registered, and fronted the money, includes:

Michael Addamo, Timothy Adams, Sergio Aido, JC Alvarado, Mikita Badziakouski, Justin Bonomo, Stephen Chidwick, Christian Christner, Daniel Dvoress, Dietrich Fast, Luc Greenwood, Sam Greenwood, Ike Haxton, Fedor Holz, John Juanda, Rainer Kempe, Jason Koon, Koray Aldemir, Manig Loeser, Adrian Mateos, Paul Newey, Dominik Nitsche, Steve O’Dwyer, David Peters, Nick Petrangelo, Grayson Ramage, Stefan Schillhabel, Erik Seidel, Steffen Sondtheimer, Dan Smith, Christoph Vogelsang, Tobias Ziegler and defending champion Yuan Li.

— HS

3:30pm: The Super High Rollers return for ACOP action

Good afternoon all and welcome to Macau, specifically the PokerStars LIVE! card-room at the City of Dreams Casino, home of the 2017 Asia Championship of Poker (ACOP).

The festival has been under way for a week already, but things get richer this afternoon as the Super High Roller tournament begins. This one costs HK$800,000 to enter (HK$776,000+HK$24,000), which is a little more than US$100,000.

Last year, local player Yuan Li held off Justin Bonomo to win the title, after the pair struck a heads-up deal. Li won HK$6.7 million to Bonomo’s HK$5.595 million, but this year will be even bigger.

With a full 24 hours before the tournament started, there were already 43 players signed up. Last year’s HK$24 million prize pool came from 33 players and 12 re-entries.

There’s a shot-clock for this tournament, and unlimited re-entries are allowed up to the start of Day 2. The starting stack has 8 million chips, with blinds at 15,000/30,000 to start.

Action will be under way at 4pm local time.


PokerStars Blog reporting team on the HK$800,000 Super High Roller: Marc Convey, Howard Swains, Nick Wright and Lisa Yiasemides. Photography by Kenneth Lim Photography.


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