Live updates from day 3 of the PokerStars.net APPT Macau Main Event brought to you by Sean Callander and Landon Blackhall from PokerStars Macau at the Grand Lisboa Hotel and Casino. Click refresh to see the latest updates below, while the latest selected chip counts can be found by clicking here.
Level 26 (blinds 30,000-60,000, ante 5000)
7.30pm: Time is not on their side
The remaining four players at the final table have returned from their recent break, under a collective warning from APPT Tournament Director Danny McDonagh. They have been advised that due to the excessive length of time taken by players in their decision-making, if the trend continues they will be on the clock permanently and receive lesser time banks to act within each hand they play. That rule has been quickly applied to Daoxing Chen. Dermot Blain raised from the button before the flop to 210,000 and Chen called, going to the flop that read 6♣ J♣ 7♠. Both players checked and the dealer produced the 10♠ on the turn; Chen checked and Blain opened for 275,000. Chen went into his usual routine of leaning over the table to see how much was in his stack, then appeared to gather several stacks to raise before pausing again. The clock was called and Chen insta-mucked.
7pm: Champ pops by to take a look
Two all-ins – one each from Daoxing Chen and Dermot Blain – have met with no interest as the temperature starts to build at the APPT Macau Main Event final table. With 10-time WSOP bracelet winner Johnny Chan an interested spectator, Blain shoved over the top of Chen’s pre-flop re-raise to 350,000 after the Irishman had made it 160,000. No clock required for “Bao Bao” this time, as he released the hand without much thought. Chen quickly regained those chips with a pre-flop all-in bet of his own to scoop up the an almost identical pot from Darkhan Botabayev. The atmosphere around the final table is one of the best we’ve ever experienced on the APPT, with more and more spectators joining the rail as the evening progresses. Everyone on the main gaming floor is popping over to see what all the fuss is about – poker is undoubtedly taking centre stage in Macau tonight.
6.45pm: Body punches, but no KO blows
The routine of “raise, fold” has been broken in a few small pots, mostly between Daoxing Chen and Darkhan Botabayev, including one battle of the blinds. On a flop of 7♠ 2♣ 5♠, Chen checked to Botabayev from the small blind, Botabayev fired out 135,000 from the big blind but Chen quickly raised another 315,000. After a minute in the tank Botabayev laid it down; Chen flashed 7♥ 7♣ for a flopped set and raked in the pot. Dermot Blain has rarely thrown his hat into the ring against the two adversaries at the other end of the table while Mike Kim is quite happy to mostly watch on. In one hand, Kim folded to Chen on the button who raised it up to 160,000. Botabayev called from the small blind but Blain grabbed a stack of orange chips and moved them into the middle, raising it up an additional 465,000. The others mucked. That’s about the best we can muster.
6.30pm: Slow, like a boat to China
Do we wish we had a girlfriend as hot as one of the Pussycat Dolls? Just one of weighty issues being discussed at the Grand Lisboa Hotel and Casino tonight as play in the APPT Macau Main Event grinds to glacial progress early in the 26th level of play. Blinds are up to 30,000/60,000 and an ante of 5000, and players have been happy to take their turn at scooping up small pots without any significant action in the past 30 minutes. Just 600,000 in chips separates the four players, with Irishman Dermot Blain on 2.4 million ahead of Daoxing Chen (2 million), Darkhan Botabayev (1.95 million) and Mike Kim (1.85 million). Could be here for a while. Botabayev, that’s 107 points in Scrabble with a triple-word score and 50 bonus points.