Saturday, 26th November 2022 18:41
Home / Uncategorized / 2016 ACOP: Yuri “theNERDguy” Martins is cool, leads at Day 2 end in Macau


Yuri Martins: Took on the Li, and won

Players in the PokerStars LIVE card-room in the City of Dreams, Macau, have learned a important lesson rather quickly this week: don’t try to win a hand against Yuan Li. The 27-year-old won the Super High Roller earlier this week, beating Justin Bonomo heads up, and he again managed to send Bonomo to the rail on Day 3 of the Asia Championship of Poker (ACOP) Main Event.

However, one man who seemed unperturbed by Li’s super-human table presence is Yuri Martins, a visitor to Macau from Brazil, who played five full levels against Li today. Martins knows all about wild, aggressive play: he is the reigning LAPT Grand Final champion, a title he won almost precisely a year ago in Sao Paolo. He is also an online boss, where he plays as “theNERDguy” and is a WCOOP bracelet winner.

Martins was in scrap after scrap with Li today, but emerged not only unbruised, but with the biggest stack of the 75 players left at the end of play. Martins’ 299,000 is ahead of Wayne Yap’s 261,000 and Tore Lukashaugen’s 254,500.

Registration closed about an hour in to Day 2 play, capping our field at 302 players. They quickly learned that 36 of them would be dividing the $28,116,200 prize-pool, with the winner earning $6,684,000. (See the full payout structure.)

As has been the case through Days 1A and 1B, all we really learned for certain is who is now ruled out of that hunt. The likes of Stephen Chidwick, Yaxi Zhu, Dmitry Yurasov, Pratyush Buddiga, Aditya Agarwal, Billy Argyros, Dominik Nitsche, James Obst and the aforementioned Bonomo saw their hopes go up in smoke.

Two Team PokerStars Pros survived: Singapore’s Bryan Huang (158,000) and Taiwan’s Chen-An Lin (120,800). They each had their fair share of torment today as well. Huang sat next to Yueyuan Wang, who played seemingly every pot and bagged 203,200, while Lin had the overnight leader Christian Christner for company most of the day and Kitty Kuo late on. Kuo finished with 252,700 and Christner 165,300.

Other notable stacks sit with:

Kahle Burns — 243,800
JC Tran — 234,000
Senh Ung — 230,500
Steffen Sondtheimer — 224,400
Jordan Westmorland — 219,700

The full counts are over there on the chip-count page.

Li has 118,000, by the way, so the back-to-back dream endures. The same can be said for last year’s ACOP Main Event champion Jimmy Zhou. He has 125,700.

It’s the player’s party tonight, by the pool at the Hard Rock Hotel, but anyone still with chips is going to need an early night before coming back tomorrow. They will play into the money on what will be a long day.

Day 3 seat draw is over here.

Full Day 2 coverage:
Scroll through for blow-by-blow action

10:10pm: Play concludes
Level 12 – Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

That’s all for Day 2 folks. Yuri Martins ended the day as chip leader on 299,000. More about that and a wrap of the day’s play on the way.

9:50pm: Six more hands
Level 12 – Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

The announcement has been made. There are only six hands left here on Day 2 of the ACOP Main Event.

9:45pm: Chew chips up
Level 12 – Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Stevan Chew just added a few more chips to his stack after taking them from Xixiang Luo and Kahle Burns. Chew raised preflop to 3,500 and both Luo next-to-act and Burns in the big blind made the call.

The flop came down A54 and Burns checked it over to the preflop aggressor but Chew checked behind. With the action then on Luo he took a stab at it for 4,500. Burns threw his hand away but Chew picked up the aggression again with a check-raise to 12,000.

Luo gave it some thought but ultimately decided he couldn’t continue, relinquishing his hand into the muck. Chew scooped up the pot and built to a new total of 85,000. — BK

9:35pm: Matloubi felts Kelly
Level 12 – Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

JP Kelly is out. He got the last of his money in with 106 on a flop of 629 but couldn’t get Mansour Matloubi off his 1010.

Matloubi is now the only former WSOP champion still involved after Joe Hachem was knocked out earlier. Our November Niner count is at two, with both Russell Thomas and JC Tran still seated. Federico Butteroni couldn’t run his tiny overnight stack up into anything meaningful. –HS

9:30pm: Jono makes the right call all-in to double
Level 12 – Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Sergio Aido put the maximum pressure on Jonathan Karamalikis just now, but the latter came out of it with a needed double up.

The two players had reached the river where a 6A4510 board rested. Around 26,000 lay in a pile in the middle of the table and Karamalikis checked to face an all-in bet from Aido. The Australian had 18,800 and called them off after a good think. Aido opened KQ for king high, losing out to Karamalikis’ AJ. The Spaniard dropped to 130,000. –MC

9:25pm: Sontheimer sends Qian home
Level 12 – Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Steffen Sontheimer put in a preflop raise to 3,500 before it folded around to Zhiqiang Qian who decided to move all in for his last 30,500. With the rest of the table out of the way Sontheimer snapped it off and the two players revealed their hands.

Sontheimer: KK
Qian: 99

Sontheimer had the superior hand and it only got better for him on the 8KJ flop. The 8 turn saw Sontheimer fill up to leave Qian drawing dead. The inconsequential 5 on the river made things official and Qian was eliminated from the ACOP Main Event.

Sontheimer on the other hand now has a stack of 195,000. — BK

9:20pm: Wang maintains stack, and fear factor
Level 12 – Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

I’m not going to lie; I’m a little bit scared of chip leader Yueyuan Wang. I think Henrik Tollefsen might be too after a hand they played out.

Wang limped in from under the gun and picked up a player before Tollefsen raised to 6,500 from the button. Only Wang called to a 4A10 flop where she was first to act.

“How much you play?” she asked across the table. Tollefsen moved his stack into view.
“How much? She repeated, looking at the dealer.

I think she figured out it was around 40,000 as she pushed a large stack of 5k chips forward. A red-faced Tollefsen laughed a little nervously and helicopter folded. Wang then started to laugh (for a good ten seconds) in a sinister way. I ran back to my desk. –MC

9:10pm: Ecstacy to agony for Sai Wu
Level 12 – Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

It’s one of the oldest poker adages: Don’t celebrate too soon. You might also want to add: Don’t celebrate at all when your good fortune means the demise of an opponent, although that memo hasn’t made it to this part of the world (and, in truth, very few people actually seem to mind).

However, here’s one thing you really should remember: double check you’ve actually won the hand before you celebrate, because karma can be swift and brutal. Just ask Sai Wu.


Sai Wu: Yes! Nooooooo!

You may remember Wu from Day 1A, when she cracked Isaac Haxton’s Kings with Nines and then brought the house down with a celebratory yelp. We just heard something very similar when she knocked out Fabian Geisel, although there was a sting in the tail this time.

Geisel opened to 3,500 from UTG+1 and Wu called from one seat to the left. Jimmy Zhou, the defending champion, then three-bet his button, making it 12,500 and both opponents called.

The flop brought the 85J and nobody seemed interested. They all checked. Then the 9 appeared on the turn. Geisel checked and Wu moved all-in, putting her towers of chips one by one over the line. Zhou quickly folded.

The total of Wu’s bet was about 75,000, which was more than Geisel’s 62,000. However, with a shrug of his shoulders, he called. Geisel turned over his AQ and Wu seemed reluctant to do the same. The dealer said she had to expose them and her 77 was ahead.

The 10 popped out on the turn and Wu immediately sang out, “Yes!” in a now-familiar voice. Geisel would have been eliminated had Wu been judge and jury, but the dealer–and most of the others around the table–had spotted the obvious flaw in Wu’s plan.

“Straight,” he said, pointing to Geisel’s queen.

There was a second or two of silence as the news sank in. “Oh noooooooooo!” Wu said, beating both fists on the table.

Geisel stacked up more than 130,000 chips–still very much alive–while Wu is now very short. — HS

9:05pm: Stausholm stacks Douglas
Level 12 – Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

David Douglas is currently exiting the tournament area after running top pair into the pocket aces of Martin Stausholm.

Douglas opened the action with an under the gun raise to 3,500 and Martin Stausholm next-to-act three-bet to 8,000. It folded around to Connor Drinan in the small blind and he contemplated his options for over a minute before finally sliding his hand to the dealer.

Douglas made the call and the flop landed 2J9. He checked it over to Stausholm who continued with a bet of 10,500. Douglas then moved in over the top and Stausholm snapped it off with the best of it.

Douglas: J10
Stausholm: AA

Douglas needed a jack, ten or running straight cards to keep his tournament alive but he couldn’t find any help on the 5 turn or Q river. After bidding the table farewell Douglas departed and Stausholm was left to stack up a new total of 155,000. — BK

8:55pm Sontheimer pressure and the champ all-in
Level 12 – Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

What did we tell you about Table 20? Tough right. Jordan Westmorland was in the small blind and three-bet to 12,500 after a player in the cutoff had opened. Steffen Sontheimer was in the big blind and came in with a four-bet to 26,500. The cutoff made a quick fold but Westmorland begrudgingly released hs holding to drop to 205,000. Sontheimer moved up to 127,000.


Zhou looking to retain his title

As that hand was playing out, Senh Ung was in the tank on the turn on the next table. He was heads up versus reigning champion Jimmy Zhou and facing an all-in bet of 27,900. Around 50,000 already lay in the middle and the board read KJQ3. Ung kept smiling at Zhou in an attempt to get a read but Zhou was giving nothing away. He eventually folded to preserve his already healthy 206,000 stack. –MC

8:50pm: Keeping your energy up

Now that we’ve reached the final level of the day some players might be starting to feel mentally fatigued. Luckily Red Bull, the official energy drink provider of PokerStars LIVE Macau, has ensured there are fridges full of drink varieties all across the tournament floor.

Main Event players are welcome to help themselves to the complimentary drinks and no doubt some of them will be taking advantage of it to stay sharp at the tables. — BK

2016ACOP_MainEvent_Day2 Red Bull.jpg

8:40pm: Christner short enough to need a double, gets it
Level 12 – Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Christian Christner has attracted a rail including Rainer Kempe and Dominik Nitsche this afternoon, but if they were hoping to watch their countryman bludgeon his table with a chip-leading stack, they will be disappointed. It hasn’t gone well for Christner today and he had only about 70,000 at the start of a recent hand.

The good news for him–and Messrs Nitsche and Kempe–is that he now has double that thanks to a big blind special against Kazu Te An Chen. I didn’t see the pre-flop action, but it seems certain to have been a raise by Chen in early position and a call by Christner.

The flop brought the 525 and I also didn’t see what happened immediately upon these cards appearing. However, it was pretty easy to piece together the evidence: Christner had 21,500 over the line in front of him and Chen had 8,500. That means it was almost certainly bet, raise, three-bet.

Chen four-bet jammed with a stack that covered Christner’s 60,100 total. Christner quickly double-checked his cards and called.

Christner: 35
Chen: JJ

Chen rolled his eyes and seemed bitterly disappointed at his luck. And while neither turn nor river brought the “DEUCE!” shouted for by the German rail, the 8 and Q had the same result.

Christner is back up and running with about 130,000. — HS

8:35pm: Hua doubles through Martins
Level 11 – Blinds 700/1,400 (ante 100)

Yuri Martins raised to 3,000 from early position and Houmao Hua called on the button. Huidong Gu did the same from the small blind and the flop was spread 429.

Gu checked it and Martins continued for 4,200. Hua stuck around and with Gu’s hand in the muck the dealer turned the 3. Martins then opted for a check before Hua took the betting lead with a barrel for 7,100.

Martins eyed his opponent’s stack and made the call before the A river completed the board.

Martins checked a final time and Hua moved all in for 22,600. The jam was snapped off as Martins immediately tossed in a single chip to denote a call and he saw he was beat when Hua tabled 22 for a flopped set.

Hua secured the double up while Martins fell to 165,000 in chips. — BK

8:30pm: Burns picks of Zhang bluff
Level 11 – Blinds 700/1,400 (ante 100)

Kahle Burns has been hovering around the chip lead for most of today and he just made a big call to boost his stack further. It’s a long way back now for Wayne Zhang, whose bluff went awry.

Vladimir Geshkenbein opened the pot, making it 3,000 to play from under the gun. Zhang called on the button and Burns also called in the small blind.

Three cards for the three players: A72. Check, check, check. The J came on the turn and Burns checked again. Geshkenbein bet 7,200 and both Zhang and Burns called.

The 7 completed the board and both Burns and Geshkenbein checked. That opened the door for Zhang, who jammed a foot in it with a bet of 19,600.

Burns was in a bit of a spot here, especially with Geshkenbein lurking with cards behind him. Burns looked over a few times in that direction, before making a call.

Zhang showed his K10, representing a missed flush draw. Burns also had one of those, but his A4 was also top pair.

Zhang is left with 26,000. Geshkenbein has 98,000. Burns now has about 280,000.–HS

8:20pm: Table 20 stacked
Level 11 – Blinds 700/1,400 (ante 100)

Good luck for those of Table 20. In seats three, four and six you fin these heavyweights: Jordan Westmorland, Steffen Sontheimer and JP Kelly. They probably now each other are good and will do their best to avoid each other, right? Wrong.

All three were involved in a hand that went to the German. The flop was out as K48 and the action checked to Sontheimer on the button who bet 13,500. Kelly check-called from the big blind but Westmorland left them to it.

The turn was the 5 and Kelly checked to face a 19,500 bet. He paused, counted his stack (954k), paused again and then folded. Sontheimer moved up to 110,000 and Westmorland still has more than 200k. –MC

8:05pm: Wang leads Lukashaugen and Burns
Level 11 – Blinds 700/1,400 (ante 100)

There are fewer than 100 players left here in Macau–98 at last count, to be precise. We’ve scanned the room for the biggest stacks:

Yueyuan Wang — 270,000
Tore Lukashaugen — 255,000
Kahle Burns – 240,000
Jordan Westmorland – 220,000
Kitty Kuo — 220,000
Yuri Martins – 205,000
JC Tran – 198,000
Neel Murphy – 190,000
Wayne Jun Wen Yap – 185,000
Chane Kampanatsanyakorn — 185,000
Yuan Li – 180,000
Rong Fan – 175,000
Michael Rocco – 172,000
Wai Leong Chan – 162,00
Chen An Lin — 160,000
Albert Paik — 160,000
Tom McDonald – 155,000
Linh Tran — 155,000
Shinobu Tanaka – 110,000

Also worth noting that Matthew Wakeman has about 80,000 and Team PokerStars Pro’s Bryan Huang is sitting with 44,000.

Remember, 36 plays get paid which means there’s still a little way to go. We won’t see the bubble until tomorrow. — HS

8pm: Wang continues dominance
Level 11 – Blinds 700/1,400 (ante 100)

Yueyuan Wang is unstoppable this afternoon and now has a stack of at least 240,000. Bryan Huang, sitting to her left, has seen it up close, and revealed how she took heaps of Stephen Chidwick before his elimination, and cracked Huang’s aces too on what, for him, has been a “swingy day”.

She just put in a big check-raise on the river in a hand against Tony Cheng to add another chunk to her stack.

On this hand, Wang and Cheng were the only players to a flop of K97 and Wang, in the big blind seat, checked. Cheng bet 3,500 and Wang called.

The 10 came on the turn and Wang checked again. Cheng bet again, making it 7,500 this time. Wang called. Then the 9 came on the river. Seeing no need to change tack, Wang checked again. Cheng bet 23,500 but here came the check-raise: Wang made it 53,500.

Cheng didn’t seem to like it, but didn’t seem to be seriously considering calling. He folded, allowing Wang’s dominant performance to continue. — HS

7:45pm: Lin catches a bluff
Level 11 – Blinds 700/1,400 (ante 100)

Chen An Lin has around 200,000 chips after he caught an opponent bluffing on the river.

The board rested as K3Q76 and the Team PokerStars Pro led out for 18,000 from the big blind. Haoyan Wu was in the cutoff and raised to 48,000. Lin paused for about five seconds and then threw in the call.

Wu shook his head and opened 109. Lin showed two pair with K7 and raked in the pot. –MC


Did you see he tried to bluff me?

7:30pm: Kitty remains untamed
Level 11 – Blinds 700/1,400 (ante 100)

There’s not much can stop Kitty Kuo when she has the bit between her teeth–and getting hands helps too. Tobias Ziegler was the latest player to have a crack a taming Kitty, but to no avail.

Kahle Burns opened the pot from UTG+1, raising to 3,200. Ziegler called in the cutoff and then Kuo three-bet to 13,000 in the small blind. Burns lit the match, but then ran away, leaving Ziegler to tackle Kuo alone.

The flop came 107A and both players checked. Then the 7 came on the turn and Kuo checked for a second time. Ziegler bet 13,000 and Kuo called.

The river was the 4 and Kuo checked again. Ziegler did not fire a second barrel from a stack that now sits at about 34,000. Kuo showed her QQ and Ziegler mucked meaning the chips were heading to Kuo.

She has about 195,000 now. — HS

7:25pm: Li defeats Bonomo (again)
Level 11 – Blinds 700/1,400 (ante 100)

It was only a couple of days ago that Yuan Li overcame Justin Bonomo heads up in the Super High Roller for HK$6,700,000, and he has sent the American packing again – this time in the ACOP Main Event.


It’s been a good week for Yuan Li

We didn’t see exactly what transpired but raced over to find out after hearing Li let out a cheer and a fist pump before shaking Bonomo’s hand. The latter exited the tournament floor while Li stacked up a new total of 158,000.

Li informed us that Bonomo moved in with the last of his chips holding queen-nine and Li made the call with pocket fours. Apparently the fours held to see Li eliminate Bonomo twice in one week. — BK


Justin Bonomo

7:20pm: Double fist for a double up
Level 11 – Blinds 700/1,400 (ante 100)

Got to love the double fist bang on the table celebration. Lu Jiang just did it, but was gentle enough in his action not to damage the table or offend anyone.

Quan Zhou opened to 3,600 from mid-position and watched as Jiang three-bet to 8,000 from the cutoff. Zhou then set Jiang in for 49,000 and the latter made a quick call.

Jiang: QQ
Zhou: AQ

The board ran 764J4 missing both players. Zhou dropped to 67,000. –MC

7:10pm: Any two will do
Level 11 – Blinds 700/1,400 (ante 100)

Suffice to say, they’re not waiting for aces over on Table 13. Vladimir Geshkenbein just won a pot to boost his stack to more than 100,000 with 84 while his opponent, Billy Argyros, was forced to show down a pair of deuces, three kicker, on the river.

I don’t really know how this all happened, but I arrived on the turn to find four players with cards and the 2458 exposed. Geshkenbein, who was in the big blind pre-flop, bet 9,600 into a pot of something similar.

Michael Rocco, who was in early position, folded and immediately got up from the table to do some yogic squats. You can seize up sitting playing poker all day, and this is one way to solve the problem.

Next up was Argyros in the cutoff seat, who peered over at Geshkenbein’s stack and raised to 22,000. Wei Zhang, on the button, had seen enough and folded (although opted not to do the squats).

Geshkenbein sigh-called, taking them to the 7 on the river. Geshkenbein checked but then Argyros threw 18,000 into the middle, leaving himself about 24,000 behind.

Geshkenbein examined both what Argyros had invested and what he had behind and then shrug-called. Argyros turned over his 23.

Everyone, Geshkenbein included, took a while to figure out what Argyros actually had before he put them out of their misery. “Deuce,” he said. Geshkenbein turned over his 84 and his two pair was best.

Geshkenbein has 122,000 now; Argyros 24,000. Poker, huh. — HS

7pm: Nationalities
Level 11 – Blinds 700/1,400 (ante 100)

Players came far and wide to play this event. Although they mostly came from China. Here’s the breakdown of the 302-strong field:

Country Players % of the field
China 98 32.5%
Hong Kong 28 9.3%
USA 27 8.9%
Australia 21 7.0%
Japan 16 5.3%
UK 13 4.3%
Canada 12 4.0%
Russia 9 3.0%
Taiwan 9 3.0%
Germany 7 2.3%
Korea 7 2.3%
Singapore 6 2.0%
Bulgaria 5 1.7%
France 5 1.7%
Belarus 3 1.0%
India 3 1.0%
Macau 3 1.0%
Malaysia 3 1.0%
Norway 3 1.0%
Thailand 3 1.0%
Austria 2 0.7%
Lithuania 2 0.7%
Other 17 5.3%

The “Other” here includes one player each from Brazil, Denmark, Finland, Gibraltar, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Kuwait, Latvia, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland and Ukraine.

Yes, there were five times as many players from Bulgaria as New Zealand. — HS

6:55pm: Huang struggling
Level 10 – Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 100)

I don’t think Bryan Huang likes heights. The Team PokerStars Pro is on the raised feature so that must be the reason he’s dropped back to starting stack. Obviously that’s not true, except for the fact he is down to starting stack.

He was on the button and battling Chane Kampanatsanyakorn. The flop was out and read Q3K. Kampanatsanyakorn led out for 4,500 from the big blind and Huang called. The turn was the 3 and Kampanatsanyakorn led for 9,000. Call. The board completed with the 8 and Kampanatsanyakorn emptied the clip with a 19,000 bet. Huang had a sip of coffee, muttered to himself and then folded. Kampanatsanyakorn’s stack increased to around 200,000. –MC

6:50pm: Gruissem gone
Level 10 – Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 100)

Philipp Gruissem has departed after a big jam that didn’t get through Shinobu Tanaka.

The preflop action saw Tanaka raise to 2,700 before Gruissem bumped it up to 7,000 from the small blind. Tanaka called the extra and the flop came down 465. Both players checked their option before the 4 paired the board on the turn.

Gruissem then slid in a huge jam relative to the pot for a total of 31,800. Tanaka
went into the tank as Gruissem commented on his own hand.

“No diamonds” Gruissem said with a smile while motioning to his cards.

Approximately two minutes passed before Tanaka decided to commit to a call, dropping in a bunch of chips to signal his decision.

Gruissem flipped over A3 for an open ended straight draw and needed some help against Tanaka’s A5 two pair.

The 4 river improved Tanaka to a full house and that was all she wrote for Gruissem’s tournament. — BK


Philipp Gruissem

6:40pm: Wednesday morning, coming down for Dvoress
Level 10 – Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 100)

The outright Day 1 leader–ie., the player with most from both starting flights–was Daniel Dvoress, whose Day 1A stack was marginally bigger than the pile amassed by Christian Christner on Day 1B. But Dvoress has struggled so far today.

He is in an unenviable sandwich between Jonathan Karamalikis, to his right, and Sergio Aido, to his left. Although Karamalikis only has about 18,000 at time of writing, having bought in at start of play today, Aido is building a stack of around 80,000. Wayne Yap, who won the High Roller event here at PokerStars LIVE Macau in March, has the most chips on that table. He has about 180,000, while Dvoress has dwindled down to about 61,000.

Dvoress just played a small pot against Oystein Kristoffersen that ended in Kristoffersen’s favour.

Dvoress opened to 2,700 in the hijack and Kristoffersen called in the big blind. They took a flop of 725 and Kristoffersen checked. Dvoress bet 3,000 and Kristoffersen called.

After the 8 appeared on the turn, Kristoffersen bet 7,400 and Dvoress passed. — HS

6:30pm: Kavrakov wins a race to double
Level 10 – Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 100)

Atanas Kavrakov was short and found a spot to get his stack in. It worked out well for him as he won a race to double up. He was down to 21,600 when he moved in from middle position and found a caller in the shape of Haoyan Wu in the small blind.

Wu: KQ
Kavrakov: 77

The board ran a blank 25254. –MC

6:20pm: Wakeman doubles through Gruissem
Level 10 – Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 100)

Matthew Wakeman was approaching the danger zone but he has some breathing room now after doubling up through Philipp Gruissem.

We arrived at the table just in time to see all the cards out and the dealer cutting down Wakeman’s final 15,400. The board read 10K9Q8 and while Gruissem held KQ for two pair, Wakeman’s J10 gave him a straight to secure the double up.

We aren’t sure when all the money went in, but we’re sure that Gruissem is now down to 36,600 in chips. — BK

6:15pm: Old friendships
Level 10 – Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 100)

Two things always seem to happen during major poker tournaments in Macau: Juicy Li ends up sitting next to Kitty Kuo and Bernard Vu ends up sitting next to Yunsheng Sun. I say this based on a very small sample size of one other event.

That particular event was the APPT Macau earlier this year, when Kuo and Li tangled for much of Day 3, and Vu ended up heads up with Sun for the title.

Lo and behold, Vu is now to Sun’s immediate left of Aditya Agarwal’s table today, while Kuo occupies the same seat in relation to Kuo.

Li and Kuo were two of three players who saw a recent flop. It came 952 and Kahle Burns, the third player, checked in the small blind seat. Li also checked, but Kuo bet 3,600.

Burns raised. He made it 9,500 to play and Li had seen enough. She went back to the entertainment she could find on her phone. Kuo, however, called.

The K came on the turn and Burns checked. Kuo bet 30,500 at that, and Burns quickly folded. Kuo is table captain. She has about 170,000. — HS

6:10pm: Luo apologises for winning
Level 10 – Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 100)

“Ha, ha, ha, I’m sorry!” said Xixiang Luo to Martin Stausholm after he won a pot off him to rise to 95,000.

Luo raised to 2,500 from the hijack and Stausholm defended his big blind. Both players checked the A82 flop before Stausholm check-called bets of 2,700 and 4,900 on the board run out of 105. Luo opened his A6 and took the pot as his Danish opponent mucked, to drop to 140,000 –MC

6pm: Yaxi Zhu eliminated
Level 10 – Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 100)

Apparently Team PokerStars Pro Yaxi Zhu was sent packing in the last hand before the recent break. The story goes that on a board of 5A64 Zhu’s opponent made a bet before the Team Pro jammed all in over the top holding ace king.

Zhu had run into the A5 two pair of her tablemate and couldn’t improve when the 10 fell on the end to seal her fate.

Her departure means we’re down to just three Team Pros still in the midst – Aditya Agarwal, Bryan Huang and Chen-an Lin. — BK


Yaxi Zhu

5:44pm: Break time
Level 10 – Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 100)

Off they go for their mid-level break. They’ll come back in 10 minutes to play an hour of Level 10, plus 30 minutes of Level 11, before another break. Confused? So are we.

5:44pm: Croc snaps
Level 9 – Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

This hand happened towards the end of the last level, and the subtleties of it weren’t seen. However, Billy Argyros made a big play pre-flop to fold out at least two opponents and brought his stack up to around 70,000.

When I arrived, Michael Rocco had 11,500 on the table in front of him and Argyros, who was under the gun, had all of his chips pushed over the line. That messy scattering had the all-in triangle nestled in it somewhere, plus a flourish unique to him: a replica public-service sign that warned of “CROCODILES – NO SWIMMING”.


Billy Argyros: Snap

Rocco folded, and Argyros turned over the A. Then table talk revealed another level of intrigue. Wayne Zhang said, “He folded queens.”

“Who folded queens?” Argyros said.

Zhang pointed at Quan Zhou, two seats to Argyros’s left. “He did,” Wang said.

This now made a bit of sense. It seems as though Argyros had opened pre-flop, Zhou had three-bet and Rocco’s 11,500 raise was a four-bet. Argyros had then shoved for about 50,000.

“Good fold,” Argyros said, but then paused for a breath and added, “For me.”

Either way, the Croc is still snapping away. No swimming in his waters, folks. — HS

5:40pm: Modder calm despite being coolered
Level 10 – Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 100)

Ian Modder showed a great deal of dignity after he ran kings in to aces to bust.

Tore Lukashaugen opened to 2,900 from middle position before Modder three-bet 10,000 from the small blind. Lukashaugen came back with a four-bet to 18,400 and snap called all-in after Modder jammed.

Modder: KK
Lukashaugen: AA

The 9Q423 board changed not a thing. After a countdown, Lukashaugen’s 110k stack ahd Modder covered by 15k. –MC

5:30pm: Westmorland still crushing after doubling up Sontheimer
Level 10 – Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 100)

Jordan Westmorland has emerged as one of the frontrunners here on Day 2 – he still has almost 250,000 after doubling up shortstack Steffen Sontheimer.

Westmorland kicked things off with a raise to 2,200 before Sontheimer moved all in next-to-act for a total of 9,400. Westmorland made the call to put Sontheimer at risk and the players tabled their hands.

Westmorland: KQ
Sondtheimer: JJ

“Oh no, this crushes that” Westmorland joked, pointing to his own hand.

The two of them called for a sweat and they received just that as the 675 flop brought a flush draw for Westmorland.

After the 4 turn the pair of them changed their tune and instead agreed they’d take a chopped pot. The 9 river bricked off, however, and Sontheimer’s pocket jacks held to see him double up.

“Wow, how do you fade that? That’s impressive. You’re gonna go all the way” Westmorland said to Sontheimer after a congratulatory fist bump. — BK

2016ACOP_MainEvent_Day2_057_Jordan_Westmorland (1).jpg

Jordan Westmorland

5:20pm: Break delay and other news
Level 9 – Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

– Yan Li lost a small pot to drop 87,000. She raised to 2,300 from the hijack and was called by Ian Modder in the big blind. Li bet 2,400 on the turn but the flop and river where checked. The final board read 857104 and Modder opened Q10. Li mucked.

– JC Tran is doing well on 160,000 despite folding to a Graeme Wei-lik Slow shove on the turn. There was around 17,000 in the pot at the time and the board read 78K9.

– The end of the level came around and instead of a break, 30 minutes of Level 10 will be played before a 10-minute break. This change from last night/early today’s break schedule caused a lot of confusion, and a little bit of outcry from a few players. They don’t like change, you know. –MC

5:05pm: Ung picks off Ziegler’s bluff
Level 9 – Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

The huge river bet–more than pot sized–has been creeping into tournament poker a lot over the past year. We must have written about it at least ten times during recent coverage of tournaments across the world.

Most times I’ve seen it, the opponent has typically folded. And when I’ve seen it called, it has usually been a polarising value bet. The bettor has had the goods. All things come to an end…

This was a pot between Senh Ung and Tobias Ziegler, who both played the Super High Roller event at the beginning of the week. They were in the blinds, Ung sitting to Ziegler’s left. I picked it up on the turn with the flop reading 4JQ. Ziegler check-called Ung’s bet of 3,500.

They both checked the 10 turn. And then Ziegler bombed 23,000 at the J river. There was, at rough count, only about 12,000 in the pot, so it was nearly twice the pot size.

Ung took a while, but called. Ziegler had been caught at it with K5. Ung had AA and had belatedly got good value for his monster. –HS

5pm: Gruissem gets shorter
Level 9 – Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Philipp Gruissem just sent a few chips Shinobu Tanaka’s way in a three-bet pot.

Tanaka opened to 2,200 from the hijack and Gruissem reraised to 6,600 on the button. Tanaka called and the flop landed A44. Gruissem and Tanaka both checked before the 5 turn. Tanaka took the betting lead with a barrel for 6,000 and Gruissem made the call to see the 2 river bring the fourth spade on board.

Tanaka continued with the aggression with another shot for 18,000 but Gruissem couldn’t commit any more chips. He relinquished his hand and fell 38,500 as Tanaka raked in the pot. — BK

4:55pm: Wang, Ung and Tran on the climb
Level 9 – Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

With about 35 players having been eliminated today, it’s no surprise to see some big changes in the chip counts. Having slipped a little in the opening level, Yuenyuan Wang is now back up to around 180,000. (Stephen Chidwick is no longer at that table, so it looks like his day is done.)

Senh Ung started today with 38,700, only a little more than the stack with which he started play on Day 1. However, it is now up to about 160,000. Having survived an exceptionally difficult table yesterday, he is now flying.

If he turns over his right shoulder, he’ll see JC Tran, who has also had a resurgence today. Tran started the day with a little more than 50,000, but can add a 1 to the front of his count now.

He did just lose a small pot to Lingjia Tu, however. After Lester Edoc opened to 2,500 from under the gun, three players called: Tu, on the button, Min Soon Lim, in the small blind, and Tran in the big blind.

They went to a flop of 9Q7 and all four of them checked it. Then they saw the turn of 5. Lim checked, Tran bet 5,500 and it folded through Edoc to Tu. He raised to 15,000. Lim folded and then, after brief thought, so did Tran. — HS

4:50pm: Zha Zha as Weizhou doubles
Level 9 – Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Weizhou Zha Sun tapped the table in thanks after he came from a dominated situation to double up.

He was down to 11,500 when he moved in from middle position. Jian Guo Sun was in the small blind and re-shoved to isolate.

Sun: AJ
Zha: A10

The board ran 9Q584 to make Zha a flush. Sun dropped to 72,000. –MC

4:40pm: Ro Woong hits it out of the Park
Level 9 – Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Ro Woong Park made a squeeze all-in and was almost beaten into the pot by Sai Wu.

Wu opened to 2,000 from under the gun and was called in one spot before Park made his move for his last 12,700 from the small blind. Wu snap-shoved and got the pot heads up.

Park: KQ
Wu: 99

The board ran AJQ28 to pair Park’s queen. That loss dropped Wu back down to starting stack, so she has to start all over again. –MC

4:35pm: Boost for Bonomo
Level 9 – Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Justin Bonomo just turned a full house into a good payday in a hand versus Hui Yao.

The board was a double paired 83873 and Bonomo in the under the gun seat bombed it for an even 20,000 on the end. It looked like an overbet from where we were standing and it sent Yao into the tank.

After a minute’s deliberation Yao paid it off and quickly threw his hand into the muck when Bonomo tabled 108 for eights full of threes.

With that pot Yao drops to 22,000 while Bonomo builds to 61,000 in chips. — BK

4:30pm: Reigning champ rakes one
Level 9 – Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Last year’s ACOP Main Event champion Jimmy Zhou is still in contention and stacking chips after a preflop move saw him add some more chips to his stack without contest.

Yunsheng Sun brought it in for a raise to 2,200 before Nikita Nikolaev three-bet to 5,200 from the small blind. Action was then on Zhou in the big blind and he opted for a cold four-bet to 10,600.

That was enough to make both opponents fold and Zhou scooped the pot to take him up to 52,000 in chips. — BK

4:25pm: Prize pool announced
Level 9 – Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

The numbers have been crunched and here are the details of the payouts from this event.

From 302 entrants, 36 will be paid. The winner will get HK$6,684,000, a prize that includes a $100,000 entry to the 2017 ACOP Main Event. Head over to the payouts page to see the full prize breakdown.

4:15pm: World Champions
Level 9 – Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Poker very rarely respects reputations, but if it did then these two guys deserve their photos on the blog. There are two former World Series of Poker Main Event champions playing today: the 2005 winner Joe Hachem, and the man who did it 15 years before, Mansour Matloubi. Hachem is sitting with 67,000 at present. Matloubi has 60,000.


Joe Hachem: Australia’s first WSOP champion


Mansour Matloubi: 1990 WSOP winner

4:10pm: Moss moves in on Martins
Level 9 – Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Matthew Moss is stacking some newly acquired chips after moving all in on the turn against Yuri Martins.

The community cards read 9798 and with right around 20,000 in the pot, Moss moved his last 20,600 into the middle from the big blind.

Martins double-checked how much Moss had wagered before spending 90 seconds in the tank. Ultimately Martins decided against a call and the pot was pushed to Moss.

Martins still has a very healthy stack of 125,000 despite losing that hand. — BK

4:05pm: Registration finally closes
Level 9 – Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

With the start of Level 9, registration is officially now closed. The tournament attracted 302 entries and the total prize pool sits at $28,116,200. Tournament organisers will now establish the payout structure. We’ll keep you update on that. It can sometimes take a little while. — HS

4pm: Jack the lad Burns
Level 9 – Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Kahle Burns was down to 20 big blinds and needed to make something happen. He did and managed to win a race to double up.

The Australian opened to 2,200 from under the gun and then moved all-in for 20,000 after a three-bet from Ryan Yu a couple of seats along. Call.

Burns: JJ
Yu: AQ

The board ran 5K48K to see the jacks hold on. Yu dropped to around 50,000. –MC

3:50pm: Andre going nowhere against Agarwal
Level 9 – Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

We have already lost Kosei Ichinose today, and Yaxi Zhu lost a huge pot to double up Wayne Zhang. Now Team PokerStars Pro’s Indian ambassador, Aditya Agarwal, is down to fewer than 25 big blinds after losing out to Cyril Andre.

Andre opened to 2,000 from the hijack and Agarwal three-bet to 5,500. Andre called and they saw a flop of 6Q3. Andre checked. Agarwal continued with a bet of 4,000 and Andre called.

The 10 came on the turn and we went through the pattern again. Andre checked, Agarwal bet 10,800 and Andre called.

After the 7 came on the river, Andre checked again and Agarwal also gave up. He checked behind and then mucked quickly when Andre showed KQ.

Agarwal has 24,000 left. — HS

3:36pm: Break time
Level 8 – Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

First break of the day. See you in 10 minutes.

3:35pm: River betting FTW
Level 8 – Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

Aditya Agarwal and Yuguang Li used their position to take down pots on the river to increase their stacks.

Team PokerStars Pro Agarwal was battling Speilmann. He opened from the hijack and continued for 1,600 on a 474 flop. Speilmann was in the big blind and called both times before the 3 turn was checked through. The river was the A and Speilmann check-folded to a 5,500 bet.

Moments later on a nearby table, Tom Alner had four-bet to 10,000 from the small blind. The hand had started with a hijack raise to 1,800 and a button three-bet to 3,700 from Li. Only Li called to a 26Q flop that was checked. Alner led for 12.500 on the 7 river before he check-folded to Li’s 70,000 shove on the 10 river.

Agarwal – 82,000
Speilmann – 70,000
Li – 120,000
Alner – 50,000

3:30pm: Zhang hero calls for tournament life
Level 8 – Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

Wayne Zhang just proved why he’s currently second in the Asia Player of the Year rankings after an impressive call with just bottom pair for all his chips was good to pick off Team PokerStars Pro Yaxi Zhu’s bluff.

The cards were spread 92763 and Zhu moved all in from the cutoff with enough to cover Zhang’s 24,900 behind. Holding just A2 Zhang gave it some thought before dropping in calling chips to see that he’d made the right decision.

Zhu tabled A10 for nothing but ace high – which was met with gasps from the other players at the table.

“Wow! You gotta write about that one” Michael Rocco insisted. We agreed.

After Zhu was caught in that hand she’s now down to 31,000 in chips. — BK

3:25pm: Huang gets a timely boost
Level 8 – Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

Singapore’s finest, Bryan Huang, is up on the feature table stage alongside Stephen Chidwick, and the two are separated only by the diminutive but fearless Yueyuan Wang.

Wang has kicked off her shoes before sitting down today–unless the gold-coloured, extreme high heels that are laid behind her chair belong to Huang. I can’t actually see his feet, so they might be.


Nice shoes, Bryan

Anyway, Huang right now is feeling a good few inches taller than he did a few minutes ago having scored a double up through Wang.

Wang opened to 1,600 from under the gun and Huang three-bet to 4,300 from one seat to her left. Action folded back to Wang and she called.

They saw the flop of 826 and Wang checked. Huang bet 4,300 and Wang called, taking them to a turn of 10.


Shoes off and relaxed: Yueyuan Wang

Wang checked again and Huang moved all-in, a bet of 15,800. Wang got a count but didn’t think too much more before calling, showing that she had flopped top pair with her A8. However, Huang was always ahead with his QQ and the 2 river was not one of Wang’s outs.

She started the day with more than 120,000, but is back below the six-figure mark now. Huang, meanwhile, is on the up. — HS

3:10pm: King Ho Kit
Level 8 – Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

Ng Ho Kit came back with only 19,200 today but has gone on a real charge. He’s up to around 75,000 already. The latest chunk came fom doubling through Mazyar Misaghian, who dropped to 19,000 himself.

A 289 flop was out and Ho Kit (mp) continued for 4,300. Misaghian (button) raised to 15,000 and then called after Ho Kit three-bet all-in for 36,300. Misaghian opened KK, way ahead of Misaghian’s Q9. The board ran out 87. –MC

3pm: Martins moves in
Level 8 – Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

Yuri Martins just put Super High Roller champion Yuan Li to the test for all his chips.

The flop read 910Q and after Martins and Li checked their options from the big blind and middle-position, Matthew Moss made it 3,000 to go from the cutoff.

Martins put in a raise to 10,800, and Li cold-called before Moss decided to throw his hand away.

The 8 arrived on the turn and Martins checked it over to Li who took the lead with a bet for 13,000. The 7 river prompted a final check from Martins before Li bet again for 24,000. Martins took another peek at his cards and when 30 seconds passed he moved all in with enough to cover Li’s 24,000 behind.

Li couldn’t call it off and Martins took the pot to move up to 146,000. — BK

2:55pm: Would Zhou believe that flop?
Level 8 – Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

You got to be happy to flop two pair after raising with J-3. Especially when an opponent flops top pair and can’t get away from it.

Quan Zhou opened to 2,100 from the cutoff and was called by Laurynas Levinskas in the next seat. The flop came A3J and Zhou continued for 2,700. Call. Zhou checked the 6 turn to face a 4,500 bet. He snap raised all-in for 19,600 and Levinskas called off for slightly less.

Zhou: J3 for two pair.
Levinskas: AQ and Levinskas headed off. –MC

2:50pm: Tollefsen betters Chidwick in small one on feature stage
Level 8 – Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

Henrik Tollefsen and Stephen Chidwick are up on Table 15, which is on the feature table stage. On any “normal” day, like today, it’s no different from any other table, but it’s also where they play the finals.

Tollefsen and Chidwick will both have designs on sitting up there on Sunday, but there’s a long and winding road still to navigate before they get there. They just played a small pot against one another, with Tollefsen opening from mid-position and then calling Chidwick’s 6,000 three-bet from the hijack.

The flop fell 410J and Tollefsen check-called Chidwick’s bet 4,000. There was no more betting through the 7 turn and K river and Tollefsen’s 88 earned a muck from Chidwick. — HS

2:45pm: Lisawad leaves us after tough beat
Level 8 – Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

Pakinai Lisawad was just sent packing by Day 1B chip leader Christian Christner.

The flop was spread 758 and Christner checked from the big blind. Lisawad made it 2,200 on the button but Christner played back at him for 6,100. Lisawad moved in and was snapped off by Christner before the cards went on their backs.

Lisawad: 96
Christner: 86

Lisawad had flopped the straight and almost had his double through locked up. That was until the worst possible turn card with the 9 meaning Lisawad could only chop the pot – and he needed to fade clubs just to stay in the running.

He couldn’t do it, however, as the J arrived on the end to signal the end of his tournament run.

Christner now has 148,000 to play with. — BK

2:40pm: Chan among early departures
Level 8 – Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

Terrence Chan just headed out of the tournament room. He gave an understated thumbs down sign to media row which, in today’s wider context, could mean a lot of things. But we’re interpreting it through this narrow prism to mean elimination from the ACOP Main Event. –HS

2:35pm: Lee finds thin value against Davies
Level 8 – Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

Scott Davies opened his button, making it 1,600 to play, from a stack of 19,000. Alex Lee called in the big blind, which took two players to a flop: 25J. They both checked.

The J came on the turn and Lee now led. He bet 1,500 and Davies called.

The 3 came on the river and Lee fired 2,600 at it. Davies looked carefully at his dwindling stack but then opted to call.

Lee showed him 57 for a wonderfully thin value bet, which turned out to be just about right. — HS

2:32pm: Morozovs busts in cooler
Level 8 – Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

It was a set over set cooler that was born in Northern Europe. Russia’s Vladimir Geshkenbein did for Latvia’s Mihails Morozovs.

The two came back with around 50,000 each and they all went flying in on a 6J7 flop. Morozovs opened 66 but was crushed by Geshkenbein’s 77. The board ran out 1010 and after a countdown, Morozovs was confirmed out. –MC

2:30pm: Narula signals intent to Christner
Level 8 – Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

After checking in on the short stack and watching Kosei Ichinose get knocked out, it seemed fitting to have a quick look at Christian Christner, who took most of Ichinose’s chips yesterday.

As you would expect from a big stack, Christner raised his cutoff to 1,800. but Vijay Narula, one seat to his left, put out a three-bet to 4,500 from the button and Narula picked it up.

Narula has about 70,000 at the start of the day, and he has great position on the always-active Christner. Could be a small battle worth watching today. — HS

2:20pm: Westmorland bests Xue in battle of the blinds
Level 8 – Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

Jordan Westmorland is right around the 100,000-chip mark now after an interesting hand played out between him and tablemate Xing Xue.

The flop read Q9A and Xue checked from the small blind before Westmorland fired for what appeared to be 2,000. Xue then sprung a check-raise to 5,000 on Westmorland, but the latter made the call to see the 5 turn.

The action then went check-check and the 6 rolled off on the river.

Xue opted to pick back up with the aggression with a stab for 8,500. Despite having just fourth pair after hitting the six on the river, Westmorland didn’t hesitate long before making a great call to pick off Xue’s bluff.

Xue sheepishly tabled 54 for a turned pair of fives but Westmorland’s K6 had him beat. Westmorland eclipses the six-figure milestone while Xue is sent back down to 40,500. — BK

2:10pm: New kids on the block
Level 8 – Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

Day 2 play got underway, but not before six new players entered. Jonathan Karamalikis, Bryn Kenney, Sami Cheong, Wing Chong, Chunjie Liu and Tom McDonald have all taken their seats. Each of them will start with 37.5 big blinds, plenty for such a talented bunch!

That takes the total number of entries up to a record-extending 300. Registration is still open until the 3:20pm and after it’s closes, we’ll be able to post prize pool breakdown. –MC

2:01pm: Ichinose fails impossible task
Level 8 – Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

Maximum respect to Kosei Ichinose who showed up on time to play his stack of…one ante. As you may have read, Ichinose lost an enormous pot on the very last hand last night, giving Christian Christner the chip lead and leaving Ichinose with the fewest chips it was possible to have coming back.

Ichinose kept his coat on. He kept his back-pack strapped to his back. And this is one time we can forgive a player for getting all in with suited three-gappers: Ichinose had 84. Zhiqiang Qian’s raise gave Ichinose protection, and actually gave him hope. Qian had AK.

They played to the crowd a little, ooh-ing and aah-ing through flop, turn and river as though watching a $5 box of fireworks splutter and fizzle. But the board ran 3J6J6. That wasn’t enough for Ichinose and he is out. We’re a Team PokerStars Pro down. — HS

1:30pm: Five more levels

Good afternoon all. Who is ready for five levels of poker? It may be just what we need.

First things first: registration is still open to this HK$100,000 Main Event, and players can join the action right until play begins at noon. There were 294 players in Days 1A/1B, of whom 161 remain. A new stack is worth 30,000, which would put a newcomer more than 100,000 short of Daniel Dvoress’s chip lead, but 126th place overall–and 29,900 ahead of Kosei Ichinose who was left with only one ante last night after losing a pot to Christian Christner.

As soon as registration closes, we’ll know full numbers and then have a prize pool some time after that.

We will then play five 90-minute levels, with a 10-minute break at the end of all of them. That will cut us down just in time to head to the players’ party tonight, which will rage into the early hours. No, that may be just what we need.

Play begins at 2pm. Two useful links: Seat draw and Chip counts.

Ready to embark on your own poker adventure? Sign up for PokerStars and begin your journey. Click here to get an account.

PokerStars Blog reporting team at 2016 ACOP: Marc Convey, Brad Kain and Howard Swains. Photography by Long Guan/Kenneth Lim Photography. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog


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