Saturday, 26th November 2022 19:14
Home / Uncategorized / 2016 ACOP Main Event: Daniel Dvoress snatches the lead late on Day 1A

While the Super High Roller final table was racing to a finish on the feature table, the Main Event of the 17-day Asia Championship of Poker was starting in the central area of the tournament floor. Opening flights of major tournaments can often take a while to get going and that was the case today, but a steady stream of entries throughout the day saw the final number reach 105.


Dvoress snatched late lead

Seven levels were played today – the first four over 60 minutes, the last three over 90 minutes – and when all the bags were counted at the end of play, 52 made it through to Day 2. The player who did best was Daniel Dvoress who bagged up 139,500. Other notables and big stacks who made it through include: Yueyuan Wang (123,200), Juicy Li (100,700), Tom Alner (72,500), Billy “The Croc” Argyros (45,300), Scott Davies (19,000), Joe Hachem (51,500), Thomas Ward (87,500), Aaron Lim (27,500), Philipp Gruissem (35,700), James Obst (24,600) and Stephen Chidwick (50,200). For full counts click here.

Wang was looking set to claim the chip lead until Dvoress busted a player on the penultimate hand of the night. He set an opponent all-in on the river of a board that had four clubs and two kings on. His opponent tank-called all-in with trip kings but Dvoress opened QQ for a flush and took the scalp that gave him the lead.


Aditya had a great end to the day

The red was represented by Bryan Huang, Vivian Im and Aditya Agarwal today. Huang (59,600) and Agarwal (78,000) will be back for Day 2 on Wednesday but Im just had one of those days:

While some cream rose to the top today, sour modules dropped away. Salman Behbehani (eights into aces), Vitaly Lunkin (two pair into a set), Percy Young (too many hits to survive), Akira Ohyama (sucked out on) and Kiryl Radzivonau (last level bust) were just a few of the big name players to depart.


Salman busted just to get away from The Croc

Tomorrow will bring a new flight with a brand new set of players. Team Pros Celina Lin, Kosei Ichinose, Chen-An Lin and Yaxi Zhu are all in town and expected to play. They’ll be joined by most of the stars from the Super High Roller that didn’t play today (minus Fedor Holz who has gone back into retirement), a bunch more live and online qualifiers, along with anyone who has a spare $100,000.

That’s all from the City of Dreams in Macau. We hope you all have nice dreams tonight and we’ll catch you tomorrow for Day 1B. –MC

11pm: Final six hands
Level 7 – Blinds 300/600 (75 ante)

The announcement has been made – only six hands remain on Day 1A. — BK

10:53pm: Ship it!
Level 7 – Blinds 300/600 (75 ante)

“Ship it!” said Bryan Huang to neighbour and teammate Aditya Agarwal after he got a full double up to 60k, through Weizhou Zha.

The two players were heads up to the turn of a 3K109 board and as we approached the table, Agarwal had check-raised all-in from the big blind. We missed Zha’s turn bet from the hijack but the shove was another 18,925. He called with KQ, behind to his opponent’s turned straight with QJ. The river was the 3 and the smiling Team PokerStars Pro raked in the pot. –MC

10:45pm: Pignatelli pummelled by Murphy
Level 7 – Blinds 300/600 (75 ante)

Ryan Pignatelli departs in the final level of the day after his bluff was picked off by Neel Murphy. The cards were spread 388JQ and Murphy checked it over to Pignatelli, who moved all in for 22,900 into a pot of around 17,000.

Murphy didn’t hesitate long before calling to see he had way the best of it, holding QJ for top two pair against Pignatelli’s A5 for a stone cold bluff.

Pignatelli made his exit as Murphy stacked up a new total of 115,000 – right around the current chip lead. — BK

10:30pm: Things slowing in final level
Level 7 – Blinds 300/600 (75 ante)

Now that we’ve reached the final level of the night the action is noticeably beginning to slow down. Whether it’s that players are trying to hang on to Day 2, or that there are fewer tables now meaning less action to cover, we really haven’t seen anything worth reporting for the last few orbits.

Only 63 remain now of the starting 107 and it seems Australian Geoff Mooney has the chip advantage – one of the few to be boasting over 100,000 in chips.

With less than an hour left in proceedings will Mooney manage to hang on? Or will someone else usurp the chip leader throne? Stay with us on the PokerStars Blog to find out! — BK


Geoff Mooney

10:10pm: Kahle sent to the Burns Ward
Level 7 – Blinds 300/600 (75 ante)

Kahle Burns’ good day has been clipped back somewhat after a very cold run out in a hand versus Thomas Ward.

The former raised from UTG+1 and called after Ward three-bet him from the button. The board rolled out 46579 and no chips went in until the river where Burns led for 7,200. Ward took a moment and raised to 25,500. Burns called with KQ for the second nut flush but Ward had one better with A5. Burns dropped to 44,000 and Ward moved back up towards 90,000. –MC

10pm: Morozovs takes from Lim
Level 7 – Blinds 300/600 (75 ante)

Mihails Morozovs opened 77 on showdown and his opponent, Aaron Lim, gave the look that his holding was no good. His muck confirmed so and he dropped to 36,500.

Lim had called the Latvian’s 1,500 raise from early position while sat on the button and called a 2,600 c-bet on the K42 flop. No more chips migrated to the table centre as the 38 turn and river where checked through. Morozovs moved up to 47,000. –MC

9:50pm: Seal rockets over 100k
Level 7 – Blinds 300/600 (75 ante)

Emmanuel ‘Curly’ Seal is now sitting pretty after a big double up through Dzmitry Pabotkin. We didn’t manage to catch the preflop action, arriving just in time to see the dealer cutting down Seal’s chips.

Seal had AA in front of him while Pabotkin held the inferior QQ. The community cards were spread 6J7108 and Pabotkin was forced to match Seal’s last 47,200.

After that hit Pabotkin enters the danger zone with just 5,100 while Seal has a mountain worth six figures. — BK

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9:30pm: Time for a break

Our remaining 74 players have just commenced a 10-minute break.

9:25pm: Behbehani busto
Level 6 – Blinds 250/500 (50 ante)

Salman Behbehani has finally made a delayed exit after sitting and speaking with the man who eliminated him for several minutes after the last of Behbehani’s chips were gone.

Behbehani ran 88 into the AA of Billy Argyros preflop and it wasn’t looking good after the 2A6 flop.

“Clubs!” Behbehani called, but the deck wouldn’t oblige him.

The 4 turn meant he was drawing dead before the inconsequential 5 appeared on the river.

Behbehani didn’t seem fazed by the knock out, instead sitting and discussing bookings with Argyros. After a few minutes passed he got up out of his seat, shook hands with Argyros and Emanuel Seal, and wished the table good luck before leaving the tournament area.

Argyros now has 57,000 in chips at his disposal. — BK

9:20pm: Gruissem doubles through Ward
Level 6 – Blinds 250/500 (50 ante)

Philipp Gruissem hasn’t gained much traction today, until now. He just doubled through Thomas Ward and will be feeling good heading into the last level of the day.

He raised from middle position and was called by Aaron Lim (cutoff) and Ward (button). The flop came 348 and Gruissem’s 2,000 c-bet was only called by Ward. The turn was the J and Gruissem moved all-in for 7,100. Ward tank-called with 89 but Gruissem had hit the turn with AJ and the K filled out the board. –MC

9:15pm: A few more for Salter, a few less for Huang
Level 6 – Blinds 250/500 (50 ante)

Jack Salter has been moved away from the Pakinai Lisawad – Stephen Chidwick sandwich he was the filling for, and that can’t be a bad thing. He craned a pot at his new table to move up to 38,000.

He called a raise from Yohn Paredes to see a 544 flop. Paredes checked to see Salter use his usual crane action bet to drop 1,350 on the table. He called but check-folded on the K turn when Salter craned another 5,525 from his stack to the middle.


Salter loves the crane action

Moments later on a nearby table, Bryan Huang raised to 1,200 from middle position and was called in two spots. The flop fanned K57 and Huang continued for 2,200. Weizhou Zha was the only caller before both players checked through the QQ turn and river. Huang opened 98 and lost out to Zha’a J7. Huang still going well on 62,000 despite the small loss. –MC

8:55pm: Chua shows the bluff
Level 6 – Blinds 250/500 (50 ante)

MPC24 Red Dragon champion Ying Lin Chua just pulled off a big bluff against Neel Murphy.

The two of them went to a flop of J4A and Chua led out for 4,000 from the small blind. Murphy made the call and the dealer turned the 9. Chua quickly bet again, this time for 7,500, and Murphy called to take them to the 3 river.

Chua reached deep and fired for 25,000 on the end. To Murphy’s credit he tanked for almost three minutes before finally letting it go – only to see Chua slam down Q6 for a complete air ball.

That exchange left the two of them with almost identical stacks of around 65,000. — BK


Never scared of emptying the clip – Ying Lin Chua

8:40pm: Three tables, three folds
Level 6 – Blinds 250/500 (50 ante)

With all the checking, calling and raising going on, there’s got to be some folds floating around. And indeed there was.

– Billy “The Croc” Argyros open-raised to 1,500 on the button, but tank-folded to a 4,800 big blind three-bet.

– Pakinai Lisawad opened from under the gun and was called by Tore Lukashaugen on the button and Neel Murphy in the big blind. The flop spread 10AJ and Lisawad’s 1,800 c-bet was only called by Lukashaugen, but he folded to a 3,500 bet on the 5 turn.

– Thomas Ward opened from UTG+1 and was called by both blinds. The flop came 262 and a Ward 1,700 c-bet saw both his opponents check-fold. –MC

8:30pm: Pan picks up a double
Level 6 – Blinds 250/500 (50 ante)

Yue Feng Pan is officially out of the danger zone after back-to-back jams saw him more than double up.

The first hand saw Pan move all in for 5,275 from the hijack seat and when everybody folded, he flashed the A and collected the blinds and antes.

The very next hand saw Pan move all in again over an under the gun raise to 1,200. Hao Su was on Pan’s direct left and he called to put Pan at risk. The initial raiser folded and the card went on their backs.

Pan: AA
Su: 1010

Pan was in great shape to double up and his pocket aces held on the 9K2J6 runout. He now has about 14,500 to play with. — BK

8:25pm: Yap bits Pabotkin
Level 6 – Blinds 250/500 (50 ante)

Wayne Yap, a former High Roller champion here in Macau, has just won a huge pot from Dzmitry Pabotkin to more than double his stack up to about 50,000 and cut Pabotkin down to about 65,000. It had all been going so well for Pabotkin until then.

Billy Argyros got this one started when he raised to 1,500 from UTG+1. Yap raised to 4,000 from two seats over and then Pabotkin called on the button. It persuaded Argyros in too.

The three of them saw a flop of 2J4 and Argyros checked. Yap then thumped a bet of 4,000 over the line but did so almost entirely in white chips, worth 100 each. Juicy Li and Yueyuan Wang chuckled at the style of the bet.

Pabotkin didn’t pay it any mind. He made it 10,000. Argyros folded, but then Yap moved all-in, for only 1,000 or so more.

Pabotkin called and quickly saw the AA in Yap’s hand. His KK was behind and never caught up after the 2 turn and 4 river.

Yap’s shove on the end was 15,275 and Pabotkin added the additional 5,275 to the raise and waiting patiently for another hand. — HS

8:15pm: Stubborn Hachem
Level 6 – Blinds 250/500 (50 ante)

It looked as if Qinnan Wei had control in hand versus Joe Hachem, but the Australian fought back and moved up to around 37,000.

A AQ6 flop was out and Hachem bet 2,300 from the cutoff after Wei checked from the hijack. Wei came back with a raise to 5,000 and that sent Hachem into the tank. He came out of it and flicked in a 5k chip to call. The turn was the 3 and Wei checked to Hachem who bet 6,700. It was Wei’s turn to tank and he did so for two minutes before admitting defeat and folding. –MC

8:05pm: Croc picks a spot
Level 6 – Blinds 250/500 (50 ante)

Yueyuan Wang’s table has broken and our early chip-leader is now seated a couple of seats around from Juicy Li. The two seem to know each other well and are already chattering away.

Billy Argyros wasn’t so impressed. Shortly after Wang sat down, she was in the cutoff and just called. Takumi Samejima raised to 1,500 on the button but Argyros picked this for weakness followed by a position-exploiting raise. (Either that or he had a big hand himself.) He raised to 4,600 and both opponents folded. — HS

8pm: Get energized

Poker can be a grind at times but luckily for our ACOP Main Event players, the official energy drink provider of PokerStars LIVE Macau, Red Bull, have provided complimentary products to everyone in the tournament.

There are fridges stocked with Red Bull, Sugar-free Red Bull and Red Bull Summer Edition all across the casino floor for the players to help themselves to. No doubt some of the runners here will be using them to their advantage to keep energized as we get deeper int Day 1A. — BK

7:55pm: Take a break

The players have stepped away for a 10-minute break.

7:55pm: Su secures a pot
Level 5 – Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

There was approximately 17,000 in the pot when the flop came down 257 and Hao Su and Kiryl Radzivonau were the two active players.

Su made a bet for 5,000 and Radzivonau called to see the A turn card.

Su continued with the aggression, barrelling again for 7,000. Radzivonau gave it some thought but shook his head and threw his cards into the muck.

Radzivonau is now down to 24,800 while Su lifts to over 50,000. — BK

7:50pm: Flying Wang
Level 5 – Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

Yueyuan Wang is sitting all the way at the back of the tournament room, in the seat beside the dealer. There’s no one in the room who needs to walk further to get to their seat.

However Wang is doing her level best to make sure she’ll be sticking around. As we approach the end of Level 5, Wang has about 110,000 chips, which is likely the biggest stack in the room. — HS


Yuenyuan Wang

7:45pm: The pot was Juicy, but not a lot
Level 5 – Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

Salman Behbehani joined the fray not long into this level and was sat to the direct right of Billy “The Croc” Argyros and Emanuel “Curly” Seal. The three of them are having a great old chatter, but the latter of these went silent as he played a pot against Juicy Li.

Seal was in the small blind and checked to face a 1,125 bet from Li who was under the gun. He tank-called to see the final A34102 board where he checked again. Li checked behind and opened AJ to beat Seal’s QJ. She rose up to 41,000 and Seal dropped to 45,000. –MC

7:40pm: Ward back at it
Level 5 – Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

Gakuto Oshiro is out, becoming the latest victim of Thomas Ward.

Jiabin Cui got the hand started with a raise to what looked like 1,200 from early position. Oshiro, a couple of seats along, three-bet all-in for his last 5,150 and action passed to Ward in the big blind.

Ward has already knocked out at least one other opponent today (see 4:20pm post for details) and he sensed another scalp. His call persuaded Cui to fold and put Oshiro at risk.

Oshiro: QJ
Ward: AQ

The board was blank. It came 37922. That was that for Oshiro and puts Ward up to about 83,000. — HS

7:30pm: Ward looking to go one better this year
Level 5 – Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

Thomas Ward put on a masterful performance in this very event last year. He fell short of claiming the title by one spot. He’s back for more this year and going well again so far.

It’s not good that he had Aaron Lim sat next to him, but at least the player from across the Tasman Sea is to his right, and is willing to lay down hands.

The two of them were heads up to a A54 flop. Lim (cutoff) led for 1,300 and Ward called from the next seat. The turn was the 6 and Ward bet 3,300 when the action was checked to him. Lim called but check-folded to a 8,000 bet on the 9 river.

Ward – 65,000
Lim – 52,000

7:25pm: Royal Flush? Doubt it
Level 5 – Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

It’s a bit early to be seeing splashes of gold on the ACOP Main Event tables. Those chips are worth 5,000 apiece and the big blind is only 400.

However, Aditya Agarwal just threw four of them out of his stack into the middle of the table, building a pot that might have been terminal for Vijay Narula.

There was 6,000 in the pot already and a scary flop out there. It was 10AK. Narula bet 4,500 and Agarwal, one seat to his left in the hijack, raised to 20,000.


Aditya Agarwal

It didn’t take long for Narula to fold, ruling out the royal flush possibilities for him. Could the Team Pro from India have had it? He would have shown it, right? — HS

7:15pm: Huang helps himself to a pot
Level 5 – Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang is accumulating chips – he just won a pot versus Daniel Dvoress and Kazu Chen.

After an under the gun limp from Chen, Huang bumped it up to 1,500. Dvoress flat-called from the big blind and Chen flicked in the remainder to see the 3KQ flop.

The action was checked around and the J fell on the turn.

Dvoress checked again but Chen took the betting lead by firing for 1,200. Huang didn’t take long to bump it up again with a raise to 3,700. Dvoress quickly mucked and after 30 seconds’ consideration Chen did the same.

Huang rakes that one in and climbs back to over starting stack – now sitting with around 32,500. — BK


Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang

7:05pm: Sun blinds Ohyama
Level 5 – Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

Yaqi Sun was a menace in the Super High Roller tournament that ended early today, running rings around some of the more experienced players before busting just short of the money.

But he’s back at it in the Main Event and has just ended the tournament life of Akira Ohyama, one of Japan’s finest poker exports.

Ohyama was short. He had 7,200 to be precise, and he shipped from under the gun. Action folded all the way round to the big blind where Sun put calling chips forward with a characteristic thump.


Akira Ohyama: Out

Ohyama was looking good with his AK to Ohyama’s AQ. The flop — A98 — paired them both. But the Q turn hit only Sun.

After the 9 river, Ohyama was out. — HS

7pm: Showing his Metal(idi)
Level 5 – Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

Artem Metalidi is a name not mentioned around these parts. Beware; the man comes with a fearsome reputation, made in the west. The Ukrainian has amassed career earnings of over $1.5 million in the last five years, earned exclusively in Europe and at the WSOP.

He’s not going so well today though, but a small pot win just now has got his stack back up to 15,500.

He was heads up with Gab Yong Kim from Korea and the board read 4AQA at the turn. Metalidi was in the big blind and check-called a 1,725 bet before both players checked the 2 river. Metalidi opened A6 for trips and Kim mucked. –MC

6:55pm: Jacks no good for Murphy
Level 5 – Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

Neel Murphy just lost over half his stack after an interesting line saw him end up on the wrong end of a coinflip.

After it was brought in for a raise to 1,000, Murphy flat-called next to act. When it was up to Jack Salter he opted for a three-bet to 3,850. The original raiser came back over the top to 8,350 before Murphy put in an additional raise to 18,000 in total.

Salter thought for about 30 seconds but he gave it up. With the action back to the four-bettor he studied Murphy and ultimately moved all in for 33,300. Murphy didn’t look too happy about it but he put in the rest of it with JJ – a relatively fair fight against AK.

That changed on the 8A10 flop, however, as the ace left Murphy chasing a jack or running straight cards to win the hand. The 7 turn and Q river offered no help and Murphy was sent back down 32,000 in chips. — BK

6:45pm: Moron versus Sun
Level 5 – Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

Kiryl Radzivonau is a familiar face on the European Poker Tour having picked up the biggest cash of his career for finishing sixth at EPT Barcelona a couple of years ago.

Radzivonau goes by the name “angrymoron” on PokerStars, and he often has it emblazoned across his shoulders, footballer style. He’s no moron, though, angry or otherwise, and has more than $1.6 million in live tournament earnings, plus another $1 million online.

He’s not so familiar out east, but he just took a pot from someone who is: Bawoo Hyumshik Yun, who has a string of final table appearances on the APPT.

Radzivonau opened this pot, making it 1,000 to play from under the gun. Yun called in the big blind and they went to a flop of Q10J. Yun checked and Radzivonau bet 1,300. Yun called.

The 6 came on the turn and Yun checked for a second time. Radzivonau bet 2,700 and Yun called.

The Q came on the river and Radzivonau checked again. This time Radzivonau checked behind and the hands were exposed. We quickly learned that this could have easily been a much bigger pot. Yun’s KQ had rivered trips, but was never ahead of Radzivonau’s AK, which flopped broadway. — HS

6:40pm: Floating no more
Level 5 – Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

Phillip Gruissem, Jack Salter, Pakinai Lisawad and Dmitry Yurasov are all now in the action for Level 5.

Gruissem has been drawn at Joe Hachem’s table, whereas the middle two find themselves next to each other. They’ve been sat at Stephen Chidwick- Tore Lukashaugen table to make that a really tough one again.

Yurasov is the form players of the bunch. He was on course to win the recent EPT13 Malta Main Event crown before his progress was cut shot in third. He proved that when he gets going he’s a hard player to stop. –MC

6:30pm: Chip counts
Level 5 – Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

We’re now switching to 90-minute levels as Level 5 begins.

Here’s how a few of our notable players stacked up right before break:

Thomas Ward – 54,000
Emanuel Seal – 38,000
Aditya Agarwal – 36,000
Billy Argyros – 34,000
Stephen Chidwick – 33,000
Ying Lin Chua – 32,000
Tom Alner – 29,500
Yue Feng Pan – 29,000
James Obst – 28,000
Juicy Li – 27,500
Joe Hachem – 27,000
Bryan Huang – 26,000
Phil Gruissem – 25,500
Vivian Im – 16,000

— BK


Billy ‘The Croc’ Argyros and Emmanuel ‘Curly’ Seal

6:10pm: Break it up
Level 4 – Blinds 150/300 (25 ante)

That’s the last of the 60-minute levels, when players return in 10 minutes they’ll be into the realm of the 90-minute level. Three of them will be played before Day 1A concludes. –MC

6:08pm: Lee no part of this club
Level 4 – Blinds 150/300 (25 ante)

Hun Wei Lee got his stack in with a draw but he busted to Tore Lukashaugen, who has risen to around 95,000.

Lee opened from under the gun, picking up calls from Lukashaugen (cutoff) and Stephen Chidwick (big blind). On the 978 flop the action was checked to Lukashaugen who bet 2,200. Chidwick called but Lee raised all-in for 11,800. Lukashaugen successfully isolated him with a big raise.

Lee: AQ for over cards and the nut flush draw.
Lukashaugen: 99 for top set.

The board ran out 6J to see the set hold up. –MC

6pm: Croc snaps one up
Level 4 – Blinds 150/300 (25 ante)

Billy ‘The Croc’ Argyros now has more than starting chips after winning a pot from Juicy Li. The flop was spread 566 and Argyros fired for 1,200. Li called from the cutoff and the K was flipped up on the turn.

The action then slowed down with checks from both players before the 4 completed the board.

Argyros checked it before Li took the betting lead with a stab for 3,600. After screwing up his face and loading up a call Argyros finally committed to it to see he had the best hand.

Argyros: AK
Li: 99

Argyros’s two pair of kings and sixes were good and he moved back up to just above 30,000. Li alternatively dipped to 26,000 in chips. — BK

5:45pm: Lunkin’s been Lunkined
Level 4 – Blinds 150/300 (25 ante)

Vitaly Lunkin is no more. He passed media row on his way out and gave the blog brief details of his demise.

He ran trips into a full house and then lost the rest when his two pair was no match for opponent’s set. Thanks for coming Mr Lunkin. –MC

5:40pm: Lee on Lee action
Level 4 – Blinds 150/300 (25 ante)

Daniel Lee has secured a double up through tablemate Saehoon Lee.

The community cards showed 29J9 and after a bet from Saehoon Lee, Daniel Lee moved all in over the top for 11,150.

Saehoon Lee looked frustrated and flicked in a call to see he was drawing thin.

Daniel Lee: 97
Saehoon Lee: QJ

Daniel Lee faded danger as the 8 rolled off on the end to signal his double up. Saehoon Lee on the other hand dropped down to 19,000. — BK

5:35pm: Late arrivals
Level 4 – Blinds 150/300 (25 ante)

The Day 1A entries has almost reached three figures and some big names are registering late, or floating around the room looking like they’ll enter soon.

Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang, Aaron Lim, Tom Alner, Billy “The Croc” Argyros and Emanuel “Curly” Seal have all taken their seats. The latter two know each other well from playing together for years in Australia, and just as well, as they’re sat next to each other. They’re at a tough table that includes Vitaly Lunkin and Shunu Zang who were balanced from their original tables.

Lim has a formidable record in Asia and on the APPT specifically. He’s won not one, but two Main Event tiles. You can add in higher roller and team event titles to that list as well.

Alner is also and end level boss around these parts. He became the second player, behind Team PokerStars Pros Celina Lin, to win two Red Dragon titles back in September. That latest win earned him HK$2,509,000.

Philipp Gruissem, Steve O’Dwyer and Salman Behbehani are the floaters. They’ve yet to enter but have been spotted surveying their prey. –MC

5:15pm: Mu’ving on up
Level 3 – Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

Dapeng Mu just got the best of Arnold Chan in a preflop raising war between the small and big blind.

We arrived at the table to see 2,000 in front of Mu in the small blind and 6,000 out in front of Chan in the big blind. Mu went into the tank until eventually Chan called the clock on him.

Given only a minute left to act Mu used only 10 seconds of it before moving all in with enough to cover Chan’s last 22,300.

Chan looked displeased and contemplated the decision for around a minute before surrendering his hand.

“Ace king?” Chan asked Mu.

“I had pocket kings” Mu replied with a laugh.

Mu now had 73,000 in chips. — BK

5:10pm: Hachem on the up
Level 3 – Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

Joe Hachem’s up to around 35,000. He gave a big fake smile on the river after betting, and it may have got him paid.

The Australian started the hand with a raise to 600 from UTG+1 and was only called by Lu Jiang in the hijack. The flop fanned A102 and Hachem led for 600. Call. The turn was the J and Hachem slowed to a check, but called when Jiang bet 1,100. The 2 filled out the board and Hachem came out betting for 2,500. Cue smile. Jiang called and mucked upon seeing Hachem’s AK. –MC

5pm: Pan pushes back over starting stack
Level 3 – Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

MPC23 Red Dragon Champion Yue Feng Pan just rebounded to more than starting stack after finding three of a kind to scoop a recent pot.

The board was showing 910QQ and the small blind led into two players for 5,050. Pan made the call and after Yueyuan Wang folded the 7 arrived on the river.

After two minutes it was checked to Pan and despite the strong holding he opted to check behind with QJ, good enough to beat his opponent’s K10 two pair.

Pan collected that pot to move up to 31,000 in chips. — BK

4:45pm: Yung takes a hit, and another, and one last one
Level 3 – Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

Percy Yung sat there shaking her head without releasing her hand. She knew she was beat; she just had to let the reality sink in. It was the second big hit she’d taken this level and it left her with around 8,000.

The first hit she took was against Vanchau Le Nguyen. There were heads up to the turn of a 976Q board and Yung led for 2,075 from the cutoff and called after Nguyen raised to 5,000 from the button. Both players checked the 4 river and Nguyen opened 86 for a flush. Yung mucked.


Percy will try to forget today

Not long after, she was battling with Stoyan Obreshkov. We got there on the river where a 32A55 board rested. Yung led for 5,800 before the Bulgarian raised to 16,100. She tank-called and was shown 64 for a straight to the six.

Edit: Just as we were about to publish Yung walked past media row and headed for the exit. GG. –MC

4:30pm: It’s all about the beard
Level 3 – Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

Tore Lukashaugen has a fantastic beard. It’s almost majestic. He probably loves his beard, but not quite as much as the two cards that made him a full house. Even better, his neighbour also had a full house, just smaller in size.


Lukashaugen – fine form

Lukashaugen opened to 550 from the cutoff and was called by Neel Murphy in the next seat, and Stephen Chidwick in the big blind. The flop came 810A and the action was checked to Murphy who bet 1,100. Chidwick folded but Lukashaugen called to the Q turn that was checked through. On the Q river, Lukashaugen led out for 1,400 and was raised to 4,300 by Murphy. The Norwegian tanked for a minute and then three-bet to 12,400. The bet then sent Murphy into the tank. He shook his head a few times and then flicked in the call.

Lukashaugen opened Q10 for a full house bigger than the one Murphy showed with 88. That dropped Murphy down to 26,000 whereas Lukashaugen rose to 55,000. –MC

4:20pm: Ward sends Wongwichit home
Level 3 – Blinds 100/200 (25 ante)

Last year’s ACOP Main Event runner-up Thomas Ward is in the building. He hasn’t been here long but that hasn’t stopped him from already eliminating a player.

We arrived at the table just in time to see that Ward’s pocket kings had Phachara Wongwichit’s pocket queens beat with the board showing five undercards.

Wongwichit got up from his seat and left the tournament area as Ward raked the pot and climbed to around 48,000 from a starting stack of 30,000.

Ward scored himself almost half a million dollars this time last year and we’ll be following his progress to see if he can make another deep run in the ACOP this week. — BK

4pm: Scheduled break

It’s time for the first break of the day. Play resumes in 10 minutes.

3:55pm: Le Jossec leaves us
Level 2 – Blinds 100/200

Gabriel Le Jossec is one of the first to depart here on Day 1A after his pocket aces failed to hold in the hand just gone.

On a flop of K102 it was checked to Le Jossec and he fired for 5,000. The bet was called and the 3 arrived on the turn. It was checked to Le Jossec again and he moved all in for his last 12,500.

Le Jossec’s opponent snapped it off with KK for top set and Le Jossec was down to two outs holding AA. The 6 river couldn’t save him and Le Jossec hit the rail as one of the first eliminations of the day. — BK

3:50pm: Table 2 gets tougher, and in comes Hachem
Level 2 – Blinds 100/200

Table 2 was tough enough already, but has got even tougher with the arrival of Roman Koranev. The talented Russian has amassed nearly a million dollars in live cashes, the most recent being $195k for coming fourth at EPT13 €10k re-entry event in August.

He opened to 500 from early position and was called by Stephen Chidwick in the cutoff and Akira Ohyama on the button. The flop came K108 and the action checked to Chidwick who bet 600. Both opponents folded and the Brit moved up to nearly 50,000.

The 2005 WSOP champion Joe Hachem has bought in near to the end of level 2. He’s a former world champion and has won more than $12 million in live tournaments. Enough said. –MC

3:40pm: Yung rakes one
Level 2 – Blinds 100/200

Percy Yung is stacking chips after just winning a pot versus Linglin Zeng.

The flop was spread K8J and after checks from Yung and the third player in the hand, Yung fired for 4,000 into a pot of just 2,600. After one fold, Yung decided to stick around before the dealer turned the J.

Yung kept up the aggression when checked to again, firing for another 6,000 in chips. Zeng quickly let it go and Jung boosted her stack to 32,500.

Meanwhile Zeng dips to 17,500. — BK

3:30pm: Team Pros join the hunt
Level 2 – Blinds 100/200

Team PokerStars Pro Vivian Im is the only one on the roster to have taken a seat so far but teammate Aditya Agarwal is currently at the registration desk – and he just tweeted that he’ll be getting among the action.

Also spotted as recent additions to the field are Australian crusher James Obst and APPT Seoul Champion Albert Paik. — BK


Team PokerStars Pro Vivian Im

3:17pm: Wang put to the test
Level 2 – Blinds 100/200

Yueyuan Wang and Ying Lin Chua tangled in a pot just now that saw the latter get the former off a very big hand.

The two of them were heads up to the river with more than 7,000 chips in the middle. The board was an all diamond 8J365 affair and Chua led for a near pot-sized 7,000. It was a bet that sent Wang into the tank. She ferociously riffled her chips as she thought for several minutes. Then she folded showing the K. –MC

3:10pm: Mooney makes a move
Level 2 – Blinds 100/200

Geoff Mooney’s stack had been going in the wrong direction so far this afternoon but he’s fighting back after winning a pot from Yuri Martins.

On a flop of jack-nine-seven Mooney checked first-to-act in the hijack seat before Martins took a stab at it for 550 from the cutoff. Almost immediately Mooney raised to 2,000 which was enough to take it down.

Martins threw his hand away but still has 33,000 to play with while Mooney rebuilt to 25,500. — BK

3pm: Another four-bet
Level 1 – Blinds 50/100

One doesn’t unusually see that many multi-raised pots in the first level of major tournaments. But this is Macau, home of action in the east.

Vanchau Le Nguyen limped in from under the gun before Hsien Kui Yang raised to 225 from the next seat. The player in one more seat along three-bet to 650 and Percy Yung called from the button. Then entered Stoyan Asenov Obreshkov in the small blind who cold four-bet to 2,600. All opponents ran for the hills. –MC

2:50pm: Tough table for Lakashaugen
Level 1 – Blinds 50/100

Tore Lukashaugen has been drawn at a table that won’t break today – table 2 – and that’s too bad as he’s drawn a tough one with Stephen Chidwick there, and Shunu Zang, fresh from busting fifth in the Super High Roller, just taking his seat.

He just tried to take on Chidwick out of position too, and that didn’t work out. Chidwick raised to 225 from the cutoff and was called by the button before Lukashaugen squeezed to 650 from the small blind. Chidwick came back with a four-bet to 2,750 and Lukashaugen called after the button folded.

The flop spread 2A9 and Lukashaugen checked to face a 1,400 bet. He made a quick fold. –MC

2:40pm: Wei wins some
Level 1 – Blinds 50/100

Dong Guo is one of the most recognizable faces on the Asian poker circuit but he just lost a few chips to tablemate Qinnan Wei.

On a flop of 883 Dong fired for what appeared to be 1,900 before Wei made the call from the button. The 8 turn brought three of a kind on board and Dong continued for 2,550.

Wei wanted to play for more and after two minutes of consideration he put in an almost-min-raise to 5,150. It was then Guo’s turn to tank as he took two minutes of his own before surrendering the hand.

With that pot Wei builds to 32,000 while Guo drops to 26,000. — BK

2:30pm: Zha pummels opponents
Level 1 – Blinds 50/100

Weizhou Zha wasn’t going to let go of any early pot. Three opponents became two opponents, then one opponent, and then no opponents.

He opened to 400 from under the gun and was called by three opponents, including Daniel Dvoress. The flop fell KQ7 and the action was checked to the button who bet 400. Zha and Dvoress called to the 2 turn where Zha picked up the betting reigns again. He led for 1,400, which was enough to oust Dvoress but not the button who called. The river was the 6 and Zha bet 4,500. Fold. –MC

2:15pm: Familiar faces
Level 1 – Blinds 50/100

It’s still early days but we’ve already spotted a few notable names among the action.

Stephen Chidwick has taken his seat. The number two on England’s all-time money list is fresh off a victory in the EPT Malta Turbo 6 Handed Event for $50,865 and he’ll be looking for another deep run here this week.

Also seen at the felt so far have been Daniel Dvoress, Dong Guo, Dean Blatt and MPC23 Red Dragon Champion Yue Feng Pan.

There are now 74 players at the tables but that number is expected to climb throughout the day. — BK

2pm: Shuffle up and deal
Level 1 – Blinds 50/100

Cards are in the air at most tables. The dealer at each table can only start dealing when three players have taken their seats. A few tables only have two or fewer players in wait.

In total 65 players have registered so far with that number expected to grow. The plan for today is to play seven levels for a finish just after 11pm. The first four levels will be 60 minute in length and will extend to 90 minutes from there on in. –MC

1:45pm: Day 1A set to start!

Welcome back to PokerStars LIVE Macau where today will see the beginning of the HK$100,000 ACOP Main Event with Day 1A commencing come 2pm.

The flagship event of this 17-day poker festival boasts a HK$15,000,000 guarantee and we’re expecting to see a stellar field pull up seats across two opening flights.

Last year there were 260 in contention and when all was said and done Jimmy Zhou lifted the trophy and pocketed HK$5,885,000 for his impressive efforts. We’ll be keeping an eye out to see if Zhou will be back to defend his title!

All that’s left now, however, is to wait until 2pm local time for the official kick off of our Day 1A action. As always we’ll have all your live coverage needs direct from the tournament floor so be sure to keep your browser locked to the PokerStars Blog.

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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