Wednesday, 7th December 2022 19:51
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James Chen – champion

9:15pm: James Chen is the High Roller Champion ($4,021,000); Xin Fan finishes in 2nd (HKD$$2,714,000)
Level 26 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

We have our champion!

Xin Fan open-shoved on the button with Q10 and James Chen called with K10 in the big blind. Fan picked up a gutshot straight draw on the 5K9 flop but that was as close as he would get. The 5 turn and A river completed Fan’s remarkable run in second place, and James Chen is officially your $100,000 High Roller champion!

Xin Fan – 2nd

A full wrap of the final day will be posted on the blog shortly. –JK

9:02pm: Chen straightens out Fan
Level 26 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

Xin fan opened for 200,000 on the button and James Chen called. Both players checked the 6108 flop, and Fan checked the A turn as well. Chen bet 175,000 and Fan called. The 9 came on the river and this time Chen led for 450,000. Fan thought for about 10 seconds and announced a call, then mucked when Chen Q7 for a ten-high straight.

Fan now has 1.95 million, Chen 7.75 million. –JK

9pm: Fan gets some back
Level 27 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

It was nip and tuck for the first few hands of heads-up, then Xin Fan won a pot on the river and gained 500k from when the heads-up play started.

Fan limped in from the button and James Chen checked his option before he led for 100,000 on a 739 flop. Fan called and then bet 150,000 himself when checked to on the 6 turn. Chen called but check-folded to a 475,000 bet on the 6 river. –MC

Chen – 7 million
Fan – 2.75 million

8:40pm: Stephen Chidwick gone in 3rd (HKD$1,868,000)
Level 26 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

Another post-dinner hand, another quick elimination.

Stephen Chidwick opened for 850,000 on the button and then called when James Chen jammed from the big blind.

Chidwick: A7
Chen: 44

Chidwick could have hit any ace or seven to stay alive but the board came 22103J to send him to the rail in third place.

Stephen Chidwick finishes in third place

That sets up our heads-up match with the following chip counts. –JK

Name Country Counts
Xin Fan China 2,440,000
James Chen Taiwan 7,260,000

8:20pm: Kristen Bicknell out in 4th (HKD$1,523,000)
Level 26 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

After such a long stretch of raise-and-take it poker, we finally have another elimination.

Kristen Bicknell opened all-in for 1.6 million from the button and James Chen called from the small blind.

Bicknell: KQ
Chen: AQ

Bicknell needed a king or some sort of draw but the AQ4 poured could water on those hopes, giving Chen top two pair. The 8 turn and J river were no help, either, and Bicknell’s latest deep run in a high roller tourney ends in fourth place.

Along with her HKD$2.192 million win in the National High Roller last week, that gives her more than HKD$3.7 million in winnings here at APPT Macau. Quite a series for the Canadian pro. –JK

Kristen Bicknell finishes in 4th

8:10pm: And we’re back
Level 27 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

Welcome back to our coverage of the $100,000 High Roller. We’re still four-handed but the stakes are up again. Let’s see if that can juice the game a bit. –JK

Can we get another showdown soon? Depends on our players.

7:10pm: Recharge time
Level 26 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

We’re closing in on the end of the level and getting ready to head to a one-hour dinner break with all four of our players still in the hunt. They’re all clustered between about 25 and 45 big blinds right now and that’s keeping the game tight.

How tight? Well, James Chen raised to 120,000 on the button and Xin Fan called in the big blind to see a 345 flop. Both men checked there and on the 7 turn, and the 7 put a straight on the board. Fan led for 350,000 and Chen decided to fold.

We’re off to dinner now. Chip counts incoming. –JK

Name Country Counts
James Chen Taiwan 2,870,000
Xin Fan China 2,690,000
Kristen Bicknell Canada 1,800,000
Stephen Chidwick UK 1,560,000

6:50pm: Raise and take it
Level 26 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

With all four players relatively close together in chips the state of play has become pretty cautious. We’ve seen one flop in the last 10 minutes, and no turns or rivers. –JK

6:40pm: They all count
Level 26 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Kristen Bicknell won two small pots in a row, but they all count at this stage. She’s back up to 1.8 million.

She open-shoved from the small blind, picking up the blinds and antes. The next hand, she opened to 150,000 off the button and was called by James Chen in the small blind. The 571086 board was checked all the way down and Chen opened QJ but lost out to Bicknell’s A2. He dropped a little to 2.9 million. –MC

6:30pm: Chen charges Chidwick
Level 26 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Not much in the way of action at our final here lately, but James Chen did just take a chunk of change off Stephen Chidwick.

Chidwick opened under the gun for 125,000 and Chen called in the big blind. Both men checked the 572 flop to see the 7 turn and Chen led for 150,000. Chidwick called and the river was the J. Chen led again, this time for 375,000, and after some thought Chidwick made the call. He immediately mucked, though, when Chen showed 107 for turned trip sevens.

Chidwick’s down to 2.4 million now, Chen up to 2.85 million. –JK

James Chen chipping away at Stephen Chidwick

6:25pm: Bicknell cut adrift
Level 26 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Start of day chip leader Kristen Bricknell has fallen to 1.49 million after clashing with Stephen Chidwick.

She opened to 150,000 from the button and bet 125,000 on a 2QK flop. Chidwick defended preflop, check-called flop, then led for 225,000 on the A turn. Bicknell called and both players checked the 10 river. Chidwick opened Q10 for two pair and Bicknell mucked. Chidwick grew to 2.6 million. –MC

6:10pm: Raise it up
Level 26 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

It’s time to bump the blinds and antes again. Here are the current chip counts. –JK

Name Country Counts
Xin Fan China 2,800,000
James Chen Taiwan 2,700,000
Stephen Chidwick UK 2,150,000
Kristen Bicknell Canada 1,960,000

6pm: Gao’s cowboys crushed in 5th (HKD$1,215,000)
Level 25 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

Wenling Gao just got massively unlucky to lose almost all her chips. She started the hand by opening to 125,000 from the cutoff, getting calls from James Chen on the button and Xin Fan in the small blind.

The flop came 1094 and Gao bet 150,000 when it checked to her. Chen folded but Fan raised to 500,000 with 1,095,000 behind.

Gao then moved all-in and she had Fan covered by the narrowest of margins. Fan made the call.

Gao: KK
Fan: J10

It was a great spot for Gao, until the 10 landed on the turn. The river was the 5, changing nothing.

There was some confusion about who covered whom but after another count we saw Gao had 55,000 left over. She folded the next hand and then moved in for 45,000 under the gun with 65. James Chen joined in with AQ and hit the river of the 51088A board to bring Gao’s tournament to an end in fifth place. –MS

Wenling Gao’s excellent run was halted in fifth place

5:50pm: Two-pair and a pot for Bicknell
Level 25 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

Xin Fan limped his small blind and Kristen Bicknell checked in the big blind. The flop came down A32 and Fan fired 50,000. Bicknell called and the Q came on the turn.

This time Fan checked and Bicknell bet 125,000. Fan called and the turn was the 9. Fan checked again and Bicknell bet 400,000. Fan called quickly but mucked when Bicknell showed A2 for two pair on the flop.

Bicknell is now on 2.45 million and Fan has 1.58 million. –MS

5:40pm: Poor Paik falls in 6th (HKD$933,000)
Level 25 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

Big pairs have faired badly today, very badly. The biggest one of them all just cost Albert Paik his tournament life in a 3-million-plus pot.

James Chen opened to 110,000 from under the gun before Paik moved in for 1.535 million from the next seat. The action got back to Chen who, with over 1.6 million, made the call with kings.

Chen: KK
Paik: AA

The pain was visible in Paik’s face as the board ran 5K5Q7 to make Chen a full house. He moved into the lead with 3.15 million whereas Paik has to settle for a payday worth HK$933,000. –MC

Pack it up, Paik it in

5:30pm: Bicknell and the resistance
Level 24 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

Sometimes in poker it feels like the table’s singling you out to pick on and after watching the last three hands we suspect Kristen Bicknell might be feeling that way right now.

First Bicknell opened to 175,000 from the small blind when it folded to her, only to see Wenling Gao reach for chips and re-pop it to 350,000 from the big blind. Bicknell folded and on the next hand opened again for 125,000.

This time it was James Chen throwing a wrench in the works with a three-bet to 400,000 from the big blind. Bicknell folded again.

The third consecutive hand Bicknell opened led us to believe she might have a hand. She made it 110,000 from the cutoff and Chen again three-bet, this time to 500,000.

Bicknell insta-mucked and she’s now on 1.9 million. –MS

Kristen Bicknell meets the resistance

5:25pm: Bicknell plays position on Fan
Level 25 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

Xin Fan’s newfound big stack has already taken a small hit.

Kristen Bicknell opened for 100,000 under the gun and Fan called in the big blind. Fan checked the 68K flop and called Bicknell’s 125,000-chip bet to see the 3 turn. Both players checked and the 7 came on the river.

Fan took a stab at the pot for 200,000 and Bicknell thought for a few seconds before sliding out a raise to 700,000. Fan folded almost as quickly as Bicknell bet, giving her the pot. Bicknell’s now on 2.1 million, Fan 2.2 million. –JK

5:20pm: Haha for Gao
Level 25 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

“Haha!” said Wenling Gao to her two opponents after she showed two pair when they folded.

She had tried to complete in the small blind not realising that Albert Paik has min-raised from under the gun. She called the raise and so did James Chen in the big blind. The flop spread 679 and Gao led for 160,000. Fold, fold and she opened 67. –MC

5:15pm: Super six return
Level 25 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

We’ve given up trying to predict who’s going to win this, the chip lead has changed that many times. As level 25 begins here’s how they stand:

Name Country Counts
Xin Fan China 2,730,000
Kristen Bicknell Canada 1,950,000
James Chen Taiwan 1,490,000
Stephen Chidwick UK 1,480,000
Albert Paik USA 1,140,000
Wenling Gao China 960,000

5pm: Xin Fan takes chip lead to 15-minute break
Level 24 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

After taking a back seat to a table full of aggressive players for most of the day, Xin Fan just leapt into the lead on the last hand of Level 24.

Albert Paik opened for 80,000 on the button and Fan was the lone caller in the big blind. He check-raised to 200,000 on the 46J flop after Paik’s 60,000 bet, and Paik called to bring the 5 on the turn. Fan led for 325,000 this time and Paik, thinking it over, decided to call. The K river prompted Fan to use a time-bank chip before announcing himself all-in. The count: 735,000.

Paik considered his position and then called with J3 for a pair of jacks. Fan had flopped a set with 44, though. That gives him 2.7 million and the lead heading into the break. Paik drops to 1.14 million. –JK

4:55pm: Fan doubles, Gao not a fan
Level 24 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

Stephen Chidwick opened to 80,000 from the cutoff and Xin Fan jammed all-in from the button for just over 500,000. Wenling Gao was in the big blind and re-shoved and after Chidwick got out of the way we saw Gao was in a dominant position.

Gao: KK
Fan: A5

The flop was safe for Gao, coming 1076, but the A turn was not so kind. The river was the 3 and Fan doubles to 1,080,000. Gao, meanwhile, is down to 690,000. –MS

Xin Fan

4:45pm: Chen builds something out of nothing
Level 24 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

We just got a large pot out of three preflop limpers.

James Chen (button), Albert Paik (small blind), and Stephen Chidwick (big blind) took a 652 flop and you just knew there was going to be action. Paik checked, Chidwick bet 50,000, and both Chen and Paik called. The action was similar after the 8 turn, though this time Chidwick bet 200,000. Two calls sent us to a K river and this time both Paik and Chidwick checked, leaving Chen with the initiative. He took about 20 seconds and then bet 360,000, leaving himself about another 300,000 behind. Paik thought it over long and hard before folding with two seconds left on the shot clock, and Chidwick released his hand immediately afterward to give Chen the pot. –JK

Chen: 1,500,000
Paik: 2,300,000
Chidwick: 1,650,000

4:33pm: Bicknell counterfeits Chen
Level 24 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

Kristen Bicknell just picked up a moderate pot from James Chen thanks to the board pairing on the river.

The hand started with Albert Paik opening to 80,000 from under the gun and Bicknell calling on the button. Chen called from the big blind and the flop came down 963.

Bicknell fired 115,000 when it was checked to her and Chen was the only caller. The turn was the 4 and both players checked. The river was the 9 and Chen checked one last time.

Bicknell looked tempted to bet but opted to check instead, turning over pocket tens. Chen tabled three-four for a turned two pair that had been counterfeited on the river.

Chen is now on 985,000 while Bicknell is back up to 2.2 million. –MS

4:17pm: Paik stays active
Level 24 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

Albert Paik is still the most active player at the table. He just opened under the gun for 80,000 and got a call from James Chen in the big blind. Chen check-called 60,000 on the 522 flop, then another 110,000 on the 9 turn, and checked one more time on the J river. Paik fired again for 175,000 and Chen, after some thought, let it go.

Chen’s on 1.25 million now, Paik 2.3 million. –JK

4:10pm: Enormous pot gives Bicknell chip lead
Level 24 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

Kristen Bicknell just took down perhaps the biggest pot of the tournament so far, putting her in the chip lead and taking a big bite out of James Chen’s stack.

It started with Chen opening to 90,000 from under the gun plus one and Bicknell called in the big blind.

The flop came down 1077 and Chen bet 55,000. Bicknell called and the turn was the 8. Chen bet again, pushing 140,000 into the middle, and Bicknell announced raise and made it 340,000 to go.

Kristen Bicknell: don’t mess

Chen called and the river was the J. Bicknell shoved all-in for 600,000 and Chen went way into the tank. He used three time bank chips and as the clock was running down yet again he threw a single chip into the middle, indicating a call.

Bicknell showed 96 for the turned straight and Chen was forced to turn over A7 for trip sevens with the nut kicker.

Bicknell is now on 2.2 million while Chen is knocked down to 1.5 million. –MS

4pm: Chop-chop
Level 23 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Two of our big stacks just took some big swings at each other, only to split the pot in the end.

Albert Paik opened for 70,000 on the button and Stephen Chidwick reraised to 230,000 in the small blind. Paik came along for a K8A flop and called when Chidwick bet 175,000. That brought the 5 on the turn and once again Chidwick took the lead, betting 350,000. Paik thought it over for about half his shot clock and then called. The river was the J and both players checked — then they showed down the same hand. Chidwick’s A10 and Paik’s A10 chopped the pot. –JK

3:55pm: Chen lays trap for Bicknell
Level 23 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Kristen Bicknell opened to 75,000 from the button and James Chen called in the big blind. The flop came down K43 and Chen checked. Bicknell bet 55,000 and Chen called.

The turn was the 2 and after another check from Chen, Bicknell fired 160,000. The river was the 10 and Chen checked for the final time. Bicknell checked too and saw she had averted a trap when Chen turned over 56 for the turned straight.

James Chen: into the lead

Bicknell is now on 1.1 million while Chen is up to 2.7 million. –MS

3:40pm: Gomez gone in 7th (HKD$678,500)
Level 23 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Stephen Chidwick opened to 60,000 from under the gun plus one and Javier Gomez jammed for 505,000 from one seat to Chidwick’s left.

It folded to Wenling Gao who thought it over for a moment before folding, and when it got back to Chidwick he insta-called and turned over 88. Gomez was racing with AK but missed the flop, turn and river to hit the rail in 7th place.

Javier Gomez – 7th

Gomez wins HK$678,500 and Stephen Chidwick is now up over 2.1 million. –MS

3:35pm: Dominik Nitsche out in 8th (HKD$492,000)
Level 23 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Dominik Nitsche, who’d been short-stacked for much of the day, opened the action all-in from the button with A3. Wenling Gao snap-called in the big blind with AQ and made a pair of queens on the Q10568 board. Nitsche moved his stacks over to Gao’s seat and shook her hand, wished the table good luck, and headed to the payout cage.

Dominik Nitsche – 8th

3:30pm: Mu out in 9th (HKD$406,000)
Level 23 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Only a few minutes into the final table and we already have our first knockout.

James Chen opened for 60,000 in the hijack and got call from Stephen Chidwick on the button and Dapeng Mu in the big blind. Mu checked the J84 flop, Chen bet 90,000, Chidwick folded, and Mu called to see the 7 fall on the turn. He quickly bet all-in there and Chen asked for a count — 675,000. Chen called and showed down AA, while Mu had J-T. The Q was no help to Mu, who left in ninth place. –JK

Dapeng Mu – 9th

3:25pm: Final 9 re-draw
Level 23 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Final table

Name Country Counts
Seat 1 Albert Paik USA 1,900,000
Seat 2 Stephen Chidwick UK 1,700,000
Seat 3 Javier Gomez Spain 550,000
Seat 4 Dapeng Mu USA 800,000
Seat 5 Xin Fan China 730,000
Seat 6 Dominik Nitsche Germany 400,000
Seat 7 Kristen Bicknell Canada 1,900,000
Seat 8 Wenling Gao China 1,000,000
Seat 9 James Chen Taiwan 1,100,000

3:15pm: Gomez doubles before final-table redraw
Level 23 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Javier Gomez was shortstacked but managed to get it in good just as Justin Bonomo was busting from the other table.

Wenling Gao opened the hand to 85,000 from the button and Gomez jammed from the big blind for 280,000.

Gao called and turned over A3 which was trailing Gomez’s 55. Gao didn’t pick up any draws on the flop or turn and missed her ace on the river to double up Gomez.

Gao now has 655,000 and Gomez is on close to 600,000. –MS

3:12pm: Boom goes Bonomo in 10th
Level 23 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Well, that was a bit unexpected.

Kristen Bicknell made it 125,000 to go from the small blind and Justin Bonomo called in the big blind. The flop came Q710 and both players checked. Bicknell led for 150,000 after the 3 hit the turn and Bonomo, after a brief moment of consideration, announced himself all-in. Bicknell couldn’t have called any quicker.

Bicknell: AQ
Bonomo: J8

Bonomo was drawing dead to Bicknell’s nut flush. That puts us at our final table. Chip counts incoming soon. –JK

Justin Bonomo – 10th

3:10pm: Another double for Chen
Level 23 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

James Chen has passed 1.1 million after calling all-in in the big blind.

Javier Gomez moved all-in from the button and got as tank-call for 550,000 from Chen.

Chen: KJ
Gomez: 78

The board ran 109K48 and Gomez dropped down to just 225,000. –MC

3:05pm: Zhuang gone in 11th
Level 23 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Yan Zhuang’s tournament is over after moving in with a dominated ace. Dapeng Mu opened on the button and called after Zhuang jammed for 280,000 in the big blind.

Mu: A10
Zhuang: A2

The board came 68JQQ, making an ace-high flush for Mu to send Zhuang to the rail in 11th place. Mu’s now up to about 890,000. –JK

Yan Zhuang – 11th

3:02pm: Schwippert ships out
Level 23 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Jan-Eric Schwippert was one of two Germans at his table but now Dominik Nitsche is all alone.

Schwippert started his final hand by opening to 225,000 from the cutoff with 110,000 behind, and James Chen went into the tank one seat to his left. Chen let the time bank run down before folding, Wenling Gao folded in the small blind and Stephen Chidwick immediately announced all-in from the big blind.

Chidwick turned over AA which was miles ahead of Schwippert’s KQ. The board did nothing for either players’ hand and Schwippert is out in 12th place for a HK$300,000 payday.

Stephen Chidwick, meanwhile, now has 1.55 million. –MS

Jan-Eric Schwippert – 12th

3pm: Cha-ching for Chen
Level 23 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

James Chen needed a double (as a lot of players do) and got it after winning a flip versus Jan-Eric Schwippert.

He moved all-in for 240,000 from under the gun and was called by Schwippert in the big blind.

Schwippert: 77
Chen: K]J

The board ran QJ349 to pair Chen’s jack. Schwippert down to to 365,000. –MC

2:55pm: Zhuang doubles, still short
Level 23 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Yan Zhuang came back from the break with 100,000 and all of it went in on the first hand back.

Zhuang was in great shape all-in preflop against Kristen Bicknell with AQ against A4. The flop brought a queen and a four but nothing interesting happened on the turn or the river.

Zhuang is up to 220,000 and Bicknell still has around 1 million. –MS

2:50pm: The final 12 back at it
Level 23 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Here’s hows they stand:

Name Country Chip Count
Albert Paik USA 1,695,000
Stephen Chidwick UK 1,275,000
Wenling Gao China 1,110,000
Kristen Bicknell Canada 1,110,000
Justin Bonomo USA 885,000
Xin Fan China 795,000
Javier Gomez Spain 790,000
Dapeng Mu USA 740,000
Jan-Eric Schwippert Germany 615,000
Dominik Nitsche Germany 396,000
James Chen Taiwan 250,000
Yan Zhuang China 100,000

2:35pm: Bonomo shows his class as the first break comes
Level 22 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Justin Bonomo just showed off why he’s considered world class, making a great call for his tournament life in a hand that went in to the break.

He raised from early position and bet an A93 flop. Yan Zhuang defended his big blind, called the c-bet, then led the 10A turn and river for 50,000 then all-in. Bonomo was the effective stack on the river with 285,000 and used two time bank chips before calling off with QQ. It was good as Zhuang opened a bluffing J7.

That’s left him short. We’ll have official counts for all players when we return in 15 minutes. –MC

2:32pm: Mu doubles through Zhuang
Level 22 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Yan Zhuang opened to 55,000 from under the gun and when it got to Dapeng Mu he jammed all-in for 342,000. It folded back to Zhuang and he let the clock run most of the way down before verbally announcing call.

Mu: KJ
Zhuang: K5

The flop came AQ8 and the 10 turn made Mu the Broadway straight. Zhuang hit his five on the river but it was too little, too late. The pot belonged to Mu.

Zhuang is now down to 410,000 while Mu doubles to over 700,000. –MS

2:30pm: Gomez climbing
Level 22 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Sergio Gomez just took on Stephen Chidwikch heads-up and came out the better for it.

Chidwick limped in from the small blind and Gomez made it 72,000 to go. Chidwick called to see the 74K flop, then checked over to Gomez. Gomez bet 54,000 and then called after Chidwick check-raised to 130,000. The A fell on the turn and this time Chidwick took the lead for 100,000. Gomez took most of his shot clock to make the call, bringing the Q on the river. This time Chidwick checked and Gomez eventually bet 255,000 all-in. Chidwick used up two of his time-bank chips to buy himself another minute of pondering his move, but in the end he folded.

Chidwick slips to 1.1 million, Gomez climbs to 860,000. –JK

2:27pm: Bicknell back over 1 million
Level 22 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Kristen Bicknell is hunting her second APPT Macau high roller title of this series and she’s had a rollercoaster day so far.

We picked up her latest adventure on the flop with the board reading 1085 and Yan Zhuang firing a bet of 125,000. Bicknell called and the turn was the 4. Both players checked and the river brought the 10.

Zhuang bet again, pushing 100,000 into the middle, and Bicknell auto-called. Zhuang showed J9 for the missed open-ender and Bicknell tabled J3 for the turned flush and the pot.

Bicknell is now up to 1.1 million. –MS

2:20pm: Whole lotta limping going on
Level 22 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

The pace of play has slowed down considerably from what we saw during the first hour and a half of the day. We’re seeing a lot less three and four-bet jamming preflop and a lot more small-ball post-flop play.

And we’re seeing something that’s usually reserved for much lower buy-in tournaments: limping.

We saw James Chen limp two pots in a row, getting pushed out of the first by an all-in move from Javier Gomez and also folding the second time to a three-bet by Dominik Nitsche.

On the next hand it was Wenling Gao limping from under the gun and Jan-Eric Schwippert calling in the small blind and Chen checking his option in the big blind.

The flop came out AJ8 and Gao bet 27,000 when it was checked to her. Schwippert folded but Chen raised to 100,000. Gao called and the turn brought the 4.

Chen checked and Gao cut out two stacks of 5,000 chips, pushing 200,000 total into the middle. Chen didn’t take long to fold. He’s now on 310,000 while Gao is up over 1 million. –MS

Gao worth a million

2:10pm: Zhuang battles back
Level 22 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Yan Zhuang bounced back quickly from those losses to Kristen Bicknell.

He opened the action for 40,000 on the button and Bicknell and Justin Bonomo called from the small and big blinds, respectively. The flop fell JAA, Zhuang bet 40,000, and Bonomo came along for the 9 turn. Another bet from Zhuang, this time 91,000, and another call from Bonomo took us to the 10 river. Both players checked and showed down their hands — J4 for a pair of jacks for Bonomo, A3 for trip aces for Zhuang.

Zhuang climbs back to 1.1 million, while Bonomo falls to 420,000. –JK

2:05pm: Bicknell vs. Zhuang
Level 22 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Two hands between Yan Zhuang and Kristen Bicknell:

On the first Bicknell opened for 48,000 under the gun and Zhuang called from the big blind. Zhuang led for 59,000 on the 84Q flop and Bicknell called. The turn was the J and Zhuang fired another 130,000. Bicknell called again and the river was the 6. Both players checked and Bicknell’s pair of eights with K8 was good against Zhuang’s pair of sixes wiht 63.

Zhuang raised to 60,000 from the small blind on the next hand and Bicknell called in the big blind. The flop fell 6107 and Zhuang led for 110,000. Bicknell gave it a few seconds’ thought and then jammed for about 700,000. Zhuang didn’t like that. He counted down his stack briefly and then folded, giving Bicknell her second consecutive win.

After a rough start, Bicknell is back up to around 900,000. Zhuang drops to 870,000. –JK

2pm: Fan four-bets on Bicknell
Level 22 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Kristen Bicknell continued to stay in the action, it was another dip for her though.

Xin Fan opened to 50,000 from under the gun before the Canadian three-bet to 150,000 from the cutoff. Fan jammed and Bicknell decided to preserve the 460,000 she had behind and folded. Fan up to 860,000. –MC

1:45pm: Bicknell loses to Zhuang, rebounds against Paik
Level 22 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Kristen Bicknell has had a nightmare start to Day 3 and was running on fumes after another loss.

Bicknell opened under the gun and Yan Zhaung called from the big blind to take a 628 flop. Zhuang led for 80,000 and Bicknell called. Zhuang again led on the 2 turn, this time for 135,000. Bicknell thought it over for a bit, counting over her remaining chips — about 415,000 total — and then called.

Kristen Bicknell bouncing back

The river was the Q and Zhuang wasted no time moving all-in. Obviously uncomfortable, Bicknell had a lot to think over and only 30 seconds to make a decision, as all her time-bank chips were already used up. The clock ticked all the way down to zero, her hand was ruled dead, and Zhuang scooped up the pot while showing the 6. Bicknell tapped the table and dropped to 280,000 chips as Zhuang chipped up to 1.36 million.

It looked like the Canadian pro was fading away and then Albert Paik opened for 50,000 in the hijack. Bicknell jammed for 281,000 in the small blind with 99 and Paik called with AJ. A blank board was exactly what the doctor ordered for Bicknell, who’s now back on about 650,000. –JK

1:30pm: Paik vs. Bicknell, Round 2
Level 21 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Albert Paik and Kristen Bicknell are back at it again.

Paik opened for 45,000 in the cutoff and Bicknell, in the big blind, was the lone caller to the 856 flop. Both players checked and the turn was the 9. Bicknell took the lead this time for 65,000 and Paik, after some thought, made the call. Bicknell slowed down on the 7 river and Paik eventually bet 140,000. Bicknell didn’t like the look of that and let her hand go.

Paik’s up to about 1.75 million, Bicknell down to 600,000. –JK

1:25pm: Bicknell doesn’t back down
Level 21 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Kristen Bicknell took a big hit in that unlucky hand we reported moments ago but her spirit remains resolute as she tried to navigate her way to the upcoming final table.

Bicknell opened to 40,000 from the cutoff and Justin Bonomo three-bet to 150,000 from the button. The blinds got out of the way and Bicknell quickly announced all-in. for around 600,000.

Bonomo took about three seconds to fold and now Bicknell is on around 750,000. –MS

1:15pm: Paik attacks Bicknell, reclaims the chip lead
Level 21 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

The pot of the night on Day 2 of this tournament was a big confrontation between Kristen Bicknell and then-chip-leader Albert Paik that boosted Bicknell into the chip lead. It looks like the pot of the day here today is the one at her expense that just moved Paik into the lead.

Paik opened the betting for 45,000 in the cutoff and Bicknell, sitting in the big blind, didn’t take long to reraise to 145,000. Back on Paik, he thought for just a few seconds before declaring himself all-in for 805,000. Bicknell called before he could move chips forward and said, “Kings.”

Bicknell: KK
Paik: AK

Paik couldn’t believe it — he’d found himself in nearly an identical spot against the same opponent in the biggest pot of the tournament two days running. Yesterday Bicknell had aces and they held. This time her cowboys were shot down on the A67 flop. The 4 turn and 3 river changed nothing except the chip stacks. Bicknell drops to 630,000 with that brutal loss, while Paik is now on 1.7 million and leading the field. –JK

Albert Paik almost slipped up

1:10pm: Lin out in 13th place
Level 21 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Xia Lin was short and found a great spot to double up but, as we so often see, the best hand isn’t always enough.

Lin got all-in preflop with AK against Yan Zhuang’s AQ and the flop came out 777. The Q hit the turn and after the J made it official, Lin was out in 13th place.

Lin takes $HK300,000 and Zhuang is up to 870,000. –MS

Xia Lin – 13th

1:07pm: Nitsche dominating
Level 21 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

German poker pro Dominik Nitsche is known as an aggressive player and he’s living up to that reputation so far today.

Nitsche started the day with 480,000 and he’s now up to over 1.1 million thanks to a series of relentless four-bets preflop.

A similar pattern kept repeating itself.

Wenling Gao opened to 43,000 and Stephen Chidwick re-popped it to 120,000. Nitsche came in for a four-bet to 400,000 and won the pot.

A few hands later Nitsche opened to 50,000 from the button and Kristen Bicknell re-raised to 175,000 from the small blind. Nitsche four-bet to 600,000 and won the pot.

Then Nitsche opened another pot to 50,000 from the cutoff and Bicknell three-bet to 150,000 from the button. Nitsche four-bet yet again, putting in 700,000, and took it down. –MS

1:05pm: Wheely nice board helps Chen double
Level 21 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

After doubling up Javier Gomez on the first hand when ahead, James Chen was due a slice of luck and he got it, doubling through Stephen Chidwick.

He moved all-in for 254,000 from middle position and was called by Chidwick on the button.

Chen: A3
Chidwick: 88

The board ran 945102 to make Chen a wheel. He rose to 470,000 and Chidwick dropped to 1.1 million. –MC

1pm: Chidwick doubles through Schwippert
Level 21 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Stephen Chidwick just picked up a nice pot at Jan-Eric Schwippert’s expense.

Chidwick opened for 40,000 under the gun and got calls from Jan-Eric Schwippert on the button and Weiling Gao in the big blind. The flop came 628 and all three players checked. Chidwick led for 180,000 on the K turn and Schwippert called; Gao folded and the river was the K. Chidwick bet one more time, this one all-in for 510,000. Schwippert had to use a time-bank chip to think it over but finally slid a stack of chips across the betting line. Chidwick turned up AK for trip kings — and Schwippert lost on kickers with KQ

Stephen Chidwick

Chidwick is now on about 1.4 million, Schwippert 340,000. –JK

12:50pm: Guerrero gone in 14th
Level 21 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Just a few hands into the day we have our first elimination and it’s France’s Jimmy Guerrero on his way to the exit in 14th place.

Guerrero open shoved for around 300,000 and was called by Xin Fan who had roughly the same number of chips.

Fan: A10

The board ran out 62373 to give Fan the nut flush, not that he needed it, and bust Guerrero for a HK$272,000 prize. –MS

Jimmy Guerrero – 14th

12:45pm: Paik starts strong
Level 21 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Justin Bonomo opened the action in the hijack seat and got calls from Albert Paik on the button and Yan Zhuang in the big blind.

The flop fell 5J10 and all three players checked. Zhuang then led for 80,000 on the 2 turn, chasing Bonomo from the hand, and Paik called for the 3 river. Two more checks and they turned up their cards: 72 for Zhuang, 109 and the win with a pair of tens for Paik. –JK

12:40pm: Gomez doubles first hand
Level 21 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,00)

On the very first hand of the day, Javier Gomez got lucky to double up.

He shoved for 212,000 from early position and was successfully isolated by James Chen who moved in as well.

Gomez: A6
Chen: AJ

The board ran a devilish 46869 to make the Spaniard trip sixes. Chen dropped to 260,000. –MC

12:30pm: Cards in the air
Level 21 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

We’re officially underway here at PokerStars LIVE Macau in the City of Dreams!

11:20am: Record-setting APPT Macau High Roller concludes today
Level 21 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Welcome to Day 3 of the APPT Macau $100,000 High Roller at PokerStars LIVE Macau in the City of Dreams!

The highlight of Day 2 of this tournament was a top-flight performance by Kristen Bicknell. She stormed to the top of the chip counts in the early evening and held court for the rest of the night, finishing 35 big blinds ahead of the nearest competition. The job’s not done yet but her task today is straightforward: carry that lead over the finish line and leave the tournament with HKD$4.021 million and a coveted $30,000 PokerStars Platinum Pass.

The mission might be simple but Bicknell’s path is filled with obstacles. High-roller reg and second-place chipholder Justin Bonomo, #6 German pro Jan-Eric Schwippert, high stakes crusher Stephen Chidwick, and, lurking further back in the pack, ex-chip-leader Albert Paik and ever-dangerous Dominik Nitsche all have their own designs on the title and top prize.

Whoever the eventual champion may be, they’ll take the honor of winning the largest High Roller event in APPT history. Here are the chip counts as they begin Day 3:

Name Country Chip Count
Kristen Bicknell Canada 1,856,000
Justin Bonomo USA 1,150,000
Jan-Eric Schwippert Germany 1,050,000
Stephen Chidwick UK 901,000
Wenling Gao China 880,000
Yan Zhuang China 805,000
Albert Paik USA 665,000
James Chen Taiwan 485,000
Dominik Nitsche Germany 480,000
Dapeng Mu USA 374,000
Xin Fan China 302,000
Jimmy Guerrero France 295,000
Javier Gomez Spain 215,000
Xia Lin China 196,000

Play resumes at 12:30pm local time. Join us then for full coverage of all the action. –JK

It’s the final day of the APPT Macau $100,000 High Roller

PokerStars Blog reporting team on the $100,000 High Roller: Marc Convey, Jason Kirk, and Matt Showell. Photography by Joe Giron/PokerPhotoArchive and Kenneth Lim of Kenneth Lim Photography.

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