Wednesday, 7th December 2022 20:43
Home / Uncategorized / Yan Zhuang leads the pack as APPT Macau High Roller Day 1 concludes

Truth be told, we were expecting a relatively low-key affair here on the first day of the APPT Macau $100,000 High Roller.

$100,000 High Roller Day 1 chip leader Yan Zhuang of China

Not in terms of the action, of course — big money always makes for great poker — but with regard to the players, six or seven dozen would have been a solid field. Luckily the tournament was set up in an area of the PokerStars LIVE Macau card room with plenty of room to accomodate the throngs that showed up to play. A total of 110 players combined for whopping 152 entries during today’s 10 levels of play — the first of 12 on the structure that are open to registration — and kept the room hopping all day long. At the end of the night 77 of them remained in contention.

Several players took turns as chip leader, most notably Justin Bonomo. He had more than 200,000 chips about halfway through the day and continued to cruise through the end of the night. Kuisong Wu passed him by late, as did Dapeng Mu, who scored a late KO of Super High Roller champ Alex Foxen. But when all was said and done, China’s Yan Zhuang and Canada’s Sam Greenwood ended the night tops in the field.

Yan Zhuang – 330,000
Sam Greenwood – 327,000
Kuisong Wu – 288,700
Justin Bonomo – 279,000
Dapeng Mu – 268,600

We’ll be back tomorrow at 12:30pm for another 10 levels of High Roller action. Join us for live updates, photos, video, and the best sense of the action the English language can provide. Until then, good night from Macau! –JK

Day 1B Live coverage archive:

• Entries: 77 of 152 remain (inc 42 re-entries – Unlimited re-entries allowed until the end of level 12)
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11:54pm: Dvoress busts in final few hands
Level 10 – Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Daniel Dvoress almost made it through the day. His final hand started with Xia Lin opening and three players calling, including Dvoress. The flop came out ten, six, four and Lin continuation bet.

Dvoress was the only caller and another six hit the turn. Dvoress checked, Lin jammed and Dvoress called off with eight-ten for top pair. Lin had pocket aces and they held up to send Dvoress out the door. –MS

11:52pm: Antonius says goodnight
Level 10 – Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Patrik Antonius has just busted but don’t worry, he told us he’ll be back to rebuy at some point during the first two levels tomorrow.

The Finn’s final hand started with Dapeng Mu opening to 3,600 from under the gun and Antonius shoving all-in for 21,000 total from the big blind.

Mu made the call and turned over AK which was racing Antonius’s pocket jacks. By the time all five community cards were on the felt, Mu had made a flush. Mu is now up to 245,000. –MS

11:50pm: Seven more hands
Level 10 – Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

As the current chip leader, Justin Bonomo got to draw the card to see how many more hands we’ll play tonight. Seven it is. –JK

11:45pm: Bonomo’s running good
Level 10 – Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Justin Bonomo’s been running pretty good today — good enough that he looks to be our chip leader with about 20 minutes of Day 1 play left. For example:

Sergio Aido opened the action for 3,500 in middle position and Bonomo raised to 10,000 in the cutoff. Then Tianyuan Tang moved in for 37,600 on the button. That chased Aido from the hand but Bonomo, priced in, made the call.

Bonomo: 97
Tang: 88

The board fell 10JJKK, giving both player kings and jack with a ten kicker.

Bonomo’s still on about 260,000. The only player who looks close to his stack right now is Kuisong Wu. –JK

11:35pm: Time bank confusion for Guerrero
Level 10 – Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Australian poker legend Billy “The Croc” Argyros opened to 4,000 from the button and Jimmy Guerrero called in the big blind. The flop came down J86 and both players checked.

The turn was the K and after Guerrero checked, Argyros fired 7,000. Guerrero went way into the tank and used one of his time bank chips when the clock ran out. He let the clock run out again before cutting out chips and check-raising to 35,000.

Argyros looked perturbed and had about 38,500 left in his stack. After a few moments he let it go, saying “You’ve got nothing” as his cards went to the muck.

The dealer then asked Guerrero for another time chip since he had run the clock down a second time. Guerrero immediately disputed the request, saying he had asked the dealer if his time chip bought him one minute and that she had said yes.

The rest of the table disagreed with him and after the rules sheet was brought over for reference, the table moved on to the next hand. –MS

11:30pm: Ladies night
Level 10 – Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Albert Paik and Dominik Nitsche got into a preflop raising war with Paik finally shoving and Nitsche quickly calling.

Both players turned over pocket queens and the board ran out with no flush draws for either player.

Nitsche still has 44,000 while Paik stays at 36,000. –MS

11:15pm: No Wei for Haxton
Level 10 – Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Isaac Haxton hasn’t had to reach back into his wallet despite playing all day long, but he’s getting close to that territory after doubling Na Wei. Haxton opened on the button with 77 and then called when Wei jammed from the small blind. As it turned out, Wei was holding pocket aces. No sevens on the board gave Wei the double to 124,000. Haxton, meanwhile, is down to around 21,000. –JK

Na Wei before her double through Isaac Haxton

11:10pm: Vukovic the bluff-catcher
Level 10 – Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Mladen Vukovic just made a nice call on the river. There was a big pile of chips already in the pot and a complete board reading 583JJ when we showed up. Vukovic, who was in the big blind, checked over to Chin Wei Lim, who moved a 7,000-chip bet across the line. Vukovic didn’t have to think long before calling with 77 — the best hand, since Lim had continued his action on the river with 109 for nothing more than a busted straight draw.

Vukovic is now on 120,000, Lim 39,000. –JK

11pm: Last level for the night
Level 10 – Blinds 800/1,600 (ante 200)

We’re moving on to the last level of play for tonight. The re-entries continue to flow in, as they surely will in the first two levels of Day 2 play before registration is closed for good. –JK

10:58pm: Huang doubles through O’Dwyer
Level 9 – Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

APPT Macau Super High Roller runner-up Shan Huang is on at least his third bullet in this event and just doubled through Steve O’Dwyer to chip up close to 190,000.

We didn’t see the hand play out but the money went in before the flop. O’Dwyer had AK and Huang had pocket kings. O’Dwyer is now on around 61,000. –MS

Big Slick no good for O’Dwyer

10:55pm: Wu winning
Level 9 – Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

Kuisong Wu went deep in the Super High Roller earlier this week before faltering and coming up short of the money. He’s looking to rectify that with a strong performance here in the High Roller.

We showed up to his table minutes ago with Wu having called Paul Michaelis’s raise in position to get to a 72K flop. Michaelis led for 2,500 and Wu made it 6,900 to go. Michaelis called and was on the defensive from there. He checked the Q turn and laid it down after checking to Wu and being faced with a bet of 12,500. That moves Wu up to 129,000. –JK

10:45pm: Ferreira busts, Pedro triples, Mu unfazed
Level 9 – Blinds 600/1,200 (Ante 200)

We just saw a big three-way preflop all-in between Jean Ferreira, Dapeng Mu, and Pedro Pellicer. We’re not clear on how the money went in but both Ferreira and Pellicer were short going into the hand.

“I have a good hand and I’m not feeling great about it,” said Ferreira as he turned over his cards.

Ferreira: QQ
Pellicer: AA
Mu: 99

The flop came down J102 and the turn brought the A. The river was the 2 and the pot was shipped to Pellicer. Ferreira is out and Mu is still on around 165,000. –MS

10:35pm: Zhou can’t trap Nitsche
Level 9 – Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

Dominik Nitsche has a knack for attacking — and for escaping trouble.

Nitsche opened for 2,500 UTG+1 and Quan Zhou was the lone caller to take the 4Q3 flop. Zhou check-called 2,500 there, then checked on the J turn. This time Nitsche bet a much larger 16,000. Zhou smiled and thought it over for about 15 seconds before again making the call. He checked one more time on the 5 river and Nitsche reached for a stack of chips before deciding to check instead.

“You bluffing?” asked Zhou. “Nooooooooooo, no bluff,” said Nitsche, rolling over AQ for top pair, top kicker. Zhou saw that and turned up 76 — his flush draw had backed into a gutshot straight. That drew a chorus of “ooooooooooooooh” from their tablemates, including Nitsche, who had escaped Zhou’s trap after hitting the perfect river card.

With that Nitsche drops to 41,000, while Zhou is up to about 150,000. –JK

Quan Zhou tried to trap Dominik Nitsche, unsuccessfully

10:30pm: Zinno no mo(re)
Level 9 – Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

Anthony Zinno just busted but we’re pretty sure he’s on his way to the cashier to rebuy as we speak. Zinno was shortstacked and we picked up his final hand on the flop with QJ6 face-up on the felt.

Zinno had bet 5,000, leaving himself 10,200 behind, and Justin Bonomo raised 25,000, enough to put Zinno all-in.

Zinno didn’t think long and said “rebuy” with a smile as he tossed in his last chips and turned over AK. Bonomo tabled J9 which held up through the turn and river to send the pot his way. –MS

10:20pm: It’s a no for Ho
Level 9 – Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

Maria Ho opened to 2,600 from the hijack and Yin Liu called in the big blind. The flop came down K93 and Ho bet 1,500 after Liu checked.

The turn was the Q and both players checked. The river was the 5 and Liu led out for 5,800. After a short dwell, Ho made the call but mucked when Liu showed K9 for the flopped two-pair.

Ho is now on right around 100,000 while Liu chips up to 59,000. –MS

10:15pm: Schulze in the building business
Level 9 – Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

Felix Schulze only entered this tournament a little while ago but he’s already begun construction on a big stack.

Schulze called on the button after Tianyuan Tang raised to 2,700 in the cutoff, bringing a K108 flop. Tang continued for 4,200 and Schulze called. The 2 turn brought another 12,000 from Tang, and once more Schulze called. Tang finally checked when the 6 cameon the river and almost immediately Schulze stuck out a bet of 25,500. Tang thought for a few seconds and then called, only to muck when Schulze turned over AK for top pair, top kicker.

Schulze is already up to 102,000. Tang slips to 60,000. –JK

Felix Schulze is into construction

10:10pm: David Peters busts
Level 9 – Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

David Peters finished runner-up to Kristen Bicknell in the APPT Macau National High Roller earlier this week but he won’t be reprising that role in this event.

Alex Foxen started the hand with a raise to 2,700 from the cutoff. Justin Bonomo was on the button and out in a re-raise to 7,000. Peters moved all-in from the big blind for a little over 60,000 and after Foxen folded, Bonomo called.

Bonomo: 88
Peters: 77

The board ran out Q1059K and Peters was forced to get up and go. Bonomo is now on 130,000. –MS

Justin Bonomo is near the top of the leaderboard

10pm: All Night Long
Level 9 – Blinds 600/1,200 (ante 200)

That’s the El DeBarge song that we’re being serenaded with from the cover band at the very nearby Hard Rock Cafe, if not the plan for poker tonight. We’ll be playing two more levels, starting with 600/1,200 and 200 antes right now. –JK

Two more levels tonight for our high rollers

9:45pm: Break time

It’s time for another break. Our suddenly swelling field is off for 15 minutes before we return to 600/1,200 blinds and a 200-chip ante. –JK

9:40pm: Xuming Qi survives on the river
Level 8 – Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Xuming Qi just came within one card of having to re-enter this tournament.

When we showed up at his table Qi had just moved all-in for 12,000, about half of what was in the pot already, with two opponents left to act and the baord showing 4J9A. The first of them was Mian Wei, who reraised to 40,000 to chase off the third player and get heads-up with Qi.

Qi: 96
Wei: AQ

The 6 on the river gave Qi two pair and the 31,000-chip pot. “I’m very lucky,” he told his tablemates — and they all agreed with him. –JK

9:30pm: Foxen hits to survive against Bonomo
Level 8 – Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Alex Foxen had been cut down to size over the past 45 minutes and was left with about 25,000 or so at the start of a recent hand against Justin Bonomo. Bonomo, to Foxen’s left, had built his stack to around 150,000 and one suspects the two facts were related.

Foxen raised off the button, making it 2,400 to play, and Bonomo three-bet to 6,500 from small blind. Sparrow Cheung folded his big blind, but Foxen then moved all-in. Bonomo called immediately.

Foxen: A2
Bonomo: JJ

It was looking pretty bleak for Foxen at this stage, but the dealer put the 10A854 board out there and that gave Foxen the winning top pair.

He lives still, with around about his starting stack again. It’s still a lot smaller than Bonomo’s pile to his left, however. — HS

9:20pm: Paik’s on the attack
Level 8 – Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Albert Paik only just arrived in the last level of play but he’s already chipping up. We just arrived to his table with the board reading QJ37J, about 20,000 in the pot, and Paik first to act ahead of James Chen. Paik considered his move and then bet 13,000. Chen didn’t look too happy about it and folded within about 10 seconds.

That puts Paik up to 67,000 and drops Chen to 68,000. –JK

9:15pm: Every chip is precious?
Level 8 – Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Shan Huang is on at least his third bullet, but he did at least just win a pot from Patrik Antonius to make him feel a little better.

Antonius, in the cutoff, opened and Huang called on the button, with Tao Wang calling in the big blind too. The three of them saw plenty of potential on the 9KQ flop. But they all checked it.

The J turn was checked by Wang, but Antonius now fired 3,500. Huang made all the right moves to represent a call, but accidentally managed to put 8,000 chips over the line instead, having mistaken a 5,000 chip for a 500. He snatched it back very quickly, saying, “I didn’t say ‘raise’,” and both Antonius and the dealer let him get away with it.

Wang also was unperturbed. He folded.

The 8 completed the board and Antonius now checked. Huang bet 2,000 with a chuckle. Antonius laughed too at the bet sizing, prompting Huang to say, “Every chip is precious.” This might have been believable had there not just been an example that suggested it wasn’t quite true.

“I don’t think I can fold,” Antonius said. “You bluff too much.”

Antonius called, with Huang showing 109 for the low straight. That was good. Antonius mucked. — HS

Local favorite (and Super High Roller runner-up) Shan Huang

9:05pm: Burns back at it
Level 8 – Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Australia’s Kahle Burns is looking to make his second high roller final table of this series, after finishing sixth in the Super High Roller earlier this week. (His bustout hand was one for the ages, as you can read in our live updates archive.)

That potential second final is still two days of poker away, but Burns has been in pursuit of it all day with his usual aggressive style. Just now he raised to 2,400 on the button and Yuan Giang came along in the big blind for a 4K2 flop. Giang check-called 1,900 but bailed after Burns fired 6,600 on the Q turn.

Burns is on 63,000 now, Giang 44,000. –JK

8:55pm: Tang on the up
Level 8 – Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Terry Tang continues to build and is now up to about 180,000 after winning a recent pot that made it to the river three-handed.

Xia Lin started it with a raise to 2,000 under the gun. Tang called in the cutoff and Chunqing Wang then also called in the big blind.

All three of them checked the flop of 995, which took them to the 4 turn. Wang checked and Lin found a delayed continuation bet. He made it 3,100. Both opponents called.

The 7 completed the board and both Wang and Lin now checked. Tang took the chance to bet 8,600, which convinced Wang out. But Lin paid, only to be shown Tang’s 109. Lin mucked. — HS

8:45pm: Nitsche nixed
Level 8 – Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Dominik Nitsche is going to have to reload. He was in the small blind with AJ and moved in for close to 20,000 after J.C. Alvarado opened for 1,800 on the button. Alvarado snap-called with 77 and got about as friendly a board as he could have hoped for: 78985.

Off to the registration table it is with Nitsche, then. –JK

Dominik has reloaded

8:45pm: Big stacks
Level 8 – Blinds 500/1,000 (ante 100)

They have just edged into Level 8, with big stacks in front of the following:

Sam Greenwood: 235,000
Kuisong Wu: 210,000
Terry Tang: 160,000
Dapeng Mu: 150,000
Steve O’Dwyer: 140,000
Roger Spets: 135,000
Quan Zhou: 125,000
Ike Haxton: 115,000
Rainer Kempe: 115,000
Alex Foxen: 115,000 — HS

8:40pm: Two in, one out
Level 7 – Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

Albert Paik and Patrik Antonius just appeared at the buy-in table, so it looks as though they are going to join the party. But Erik Seidel was spotted heading in the opposite direction, losing the last of his chips to Daniel Dvoress.

The board currently shows a total 120 entries to this one, and registration is not even nearly closed.– HS

8:35pm: No dramas, just a double, for Pellicer
Level 7 – Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

It’s not impossible for ace-queen to beat kings, but this was not one of those times.

Pedro Pellicer and Dapeng Mu just got involved in a five-bet pre-flop pot which ended with all of Pellicer’s 29,300 stack in the middle from the small blind. It looked like an open from Mu in mid-position, a three-bet from Pellicer (I didn’t see this bit, so don’t know the amounts) but then a four-bet to 14,000.

Pellicer then ripped it in and Mu couldn’t find a fold.

Mu: AQ
Pellicer: KK

The dealer put the 73436 out there and Pellicer completed his double up. — HS

8:25pm: Haxton flops well
Level 7 – Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

I wish I saw how this one had played out because it looked as though Isaac Haxton put on a clinic on how to get paid with the flopped nuts. By the time I arrived, the board was out to the river, showing KQ6Q3 and Haxton and Manig Loeser were the only two players involved.

Haxton had 45,000 on the felt in front of him and Loeser had 10,300. Haxton was out of position, though, so maybe this was a check-raise.

Loeser pondered a bit before calling the extra, only to be shown Haxton’s A7. It wasn’t the nuts any more, but it was still too strong for Loeser, who folded.

Haxton raked in the pot and now has about 100,000, double his starting stack. Loeser sits with about 30,000. — HS

8:18pm: Weis vs. Buchanan
Level 7 – Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

Nobody ever wants to sit to the right of a player like Shawn Buchanan but Oliver Weis is making the most of the situation.

We arrived to their table with the board already reading Q3Q5K, Weis in the big blind, and Buchanan UTG. Weis checked and Buchanan thought for a bit before betting 7,300. Weis then popped Buchanan back for 23,000 — equivalent to about 80 percent of Buchanan’s remaining chips — and got the Canadian pro to fold. Buchanan’s still holding 29,000 and Weis is up to 60,000. –JK

8:09pm: Foxen’s foxin’
Level 7 – Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

Alex Foxen is on his second bullet in this tournament, and his stack’s nearly back up to full value for both entries.

We saw him open for 2,000 on the button a few minutes ago. Justin Bonomo was in the small blind and bumped the bet to 7,500, chasing out the big blind and putting the decision back to Foxen. He didn’t think for long before sticking in a fourth bet, this one for 19,800. Bonomo let the shot clock run most of the way down and then tossed his cards to the dealer.

Foxen’s on 94,000 now, Bonomo 58,000. –JK

8:04pm: Tang flops the world and keeps betting
Level 7 – Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

Terry Tang isn’t scared to make a commitment for the long haul. He was the “other” player in that titanic heads-up duel that decided the PokerStars Championship Macau Main Event this time last year, losing to Elliot Smith after around 13 hours.

He wasn’t backing down easily in the following pot on Day 1 of this High Roller, either. Though the runout helped him, it’s fair to say.

Tang opened to 18,000 from mid-position and Chunqing Wang called on the button. Christopher Soyza called in the big blind too.

The three of them saw the flop of 1093 and it was all Tang from this moment forward. Soyza checked and Tang bet 3,600. Only Wang called, earning the 7 turn.

Tang now led 6,300 and Wang called, taking them to the 4 river. Tang bet 18,000 this time and again Wang called.

Tang tabled his QJ for a flopped straight-flush draw that had half-filled on the turn.

Wang mucked and Tang scooped. — HS

7:55pm: Bicknell bombs the river
Level 7 – Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

Kristen Bicknell wasted no time getting into the thick of the action after the dinner break.

We arrived with the flop reading 296 and Bicknell leading for 2,500 in the cutoff seat. Tianyuan Tang, on the button and the only other player in the hand, called to see the 3 turn. Bicknell maintained her line with a bet of 6,000 and Tang called again, taking us to the 2 river.

This time Bicknell wanted to think things over so once the shot clock ran down she used one of her time-bank chips to buy herself another 30 seconds. Eventually she moved all-in for 18,500 and put Tang to a decision. He used up his shot clock and then folded.

Bicknell’s up to 40,000 now, Tang down to 36,000. –JK

APPT Macau National High Roller champ Kristen Bicknell

7:53pm: Chidwick’s check-raise shifts Buchanan
Level 7 – Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

Stephen Chidwick is playing into Shawn Buchanan this evening, which isn’t especially pleasurable for either of them. It should be better for Buchanan, given he has position on Chidwick, but the tables turned in a recent small pot.

Chidwick opened it pre-flop with a raise to 2,000 in the cutoff seat. Buchanan called on the button. Chidwick then checked the 5J4 flop, prompting a bet of 2,000 from Buchanan.

Chidwick responded with a check-raise, making it 6,000. Buchanan quickly lost interest and folded.

Hardly one of the all-time hands, but that’s a table draw worth watching for as long as it lasts. — HS

Stephen Chidwick’s drawn quite the table

7:45pm: Back to work
Level 7 – Blinds 400/800 (ante 100)

The green 25-denomination chips are off the table, the players are back in their seats, and we’re ready to get cards in the air here at City of Dreams Macau.

6:45pm: TV Dinner

The players are taking a 60-minute dinner break, with four more levels to play when they return.

While we’re gone, watch the video below. Randy Lew and Celina Lin starred in the latest episode of the PokerStars Championship Cash Challenge and give us an inside look at the action.

6:40pm: Top 5 stacks heading to dinner
Level 6 – Blinds 300/600 (ante 100)

Dapeng Mu – 228,000
Kuisong Wu – 205,000
Yang Zhang – 175,000
Sam Greenwood – 164,000
Maria Ho – 160,000

Dapeng Mu leads at dinner

6:30pm: Konnikova climbing
Level 6 – Blinds 300/600 (ante 100)

Maria Konnikova had dropped to a bit less than half her starting stack earlier on in the day. Now she’s over 50,000, which easily could be the result of a re-entry — it can be hard to tell when you can’t watch every table at once. But no, a glance at the list of the 10 players (listed below) who’ve bought their way back in doesn’t include her name. She’s got her stack back into healthy territory the old-fashioned way.

We arrived a few minutes ago to see Konnikova and Hon Cheong Lee (seated to her right) taking a 569 flop with 3,600 chips already in the pot. Lee bet 1,500 and Konnikova called. Both players then checked the 2 turn, bringing the 3 on the river. Lee pondered his move and then stabbed for 4,000. Konnikova gave the briefest of considerations before making the call, and it was a good one: Lee was bluffing with K7, making her pair of nines with 99 a winner.

Konnikova’s up to 54,500 now, Lee down to 48,000. Now, how about a look at those re-entries?

Re-entries (10): Anthony Zinno, Alex Foxen, Danny Tang, Chunqing Wang, Ben Lai, Thomas Ward, Shan Huang, Wenling Gao, Li Tao, En Ning James Chen –JK

6:15pm: Carrying on with Dan and Shan
Level 6 – Blinds 300/600 (ante 100)

Shan Huang, who may or may not have busted earlier (depending on whether you ask him or the tournament staff), is keeping things light — and Daniel Dvoress is playing along to his right.

The action just folded around to Dvoress in the small blind and he raised to 1,400. Huang called and the flop was J43. “That’s a really weird flop,” Huang said. “Yes it is,” said Dvoress, who checked. Huang announced a bet of 900 and then only put 800 in chips across the line. Then he filled in the gap with green 25-denomination chips.

“You can pull the hundred back if you want,” Dvoress told him. “No, I announce 900 so I leave it,” said Huang – and then Dvoress check-raised to 4,000. That got a few laughs from their tablemates. Huang made the call to see the K come on the turn.

Shan Huang on his first or second bullet

Dvoress checked now and Huang very deliberately cut out 6,500 in chips. Dvoress reached out and pointed to the turn card, asking, “Do you have a king?” “You call I show you one card,” Huang replied. “So you’re going to bet no matter what comes on the river then?” asked Dvoress. “Probably,” said Huang. “Maybe.”

That was enough for Dvoress, who surrendered the pot to Huang right there. “I have ace with ten of hearts,” Huang said, dragging the pot. “I want to see the ten,” said Dvoress — and so Huang flipped up the 10 before pushing his cards to the dealer. –JK

6:05pm: Zhang soaring
Level 6 – Blinds 300/600 (ante 100)

Yan Zhang’s stack has gotten up to the dizzy heights of 170,000 after a bit of power poker.

He and Xin Lin had made it to an A83 flop with 11,000 in the middle. Lin had a 15,000 bet out in front of him and Zhang had 50,000 in front of him. Lin used a time bank chip, heard his opponent say, “Two pair no good,” and then folded.

Zhang allowed the table to choose one cards of his to see and the 10 was chosen. Lin dropped to 54,000. –MC

Yan Zhang: leading the way

5:55pm: Everyone loves a chop pot
Level 6 – Blinds 300/500 (Ante 100)

We arrived to see Daniel Dvoress and Hui Wang embroiled in a hand. The flop was AK8 and Wang had checked. Dvoress bet 1,700 and got a call. The turn was the 7 and Wang check-called again, this time 6,000.

Both players checked after the 10 hit the river and both showed ace-queen, good for half the pot each.

“Chop chop!” said Shan Huang, who recently joined the table after busting his first bullet and re-entering. “We should make a rule that when there’s a chop pot, suits count,” added Huang.

“Let’s start right now,” said Dvoress since he had the AQ. –MS

5:42pm: Sun done
Level 5 – Blinds 250/500 (Ante 75)

Guodong Sun has been eliminated, his chips going to Kuisong Wu as we approach the end of the fifth level of play.

We arrived on the flop with K107 on the felt and Sun having bet 12,000. Wu then raised enough to put Sun all-in. A third player in the hand got out of the way and Sun made the call, turning over AK.

Wu had AQ for the inside straight and flush draw, nailing it with the J turn. The river was the 2 and Sun was officially busted. Wu now has around 105,000. –MS

5:40pm: No bluffin’, Bonomo’s got it
Level 5 – Blinds 250/500 (ante 75)

Weizhou Zha opened the betting for 1,200 in the cutoff and Justin Bonomo came along from the big blind to see a K54 flop. Both men checked and the turn was the A. This time Bonomo led for 3,500 and Zha called, and the board completed with the 5 river.

Bonomo bet again, this time for a much less reasonable 10,000, and Zha’s face contorted as he tried to figure out whether he should call. In the end he did — and then he mucked when Bonomo showed 54 for fives full of fours. Zha tossed his cards in the muck, the latest victim of Bonomo’s run-good.

Bonomo is up to 55,500, Zha down to 33,500. –JK

5:35pm: Loeser wins big
Level 5 – Blinds 250/500 (ante 75)

Manig Loeser more than doubled to over 90,000 after he found a lovely spot and flop with aces.

Juicy Li raised to 1,200 from the cutoff and was called before Loeser squeezed to 5,600 from the small blind. Wayne Zhang was sat in the big blind and put in a cold four-bet to 14,500, which was only called by Loeser. The flop fell 96Q and Loeser check-raised all-in for 29,000 after Zhang had continued for 8,600. Zhang looked to the heavens and then called.

Loeser: AA
Zhang: AQ

The board ran out 610 and Zhang dropped to 17,000. –MC

5:25pm: Keep on Qi-pin’ on
Level 5 – Blinds 250/500 (ante 75)

Super High Roller champ Alex Foxen is seated next to Xuming Qi, the recent Macau Poker Cup Megastack winner with whom he played during the Main Event for a while the other day.

“How’d you finish over there?” Foxen asked him. Qi just shook his head — he missed the money in that event — and raised the bet to 1,125 under the gun.

“Well, you did a good job surviving,” Foxen said. He reraised to 5,100 out of the big blind and put the action back to Qi once more. Qi shook his head again — and then bumped the bet again, too, this time to 17,125.

Foxen took a look over his stack and then folded. “Jacks no good?” he asked Qi. “No good,” Qi said — and then flashed the A as he took down the pot. Foxen has about 35,000 now, Qi 54,000. –JK

5:15pm: Big call doubles up Burns
Level 5 – Blinds 250/500 (Ante 75)

Simon Burns just doubled up thanks to a courageous river call that would have seen him eliminated had he been wrong.

We picked it up on the turn with the board reading 752Q and Burns betting 6,000. One other player called before Sangjun Lee raised to 23,000. Burns was the only caller and the Q came on the river.

Lee moved all-in and after some time in the tank, Burns called for his entire stack. Lee let out an audible sound of disappointment and tried to muck his hand. Burns turned over 58 for two pair. The dealer turned over Lee’s hand and we saw he was bluffing with 43 for the busted draw.

Burns is now up to around 110,000. –MS

5:05pm: Sly-del
Level 5 – Blinds 250/500 (ante 75)

Thi Xoa Nguyen just had the same reaction hundreds of players have had over the years when they play against Poker Hall of Famer Erik Seidel.

Kahle Burns opened the action for 1,100 under the gun, drawing calls from Seidel in the cutoff and Nguyen on the button. They all checked the K24 flop and the J fell on the turn. Burns checked again and this time Seidel bet 2,300. Nguyen called and Burns folded, bringing the A on the river.

This time both players checked and Seidel rolled over A10 for top pair on the river. Nguyen slammed her cards down on the table and into the muck with a thud, and Seidel dragged the pot.

Nguyen now has 51,000; Seidel, 27,500. –JK

4:55pm: Buchanan may have eliminated a player
Level 5 – Blinds 250/500 (ante 75)

Shawn Buchanan has gotten his stack up to 22,000 after finding a great spot to take out the fourth player of the day.

The player who buSted didn’t want to be identified so we’re going to accept His wishes. He wAs dowN to 8,550 when He made his move from early position. BUchAnaN was in the cutoff and Grabbed the opportunity to isolate by re-shoving.

Player X: 109
Buchanan: JJ

The board ran 93K74 to see the jacks hold. –MC

Shawn Buchanan: Who’d I knock out?

4:45pm: Big stacks as Level 5 gets underway
Level 5 – Blinds 250/500 (ante 75)

As the players settle in for the fifth level of the day, here are the top five stacks:

Dapeng Mu – 128,000
Maria Ho – 123,000
Nick Petrangelo 112,500
Quan Zhou 106,000
Xia Lin 75,000

Maria Ho on the up

4:30pm: Second break of the day
Level 4 – Blinds 200/400 (ante 50)

We’ll be back in fifteen. –MC

4:29pm: Dominik settling into his Nitsche
Level 4 – Blinds 200/400 (ante 50)

If you think Dominik Nitsche bets every time he senses weakness — well, you’re probably right.

Nitsche opened the action on the last hand before the break for 1,000 in the hijack seat, and when Aaron Been raised to 3,750 on the button Nitsche called to take a JK3 flop. He check-called Been’s 2,700-chip bet there and then both players checked the K turn. Nitsche quickly led for 18,000 after the 6 river and Been, after brief consideration, let his hand go.

Been’s sitting at 45,000 now, Nitsche at 58,500 as they stand up to stretch their legs. –JK

4:26pm: Quads for Mu
Level 4 – Blinds 200/400 (Ante 50)

Dapeng Mu just took down a big pot against Hirokazu Kabayashi to chip up to 135,000.

We picked it up on a four-way flop with the board reading 964 and Kobayashi firing 5,000. Mu raised to 10,000 and after he got a call, the 9 hit the turn. Mu fired 10,000, got called and the 6 came on the river.

This time Mu bet 25,000 and Kobayashi didn’t take much time paying it off.

Mu turned over 99 which was more than enough to take it down. Kobayashi was left with 14,800 after the hand. –MS

4:25pm: How do you solve a problem like Maria?
Level 4 – Blinds 200/400 (ante 50)

Not by betting when she checks to you.

Australia’s Robert Spano opened the action under the gun for 800 and Maria Konnikova came along to see a flop of 867. Both players checked, and then Konnikova checked again when the 8 fell on the turn. Spano took the chance to bet 2,100 and then Konnikova came in for a check-raise to 6,000. Spano didn’t like that and folded quickly.

Konnikova’s on 21,300 and Spano’s at 44,500. –JK

Maria Konnikova

4:15pm: Gao busts with aces, re-enters instantly
Level 4 – Blinds 200/400 (Ante 50)

Wenling Gao just picked up pocket aces but all it earned her was the opportunity to become one of this event’s first re-entries.

The hand started with Michael Soyza opening to 1,000 from the cutoff. The small blind called and Gao three-bet to 3,800 from the big blind. Soyza four-bet to 10,000 and Gao called.

Jack the lad Soyza

The flop came down J-4-3 with two hearts and Gao checked. Soyza bet 4,000 and Gao check-raised to 8,000. Soyza called and both players checked the K turn. The river was the 4 and after Gao checked, Soyza moved all-in for 16,500.

Gao had a little over 15,000 and called it off, turning over AA. Soyza tabled pocket jacks for the flopped set and rivered full house.

Gao was out of her seat and at the re-entry table before Soyza was done stacking his newfound chips. She’s now in a new seat directly to the left of Erik Seidel. –MS

Wenling Gao

4:05pm: First player down, and straight back in
Level 4 – Blinds 200/400 (ante 50)

It took 3.5 hours of play – some sort of record in a Macau High Roller – to lose the first player. Don’t get me wrong, we’re not celebrating the milestone, just pointing it out. James Chen busted and got drawn back at the same table after he immediately re-entered. –MC

3:55pm: Gin turn card for Nguyen
Level 4 – Blinds 200/400 (ante 50)

Thi Xoa Nguyen hit the perfect turn card against Nick Petrangelo to get paid. It got her back to starting stack whereas Petrangelo dropped to 38,000.

The American had opened to 900 from under the gun, picking up calls from Nguyen on the button and Kahle Burns in the big blind. All three checked the 6JA flop before Petrangelo led for 1,000 on the Q turn. Burns folded after Nguyen raised to 3,500 but Petrangelo stuck around to the river here he called another 11,200. Nguyen opened K10 for a straight and Petrangelo half flashed pocket queens before mucking. –MC

3:35pm: Happy faces around the room
Level 3 – Blinds 150/300 (ante 50)

As Level 3 comes to an end, 62 players are in.

There are a lot of smiles at table 2 as Shan Huang has taken a seat there. Huang loves to play with good humour and chatter. It’s impossible not to get drawn into his enthusiasm.

Justin Bonomo back in the office

Another player who has just taken his seat and is understandably happy is Justin Bonomo. “Just another day at the office!” he said about scooping a career high $US4.8 million in a tournament this week, so I guess you could say he’s free rolling a fair few bullets in this High Roller. –MC

3:20pm: Never bluff your Nan
Level 3 – Blinds 150/300 (ante 50)

Nan Hong has moved up to 78,000 after he caught his neighbour Xin Fan bluffing.

Fan led for 2,600 on a 9A5 flop. He was in the big blind and called after Hong raised to 6,600 from the next seat. Both players checked the 10 turn before Fan led for 7,000 on the 8 river. Hong called with AK to beat Fan’s 62 for a busted flush draw. Fan dropped to 33,000 as Hong rose to 78,000. –MC

3:10pm: Still no eliminations as 57 are in
Level 3 – Blinds 150/300 (ante 50)

More than 2.5 hours of play have passed now and no player has hit the rail yet.

The latest few to enter were Dengdong Huang, Simon Burns, Jimmy Guerrero, Shawn Buchanan, Dong Chen and Hui Wang. –MC

High rollers

3pm: Top pair good for Schwippert
Level 3 – Blinds 150/300 (ante 50)

Jan Eric Schwippert has risen to 41,000 after he flopped to pair in a three-bet pot versus Jean Ferreira.

He opened to 700 from the cutoff and called after Ferreira three-bet to 2,800 from the next seat. Ferreira continued for 6,500 on a A7Q flop and was check-called before the 26 turn and river were checked through.

2:50pm: Sam’s the man
Level 3 – Blinds 150/300 (ante 50)

Sam Greenwood has become the first player to a six-fire stack after forcing Mladen Vukovic off a hand.

The action was three-way to a 569 flop where Vukovic bet 2,100 when the action was checked to him in the cutoff. Greenwood (UTG) was the only check-caller to the 10 turn where he checked again. Vukovic bet 8,400 but folded when Greeenwood check-raised all-in.

Greenwood: 104,000
Vukovic – 41,500

Sam Greenwood

2:35pm: Back at it with some new entries
Level 3 – Blinds 150/300 (ante 50)

The number of entries has risen to 49 after some new faces bought in during the break. Xia Lin, Robert Heidorn, Roger Spets, Ping Lin and Chunqing Wang’s attendance meant a seventh table was opened up. –MC

2:20pm: Break it up
Level 2 – Blinds 100/200 (ante 25)

The players are taking their first 15-minute break of the day. –MC


2:15pm: Chidwick takes a small one off Greenwood
Level 2 – Blinds 100/200 (ante 25)

Sam Greenwood lost a small pot to Stephen Chidwick but he dropped down to 92,000 after a strong first two levels.

Chidwick raised from the cutoff and Greenwood defended his big blind. The flop fanned 2K6 and Greenwood check-called 400 before the 102 turn and river were checked through. Greenwood opened 97 losing out to Chidwick’s 67, who rose to 53,000. –MC

2pm: Hoefer off to a good start
Level 2 – Blinds 100/200 (ante 25)

Jan Eric Schwippert and Paul Hoefer entered recently and the latter is already into the black on 64,000.

He opened to 525 from the hijack and picked up three callers en route to a 75K flop. Hoefer continued for 725 and was only check-called by Dapen Mu in the small blind. Both players checked the 4 turn before Mu check-called 3,500 on the 8 river. Hoefer opened 66 for a straight and Mu mucked to drop to 36,000. –MC

1:45pm: Greenwood and Burns tangle
Level 2 – Blinds 100/200 (ante 25)

Sam Greenwood and Kahle Burns tangled in two heads-up pots with honours even at the end.

Greenwood raised to 450 from the hijack and Burns defended his big blind. Both players checked the 54K flop before Burns led on the 26 turn and river. He got the fold on the river.

Kahle Burns

Shortly afterwards, Burns raised to 600 off the button and called when Greenwood three-bet to 3,200 from the big blind. Greenwood then bet 2,200 on the 8210 flop and 13,000 on the 2 turn. Burns called the first bet but folded to the turn bomb.

Greenwood – 70,000
Burns – 46,000

1:30pm: ZZ top
Level 2 – Blinds 100/200 (ante 25)

New level, same blinds. Zifeng Zhang started it well by winning a pot with pocket queens.

He led for 2,500 on a J64 flop and was called by Nauvneel Kasyap before both players checked the J turn. Kasyap then called another 2,300 on the 9 river but mucked upon seeing Zhang’s QQ. –MC

1:20pm: Wu doesn’t like the river
Level 1 – Blinds 100/200 (ante 25)

Jean Ferreira’s made a positive start after winning a pot out of position against Kuisong Wu.

A 968 flop was out when Ferreira led for 1,900 from the big blind. Wu was on the button and raised to 4,600. Ferreira called and called another 6,500 on the 4 turn before he led for 10,000 on the 10 river. Wu shook his head and folded. –MC

1:10pm: Who is this guy?
Level 1 – Blinds 100/200 (ante 25)

More Nick Petrangelo pain for Luc Greenwood. The latter three-bet Guodong Sun’s 500 button open to 2,500 from the small blind only to give up (along with Sun) when Petrangelo four-bet to 9,000 from the big blind.

In other news, Jean Ferreira, Erik Seidel and Platinum Pass winner Maria Konnikova have joined to push the entry number up to 32. –MC

Maria Konnikova

12:55pm: News in brief
Level 1 – Blinds 100/200 (ante 25)

– Juicy Li got very little sympathy from Kahle Burns and Daniel Dvoress after saying she was tired as she only got six hours sleep last night. Dvoress pointed out that six hours is a lot at a poker festival.

Juicy Li

– Sam Greenwood didn’t get away with winning a pot he squeezed. Aaron Been had opened to 500 and was called in one spot before Greenwood bumped it up to 2,500 in position. Both opponents called and all three checked the K5Q flop. Been then took it down with a 5,000 lead on the 4 turn.

– Sam’s twin Luc wasn’t having much luck on an adjacent table. He and Nick Petrangelo had made it to the river of a 5K94J board with 2,150 in the middle. Greenwood (big blind) checked to face 3,700 over bet from Petrangelo. The Canadian looked confused and then gave it up. –MC

12:45pm: Sun gets straightened out
Level 1 – Blinds 100/200 (ante 25)

Guodong Sun got entangled in another raised post flop pot, but this time his opponent wasn’t buffing.

The action was three-way to a J9K flop where Pedro Pellicer bet 1,200 from the cutoff. Sun called on the button and Sergio Aido folded from under the gun. Sun bet 2,600 on the 2 turn when Pellicer checked to him and called after he was raised to 7,500. The 10 filled out the board and both players checked. Pellicer opened Q10 for a flopped straight and Sun stared at the board for 15 seconds and then released his hand to the muck –MC

12:35pm: A three table affair
Level 1 – Blinds 100/200 (ante 25)

A new table is being set up after the arrival of the Greenwood twins, Sergio Aido, Daniel Dvoress and Nick Petrangelo The clock says 24 players have registered, not all of them have taken their seats just yet. –MC

12:30pm: I bluff, then you bluff
Level 1 – Blinds 100/200 (ante 25)

Guodong Sun bluff raised the turn, then Dong Wang had a go on the river, but by that stage, Sun had made a hand so he was caught out.

With a board reading Q366, Wang led for 1,100 from the big blind and called after Sun raised to 3,000 off the button. The river was the J and Wang led again, for 4,200, and was called. He opened 84 for a busted flush draw, losing out to Sun rivered pair with J7. –MC

12:20pm: We’re underway
Level 1 – Blinds 100/200 (ante 25)

Cards are in the air!

Mladen Vukovic, Kuisong Wu, Dong Wang and Juicy Li have all taken seats. –MC

12:05pm: Start delayed
Level 1 – Blinds 100/200 (ante 25)

Who said high rollers have bad time keeping skills? I did, right here, right now.

Sam Greenwood, James Chen, Stephen Chidwick, Guodong Sun, Sangjun Lee and Kahle Burns are floating about or have already picked their seats so it shouldn’t be too long before we get underway. –MC

11:45am: Welcome to the High Roller event
Level 1 – Blinds 100/200 (ante 25)

The PokerStars Blog team splits into two today, and for good reason. The High Roller event kicks of at midday and we’re here to bring you full live coverage from it for the next three days. A heat of familiar faces will be in attendance, mixing it up with locals, business folk and the like form near and far.

The shot clock makes a welcome return in this HK$100,000 buy in event and the players can re-enter as many times as they desire, up until registration closes at the end of level 12 (two levels into Day 2)
Sosia Jiang better a 108-entry field last year to claim the trophy and HK$3,870,000. She had to overcome a tough final table that included Dan Smith and Nick Petrangelo, both we’re expecting back today.

See you back here shortly where ten 60-minute levels of high roller action await. –MC

Chip tray

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

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