Thursday, 8th December 2022 15:59
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The chips were flying thick and fast over eight levels of play today but for now Day 1a is in the books. When registration locked out at the end of Level 4 it was 61 poker hopefuls who had pulled up seats but when all was said and done only 23 remained.

While the field size may have left a little to be desired, the strength of it did anything but with stellar players scattered across the tournament floor. The likes of Team PokerStars Pros Yaxi Zhu and Chen An Lin, reigning Asia Player of the Year Alan Lau, current Asia Player of the Year leader board frontrunner Wayne Zhang, last year’s third-place finisher Daniel Demicki, as well as Aaron Lim, Liam O’Rourke and Yuki Ko all among the action at the tables.

appt SEOUL Yaxi Zhu.jpg

Team PokerStars Pro Yaxi Zhu

Team Pro Yaxi Zhu was unable to survive the day, running A9 into the JJ of Romain Dours and failing to improve. For teammate Chen An Lin, however, it was a different story. He steadily built his stack over the course of today and picked up some chips with pocket kings against George Guo. Lin will begin Day 2 with 49,300 to play with.

Reigning Asia Player of the Year Alan Lau failed to make it through all eight levels, he left us in the dying stages after clashing with Denmark’s Rasmus Larsen. Lau’s K10 couldn’t overcome Larsen’s AQ and he departed less than thirty minutes before play concluded. The man who currently sits atop the APOY leader board, Wayne Zhang, won’t be scoring himself any additional points in this event either. He found the exit relatively early into proceedings.

There was one player though that fortune seemed to favour the most. It was Albert Paik who ultimately rose to the top by the end of the day. He seized the chip lead early and maintained it with a great showing on the felt. Paik bagged up 116,800 in chips and will be the one to chase for those in the second Day 1 flight.

APPTSeoul2016 day 1a chip leader Albert Paik.jpg

Leading the way: Albert Paik

Now for our 23 survivors it’s a day to relax as Day 1b begins tomorrow. They’ll join the lucky ones from that flight and continue the fight back here on Saturday. So that’s all from us tonight. We’ll be back at it again tomorrow from 12pm local time for all your live reporting needs. In the meantime you can check out the full end-of-day chip counts here, or read up on today’s coverage below. — BK

Day 1a full coverage

8:35pm: The rich get richer
Level 8: Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

Albert Paik was already our chip leader. After the hand we just caught – one of the last of the day – he’s cemented his position at the top of the Day 1A pack when play ends.

Four players were in the hand by the turn, and the board read J693. Rasmus Larsen was first to act and bet 6,500 into the 10,000-ish pot, only for Paik to re-raise to 15,500. That got the other players out the way, but Larsen couldn’t resist a look at the river.

It came the 2 and after Larsen checked Paik carefully put out a bet of 23,500. The Dane gave his hand up and Paik added even more to his stack.

Play is just about over here on Day 1A. Stay tuned as we’ll shortly have a recap of the entire day, including the room’s biggest stacks. –JS

8:20pm: 7 hands to go
Level 8: Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

The clock has been paused and it’s just been announced that we have only seven hands remaining here on Day 1a. How many will survive and who will emerge as the end-of-day chip leader? Stay with us to found out soon! — BK

8:15pm: Demecki’s the Seoul contender
Level 8: Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

Poland’s Daniel Demecki runs good here in Seoul. Last year he finished third in this very event for KRW63,100,000 ($57,687), and he’s doing great here again at the end of Day 1A.

The hand that boosted his stack came after he opened to 2,500 on the button. Yutaka Nakamura made it 5,800 to go out of the small blind, and Demecki made the call. The two saw a 582 flop, which Nakamura would check. Demecki saw an opportunity to take back the betting lead so led out for 5,000, but Nakamura didn’t budge.

The 9 turn saw both players check, just as they would on the 9 river. In the end Demecki’s 44 were beating Nakamura’s A10, and he moved up to 62,000. –JS

8:10pm: Lau leaves us in the last level
Level 8: Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

The reigning Asia Player of the Year Alan Lau is no longer with us, he found himself all in preflop and behind in a recent hand.

It was raised to 2,500 ahead of Lau when he announced all in from the small blind for exactly 15,000 in chips. Denmark’s Rasmus Larsen was in the big blind and he called to put Lau at risk. With the initial raiser throwing his hand away, the remaining two players revealed their cards.

Lau: K10
Larsen: AQ

Lau was behind but had live cards. Unfortunately for him he couldn’t connect on the subsequent 4J485 board and exited the tournament area in the dying stages of Day 1a. — BK

8pm: The Ochiai of time
Level 8: Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

Japan’s Satsuki Ochiai has some pretty good timing, that’s for sure. He just managed to pick up a big hand at the perfect time, just as we enter the last level of the day.

The hand started with a 2,000 open from France’s Romain Dours, which was called by Xiaoyi He and one other player. When it got to Ochiai, he squeezed it up to 8,200, only for Dours to then move all-in. The other guys got out of the way and Ochiai made the call.

Dours: AK
Ochiai: QQ

It was the El Classico of races and the flop certainly gave Ochiai the big advantage. It came the 63Q, flopping him a set, and the 6 turn and 3 river bricked for Dours. He had Ochiai covered by about double, so shipped 27,500 towards his opponent.

When all was said and done, Ochiai had around 60,000 while Dours was left with around 30,000. –JS

7:50pm: Alner all in and alive
Level 8: Blinds 500/1,000 (100 ante)

Tom Alner did seem to have a slow start here today but it looks like he’s found his feet in these last couple of levels. It wasn’t long ago the Brit was hovering around the 10,000-chip mark but he now sits with closer to 40,000.

He owes half of that stack to the pocket kings he just picked up. Alner was all in for 18,100 preflop and at risk with KK against his tablemate’s A10. The 953 flop was a relatively safe one for Alner and he would fade an ace or running hearts through the 9 turn and 10 river to secure himself almost double the starting stack.

We’re now in the final level of proceedings so with 40 big blinds to play with, Alner looks good to survive to Day 2. — BK

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7:25pm: Alner chips up
Level 7: Blinds 400/800 (100 ante)

Tom Alner is a British pro from Bristol, England, but these days he tends to grind on the Asia circuit. In the few years he’s had several deep runs, final tables wins in this part of the world, not to mention great scores on the EPT and at the WSOP too.

He hasn’t quite managed to get going so far in this event, but he did just pick up a few valuable chips. His opponent had opened to 2,000 from under the gun and it folded right around to Alner in the big blind. He made the call, and the flop came the 2108. It went check check, resulting in the J turn.

Now Alner took the betting lead, stabbing with a 1,200 bet that would be called. Finally, the 5 hit the river and the Brit’s bet of 2,800 took it down. He’s playing 20,200 right now. –JS

7:10pm: The Team Pro is going strong
Level 7: Blinds 400/800 (100 ante)

Chen An Lin is the last remaining red spade in the Day 1A field, and he’s doing rather well. I just caught him making a 10,000 call against George Guo’s river bet on a J85J2 board with his KK – which was more than good enough to beat Guo’s pair of eights with the jacks. Lin is up to 67,000 now. –JS


Team PokerStars Pro Chen An Lin

7:05pm: That’s quite a statement…
Level 7: Blinds 400/800 (100 ante)

“If I lose this hand, I’m never playing poker again!”

We’ve all thought it. We might have even said it out loud. But I think we all know it’s not true. One unlucky hand of poker is never enough to put you off the great game forever, and luckily for Jeffrey Holbrook it’s not something he had to seriously consider after saying that to his tablemates.

He’d got his chips in good on the turn of a KJ3Q board; very good in fact. He had the absolute nuts with the A10, and it was while waiting for his opponent Jeffrey Ho to reveal his holding that he said the aforementioned quote. There was a spade flush draw out there after all, so he could still lose.

When Ho revealed his pocket sevens though, all was good for Holbrook and he scooped a nice double-up pot. He’s up to roughly 36,000 now. –JS

6:55pm: Chan done and dusted by Demicki
Level 7: Blinds 400/800 (100 ante)

Douglas Chan just fell by the wayside in the penultimate level here today after a preflop confrontation with Daniel Demicki.

Chan opened the betting to 2,000 before Demicki played back at him for 4,500. Chan came back over the top for 11,000 and Demicki opted to play for it all, moving his whole stack in with enough to cover Chan.

Holding KK Chan snapped it off and had a good chance to double through Demicki who had AK.

The flop was a safe 3J5 but the A turn meant it was all but over for Chan. Needing the last remaining king in the deck he couldn’t find it as the 3 rolled off on the river.

Chan headed for the exit as Demicki continues to build – now on 87,000. — BK

6:45pm: Paik picks off Pepper
Level 7: Blinds 400/800 (100 ante)

Albert Paik may be our new chip leader early into Level 7 after he eliminated Gary Pepper in a bloated pot.

Pepper kicked off the action from under the gun with a raise to 2,000 before Paik raised it up to 5,500 from the small blind. Pepper thought about his options before deciding on a flat call and the two of them went to a flop of 244.

Paik continued for 8,000 but Pepper moved all in for 27,700. It wouldn’t take Paik long to call and they opened their hands.

Paik: KK
Pepper: JJ

Paik only needed to fade jacks to scoop the pot and eliminate his tablemate and the deck obliged with the A turn and Q river completing the board.

Pepper left the tournament floor as Paik stacked up a mountain that appears to have eclipsed 100,000 in chips. — BK

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6:28pm: Last break of the day

We’ll be back in ten minutes for the last two levels of Day 1A.

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6:25pm: Aces no good again for Holbrook
Level 6: Blinds 300/600 (75 ante)

Don’t feel too bad for Jeffrey Holbrook – he’s been dealt Aces four times today, according to what he just told his tablemates. However, he’s lost three of those hands, and the last one was particularly gross.

Canada’s Tyler Jennens was all-in with the AQ against Holbrook’s AA, but by the river the K24108 board had brought Jennens a flush and another beat for Holbrook. Eww. –JS


Holbrook’s still smiling

6:15pm: Pepper shakes Alner
Level 6: Blinds 300/600 (75 ante)

After an open to 1,300, New Zealand’s Gareth Pepper made it 3,100 to go. It folded to the UK’s Tom Alner in the big blind and he put in a cold four-bet of 8,000, which got rid of the original raiser. Pepper then spiced things up a bit by putting Alner all-in, and the Brit quickly gave it up to the Kiwi. –JS

6:10pm: Demicki dealing damage
Level 6: Blinds 300/600 (75 ante)

Daniel Demicki’s stack continues to grow after he found himself on the right side of a flip to send a tablemate packing.

The two got around 8,000 each into the middle preflop and when the cards were revealed they saw they hand a fair fight on their hands.

Demicki: 44
Opponent: AK

No ace would fall on the 7859Q runout with Demicki’s pocket fours holding to administer the knock out.

“Good hand” said the eliminated player as he left his seat and headed for the exit.

Demicki now has 66,000 in chips. — BK

6pm: Ho gets a double through Ko
Level 6: Blinds 300/600 (75 ante)

Collin Ho was short – so short that he moved his last 2,450 all-in from early position. Action folded around to the masked Yuki Ko in the small blind and he raised it up to 4,200 to isolate, but the player in the big blind called too.

There would be a sidepot, but nothing would be added to it. Both players checked down the K9368 board, and in the end Ho had the best hand with his KJ. Ko showed the A8 and that was good to win the small sidepot, as the big blind player mucked. –JS

5:45pm: Big slicks bring a big chop
Level 6: Blinds 300/600 (75 ante)

Reigning Asia Player of the Year Alan Lau brought it in for a raise to 1,500 before Yutaka Nakamura made a quick three-bet for 3,500. Lau asked how much he was playing and Nakamura moved his hand to reveal around 13,500 behind.

It was then that Lau moved all in and was snapped off, but he and Nakamura found they had almost identical hands.

Lau: AK
Nakamura: AK

Nakamura had the ever so slight mathematical advantage with the suited hand but in this case it meant nothing as the community cards fell JJ8108 for a chopped pot.

Both players were returned what they had wagered and would have to be content splitting a couple of antes. — BK

5:35pm: Lim is eliminated by Li
Level 6: Blinds 300/600 (75 ante)

Action folded to Vincent Li, who was fresh from doubling up an opponent in the previous hand when his AQ couldn’t hit against the 66, and so he decided to play again. He opened from the hijack only for Aaron Lim to jam for around 5,000 on the button. When it got back to him, he made a quick call.

Lim had the KJ, but this time Li was ahead with the A10. The 968 flop changed nothing, but the A turn left Lim drawing dead and he made his exit. Li is up to around 30,000 now. –JS

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5:25pm: Bad couple for Nakamura
Level 5: Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

Japan’s Yutaka Nakamura may be wearing a Charlie Brown and Snoopy t-shirt, but the way his last two hands have gone is enough to drive a man (Pea)nuts.

OK, maybe it’s not that bad, but he has lost two in a row to see his stack dwindle somewhat. In the first hand, he was heads-up against Team PokerStars Pro Chen An Lin with the flop showing 385. Nakamura bet but was three-bet to 4,500 which he called. A 2 turn saw him check to Lin who continued for 6,700 and would win the pot right there.

In the very next hand Nakamura got aggressive against Alan Lau. The latter called the 900 open from USA’s Justin Jung after Kamuza Tamaka had done the same. When it got to Nakamura in the small blind he raised it up to 3,000 and it folded back to Lau. He then four-bet to 6,700, and Nakamura had to let it go once more.

He’s down to around 20,000 now. –JS


Yutaka Nakamura, with Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and Woodstock

5:10pm: Pepper pushes in
Level 5: Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

New Zealand’s Gary Pepper has had a hard time finding his feet today, but he could be turning that around after doubling up in the hand just gone.

After an open to 1,100, Pepper moved in from the small blind for a total of 6,300. It folded back around to the initial opener who shrugged and tossed in a call before the cards went on their backs.

Pepper: A9
Opponent: 96

Pepper had the other player dominated and was in great shape to double up. He faded any danger as the board ran out 747J2 and doubled through to around 13,000. — BK

5:05pm: Holbrook heating up
Level 5: Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

Jeffrey Holbrook is beginning to find some momentum after increasing the aggression. He just barrelled an opponent of a decent pot and is doing well to accumulate chips.

The board showed QQA4 and after a check from the only other active player, Holbrook made it 2,200 to go. His opponent called and the 4 rolled off on the river.

It was checked to Holbrook again and this time he wanted to play for 5,000. The other player tapped the table with his cards in a frustrated manner before relinquishing the hand to the dealer.

The pot was pushed Holbrook’s way and he now has 41,600 in chips. — BK

4:55pm: The brakes are on in Level 5
Level 5: Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

After all of the chip splashing we’ve seen so far today, it’s a bit of a shock to see that play seems to have tightened up a little. We’re on the verge of the blinds getting too big for the short stacks though, so we’re sure action will soon pick back up soon.

In the meantime I’ve seen Team PokerStars Pro Chen An Lin take down a pot with a bet of 4,500 on a 101075 board; Yuki Ko win one with a 3,100 bet on a 43748 board; and plenty of sushi being eaten around the room.

Not just by the players either (he says, chomping on a tuna roll). –JS

4:40pm: Demicki doubles
Level 5: Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

Poland’s Daniel Demicki was a late addition to today’s field this afternoon. He finished 3rd in this event last year and is moving in the right direction for another deep run after making the correct call to double up.

The cards were spread 955JJ and Demicki had led for 7,000. The only other active player, Taehoon Han, pushed in a tower of chips with enough to cover Demicki’s remaining 26,550.

Demicki was clearly torn and went deep into the tank. The decision was for his tournament life and he wasn’t taking it lightly. After a few minutes had passed a tablemate called for the clock. A tournament official arrived to inform Demicki he had only a minute left to act.

He used only a few seconds of those sixty to make the call and when Han tabled AK, Demicki saw his Q5 for fives full of jacks was good.

Demicki raked in the sizable pot while Han was knocked down to just over starting stack. — BK

4:25pm: This one’s closed
Level 5: Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

Registration was only open until the end of Level 4, meaning we now have the official Day 1A numbers. A total of 61 players opted to play today, and currently 47 remain. A whole lot more are expected to take their seats tomorrow on Day 1B, so make sure you come back then and continue to follow the action.

Anyway, there are four more levels left for the day; let’s see who can survive. –JS

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4:15pm: Take a break

Players have stepped away from the tournament area for a 10-minute break. — BK

4:10pm: Dours sends Team Pro out the door
Level 4: Blinds 150/300 (25 ante)

Two Team PokerStars Pros were in the running today but now only one remains after Yaxi Zhu was eliminated by Romain Dours.

Her final hand saw the Team Pro move all in for 7,575 on the button over another player’s open to 650 before Dours announced all in over the top. With the initial raiser out of the way Zhu and Dours tabled their cards.

Zhu: A9
Dours: JJ

Zhu needed to improve to stay alive and while on the turn she found additional flush outs as the board read 6842, the 9 river couldn’t save her. That means Chen An Lin is the only one still representing the Team Pro contingent.

Dours moves up to a stack of 44,800. — BK

4pm: When two Jeffrey’s go to war
Level 4: Blinds 150/300 (25 ante)

Jeffrey Ho made a rather large to 1,300 and it folded around to Jeffrey Holbrook in the big blind. He raised the price of poker to 4,050 and Ho came along.

The duo saw a K97 flop and Holbrook continued for 5,500. Ho made the call taking us to the K on the turn, pairing the board. Holbrook slowed down here but Ho wanted to keep the speed up with an insta-bet of 10,000.

Here’s where Holbrook went into the tank. That turn was clearly a bad one for him, and in the end all he could do was fold. Ho showed the K “out of respect” and raked in the chips, moving up to above 50,000 while Holbrook has 22,000 remaining.

“Man, Aces suck today!” said Holbrook, revealing he had pocket rockets. After finding out that another player had folded a King pre-flop, he continued “You one-outered me!” –JS

3:45pm: Hitman Huang eliminates two at once
Level 4: Blinds 150/300 (25 ante)

Yen Cheng Huang just picked up pocket aces in a dream spot – and a three-way all in quickly followed.

According to the players at the table who discussed the hand as two players headed for the exit, Huang opened to 1,000 with AA before a shortstacked opponent pushed all in with A9. The third player woke up with KK and smooth-called the jam, before Huang came back over the top with another all in and was quickly called.

Huang was in great shape to send two players packing and did just that as the cards fell 10106410. He now sits on 36,300. — BK

3:30pm: Zhang’s player of the year so far
Level 4: Blinds 150/300 (25 ante)

Wayne Zhang currently sits at the top of the Asia Player of the Year leader board and is hoping to secure that tile at the end of the season.

Well, he’s not got off to the best start here today. Picking up the action on the turn of a Q792 board, his opponent checked and Zhang put out a bet of 4,150. That was then clicked back and raised to 8,300, resulting in Zhang throwing his hand away. He has just 10,025 left. –JS


Zhang leads the Asia player of the year race

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3:20pm: Huang hurts Moran
Level 4: Blinds 150/300 (25 ante)

We arrived at the table just as the 7K6 flop was spread out, but judging by the pot size and how the chips were sitting, it looked like there had been a three or four-bet 4,500 preflop. Chenyi Huang in the cutoff and Graham Moran were the only two active players.

Both of them checked the flop before the 8 turn rolled off and they both checked again.

The 7 appeared on the river and prompted Huang to lead for a relatively tiny 3,000. Moran counted out 3,000 and fiddled with the chips before throwing them into the pot.

Huang showed AA and Moran quickly slid his hand to the dealer while nodding his head.

He fell to 14,700 in chips while Huang now boasts 26,800. — BK

APPTSeoul2016 Graham Moran.jpg

Graham Moran

3:10pm: He beats Shi and potentially slowrolls him
Level 3: Blinds 150/300

After Max Doronin opened to 750, three players called: Xiaoyi He, the player to his left, and Qizheng Shi in the big blind. The four saw a 3A3 flop hit the felt and Shi led for 1,625. Doronin folded, but the others came along to see the 6 turn. Shi fired again for 4,200 and both called once more.

The 2 river caused Shi to slow down, checking it to He who took the betting lead with a 10,000 stab. The player to his left, whose name we never caught, called all-in for his last 6,150, and Shi gave up his hand. He took a little of his bet back and two showed their cards.

Eventually. Neither player wanted to show and Shi eventually told them both: “Show!”

He hadn’t realised that the player had just called all-in and requested that his opponent show his hand first, which he did with the AQ. Top pair wasn’t enough to beat He’s 105 for a flush though.

It was a bit of a slowroll from He, but nobody at the table seemed to mind. Xiaoyi He’s stack is now up around the 45,000 mark. –JS

2:50pm: Lau beats Zhu in a battle of the blinds
Level 3: Blinds 150/300

Alan Lau and Team PokerStars Pro Yaxi Zhu just went to war from the blinds. Zhu was in the small and with the board reading a connected 89J7 she checked her option to Lau in the big blind.

Lau fired for 2,700 and when Zhu called the 5 arrived on the river. After a quick check from Zhu on the end, Lau gave his decision some thought before dropping 4,000 into the middle.

Zhu leaned over the table and studied the board before making the call. Lau tabled 86 for a rivered straight and Zhu mucked as she dropped to 13,700 in chips.

Lau now has 29,400 at his disposal. — BK

2:40pm: Doronin’s controllin’
Level 3: Blinds 150/300

Max Doronin has just won a large pot, doubling through Witoonchart Witcha in what was obviously brutal fashion.

The hand started with an 800 open from Witcha which was called by Doronin and the player in the big blind. The flop came the 2A8 and it checked to Witcha who continued for 2,000. Both players called.

We saw the J hit the turn, and after another check Witcha fired again, this time for 4,500. Doronin paused to count his chips and made the call, as did the big blind player. That took us to the K on the river, and Witcha bet 9,000 after it checked it him to once more. Doronin moved all-in for around 4,000 more and only Witcha called.

Doronin turned over his 10Q for a runner runner straight having flopped a flush draw, and Witcha looked sick as he mucked. Two hands later and Witcha’s small stack was eliminated when he got it all-in with King-Jack against Qizheng Shi’s pocket deuces and couldn’t hit.

Meanwhile, Doronin is very healthy now with a stack or approximately 40,000. –JS

2:25pm: O’Rourke rakes one
Level 3: Blinds 150/300

Liam O’Rourke was just put to a tough river decision on a very busy board.

The community cards were double-paired reading KJJQQ and O’Rourke and Chung were the only two active. With the action on Chung first, he tossed a 5,000-denomination chip into the middle as O’Rourke leaned back in his seat.

The bet was for exactly O’Rourke’s remaining stack. He paused momentarily but decided to call off for his tournament life, realising it was a good call when Chung threw his hand face down in the muck.

With that hand O’Rourke is back up to starting stack while Chung is left with only 10,100. — BK

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2:05pm: First break of the day

Our Day 1A players are going to take a 10-minute break. We’ll be back shortly as we head into Level 3, with two more levels of entry open for the day. –JS

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1:55pm: The power of the continuation bet
Level 2: Blinds 100/200

Raise pre-flop, get a caller, bet the flop, win. Poker isn’t really that easy is it?

No, of course it isn’t. But you wouldn’t know that from the last two hands I witnessed. In the first, a player opened to 550, the button called, Chunkie Liu three-bet to 1,800, and only the original raiser called. The flop was the JQ3 and Liu continued for 3,300, which took it down.

Then, on the adjacent table, a player opened to 600 and Japan’s Kenji Kurashina three-bet to 2,500. Jeffrey Holbrook from the USA called out of the big blind, and the original raiser folded. The Q27 flop hit the felt, and a simple 2,600 c-bet from Kurashina was enough to get the pot slid his way. –JS

1:45pm: Lau loses chips to Chan
Level 2: Blinds 100/200

The reigning Asia Player of the Year Alan Lau is off to a less than desirable start here, after dipping below half of starting stack in the second level.

In a recent hand, Lau opening the action to 500 and was met by four callers to see a flop of QJQ. He continued for 1,700 and following two folds, Douglas Chan called on the button. New addition to the table, Team PokerStars Pro Yaxi Zhu, was in the small blind but she gave the hand up.

The turn brought the A but unfortunately we missed the action as a player moved all in on the adjacent table. With attention back on Lau, he fired for a final 4,100 on the end after the 9 river completed the board.

Chan quickly called and Lau flashed 88 for a flopped set but he’d been beaten on the river by A10 with Chan making a straight.

Lau now has only 8,175 in front of him while Chan builds to a healthy 37,400. — BK

APPTSeoul2016 Alan Lau.jpg

Alan Lau

1:30pm: Yippee for Yip as he doubles through Chung
Level 2: Blinds 100/200

It’s only the second level but we’ve already had a few eliminations. The players here are certainly not afraid to get into the thick of it early on – take this hand for example.

The USA’s John Chung opened to 500 from the under the gun, which was then three-bet 1,350 by Hong Kong’s Kwok Chun Yip from middle position. It folded back around to Chung and he four-bet, popping it up to 5,500. Yip made the call and it was heads-up to the flop. The other players at the table stopped what they were doing (mainly looking at their phones) and paid attention, as the pot was already big and you could sense a bigger pot was brewing.

The 936 hit the felt on the flop and Chung put out a c-bet of the same 5,500. Yip carefully and considerately counted out his chips, and announced “All-in.”

At this point Chung’s confident exterior vanished, and he asked for a count. The amount in question was just 4,950 more, so Chung was ultimately priced in and made the call with his A2 for the nut-flush draw. That was behind Yip’s AA, but any club would change that.

The 6 arrived on the turn and took the A away from Chung’s outs, as it would give Yip a full house. Finally the 7 river was dealt and the big pot slid to Yip.

Even after that big loss Chung is left with an above-starting stack of 21,000, while Yip is up to above 30,000. –JS

1:15pm: Guo your own way
Level 2: Blinds 100/200

Canada’s George Guo just took down a decent pot before the blinds went up, and it all started with a the smallest of bets.

He made it 200 to go on the button, and both Japan’s Tasuya Terakawa and Chinese Taipei’s Chenyi Huang came along from the blinds. The dealer spread a J4Q flop and Terakawa led out for 350 from the small blind position. That got Huang to give it up, but Guo didn’t go anywhere,

The turn came the 4, pairing the board, and Terakawa continued his aggression out of position for 600. Guo thought for a few moments, before confidently chucking in a raise to 1,700. That was enough to make Terakawa lay his hand down, taking Guo’s stack up to around 25,000. –JS

1:10pm: More pros we know
Level 2: Blinds 100/200

Another Team PokerStars Pro Yaxi Zhu was just seen at the registration desk. Presumably she’ll be joining teammate Chen An Lin among the action shortly.

Australian Aaron Lim was also spotted and is about to join the hunt. His last live cash was in the Macau Poker Cup 24 High Roller event for HK$233,000 ($29,972) in March. With a total of $1,995,301 in live earnings, Lim will be looking to eclipse the $2 million milestone in Seoul this week. — BK

2 100 200

12:55pm: Two aces for Taehoon
Level 2: Blinds 100/200

Taehoon Han just added a little more to his stack after getting paid with pocket aces.

We caught the action on the river with the board reading 97Q310 and Han led for a bet of 1,125. His opponent deliberated momentarily before flicking in a call only to see he was beat when Han tabled AA.

Han scooped the pot and now sits with 23,200 to play with. — BK

12:50pm: Takeshi’s castle
Level 1: Blinds 50/100

It’s only 45 minutes into Day 1a and we’ve already seen our first player find the exit.

Despite the two in the hand having around the starting 20,000, all the money appeared to go in preflop. The recent evictee held KK and was up against the A10 of Yamashita Takeshi.

The kings looked good until the 54A flop left Takeshi’s opponent chasing two outs. Neither of those would come as the 8 turn and 10 river completed the board and as our first casualty fell, Takeshi stacked up close to 40,000 as our new chip leader. — BK

12:35pm: Note to self – don’t try and bluff Vincent Li
Level 1: Blinds 50/100

I saw a 4,150 pot (pretty big for this opening level) and two players, unknown to me at the time, both deep in contemplation. Naturally I stuck around to see how it went down.

The board showed the 6944 and a player led out for 2,200. His opponent, who after the hand I discovered is Hong Kong’s Vincent Li, made the call.

The river was the 9 and the turn-raiser quickly checked. Li checked it back and waited for his opponent to reveal his hand – which turned out to be the A10 for just Ace-high. Thing is, Li had Ace-high too with the AJ. It was a great call, and Li took down a healthy pot early here on Day 1A. –JS

12:25pm: Team PokerStars in the building
Level 1: Blinds 50/100

Our first Team PokerStars Pro has taken his seat this afternoon. Taiwan’s Chen An Lin is flying the flag on his own at the moment, but more of his teammates are expected to arrive later or make an appearance tomorrow for Day 1b.

Lin has just taken a seat at Table 6 across from reigning Asia Player of the Year Alan Lau so we’ll be keeping an eye out to see if they engage in any battles. — BK

APPT Seoul2016 Chen An Lin.jpg

Team PokerStars Pro Chen An Lin

12:10pm: Nice start for O’Rourke
Level 1: Blinds 50/100

Australian pro Liam O’Rourke is out in the Day 1A field, and he’s off to a flying start. After an under-the-gun raise to 300 on a five-handed table, O’Rourke flat called on the button and the two saw a 99A flop fall. The raiser continued for 425, and O’Rourke went nowhere.

Next up was the 10 turn, and the betting didn’t stop. It was 875 this time around and once again that bet was called. Finally the 5 landed on the river and both players decided they’d had enough. After each checked, the original raiser showed the 22, while O’Rourke took it down with his A8.

O’Rourke, from Oakley, Victoria, had his biggest live cash in the 2012 ANZPT Sydney Main Event, finishing runner up for $152,426. He has never won a live tournament but will be looking to change that here this week. –JS

12:00pm: Shuffle and deal!
Level 1: Blinds 50/100

Cards are now in the air!

We’re in for eight levels of play today. Let’s see how many runners we can get here for the Main Event and who of those can survive the day.

So far we’ve spotted reigning Asia Player of the Year Alan Lau in the field, we’re about to go scouting for some more notables.

Stay tuned! — BK

11:45am: Day 1A ready to go!

It’s a hot day here in Seoul, South Korea, but inside the Paradise Walkerhill Casino there’s a cool, calm atmosphere right now. It’s not going to last though; Day 1A of the APPT10 Seoul is just 15 minutes away from starting, and those cool exteriors will soon heat up as the cards get in the air and the chips start flying.

The buy-in for this main event is ₩3,000,000 (roughly $2,600 US), with registration open until the end of Level 4. There will be eight 60-minute levels on Days 1A (today) and 1B (tomorrow), so the only question now is to see who will make it through to Day 2?

This tournament had 241 runners last year, and boasted a star-studded final table featuring Team PokerStars Pros Celina Lin and Bryan Huang. In the end it was Jason Mo who took it down for KRW165,590,200 ($151,359) and the coveted APPT trophy.

Play will be starting at 12pm local time, so don’t go anywhere.

Opening a PokerStars account is easy. Click here to get an account in minutes.

Key APPT10 Seoul Facts:
– 20,000 starting stack
– Blinds starting at 50/100 for 200 big blinds
– Levels are 60 minutes on Day 1 and there’ll be eight of them
– Day 1A is today and Day 1B takes place tomorrow
– The field will then combine for the first time on Saturday. We’ll reach the money during the eight levels of play on Day 2 and then play down to a final table on Sunday. Monday is all about the final.
– Full APPT10 Seoul schedule here.


PokerStars Blog reporting team in Seoul: Brad Kain and Jack Stanton. Photos by Kenneth Lim Photography courtesy of PokerStars LIVE Macau.

The APPT Seoul festival at Paradise Walkerhill Casino runs until Monday, June 27th. Full details are available on the official APPT website page.

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