2017 ACOP: Wayne Yap wins Single-Day High Roller and HK$5,614,000

October 24, 2017

There are few places in the world where millions of dollars can be collected and distributed in a single day. The ACOP is one of them.

The 2017 ACOP Single-Day High Roller had a HK$300,000 (~US$38,000) buy-in and drew 68 entries for a total prizepool of HK$19,192,320 (~US$2,450,000). That meant only nine high rollers would cash and the eventual champion would take home HK$5,614,000 (~US$720,000).

That title went to Wayne Yap, who tore through a field of some of the biggest names in poker to take down his second high roller title here in Macau. Yap won the HK$80,000 MPC 24 High Roller last March and then finished 5th in the MPC 26 HK$80,000 High Roller this February.


Wayne Yap

While both of those were hefty paydays, this was by far Yap’s biggest cash. It also came in one of the world’s toughest fields. Erik Seidel, Adrian Mateos, David Peters, Justin Bonomo, Ike Haxton, John Juanda, Bryn Kenney, Mustapha Kanit and Steve O’Dwyer all signed up for today’s Single Day High Roller. While some of them made it to the money, none could topple Yap.

In the final two tables, Yap pulled off an impressive bluff against Justin Bonomo and made it to the final table third in chips. Yap then made huge call against Isaac Haxton when play got seven-handed. Haxton bet 980,000 on the river –leaving himself with a single ante– and Yap used all four of his time bank chips making his decision. Yap called and it turned out to be the right decision.


After that, it was Yap’s tournament to lose.

Yap continued to chip up and started the heads-up match with a 3-to-1 lead over Mikita Badziakouski. That number quickly grew in Yap’s favor after he hit a flush against Badziakouski’s straight. Yap then finished the job off to become the 2017 ACOP Single Day High Roller champion.

“It feels great,” Yap said. “All my bluffs worked, my good hands got paid off and I won some flips.”

And he also won HK$5.6 million.

For more details on the hands described above and updates from the today’s Single Day High Roller, check out our live updates below. –AV


Dates: October 24, 2017
Buy-in: $300,000 ($288,000+$12,000)
Entries: 68 (including 10 re-entries)
Prize pool (after deductions): $19,192,320

Position Name Country Prize (HKD)
1st Wayne Yap Singapore $5,614,000
2nd Mikita Badziakouski Belarus $4,030,320
3rd Rainer Kempe Germany $2,620,000
4th Justin Bonomo USA $1,977,000
5th Sam Greenwood Canada $1,535,000
6th Adrian Mateos Spain $1,190,000
7th Ike Haxton USA $940,000
8th Erik Seidel USA $730,000
9th Christian Christner Germany $556,000

• Entries: 1 of 68 (incl. 10 re-entries)
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12:40am: Mikita Badziakouski eliminated in 2nd place (HK$4,030,320)
Level 21 – Blinds: 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

Wayne Yap moved all-in from the button and Mikita Badziakouski thought from the big blind. The short-stacked Badziakouski decided Q♣6♥ was worth the gamble, but Yap was strong with A♦J♥.

The flop came 3♣4♦3♥ and then a 7♠ landed on the turn to elicit some gasps from the audience. But then the river brought an A♠ and a round of cheers from Yap and his rail.

Badziakouski finished 2nd and won HK$4,030,320 while Yap took the title, his second here in Macau, and HK$5,614,000. –AV


Mikita Badziakouski

12:35am: Yap in control, Badziakouski down to 10 big blinds
Level 20 – Blinds: 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

The first big pot of heads-up play has gone to Wayne Yap and it’s a long road back for Mikita Badziakouski now. Yap raised from the button and Badziakouski called from the big blind. On the 3♠2♣4♠ flop Badziakouski check-called a further 190,000 and the 6♠ hit the turn. Badziakouski elected to lead on fourth street, he fired out 200,000 and Yap responded by raising to 825,000. Call from Badziakouski. The 9♠ completed the board and both players checked, Yap reluctantly so. Badziakouski showed 8♣5♦ for a straight but Yap had Q♠10♠ for a flush and he’s now in total control of this tournament. –NW

12:10am: Heads up
Level 20 – Blinds: 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

We’re now heads up. Our final two players are on a 15-minute break, but when they return they’ll come back to the following stacks.


Wayne Yap – 7,570,000
Mikita Badziakouski – 2,630,000

12:09am: Rainer Kempe eliminated in 3rd place (HK$2,620,000)
Level 20 – Blinds: 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

Yap just keeps on rising and taking down players on his way up.

Yap recently raised to 160,000 from the button and Rainer Kempe moved all-in for about 950,000 from the small blind. Yap called and showed K♦10♣ to Kempe’s 8♥8♦.

The flip fell in Yap’s favor with a Q♣A♠Q♠2♥10♠ board and Kempe was eliminated in 3rd place. –AV


Rainer Kempe

12:05am: Yap hoovering up the chips
Level 20 – Blinds: 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

There have been no huge pots since three-handed play began, but Wayne Yap has been winning the majority of the pots that have been played. He’s shoved small blind to big blind on Rainer Kempe on more than one occasion and, as the second biggest stack Mikita Badziakouski is playing cautiously from the small blind when Yap is in the big blind.

It all means that Yap is chipping up, whilst the other two players are slowly dribbling downwards. Yap has 6.5 million, Badziakouski is playing 2.7 million and Kempe has 1 million. –NW

11:50pm: Justin Bonomo eliminated 4th place (HK$1,977,000)
Level 19 – Blinds: 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Justin Bonomo moved all-in for 665,000 from the small blind and Mikita Badziakouski called from the big blind.

Badziakouski turned over A♠10♦ while Bonomo was in need of some help with 9♥7♥. But the 5♦A♦K♥5♣8♦ board onlyhelped Badziakouski and Bonomo was eliminated in 4th.

Badziakouski is now up to about 3.5 million. –AV


Justin Bonomo

11:40pm: Sam Greenwood eliminated in 5th place (HK$1,535,000)
Level 19 – Blinds: 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Adrian Mateos’s seat was still warm when we lost another player.

Sam Greenwood was down to just under 400,000 and moved it all-in from the button.
Mikita Badziakouski called from the big blind and turned over Q♠Q♥ to Greenwood’s K♦6♠. The 4♦A♦J♠7♣6♦ board gave both players a pair, but aces are better than sixes and Greenwood was knocked out in 5th place.

Then Badziakouski took out another player… –AV


Sam Greenwood

11:30pm: Adrian Mateos eliminated in 6th place (HK$1,190,000)
Level 19 – Blinds: 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Adrian Mateos was down to 775,000 and moved all-in from the hijack when action folded to him. Wayne Yap and his big stack were on the cutoff and he called.

Mateos turned over A♣7♣ and Yap turned over a dominating A♠Q♠. Mateos temporarily took over the lead with a pair of sevens on the 7♥K♥J♣ flop, but Yap also hit a straight draw.

A 10♥ then came on the river to give Yap the broadway straight and Mateos was eliminated in 6th place. Yap on the other hand chipped up to about 4.2 million. –AV


Adrian Mateos

11:22pm: Ike Haxton eliminated in 7th place (HK$940,000)
Level 18 – Blinds: 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

We’ve just seen the biggest pot of the tournament and it involved Wayne Yap and Ike Haxton. Just for fun we’ll reveal Yap’s hand now, he was holding A♣8♣. Pre-flop Haxton – who was playing a stack of 2.2 million – raised to 100,000 from the button and Yap – who just had Haxton covered – three-bet to 370,000 total. Call from Haxton.

Two to a flop then, and it fell 4♣3♠J♣. With the nut flush draw and an overcard Yap bet 265,000 and Haxton made the call. The turn was the A♠, Yap’s hand improved and he fired again. This time it was 550,000 for Haxton to stick around and stick around he did. On the 6♠ river Yap slowed down, checking the action to Haxton. His opponent needed to use a timebank chip, but he eventually bet 980,000, leaving just a solitary yellow 5k chip behind.


Isaac Haxton

Yap now went deep into the tank, he had four time bank chips and would end up using them all. What would you do with A♣8♣ here? It was almost all of Yap’s chips to call and he had just six seconds left on the clock when he decided to look Haxton up. Haxton, who had his head down looking at the felt, looked up when Yap called and gave the look of a man who’d been caught with his hand in the cookie jar. He showed 7♣6♣ and Yap showed his holding to take the pot and climb to 4.4 million.

Left with just a single ante chip Haxton was all-in blind on the next hand with J♥7♥ and Adrian Mateos shoved all-in pre-flop to isolate. He turned over…A♣8♣. “Oh great ace-eight of clubs again,” joked Haxton. The 3♥A♠10♣5♠J♦ board favoured Mateos and Haxton was out in seventh. –NW

11:18pm: Erik Seidel eliminated in 8th place (HK$730,000)
Level 18 – Blinds: 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

Another cash for Erik Seidel, who’s now just over $1 million behind Daniel Negreanu in the all-time money list. In his exit hand Seidel shoved for 850,000 from the button with K♠J♠ and Ike Haxton called from the big blind with A♣J♥. It was domination nation and the status quo remained intact on a 7♦9♦9♥7♥5♥ board. –NW


Erik Seidel

11:15pm: Christian Christner eliminated in 9th place (HK$556,000)
Level 18 – Blinds: 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

This post could alternatively be called Lucky Fives Part II: The Return of Lucky 8s.

Wayne Yap raised to 110,000 that hand and Christian Christner moved all-in for 740,000 with A♠Q♥.

Yap called with 8♣8♠ and then hit a set on the 5♠A♦8♥3♥K♥ board. Christner won HK$566,000 for finishing 9th while Yap chipped up to about 2.2 million. –AV


Christian Christner

11:10pm: Lucky Fives
Level 18 – Blinds: 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

After losing to pocket fives, Adrian Mateos picked up 5♥5♠ and moved all-in for 330,000 from the hijack. Rainer Kempe reshoved from the hijack with A♥K♦ and everyone else folded.

“Lucky fives,” Mateos said to Seidel when they tabled their hands.

The board ran 9♥J♥5♦4♠9♦ to give Mateos a full house and he doubled to about 800 while Kempe dipped to 1.25 million. –AV

11:05pm: Lucky Fives: The Prequel
Level 18 – Blinds: 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

Erik Seidel moved all-in for 440,000 from middle position and Adrian Mateos called from the cutoff. The rest of the table folded. Mateos turned over A♠Q♥ while Seidel tabled 5♦5♥.

As the title suggests, pocket fives held up on the 10♠K♠K♣7♥4♦ board. Seidel doubled to about 1 million while Mateos was left with 330,000.

The fives struck again the following hand…. –AV

10:55pm: Final table seat draw
Level 18 – Blinds: 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

The players have moved to the final table area – a single table on a raised area – and have posed for the necessary souvenir photo! This is how the final nine stack up:


1. Adrian Mateos – 785,000
2. Wayne Yap – 1.415 million
3. Rainer Kempe – 1.645 million
4. Sam Grenwood – 610,000
5. Christian Christner – 840,000
6. Justin Bonomo – 1.07 million
7. Erik Seidel – 450,000
8. Mikita Badziakouski – 2.65 million
9. Ike Haxton – 1.32 million

Here’s a reminder of what they’re playing for:

1st: HK$5,614,000
2nd: HK$4,030,320
3rd: HK$2,620,000
4th: HK$1,977,000
5th: HK$1,535,000
6th: HK$1,190,000
7th: HK$940,000
8th: HK$730,000
9th: HK$556,000

To translate into USD:

Min-cash: $71,241
Winner: $719,324

10:50pm: Bryn bubbles
Level 18 – Blinds: 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

The bubble has popped and so have Bryn Kenney’s hopes of a Single Day High Roller win.

In his last hand, Kenney moved all-in for 530,000 from under the gun and Mikita Badziakouski rejammed from the cutoff. The rest of the players folded and Badziakouski turned over J♦J♠ to Kenney’s A♥10♠.

The Q♠K♠7♣ flop brought Kenney a straight draw, but the 6♥ on the turn and Q♦ on the river didn’t complete it. Kenney busted the tournament in 10th while Badziakouski chipped up to about 2 million. Players are now guaranteed HK$556,000 and there’s HK$5.6 million for first.

The final nine are now moving to the fancy, raised and official final table. Stay tuned for official chip counts and updates from the 2017 ACOP Single Day High Roller. –AV


Bryn Kenney

10:45pm: Kempe gets a bubble up
Level 17 – Blinds: 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

It didn’t take long for the first all-in and call of the bubble period. Wayne Yap shoved from the small blind and Rainer Kempe snapped him off. He was the all-in player, at risk for 785,000. Yap opened 9♥7♣ and Kempe had K♥K♣. Some of the German High Roller fraternity were watching on from the rail as the dealer fanned 6♥3♠7♠. The turn was the 8♦ (it’s never easy) but the J♥ river was a brick and Kempe survived.

Bubble play continues. –NW

10:35pm: Wang out in 11th, bubble time
Level 17 – Blinds: 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

It’s bubble time in the Single-day High Roller as Chunqing Wang has just been eliminated in 11th place.

Mikita Badziakouski shoved all-in from under-the-gun, he’s the biggest stack at the table and his shove was roughly for an effective 600,000. Next to act Chunqing Wang swiftly called all-in for his last 350,000 and action passed around to Ike Haxton, who was on the button.

He needed some time and luckily he still had a time bank chip. Into the pot that went and, about 15 seconds later, so did his stack of 530,000. The blinds folded and the hands were revealed.

Badziakouski: A♦8♣
Wang: A♣K♣
Haxton: 10♠10♦

The 10♥7♦8♦7♠2♣ board meant Haxton damn near tripled up and Wang was eliminated. –NW

10:31pm: Hand for hand
Level 17 – Blinds: 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

We’re down to 11 and players have agreed to go hand-for-hand a bit early.

10:30pm: Christner doubles
Level 17 – Blinds: 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

A short-stacked Christian Christner had been moving all-in a fair bit without getting called. Then Mikita Badziakouski did him the honor.

Christner moved all-in for 265,000 from the cutoff with K♦K♠ that hand and Badziakouski called from the small blind with A♣J♥.

The board came 4♠7♠4♥6♦9♦ and Chirstner doubled to about 750,000. –AV

10:20pm: Yap zaps Juanda
Level 17 – Blinds: 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

Wayne Yap raised to 80,000 from the button and John Juanda moved all-in for 860,000 from the small blind.

The big blind folded but Yap called. Yap turned over 6♦6♥ while Juanda showed A♦2♦. Juanda did hit a deuce on the K♦2♣10♦3♥3♣ board, but it wasn’t enough to beat sixes. Juanda was out while Yap chipped up to 2.15 million. –AV


John Juanda

10:10pm: Badziakouski’s the boss
Level 17 – Blinds: 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

The 12 remaining players are back in their seats and play is under way. Mikita Badziakouski is the top dog right now, he has almost double the chips of second place. At the other end of the scale Christian Christner is in the danger zone, whilst eight players have fewer than 20 big blinds.

With nine players getting paid, this is shaping up to be a tense bubble indeed.

Mikita Badziakouski – 2.3 million
Wayne Yap – 1.2 million
Justin Bonomo – 1.16 million
John Juanda – 950,000
Rainer Kempe – 760,000
Ike Haxton – 650,000
Adrian Mateos – 640,000
Erik Seidel – 625,000
Sam Greenwood – 605,000
Bryn Kenney – 550,000
Chunqing Wang – 445,000
Christian Christner – 285,000


Christner has work to do

9:55pm: Break
Level 16 – Blinds: 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

The final 12 are on a 15-minute break. Check back for more updates soon.

9:54pm: Bonomo busts Ying
Level 16 – Blinds: 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

It was the last hand of the level and Justin Bonomo and Jinghui Ying were faced with a 10♠6♣7♦ flop.

Bonomo checked from the big blind and Ying bet 50,000 into a pot of about 160,000. Bonomo raised to 180,000 and Ying thought. Then he used a time chip and thought some more.

After a while, but less than a minute later, he made his decision: all-in.

Bonomo called and turned over Q♦10♦ for a pair of tens while Ying tabled 9♣9♠ for nines and a gutshot straight draw. The turn and river were a pair of fours, the 4♥ and 4♠, and Ying’s Single Day High Roller came to an end.

Bonomo chipped up to 1.16 million and went to break with the other 11 remaining players. –AV

9:50pm: All Mateos all the time
Level 16 – Blinds: 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Adrian Mateos is giving Sergio Aido and Javier Gomez Zapatero decent entertainment, that’s for sure. They three are former housemates and the latter two have stopped by to rail Mateos in this event. He just played two big pots in a row, losing the one he was ahead in and winning the one he was behind in. That’s poker as they say.

I missed the pre-flop action in the first hand but the pot size made it certain that this was a limped pot involving Mateos (button), Justin Bonomo (small blind) and Jinghui Ying (big blind). The 4♣10♦3♣ flop was checked to Mateos and he bet 45,000. Bonomo check-raised to 110,000, Ying folded and Mateos moved all-in.

Bonomo had 165,000 more behind and called it off with Q♦10♣ and saw the bad news when Mateos turned over a limped pair of aces. The 6♦ turn was a blank but the Q♥ river made Bonomo two-pair as he got there to survive. He was up to 715,000 after that hand, whilst Mateos dropped to 370,000.

On the very next hand Dan Smith shoved for 270,000 with 8♦8♠ and Mateos re-raised all-in with A♦Q♥. The K♣7♠A♥10♠K♦ board dispatched Smith to the rail and gave Mateos back the majority of the chips that he’d lost in the previous hand. –NW

9:40pm: Mateos doubles
Level 16 – Blinds: 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Adrian Mateos just got some fresh chips to work with.

After Wayne Yap raised from the hijack, Mateos moved all-in for 314,000 from the small blind. Yap called and showed K♥J♠ to Mateos’s 7♠7♥.

The board ran 9♥5♦6♣4♦2♦ and pocket sevens held. Mateos doubled to about 700,000 while Yap dipped to 1.15 million. –AV

9:35pm: Ying doubles through Kempe
Level 16 – Blinds: 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

With three short stacks behind him Rainer Kempe shoved all-in from the cutoff for an effective 390,000. Adrian Mateos and Justin Bonomo weren’t interested but Jinghui Ying was and he called all-in for 249,000.

Ying: 6♠6♦
Kempe: 5♣5♠

The 10♣3♥A♠J♠2♥ run out kept Ying in front and he doubled to around 530,000, Kempe is down to 820,000. –NW

9:25pm: King Kempe
Level 15 – Blinds: 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Erik Seidel has dropped down to 707,000 after he doubled up Rainer Kempe.

He raised to 50,000 from early position and then four-bet jammed after his German opponent three-bet to 138,000 off the button. Kempe snapped him off.

Seidel: 9♣9♠
Kempe: K♠K♦

The boards ran Q♦6♦2♥A♦3♣ to miss both players. — MC

9:20pm: Double double for Bonomo
Level 15 – Blinds: 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Justin Bonomo scored a pair of double ups.

In the first he moved all-in for 84,000 from the cutoff and Wayne Yap called from the big blind. Yap showed 8♣7♦ and Bonomo was in the lead with K♥9♥. Bonomo then paired his king on the A♠3♦4♦K♠2♠ board and doubled again the following hand.

Bonomo then moved all-in for 204,000 with 10♥10♦ the following hand. Dan Smith called with jh]10♦ and Bonomo got a second double up after the board ran 9♣9♥7♠Q♥3♦.

Bonomo is now closing in on 500,000. –AV


Justin Bonomo

9:15pm: Mateos dips
Level 15 – Blinds: 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Erik Seidel raised to 50,000 from under the gun and action folded to Adrian Mateos on the button. Mateos made it 150,000 to go and Seidel called.

Mateos then bet 100,000 on the 5♦6♥5♣ flop when checked to and Seidel called, bringing a 5♠ on the turn. Seidel bet 115,000 and Mateos called. The river brought a 9♣ and both players checked. Seidel turned over Q♥Q♠ and Mateos mucked.

The pot put Seidel up to 1.2 million while Mateos dropped to 230,000. –AV

9:10pm: What a sick bluff!
Level 15 – Blinds: 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Take a bow Wayne Yap, that was one hell of a bluff.

A big pile of chips lay in the middle by the time Yap and Justin Bonomo made the river of an 8♣J♥4♥9♥6♥ board. Bonomo was in the big blind and led for 160,000, leaving himself with just 108,000 behind. Yap set him in for the rest and Bonomo had to admit defeat and folded.

“Show the bluff!” said table mate Adrian Mateos.

Yap smiled and opened A♦8♠ for a pair of eights.

“How did you know?” asked Dan Smith, also at the table. We couldn’t hear the response. Yap up to around 1.8 million. –MC

9pm: Ramage shoves into kings
Level 14 – Blinds: 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Shoving into kings is never a great spot to find yourself in – unless you’ve got aces of course – but it’s a terrible spot when you’re holding K♦3♥. Unfortunately for Grayson Ramage fans that’s the pickle your man just found himself in. He shoved for 220,000 from the small blind and Ike Haxton snapped him off with pocket kings. A K♣5♦8♥A♠6♣ board was all Haxton and he moves up to 780,000. –NW

8:57pm: Pots get big quick with 10,000/20,000 blinds
Level 14 – Blinds: 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Wayne Yap raised to 42,000 from under the gun and Dan Smith called from early position. The rest of the table let these two go at it and the flop came K♥Q♠5♥. Yap bet 50,000 and Smith called, bringing a 5♣ on the turn.

Yap upped the bet to 150,000 and Smith called that one too. The river was a 7♠ and Yap bet 300,000 as the clock ticked down into single digits. Smith ran his clock down too and verbally announced a fold with just a few seconds left.

Smith dipped to 580,000 after the hand while Yap is up to about 1.25 million. –AV

8:55pm: Huang’s ride over
Level 14 – Blinds: 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Tournament’s just aren’t the same without Shan Huang. His ride ride came to an end at the hands of Wayne Yap. The latter opened to 42,000 and called after Huang three-bet all-in for 183,000.

Yap: A♦10♠
Huang: K♣Q♦

The board ran out 5♥J♥5♠A♠6♦.

“I don’t think poker is the game for me!” Said Huang.

“See you in the next tournament then!” Shouted John Juanda from the next table. Everyone erupted in laughter. –MC


Shan Huang: The GOAT

8:45pm: Christner slow plays aces into trouble
Level 14 – Blinds: 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Christian Christner dropped down to 247,000 after he decided to slow play aces.

Isaac Haxton raised to 70,000 from the hijack and was called by Christner in the next seat and Chuqing Wang in the big blind. Haxton continued for 75,000 on the 7♣8♣4♠ flop and was called by Christner before Wang check raised all-in for 197,000. Christner called after Haxton mucked.

Wang: 4♣4♥ for a set
Christner: A♦A♣ for an over pair.

The board ran out 8♠J♦. –MC

8:40pm: Two-table redraw
Level 14 – Blinds: 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

The 16 remaining players have taken their chips to their new chairs. This is what the random redraw has produced.

Table 1:

1. Wayne Yap
2. Dan Smith
3. Shan Huang
4. Rainer Kempe
5. Adrian Mateos
6. Justin Bonomo
7. Jinghui Ying
8. Erik Seidel

Table 2:

1. Ike Haxton
2. Christian Christner
3. John Juanda
4. Bryn Kenney
5. Mikita Badziakouski
6. Chunqing Wang
7. Sam Greenwood
8. Grayson Ramage

8:35pm: Vogelsang out, down to 16
Level 14 – Blinds: 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Chris Vogelsang is out and we’re down to our final two tables. Vogelsang moved all-in for 275,000 from the button on his final hand and Wayne Yap called from the big blind.

Vogelsang tabled A♠8♦ and Yap showed a dominating A♣Q♥. Vogelsang did temporarily take the lead when the flop came K♦6♠8♣ to give him a pair of eights, but then a Q♣ fell on the river to give things back to Yap.

Vogelsang fell in 17th place while Yap chipped to nearly 700,000. The tournament also paused after the elimination to break down to the final two tables. –AV

8:25pm: Enormous pot sends Moss packing
Level 14 – Blinds: 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

The biggest pot of the tournament by a long, long way just took place between dinner break chip leader Matt Moss, and Mikita Badziakouski. It was a cooler in the blinds and Moss hit the rail.

Badziakouski opened to 52,000 from the small blind before Matt Moss three-bet to 168,000 out of the big blind. The Belorussian responded by jamming for 780,000 and Moss shrugged and called all-in for slightly less.

Badziakouski: K♣K♠
Moss: A♦Q♦

The board ran 6♦7♠5♣5♦9♦. Moss picked up a flush draw but missed on the river. Badziakouski up to nearly 1.6 million. –MC


8:20pm: Mateos stacks Chen
Level 13 – Blinds: 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Canlin Chen was short on chips. He had fewer than five big blinds and he was on the button. Across the line his chips went and the red triangle was placed in its customary position. John Juanda didn’t have a calling hand but did Grayson Ramage? He tanked and used most of his 30 seconds to run some maths in his head. He eventually folded and Chen showed the A♠.

Two hands late Chen shoved again, this time it was 107,000 to anyone who wanted to try and knock him out. Adrian Mateos was the last barrier between Chen and picking up the blinds and antes and it seemed like the Spaniard had a close decision. He had about 275,000 so should he call and lose he’d be down to 10 big blinds. He scratched his head a couple of times and then decided to call.

Chen showed 7♣5♣ and Mateos opened J♣10♦. The 7♥3♥9♣ flop gave Chen the lead, the Q♠ turn meant Mateos had more outs and he spiked the 10♥ river to win the pot and eliminate Chen. He’s up to 380,000 now. –NW

8:10pm: Chidwick falls to a storming Greenwood
Level 13 – Blinds: 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Sam Greenwood’s post dinner charge moved to another gear as he took out Stephen Chidwick to move up to around 1.3 million.

He was in the small blind and Chidwick was in early position. The flop was K♣Q♣7♥ and Greenwood check-called 31,000. He did so for another 75,000 on the 8♣ turn and then snapped off Chidwick’s 195,000 shove on the 10♥ river. Chidwick opened K♥Q♥ for two pair but Greenwood had turned the nuts with A♣J♣. — MC

8:10pm: Greenwood closing in on 1 million
Level 13 – Blinds: 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Adrian Mateos checked a 5♥4♦A♠ flop from the big blind and Sam Greenwood –who’s on Mateos’s left– bet 30,000 into a pot of about 85,000. Mateos went for the old-fashioned check-raise and made it 80,000. Greenwood called and an A♥ came on the turn.

Mateos bet 100,000 and Greenwood called, bringing a 10♠ on the river. Mateos slowed to a check and Greenwood thought until the shot clock ticked down to the final few seconds. Then he moved all-in and Mateos snap-folded.

The hand left Mateos with 275,000 while Greenwood chipped up to nearly 1 million. –AV

8:05pm: Nitsche nixed
Level 13 – Blinds: 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Dominik Nitsche was down to 113,000 and moved all-in from under the gun and Christian Christner called from the small blind.

Nitsche tabled J♣J♥ and he was flipping against Christner’s K♣Q♥. Christner hit a king on the 5♦K♠7♣ flop and hit a second one on the river. Nitsche hit the rail while Christner chipped up to nearly 500,000. –AV


Dominik Nitsche

8pm: Shan the man
Level 13 – Blinds: 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

“Come on Erik, double me up” pleaded Shan Huang after he’d shoved for 156,000 from the button. It was Erik Seidel who he was talking to, he was in the big blind and peeled his cards one by one. He had A♦J♣ and said: “Oh go on then,” and called.

Huang opened A♥Q♦ and was in great shape to double up. The 8♣3♥9♦4♣3♣ board kept him in front. Huang always plays the game with a smile on his face and he was absolutely delighted to double up. –NW

7:55pm: Juanda jettisons Leow
Level 13 – Blinds: 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

On the first hand back from the dinner break Seng Yee Leow was eliminated by John Juanda. His last 142,000 went in with A♠J♥ and he was ahead of Juanda’s Q♥8♥. But, Juanda rivered a flush on 9♦6♥K♥9♠4♥ to move up to 400,000. -NW

7:50pm: Chip counts as plays resumes
Level 13 – Blinds: 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)


Matt Moss top of the pile

Name Chips
Matt Moss 864,000
Dan Smith 861,000
Mikita Badziakouski 812,000
Sam Greenwood 744,000
Bryn Kenney 742,000
Erik Seidel 715,000
Isaac Haxton 598,000
Christophe Vogel 477,000
Rainer Kempe 474,000
Christian Christner 395,000
Chunqing Wang 390,000
Adrian Mateos 366,000
Justin Bonomo 333,000
Jinghui Ying 332,000
Stephen Chidwick 332,000
Grayson Ramage 298,000
John Juanda 223,000
Shan Huang 186,000
Seng Yee Leow 144,000
Dominik Nitsche 117,000
Canlin Chen 97,000

6:52pm: Dinner break

The remaining 22 players are on a 60-minute dinner break. –MC

6:51pm: Mateos doubles through Greenwood
Level 12 – Blinds: 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

You’ve go to win flips to win tournaments and Adrian Mateos just won a crucial one to survive. Dan Smith opened to 23,000 from the cutoff and Mateos shoved all-in for 211,000 from the button. Sam Greenwood was in the small blind and he wanted to know how much Smith was playing – the answer was roughly 900,000. Greenwood had about 950,000 total and he moved all-in. This prompted Smith to fold K♠Q♥10♥
Greenwood: A♠K♣

The board ran 8♥J♥7♠8♣3♠ and Mateos doubled to around 450,000. –NW

6:50pm: Smith sacks Alvarado
Level 12 – Blinds: 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

JC Alvarado raised to 28,000 from middle position and Dan Smith re-raised to 80,000 from the button. Alvarado called and a 6♥9♣10♦ flop hit the board. Alvarado checked and Smith bet 60,000.

Alvarado responded with an all-in worth 295,000. Smith called and showed A♥Q♥ to Alvarado’s Q♠J♠. The turn brought a 3♠ and both players paired their queen when a Q♣ came on the river. Smith’s ace kicker came into play and he chipped up to nearly 700,000 while Alvarado hit the rail. –AV

6:45pm: Triple up for Juanda
Level 12 – Blinds: 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

John Juanda was standing up and taking a picture of the community cards. With the amount of poker this man has played this surely meant something special had happened.

I arrived at the table to see that this had been a three-way all-in, Juanda was dragging in the three sets of hole cards so he could take a complete picture. All the chips had gone in pre-flop with the following players involved:

Canlin Chen: K♥J♥ – he was the biggest stack
Juanda: A♠Q♣ – all-in for roughly 90,000
Alan Lau: J♣10♣ – all-in for roughly 110,000

The board had come 3♣9♦J♦7♦Q♦ meaning Juanda had spiked the river to triple up, Chen took the side pot and eliminated Lau.

Stefan Schillhabel and John Andress are also out, we’re down to 24 players and the final three tables. –NW

6:35pm: Smith wins El Classico race
Level 12 – Blinds: 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

It’s a turbo, stacks are relatively shallow – big slick versus queens will always go in. Dan Smith had the queens and John Juanda had the ace-king.

Smith: Q♥Q♣
Juanda: A♣K♥

The board ran 6♣7♣9♥10♥6♠ to miss both players. After a count down Smith had 233,000. Juanda was left with 117,000. –MC

6:35pm: Huang doubles, Zhou zapped
Level 11 – Blinds: 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

“One, two, three, four, get your woman on the floor,” Shan Huang sang. He stood up, grabbed his stack of 66,000 and slammed it into the center of the table when action folded to his button.

Quan Zhou called from the big blind and players tabled their hands. Zhou showed A♠5♥ and Huang turned over a dominating A♣Q♥. The 2♦2♠4♣10♦8♣ board missed both players and ace-queen high took it down.

“From three big blinds to six big blinds to nine big blinds!” Huang shouted. “One, two, three, four get your stack in the pot!”

While Huang was ecstatic with his new stack of 120,000, Zhou was down to just 6,000 and it was automatically all-in the next hand. Action folded to Zhou’s small blind and Erik Seidel called from the big blind.

Seidel turned over J♦8♠ and Zhou was in the lead with Q♠6♥. That lead suddenly vanished on the river of a 7♠7♣3♣10♣J♣ board and Zhou was knocked out. –AV


6:25pm: Zhou can’t dodge the bullets
Level 11 – Blinds: 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

A big double up for Erik Seidel to report, and it came in a hand against Quan Zhou. The Chinese player opened to 23,000 from under-the-gun only for Seidel to three-bet to 60,000 from under-the-gun+1. It folded to Shan Huang – he had about 70,000 total – and he tanked before electing to save his chips for another time. It folded back to Zhou and he made the call.

The flop fell 8♦2♦7♦ Zhou checked and Seidel checked his cards before shoved all-in for 157,000. Zhou swiftly called and showed 10♠10♣. It was no good as Seidel had A♣A♠. Zhou had just two immediate outs and missed them on the J♠5♠ turn and river.

After that hand, Zhou is down to around 75,000 and the blinds have just gone up. It never rains… –NW

6:20pm: Kenney doubles through Huang
Level 11 – Blinds: 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

“Go on, just do it!” Said Shan Huang to Bryn Kenney who was thinking about making a move with his 157,000 stack. Kenney obliged and moved all-in.

Huang then looked at his cards and announced, “Go on then, I play with you!” and slammed in his last 200,000. All others folded.

Kenney: K♦Q♠
Huang: A♠K♠

The board ran Q♦Q♣A♥7♠3♦ to make Kenney winning trips. –MC

6:10pm: Smith doubles
Level 11 – Blinds: 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

A much needed double up for Dan Smith, he’s not out of the danger zone and has a 20 big blind stack. He shoved for 93,000 from the cutoff with Q♥J♠ and Adrian Mateos called from the button with pocket threes. The 8♣5♥5♦ flop kept Mateos in front but gave Smith additional outs. “Counterfeit him,” pleaded Smith to the dealer.

He got there the easy way though as the Q♠ fell on the turn to give him the lead and he held on the 7♥ river. He’s up to around 210,000 whilst Mateos is down to 375,000. –NW

6:07pm: Greenwood gets Peters
Level 11 – Blinds: 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

There was about 70,000 in the pot and a J♦8♦Q♣K♣Q♦ board on the felt. Sam Greenwood bet 40,000 from middle position and David Peters, who was already all-in, could do nothing but watch from the small blind.

Action was on the player to his left, Dan Smith. Smith thought for a bit, no longer than 30 seconds of course, and folded.

Both players showed a pair of kings, but Greenwood’s A♣K♥ had a much better kicker than Peters’s K♠3♠. Peters hit the rail while Greenwood chipped back up to nearly 900,000.–AV


David Peters

6pm: Petrangelo ousted by Greenwood
Level 11 – Blinds: 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

Sam Greenwood’s stack has risen to a chip-leading 900,000 after he eliminated Nick Petrangelo.

The latter moved all-in for 84,000 from the cutoff and was successfully isolated by Greenwood who shoved from the next seat.

Petrangelo: A♥9♦
Greenwood: 10♦10♠

The board ran 5♦4♣2♣2♠7♠ to see the tens hold. — MC


Sam ‘the man’ Greenwood

5:45pm: Bravery pills
Level 10 – Blinds: 4,000/8,000 (ante 1,000)

“Ike, you want medicine that makes you brave?” Shan Huang asked Ike Haxton. His backpack was on his lap and rummaged a packet of pills out of it. The white box was covered in Chinese characters.

“It makes a coward brave” Huang said.

“I don’t want any secret Chinese medicine,” Haxton laughed. Then he told the table about the time in Vegas when someone offered secret Russian medicine. Previous experience dictates a fold here.

“I wonder if you’re already too brave,” Aaron Been told Huang. Not enough for Huang’s taste though. Huang took every remaining pill and downed it along with Nan Hong, the Main Event chip leader who had a fever yesterday and has also been taking some medication.

We’ll keep tabs on how brave they get. –AV

5:40pm: Aldemir and Steicke depart
Level 10 – Blinds: 4,000/8,000 (ante 1,000)

David Steicke lasted about 30 seconds longer in this tournament that Koray Aldemir. They were on tables next to each other and busted to Christophe Vogelsang and Isaac Haxton.

Haxton had call-folded to a Aldemir shove the hand previous hand. His called on the button and called after his German opponent shoved for around 100,000 holding A♦3♠. Aldemir opened 6♠4♠ but the 8♣7♦A♠J♥K♥ board wasn’t to his liking.


Haxton on the move

Steicke opened to 20,000 (out of 145,000) and called after Vogelsang three-bet to 55,000. The flop fell 10♣5♥4♥ and Steicke moved all-n with J♦J♠. Vogelsang called with Q♥Q♣ and survived the 4♦4♣ turn and river. –MC

5:35pm: Prizes announced
Level 10 – Blinds: 4,000/8,000 (ante 1,000)

The tournament officials have crunched the numbers and the prize pool has been announced. This is how the HK$19,192,320 will be divvied up.

1st: HK$5,614,000
2nd: HK$4,030,320
3rd: HK$2,620,000
4th: HK$1,977,000
5th: HK$1,535,000
6th: HK$1,190,000
7th: HK$940,000
8th: HK$730,000
9th: HK$556,000

To translate into USD:

Total prize pool: $2,459,148

Min-cash: $71,241
Winner: $719,324

5:25pm: Alvarado axes one, down to five tables
Level 10 – Blinds: 4,000/8,000 (ante 1,000)

Another table down.

We’re down to 40 players and our final five tables. The reduced tournament real estate was partly due to JC Alvarado, who managed to knock out a player at his table with A♣K♣ versus his opponent’s J♣10♣.

The chips went in preflop and Alvarado took it down after the board came 2♥A♠10♠2♣7♠. Chip racks were waiting for Alvarado after the hand was done as his table was the next to break.

He’s now seated with the likes of Dan Smith, David Peters, John Juanda, Nick Petrangelo and Sam Greenwood. –AV

5:15pm: O’Dwyer done
Level 9 – Blinds: 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

Steve O’Dwyer was down to 42,000 and got it all-in with J♦2♦. Quan Zhou, who just got moved to O’Dwyer’s left, picked up A♥4♥ and decided it was worth the call.

Players tabled their hands and things were looking grim for O’Dwyer until the river of a 9♠K♣3♣Q♣2♥ board. A pair of deuces doubled O’Dwyer while Zhou dipped to about 300,000.

Those new chips didn’t last too long for O’Dwyer though. His seat was soon empty and then quickly reoccupied. –AV

5:10pm: Stacks
Level 9 – Blinds: 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

The average stack is a smidgen over 175,000, but there are a number of players who’ve got double the average or more. By our reckoning these are the current big stacks.

David Peters – 520,000
Matt Moss – 440,000
Quan Zhou – 390,000
Grayson Ramage – 380,000
Mikita Badziakouski – 377,000
Rainer Kempe – 370,000

5:05pm: Li turns Kanit inside out
Level 9 – Blinds: 3,000/6 (ante 1,000)

Mustapha Kanit has dropped down to 155,000 after he lost a button versus big blind pot against Yingui Li, who moved up to 160,000.

Kanit raised his button and bet an 8♦K♠K♣ flop. Li hung around with calls and then bet the 4♥ river for 18,000 after the Q♥ turn was checked through. Kanit called and mucked upon seeing Li’s Q♠5♠. –MC

4:55pm: Greenwood gone
Level 9 – Blinds: 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

Lucas Greenwood shoved from early position for what looked to be 149,000 and Stephen Chidwick re-raised all-in – for slightly more – from the button. The blinds folded and the cards were flipped. Greenwood had 8♦8♥ which was behind to Chidwick’s J♥J♦. “You’ve even got the suits covered,” noted Greenwood.

The K♠7♦J♣ flop all but eliminated Greenwood as Chidwick flopped a set. However, the 9♠ turn meant Greenwood, who was preparing to stand up and exit, slowed his ascent. The 5♦ river didn’t save him and he was on his way.

Jason Koon is another early casualty during level nine. This tournament is now a freezeout so there’s no option for either play to rebuy. –NW

4:35pm: Break time

The players are on a 15-minute break. We’ll bring you all the details of entrants and re-entrants when play resumes.

4:35pm: Lau lucky sevens
Level 8 – Blinds: 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

Alan Lau’s amazing 2017 has continued with a double up through Koray Aldemir.

The latter bet 30,500 on the turn and jammed for an effective 106,600 on the river. The final board read 2♠Q♦7♦K♠4♠ and Lau called both bets with 7♥7♣, beating out Aldemir’s K♦10♣. His stack moved up to 340,000 whereas Aldemir’s dropped to around 50,000. –MC

4:30pm: Be quick…
Level 8 – Blinds: 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

This is the last level of late registration and there’s just five minutes left. Anyone wishing to enter does have the 15-minute break in which to do so too though. Will we see any latecomers? –NW

4:20pm: Chidwick can’t call
Level 8 – Blinds: 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

From the hijack Stefan Schillhabel came in for a raise, he made it 12,000 to go. Bryn Kenney folded and Stephen Chidwick then three-bet to 35,000 from the button. It folded back to Schillhabel and he motioned for Chidwick to let him have a look at how many chips he had left, Chidwick had about 145,000 in total. The German then slid forward his stack of 5K chips and announced that he was all-in. The shove was for about 125,000 in total and it was too rich for Chidwick, who only took a few seconds to fold. –NW


Two hands and two shoves on Chidwick

4:10pm: Second chance boys
Level 8 – Blinds: 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

Bryn Kenney and Stephen Chidwick are both on their second (and final) bullets. They’re sat next to each other and one just shoved on the other.

The board read 6♠3♠Q♦9♣ and Kenney bet 26,000 from UTG+1. Chidwick was in the next seat and called to see the 8♣ river. Kenney waited until his 30-second clock had almost run out before he jammed. Chidwick had around 135,000 chips left and folded. That put Kenney up to around 225,000. –MC

4pm: Soul and stack crushed
Level 7 – Blinds: 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

“Can’t win them all!” said a smiling Dietrich Fast after he busted to Quan Zhou, who moved up to 355,000.

As he walked away from his table, he pointed at Dominik Nitsche and added, “He crushed my soul!”

Don’t feel too sorry for Fast though as he did win HKD$16,690,000 yesterday for taking down the Super High Roller title. — MC

3:50pm: Moss flush with chips
Level 7 – Blinds: 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

Rainer Kemper failed to take out his third player of the day as he doubled up Matt Moss.

We missed the action but the Brit is up to 230,000 after he hit a flush with A♦7♦ on a 5♣9♦J♦4♣K♦ board. — MC

3:40pm: Big stacks
Level 7 – Blinds: 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

The tournament has entered level 7 meaning that there’s only an hour left of play where players can re-enter. New entries will also have the break period after that to enter as well.

Those who have more than doubled their 150,000 starting stack already today are:

Igor Yaroshevskyy – 435,000
Grayson Ramage – 430,000
Seng Tee Leo – 394,000
Dominik Nitsche – 362,000
Chunqing Wang – 360,000
Mustapha Kanit – 340,000
David Peters – 320,000

3:25pm: Favourable runout aids Dvoress double
Level 6 – Blinds: 1,500/3,000 (ante 500)

Daniel Dvoress found a very favourable runout and it helped obtain a full double up through Wayne Yap, who’s already on his second bullet.

Dvoress raised to 6,000 from the cutoff and Yap defended his big blind. The board ran out 9♦2♦8♠A♠A♣ with Yap checking to face bets of 6,0000, 15,500 and all-in for 26,500. He called all the way and then mucked upon seeing Dvoress’ A♥4♠ for trips. He dropped to 66,000. –MC


The face of a man who backed into trips

3:10pm: Over pair no good for Sontheimer
Level 6 – Blinds: 1,500/3,000 (ante 500)

Level 6 has started without Steffen Sontheimer after he busted to Yee Leow.

We missed the action but know that the German’s 10♣10♠ was no good on a 5♠3♠6♠7♥9♥ board as Leow had turned a set with pocket sevens. Sontheimer then became the fifth player to re-enter. –MC

3pm: Bonomo gets needed double
Level 5 – Blinds: 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

Justin Bonomo found a lovely hand in early position and used to double up his short stack.

He had 17,200 left when he made his move and was called by Dan Smith in the next seat.

Bonomo: A♠K♥
Smith: A♦7♦

The board ran 9♥9♠10♣4♣K♣ to see Bonomo make two pair. Smith dropped to 116,000.

In other news, John Juanda has bought it and Stephen Chidwick has re-entered. –MC

2:50pm: Big double for Ramage
Level 5 – Blinds: 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

Grayson Ramage has leapt up to 440,000 after a cooler saw him double through Justin Bonomo, who dropped to under 20,000.

We picked up the action on a 9♠7♠3♥ flop where Ramage led for 25,000. Bonomo took nearly 30 seconds before announcing he was all-in. Ramaage called off his remaining 176,200.

Ramage: K♥K♠
Bonomo: Q♦Q♣

The board ran out a blank 8♥2♥. –MC

2:35pm: How much more awesome can there be in the APOY race?
Level 5 – Blinds: 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

Alan Lau has bought into today’s event and it’s the biggest buy in he’s ever put up. But, as you can see from a recent blog post by PokerStars’ Fred Leung, his entry is fully justified.

Last year, Jack Wu set two single-season records on his way to claiming the 2016 Asia Player of the Year Award – in points (9,492) and final tables (23).
Both of those records have fallen… and by a large margin.

Alan Lau won the recent PokerStars LIVE Manila Super Series 4 Main Event. That victory makes him the first player to break the 10,000-point barrier as he currently sits at an ungodly 12,562 points. Lau is the clear favourite to win the APOY award again after accomplishing the feat in 2015 – having made 19 final table appearances and taken down 8 titles, including the (then) largest Red Dragon Main Event.


Alan Lau: the player of 2017

However, Sparrow Cheung has also done the unthinkable with 30…THIRTY…final tables this season! You can only feel for the president of the Hong Kong Poker Player Association as he’s done something no one ever thought possible and yet still finds himself 2,836 points behind Lau.

Pete Chen and Jack Wu hold the No. 3 and No. 4 positions respectively. Neither has a realistic shot at catching Lau but it’s notable that three of the Top Four players are former APOY winners.


1. Alan Lau (Hong Kong) — 12,562 pts
2. Sparrow Cheung (Hong Kong) – 10,504 pts
3. Pete Chen (Taiwan) — 6,208 pts
4. Jack Wu (Taiwan) — 5,374 pts

2:20pm: Break time

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

2:10pm: Kenney pays off Hong
Level 4 – Blinds: 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

Bryn Kenney has dropped down to 55,000 after running into Nan Hong’s full house.

He bet 7,000 off the button on the turn with the board reading 5♥A♣A♠9♣ and called after Hong check-raised to 30,000 from the big blind. The 10♥ completed the board and Hong led for 45,000. Kenney sat back in his seat, stretched his neck and made the call, then mucked upon seeing Hong’s A♥9♠. –MC

1:55pm: When it Rainer, it pours chips
Level 4 – Blinds: 1,000/2,000 (ante 300)

There’s no stopping Rainer Kemper early on. He’s the clear chip leader on 390,000 after he took out his second player today in the shape of Dan Smith.

Kemper told us the hands were never shown down. Smith has already re-entered and has been sat to the left of good friend, Justin Bonomo. –MC


Early chip leader: Rainer Kemper

1:45pm: Preflop raising wars
Level 3 – Blinds: 800/1,600 (ante 200)

Daniel Dvoress smiled at his neighbour Adrian Mateos after he four-bet folded to him. He had opened to 4,000 from under the gun before the Spaniard three-bet to 13,000 from the next seat along. Dvoress came back with a reraise to 31,000 but snap folded to Matoes’ jam. That put Mateos back up to near his 150,000 starting stack. Dvoress is still in the black with 165,000.

On a nearby table, it was David Peters who was the most aggressive and it worked to win him the pot. Mustapha Kanit opened to 4,400 from the hijack before Christian Christner three-bet to 14,200 off the button. Peters was in the big blind and took his full 30 seconds before making it 38,000 to go. Both opponents folded and Kanit shot Christner a look as if to say, “What you playing at, Bro?” — MC

1:30pm: There’s fashion, then there’s Italian fashion
Level 3 – Blinds: 800/1,600 (ante 200)

If the Germans were going to be fashionably late, then the Italians are going to be super fashionably late.

Dario Sammartino and Mustapha Kanit are in for level three, repping the red, green and white flag. The total entries has grown to 44 and others to enter the fray include: Jason Koon, JC Alvarado, Stephen Chidwick and Super High Roller champion, Dietrich Fast. –MC

1:15pm: First player down
Level 2 – Blinds: 600/1,200 (ante 200)

As level 2 draws to a close, the field is one player lighter. We missed the action but Rainer Kemper is a lot richer after he took out Sheng Sun. — MC

1:05pm: Huang verus Wang
Level 2 – Blinds: 600/1,200 (ante 200)

Shan Huang was one the stars of the Super High Roller event that concluded yesterday. His fearless approach matched with a joyous personality makes him a fan favourite.

He and Yang Wang tangled over a couple of pots just now and it was honours even.

Huang won the first pot by bombing the river. The board read Q♦5♦9♥10♥A♥ and Huang bet a near pot-sized 37,600. Wang used a time bank chip but folded before his second 30 seconds allotted time reached zero.

The very next hand, Wang raised from the cutoff and Huang defended his big blind. The flop came J♦6♠4♠ and Huang check-called 5,500 before both players checked the 5♦ turn. The K♣ filled out the board and Wang’s 13,800 bet was enough to make Huang check-fold. — MC

12:50pm: Justin Bonomo: he takes from the right and gives to the left
Level 1 – Blinds: 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Justin Bonomo has been in the mix in the first level. We witnessed him in two small hands, winning the first and losing the second.

Sam Greenwood opened to 2,700 from the button and call after Bonomo three-bet to 12,000 from the small blind. The flop fell 4♦7♦J♠ and a 25,000 c-bet from Bonomo got a smiling Greenwood to fold.


Justin Bonomo

The very next hand, Bonomo raised from the button and Manig Loeser called from the big blind. He continued for 1,700 on the 5♣Q♦3♥ flop and Loeser check-called. Both players checked the K♦ turn before Loeser led for 5,000 on the 6♦ river. Bonomo called and mucked upon seeing Loeser’s 6♠3♠ for two pair. –MC

12:40pm: Watch out, watch out, the Germans are about
Level 1 – Blinds: 500/1,000 (ante 100)

They were never going to stay away for long. Fashionably late arrivals from poker’s dominant country (in terms of talent per capita) include: Rainer Kemper, Koray Aldimir, Steffen Sontheimer, Stefan Schillhabel, Manig Loeser, Dominik Nitsche and Christian Christner. A total of 32 players have now entered. –MC

12:30pm: Smith all-in!
Level 1 – Blinds: 500/1,000 (ante 100)

These high rollers don’t like to hang around, and that’s what makes these tournaments so fun to follow.

Dan Smith was all-in just now but didn’t get a call. He and Yong Wang got into a preflop raising war and when we reached the table, Wang has 32,000 out in front of him in the small blind and Smith shoved from the cutoff.

Wang faked to call but ultimately mucked his hand. — MC

12:20pm: Shuffle up and deal
Level 1 – Blinds: 500/1,000 (ante 100)

Two tables are currently open and almost full but that’ll change as more players turn up. Justin Bonomo, Daniel Dvoress, David Peters and Mike Watson are all in attendance as well.

Players start with two time bank chips and will receive two additional chips if they make the final table.

Edit: A third table has been opened as 20 players have registered. –MC

12:10pm: Players loitering

The title of this post makes it sounds like the players are up to no good, but that’s not the case. The start has been delayed as the likes of Sam and Lucas Greenwood, Isaac Haxton, Grayson Ramage, Nick Petrangelo, Matt Moss, Timothy Adams, Bryn Kenney and Dan Smith line up with bricks of cash to buy in. –MC


High Rollers

11:55am: Rise and shine and play some turbo poker

Good morning everybody and welcome back to the PokerStars LIVE! card-room at the City of Dreams Casino, Macau. Today we’ll be watching one of the most popular events on the calendar.

This is where you’ll find exclusive coverage of the Single Day High Roller event of the Asia Championship of Poker (ACOP).

There’s a lot of information in the tournament title alone. Point 1: this is a High Roller event. It costs HK$300,000 to play, inc fees, which is about US$38,500. Point 2: this gets done in one day.

That’s important because if you’ve got money burning a hole in your pocket, but not much time to play poker, this is the tournament for you. Happily, that precise description applies to most of the poker-playing businessman-turned-high-stakes-regular contingent in this part of the world. It’s going to make for a frantic and rich tournament. Who knows how large the prize pool is going to get.

There’s a single re-entry allowed up to Level 8. Players get a stack of 150,000, blinds go up every 30 minutes, and there’s a shot-clock to make sure it all ticks over at a brisk pace.

This will be great. Believe me.

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PokerStars Blog reporting team on the HK$300,000 Single-Day High Roller: Marc Convey, Alex Villegas and Nick Wright. Photography by Kenneth Lim Photography.


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