The two biggest stacks in the room were on the same table at the end. Danny Lai finished with 144,000 after he had been wrecking ball for most of the day. Lai personally accounted for at least three opponents on a charge through the middle levels, becoming the first into three figures and then staying there all the way to the end.
The next biggest stack was that of Darian Tan, who finished with 131,100. Tan won the majority of that in one huge hand, where he flopped trip queens against a flopped full house. But turn and river went runner-runner jacks to give Tan a bigger boat, on which he went sailing into day two.
At a safe distance on a neighbouring slab of felt today, there were a couple of other stories in the making. The Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang lost almost all his chips in the opening few levels and had so few during about level four that his was able to conceal them beneath one hand.
But Huang rallied terrifically from about 3,000 and even, in his own words, “spewing” on the last few hands, he finished tonight well in the hunt with 34,200.
One of Huang’s casualties was his Team PokerStars Pro colleague Raymond Wu, who endured a torrid time today. He never got anything started and was gone before sundown.
He found good company on the rail: the Aussie Millions champion Oliver Speidel crashed out, as did the blackjack maestro Andrew Scott. Right at the death, Aaron Benton also departed. The APPT Sydney winner couldn’t navigate this tough course.
Indeed, we were left at the close with only 35, who will combine with the 28 who made it through day 1A and the 41 who survived day 1B. The target is to cut those 104 down to a final table of nine tomorrow.
Anyone who survives will be in for a bumper payday. The payouts information was also released today, and can be found in full on the payouts page. The short version is that the bubble will burst when the 45th player departs tomorrow, and that the winner, determined on Monday, will take home HK $854,000. Yes please.
The full list of finishers from today is on the chip-counts page, and you may notice another few familiar names. Raiden Kan is a winner of one of these events from 2011. He finishes with 99,600, which is not at all bad either.
Join us tomorrow from noon for what promises to be an action packed day. We will burst the bubble and then play down to a final. It could take some time.
Until then, say goodnight to Richard.