APPT Macau Main Event Down To Nine, High Rollers In Action

It’s been a long week at the Grand Lisboa Hotel and Casino in Macau, and the end is now clearly in sight. The penultimate day at the APPT Macau Main Event saw the remaining field of 42 players whittled down to a final table of just nine.

Several high-profile players started the day but were unable to survive as the blinds climbed higher. Team PokerStars Asia player Daniel “rekrul” Schreiber couldn’t turn a short stack into a contender, leaving in 40th place just after play began for the day. Van Marcus, the 2008 APPT Manila champion, became the first player to cash in four APPT main events when he busted in 32nd place. And 2008 WPT Championship winner David Chiu fell one table short of making a title run, finishing in 16th place.

American Brandon Demes was the first player to crack the one million chip mark, and it looked like he might be preparing to run away with the tournament when he got involved in a pot worth 1,150,000 with Kazakhstan’s Darkhan Botabayev. Demes’ T T was ahead through the turn, but Botabayev’s A Q won the pot when the A hit the river. Botabayev used that momentum to finish the day third in chips, while Demes recovered enough to hold on and also make the final table.

One of the more interesting stories of the day was that of local player Daoxing Chen, who started the day short of the top 10. Chen found himself the shortest stack in the tournament when just 16 players remained, but after that point he found himself being smacked in the face by the deck. He won coin flips and cracked aces with equal ease, vaulting himself into the top spot. However, Chen also milked every second possible making all of his decisions throughout the day, slowing down the pace of play and driving the blinds up in the process. As a result, the tournament director gave him a permanent one minute time limit for deciding on all his actions shortly before the end of the night.

Chen holds the chip advantage over the rest of the table going into tomorrow’s final table, but as he well knows, a tournament can change on the turn of a single card.

APPT Macau Main Event Final Table Chip Counts

Daoxing Chen (China) 1,747,000
Mike Kim (South Korea)
Darkhan Botabayev (Kazakhstan)
Jicheng Su (China)
Dbinder Singh (Canada)
Brandon Demes (United States)
Dermot Blain (Ireland)
Pontus Kers (Sweden)
Stefan Hjorthall (Sweden)

While the main event played down to the final table, the High Rollers event was getting started on the other end of the Grand Lisboa poker room. A total of 64 players put up the HKD $88,800 entry fee, creating a prize pool of HKD $5,440,000 (USD $701,817) and a first prize of HKD $2,067,200 (USD $266,690).

The high-profile field saw the eliminations of the likes of Vivek Rajkumar, Theo Tran, J.C. Tran, and Team PokerStars Pro members Joe Hachem, Lee Nelson, and Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier. Also on the outs in the early going was David Steicke, who had his bid for a third consecutive APPT Macau High Roller final table dashed when he lost to Masa Kagawa‘s flopped set of tens and became the first elimination of the tournament.

Vladimir Geshkebein of Switzerland walked away the chip leader, but given the strength of the field he’s going to have a fight on his hands for the title. Among those with whom he’ll have to contend on Day 2 are 2008 APT Macau and 2009 WPT Championship winner Yevgeniy Timoshenko, 2007 APPT Grand Final champion Grant Levy, two-time WSOP Main Event winner Johnny Chan, and accomplished tournament pros Joanne “J.J.” Liu and Terrence Chan.

APPT Macau High Rollers Event Day 1 Top 10 Chip Counts

1. Vladimir Geshkenbein 478,000
2. Jonathan Karamalikis 448,500
3. JJ Liu 406,000
4. Yevgeniy Timoshenko 356,000
5. Gap Young Kim 339,000
6. Daniel Chan 318,000
7. Inwook Choi 307,500
8. Choon Siang Tan 291,000
9. Gia Dang Trinh 250,000
10. Grant Levy 236,000

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