The first of two starting days for the HK $25,000 Main Event of APPT8 in Macau attracted a field of 212 players yesterday. Organizers were hoping for some 200 players to turn up for play, as that would put them on pace for an overall field of 500 and those expectations were met. Reaching this number has special significance because it would make it the biggest field size for this tournament since 2011 when 575 players grabbed a seat.
Macau has certainly managed to establish its place as one of the world’s premier poker and gambling centers over the last couple years and the APPT stop there is just another indicator of this trend. More than two hundred players started to play with a single goal in mind – make it through to Day 2.
In the end, only 87 were able to reach that goal. The rest hit the rail, some earlier than the others, but in the end it didn’t really matter: you are either among the survivors or you are not. The player who made it through with the most life was Bo ‘Box’ Xie. Xie finished the day as the chip leader with 166,000 in his bag. Keeping him company at the top of the leaderboard are Alvan Zhang with 151,400 and Jaswinder Suri with 149,500.
Two more notable names, Bryan Huang and Vivian Im, both PokerStars Team Pro players, were in the field, but Im failed short of making it through after running her pocket Kings into the pocket Aces of the end-of-day chip leader, Xie. Huang survived, with a stack of about 31,000. You may not be familiar with these two, but you will certainly recognize the name Johnny “The Master” Chan, who was also among those battling for their seat on Friday. Saddly, Johnny didn’t make it, as he registered late into the day and quickly got his chips into the middle with the nut flush draw but failed to improve.
A few of those who will be returning for Day 2 include Billy ‘The Croc’ Argyros, Victor Teng, and 2010 APPT Macau champion Victorino Torres.
Players are playing Day 1B today and tournament directors are keeping their fingers crossed to make it over that magical 500 number. Those who survive today will merge with yesterday’s survivors to resume their journey toward the final table. After today, we will also have the amount of the final prize pool and information as to how many players will finish in the money, so the excitement is only just beginning.
We will make sure to keep you informed on all this and more as things develop until it all merges down to the final table scheduled to be played on Sunday!