APPT10 Manila: The Guide

APPT10 Manila: The Guide

PokerStars LIVE Manila is ready and set for the highly anticipated APPT Manila Season 10 poker festival which takes place at the luxurious City of Dreams Manila from July 28 to August 8!

Last year, the tour’s annual Philippines leg took a giant step in cementing its place as a must-play event on the Asia poker circuit. The poker festival went from 558 total entrants in 2014 to a massive 2,769! In fact, the ₱50,000 Main Event alone surpassed the 2014 figures with 585 runners.

Aaron Lim and Team PS Pro Yaxi Zhu_27july16.jpgAaron Lim and Yaxi Zhu

With big fields comes big money and last year’s prize pools totalled more than ₱52 million (USD $1.1 million). This time promises to be even bigger and better!

WARMING UP (July 28-31)

If you’re fortunate enough to make the opening weekend of the 12-day schedule then you don’t want to miss out on the Warm-up event which comes with a ₱3 million prize pool guarantee.

Last year, Singapore’s Alex Lee took down the opener for a payday of over ₱1 million. The ₱10,000 buy-in tournament drew 570 entrants for a prize pool of nearly ₱5 million!

HIGH ROLLER (August 3-4)

Norwegian poker pro Henrik Tollefsen won last season’s ₱200,000 High Roller after defeating a 33-player field. However, the 2-day event has now moved to the eve of the Main Event to position itself to grow substantially from its ₱6 million prize pool.

“The change has received a lot of positive feedback so we’re expecting the High Roller to see one of the biggest increases amongst all the events in the poker festival,” said poker room manager Gerardo ‘Hill’ Alim.

MAIN EVENT (August 4-8)

₱50,000 buy-in. 585 players. 41 different countries. ₱25,535,250 prize pool.

That’s the stat line for last year’s APPT Manila Main Event making it the Philippines’ biggest international poker tournament in history. There’s simply no event at USD $1,000+ buy-in in the country that remotely comes close to producing those kind of numbers.

With another year under its belt, PokerStars LIVE Manila is primed for yet another huge turnout and Season 10 may very well shatter those already-impressive figures.

The man to watch will surely be Aussie poker pro Aaron Lim who won the Main Event last year – becoming the first, and only, two-time APPT winner. Lim has confirmed his attendance for APPT Manila and he’s in good form after recently winning the APPT Seoul High Roller event.

Live and online satellites to the Main Event are now running.

Full the complete APPT Manila schedule please visit the APPT website.

Tournament Structures are available here.

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APPT10 Seoul: Pass the trophy to Albert Paik

APPT10 Seoul: Pass the trophy to Albert Paik

Congratulations to Albert Paik!

Champion of the APPT10 Seoul Main Event. For his impressive victory this week Paik collects ₩119,097,600 (~$101,000) (including a HK$100,000 ACOP Main Event seat), the coveted APPT trophy and he etches his name in Asia poker history.

APPTSeoul2016 albert paik champion.jpg

Paik overcame a tough field of 157 here in Seoul, but before he was named champion he had to overcome Shenghua Qian in a tense heads up battle. Starting that match as a 2:1 chip underdog, he fought his way back to emerge victorious.

In the end it all came down to a huge flip when Paik and Qian were almost dead even in chips. Paik opened to 60,000 on the button before Qian played back at him for 130,000. Then came the four-bet jam from Paik for 1,571,000, and after some deliberation, Qian called it off with almost an identical stack.

Paik: [8s][8c]
Qian: [ac][qs]

The flop landed [7s][5s][6d] and Paik jumped with excitement – not only fading an ace or queen but also picking up a straight draw. The [7c] turn and [6h] river were also safe and as Paik had Qian covered, the APPT Seoul Main Event was done and dusted.

APPTSeoul2016 heads up.jpg

Before that heads up match we started proceedings with seven players in contention.

It took less than 10 minutes for the first of those to be eliminated. Canada’s Windsor Nguyen started the day with only eight big blinds and couldn’t run it up. He met his demise after running [3h][3d] into the [qc][qd] of Shenghua Qian. The board ran out [5c][4c][ks][kd][7h] with Nguyen failing to improve and finishing in 7th place.

windsor_nguyen_apptseoulfinal.jpg

Satsuki Ochiai was next to go, also hitting the rail in the first level of the day. It was a flip against Michael Egan that ended his tournament run. Ochiai held [as][kc] but wouldn’t find the help he needed against [tc][td] when the community cards landed [2h][9d][2s][2c][7s]. Ochiai was out in 6th place for ₩23,455,000.

Australia’s Michael Egan left us in 5th place. He had been nursing a short stack and ultimately ran [th][td] into Shenghua Qian’s [ks][kc]. Egan couldn’t catch a lucky break and was sent packing when the [7h][6s][qh][ad][9s] board came down. He collected ₩28,554,000 for his impressive showing this week.

APPTSeoul2016 Michael Egan elimination.jpg

Next to go was Ken Hirosawa. He moved all in from the small blind holding [qd][8s] but found himself dominated when Shengua Qian called from the big blind with [ks][qs]. The cards fell [7s][2s][td][as][kc] with Qian turning the nuts and sealing Hirosawa’s fate.

Tetsuro Tomita took home the third place prize. He pushed the last of his chips in from the small blind with [qc][8h] and Paik decided on a call holding [ad][5c]. Tomita had live cards but he bricked on the [4s][5h][td][3c][jc] run out to be sent home one shy of the heads up match.

APPT Seoul Main Event Final Table Payouts
1st: Albert Paik (USA) – ₩119,097,600 (~$101,000)
2nd: Shenghua Qian (China) – ₩69,346,000 (~$58,000)
3rd: Tetsuro Tomita (Japan) – ₩44,871,000 (~$38,000)
4th: Ken Hirosawa (Japan) – ₩34,673,000 (~$29,400)
5th: Michael Egan (Australia) – ₩28,554,000 (~$24,200)
6th: Satsuki Ochiai (Japan) – ₩23,455,000 (~$19,900)
7th: Windsor Nguyen (Canada) – ₩19,736,000 (~$17,600)

Well played to Albert Paik and thanks to the Paradise Walkerhill Casino for hosting another spectacular tournament. The next stop on the APPT is Manila from July 28 – August 8. We hope you can join us again then!

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APPT10 Seoul: Final table live updates

APPT10 Seoul: Final table live updates

12:40pm: Misclick works out for Paik
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

It folded to chip leader Albert Paik on the button and he seemingly attempted to raise to 20,000, but accidentally put 12,000 into the middle. The action was considered a limp and with Ken Hirosawa folding the small blind, Michael Egan checked the big blind to a flop of [9s][kh][kc].

It was checked to Paik who bet 12,000 and after a call from the Egan the dealer turned the [2h]. That card prompted checks from both players and the [6d] arrived on the end.

Egan had a stab at it with a lead for 27,000 but he wouldn’t get it through as Paik picked it off with [5s][5c]. Egan showed [jh][ts] for jack high and the pot was pushed Paik’s way. — BK

12:30pm: Windsor Nguyen out in 7th (₩19,376,000)
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

Well, he came in as oiut short stack with just ten big blinds, and it didn’t take long for Canada’s Windsor Nguyen to get busy. He moved all-in under the gun and it folded to chip leader Albert Paik. He tossed in a single chip to make the call, and then the action folded to small blind Shenghua Qian. He looked interested and thought for several minutes before putting in a 170,000 isolation raise. It worked; Paik folded and the cards were flipped:

Nguyen: [3h][3d]
Qian: [qd][qc]

Nguyen was dominated and would need to hit but couldn’t find any help on the [5c][4c][ks][kd][7h] board. As Nguyen was making his exit, Paik revealed that he folded pocket Jacks.

Qian now has 860,000. –JS

windsor_nguyen_apptseoulfinal.jpg

Windsor Nguyen

12:20pm: Let’s go!
Level 19 – Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 ante)

After waiting for Windsor Nguyen – our short stack – to arrive, play has now officially kicked off. –JS

apptseoulfinal7.jpg

11:45pm: It’s final table time!

The final table is set to start.

Seven players return at 12pm today to see who will lift the APPT Seoul trophy and collect ₩119,097,600.

Albert Paik currently leads the way with 952,000, ahead of Shenghua Qian on 771,000. Blinds recommence on Level 19 at 5,000/10,000 with a 1,000 ante.

Play begins shortly so don’t go anywhere. In the meantime you can find the final table draw below. — BK

Seat Last Name First Name Country PokerStars Status Chip Count
1 Hirosawa Ken Japan            185,000 
2 Egan Michael Australia PokerStars Player          354,000 
3 Qian Shenghua China            771,000 
4 Tomita Tetsuro Japan            542,000 
5 Nguyen Windsor Canada              82,000 
6 Ochiai Satsuki Japan            234,000 
7 Paik Albert USA            952,000 

APPTSeoul2016 final 7.jpg

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

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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APPT10 Seoul: Day 3 live updates

APPT10 Seoul: Day 3 live updates

12:30pm: Tsuji gone in 22nd
Level 15 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

The first player to be eliminated today is Yasuyuki Tsuji. He made a bold and aggressive play, but it didn’t pay off in the end.

Tsuji opened to 10,000 only for Norihiro Otani to raise it up to 28,000. When the action folded back to Tsuji he paused for a moment before announcing he was all-in for 85,000 total.

Otani went deep into the tank and remained for around five minutes. Eventually the clock was called – the bubble is approaching after all and there are other short stacks in play – and Otani had one more minute of thinking.

“Call,” he said.

Otani: [th][ts]
Tsuji: [ah][9d]

Tsuji needed to see an Ace but instead what he saw on the [3c][td][qc] flop was his opponent make a set. That improved to quads on the [tc] turn, and the [8h] completed the board.

Tsuji is out in 22nd, while Otani moves up to 220,000. –JS

tsuji_apptseoul_day3.jpg

No cash for Tsuji

12:20pm: Paik gets stronger courtesy of O’Rourke
Level 15 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

At the end of Day 1A, our chip leader was Albert Paik. He had a great Day 2 yesterday too, ultimately finishing second in chips.

He’s started the day as he means to go on by adding even more to his arsenal. Liam O’Rourke opened to 8,500 before Paik three-bet to 20,000. With the action folded back to the Australian, O’Rourke then four-bet to 38,500, and Paik made the call.

The dealer spread a [th][kc][td] flop and O’Rourke decided not to continue with his aggression. He checked, allowing Paik to take control with a 40,000 bet. That was enough to take it down.

Paik is now playing around 340,000, while O’Rourke has dropped to 150,000. –JS

12:10pm: Great start for Egan
Level 15 – Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Australia’s Michael Egan has managed to find a double-up in one of the very first hands of the day. While we didn’t see the action that led up to it, in the end Egan’s [jh][th] had made a straight on the [5d][ks][ac][9c][qs] board, and he’s now playing a much healthier stack of 205,000. –JS

12:05pm: Shuffle up and deal!
Level 15: Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Cards are now in the air here on Day 3. With 18 places paying and 22 remaining we could be in for a slow start. We’ve also been informed that we’ll be playing down to a final seven today.

Let’s see who can survive the bubble and make it all the way to the final table. — BK

11:45pm: The penultimate day is almost underway!

Only 22 remain in the hunt for ₩119,097,600 (~$101,600) in cash and prizes, the prestigious APPT trophy, and the chance to have themselves etched into Korean poker history.

Potentially another short day as we believe the plan is to play down to a nine-handed final table, before those lucky few return tomorrow to battle down to a champion.

Poland’s Daniel Demicki leads the way at the start of proceedings. He finished 3rd in this event last year and has found himself in a good position to make another deep run. Demicki starts the day with 292,000, only just ahead of Day 1a chip leader Albert Paik with 287,000.

You can find full chip counts here and the Day 3 table draw here.

The players are now making their way onto the tournament floor with action set to begin shortly. Be sure to keep your browser locked to the PokerStars Blog for all the live updates from right here in Seoul. — BK

APPTSeoul2016 payouts.jpg

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

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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APPT10 Seoul: Day 2 live updates

APPT10 Seoul: Day 2 live updates

12:40pm: Zheng doubles through Ishihara
Level 9 – Blinds 600/1,200 (100 ante)

We just reported how Alvin Zheng has had a rough start here today, losing more than half his stack in the early stages, but it looks like he’s turning it around after finding a double up.

The hand began with Team PokerStars Pro Chen An Lin raising to 2,800 from late position before Zheng moved all in for his last 16,900. It folded to Masanori Ishihara in the big blind and he came over the top with an all-in of his own. Lin quickly folded and the cards went on their backs.

Zheng: [kd][kd]
Ishihara: [jh][jc]

Zheng was in front and had a stranglehold on the hand by the time the [ks][4c][7h] flop arrived. Needing to fade only running jacks he had locked up the pot by the [7c] turn before the inconsequential [9d] river rolled off.

Zheng secured the double while Ishihara dropped to a still very healthy 122,000. — BK

12:25pm: Simply disgusting
Level 9 – Blinds 600/1,200 (100 ante)

If you’re eating right now I suggest you wait until you’ve finished before reading this hand. It’s pretty darn sick.

There was a [6d][td][7c] flop showing and Yen Chang Huang led at it for 9,000. He started today with 29,900 and had already lost a few, so this was a significant part of his chips. His only opponent, Yifan Zheng, then moved all-in over the top. He had Huang covered.

Huang tanked but eventually made an emphatic call, slamming his stack in the middle. Unfortunately for him, though, it was the wrong decision. Zheng turned over the [qh][qd] and the overpair was way ahead of Huang’s top pair with the [ad][th].

The dealer then burned and turned the [qd], and that sealed Huang’s fate.

Or did it? Out of nowhere the [8d] hit the river and Huang had hit a runner-runner flush. There were gasps all around, and plenty of declarations of “so sick”. Indeed it was.

Zheng has now dropped to 13,000, while lucky old Huang has shot up to 50,000. –JS

12:15pm: Goh’ing home
Level 9 – Blinds 600/1,200 (100 ante)

New Zealand’s Gabriel Goh was just sent packing after a bad beat from China’s Tong Zhou.

Goh kicked things off with a raise to 2,600 before Zhou moved all in from the small blind. The jam was met by a quick call from Goh and he saw he was in a good spot to win the pot.

Goh: [qs][qd]
Zhou: [ad][9d]

Goh managed to fade danger through to the turn on the [js][3h][6h][kh] runout but the [ah] river signaled the end of his tournament.

“Yes!” cried Zhou as the ace arrived on the end.

The pair had similar stacks and Goh wasn’t sure if he had been eliminated. Zhou started the day with only 14,200 but it appears he had spun it up in the first few hands as the dealer cut down 57,000.

“57?” Goh confirmed with the dealer, “he has me covered then.”

Goh was up front his seat and headed for the exit as Zhou raked close to 100,000. — BK

12pm: Let’s get this show on the road!
Level 9 – Blinds 600/1,200 (100 ante)

Cards are in the air here on Day 2 as we begin to play to the bubble, which bursts at 18 players. –JS

11:45am: Welcome to Day 2

Good morning all! We’re back at the Paradise Walkerhill Casino, and in 15 minutes we’ll be joined by the 61 remaining players in this APPT10 Seoul main event.

It’s Day 2, which sees our Day 1A and 1B survivors merge for the first time. Our champion will be in the room today, but who will it be? Could Team PokerStars Pros Celina Lin and Bryan Huang make the final table together again like they did last year? Will our other Team Pro Chen An Lin make his first Seoul final table? Can the Aussie contingent (made up of talented pros including Michael Egan and Lim O’Rourke) make deep runs? You’ll have to wait and see.

The man leading the field right now is Chan Tsuh Ming. He’s bringing a huge stack of 169,800 into play today, after a late surge last night saw him shoot up the leaderboards. Here are the biggest stacks in the room today:

Last Name First Name Table Seat Country Chip Count PokerStars Status
1 Chan Tsun Ming 6 8 Hong Kong 169,800  
2 Paik Albert 7 6 USA 116,800  
3 Ishihara Masanori 4 2 Japan 114,000  
4 Nguyen Windsor 3 4 Canada 111,100  
5 Qian Shenghua 2 3 China 100,300  
6 Kim Andrew 3 6 USA 99,000  
7 Demicki Daniel 2 8 Poland 93,000 PokerStars Qualifier
8 O’rourke Liam 1 8 Australia 87,800 PokerStars Qualifier
9 Tsuji Yasuyuki 2 9 Japan 84,900  

Play starts shortly at 12pm local time. The bubble is sure to burst today with 18 players getting paid. You can check out the whole prize pool and payouts here, but know that all players are aiming for the first place prize of ₩119,097,600 ($101,399 US).

seoulappt.jpg

In terms of how long we’ll play for today, as of right now we really don’t know! Stay with us all day to follow the action. –JS


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

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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APPT10 Seoul: Day 1B live updates

APPT10 Seoul: Day 1B live updates

12:50pm: Another Team Pro for your list
Level 1: Blinds 50/100

Joining Japan’s Kosei Ichinose as members of Team PokerStars Pro present here on Day 1B of APPT10 Seoul is none other than Celina Lin.

The two-time Macau Red Dragon main event winner may have just arrived for this APPT main event, but she’s already been in the action throughout the festival, playing in a warm-up event earlier this week.

A lot of players already at #APPTSeoul , 88 entrants for the warm up event. Plenty of action here! 35 players left pic.twitter.com/uldfyb7C5a

— Celina Lin (@Celina_Lin) June 21, 2016

With more than $600,000 in live earnings, the Twitch superstar is poised for a good run here today. Here’s hoping! –JS

Thumbnail image for 2016 APPT Macau Day 1b Celina Lin.jpg

Celina Lin at APPT10 Macau in May

12:40pm: Team Pro arrives to rep the red spade
Level 1: Blinds 50/100

Japan’s Kosei Ichinose is now sitting with a 20,000 starting stack as he’s become the first player to adorn the PokerStars red spade here today (he won’t be the only one though – stay tuned for more on that).

Ichinose became a PokerStars Team Pro at the beginning of last year; already a legend in the online world, he was the first Japanese player to reach Supernova Elite status. “I’m proud to be associated with PokerStars as I have achieved so much in the game by playing on the site,” he told us at the time.

Good luck Kosei! –JS

kosei_ichinose_appt10_macau_day1a.jpg

Ichinose in Macau last month

12:30pm: Tens full for Takashi
Level 1: Blinds are 50/100

Hiranuma Takashi just took a large chunk out of Michael Egan’s stack. We arrived at the table to catch what looked like a three-bet to 900 from Egan, and then a subsequent four-bet to 1,900 from Takashi.

Egan called and the flop brought [8s][3c][tc]. Takashi continued for 2,500 and Egan called again before the [3d] turn paired the board.

Then Egan took the betting lead after he was checked to, firing for 3,700. Takashi paused momentarily before making the call and the [qd] river completed the board.

Both players checked it on the end and Takashi revealed [ts][td] for flopped top set which had improved to a full house on the turn. Egan nodded and mucked his hand as he was knocked down to 11,200. Takashi now one of the chip leaders with around 29,000 at his disposal. — BK

12:10pm: Egan’s eager
Level 1: Blinds 50/100

One of the more recognisable faces in the crowd at the beginning of play today is that of Australia’s Michael Egan. An all-round beast at the felt, Egan burst on to the live scene last year with a fifth place finish in the EPT12 Barcelona €50K super high roller, good for €358,900.

He followed that up with a final table at the Aussie Millions in January, ultimately finishing seventh in the $25,000 high roller for $76,094.

We look forward to seeing how he gets on here in Seoul. –JS

12:00pm: Shuffle up and deal!

Players are in their seats and cards are in the air as Day 1B kicks off. Blinds begin at 50/100 with a starting bank of 20,000.

More notable names are expected to make an appearance today. We’re about to scout the field and see who we can spot.

11:45pm: Welcome to Day 1B!

Players have begun wandering in to the poker room here at Paradise Walkerhill Casino as Day 1B is almost underway.

Yesterday saw 61 players in the Main Event race and we’re expecting to eclipse that number today as a new batch of players pony up the ₩3,000,000 (~$2,600) and chase the Seoul poker crown. They’ll be looking to best the Day 1A end-of-day chip leader Albert Paik who bagged up 116,800.

The plan today is eight one-hour levels so including breaks play will conclude around 8:30pm local time. For now though, it’s just about time to begin. Stay with us! — BK

APPT Seoul111.jpg

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 will be eight of them
– Day 2 is Saturday when the field will combine for the first time. 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.

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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APPT10 Seoul: Day 1A live updates

APPT10 Seoul: Day 1A live updates

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 [kh][kd] and was up against the [ac][td] of Yamashita Takeshi.

The kings looked good until the [5c][4h][ah] flop left Takeshi’s opponent chasing two outs. Neither of those would come as the [8d] turn and [tc] 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 [6s][9h][4c][4s] 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 [9s] 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 [as][td] for just Ace-high. Thing is, Li had Ace-high too with the [ac][jc]. 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

chen an lin appt 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 [9s][9d][ad] flop fall. The raiser continued for 425, and O’Rourke went nowhere.

Next up was the [tc] turn, and the betting didn’t stop. It was 875 this time around and once again that bet was called. Finally the [5h] landed on the river and both players decided they’d had enough. After each checked, the original raiser showed the [2d][2s], while O’Rourke took it down with his [ah][8h].

O’Rourke, from Oakley, Victoria, had his biggest live cash in the HK$100K high roller at APPT7 Macau, finishing fourth for HK$339,000 (roughly $43,675 US). –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.


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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_appt_seoul.jpg

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

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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APPT9 Seoul: It’s showtime

APPT9 Seoul: It’s showtime

Welcome to Seoul! One of the Asia Pacific Poker Tour’s most breathtaking stops. Not only is there another exciting week of poker in store here but players get the chance to enjoy the rich cultural experience that the city has to offer when they’re away…

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APPT10 Macau: Day 1a live updates

APPT10 Macau: Day 1a live updates

Move over for the Main Event!

Welcome back to PokerStars LIVE Macau for our coverage of the Asia Pacific Poker Tour 10’s Macau HK$25,000 Main Event. 

It has already been an exciting week of poker here and now players will set their sights on the festival’s flagship event. You can read more about what’s in store right here.

Play will begin at 2:00pm local time and with hundreds expected to pull up seats across the two opening flights you can be sure there will be a healthy prize pool on offer. The eventual champion will be crowned come Sunday so stay with us over the next five days for all the action from the felt! 

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All photos by Kenneth Lim Photography courtesy of PokerStars LIVE Macau

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MPC24 Day 2 live updates

MPC24 Day 2 live updates

3:05pm: Shuffle up and deal!

Cards are in the air here for Day 2 of the MPC24 Red Dragon.

Blinds commence at 1,200/2,400 with a 400 ante and the average stack currently at 62,258.

The returning 259 will be hoping to have another great day at the f…

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MPC24: China’s Huitong Cao claims top spot on Day 1c

MPC24: China’s Huitong Cao claims top spot on Day 1c

For poker fans; today had everything.

We witnessed records broken and an indescribable atmosphere as players flooded the poker room here for the third and final opening flight of the Red Dragon.

By the close of late registration it was 512 who joined the hunt today. That brought our total up to 1,075 for a record-breaking Red Dragon field. Not only was today the biggest Day 1 flight and confirmed we were among the biggest iteration of this tournament ever, but it also became the largest-ever freezeout tournament in the whole of the Asia-Pacific.

Of those 512 who did take part today, only 127 would survive the 12 levels of play. Ahead of the pack when all was said and done stood Huitong Cao. He finished with 232,600 ahead of Wayne Zhang with 167,600 and Jun Yang Ong on 165,900.

MPC24 Day 1c chip leader Huitong Cao.jpg

Ahead of the pack on Day 1c – Huitong Cao

Cao has only one previous live cash to his name from a second place finish in a turbo event back in 2014. With that score awarding him only $4,479 Cao is well on his way to the biggest result of his poker career.

Returning tomorrow to join Cao on Day 2 from today’s flight will be four previous Red Dragon champions. Yuefeng Pan (95,700), Zhenru Xie (73,400), Raymond Wu (73,000) and Tom Alner (49,000) all finished with chips.

MPC23 Red Dragon Day 1c Top Ten Chip Counts
Huitong Cao (China) – 232,600
Wayne Zhang (China) – 167,600
Jun Yang Ong (Singapore) – 165,900
James Chen (Taiwan) – 150,500
Raul Gallego (Spain) – 138,400
Leo Cheng (Canada) – 135,100
Satrya Wijiya Teja (Indonesia) – 126,500
Yongjun Liang (China) – 121,200
Marc Rivera (Philippines) – 115,900
Vladimir Dobrolskii (Russia) – 114,800

Click here for full end of day chip counts
Click here for Day 2 seating draw/i>

While these lucky players survived the night, for others, it was a different story. Our two representatives for the PokerStars contingent couldn’t hold on. Bryan Huang was eliminated earlier after a three-way all in didn’t end in his favour. Also hitting the rail was Yaxi Zhu who lasted until late in the day but just came up short in the end.

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Team PokerStars Pro Yaxi Zhu

We also lost a horde of notable names today with Jason Lo, Aaron Lim, Raiden Kan, Jack Salter and MC HotDog all falling by the wayside.

For the 127 who made the cut, they’ll join the qualifiers from the first two flights back here tomorrow. Play will kick off earlier with a 3:00pm start to give players a chance to attend the MPC24 Welcome Party in the evening.

As always we’ll be covering all the action from here at PokerStars LIVE Macau. We hope you can join us for another exciting day of poker action!

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MPC24: Day 1c live updates

MPC24: Day 1c live updates

MPC24 Red Dragon Day 1c ready to go

It’s almost time for the Red Dragon’s third and final opening flight!

Today is expected to be easily the biggest yet and with 563 combined entrants from Days 1a and 1b we’ll be hoping the field can reach the 1000-p…

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9,820 | Grinders collecting those air miles

9,820 | Grinders collecting those air miles

Life on the road can be tough for those on the live tournament poker circuit. Consider this: some players left the Bahamas after the completion of the 2016 PCA and have made their way to the next big festival on the poker calendar, the 2016 APPT Aussie Millions down under in Melbourne. At last check, a $3,500 USD flight (give or take a few hundred) will get you there in about 30 hours … the…

The post 9,820 | Grinders collecting those air miles appeared first on pokerstats.

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Asia Pacific Poker Tour schedule released or 2016 Macau Millions and MPC24

Asia Pacific Poker Tour schedule released or 2016 Macau Millions and MPC24

The Asia Pacific Poker Tour released the schedules for the 2016 Macau Millions and Macau Poker Cup (MPC) 24 today, both of which take place at the ‘PokerStars LIVE Macau’ poker room. Macau has long been a destination for action filled high stakes poker and the APPT announcement ensures that tradition will continue, with guaranteed prize pool, new events, and the welcome return of popular favourites.

“The APPT is entering a very significant tenth season,” said APPT President Danny McDonagh. “To celebrate this milestone we are excited to offer the biggest guaranteed prize pools in history for the Macau Millions and Macau Poker Cup.”

2016 Macau Millions

After a one-year hiatus, the Pokerstars.net-sponsored Macau Millions returns from January 8-18, 2016. The HK$3,000 Main Event will feature a HK$3,000,000 guaranteed prize pool and is expected to be bigger than last year’s record field of 1,804 entrants.

“The Main Event will run across six Day 1 flights condensed into three days,” said Fred Leung, Senior Marketing & Business Development Manager for PokerStars Live Events, Asia. “A similar format to previous Macau Millions events will be applied, but each Day 1 will have two different tournament structures – a regular and a turbo variation. It’s an exciting new take for this poker series, which has the potential to break its own record come January.”

Red_Dragon_trophy_29dec15.jpgUp for grabs: the Red Dragon trophy

Also making its debut is the HK$9,000 China Poker Championship. This event is closed to citizens of the People’s Republic of China and is the first time PokerStars LIVE Macau will be hosting a country specific tournament.

Macau Poker Cup 24

The 24th instalment of the Macau Poker Cup (MPC) commences after Chinese New Year, running from February 19 to March 6, 2016. The popular regional series will host 18 Official Asia Player of the Year events including the legendary HK$12,000 Red Dragon Main Event, featuring a massive HK$8 million guarantee.

Many MPC tournament favourites return, including the opening weekend’s HK$2,000 Deepstack NLH and HK$6,000 Baby Dragon, which have HK$200,000 and HK$1 million prize pool guarantees respectively, as well as the HK$5,000 Megastack (HK$500,000 GTD), HK$20,000 NLH (HK$1 million GTD), and HK$80,000 High Roller.

New additions to the MPC24 schedule include the HK$25,000 NLH and HK$15,000 PLO, which take place on the second weekend of the poker festival. The MPC series holds a record in Macau for most unique players with 995 and organizers expect to surpass that figure at the next Red Dragon event.

For the complete schedules of both events, please visit: www.PokerStarsLIVEMacau.com.

*All PokerStars LIVE Macau events are subject to regulatory approval


Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.

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Book your seat to the Aussie Millions the easy way

Book your seat to the Aussie Millions the easy way

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The PokerStars Caribbean Adventure will soon be upon us. It’s a great way to start the year, but like all things it comes to an end. Suddenly you’re left feeling empty, alone, and facing the inevitable return to winter.

That’s where the Aussie Millions comes in, starting on January 24.

It’s what helps make January a great month for PokerStars. From the Bahamas to Melbourne you simply cannot go wrong.

What’s more our Aussie Millions Mega Qualifiers are right around the corner. They’ll be ten guaranteed packages in each up for grabs.
The first takes place Sunday January 3, 2016 at 14:00 ET. The second a week later on Sunday January 10, at the earlier time of 04:30 ET. Each has a buy-in of $700 with re-entries.


Ready to sign up for PokerStars? Click here to get an account.


Of course you don’t have to pay the full $700, not if you win your way into the Mega Qualifier in one of our daily $5.50 satellites with start times designed to suit all players regardless of geography. Not only are they a great way to win an Aussie Millions package, but with $100 added to the prize pool of every satellite there’s more than $20,000 in added value.

These satellites are running now and could win you a trip down under.

Each package is worth more than $9,000 and comes with Aussie Millions Main Event entry plus five nights’ accommodation at the Crown Promenade Hotel between January 25 to 30 (so don’t enter if you can’t travel). Not to mention the fact that Melbourne is a fabulous place to play poker, where you’ll rub shoulders with the likes of Team Pros Adi Agarwal, Bryan Huang, Celina Lin, Kosei Ichinose, Randy “nanonoko” Lew, and Yaxi Zhu.

The Main Event starts on January 24 and runs through to February 1, with all the details of the mega satellites available here.

To find Aussie Millions Mega Satellites, and all related tournaments, open the PokerStars lobby and click ‘Events’ > ‘APPT’. If you’re using PokerStars 7, head to the ‘Live Events’ tab.

We told you January is a great month on PokerStars.


Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.

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Aussie, Aussie, Aussie…Millions! Sats now available

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie…Millions! Sats now available

Think of January in the northern hemisphere. Think of ice-crusted curbs, dirty oil-slicked slush on the roads, and suns that seems to set within minutes of rising. It…well, unless that’s your thing, it gets pretty depressing pretty fast.

But you have a plan. You will go to the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, sun yourself like a northern chameleon, and use those rays to get you all the way to spring. It’s a good start, but let me tell you friends, it’s just not enough. You need to look ahead to what’s next.

Here’s the answer: You go directly to Australia for the Aussie Millions!

You can start making your plans today. To find out how, keep reading below.


Ready to sign up for PokerStars? Click here to get an account.


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PokerStars has just launched its satellites for the 2016 Aussie Millions. Starting at this very moment, you can win your full package to the Aussie Millions for as little as $5.50. PokerStars will be running daily value-added satellites for all the upcoming Mega Qualifiers.

Even if you don’t have any money in your PokerStars account, you still have a chance to go. There are daily freerolls leading to one big qualifier on November 30.

To find all the Aussie Millions satellites, head over to the PokerStars lobby and click Live Events > AUS / NZ.

For all the information you need, visit the PokerStars Aussie Million web page.


Ready to sign up for PokerStars? Click here to get an account.


is the PokerStars Head of Blogging.

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APPT announces Season 10 schedule

APPT announces Season 10 schedule

The Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) today announced its schedule for a momentous tenth season. Throughout 2016, the APPT will make multiple visits to each of the leading four poker cities of the Asia-Pacific region: Macau, Melbourne, Seoul and Manila. This will encompass all the major PokerStars festivals in the Asia-Pacific region for the first time, including the Asia Championship of Poker, Aussie Millions, Macau Millions, Macau Poker Cup, and the Manila Megastack.

APPT President Danny McDonagh said, “We’re thrilled to be entering our tenth season. The APPT has played a key role in growing poker in the region since it launched in 2007, with more than USD$61 million being awarded in APPT Main Event prizes during that time.”

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Season 10 kicks off on January 8, 2016 with the 2016 Macau Millions held at the ‘PokerStars LIVE Macau’ poker room. For this upcoming season the Macau Millions will feature a HKD$3,000 Main Event which comes with a huge HKD$3,000,000 prize pool guarantee.

The tour then heads to Melbourne, Australia for Asia-Pacific’s most prestigious poker series, the 2016 Aussie Millions Poker Championship, hosted by Crown Melbourne, one of the world’s leading integrated entertainment resorts. The Aussie Millions has a reputation that ranks it alongside the most popular poker series and festivals in the world since its inception in 1998.

The Aussie Millions poker festival reaches its pinnacle with the Asia-Pacific’s longest-running poker tournament, the coveted $10,600 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Aussie Millions ‘Main Event’ championship, part of the Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT), which is slated to run over eight consecutive days from Sunday, January 24 – Sunday, January 31, 2016.

“In our 18th year at Crown Melbourne, we are hard at work to make the 2016 Aussie Millions Poker Championship the biggest and best yet,” said Crown Melbourne’s General Manager – Table Games, Matthew Christie.

Team PokerStars Pro Celina Lin said, “I’ve been playing the APPT since Season 1 and it’s amazing to see how far it has come. I love the tournaments in Asia, which are so much bigger today than I ever imagined, but I’m also thrilled to be part of the Aussie Millions; I grew up in Melbourne and watched this tournament turn into one of the most recognizable poker events in the world.”

Aussie Millions became part of the APPT in 2014 and that partnership has proved successful, consolidating Main Event numbers and having a dramatic effect on the high stakes challenges. The $100,000 High Roller, which had 22 entrants in 2013, has more than tripled in size with 76 and 70 entrants in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

The 12-month season concludes with Manila Megastack 6 held at the ‘PokerStars LIVE Manila’ poker room from November 29 to December 4. Each of the nine stops in Asia will count towards the Asia Player of the Year race.

Event Location Date
Macau Millions* Macau January 8-18
Aussie Millions Poker Festival Melbourne January 13 – February 1
Macau Poker Cup 24* Macau February 19 – March 6
APPT Seoul Seoul April 4 – 11
Manila Megastack 5 Manila May 3 – 8
APPT Macau* Macau May 18 – 29
APPT Manila Manila July 28 – August 8
Macau Poker Cup 25* Macau August 26 – September 11
APPT Melbourne Melbourne October 6 – 18
Asia Championship of Poker* Macau October 28 – November 13
Manila Megastack 6* Manila November 29 – December 4

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In search of a Spadie

In search of a Spadie

I am used to traveling but this year has been particularly busy for me and so I haven’t found the time to blog. It’s the end of the year now and I will be just playing two more live tournaments. I’ll first be heading to PokerStars LIVE Macau in Novem…

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2015 ACOP: Not just fun and games (actually mostly fun and games)

2015 ACOP: Not just fun and games (actually mostly fun and games)

The Asia Championship of Poker is the biggest and richest poker festival in the Far East and kicks off on October 30, 2015. Coming with the glory, fame, and life-changing prize money is an added level of stress you might not feel at other events. Clearly, the players have lots at stake but the moment isn’t lost on the tournament staff either. Every decision on the floor gets reviewed under a microscope with an elevated state of importance.

The folks at PokerStars LIVE Macau know this.

Ready to sign up for PokerStars? Click here to get an account.

So how do you maintain a cheerful and comfortable environment when people are playing a game with so much on the line?

With more fun and games!

If you haven’t been to Macau for a PokerStars tournament before then you are forgiven for not noticing the away-from-the-tables activities that occur regularly during the special events. At this year’s 2015 ACOP many of the old favourites make a return while a new game has been added.

Here’s the totally unnecessary list of things that have nothing to do with poker.

PLAYERS PARTY
Ever since PokerStars LIVE Macau moved to the City of Dreams Macau three years ago it’s held a Hard Rock Poolside Party for during the ACOP. It’s a gorgeous setting and perfect weather temperature for a region generally known for extreme heat. This year’s Players Party will be held on November 11 at 10:30pm.

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There’s plenty of things to enjoy at the Players Party.

Obviously there’s endless food and bottomless drinks.

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Red Bull is the official energy drink provider for PokerStars LIVE Macau and besides providing your favourite mixer, they give you wings with some of the best DJs at the party.

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When the DJ needs a break, there’s nothing like a live show. Okay, it took me a while to figure out she was playing an instrument and even longer to determine which instrument it was.

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Catching up with friends

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And of course, there’s the…

BEER PONG CHAMPIONSHIP
PokerStars parties are not immune to the fashionably late. But last year, for the first time EVER, players arrived early in order to enter the Beer Pong Championship before the 16-team limit (2 per team) was sold out (it happened within 30 minutes of registration).

This is where I’m supposed to mention Jono (AKA Jonathan Karamalikis AKA Monster Dong). He really really REALLY wants you to know that he is the only person to make the Semi-Finals in both years.

I will now proceed to insert ACOP Beer Pong photos from years past as I, in parallel, tell short stories about Jono and this event.

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Jonathan Karamalikis at inaugural Beer Pong Championship

There are some ideas which are clear winners and some you question. When I looked at parties in Macau I noticed language being a major factor that split people into segregated groups. How do you engage people who want to interact with others but can’t communicate with each other?

Enter beer pong. To be perfectly honest, I had no idea what the reception would be like.

So I’m having a drink one night with Jono and asking him if he’s ever played beer pong. This is how I recall the conversation:

Me: Hey, you ever play beer pong?
Jono: Ya, I love it. Why?
Me: I’m going to organize a beer pong tournament.
Jono: Really? Where?
Me: At the Players Party.
Jono: (sits up, looks dumbfounded) You’re having a beer pong tournament at the Players Party?
Me: yes
Jono: You are having a beer pong tournament at the PokerStars Players Party!?!?
Me: Yes
Jono: YOU.ARE.HAVING.A.BEER.PONG.TOURNAMENT.AT.THE.PLAYERS.PARTY?!

I quickly realized I wasted months of convincing Jono to come to Macau and commit to playing the 100k Main Event and 250k High Roller. I should have just had the above conversation to begin with.

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Liv Boeree at last year’s Beer Pong competition

Every year, for the last three years, Jono sends me a series of instant messages asking me the following 3 questions (and in this order):

1. Is there beer pong?
2. Something about the high rollers and player incentives
3. More questions about beer pong and exact date and times

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Final Four from the 2014 ACOP Beer Pong Championship

So yeah, Jono made back-to-back semi-final appearances and I’ve been informed he has a new and improved partner to finally take down the title this year.

First, he’ll have to dethrone the defending champs Luis Salter and Rory Brown (middle two, pictured above). In the true spirit of the competition, the winners gave one of their trophies to the runner-up duo of Team PokerStars Pro Vivian Im and her life partner Gabyong Kim.

DICE GAME & DARTS CHAMPIONSHIP
When you have a 17-day poker festival you can’t solely rely on the Players Party for a single night of stress-relieving fun.

Enter the Danny McDonagh Drunk Think Tank who will be inviting all ACOP players to his favourite local bar called Music World on November 8 at 10:30pm for the Dice Game and new Darts competition.

The ‘dice game’ – also commonly referred to as ‘liar’s dice’ – is a game very familiar to anyone who has drank at a Chinese-speaking bar. Foreigners that are novices or are new to the game will have a distinct disadvantage as the game requires a combination of math and people-reading skills that aren’t always obvious from the onset.

Unsurprisingly, these friendly female faces (pictured below) obliterated the male-dominated field in last year’s Dice Game Championship.

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2014 ACOP Dice Game winners Jane Kwan & Jessica Ho

The inaugural ACOP Darts Championship kicks off this year in what could very well surpass the not-counting-Jono demand for beer pong. It’s a hugely popular sport that no one ever talks about and it’s actually kind of strange given darts has been a common pastime on the APPT for at least half a decade.

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Oh, this is where I remind you that PokerStars urges everyone to drink responsibly.

The 2015 Asia Championship of Poker takes place at the ‘PokerStars LIVE Macau’ poker room from October 30 – November 15, 2015.

Ready to sign up for PokerStars? Click here to get an account.

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MPC23: Xiang Rong wins record Baby Dragon event

MPC23: Xiang Rong wins record Baby Dragon event

‘PokerStars LIVE Macau’ kicked off Macau Poker Cup 23 this past weekend and completed three of the seventeen Official Asia Player of the Year events on the 17-day schedule.

Those three events drew totals of 854 players and awarded HK$2,808,441 in prize money — the biggest opening weekend since the MPC expanded to a 17-day schedule last season.

“It’s a fantastic start and hopefully a sign of things to come as we approach next week’s Red Dragon main event.” said APPT President Danny McDonagh. “Traditionally, the first MPC of the year has performed better than the summer edition.”

“You’d have to go as far back as 2009 to find the last time the summer installment was bigger but I’m optimistic we’re looking at exactly that.”

The weekend’s feature tournament was the Baby Dragon event which drew 353 players — a record for the HK$6,000 buy-in tournament — and was won by China’s Xiang Rong.who earned HK$430,014 for his victory.

Event 2 Baby Dragon winner - Blog.jpg

In total, 41 players cashed for a share of the HK$1,849,014 prize pool — easily surpassing the HK$1 million guarantee.

Rong was playing his first ever live tournament and went heads up against Hong Kong’s Alan Lau for the title.

Lau had been one of the hottest poker players in Macau in recent months and his experience appeared be a significant advantage heading into the final hand.

Lau moved all-in with A♦8♥ and Rong, surprisingly, made the call with 5♠ 3♠ with only a marginal chip advantage.

But Rong could do no wrong as the board would run A♠-9♣-K♠-J♦-6♠ for the flush and the win.

BABY DRAGON FINAL TABLE RESULTS
1. Xiang Rong (China) — HK$430,014
2. Alan Lau (Hong Kong) — HK$272,700
3. Aaron Lam (Singapore) — HK$171,000
4. Alex Kim (Korea) — HK$134,100
5. Yasuhiro Ojiri (Japan) — HK$97,100
6. Shashank Rathi (Hong Kong) — HK$78,600
7. Chih Chun Chang (Chinese Taipei) — HK$61,900
8. Yi Huang (China) — HK$52,700
9. Shing Yui Yip (Hong Kong) — HK$43,500

For complete Side Event Results please CLICK HERE

For the MPC23 schedule please visit www.PokerStarsLIVEMacau.com

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