APPT Macau Main Event
APPT Macau Main Event
Day 1a completed

Bring Out the Bags

[user75032]
Overnight chip leader Brandon Demes
Overnight chip leader Brandon Demes
That will do it for Day 1a of the 2009 PokerStars.net Asia Pacific Poker Tour Macau Main Event. Today's flight (the first of three) produced 119 runners. At the end of the day it appeared that 64 would need a chip bag, bag ticket and pen.

We were amazed to see the stacked line-up on Table 7 to start the day. In order around the table were Joel "StrongPlay" Dodds, the God-like David Steicke, 2007 APPT Sydney champion Grant Levy, Swede Rasmus Akerblom, and two-time WSOP Main Event champion Johnny Chan. That table did not disappoint during play, producing several of the biggest and most exciting pots. By the end of the day only Steicke and Levy had survived the carnage.

Speaking of Steicke -- and really, how can we not? -- he started off slowly but then gathered steam in the middle levels after catching a needed double-up, all in preflop with pocket kings against ace-queen. By the end of the day he had built a typical Steicke wall of poker chips that totalled 82,300, or four times the number he started with.

But 82,300 was not enough for the overnight chip lead. That honor goes to Brandon Demes, an American with two cashes at this year's World Series of Poker. Demes was the only player today to eclipse six figures, finishing the night with 102,200 chips. His reward is two days off in Macau to mentally prepare himself to return to the grind on Friday for Day 2.

We don't have such a luxury. We'll be back here in the Grand Lisboa poker room at 12:15pm tomorrow for Day 1b of this Main Event. We expect a larger field tomorrow and an even larger field on Thursday, putting this tournament on track for close to 500 total players. Who else will be joining Steicke and Demes on Day 2? Check back tomorrow to find out!

Matloubi Falls Late on Day 1a

[user67765]
One of our short stacks and 1990 World Champion, Mansour Matloubi has just been eliminated in one of the final hands of the day.

Matloubi held {A-Spades}{K-Clubs} against the {2-Diamonds}{2-Spades} of Dan Schreiber and looked set to double up when the flop landed {K-Diamonds}{5-Clubs}{k-Hearts} to give him trip kings. The {7-Clubs} the turn meant nothing but the {2-Clubs} on the river leave Matloubi to head to an early dinner - we're guessing that duck won't be on the menu.

Four More Hands

[user75032]
As is the custom for APPT tournaments, with the clock closing in on ten minutes left in the level Commissioner McDonagh has stopped the clock. Each table will play four more hands and then bag up the chips for the night.

Assadourian's Correct Play Nets Pot for Schreiber

[user75032]
Eric Assadourian was not happy to see his set flop.
Eric Assadourian was not happy to see his set flop.
For the second time today Eric Assadourian correctly folded a pair before the flop. And for the second time, that pair flopped a set and would have given Assadourian the pot.

Assadourian was the initial preflop raiser, making it 2,200 to go. Mikal Blomlie was on the button. He shipped his whole stack of 8,225 into the middle. Then small blind Dan Schreiber called, and Assadourian's spidey sense started tingling. He opted to lay down pocket nines, allowing Blomlie and Schreiber to open pocket eights and pocket kings, respectively.

But Assadourian's good laydown was punished by a flop of {A-Hearts} {9-Hearts} {7-Clubs}, a flop that would have given him middle set and the best hand. Blomlie, meanwhile, was looking for runners or a third eight. The {4-Diamonds} on the turn killed his runner possibilities; the {j-Diamonds} on the river ended his tournament run.

Schreiber now has about 61,000.

Rajkumar Runs Into The Nuts

[user67765]
Well, the comeback of Vivek Rajkumar didn't last too long as we've just spotted him departing the Grand Lisboa poker room.

Rajkumar had committed his last chips on a flop of {9-Diamonds}{Q-Spades}{8-Spades}. Rajkumar held {a-Spades}{9-Spades} for a pair and nut flush draw but his opponent had flopped the world with his {J-Clubs}{10-Hearts} for the nuts.

Needing a spade or runner-runner combo to survive, Rajkumar watched as the {5-Hearts} hit the turn and the {3-Hearts} on the river to send him to the rail.

Lin Tallies Another Kill

[user75032]
Jonathan Lin has been a steady accumulator today. He saw an early-position opponent open-raise all in for 2,875. Lin took a flyer with {K-?} {J-?} and found himself in a dominating position against his opponent's {k-?} {9-?}. A flop of {J-?} {7-?} {K-?} just about ended the hand in Lin's favor. His opponent picked up probably the best possible card he could when the turn fell {10-Hearts}, as he picked up two different gutshot straight draws. Neither one hit; the {6-Diamonds} ended the hand in Lin's favor.

He's up to 41,000 chips.

Ship It To Vivek!

[user67765]
Vivek Rajkumar, a little shocked, but happy to double up!
Vivek Rajkumar, a little shocked, but happy to double up!
Vivek Rajkumar moved all in preflop for his 8,000 or so chips and the action folded around the James Akenhead in the big blind.

Akenhead squeezed his cards Baccarat style, and when he peaked at {10-Spades}{10-Hearts} he snap-called. Rajkumar would need a whole lot of help with his {4-Clubs}{5-Clubs}.

The flop was a good one for Rajkumar as it fell {6-Diamonds}{6-Hearts}{3-Clubs} to give him outs to a straight. The turn bricked the {K-Spades} but the river was the {2-Diamonds} to complete Rajkumar's straight for the double up! He's back up to 17,000 chips.

Singh Soars!

[user67765]
Dbinder Singh has assumed the tournament chip lead after a big preflop clash saw the chips shipped in his direction.

It was Singh's {K-Clubs}{K-Diamonds} up against an opponent's {9-Diamonds}{9-Hearts} as the board was spread {Q-Hearts}{8-Diamonds}{7-Clubs}{8-Clubs}{J-Spades}.

Singh now sits with 97,000 chips.

Cornwell's Power Play

[user75032]
We mentioned it earlier regarding David Steicke but now we'll say it again about Mark Cornwell: it's good to have chips. On a flop of {A-Spades} {3-Hearts} {6-Spades}, the big blind and Cornwell checked to Shawn Buchanan, who bet 2,200.

That bet brought two check-raises, the first to 5,200 by the big blind and the second to 15,000 by Cornwell. 15,000 represented a fairly substantial portion of each player's stack and induced quick folds. By raking that pot, Cornwell has moved up to 62,000.