APPT Macau Main Event

John Steger Eliminated in 47th Place ($6,244)

John Steger has been sent to the cashier after getting his last chips in with the best hand {A-Spades}{8-Clubs}, but there weren't enough chips to scare away Joshua Ang who gambled with his {J-Spades}{7-Spades}.

Steger hit the {8-Spades}{3-Hearts}{6-Hearts} flop to maintain his lead, as the {6-Diamonds} turn changed nothing. However the river was the {J-Diamonds} to pair Ang's jack and send Steger to the rail in 46th place.

Meanwhile Ang has a couple of huge towers of chips in front of him which we guestimate at around 300,000.

Sungling Li Eliminated in 48th Place ($6,244)

With the bursting of the bubble, the stampede for the money has begun. Sungling Li was the first player all in after the bubble, and he's also the first player out. He open-shoved for 34,500 with {5-Clubs} {5-Diamonds} and was called by Tom Rafferty, who tabled {j-Clubs} {j-Diamonds}. Rafferty's jacks wound up making a straight, {K-Diamonds} {4-Hearts} {A-Hearts} {10-Hearts} {Q-Diamonds}.

Play On!

Now that the bubble has burst, it has been announced that play will continue this evening. Around seventeen minutes has been added to the level for lost time during hand-for-hand play, which puts the clock at 35 minutes to go in this level until play wraps up for the day.

David Paananen Is Our Bubble Boy!

Bubble Boy David Paananen
Bubble Boy David Paananen
With the action folding round to Preetinder Bhayana in the small blind, he made it 17,500 to go and David Paananen defended his big blind.

The flop fell down {3-Clubs}{10-Diamonds}{8-Clubs} and Bhayana slid out a bet amounting to 25,500. Paananen sat there for a little before re-raising to 77,000 total as the rail begin to close in on the table.

Bhayana sat there riffling ten yellow 5,000-denomination chips as Tournament Director Danny McDonagh came over to announce the action to the remaining players and onlookers.

Another two minutes went by before Bhayana announced all in.

"You go all in? I call" announced Paananen as he flipped his {3-Hearts}{3-Diamonds} for a flopped bottom set of treys.

Bhayana shook his head, stood up, and sheepishly rolled over his {A-Hearts}{5-Clubs} for just Ace-high but also a backdoor straight and flush-draw.

"Two of clubs would be a great sweat card" commented one of the twenty or so players that had totally surrounded the table.

The dealer burned and turned a black two on the turn, but it would be the {2-Spades} to see Paananen needing to fade one of the four remaining fours in the deck to stay alive.

As the rail pressed even harder against the backs of the table eight chairs, the {4-Hearts} would land on the river to the screams and sighs of the remaining 48 players.

Paananen stood there in shock before making his way to the exit, but not before launching a half-drunk water bottle at an unsuspecting camera girl.

Bhayana on the other hand could barely keep a smile off his face as he raked in a huge place to soar to 498,000 in chips.

Mahrenholz Drops Jaws On Bubble

Sometime on the bubble you see some amazing play that simply makes your jaw drop as poker becomes a true test of psychology.

Karl Mahrenholz just demonstrated how to overpower your opponents perfectly on the bubble. He raised under the gun to 14,000 and the action folded around to the small blind who put in a strong re-raise to 32,000. Mahrenholz immediately announced he was all in.

It was an additional 112,500 to call as the small blind player went into the tank for a long time, obviously with a big decision for most of his chips. He eventually released and Mahrenholz's casual body language didn't change as he raked in the pot and flashed {Q-Hearts}{6-Diamonds} for nothing but pure imagination!

All In Leads to...

...a chopped pot. After a half hour of hand-for-hand play, we finally had our first all in and call. On a flop of {6-Spades} {9-Clubs} {8-Clubs}, Van Binh Pham bet 10,000. Tom Rafferty was the only other player in the hand. He raised to 30,000; Pham went to 50,000; Rafferty went all in and Pham called.

Rafferty: {5-Diamonds} {7-Hearts}
Pham: {5-Clubs} {7-Clubs}

Improbably, both players had flopped the same straight. Rafferty was disgusted to see that Pham was also freerolling with a flush draw. The flush draw never filled, with the turn and river falling {6-Diamonds} and {8-Spades}. They chopped up the pot and we went back to waiting for our bubble boy.

Rafferty Not Afraid of the Bubble

Tom Rafferty has been moving chips around with reckless abandon here on the bubble. He opened a pot to 12,000 from late position, then called big blind Dermot Blain's re-raise to 36,000. Blain fired 50,000 chips into the middle on a dry flop, {2-Diamonds} {Q-Clubs} {4-Spades}. Rafferty looked things over, then waved his hands over his chips and announced all in for 197,000 total.

The bet was about three-quarters of what Dermot had in his stack. He asked for an exact count, gave it a show for about thirty seconds, and then mucked.

Hand for Hand

49 players remain in the tournament, spread across seven tables. Each of those tables is now playing hand-for-hand until the next elimination occurs, at which point all remaining players will be in the money.

Bubble Time

Only 51 players remain in the 2009 Asia Pacific Poker Tour Macau Main Event.

With only 48 players receiving money, play is bound to tighten up as players realise there is US$6,244 or HK$48,400 on offer . . . or on the other side of the coin . . . nothing!