It didn't take as long as some were expecting. After roughly eight and a half hours of play on Day 2, the 69 hopefuls that started the day have been pared down to nine. We lost a number of the notables along the way. 2008 APT Philippines champion David Saab made an early exit. So did Chino Rheem.
The other two Poker Packers in the field, Nam Le and Steve Sung, went out 12th and 13th respectively, just short of the final table.
Michael Pedley was going for his third Asian Poker Tour final table, but he came up just short, finishing in tenth place. None of them were able to make it to the final nine. When those nine return tomorrow, they'll find themselves arrayed as follows:
Seat 1: Ron Kluber - USA (310,000)
Seat 2: Cicurel Didier - Switzerland (182,000)
Seat 3: Steven Yea - Korea (754,000)
Seat 4: Vesa Leikos - Finland (94,000)
Seat 5: Neil Arce - Philippines (377,000)
Seat 6: Kim Tae Hyung - Korea (168,000)
Seat 7: Susumu Toge - Japan (102,000)
Seat 8: Liz Lieu - USA (144,000)
Seat 9: Casey Kastle - Slovenia (503,000)
Play kicks off at noon local time. All runners will be chasing Steve Yea, the 2008 APT Macau runner-up. We'll have a champion by the end of the night. See you then.
Michael Pedley was well aware that he was one of the shortest stacks of the last ten players. When Neil Arce raised the button and Pedley looked down at , he knew what he had to do.
"All in," said Pedley. Arce quickly called, but he was behind. Pedley had ; Arce was playing . It was a king in the window, , bringing some clapping and a shouted, "YEEESSS!" from Arce. The turn gave Pedley a few additional outs, but the river bricked to bounce him unceremoniously in 10th place. He earns $8,000.
With that elimination, the tournament clock is paused. We have a final table.
A three-way limped flop of was checked by each of Michael Pedley, Steve Yea and Kim Tae Hyung. On the turn , Pedley checked again. Yea bet 14,000 and was called only by Hyung. The river fell . Yea bet 35,000 and Hyung quickly called. Yea showed .
"Nine high?" asked a confused Michael Pedley. The rail pointed out the flush.
"Oh, so if they're all the same suit, it's a flush?" Pedley deadpanned. "When'd they change the rule? I've been getting flushes all day! No one told me it counted."
Ron Kluber continues to add to his chip stack as we move inexorably closer to the final table. He raised to 23,000 preflop and was called by Norihito Suzuki out of the blinds. Both players checked flop of . On the turn , Suzuki checked again. Kluber took that as an opportunity to bet 30,000. Suzuki made a quick call. On the river , Suzuki checked a third time. Kluber bet 40,000. When Suzuki still hadn't acted after two minutes, Kluber asked for a clock. Suzuki folded thirty seconds later.