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2012 PokerStars.net APPT Macau: Asia Championship of Poker Day 3: Kanaan Leads

Michael Kanaan

Day 3 of the 2012 PokerStars.net APPT Macau: Asia Championship of Poker Main Event concluded Friday night with the bubble bursting on the very last hand of the day. Only 22 players remain, and all are officially in the money. Each player is guaranteed at least HKD$173,000, and Michael Kanaan leads the way by a narrow margin. His finishing stack of 627,500 just barely eclipses Andrew Gaw's stack of 626,500.

Linh Tran was the unfortunate player who earned the unwanted moniker of "bubble boy" when he was busted by Aaron Lim. Action folded to Tran in the cutoff seat, and he raised all in for 38,000. Lim reraised all in from the button, and everyone else folded. Lim held {9-Spades}{9-Diamonds} and Tran showed {A-Clubs}{K-Spades}. Tran was the player at risk and looking to double up. The flop came down {9-Clubs}{3-Clubs}{3-Hearts} and just about closed the door completely for Tran. He then needed running aces, kings or threes to double up. After the {5-Diamonds} hit the turn, Tran was officially drawing dead. The river completed the board with the {J-Clubs}, and the day was over.

The two big stacks, Kanaan and Gaw, both had very eventful days on the felt. Kanaan was constantly trending upward all day. His stack just seemed to grow and grow as play went on, and he got a nice boost right before the bubble when he sent Patrick Lui home in 24th place.

The two got into a preflop raising war that saw Kanaan four-bet shove and Lui make the call. Lui called with {A-Diamonds}{Q-Clubs} and Kanaan held {10-Clubs}{8-Diamonds}. The flop was huge for Kanaan when the {10-Hearts}{10-Diamonds}{8-Spades} fell to give him a full house. As if he couldn't improve anymore from there, Kanaan went on to make quads on the turn when the {10-Spades} landed and officially left Lui drawing dead. The river completed the board with the {Q-Hearts}.

Gaw's run throughout the day was a bit more rocky, as he was constantly up and down. Right from the get go, Gaw lost a huge pot to Alan Sass for around half of his stack. The two got all the money in on a {Q-Hearts}{8-Hearts}{6-Clubs} flop with Sass holding a lesser {K-Diamonds}{K-Spades} to Gaw's {A-Clubs}{A-Spades}. The poker gods were on Sass' side for this one, though, as the {K-Clubs} smashed on the turn to put him in the lead. The river was the {Q-Spades} to officially give him the double up.

Sass and Gaw then clashed again later in the day, but this time Gaw's hand held up and he came out on top. It was another big battle between two big pocket pairs as Gaw held {K-Clubs}{K-Hearts} to Sass' {Q-Diamonds}{Q-Clubs}. The money went in preflop, and the board ran out {9-Diamonds}{8-Hearts}{3-Hearts}{2-Clubs}{A-Spades}. That pot was worth just about as much as the first one between the two, and it put Gaw right back toward the top of the pack.

Other notables still remaining are Mike Watson, Gary Lam, Andrew Hinrichsen and Team PokerStars Pro Raymond Wu. Wu finished the day with 227,000, after a very solid and consistent performance. He began the day on 144,900 and never seemed to really fluctuate a great bit.

The penultimate Day 4 will kick off Sunday at 1510 CST (2300 PDT, Saturday) at the Grand Waldo Hotel in Macau, and the goal will be to reach the final table. However long that may take, PokerNews will be right here with the coverage, so don't miss out.

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