352 players from around the world joined a history-making Day 1 of the PokerStars.net Asia Pacific Poker Tour Macau championship event, including some of poker's biggest names and three former WSOP Main Event champions. Among the international superstars playing in Macau were Hevad Khan, Tuan Lam, John Juanda, Mel Judah, Jeffrey Lisandro and Chad Brown. Former WSOP winners included Monsour Matloubi (1990), Scotty Nguyen (1998) and Joe Hachem (2005).
Hachem and his brother Tony both took to the felt on Day 1, with Hachem picking up pocket aces twice in the first orbit to jump to a good start. Younger brother Tony didn't start off with quite the same luck, as his stack rose and fell as the day went on before he was eliminated late on Day 1. Joe Hachem rode his wave of good cards and skillful play all the way through Day 1, and will return for Day 2.
Team PokerStars was well represented at the event, with players including Lee 'Final Table' Nelson, Vanessa Rousso, Tuan Lam, Hevad Khan and Betrand 'ElkY' Grospellier taking to the felt under their banner. Nelson went to the rail early in the day when Mischa Peters rivered the nut flush against him in this hand: Nelson raised pre-flop from early position and Peters called from the big blind. Peters checked, and Nelson moved the last of his chips in with on a flop of . Peters called with for the nut flush draw. A queen on the turn gave Nelson trips, but the river filled Peters' flush and sent Nelson to the rail.
Chad Brown put the last of his chips in the middle pre-flop with and found one caller in Alan Cheng, who tabled . The flop of gave Brown the lead, but the turn paired Cheng's ace and left Brown drawing thin. The river did not improve Brown's hand, and he was eliminated. Jeff Lisandro tried to make a move with , pushing all in from the small blind. His opponent called from under the gun with , and when the flop came down , Lisandro was drawing almost dead. The on the turn sealed his fate and Lisandro was eliminated shortly before the dinner break.
Monsour Matloubi lost a coin flip just before dinner when his could not improve against Aaron Schumacher's . Schumacher flopped a full house with , and the 1990 WSOP Main Event Champion was eliminated.
Vanessa Rousso rode a roller coaster of chips all day, finding herself down to 3,000 in chips early on before building up to a high point of 15,000. Her ride came to an end shortly after the dinner break when she lost one final race. Rousso got all her money in pre-flop with pocket nines, and her opponent called with . The flop of put her opponent firmly in the lead, and as the turn and river brought the , Rousso's Macau event came to an end.
Germany's Tobias Schulze made a run at the top of the leader board, taking over the chip lead to go into Day 2. After an opponent moved all in pre-flop with , Schulze made the call with pocket jacks. The board ran out , and Schulze took over the top spot as play ended on Day 1. Just behind were DInh Le and Luca Carlone, with Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier lurking in fourth and Hachem just outside the top ten. Other notable survivors from Day 1 were Bill Chen, Isabelle Mercier, Masa Kagawa and Hevad Khan.
The top ten in chips at the end of Day 1:
Tobias Schulze — 179,100
Dinh Le — 169,100
Luca Carlone — 150,800
Bertrand Grospellier — 112,300
Ho Sung Kim — 109,100
Ang Pang Leng — 93,600
Renato De Guzman — 80,500
Joel Dodds — 78,600
Bing Wang — 72,200
Chris Levick — 71,800
Join PokerNews tomorrow at noon local time (11pm ET / 8pm PT tonight) for complete coverage of Day 2 of the PokerStars.net APPT Macau championship event.