PokerStars.com APPT Macau Day 2: Sabat Takes Narrow Lead
The 208 survivors from three Day 1 flights descended upon the Grand Waldo Hotel and Casino for Day 2 of the PokerStars.com Asia Pacific Poker Tour Macau Main Event. Among the field were former WSOP World Champions Johnny Chan, Joe Hachem and Mansour Matloubi, plus international stars John Juanda, Lee Nelson and Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier. Day 2 was fast-paced, with only 39 players remaining when the session ended.
Harry Demetriou was an early casualty when he ran into Mansour Matloubi early on. All the chips went in on a flop of , with Demetriou's behind Matloubi's . Demetriou had plenty of outs, but the turn and river were no help, and he was crippled. Demetriou busted soon after and joined the steady stream of players heading to the rail. Other notable eliminations early on Day 2 included 10-time WSOP champ Johnny Chan, Van Nguyen, Chad Brown and Terrence "Not Johnny" Chan.
Joe Hachem also fell victim to Daisy Wain, moving the last of his chips in from the big blind with . Wain called with the dominating , and Hachem headed to the rail when the board came down ten-high. Isabelle Mercier, Wooka Kim, Mansour Matloubi and Bertrand Grospellier also were eliminated out of the money on Day 2.
With the pace of eliminations breakneck to say the least, the money bubble approached quickly. David Steicke made an amazing call on the bubble to move his stack among the chip leaders. Steicke and chip leader Kenny Hicks tangled on a flop of when Steicke check-raised Hicks. Hicks called and fired again when the came on the turn, and Steicke thought for a long moment before making the call. Hicks moved all in on the river, and Steicke went into the tank for several minutes before finally calling with . His read was dead-on as Hicks tabled for the three-barrel bluff, and Steicke raked a huge pot just before the money.
Chris "The Armenian Express" Grigorian was the unfortunate bubble boy when the last of his chips went in preflop with less than one big blind left. Four players limped in to try and burst the bubble, and they all checked down a board of . Grigorian tabled , but fell to an opponent's four-flush. Grigorian headed to the rail and the 56 remaining players were all in the money.
It wasn't long after Grigorian's elimination that play was halted for Day 2 with 39 players remaining. Several notable players finished in the money on Day 2, including Emad Tahtouh (54th, $4,862) and Lee Nelson (42nd, $5,673). Carter Gill and John Juanda were late movers up the leader board as they picked up pots late in the day to finish among the chip leaders, but it was Edward Sabat who took over the chip lead just as Day 2 ended.
J Choi moved his game into high gear after the bubble burst, and finally Sabat put an end to his aggression, at least for Day 2. As was typical in the day, Choi raised from the button, and Sabat called with from the big blind. Sabat called Choi's bet on the flop, and both players checked the Qs turn. The came on the river, and Sabat led out with a sizable bet. Choi stuck out a stiff raise, and Sabat thought briefly before making the call. Choi mucked as soon as Sabat called, and Sabat took the top spot on the leader board with that pot.
The top ten chip stacks looked like this as the final 39 players bagged their chips:
Edward Sabat - 379,500
Charles Chua - 369,500
Keith Wintermans - 358,000
Javed Abrahams - 351,000
David Steicke - 316,000
Junghyun Choi - 275,000
Tian Chen - 248,000
Kevin MacPhee - 206,500
David Chiu - 193,500
Andre Wagner - 183,500
Join PokerNews Friday at 1:30pm Macau local time for all of the live updates as the 39 remaining players work their way down to the final table.