PokerStars.net APPT High Rollers, Day 2: David Steicke Heads Final
Twenty-eight top pros survived Day 1 of the PokerStars.net Asia Pacific Poker Tour Macau High Rollers tournament, including World Champions Johnny Chan and Joe Hachem, 2007 High Rollers winner Eric Assadourian and APPT Macau Main Event runner-up Charles "Chuck Truck" Chua. In a marathon Day 2, they played all the way down to a final table of nine with a combined final-table and money bubble that lasted hours.
Terrence "Not Johnny" Chan was one of the early eliminations on Day 2. He got his chips in with on a flop of . Yury Kerzhapkin moved all in over the top of Chan's flop bet, and Chan called. Kerzhapkin turned over for the overpair, and Chan was looking for help. The on the turn wasn't the help Chan needed, and neither was the on the river. He was joined shortly by Team PokerStars Pro member Barry Greenstein, another Day 2 casualty, and Julian Powell, who moved all in with and a short stack. Ivan Tan made the call with , and Powell headed to the rail after the board ran out .
Although two former world champions started Day 2, only one made it through to the final table. After scrapping and scraping for much of the day, Johnny Chan survived to see Day 3. Joe Hachem, however, saw only the rail after he moved all in with and was called by Mike "timex" McDonald. McDonald tabled , and Hachem was in a bad way. The board ran out , and Hachem exited.
McDonald was unable to capitalize on taking out Hachem, as he busted soon after at the hands of David "The Machine" Steicke. Steicke, who spent much of Day 1 on a potent heater, called McDonald's preflop raise, and led out on the flop of . McDonald called, and Steicke fired again when the came on the turn. McDonald raised all in for less than half the original bet, and Steicke called. Steicke showed for an overpair, and McDonald was left drawing thin with . The river sent McDonald to the rail and padded McDonald's already hefty stack.
After two and a half hours of play on the money and final-table bubble, 2007 champ Eric Assadourian moved the last of his chips into the middle. Nam Le raised to isolate, and David Steicke joked about eliminating two players in one hand before folding. Assadourian showed , and Steicke's decision to fold proved wise as Le revealed . The board ran out and Eric Assadourian was the double bubble boy as he busted in 10th place. Assadourian's demise guaranteed a new champion for 2008.
As Day 2 drew to an end, the chip counts held one similarity to Day 1 – David Steicke topped the list. To say Steicke ran well over the first two days of the event would understate the situation. After eliminating several opponents with sets, including one set-over-set confrontation, Steicke built a huge chip lead on Day 1. He relinquished the lead a few times over Day 2, but finished the day with a comfortable lead heading into the final table.
Beyond Steicke's good fortune, the other story to watch on Day 2 was how well Charles "The Chuck Truck" Chua ran in this series. Just hours after claiming second place in the APPT Macau Main Event, Chua registered for the High Rollers event. The last player to join the field, the Chuck Truck rolled over several opponents on Day 1 and continued his solid play into Day 2. Chua locked up his second final table in as many tournaments on Day 2, although he finished the day among the shortest stacks.
The final nine include big names Quinn Do and Nam Le, some less well-known players such as blackjack master Andrew Scott, and one bona fide poker superstar, two-time World Champion and 10-time WSOP bracelet winner Johnny Chan. Chan finished Day 2 with one of the shorter stacks, as the final-table chip counts looked like this:
David Steicke - 391,500
Andrew Scott - 226,000
Wei Will Ma - 186,500
Nam Le - 107,000
Quinn Do - 105,000
Ivan Tan - 61,000
Johnny Chan - 60,500
Charles Chua - 47,000
Van Marcus - 43,000