A busy opening day of action in the PokerStars.net Asia Pacific Poker Tour stop at Seoul, South Korea saw 83 of 165 players survive to move on to Day 2. Oman's Jan Van Dyk emerged from a relatively short, six-level session with the lead, while many of the biggest names on hand failed to advance past the opening levels.
Team PokerStars Pro and 2004 WSOP Main Event champion Greg Raymer handled the traditional "Shuffle up and deal!" opening ceremonies, while Stars pros Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier (in a homecoming of sorts for the former StarCraft gamer who once played professionally in South Korea) and Hevad "RaiNKhan" Khan also joined the field. Of the three, only Grospellier made it through to Day 2. Khan departed late in the session, while Raymer went out on the final hand of the day to David Saab, who survived his own early all-in to surge to second place in the overnight standings.
Other notables present as play began included J.J. Liu and Celina Lin , along with prior APPT standouts Eddie Sabat (the recent champ at APPT Macau), Andrew Scott, Diwei "Brian" Huang, James Honeybone and Charles "Chuck Truck" Chua. Chua's success at Macau wasn't repeated here, as he had his kings cracked by A-Q early, then was knocked out after pushing the last of his chips in with Q-8. Eddie Sabat called from the big blind with pocket fours, but Chua seemed primed for the double-up when the flop came . The turn, though, brought the for Sabat, and the river ended Chua's day. Sabat also tangled with Bertrand Grospellier at the same tough table. Sabat rose above 30,000 at one point before slipping to just below 20,000 as the session ended.
Elsewhere, David Saab and J.J. Liu parried at another table featuring several tough players. Saab was all in for his last 8,000 on an overpair and a gutshot straight draw with against Liu, who held and had Saab covered and needing help after connecting hard with a flop. The turn brought the to make Saab's straight, and the river missed Liu's redraw outs. The hand left Saab primed for his day's run and Liu crippled, at 3,800 from a starting 10,000.
Hevad Khan climbed through the middle part of the day's action before a couple of big hits led to his exit. The first happened when he sniffed out a semi-bluff, calling an all-in with on a flop; his opponent showed but doubled through when the river brought the for the flush and a 17,000 pot. Khan's exit came soon after, when he shoved for his final 3,000 with and ran into another player's . The flop came great for Khan – – but the turn and river failed to complete his hand and left him watching from the rail.
Raymer's exit came on the last hand of the night when the short stacks were in "double up or go home" mode. Raymer was among them, and he made his stand against David Saab with . "Have you even looked at your cards yet?" asked Saab.
"Now I have," replied Raymer after squeezing the cards, "and I still raise." Saab called with and collected the last of Raymer's chips as the board rolled out .
The top ten in chips following Day 1 play:
Jan Van Dyk - 51,375
David Saab - 47,850
Hidenari Shiono - 47,175
Justin Jung - 44,500
Tim Davis 42,875
Michael Young Jeun Song - 39,500
Samad Razavi - 36,100
Larry Pashak - 36,025
Hori Katsiyoshi - 33,475
Shunchi Ogiwara - 29,425
Action resumes on Saturday afternoon (or late Friday night, for North American fans and readers) on Day 2 of APPT Seoul. Join us here at PokerNews for the latest updates