Day 1a of the PokerStars.net APPT Macau welcomed the first 88 runners to the felt for the first of three starting days. Eight is the number of luck and prosperity in Chinese culture, and it was indeed a fitting turnout for the opening day. The decadent Grand Lisboa is playing host to the event once again this year, and the players were treated to a traditional masked theatrical performance to kick off the event just before the cards went flying. After seven levels of poker, the behooded Alexandre Chieng bagged up the big stack of 113,100, setting the pace for the 43 survivors.
Chieng's chip edge came rather late in the evening after a few other notables had been tussling for the chip lead throughout the bulk of the day. Vladimir Geshkenbein was one of the early front-runners, and his big chip-up came in a knockout pot during the fourth level of action. Wing Bor Cheng was the preflop aggressor; he check-called a bet of 4,100 on a flop. When the raggy hit fourth street, Cheng made a minimun check-raise to take control of the betting and moved all-in on the scary river. Geshkenbein snapped him off with his flush, and that big pot vaulted “Beyne” into the lead with close to 80,000 chips. His stack was halved right at the end of the night, though, and he'll have to be content to return for Day 2 with an average count.
Team PokerStars Raymond Wu treaded water for a long while today, stuck at a very tough table with Nathanael Seet and Daren Yoon. Wu's patience finally paid off at the end of the night, and in fact, he was the reason for Geshkenbein's decline. In one of the last hands of the night, Wu three-bet an opening raise, and both he and Geshkenbein put 5,500 chips into the pot before the flop. Wu bet out 6,500 before calling a Geshkenbein raise to 14,000 total. The drew checks from both players on the turn, and the filled out the board on the river. When Wu checked again, Geshkenbein fired a final 15,000-chip bullet. The call came quickly, and Geshkenbein tabled for top pair. Wu promptly showed up his sneaky , and his straight earned him the big pot and a third-place count of 87,475 to end the night.
Team PokerStars Pros Marcel Luske and Celina Lin join Wu as the sponsored players who've escaped their opening day. The same cannot be said for Bryan Huang, however. Huang began the day moving in the wrong direction, and he never managed to right the ship before making a quiet mid-day exit. He's out, but other notables such as Yoon, Julian Powell, and Kai Paulsen will return for Day 2 with middling stacks.
The second flight of runners will take to the felt on Wednesday with yet one more starting day still to come on Thursday. Our live reporting team will be back inside the ropes to keep you up to date on all the action, and you can follow along with their reports here.