To many, it might have only been a regular Thursday in flashy, humid Macau, but inside the Grand Lisboa Hotel and Casino, the final starting day of the 2010 PokerStars.net APPT Macau Main Event took place. The 170 runners today combined with the numbers from the first two starting days to bring the total number of entrants to 342. Emerging as the chip leader at the end of the day was Darren Judges from the United Kingdom.
Judges was issuing death sentences right and left sending players to the rail throughout the day. One of the players who fell victim was PokerStars Team Asia pro Taejoon Noh. On the board of , Judges had bet enough to put Noh all-in. Noh made the call with the but was behind the trip tens of Judges who held the . The river completed the board with the and that was it for Noh. That hand put Judges over 150,000 chips.
Shortly thereafter, Judges was back at it. After a flop of , a player checked to Judges and he bet out 6,000. The player check-raised all-in for 26,275, and after a little bit of time in the tank, Judges made the call. He held the against his opponent’s . The turn brought the and the river the , allowing the tens to hold for Judges, giving him another elimination. With that pot, Judges moved even further away from the rest of the pack to over 170,000 chips. He went on the finish out the day with 173,800, good enough to put him at the top of the board going into Day 2 ahead of all competitors from the first three days.
Brendon Rubie had himself a stellar day on the felt, as well, and played one of the most exciting pots of the day. The hand came in a 70,000-plus chip pot in the third level of play. Rubie got all in on a flop of holding the against an opponent’s . The turn was the and the river the , keeping Rubie in the lead and giving him a massive double up early on to make him the early chip leader. From there, it was cruise control for the youngster. He steadily built throughout the day without any big blunders and finished up with 114,375 chips, good enough for a top-ten spot on the overall chart.
Some of the other players taking to the felt today in the largest starting day of the three were the Le brothers, Nam and Tommy, Binh Nguyen, Quinn Do, Steve Yea and the Lerner brothers, Aaron and Derek. Team PokerStars was represented today by Tony Hachem from Team Australia and Noh from Team Asia.
Hachem had himself a rough day and was constantly nursing a stack less than what he started the day with. Hachem got as low as about 6,000 chips but managed to find a timely double-up toward the end of the day that allowed him to get back up to 17,200 when he bagged up.
A few champions of PokerStars-sponsored events were also in the field today. Dominik Nitsche won the 2009 LAPT Mar del Plata Main Event and Aaron Benton won the 2009 APPT Sydney Grand Final. Both played today, but only Benton will be moving on to Day 2. He finished with 70,850 chips. Dinh Le won the first-ever APPT Macau Main Event in 2007 and took to action today. He made it through with 97,800 chips and is sitting toward the top of the leaderboard.
Some of the less-fortunate players today were Koray Turker, Antoine Amourette and Sarah Lee. All three were eliminated from play as the day wore on, never getting much going.
All the players remaining will reconvene on Friday at 12:15 p.m. local time to trek onward in the APPT Macau Main Event. There are 160 players remaining and all have their eyes on the HK$3,246,200 first-place prize. Be sure to come back to PokerNews for all the live coverage from the event.