The second annual Asia Championship of Poker (ACOP) is scheduled to kick off in a few days in Macau at PokerStars LIVE at the City of Dreams. The festival will run 17 days with 12 official ACOP events on the schedule. The flagship event of the series is the HK$100,000 buy-in ACOP Main Event beginning on Monday, Oct. 28 and running through Saturday, Nov. 2. PokerNews will be on hand for live coverage of that event, along with updates from the HK$250,000 High Roller taking place on Saturday, Nov. 2 and Sunday, Nov. 3.
The 2013 ACOP is part of Season 7 of the PokerStars.net Asia-Pacific Poker Tour and was held for the first time in 2012 on Season 6. In the first ACOP ever held, it was China's Xing Zhou who emerged victorious over the 184-player field, but the ending didn't come without an interesting twist.
Zhou battled heads up with Hong Kong's Ying Kit Chan for six long hours, but neither player could put the other away. Then on what would be the final hand, the cards were dealt and Chan suggested the two chop up the difference in first- and second-place money, then flip blind for the title. After some chatter, Zhou agreed to this deal, despite having a chip lead of 3,321,000 to 2,203,000 over Chan.
Neither player looked at their hole cards, and they were allowed to keep them face down until the river as the dealer ran out the board. Then, the two players revealed one card at a time. When the hands were finally shown, Zhou had a straight with the to beat Chan's two pair with the . Zhou had the larger stack and was declared the winner. Each player received HK$3,547,500 in prize money, but the title went to Zhou.
Other notables to reach the final table were Michael Kanaan and Andrew Hinrichsen from Australia, Alan Sass from the USA, and Tom Alner from the UK. You can read through the coverage from the event by clicking here.
In this year's event, several notable players have confirmed their attendance, according to the PokerStars Blog. Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Celina Lin, Vivian Im, Raymond Wu, Bryan Huang, Naoya Kihara, and Randy Lew will all be there representing Team PokerStars. In 2011, Lew won the APPT Macau Main Event title and HK$3,772,000.
Other notables planning to be there are Aaron Lim, Billy "The Croc" Argyros, Johnny Chan, Lee Nelson, and Jonathan Karamalikis. Karamalikis could very well be returning to Macau with some added gold jewelry slapped around his wrist. He's currently at the 2013 World Series of Poker Europe and finished Day 1b with a healthy stack in Event #2: €1,100 No-Limit Hold'em Reentry.
Macau is a mecca for gambling and specifically for poker, regularly hosting some of the largest poker tournaments and cash games in the world. Back at the start of the summer, Niklas Heinecker won the massive GuangDong Ltd Asia Millions (GDAM) Main Event for HK$34,600,000.
A regular fixture on the APPT, Macau has served as a stop every season since Season 1 of the tour, and it's always been one of the premier stops on the tournament circuit.
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Remember, PokerNews will be on hand for live coverage beginning Monday, Oct. 28, so be sure to stay tuned right here to these pages for all updates from the 2013 PokerStars.Net APPT Macau ACOP.