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2014 APPT Season 8 ACOP Main Event Day 3: Yaxi Zhu Leads Final 24

Yaxi Zhu

On Thursday, the final 62 players returned to the felt for Day 3 of the APPT Season 8 Asia Championship of Poker (ACOP). After six full levels of play, just 24 players remained. Leading the field heading into Day 4, and the only player with over one million in chips, was Yaxi Zhu, who bagged an impressive 1.019 million to end the day.

Top 10 Day 3 Chip Counts

1Yaxi Zhu1,019,000
2Konstantin Pogodin901,000
3Meng Dian Peng834,000
4Sunny Jung822,000
5Joseph Cheong527,000
6Gabriel Le Jossec488,000
7Tore Lukashaugen419,000
8Raiden Kan405,000
9Terrence Chan365,000
10Sorel Mizzi362,000

Zhu consistently thrived throughout the day, but truly hit her rush during the final level. A large confrontation that allowed her to soar into the chip lead occurred with just 30 minutes left in the day. During that hand, Zhu opened with a raise and found calls from Vladimir Troyanovskiy on the button and Mike "Timex" McDonald in the small blind. The trio took a {4-Spades}{K-Diamonds}{9-Hearts} flop, and action checked to Zhu for her to bet out 18,000. Troyanovskiy folded, and McDonald stuck around to see the {10-Clubs} on fourth street. McDonald checked, Zhu continued her aggression for 39,000, and McDonald came over the top with a check-raise to 110,000. Zhu called, and the {A-Hearts} finished off the board. McDonald moved all in for approximately 240,000 and was instantly called by Zhu, who rolled over the {Q-Hearts}{j-Spades} for the nut straight. McDonald's {J-Clubs}{9-Clubs} was pulled into the muck, and Zhu soared to the chip lead.

Zhu, of course, was not the only player to thrive on Day 3. Konstantin Pogodin finished close behind with 901,000 in chips, and rounding out the top three was Meng Dian Peng who put 834,000 in the bag.

Reigning ACOP champion Sunny Jung will also return for Day 4, bagging 822,000 in chips, which is good for fourth place overall. Jung pocketed HK$4,352,000 for his victory just one year ago, and he is now a mere 23 eliminations away from a bigger payday and a title defense.

Other notable players to survive the day include Joseph Cheong (527,000), Raiden Kan (405,000), Terrence Chan (365,000), start-of-day chip leader Sorel Mizzi (362,000), 2013 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event champion Dimitar Danchev (361,000), reigning Aussie Millions Main Event winner Ami Barer (252,000), Team PokerStars Pro Celina Lin (91,000), and Byron Kaverman (73,000).

The day began with each returning player hoping to be among the top 31 players and score a guaranteed cash of at least HK$202,000. Unfortunately for exactly half of the returning field, that was not the case. Players like Team PokerStars Pro Raymond Wu, Jack Salter, Connor Drinan, Scott Davies, Dan Smith, Buyanjargal Bold, Billy "The Croc" Argyros, and Daniel Colman all saw an unfortunate end to their day before the money was reached.

The money bubble burst when EPT Barcelona High Roller champion Thomas Muehloecker fell at the hands of Zuo "ST" Wang. Muehloecker found himself all in holding the {A-Hearts}{Q-Diamonds} against Wang's {K-Diamonds}{K-Hearts}. A runout that read {j-Diamonds}{q-Spades}{9-Hearts}{8-Diamonds}{5-Diamonds} ensured that the bubble burst and Muehloecker would be the last player to leave the tournament empty handed.

Players will return on Friday at 3 p.m. to play down to an official final table. Be sure to check back in with PokerNews as we provide all of the updates from the tournament floor.

PokerNews' Remko Rinkema spoke with APPT President Danny McDonagh about the numbers and poker in Macau. Check out that video below:

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