Poker Portal Asia

Day 1A Concludes

Level: 7 Blinds: 200/400 Ante: 50

Tournament director Lloyd Fontillas has stopped then clock and announced play has finished for the day so we are done and dusted. Just over half of the 120-strong field have successfully circumnavigated the tournament minefield and 61 players (unconfirmed, there may have been a few last minute bust outs) have booked their place for Day 2.

The unlucky 59 players who busted still have a shot at fortune and glory however, and have the option of re-entry for tomorrow’s Day 1B should they so choose. We’ll be back tomorrow at 1pm local time for the second starting flight so join us then for more tournament action. Until then, it’s good night from us here at Poker Portal Asia.

Speidel Busts Lim on the Bell

Level: 7 Blinds: 200/400 Ante: 50

In the last hand of Oliver Speidel’s table, he sees a flop of 2 4 7 holding 8 7 with short-stacked Benjie Lim out-flopping him with 7 4. Needless to say, both players get their money in and Lim is looking like he’ll take the double into tomorrow’s play. The turn of 2 is safe but the river 8 gives Speidel the higher two pair and rails Lim.

The win sends Speidel’s stack to 94,325 and, although not confirmed, he will likely be the chip leader from Day 1A.

Three-way All-in Results In No Elimination

Level: 7 Blinds: 200/400 Ante: 50

It’s tough to think of many scenarios in which a three-way all-in can result in zero bust outs, but in poker anything is possible. Strangely that’s exactly what’s just happened in the following hand between Sweden’s Anders Hellberg, USA’s Mclean Karr and Australia’s Jhana Hale.

Sitting UTG+1 Hellberg opens the action with a raise only to see both Karr and Hale move all-in behind him. With around 50,000 in front of him Hellberg has both players covered and makes the call and the cards go on their backs.

Anders Hellberg: A K
Mclean Karr: A K
Jhana Hale: 10 10

Hale’s pocket Tens are in great shape against Hellberg and Karr’s Big Slick, though neither player will be that upset should Hale win as the Aussie only has around 6,500 in his stack.

Hale spikes his set when the flop comes down 2 10 J, though both Karr and Hellberg pick up a few more gutshot outs. However, the 5 turn and 4 river see Hale secure a much-needed triple-up as the day’s action draws to a close. Unless Hale gets supremely unlucky in the next few hands he should finish the day on 21,000, while Karr and Hellberg anti-climatically chop the side pot to end the hand on stacks of 31,000 and 42,000 respectively.

Wong Relaxes With a Le Massage

Level: 7 Blinds: 200/400 Ante: 50
Tommy Le and Kenneth Wong Tommy Le and Kenneth Wong

We’re down to the last few hands of the evening and the mood seems light here in the Genting Club. This is particularly true on Kenneth Wong’s table, where he has been getting a relaxing massage from one of the Filipino masseuses here the last few orbits.

That was until Tommy Le, who is on a table next to Wong’s, jumps up and takes the masseuse’s place. He rubs his new client’s shoulders and Wong seems none the wiser, until Le starts to work on his ear lobes. His technique isn’t to Wong’s liking and on turning around is shocked to see Le in fits of laughter behind. Wong gives Le a punch and starts laughing also, as well as the rest of the table who saw what happened.

It was definitely the funniest thing we have seen all day.

Hachem Playback Boomerangs Badly

Level: 7 Blinds: 200/400 Ante: 50
Joe Hachem Joe Hachem

South Africa’s Divan Le Roux has been pretty active this last couple of levels and has tangled with several table mates, including Joe Hachem, getting the money in with the worst of it every time but emerging triumphant on the river every time.

This might explain Hachem’s actions in the following hand, though unfortunately things did not work out quite as the APT ambassador was hoping. Le Roux kicks off the action with an opening raise to 800 from middle position and sitting directly to his left in the lojack Hachem moves all-in for around 8,500 or so.

Action fold back around to Le Roux who has a little think about his options. Unfortunately for Hachem this time the South African actually has a hand and Le Roux does eventually elect to call, rolling over A K, which is ahead of Hachem’s 6 7.

It looks like Hachem’s play might actually work out for him when the flop comes down 9 7 3 to pair his Seven, but it backfires spectacularly when the A makes an unwelcome appearance on the turn. The Q river seals the deal and brings Hachem’s Day 1A to a premature end while Le Roux stacks up his newly won chips to move up to the 33,000 mark.

Coetzer Rails Two and Gains Chip Lead

Level: 7 Blinds: 200/400 Ante: 50

South African Conrad Coetzer is regular fixture in the Asian poker scene and has some nice results here, including a third place in June 2011′s Macau Poker Cup: Red Dragon. Now, Coetzer is making his mark on this APT Philippines Main Event and has just eliminated two players.

In this hand, he raised it up preflop to see Abhishek Goindi just flat with A K in the small blind and the short-stacked big blind of Ranniel Galvez push for 6950 with A 7. Coetzer makes the call but that was Goindi’s plan all along and he shoves his bigger stack also.

However, Coetzer doesn’t even sweat and announces a casual call. We see why when he turns over A A to have both his opponents crushed. The board rolls out Q 3 2 8 9 and the South African rakes in another juicy pot, sending his stack up to around 100,000 to take the chip lead.

Tight Is Right

Level: 7 Blinds: 200/400 Ante: 50
Ben Abrahams Ben Abrahams

We are now into the last level of the day and as a result play has tightened up somewhat, despite the fact that eliminated players can re-buy on Day 1B should they get knocked out.We talked briefly to Ben Abrahams about it and asked his thoughts on the matter:

“You’re better off coming back with a stack of around 6,000 for 10 big blinds than you are gambling and having to re-buy tomorrow, you’ll be USD $2,700 better off for a start. I’ve been card dead and haven’t hit a flop since around level three and I’m still managing to stay on around 10,000,” Abrahams confides.

He manages to pad this out slightly on the next hand when action is folded around to him on the button and he raises to 1,000 to take down the blinds and antes unopposed to add an additional 1,150 to his stack and keep afloat.