Tournament director Danny McDonagh has just announced the last six hands prompting players to take stock of their respective chip stacks and batten down the hatches in the hopes of making Day 2.
Singapore’s Nathaniel Seet was in the midst of a hand against New Zealand’s Jeremy Macdonald and found himself contemplating a minimum re-raise after leading out for 13,000 into the 15,000 pot on a 5♦ J♦ A♥ flop. With the announcement of the last six hands Seet decided discretion was the better part of valour and made the fold.
However, some players decided that now was the perfect time to make a move, and a short-stacked Wang Wen Lin moved all-in for his last 3,000 holding A♦ K♣. Brice Renaud looked down to see K♥ 10♥ and opted to make the call from the blinds. Lin would secure himself the double up after the board ran out J♥ K♠ 6♣ 8♠ 5♥, but with a stack of just 6,500 he still has a lot to do when he comes back tomorrow, as will Renaud who slips down to around 12,500.
With only a few hands to go before Day 1A finishes, the USA’s Brian Lovett may have just secured his Day 2 pass after doubling up through Justin Lowe from South Africa. Lovett pushed all in for 24,600 holding 5♦ 5♥ is gets called by Lowe on the button with A♥ Q♥.
However, Lowe can’t quite connect on a board of 3♣ K♥ 7♥ 9♣ J♠ and is left with just 2000 remaining in chips. The very next hand sees him bust from the tournament.
Team PokerStars Pro Raymond Wu opened up this pot with a raise to 3600 from the lowjack. The player to his immediate left, who gave his name to us only as “Chobo”, called and we went to a flop of 6♣ Q♦ K♠. Wu counts out another 3600 and floats it into the middle to continue selling his story. Chobo makes the call and the turn Q♣ arrives.
Wu looks down at his hand again and after a pause makes the check and his opponent checks behind. On the river 4♣ Wu checks again, prompting Chobo to deliver 7400 more into the pot. Wu slowly counts out the amount, which leaves him with just around 6000 left in his stack. With a slight hesitation of his wrist he makes the call and it proves to be the wrong one.
Chobo tables K♥ J♠ which is enough to make Wu muck his hand.
And that move is all-in from UTG+1 for 19,400 pre-flop, finding a caller in the form of the Cut Off who puts his tournament life on the line and pushes his last 12,000 into the middle of the table. While the Cut Off’s A♥ 10♣ is in front of Mcallister’s K♠ 7♠ it is the latter who hits when the board runs out 7♣ 9♠ 4♦ 6♦ J♣. Mcallister celebrates with a fist pump and is now up to around 30,000 while the Cut Off can only mutter to himself under his breath and head for the exit.
One of three Iranians in today’s field, Hossein Shabannezhad, has just doubled up through Taipei player Victor Chen. After the cutoff player raised the action preflop, Shabannezhad moved all in from the small blind and was followed by Chen in the big blind. The cutoff moved out of the way and let the blinds battle it out.
When cards were revealed the Iranian had Chen in trouble with 10♦ 10♣ versus 8♥ 8♠. Shabannezhad gave a premature celebrational “Yes!” on the flop of 6♠ 5♦ 2♦ and was floored to see a 8♦ arrive on the turn to give Chen his trips. Shabannezhad then called out for another diamond and his prayers were answered the A♦ river giving him the flush and perhaps a little justice that the best hand won.
Chen is now living on Struggle Street with just 17,000 in chips left.
Tournament poker is all about timing – make the right move at the right time (or sometimes the wrong move at the right time) and it can pay dividends. However, when you make these moves you have to be prepared to take it on the chin when it all goes wrong, especially when you make them with the ill-fated Ace Eight. After all, it’s called the dead man’s hand for a reason…
One unfortunate player has discovered this the hard way, shoving all-in for his last 6,000 from under the gun with A♦ 8♦. Unfortunately the player sitting to his left, Hong Kong’s Sau Chin Ng, woke up with Pocket Queens. While the UTG player managed to hit top pair on the 9♥ 8♠ 3♠ flop it was not enough to keep him in contention and with no Aces or Eights forthcoming by the river Ng’s Queens were good enough to earn him the pot and move him up to around 17,000 in chips.
As well as sitting atop our player list alphabetically speaking, Aditya Agarwal, also has the honour of being one of a small India contingent of players that have made it to Macau this time around. From the lowjack, Agarwal moved all in for 13,200 holding A♥ Q♥ and was called by well-known Filipino poker player, Czardy Rivera with 7♦ 7♣.
The board ran out 9♦ 6♠ 3♠ A♠ 2♥ to give Agarwal a much-needed double up as we go into the last 10-minute break of the evening. With an average stack of around 32,000 and 89 players left from the 189 that started, we’re at the tail end of today’s play.