A tournament with a sky-high buy-in of HK$400,000 is going to attract some of the best poker players in the world, and that’s just what we saw today on Day 1 of the PokerStars Championship Macau Super High Roller.
Registration is still open until Day 2 begins tomorrow, but so far there are 79 entries at PokerStars LIVE Macau inside the City of Dreams complex in Macau. After eight levels of play, the day concluded with 47 players with chips to carry to Sunday’s Day 2.
With unlimited reentries allowed and the thought of dropping another HK$400,000 not seeming to be much of a deterrent, there were 17 reentries today.
Several of those came from Yu Liang. He bought in four times today and four times he drew the same seat. He was eliminated for the fourth time just moments before the day ended when he bet 30,000 on a flop of and Michael Egan called. He bet another 60,000 on the turn when Egan checked to him, and Egan raised all in. Liang was drawing dead when he called with and saw Egan’s pocket eights that had made a set on the flop. If he wants to try for a fifth time, he can still reenter before play begins on Sunday.
It was that pot that gave the Aussie the chip lead. Egan finished the day with 1,067,000 chips — the only player to tip over to a seven-figure count. Canada’s Sam Greenwood came near the million mark, counting out 976,000 to seal up for Sunday.
The tournament features a unique shot clock structure whereby players have 30 seconds to make a decision. If they don’t act before the timer hits zero, they have three one-minute timebank chips they can use.
When play kicked off a little after the scheduled 1:30pm, chips started flying in some large pots right out of the gate with Isaac Haxton and Jean-Noel Thorel battling each other 20 minutes into the first level.
Haxton raised to 3,200 from the button and Thorel called in the small blind, going to a heads-up flop of . Haxton fired out another 3,000 when action came to him and Thorel raised it up to 8,500, getting a quick call.
The turn was the and Thorel threw more chips in, betting 10,000. Haxton thought for a bit and raised to 55,000, getting a call before the dealer revealed the river. Thorel quickly checked and then folded when Haxton went all in, giving Haxton a good-sized stack early.
The same two players got all the chips in on the flop before the first level ended with both players holding a set. Haxton’s tens were better than Thorel’s sevens and Haxton collected the rest of Thorel’s stack.
Thorel was another one of the players who had no fear of dropping another HK$400,000 on a fresh stack. He managed to survive the day, bagging 175,000 for Day 2. Haxton used his momentum to build a stack of 739,000 at the end of play.
Here’s a look at the top 10 stacks at the close of Day 1:
|James En Ning Chen||Taiwan||830,000|
|Dan Smith||United States||803,000|
|Isaac Haxton||United States||739,000|
|Behzad Ahadpour||St. Kitts and Nevis||719,000|
Registration will remain open until Day 2 begins on Sunday at 12:30pm, so the final entry tally and prize pool numbers won’t be available until mid-day tomorrow. Players will battle it out through 10 levels or until eight players remain before the final day plays out on Monday.