POKERSTARS.NET APPT MACAU MARKS PHIL IVEY’S RETURN TO TOURNAMENT POKER
CASINO GRAND LISBOA, Macau – No statements, no announcement, no Tweets, no nothing.
At approximately 1:45 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, Phil Ivey quietly walked into the PokerStars Macau Poker Room and sat down to play in a poker tournament.
The news shocked the poker world and most everyone from players to floormen at the PokerStars.net APPT Macau Main Event, much the same way it did back in May when Ivey issued a statement stating he would not be playing the 2011 World Series of Poker. He hadn’t played in a live event since.
On the felt, it was like he’d never left. Ivey navigated through the Day 1a field with relative ease, coasting to a comfortable 51,200 in chips by day’s end, almost doubling his 30,000 starting stack.
(For more on Ivey, visit the PokerStars Blog)
Once the Ivey aftershocks subsided, it was back to business as usual at Asia’s premiere poker event, inside Asia’s most luxurious gaming venue, Casino Grand Lisboa.
The field was loaded with notables including Team PokerStars Pros Alex Kravchenko (Russia),Raymond Wu (Asia) and Mickey Petersen (Team Online), all of whom survived to reach Day 2.
The opening flight attracted a healthy 269 runners, of which 155 survived to reach Day 2 on Friday. A similar field size is expected Thursday on Day 1b, which means we’ll be flirting with the record for the biggest main event field in APPT Macau history (Season 2 – 538 runners).
Shih Chieh Su from Chinese Taipei finished Day 1a atop the leaderboard with 171,800 in chips. Notably, 2007 APPT Sydney Grand Final champ Grant Levy also landed a spot in the overnight top ten, bagging 111,200 in chips.
Other notable Day 1a survivors include Nathaniel Seet (124,500), Jackson Zheng (97,300), Julian Powell (89,100), Ozzy Sheikh (72,900), David Steicke (69,500), Roger Spets (60,600), Jose Severino (54,900), Andrew Scott (41,200), Eric Liu (25,400) and Young Phan (17,000).
Notable Day 1a casualties include former APPT Sydney Grand Final champ Jonathan Karamalikis, Mark Vos, Michael Pedley, Emanuel Seal and Andrew Hinrichsen.