The Asia Poker League has kicked off in style today, with their schedule catapulting us straight into the serious action with Day 1A of the Main Event. This $1,000 event has an ambitious $500K guarantee, creating a target of 500 entries for the organisers.
Day 1A saw 68 hopefuls buy in for the first skirmish of the APL, with only 8 survivors carrying chips through to the next day. 40 minute levels were in effect here, with the field getting through fourteen of them today.
Chip leader: Zhang Chen Xu
Several ladies were involved in the Main Event action today, with one of them climbing the leaderboard to claim the overnight chiplead. That player is experienced at playing live events, has a passion for poker and goes by the name of Zhang Chen Xu. She will be one to watch on day 2.
Qiang picks off a bluff late in the day
Liu Qiang owns one of the largest poker club in the country, in the city of Tian Jin, and will be delighted with his start here in Beijing. Having slowly built a stack through the levels, he found an important double up on the last hand of the day, when calling down an opponent who was barreling with 8 high. Qiang finishes the day 2nd in chips.
1st – Zhang Chen Xu – 323,000
2nd – Liu Qiang – 197,000
3rd – Zhang Zi Chen – 192,000
4th – Li Ke Xin – 149,000
5th – Wang Jun – 144,000
6th – Lin Xin – 126,000
7th – Chen Yi – 73,000
8th – FV130 57,000
No success for team Korea
Seung Soo Jeon is part of an important delegation of Korean players who made the trip to China for this opening event. Unlike many of the international players, he decided to take a shot at day 1A rather than waiting for a later starting flight. His decision was not rewarded however, as he endured a torrid first day. The same can be said of all six international players who were involved in the first day, as none of them survived to reach day 2.
TV table and live broadcast
In a move which is sure to help poker popularity grow in China, live televised coverage was put in place by the organisers of this event. There has been a special feature table running throughout day 1A of the tournament, with coverage being aired on a Chinese media channel.
The Main Event is certainly attracting the spotlight at the moment, but there are also side events going on which deserve a mention. The $360 buy in Warm Up event saw 59 entries, with a good number of international entries. Brian McAllister took part, as did Somuchpoker co-founder Denis Pham and Vietnamese national Danh Nguyen. The event has now concluded with China’s Fuyingqi emerging as victor.
Beijing Poker Club CEO and James Kim took a moment to chat with Somuchpoker as play unfolded, and made the following statement: “We are happy with the start of the event. People are having fun and organisation is running smoothly”. “Main Event numbers are expected to rise sharply over the next few days.”