Jonathan Duhamel and Team PokerStars Lead the way
The unique GuangDong Ltd Asia Millions event in Macau kicked off at 3pm (CST) with 71 players all paying HKD$1,000,000 for the privilege to play for the top prize of HKD$ 34,600,000 (USD$ 4,464,516). Each player was allowed two re-buys at any time regardless of the chip stack which 35 players opted for while some went for two. In the end there was a total of 54 re-buys which inflated the total prize pool to a huge HKD$119,375,000 (USD$ 15,403,226) making the GDAM the second largest poker tournament ever held outside of Las Vegas.
The conclusion of Day 1 saw some notable casualties in the form of Erik Seidel, Mike Watson and Shaun Deeb along with 17 other players who were all sent packing leaving 51 to return for Day 2.
Apart from the unfortunate Seidel, Watson and Deeb many others faired far better on Day 1, none more so than Team PokerStars own Jonathan Duhamel who finished up chip leader following a somewhat roller-coaster afternoon. Early on Duhamel found himself with a greatly diminished stack before steadying the ship during the second half of the afternoon to return to the top. The 2010 WSOP Main Event champion is in good form so far utilizing both of his re-buys while finishing up chip leader with 6,080,000.
Just behind Duhamel is another Team PokerStars player, Issac Haxton, who is currently sitting at 5,658,000 following some solid play. While both Duhamel and Haxton lead the way the likes of Sorel Mizzi, Joseph Cheong, JC Alvarado and Dan Smith are all not too far behind the leaders.
Aaron Lim (2,325,000), Gus Hansen (1,756,000) and John Juanda (2,498,000) had a bumpy first day with all three finding the cards difficult early on. Of the three Pro’s Gus Hansen was the only one to buy back in twice with both Lim and Juanda not re-buying at all.
Below is the top 10 players chip counts.
Jonathan Duhamel – 6,080,000
Issac Haxton – 5,658,000
Sorel Mizzi – 5,649,000
Fenglei Qian – 5,075,000
Di Dang – 4,104,000
Joseph Chenog – 4,052,000
Anson Tsang – 3,892,000
JC Alvarado – 3,787,000
Dan Smith – 3,618,000
Thomas McDonald – 3,756,000
Other notable players:
Tony Gregg – 2,541,000
John Juanda – 2,498,000
Aaron Lim – 2,325,000
Gus Hansen – 1,756,000
Greg Merson – 1,567,000
The overall play was quick, skillful and intense with all players focused on what they wanted to achieve on Day 1. The GDAM so far has been excellent with only positive noise coming from the pro’s, organizers and spectators. Although the World Series of Poker has already begun organizers are very pleased at the turnout from the professional players while emphasizing that the GDAM is not going to be a one off event. The endgame for the GDAM is that they want to establish themselves as a credible and legitimate tournament and challenge the top competitions across the world for players, prize money and exposure.
With most of the top players still well in with a shout of taking home the huge cash prize Day 2 is not to be missed.
Day 2 of the GuangDong Ltd Asia Millions live from PokerStars Live at the City of Dreams Casino in Macau begins 3pm (CST). Catch it all from FTRs live stream which you can watch here.