By the time registration ended and play was under way, 229 players had taken to the felt, bringing the grand total of entrants in the APPT Macau Main Event to an impressive 538.
Not only did that number crush the 352 from the inaugural Macau tournament in November of last year, it ensured this would be the biggest and richest tournament in Asian poker history. The bottom line: poker is hot in Asia.
Shortly after the day began the official prize pool numbers were released, revealing that these rounders are playing for a piece of an amazing $12,643,000 HKD, or $1,620,897.44 USD. First place will pay a whopping $3,540,040 HKD ($453,851 USD), and a total of 56 people will make the money.
Once the numbers game played out, the poker game began, and we were treated to a field filled with a lot more star power than the first two opening flights.
The winner of last season's APPT Macau joined the group, but Dinh Le's luck ran out early when his kings couldn't fade a foe's three-outer.
Two of the top Asian-American players in the game today also suffered similar fates. First, J.C. Tran sent his stack over to 2008 WPT Championship winner David Chiu in the first few levels when his own kings were bested by Chiu's flopped set of queens.
Chiu spent the rest of the day tangling with yet another Asian-American WPT title holder, Nam Le. And while their battle would have to be called a draw, Chiu ended play with a slightly less healthy $13,000 in chips to Le's $14,500.
In the end, however, neither one came close to matching the kind of day 2005 WSOP bracelet winner and 2008 WPT L.A. Poker classic runner-up Quinn Do had.
The Mighty Quinn caught some big hands and picked off a series of poorly conceived bluffs throughout the day, running his stack up to $83,600 by the end of play. Do will head into Day 2 fourth in chips.
Although we could go on, we'll round out the PL.com Asian-Americans in Asia report with the story of Men "The Master" Nguyen and his wife Van Nguyen. The two sat at adjacent tables for most of the day and coincidentally spent the majority of their time with similar-sized stacks.
In the end there were some differences between the two, though, as Men closed out on $39,500 playing his usually solid style, while Van built a good portion of her $27,800 stack by getting extremely lucky to flop trips with A-J and bust 2006 WSOP bracelet winner Praz Bansi holding the dominating A-Q.
Since this is the PokerStars APPT, there were a good number of Team PokerStars Pros in attendance today as well.
Lee Nelson had the best day of the bunch, starting with a quick double when his jacks held against two overs. The 2006 Aussie Millions winner ended with $29,900 in chips and much higher hopes for Day 2 than the rest of the team, including Aussie Joe Hachem.
The 2005 WSOP Main Event champ had chips at one point, but they were quickly salted away through a combination of bad beats, tough folds and obvious bluffs. Hachem will limp into Day 2 with barely enough chips to limp with in his $5,500 stack.
Team PokerStars pro Isabelle Mercier also hopped on the felt here on Day 1c, but while she looked good, she really didn't play good, ending with $8,200 in chips and a chair. Meanwhile, a very quiet and reserved Hevad Khan left early without making a peep.
In total 86 players survived the day, with PokerStars qualifier Mark Walsh and his $95k leading them all. This group will join the leftovers from the first two days, giving us a combined 208 players heading into tomorrow's Day 2.
With Day 1a chip leader Andre Wagner and his $109,700 leading the entire field, the first of seven planned levels will get going around 1:30 p.m. Macau time on Thursday and PL.com will be here for it all.
In between all-night baccarat sessions on the Cotai Strip and gorging ourselves on heaping portions of Macanese delicacies like African Chicken, we really have nothing better to do.