In just five and a half hours at the casino-hotel, the field was trimmed from the 39 who started to the final table of nine set for tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. Macanese time.
While half the short stacks in the room departed so quickly it looked as if they were late for dinner reservations over in Hong Kong, the first notable exit was that of German Andre Wagner.
Wagner led all 208 Day 1 survivors when play began yesterday, and created an even bigger gap between himself and the rest of the group halfway through the day before practically imploding.
He managed to check himself before he completely wrecked himself and started Day 3 10th in chips, but departed in the first level of play today when he shipped it with a nut-flush draw that never got there.
Sadly, Canadian Keith Wintermans was the next player in the top 10 to make an all-too-early exit when his second nut flush was beaten by the nut flush in a massive pot. Ironically, he had found himself on the winning end of the exact same scenario to qualify for the event on PokerStars.
There was some hope for a little star power in the final nine as play began, but that dwindled as the day wore on.
Full Tilt's John Juanda made a late run yesterday to get within shouting distance of the leaders, but never got on track today, shoving bad when he got short. L.A. Poker Classic runner-up Quinn Do came into the day as the smallest stack, but things looked hopeful for a while when he pushed it up to $90k.
Unfortunately, Do raced A-Q against sevens soon after and couldn't connect.
Season 6 WPT Championship winner David Chiu looked to have the best shot at APPT glory, getting close to $500k as play was whittled down to the final two tables. But Chiu made a $320k call with an overpair to the board on the flop, only to find out Jeppe Drivsholm had found two pair.
Chiu still had a few chips after the big hand, but lost them soon, saying goodbye in 11th place.
Then there was David Steicke. From nearby Hong Kong, Steicke made the final table at the High Roller Event here in Macau last year and one of the 57,287 (possibly fewer) World Series of Poker final tables this past summer.
However, he fell just short here in Macau this time around when Tian Chen hit a gut-shot on the river to double through him and then spiked an ace on the turn against his middle pair to put him out on the final-table bubble.
But enough about those who won't be here tomorrow; on to those who will.
Diwei "Bryan" Huang started out his day being on the other end of that Wintermans flush-over-flush debacle to grab the chip lead. Then, he picked off a sad-looking bluff from Jung Choi to rail him and build a lead that no one could overcome by the time play ended.
A native of Singapore, Huang will head into the final table with $1,046,000 in chips.
After taking out loudmouth Carter Gill and Charlie Lam when they both flopped a pair of queens against his pocket aces, end of Day 2 chip leader Edward Sabat cruised for the rest of the day, pushing barely up and over $1 million in chips as well.
Having gone into the final table of the World Series Circuit event in San Diego this past February as chip leader, finishing third, Sabat will surely be looking to improve upon that result here in China.
Despite his youth, the L.A. native looks to be the most experienced of the group when it comes to big-time tournament poker, and PL.com is expecting big things.
Other than Sabat, Brit Javed Abrahams has had three top-25 finishes on the European poker tour over the last couple of years and an eighth-place finish at the WPT Bellagio Cup in Vegas right after the WSOP this summer. But he's among the shortest stacks, coming in with just $215k.
South Korean So Myung Sim ($118k) will be looking to double up or go home rather quickly when things get going tomorrow. And while Macau's own Kuok Wai Will Cheong ($334,000) and Swede Mikael Rosen ($361,000) have a little bit more play, they'll need to make some moves too.
Meanwhile, in the middle of the pack sits Malaysian luckbox Charles "Chucky" Chua ($617,000) and late chargers Jeppe Drivsholm of Denmark ($863,000) and Asian-American Tian Chen ($768,000). These guys are within one double-up of the chip lead and no one is counting them out just yet.
It's a group of young up-and-comers here at the final table of the young and up-and-coming PokerStars APPT and that should make for an exciting finish.
Plus, if today was any indication, it's bound to happen incredibly fast, so make sure you hit up our Live Updates early and often to see how it all plays out.