Hitting the Macau Poker Cup

teampro-thumb.JPGComing off fresh from my cash at the EPT Grand Final in Madrid, I was feeling very confident going into the Macau Poker Cup series. I faced off against some of the best in the world in Madrid and ended up doing well and along the way picked up a lot of new cool plays!

The day finally came and along with my friends Itsau, Ryan, and Marcus, four of us journeyed 90 minutes from Taipei to Macau. We were greeted with familiarity at the fabulous hotel Grand Lisboa as this is the venue for the event and settled ourselves down with a traditional dim sum dinner to warm ourselves up. Macau, for those of you that are not familiar, is the gaming capital of the East. It's filled with glitz and glamour, neon lights, opulent bars, and 24 hours pawn shops! It is truly a city that NEVER sleeps.

Starting off would be event number one which I entered day two with the chip lead with just 21 players remaining. Unfortunately for me I lost two very crucial flips that got me crippled and exited early at 15th place. Needless to say I was very disappointed but I felt great about my result as I basically pummeled my way through day one like a restless truck driven by a bank robber. I was stealing and commanding the tables like no other. The tactics I picked up at the EPT Grand Final were now in full throttle!

The next couple of days featured a numbered event each day and thankfully each one of us cashed in something, albeit nothing significant. If the event took place at night we would wake up and spend the entire day soaking ourselves up in the Grand Waldo Spa, which is located near the Venetian Macau, and it offers a full range of water spa, sauna, steam room, Chinese/thai massage, facials, cheap food, and free internet! The place is reasonably priced and extremely popular amongst Macau regulars for relaxing before or after an event. I'd like to recommend depositing $5,000 HKD at the front desk which gives you an instant 20% discount for you and all your friends. Count me in!

ray at mpc.jpg

Besides the relaxing Grand Waldo Spa, most of our nights would be spent drinking away at one of Macau's fantastic clubs. I know many players favor the Lion's Bar at the MGM Grand which features a live band; however, I personally prefer a much quieter outing located at the 38th floor of the hotel Altira. The place is called Crystal Lounge and on top of being spacious, classy, and peaceful, it offers the best skyline view of Macau, indoors or outdoors, your pick! Or you could head over to StarWorld's Whisky bar which also features a live band! I know many players that would go to one of these joints until 2am and head out to a serious night club like D2 and party until the morning. For your information partying doesn't start in Macau until earliest 2am!

The day before the main event a couple of friends gathered in my room pondering what activity we should indulge in that night. Opinions flew back and forth and an hour later we were playing roulette on one's iPhone for money, standard I guess for poker players, ha! Eventually the roulette got boring so we played some baccarat. Then blackjack. Then casino war. The time literally flew and 3 hours later everyone was pretty much even. Finally, I decided it was time for some good old rock paper scissor. It was four way and if one of us knocks out all three in the first round then everyone else would lose double. Man, let me tell ya, this may sound totally silly to you, but there was some SICK leveling going on that night. One of my friends, Victor, would call out what he was going to throw and tell others what to do, and he would switch back and forth between telling the truth and bluffing. It was incredibly intense and fun, but ridiculous to say the least. The game totally reminded me of how similar a game it is to poker, especially live poker, where your ultimate goal is to correctly adjust to your opponent's tendencies. The night ended up poorly for me as I am a rock paper scissor fish and ended up losing $7,000 HKD but it surely was a good warm up for the main event the next day!

Day 1 of the main event saw me doubling up in the first level with AA and trying to secure the spot of table captain. Unfortunately, a player, hailing from Malaysia, would be my menace for the day and did everything in his power to stop me from bullying everyone. At the end of the day I really felt like I was pretty much just playing heads up with him as no one else wanted a piece of anything. Him and I would just go at it almost every hand and although I bested him in some crucial spots (including shoving bottom pair for value and getting called by Ace high), he ended the day with almost twice as much as I did. I, on the other hand, had a roller coaster day going from nothing to everything, back to nothing, then something again. Day 2 was however short for me when a player on the button raised and I reraised all in with K5o thinking his range is really wide and would fold a lot. Bad timing is the right word as his KK would completely crush me and send me out early.

Overall a very satisfying trip as almost all Macau trips are. Played a lot of tournaments, gained experienced, played degenerate games with friends in the room, ate like there was no tomorrow, drank like there was no tomorrow, oh and lived like there was no tomorrow! Remember to hit me up in Macau next time! Good Luck!

Follow me on Twitter: @RaymondSWu

Raymond Wu
@PokerStars in PokerStars news