We were hoping for a strong turnout today, but tournament organizers were rather chuffed to see a very healthy field of 234 runners hit the felt of the PokerStars LIVE at the City of Dreams poker room for Day 1b of the Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon Main Event. After the dramas of the typhoon yesterday, the weather settled down today with plenty of players arriving in town, determined that mother nature wasn't going to keep them from their shot at the Red Dragon trophy.
Today's field was highlighted by three members of Team PokerStars. Celina Lin, Vivian Im and Raymond Wu took their seats on Day 1b but sadly all three struggled to make an impact. Lin was a very early casualty after a nasty two-outer on the river, with Im out around halfway through the day. Wu made it a little further but after getting short, his pocket sixes fell to ace-five to make it 0 for 3 for the red spade today.
Other notables who failed to progress today included Michael Mariakis, Michael Marvanek, Tetsuya Tsuchikawa, Jeff Rossiter, David Steicke, Dan Sing and former MPC Red Dragon champions Wing Cheong Chong, Zhenjian Lin and January's champ Yoshitaka Okawa.
Where there are losers, there must be some winners. On the better side of the ledger were the likes of Bobo Chen, Fanny Li, Michaelangelo Longabela, Kim Tae Hyung and Choi Chang Rak, however the table under the most pressure was Table 9 where heavyweights Mei Ngok and Brian Yip went at it.
Ngok grabbed some late chips with the elimination of Dan Sing when Ngok's top two pair was far too strong as Sing made a move, check-raising with bottom pair. Ngok ended the day with 113,800 for a top 5 stack.
Ngok had a great day but it wasn't close to the day out experienced by fellow Hong Kong native Brian Yip. He already had over 100,000 when he first caught our attention, and then went from strength to strength late in the evening. Yip tangled with Ngok in several pots before winning a nice pot with a flopped top pair that ended up with a rivered straight to amass a huge stack of 180,900 at the close of play.
Yip is way out in front as chip leader, with only half a dozen players bagging up six figures at the end of the day.
We'll be back tomorrow from 7:00pm as our third and final group of hopefuls find their way into the PokerStars LIVE poker room at the City of Dreams for a shot at the Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon title. Fingers crossed we should see another big field which will put the total field in excess of 600 players which is a great result considering the typhoon which affected travel plans for so many.
Join us once again on the PokerStars Blog as we bring you all the live updates. Thanks for following and until then, it's good night from Macau!
Photos by Kenneth Lim Photography courtesy of PokerStars LIVE Macau
Heath "TassieDevil" Chick is a Freelance Contributor for the PokerStars Blog.