Day 2 of the Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon Main Event saw the 168 survivors of the three opening flights come together in the PokerStars LIVE Macau Poker Room for the first time. At the start of the day, they had two goals. One was to make the money. The other was to survive the day to keep their title dreams alive. Just 21 have managed to achieve both of those goals and they will be returning tomorrow to battle it out for the stunning Red Dragon trophy.
Along the way there were many casualties with the likes of Billy Argyros, James Bills, Ivan Zalac, Justin Chan, Darren Judges, Julian Powell and Anson Tsang among those to fall short of the money for the top 77 players.
The bubble was a rather painful one, and was claimed to be the longest in Red Dragon history at around 80 minutes. There were plenty of all-in clashes during that time, but the short stacks just kept finding big hands to double up.
Eventually the attention fell on Malaysia's Adam Kondrollochis who was all in preflop with K♠K♦ against K♣Q♣ only to watch on in horror as the board was spread 7♣Q♥T♦4♥Q♠ for the ultimate bubble bad beat.
The remaining 77 players were pretty happy to have locked in a profit, and from there they gambled it up to make a run at the final table.
Hung-sheng "Shaq" Lin fell in 59th place, just a few places before Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang. After losing a critical pot with pocket kings, Huang ran king-jack into ace-jack and then shoved with queen-seven, only to be called by pocket jacks. Huang found no help and was out in 56th place for a HK$19,000 collect.
Former MPC champion Raiden Kan (53rd - HK$22,200), APPT Queenstown runner-up Daniel Laidlaw (51st - HK$22,200), inaugural Macau Poker Cup winner Kenny Leong (40th - HK$25,300), runaway Day 1c chip leader Gary Chen (37th - HK$25,300) and the enigmatic Bobo Chen (33rd - HK$28,500) were some of the notable players to visit the cashier to collect a nice profit for their time in Macau.
Their chips were handed across the table and now sit in the hands of our 21 remaining players. Mei Ngok, Frank Maley, Akira Ohyama, Tom Alner and Fanny Li all had strong days on the felt, while Thomas Ward and LK Chan were in control over on Table 3.
However the story of the day is the unbelievable run of 25-year old Brian Yip. Our Day 1b chip leader kicked things off on the right note from the first level of the day, and with a big stack in hand, he powered his way through the field with controlled aggression and a small ball strategy that was hard to combat.
Yip struck the fatal blows at the right times, with his end-of-day elimination of Lingui Li, the exclamation point on an incredible day.
Yip's best tournament score is for US$48,000 online, but he's usually found playing the HK$100/200 cash games. As he bagged up his chips, Yip commented that he felt he had a "decent chance" of going all the way in this event, but with 17% of the chips in play and more than double his nearest rival, we would have to say that "decent" would be a fair understatement.
MPC Red Dragon Day 3 Top 10 Chip Counts
Brian Yip (Hong Kong) - 1,656,000
Lap Kay Chan (China) - 769,000
Victor Sheerman (Russia) - 760,000
Thomas Ward (New Zealand) - 740,000
Fanny Li (USA) - 691,000
Tom Alner (UK) - 527,000
Akira Ohyama (Japan) - 473,000
Chuanyu Fu (China) - 466,000
Fan Cao (China) - 414000
Shinichi Takenouchi (Japan) - 383,000
Day 3 of the Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon Main Event will commence at 2:00pm Sunday (GMT+8) and, as always, we'll be here on the floor of the PokerStars Live at the City of Dreams poker room to bring you all the live action as it unfolds. Thanks for following along today and we hope you'll join us again tomorrow as we look to crown a new champion of poker in Asia.
Photos by Kenneth Lim Photography courtesy of PokerStars LIVE Macau
Heath "TassieDevil" Chick is a Freelance Contributor for the PokerStars Blog.