The difference between 157 players and 18 is huge. The task we had today in the Macau Poker Cup: Red Dragon Main Event was to eliminate dozens of players and usher in at least the final two tables. That's exactly what we did here in the PokerStars Macau poker room at the Grand Waldo Entertainment Complex, as only two tables of nine remain in contention for the title.
At the beginning of the day the main thing that was on the player's minds was to try and make it to the 65-money paying positions. That was certainly the first goal of the day, but unfortunately Team PokerStars Pro Raymond Wu was one of the many players who failed to make it through the money bubble.
If anything is to be said about Wu's elimination it's that it could have been worse- he could have been Bin Sun. There always has to be at least one bubble boy and unfortunately for Sun, that player would be him. And what we can only call "super unfortunately", it had to be a vicious roller coaster of a bad beat that would send Sun home empty handed.
The bubble hand started off very simple. It was Sun's A♥K♠ against an opponent's J♥J♣. Minus a few percent Sun was technically in with a fifty-fifty chance of surviving through the bubble. To say Sun was ecstatic when the dealer flipped over a Q♥A♣8♣ was an understatement, but to say he was furious when the J♦ landed on the turn is even more of an understatement. When the river bricked off, well, we will let the picture below do the talking.
With the bubble burst, the remaining 65 players were guaranteed HK$18,300 for their time and boy were some of them seemingly happy to have scraped into the money. Following the bubble, play was frantic. No, that doesn't describe just how quick the action went. How about this stat: 25 players were eliminated in an hour.
One by one the players continued to hit the rail with some cash for all their hard work. One player who was on top of the world during this period was Jay Tan. Having accumulated the first monster stack nearing seven figures, Tan was looking great to be in contention at the end of the night. However, it all ended up coming to a crashing halt for Tan in 24th place.
Another player who was on top of the world with only a few players remaining was Team PokerStars Pro Vivian Im. Having dominated Asian poker tournaments for several years, Im is no stranger to going deep in tournaments. That being said, we are sure she is also no stranger to a cooler or two and that's exactly what happened tonight when she ran pocket kings into pocket aces. In the end, Im was eliminated in a very respectable 21st place.
Inevitably the night was going to come to an end as the final 20 players were told Day 2 would only play out one more level. During that level two players were eliminated and only 18 players remained. The final two tables then bagged up their chips and called it a night.
The players who will probably have the most trouble sleeping tonight are Shashank Rathi and Chung Tung Wai as their monster stacks put them in real contention to make a run at the HK$1,123,000 first-place prize. These guys will certainly have tough competition though, with past MPCC champion Raiden Kan and past MPC: Red Dragon victor Zhenjian Lin among the final nine. Please find the final day table draw below the image of our chip leader, Rathi.
Seat 1: Hong Zhu - 444,000
Seat 2: Shashank Rathi - 1,299,000
Seat 3: Zhenjian Lin - 437,000
Seat 4: Michael Marvanek - 216,000
Seat 5: Vyacheslav Kuzmin - 350,000
Seat 6: Minhao Shi - 130,000
Seat 7: Kevin Zhang - 619,000
Seat 8: Homan Houshiar - 314,000
Seat 9: Yobin Zhuang - 527,000
Seat 1: Eemil Tuominen - 223,000
Seat 2: Yoshitaka Okawa - 733,000
Seat 3: Jiarong Qiu - 85,000
Seat 4: Oliver Duran - 222,000
Seat 5: Marcus Lau - 130,000
Seat 6: Chung Tung Wai - 1,110,000
Seat 7: Raidan Kan - 252,000
Seat 8: Yibin Zhuang - 527,000
Seat 9: Zhenwu Wang - 416,000
That's all from us at the PokerStarsBlog this evening! Be sure to join us from 2.00pm tomorrow as 18 becomes one and the newest MPC: Red Dragon champion is crowned!