2016 Macau Millions Day 2: Records tumble as Main Event attracts largest-ever field
Poker's popularity in Macau continues to rise as the 2016 Macau Millions smashes its own record for largest-ever field, attracting an impressive 2,343 entries over three starting flights.
Expectations for breaking the previous record of 1,804 - set by PokerStars LIVE Macau in the 2014 Macau Millions - were high with Day 1A attracting 535 entries, a record opening for the poker series.
Boasting a unique structure that allows for unlimited re-entries for the first six levels the stage was set for some high-octane poker action. The 2016 Macau Millions also added a little extra spice with the three Day 1 starting flights split into two heats - standard and turbo.
The standard flight proved to be the more popular of the two, with 424 players anteing up the HK$3,000 (~US$385) buy-in for Day 1A. Those unlucky enough not to make the initial top 7% cut were free to try their luck in the turbo heat, which attracted another 111 runners.
The record for largest field is not the only one to have been broken this weekend with Day 1B drawing a massive 729 entries - 518 in the standard flight and 211 for the turbo. This is a Macau-record in itself, breaking the previous single-day high of 582.
Day 1C eclipsed both previous starting flights, attracting a monstrous 1,079 entries, split 667 to 412 between the standard and turbo flights respectively, making this Macau's most popular poker tournament ever.
This brings the prize pool up to a hefty HK$6.1 million (~US$782,000), easily exceeding the tournament's HK$3 million guarantee and awarding a top prize of HK$811,000 (~US$104,000) in cash in addition to a HK$100,000 (~US$12,800) entry into the 2016 ACOP Main Event.
The 160 remaining players fortunate enough to make Day 2 have already guaranteed themselves a HK$9,000 (~US$1,150) payday, though with the tournament awarding bonus pay-outs for multiple cashes some players pulled out all the stops.
Singapore's Jiiang Ho Huang, Hong Kong's Vincent Li and China's Haisheng Ma and Yuefeng Pan have all made it through twice earning them HK$12,000 (~US$1,540) already. They will have their lowest stack removed and continue to pilot their larger stacks in an attempt to further their good fortune.
There is an eclectic mix of 36 different countries represented at the felt here in the Main Event with China comprising more than half of the entries (52.8%), the top four being rounded out by Hong Kong (14.6%), Chinese Taipei (9.3%) and Singapore (4.3%).
China's Xiao Lin is leading the charge with the chip lead and an impressive stack of 553,000, nearly 150,000 more than that of his next closest rival - fellow countryman and Day 1B chip leader Hailong Shi who has 407,500.
Rounding out the top five are Day 1A chip leader France's Gilles Lamy (399,500), Russia's Tatiana Barausova (397,500) and China's Yi Han (360,000).
Other notables still in the running include 2015 Asia Player of the Year Alan Lau - who has a very respectable 314,500 in chips - 2010 Macau Millions winner Justin Chan and reigning APPT Macau champion Tony Cheng.
Rounding out the field are the remaining PokerStars Player contingent with Chinese Taipei's Jack Wu and China's Hong Wang both still in contention.
The Main Event commences at 2:00pm local time and with plenty of poker still to be played before a champion is crowned we still have a scintillating two days of poker action ahead of us. We hope you are looking forward to it as much as we are!