MPC20: Day 1a Live Updates

3:45am: Familiar Fan Flies into Lead on Opening Day of MPC20 Red Dragon

The final five hands of the night have been dealt, approximately 75 players have bagged up some chips and that's all she wrote on Day 1a of the MPC20 Red Dragon Main Event.

After dealing a late-night elimination, It looks like Terry Fan has finished as the chip leader with 176,200 in chips - slightly more than the 171,200 of his nearest competitor Jimmy Pan.

As previously mentioned, Fan overcame a field of 891 players to become the champion of the record-breaking MPC18 Red Dragon Main Event. Can he do it again? Only time will tell!

Be sure to return to the PokerStars Blog shortly for a full wrap of the Day 1c action, along with all the end-of-day chip counts!


Terry Fan clearly loves nothing more than a massive Red Dragon field

3.35am: Final Five Hands

The tournament clock has been paused and the players have been told that the final five hands of the night will be dealt at each table.

Stay tuned for any last-minute action and to find out who finishes as the chip leader!

3:30am: Terry Fan has Been here Before

Terry Fan is a familiar name here at the Macau Poker Cup. That's because It's the name that was immortalized around one year ago when Fan overcame a record-breaking field of 891 players to claim the largest MPC Red Dragon Main Event title in PokerStars LIVE Macau history.

Now, here at MPC20, Fan may be feeling a bit of deja vu as he is looking likely to finish as one of the Day 1c chip leaders.

Fan recently eliminated a player when he held Ace-King against Pocket Kings and was able to catch an elusive ace to seal the deal.

3:20am: Aaron Lim Crushing Late

The final level of Day 1c of the MPC20 Red Dragon Main Event is almost over and there are a few players fighting it out for the chip lead. One of those players is WSOP bracelet winner Aaron Lim.

Lim has had a bit of a roller coaster day, as he was quite short stacked for much of the evening. However, that all changed during the late stages of the night as Lim now has around 140,000 in chips.

The latest hand to go Lim's way saw him and one opponent checking down a K♠T♠7♦3♦3♠ board. Lim held 6♥6♠ and that was enough to send the player's A♣6♦ into the muck.

3:05am: Field Quartered

Another table has just broken during this last level of the night and the starting field of 285 has just about been quartered as approximately 75 players remain.

At this point it looks like Australia's Ian Lister is the chip leader, but there is still plenty of time for fortunes to change.

2:55am: Level 12 Begins, Blinds 1,000/2,000 (300)

The final level of the night!

2:45am: Huang Loses Massive Pot, Then Falls

One minute Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang had a big chip stack, the next minute he was gone.

We didn't catch Huang's elimination first hand, but we did hear what happened straight from Huang's mouth.

The major hand that occurred began with an under the gun plus one player opening it up to 4,200 from under the gun. Huang looked down at pocket kings and three-bet to 6,900. Ian Lister flat-called a couple of spots to Huang's left and the original opener, who had around 11,000 behind, made the call.

On the J♦6♦7♦ flop, it was checked to Lister, who bet 13,000. The other player folded, while Huang moved all in. Lister had 45,000 total and made the call. Unfortunately for Huang, Lister held pocket jacks and with no miracle king on the turn or river, Huang was left short stacked.

Shortly after the hand above and Huang, ironically, ran into pocket kings and that was that.

Meanwhile, the largest benefactor of Huang's demise, Lister, is now one of the chip leaders with a very large stack of around 140,000.

2.35am: Can I Please Leave?

"I'm too drunk," Jingxuan Zhu said to one of the MPC20 Tournament Directors. "Can I go home?"

Zhu was asking because he wondered what would happen to his chips if he left. Considering there was still over an hour to go in the night, he was told it might not be a good idea, but that any decision to leave was up to me.

After Zhu received confirmation that his chips would be bagged and tagged for him if he left early, he decided to stay to "try and win some more chips first."

2.25am: Huang Loses Some

Bryan Huang was up over 100,000 in chips, but recently lost some of those chips against one opponent on a 3♦4♦T♥T♠3♣ board. Huang was faced with a bet of 10,000 into a pot of around 15,000 on the river. The Team PokerStars Pro tanked for quite some time before opting to let his cards go.

Following this hand Huang was down to 75,000.

2:15am: Level 11 Begins, Blinds 600/1,200 (200)

2:05am: Big Call from Bryan Huang

Several hours ago, Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang told us that he had been playing terribly. We aren't sure he would still be feeling that way as he now sits behind a stack of around 90,000 in chips.

Plenty of those chips came to Huang courtesy of a massive pot he recently took down on a 4♣3♥3♣9♠Q♥ board. Huang was up against one opponent and there was around 30,000 already in the pot when we arrived at the action on the river. Huang's opponent led out for 12,500 and Huang went deep into the tank. Eventually Huang called and the player turned over 7♠5♠ for a whole lot of nothing. Huang held just A♠8♣, but the Ace-High was more than enough to claim the pot.

Huang's stack puts him as one of the chip leaders in the room.


Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang is all smiles

1:55am: Im Folds to Alner's Shove

We recently arrived to find Team PokerStars Pro Vivian Im faced with an all in shove from Tom Alner on the river of a 4♣3♥3♣9♠Q♥ board.

Im wen't into the tank and eventually decided to let her cards go. Despite losing this pot, Im is still very healthy with around 28,000 in chips. Alner is only faring a little better, having around 30,000.

1:45am: Aston Hurting

2012 ANZ Player of the Year runner-up Anthony Aston had a great start to the day. He was one of the first players to see his stack move above 50,000 in chips.
Unfortunately for the Aussie he is now one of the short stacks in the room.

Aston's chips went in the wrong direction when he five-bet all in holding J♦J♣ in the big blind and ran into A♦A♣. The board ran out K♦7♥7♣A♥5♥, with the turn card leaving Aston dead and even seeing the player let out a loud "Yes!"

Aston will need some help to make Day 2 now has his stack has fallen below ten big blinds.

1:35am: No More Breaks; Level 10 Begins, Blinds 600/1,200 (200)

The players are back from their final break of the night and the cards are flying.
There are three more levels remaining in the night. Players will be out the door a little after 3:30am. Well, that is those players who manage to make Day 2.

1:25am: Final Break of the Night

Approximately 112 players have been sent on their final 10-minute break of the night.

When they return there will be three more levels before it is called a night.

1:10am: King David is Yaron and Yaron is the chip leader

"Call me 'King David'," said Yaron Malki after he shipped a ridiculously massive pot to see his stack move to 130,000 in chips... When the average stack is only 30,000.

The hand in question was a four-way all in.

Ro Park was the short stack and was all in holding T♦T♣, while two other players both had Ace-King. Malki had the most chips and had all three opponents at-risk, with Malki holding 9♥9♦.

The board ran out T♠2♦7♠Q♥2♠ and with that Park had quadrupled up his tiny stack and Malki had sent two players to the rail.

Malki is the first and only player so far to move his stack into the six-figure region here on Day 1a of the MPC20 Red Dragon Main Event.


Yaron Malki has a lot of stacking to do

1:00am: Learn some Macau Poker Cup history

In the lead up to MPC20, Fred Leung took a look at the top ten moments of the Macau Poker Cup. Some of the moments featured included many of the players who are still alive and well late here on Day 1a of the MPC20 Red Dragon Main Event, including Kitty Kuo's victory, the close calls of Team PokerStars Pros Bryan Huang and Vivian Im and much more.

Click here to have a read of the Top Ten Moments of the MPC.

12:40am: Level 9 Begins, Blinds 500/1,000 (100)

12:35am: Exits, Exits, Exits

Day 1a of the MPC20 Red Dragon Main Event marches on and plenty of players march out of the tournament area. The night began with 285 players and that number has been reduced to around 155 players during this eighth level of the night.

Not that long ago David Steicke was eliminated and as he walked past his friend Andrew Scott, he said, "Lucky we didn't have a last longer!"

Kai Yang is also no longer in his seat as he must not have been able to recover after losing a big pot to Tom Alner, which you can read about just a few posts down.

12:20am: Kuo Killing It

Considering we began MPC20 tonight, it's been quite a while since Kitty Kuo took down the MPC8 Red Dragon Main Event. However, Kuo has kept busy since then, amassing over $200,000 in results last year alone.

Kuo has been doing great here on Day 1a, currently sitting behind a stack of 45,000 in chips. The latest pot that went Kuo's way was on the turn of a 3♠J♦2♣2♥ board, with Kuo leading out for 5,000 as there was around 7,500 already in the pot. Eventually the player folded and the chips went to Kuo.

12:05am: Level 8 Begins, Blinds 400/800 (100)

12:00am: Team Pro Watch

Team PokerStars Pros Bryan Huang and Vivian Im have multiple things in common. Not only are they both obviously sponsored by PokerStars, but they have both had the bittersweet feeling of finishing runner-up in the MPC Red Dragon Main Event.

Im and Huang are out in the field tonight and they are travelling quite nicely. Im is sitting behind around 40,000 in chips, while Huang is at around 35,000. That's quite a lot of chips for Huang as the Singaporean wasn't doing too well not that long ago.

"I played really badly and got very lucky," Huang told as when we looked inquisitively at his healthy stack.

At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter how you got your chips though, all that matters is that you have them and right now, both Huang and Im have them.


Team PokerStars Pro Vivian Im has been oh-so-close to Red Dragon success

11:45pm: Tom Alner Forced to Fold

Reigning champ Tom "Baby" Alner was one of the chip leaders, but recently lost quite a hefty pot to fall to around 30,000 in chips.

We arrived at the hand with Alner and one opponent fighting it out on a 5♦2♦K♣ flop. Alner had checked and his opponent bet 1,000. Alner then check-raised to 2,600 and it was back on his opponent. The player opted to raise it up to 5,500, at which point Alner requested to see how much the player had behind. Finding that he had around 20,000 in chips, Alner opted to raise it up to 9,600. The player quickly moved all in and Alner snap-folded.

11:35pm: Number on Day 1a Confirmed

The numbers have been confirmed here on Day 1a of the MPC20 Red Dragon Main Event. There were exactly 285 entries. With Day 1c expected to be the biggest flight and Day 1b expected to be similar to tonight's action, we are right on track to break the record for the largest Red Dragon Main Event. That current record is 891.

11:25pm: Back for More as Halfway There

The players are back from their break and the cards are once again back in the air.

We are now at Level 7, with blinds at 300/600 with a 75 ante.

With six levels in the record books, we are now halfway through Day 1a of the MPC20 Red Dragon Main Event.

11:15pm: Time for the Second Break

Approximately 190 players have been sent on their second 10-minute break of the night.

It will be back to action here in the MPC20 Red Dragon Main Event in 10 minutes.

11:00pm: Great river call from "Baby"

Tom "Baby" Alner must have vivid memories of winning the Red Dragon trophy. After all, it was only a few months ago that Alner achieved what 18 before him had managed. Now, here at MPC20, Alner will be looking to make it back-to-back titles.

And baby, has he started strongly.

We recently arrived to find Alner and Kai Yang involved in a big pot on the river of a 4♠K♣A♥T♣K♠ board. There was well over 10,000 already in the middle and Yang had checked to Alner, who bet 5,200. Back on Yang and he eventually raised it up to 13,000. That was almost enough to put Alner all in and definitely enough to see Alner go into the tank.

"You got a boat?" asked Alner as he looked baffled in the way that only a check-raise on the river can produce.

Alner continued to tank, eventually shaking his head and flicking in the call.

"Good call," said Yang as he turned over A♦4♦.

Alner flipped over his Q♣J♣ for Broadway and saw his stack move to around 50,000 in chips. That's enough to see Alner as one of the chip leaders.


Tom "Baby" Alner already has one Red Dragon trophy

10:45pm: ANZ POY Runner-Up currently one of the leaders

Australia's Anthony Aston has posted several big poker results back in his home country. So many in fact that he finished runner-up in the 2012 ANZ Player of the Year. In Macau, it's not the same story for Aston and that's probably because he doesn't generally come and play poker tournaments here.

He's certainly playing tonight though and has even managed to accumulate one of the biggest stacks in the room with around 50,000 in chips. That's well over double the average stack and puts him in a good position to secure a spot on Day 2.

10:35pm: Level 6 Begins, Blinds 200/400 (50)

10:25pm: Nuts for Spets

Sweden's Roger Spets has had plenty of success here in Macau, finishing 5th in the ACOP Warm-Up right here in the PokerStars LIVE at the City of Dreams poker room. For that effort Spets picked up HK$434,000.

Spets is here in the Day 1a field of the MPC20 Red Dragon Main Event and so far he is doing great as his stack is up to around 40,000 in chips.

Spets recently took down a big pot on a Q♥9♥9♣4♠8♥ board. It was a three-bet pot, with two opponents, including Andrew Scott. On the flop, it was checked to Spets, who bet 1,100. Scott then raised it up to 2,750. The other player in the hand made the call and so too did Spets.

All three players checked the turn, while the river would see Spets lead out for 3,200 when the action was checked to him. Scott quickly folded, while the other player went into the tank. Eventually he made the call, prompting Spets to flip over A♥5♥ for the rivered nut flush.

10:10pm: MPC20's only WSOP bracelet winner

Australia's Aaron Lim is the only player in tonight's field who has taken down at WSOP gold bracelet. He achieved that feat at last year's WSOP APAC when he took down the $5,000 Six-Max event.

We recently watched Lim take down a handy pot against one opponent on a 7♦A♦7♣J♣ board. There was well over 5,000 in chips already in the pot at this point and Lim checked to his opponent, who bet 2,500. Back on Lim and he slid in around 14,500 in chips. That was practically Lim's entire stack and it was enough for Lim to scoop up the pot and move his stack to around 25,000.


Aaron Lim on Day 1a of MPC20 Red Dragon Main Event

9.55pm: Level 5 Begins, Blinds 150/300 (25)

9.45pm: Steicke in Town

"Do you play every event in Macau?" one of the players asked Hong-Kong based David Steicke.

"Not all of them, maybe come here four times a year," replied Steicke as he checked the table on the turn of a 9♦Q♦6♠K♦ board.

Steicke was involved in the hand with a different player at the table, who reciprocated with a tap of the table as a Q♣ completed the board.

Once again both players checked and Steicke said, "two pair," as he turned over A♣{6h]. That was enough to scoop the pot and see his stack move to up around 25,000.
He may not play every event in Macau, but Steicke certainly has a great record here, with his first recorded live score being a 3rd place in the inaugural APPT Macau High Roller event for US$110,592. Steicke will be looking to add another Macau result to his resume here at MPC20.

9:30pm: Previous Champ Watch

There are two previous champions of the Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon Main Event in the field tonight and both of these players are seated nearby each other here in the PokerStars LIVE at the City of Dreams poker room.

First we have Tom "Baby" Alner. He took down the most recent MPC Red Dragon back in August of 2013. Alner, who hails from England, defeated a field of 645 players to claim the HK$823,000 top prize. Alner currently has a stack of around 28,000 and is looking comfortable on his table which includes Team PokerStars Pro Vivian Im. Interestingly Im has been close to Red Dragon success herself, previously finishing runner-up in this event.

Then we have Kitty Kuo, who became the second female after Celina Lin to win the Red Dragon back in October of 2009. Kuo overcame a field of 247 players to win her title and HK$557,230 to go along with it. Kuo is faring quite well here on Day 1c tonight, currently having a stack of around 35,000.

Both Alner and Kuo would love to join Lim as a two-time Red Dragon champion, but that will certainly be a tough task considering the expected 1,000-player field size of MPC20.


Kitty Kuo is one of only two female Red Dragon champions

9:20pm: Buy-in to the Aussie Millions here at PokerStars LIVE Macau

APPT President Danny McDonagh wanted to make sure everyone knows that they can directly buy-in to the Aussie Millions Main Event and the three high roller events on offer at the Aussie Millions right here at PokerStars LIVE Macau, using Hong Kong Dollars.
This is one of the positives of the APPT joining forces with the Aussie Millions.

McDonagh also tells us that the Aussie Millions online satellites have been doing extremely well and that was also the case for this year's MPC20 online satellites.

Interestingly the Aussie Millions schedule begins the day after MPC20 draws to a close. We wouldn't be surprised to see many of the players here in Macau make the trek to Melbourne next week.

9:15pm: Break Over; Level 4 Begins, Blinds 100/200 (25)

The players are back from their break and the cards are back in the air. We are now beginning Level 4, which sees blinds at 100/200 with a 25 ante. We should have confirmation of total entries for Day 1a of MPC20 fairly soon.

9:05pm: First Break of the Night

The players have been sent on their first break of Day 1a. In 10-minutes time the players will back to it and will be busy trying to secure an MPC20 Red Dragon Day 2 berth.

8:50pm: Huang Doesn't need to Show

When we wandered past Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang's table he was busy giving his head a slight good spirited shake after his preflop open to 500 was called by five opponents.

The six players then watched on as the dealer spread out a 8♥Q♠3♦ flop. Each player tapped the table as a T♣ hit the turn. This time the action was checked to Huang, who bet 700. Only the player in the cut-off position made the call and the board was completed with a 5♦ on the river.

Huang opted to check here and his opponent bet 2,000. Huang made the call and the aggressor started sliding his hand toward the muck. Huang was about to turn his cards over, but with his opponent's in the muck, Huang opted to scoop the pot and let his cards slide across the felt face down.

Despite winning this handy pot, Huang hasn't had a great start to the day. It's only early days though, so Huang still has an opportunity to go all the way and win his first Red Dragon Main Event.


Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang seated with Andrew Scott

8:35pm: One of Many Down

The eliminations have been rather fast considering we are less than two hours into play here on Day 1a of the MPC20 Red Dragon Main Event.

Two tables have just been broken, with around 12 eliminations occurring already. This means the tables are now nine-handed, with no tables partaking in dreaded ten-handed action.

One player we recently watched being eliminated was James Yoo. The player from Korea was short stacked when he shoved his stack in the middle holding K♦7♥. His opponent called with A♥J♣ and the board ran out with no help for Yoo.

His story will be likened to that of many tonight as not every player can make Day 2. That's just the nature of the beast.

8:25pm: Level 3 Begins, Blinds 100/200

8:20pm: Shao Li one of the Early Leaders

It's a gigantic field here on Day 1a of the MPC20 Red Dragon Main Event, so it's hard to keep track of all the big stacks, but we know that Shao Li must be one of the early chip leaders after taking down a hefty pot.

We arrived at the action on the river of a 2♦6♦3♥3♠2♥ board, with Li up against one opponent and big pot nearing 10,000 in chips already in the middle. Li led for 5,500 here and his opponent went deep into the tank. Eventually the player made the call and then immediately regretted it when Li showed K♣K♦. The player's cards went into the muck and Lu stacked up his new chips.

8:05pm: Germany to Macau

Claas Stoob is one of many players who have made the trek from Europe to Macau to take part in the MPC20 Red Dragon Main Event. Stoob is from Germany and will be looking to make it a memorable trip to Macau. So far It's been a good start.
We arrived at Stoob's table to find fellow European Roy Koller opening it up to 300 from middle position. Haila Wang called from the cut off and Stoob three-bet to 850 from the button. Koller got out of the way, while Wang called.

On the Q♥4♦5♥ flop, Wang check-called a bet of 750 and then both players checked the 7♦ turn and the A♣ river. At showdown, Wang tabled 6♥6♣, which went straight into the muck when Stoob showed his T♣T♦.

7:55pm: Big Day 1a field nears 300

The players have continued to take their seats here on Day 1a of the MPC20 Red Dragon Main Event. Some of the players we have recently spotted include Justin Chan, Victor Teng, Kosei Ichinose, Tetsuya Tsuchikawa, Sameer Rattonsey, Roger Spets and the reigning Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon champion Tom "Baby" Alner.

There are currently around 290 entrants, with registration still open. To put it in perspective, that field is far bigger than the Day 1a of the current record-holding MPC Red Dragon which ended up with 891 total entrants.

7:45pm: Level 2 Begins, Blinds 50/100

7:30pm: Plan Made Clear

APPT President Danny McDonagh has just made the Day 1a plan clear to this ever-growing poker room . We will be playing 12 levels tonight, with 40-minute levels meaning eight hours of play. There will be a break after every three levels (two hours) and the blinds kick off at 25/50.

Due to the large field, play is currently ten handed, but will move to nine handed as soon as possible. McDonagh also let the room know that 33 tables were open - massive considering there are only 35 tournament tables available.

Players were also informed about the ever-important player's party. It will take place at the infamous D2 night club on Saturday evening after Day 1c.

7:20pm: Quick Scan of the Room

A quick scan of the PokerStars LIVE at the City of Dreams poker room and we have already spotted quite a few big names of Macau poker.

Firstly we have Team PokerStars Pros Bryan Huang and Vivian Im. Huang finished runner-up to Kenichi Takarabe in the July 2010 MPC Red Dragon Main Event and so he will be looking to finally go all the way here at MPC20.

Also in the room is winner of the eighth instalment of the Red Dragon, Kitty Kuo. The player from China was the second female to win a Red Dragon title after Team PokerStars Pro Celina Lin took down that honour in the previous year. Lin is expected to play tomorrow.

As usual there are plenty of Australian poker players in Macau, with former ANZ Player of the Year runner-up Anthony Aston, Hong-Kong based David Steicke, Andrew Scott and WSOP bracelet winner Aaron Lim.

It's looking like there could be around 300 players at the tables.

7:10pm: Let the Cards Fly on Day 1a of MPC20

More and more players are filtering into their seats, but the dealers wait for no man and so with the call to shuffle up and deal made (around ten minutes behind schedule), Day 1a of MPC20 has begun!

It was Team PokerStars Pro Raymond Wu who made the the call to deal, welcoming players in both in native tongue and in English. Wu took down the MPC Red Dragon in 2010 and would love to join fellow pro Celina Lin as a two-time champion.

We haven't received confirmation yet, but generally these late-starting first Day 1 flights in Macau play seven or eight levels of action. We will keep you updated on that, but for now we are going to head into the tournament area and try and track down some familiar faces of the Asia-Pacific poker scene.

6:55pm: Rush to Begin - "Can we make 1,000 players?"

Danny McDonagh has recently arrived in the room and has taken to the mic here in the
PokerStars LIVE at the City of Dreams poker room.

"Welcome players, just five minutes until we start," McDonagh said as dozens of players scrambled into their seats.

"Can we make a 1,000 players?" McDonagh added inquisitively.

Being that he runs the show around here he must know that there is every chance for MPC20 to feature a field of 1,000 players. We will have to wait and see.
Anyway, you heard the man, five minutes until Day 1a begins!

PokerStars LIVE at the City of Dreams jam-packed for Day 1a of MPC20

The PokerStars LIVE at the City of Dreams poker room was recently filled with the cheers and applause of 35 happy poker players. The reason? They just won a Macau Poker Cup HK$11,000 Red Dragon Main Event seat. These 35 players will now join the dozen or so other qualifiers from this very room, along with around 100 online qualifiers for tonight's Day 1a action.

You can feel the excitement in the room as the celebrations of the MPC20 Main Event are soon to begin. Day 1a is set to kick off from 7:00 p.m. local time. It's a late start, but it accommodates for players from neighboring countries to ferry or fly in to Macau after their working day. It also allows poker players - not generally known for their punctuality - plenty of time to sleep in, grind online, have a good meal, enjoy a massage or whatever other wonders Macau is known for.

We will be here all night and for the next six days as we work towards crowning the MPC20 champion. so be sure to keep it locked here at the PokerStars Blog for all the live updates!


PokerStars LIVE at the City of Dreams

Joshua Bell
@PokerStars in Asia Pacific Poker Tour