MPC20: Fan Happy to not be the Leader on Day 1a

"The Day 1 chip leader never wins the tournament!" Terry Fan exclaimed as he filled his bag with 176,200 reasons to be happy with his Day 1a of the MPC20 Red Dragon Main Event.

Perhaps fortunately for Fan, he ended up not being the chip leader at all, despite everyone at his table, all the Tournament Directors and us in the media being adamant that he had the most chips.

No, the chip leader went by the name of Ka Cheong Wong and so he will have to be the one to defy the odds and be one of the few players to go from Day 1 chip leader to
eventual champion.

Wong went under our radar today, but ultimately finished with 176,500 in chips. That stack is just 300 larger than Terry Fan's. Unlike Wong, Fan didn't exactly go under our radar considering he was the gentlemen who defeated 891 players to claim the title of the record-breaking MPC18 Red Dragon Main Event in 2013.

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Terry Fan can sleep easy knowing he has the second largest stack

There was plenty of excitement in the lead up to the 20th Anniversary of the Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon and it didn't disappoint as a massive Day 1a of the MPC20 Main Event would see 285 entrants pile into the PokerStars LIVE at the City of Dreams poker room. That field sets us on course to break the Red Dragon record and even move towards a field of 1,000 players.

The action began at 7:00pm local time and by the time it was all over, the clock ticked toward 4:00am. In the end just 67 players survived Day 1a, with Anthony Aston, David Steicke, Kosei Ichinose, Kim Gap Young, former Red Dragon champion Kitty Kuo, Yvo Molin and Andrew Scott just a few of those to find the rail. Another player who wasn't able to survive Day 1a was Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang.

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It wasn't all smiles for Bryan Huang on Day 1a of MPC20 Red Dragon

It was one of those roller coaster days for Huang as he was quite short early in the day, before telling us he won plenty of his chips back because he "played really badly and got very lucky." Then Huang redeemed himself by taking down a massive pot when he called down a bet of a 12,500 on the river of a 4♣3♥3♣9♠Q♥ board holding just A♠8♣. The ace-high call paid off as his opponent turned over 7♠5♠.

Towards the last few levels of the night it was looking like Huang would be one of the chip leaders, but that all changed when Huang's pocket-kings were out flopped by the pocket jacks of Aussie Ian Lister. Huang was short stacked after that hand and couldn't recover, eventually running into the kings of an opponent.

One player who fared much better than Huang was fellow Team PokerStars Pro Vivian Im. It was a big day for Im as she finished with 108,600 in chips, which is enough for a top ten chip stack. Im has finished runner-up in the MPC Red Dragon Main Event before and has now put herself in good position to make it one better here at MPC20.

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Vivian Im has six figures and a dream to go one better in the Red Dragon

If Im does go all the way this week, she will need to get through some tough competition. Just a few of the other players who made it through to Day 2 with plenty of chips include Jimmy Pan (171,300), Justin Chan (153,500), Ian Lister (136,900), WSOP bracelet winner Aaron Lim (85,200) and Victor Teng (82,500). Check out how some of these guys go their chips by reading the MPC20 Red Dragon Main event Day 1a Live Updates.

While he may not have fared as well as the above and not even close to how well Terry Fan finished, fellow previous Red Dragon champion Tom "Baby" Alner is also still alive heading into Day 2. Be sure to click here to find the full end-of-day 1a chip counts.

The second of three Day 1 flights is set to begin at 7:00pm on Friday and we will once again be here to provide live updates from the PokerStars LIVE at the City of Dreams poker room. Until then, goodnight from Macau!

Joshua Bell
@PokerStars in Asia Pacific Poker Tour