MPC23: Day 1a live updates

2:30am: Day 1a done and dusted with Saehoon Lee presumed chip leader

That's all folks! For today anyway...

After 12 levels of play and a horde of eliminations it's the end of the beginning.

Approximately 21 players made it through to Day 2 and it appears Saehoon Lee leads the way with 158,900 in chips.

We'll confirm everything including player numbers and chip stacks along with a full recap of today as soon as we can right here on the PokerStars Blog. Stay tuned!

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Likely chip leader Saehoon Lee

2:10am: The home stretch

The final level, the final three tables and the final chance to build a stack before the end of play.

There are only 23 players left here for Red Dragon Day 1a.

PokerStars LIVE Macau's Fred Leung just reported that the previous chip leader Saehoon Lee lost a huge pot and now it's anyone's game. There are a few of the big stacks all within around 10,000 chips of each other so bets are off as to who will end the day chip leader.

We're well and truly at the bottom end of the night and with only 20 minutes left on the clock, it won't be long before tournament officials pause play and announce how many hands are left.

We'll have a full report from today and a chip stack update as soon as possible.

1:50am: Level 12 begins, blinds 1,000/2,000 (300)

1:45am: Yip pips Tran

Kwok Chun Yip just managed a double up through Linh Tran to stay alive.

Yip found himself all in preflop for his last 21,800 before a dicey runout.

Yip: J♥J♠
Tran: K♠Q♠

It was a race and, seeing the jack on the flop, Yip celebrated before realising Tran still had a good shot with his open ended straight draw.

The Q♣ turn paired Tran but that was no use as Yip already had a set. Tran needed an ace or nine to eliminate his opponent but the 4♠ saw him take a big hit instead.

Yip jumped to 45,000 while Tran was knocked down to under 20,000 in chips.

1:25am: The rich get richer

Chip leader Saehoon Lee from Korea just won another big pot as he dealt out an elimination.

Saehoon's opponent found himself all in and a risk preflop in a coinflip situation. The King-Jack of Saehoon would prove too good against pocket nines however after turning a Broadway straight on the Q-2-T-A-9 run out.

The other player rivered a set of nines just to rub salt in the wound as he found the exit and Saehoon rocketed up to 150,000 in chips.

1:10am: Level 11 begins, blinds 800/1,600 (200)

1:00am: Tang doubles

Chang Yu Tang just found a lucky double up after getting it in dominated preflop.

After Kelly Wei Liu raised to 3,100 Tang shipped it for a total of 18,700 on top.

Liu made the call and players flipped their hands.

Tang: A♠3♠
Liu: A♦K♣

Tang was out of his seat and preparing to leave but on the 9♠4♠K♠ flop he sat back down with a clap. Liu's top pair was almost meaningless as Tang made the nut flush and the 6♠ turn guaranteed Tang a double up before the inconsequential 5♥ on the river.

With that hand Tang climbs to around 45,000 while Liu drops down to 28,800 in chips.

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Chang Yu Tang at the table today

12:45am: Wang applies pressure

Jacky Wang continues to build after putting his opponent to the test in a recent hand.

The board read 7♥T♥4♦4♣ and when faced with a bet of 6,000, Wang raised it up to 15,000 to go.

With only just over 20,000 behind his opponent went deep into the tank. After a few minutes an impartial player called the clock and an official was brought over to countdown 60 seconds.

The decision was clearly a tough one and after an announcement of 30 seconds from the staff member, the player mucked his hand.

12:30am: And we're back

Play resumes once again for the final three levels of the night.

The blinds are 600/1,200 with a 200 ante.


12:20am: 10 minute respite

Players have just begun their third 10-minute break of the night.

The 42 remaining will return soon for the final two hours of the night.

12:05am: Liu can flip

Ye Liu just scored an elimination after landing on the right side of a flip.

When his opponent moved all in for 16,200 Liu made the call. With everyone else out of the way players tabled their cards.

Liu: T♠T♦
Opponent: A♣Q♦

It was basically a fair fight and with run out of 2♦7♣J♦6♣5♣ Liu's pair of tens held for a big pot.

His opponent was sent to the rail while Liu stacked a total of 78,000 in chips.

11:40pm: Level 9 begins, blinds 500/1,000 with a 100 ante

11:35pm: New leader as we're under 50

We're about to hit level 9 and there's a new chip boss in town.

Korea's Saehoon Lee currently leads the way with 94,000 to his name. While most of the players around him are newer arrivals to the table, Lee has been in the same seat since the beginning of the day and steadily chipping up.

Of the 108 entrants there are now only 48 still in the hunt for the best looking trophy in poker. Is this edition's champion among the field tonight? Follow all the action here at the PokerStars Blog to find out.

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Current chip leader Saehoon Lee

11:20pm: Tran takes charge

After an early position limp, Linh Tran made it 2,700 to go. The initial limper called and the flop landed 8♣5♣7♣.

Tran's opponent led for 5,000 and Tran min-popped it back to 10,000. The other player called to leave only 2,800 behind and the dealer turned the J♠.

That 2,800 was quickly pushed into the middle and with A♣K♣ for a flopped nut flush Tran called to eliminate his opponent who held 8♦6♦.

11:00pm: Level 8 begins, blinds 400/800 with a 100 ante

10:55pm: You're on the move

With late registration now locked out the field is starting to thin itself out.

That makes an official 108 entrants today, just two shy of last edition's Day 1a, but with three more flights there is plenty of time to catch up.

There are currently 65 players still in the field here and players are finding themselves on the move more and more as we lose tables.

We're now approaching Level 8 and are well and truly into the second half of the night. We'll be watching to see who survives.

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10:40pm: Back to back for Piao

Shu Xu Piao is starting to gain momentum after winning two hands in a row.

The first saw Piao raise to 1,300 from late position before Stephen Lai moved all in for 10,750 from the small blind.

Piao gave it some thought but ultimately called to put Lai at risk.

Lai: A♣9♠
Piao K♠Q♠

Lai was is front until a flop of 8♠4♠A♠ gave Piao the nut flush and left Lai chasing a runner-runner miracle. Unfortunately for Lai it was not to be as the 3♥ turn and river T♣ came to seal his fate.

The very next hand saw Jacky Wang raise to 1,300 and Piao clicked it back to 3,000 to go. Wang tossed in a call and players saw the T♥9♥T♦ flop.

Both players checked and the dealer turned the A♠.

Wang checked and Piao bet 4,500 which was met with a quick call before the 5♠ river was revealed. After a final check from Wang Piao continued for 5,500 got a quick fold from his opponent.

While Wang lost that small pot he has been on somewhat of a heater since we last reported and now sits with around 60,000 in chips.

Winning these two hands brought Piao's stack up to 42,000.

10:20pm: Cards back in the air

The players have returned to their seats and the action has recommenced.

Blinds are now 300/600 with a 75 ante.


10:10pm: Take a break

The remaining players have just gone on their second break of the night.

There are approximately 86 still in the running and they'll return in 10 minutes for another six levels.

Be sure to stay with us for the second half of Red Dragon Day 1a!

9:55pm: Keep the energy up

It's almost 10pm and approaching Level 7 of Red Dragon Day 1a. While some players might be struggling to sustain their energy deeper into the night, others are making use of the Red Bulls available throughout the room here at the City of Dreams.

As official energy drink provider of PokerStars LIVE Macau, Red Bull has multiple coolers on offer in the vicinity, well-stocked with Red Bull and Red Bull Sugar Free.

We're about half way through the night so far. Let's see who has the energy, the skill and the run-good to make it through to Day 2.

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9:45pm: White makes a big call

The board read T♦4♦3♦2♣ and Corbin White checked to Katsuki Yamashita who put out a bet of 3,500.

White called and the 2♥ river paired the board.

After another check from White, Yamashita continued for 7,000. White let out an audible exhale and began to deliberate.

After a few moments White made the call and Yamashita quickly mucked. As he was raking the pot, White tabled A♦K♣ to show he had called with ace-high.

He builds to around 48,000 while Yamashita drops to 22,600 in chips.

9:30pm: Level 6 begins, blinds 200/400 with a 50 ante

9:20pm: Wang takes a hit

One of our previous chip leaders had a minor setback after a recent hand developed.

Facing a bet of 2,100 on a Q♥5♥7♦ flop Wang called to see a 3♣ turn.

Against another bet of 4,200 Wang pushed in a stack with enough to cover his opponent who made the call for his final 6,175 in chips.

Wang tabled 4♥4♦ and needed to hit one of six outs to win the hand against A♦A♥. The 8♠ river couldn't help him to see his stack drop to around 28,000.

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Jacky Wang on Day 1a

9:05pm: Three jacks for KC

Four players saw a flop of J♠8♥6♣ and a bet of 1,200 was met with two calls, one from KC Wong.

The turn was the J♥ and after a check from Wong, his opponent continuation bet for 2,000 in chips. With the third runner out of the way Wong made the call.

The Q♥ landed on the river and both players opted to check.

Wong quickly tabled J♣T♣ and his opponent tossed his cards in the muck. With that hand Wong adds over 10,000 to his stack.

8:50pm: Level 5 begins, blinds 150/300 with a 25 ante

8:40pm: Cooler sends Keisuke packing

On a flop of K♠J♣T♣ Keisuke Hirosaka moved all in for his last 9,850 and Yi Nan Wang snapped it off with a Broadway straight for the nuts.

Hirosaka: K♣T♠
Wang A♠Q♦

Despite having outs to a full house Hirosaka was up from his seat and heading for the exit as the 4♠ turn and 2♦ bricked off to see him eliminated. As stacks were so close the other players summoned him back to the table as the dealer cut the chips out, only to reveal he was just shy of keeping his tournament life.

The hand brought Wang's stack up to around 22,000.

8:25pm: Early chip leaders

After two and a half hours of action a few players have managed to run up their 15,000 chip start stacks.

Scanning the room it seems like China's Wei Huang could be the current chip leader, he sits on a stack of 47,000.

Trailing Huang are Peiyuan Sun on 39,000 and just behind him sits Jacky Wang with 37,000 in play.

With approximately 97 players still with chips the leader board is sure to chop and change over the coming hours. We'll be following closely to see who continues chipping up.

8:10pm: Back to the action

A couple of players are racing back to their seats as play resumes.

Level 4 means the introduction of antes with blinds now at 100/200 (25).


8:00pm: First break

The 100 or so remaining players in this first Day 1 flight have gone on their first break of the night.

Play will resume in 10 minutes so be sure to check back with us for all the updates from the MPC23 Red Dragon

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7:35pm: Chan chips up

Justin Chan made a raise from early position to 450 and Chih Feng Li called from the button.

The flop landed K♦8♠J♦ and Chan continued for 550. Li made the call and the turn came the 9♠.

Chan fired for 1350 this time and Li called again before the 3♥ river.

After some deliberation Chan put out a final bet of 3,850 and after counting his chip and checking his cards, Li committed to the hand and saw the bad news.

Chan tabled Q♥T♣ for the turned nut straight and Li quickly mucked. By scooping that pot Chan adds roughly another 6,000 to his already healthy stack.

7:20pm: Level 3 begins, blinds 100/200

7:15pm: Late to the party

We're almost two levels down here in the MPC23 Red Dragon and some late arrivals are opting to register for this feature event.

So far the tournament officially has 106 entrants and with two and a half hours left of late registration that number could climb even higher. Despite the fact it's still early, three players have already hit the rail.

The last MPC attracted a field of 110 entrants on Day 1a so tonight's field looks on track to match that number if not eclipse it. The team at PokerStars LIVE Macau are confident that this edition of the Red Dragon will see another huge field like the tournament has become notorious for.

We'll be keeping an eye out here in the poker room for any other newcomers.

7:00pm: Nuts for Yamashita

Play was three-handed as the board read A♣5♣2♠Q♠.

Katsuki Yamashita led for 3,850 into a pot of 4,200 before Geng Liu went deep into the tank. After much deliberation another player called the clock as a tournament official came over and told Liu he had 60 seconds until his hand was dead.

With about 30 seconds left Liu moved all in over the top for around 8,500. The third player quickly folded and Yamashita double checked his hand before making the call.

Liu: A♠9♥
Yamashita: 3♣4♣

Yamashita had flopped the nuts with a wheel and a bonus straight flush draw which meant Liu's top pair was drawing dead. The inconsequential 5♦ rolled off on the river and Yamashita scored a double up as Liu dropped down to 3,500 in chips.

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Katsuki Yamashita just scored a double up

6:40pm: Level 2 begins, blinds 50/100

6:35pm: Sharks in the water

It's just about to tick over to Level 2 here and we've already spotted some prominent players among the field.

Former Red Dragon champion Wing Cheong Chong is playing tonight and he'll be looking to add another big score in Macau to his name. On top of his Red Dragon victory in 2008, Chong was also runner up in the APPT Macau Main Event.

KC Wong is also among the action, he'll be chasing more 2015 APOY points with 13 cashes and two final tables already under his belt this year.

More than 100 players have now registered for this edition of the Red Dragon and we'll be keeping an eye out for some more notable players.

6:20pm: Action early

It's still early days here at the Red Dragon but we've already seen a big hand go down.

We caught the end of the action on the turn with the board reading 8♥5♥2♦8♦ and it looked like Sammy Bolung opted to call a reraise from Xiangong Meng to 3625.

The river brought the J♠ and both players quickly checked before tabling their cards.

Bolung showed 8♠7♥ for trip eights but Meng scooped the pot with 2♠2♣ for a full house.

6:05pm: Cards in the air

And we're off!

PokerStars LIVE Macau's Fred Leung has just welcomed everyone to MPC23 and announced shuffle up and deal.

The players for this starting flight will aim to survive 12 blind levels tonight. Those levels are 40 minutes long so including breaks we're expected to finish up at around 2:30am.

Late registration is open for the first four hours of play and while this is estimated to be the smallest Day 1 flight, people are still flowing in to the poker room here.

Players sit with starting stacks of 15,000 in chips and the first blind level is 25/50.

Stay with us as we follow all the action here from the MPC23 Red Dragon!

Day 1a of the MPC23 Red Dragon is almost underway

Welcome to PokerStars LIVE Macau!

It's not long now until players take their seats for Day 1a off the prestigious Red Dragon event.

This will be the first of four Day 1 flights and we're expecting another big field here - something the Red Dragon has become renowned for. You can read all about the event in the blog titled MPC23: The Red Dragon awaits before the action kicks off.

Play is set to commence at 6:00pm local time so be sure to join us here for all the live action from this HK$12,000 Red Dragon!

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Brad Kain
@PokerStars in Asia Pacific Poker Tour