MPC23: Day 1b live updates

10:30pm: Day 1b concludes with Zoe Liu suspected on top

And that's another flight in the books.

Approximately 28 players survived through the second of four Day 1 flights.

We believe Zoe Liu the Day 1b chip leader with 131,700 in chips and final numbers are being tallied now.

We'll confirm everything momentarily as well as have a recap of the entire day. Check it all out here on the PokerStars Blog!

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Suspected chip leader Zoe Liu

10:15pm: Almost a wrap

PokerStars LIVE Macau's Rex Cheong just paused the clock and announced that there will only be six more hands of play.

Who will emerge as chip leader for the end of Day 1b?

Find out soon here at the PokerStars Blog!

10:10pm: Liu's late charge

One of the only ladies remaining in the field, Zoe Liu looks like a top contender for end-of-day chip leader at this point.

Liu has been dominating her table and currently sits at around 120,000 in chips.

10:05pm: Mohan moving up

Chandra Mohan is one of our top chip stacks after putting the pressure on his opponents in two recent hands.

The first saw Mohan fire 18,500 on the river into a pot of around 50,000 with the board reading A♣J♣K♦7♦A♠.

The decision was put to his opponent who went into the tank but eventually mucked his cards.

The second spot saw Mohan apply some powerful preflop aggression. After opening from the cutoff to 5,000, the player on the button popped it up to 14,000. Victor Chen behind was torn and took so long to decide his play that the clock was called. Chen had 60 seconds until his hand was dead but he cold-called the three-bet in time.

With the action back to Mohan, he opted to four-bet jam with enough to cover the other two players. With the player on the button out of the way, Chen was left with a decision for his final 100,000 in chips.

In the end Chen folded and Mohan scooped another pot climing to 129,900 in chips.

9:50pm: Level 12 begins, blinds 1,000/2,000 with a 300 ante

9:45pm: Ranke gets one through

Simon Ranke just made an early position jam for 23,000 and it folded around to the big blind.

The player in the big blind went through the motions except calling in the end. From looking at the tournament screen, shuffling his chips and even counting out a call, the player finally decided to give the hand up after several minutes.

9:35pm: Blouin doubles

Stephane Blouin just turned a full house into a short-stack double up.

Blouin found himself all in for his last 13,200 with 9♠9♣ but with a board of K♣9♥8♠8♥J♥ he didn't have much to sweat.

His opponent Danish Shaikh held A♥K♥ for a flopped top pair but it was no good against Blouin's set of nines.

9:25pm: Play slowing down

As we get deeper into the night here the play seems to have slowed down dramatically.

Perhaps players are tightening up with the hopes of avoiding elimination before the conclusion of Day 1b.

We'll keep you posted if anything develops soon.

9:10pm: Level 11 begins, blinds 800/1,600 with a 200 ante

8:50pm: Huang applies the pressure

Jung-wei Huang is building a nice stack having put two opponents to the test in back to back hands.

The first went four-way to the flop and after he and two others checked, Jingsheng Tan had a stab at the pot to the tune of 6,500.

With the two others out of the way, Huang made a huge jam for 53,600 sending Tan deep into the tank.

If Tan called the winner of the hand would be the runaway chip leader as we near the end of the day. After several minutes he finally decided against it and Huang raked in the pot.

The very next hand Huang was at it again with a raise to 3,200 preflop. Simon Ranke on his direct left made the call as did a third player in the big blind.

The J♣7♣3♣ prompted the big blind to check and then Huang continued for 6,000. Ranke tossed his hand away but the big blind called the bet.

The dealer turned the 4♥ and both players checked it through.

On the J♦ river when checked to, Huang asked how much his opponent was playing before holding up his hands in the shape of a triangle to signal all in. The big blind had 22.2 behind but ultimately didn't want to play for his tournament life.

With the two hands Huang pushes his stack to 77,000.

8:30pm: Back to the felt

Play resumes with Level 10.

Blinds are 600/1,200 wih a 200 ante.

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8:20pm Last break of the night

The remaining 45 players have gone on another 10-minute break.

This will be the final break of the night before they return to play out the last three levels.

8:10pm: Stack update as third break approaches

There are only 45 players left now as we near the final break of the night.

Some big stacks are starting to develop as we continue to lose tables. There are a few of the top stacks around the room.

Jingsheng Tan - 84,000
Stephane Blouin - 66,000
Fang-Kai Yang - 61,000
Simon Ranke - 48,000
Anju Abrol - 44,000

While these players continue to build, others weren't so lucky over the last couple of levels. We recently saw reigning APOY Pete Chen and Claudia Yum heading for the exit.

7:55pm: Battle of the blinds

The postflop action was on small blind Fang-Kai 'Smiley' Yang who checked his option to Stephane Blouin in the big blind.

The board read 2♦2♣5♠ and Blouin made it 1,500 to go before Yang raised it up to 4,500 in chips. Blouin called and the dealer turned the 8♠.

"Put him all in" Yang said but soon realised his mistake as Blouin called and tabled 4♥3♥ for flopped trips.

Yang tried to muck but as Blouin was all in he was forced to reveal his hand. Sheepishly turning over K♥9♠ Yang was drawing dead and Blouin was guaranteed a double up.

With the all-in call totalling 13,200 Blouin climbed to around 36,000 in the hand.

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Stephane Blouin on Red Dragon Day 1b

7:40pm: Level 9 begins, blinds 500/1,000 with a 100 ante

Chip and a chair

Claudia Yum found herself severely short-stacked recently but just scored herself a double up.

Yum was all in preflop and in front but at risk for her tournament life.

Yum: A♥5♣
Opponent: J♠6♦

The Q♥6♣A♦ flop was good for Yum but she still needed to fade a jack or six to secure the double. The 9♦ turn and 9♣ river improved her to aces up and she scooped the pot.

Yum is still somewhat short-stacked but moves up to 9,900.

7:15: Chen fighting back

We reported earlier that reigning APOY Pete Chen was one of the bigger stacks in the field but he has since taken a few hits.

Word is that Chen ran a set into a straight for a lot of chips a little while ago.

While Chen is short stacked now he seems to be moving in at the right time to collect chips and fight his way back.

A recent hand saw Chen jam for 10,400 over a 2,000 chip open and take the pot down with no showdown.

7:00pm: Level 8 begins, blinds 400/800 with a 100 chip ante

6:55pm: The field is thinning

We're now past the half way point with a little over half the starting field remaining.

Of the 135 who began the day, 76 are still in with a shot of qualifying to Day 2.

The field has dropped down to only 9 tables now as more players fall by the wayside.

Last night saw 21 make it through Day 1a and time will tell if today's flight tells a similar tale.

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6:40pm: Ranke runs good

The action folded around to Simon Ranke in the small blind who pushed his short stack into the big blind of Nathan Gubieski.

Gubieski made the call for around 10 big blinds are players tabled their cards.

Ranke: J♠T♦
Gubieski: K♣9♥

Ranke was behind until a flop of 5♣8♠J♣ saw him spike top pair. Needing to fade a king to stay alive he did just that as the 2♣ turn and 5♠ river rolled off.

Ranke moves up to just over 12,000 in chips while Gubieski drops down to around 17,000.

6:20pm: Play resumes

Cards are back in the air for Level 7.

Blinds are now 300/600 with a 75 ante.


6:15pm: Take a walk

The remaining 95 players have gone on their second 10-minute break of the day.

Play will resume momentarily.

6:10pm: Locked it out

It's almost time for the end of Level 6 here on Day 1b.

That means players get 10 minutes to relax on their second break of the day.

It also means that late registration is officially locked out.

So we have 135 entrants for the second Day 1 flight here - surpassing yesterday's count of 108 and bringing the total so far up to 244.

We're only five minutes away from the break here and the second half of the day.

5:50pm: The rise of 'Smiley'

Not long after we reported there were no runaway chip leaders, one began to present itself.

Fang-Kai Yang, or 'Smiley' as he told our staff, appears to be currently leading the way.

Yang recently eclipsed over 70,000 in chips - more than triple the current average of 21,030.

Time will tell if Smiley can maintain the lead or if someone else will usurp his throne as we approach the second half of the day here for the MPC23 Red Dragon.

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Current chip leader Fang-Kai 'Smiley' Yang

5:30pm: Level 6 begins, blinds 200/400 (50)

5:25pm: Stack update and eliminations

We're approaching Level 6 and only 45 minutes from the halfway point here today.

While there is not apparent runaway chip leader, here are a few stacks of players still in the running.

Pete Chen - 44,800
Anju Abrol - 38,600
Kenny Leong - 18,500
Claudia Yum - 17,300
Nathan Gubieski - 17,100

There are approximately 101 players remaining here for Day 1b. Englishman Tom Alner and Australian Dean Blatt were two who weren't so lucky, both facing elimination not long ago.

We'll be keeping an eye out for a prominent chip leader.

5:10pm: Yum stays alive

After a raise to 650, Tom Alner made the call from the small blind and the action landed on Claudia Yum in the big blind.

Yum decided to move all in for her last 6,600 and with the initial raiser out of the way, the decision was back to Alner. He glanced up at the tournament screen and paused for a moment before tossing in the chips for a call.

Yum: A♣J♠
Alner: 7♠7♦

They were flipping and the board up to the turn ran out Q♥2♦6♣2♥ leaving Yum with six outs to stay alive. The dealer flipped over the J♥ and Yum scored a double u to around 15,000.

4:50pm: Level 5 begins, blinds 150/300 (25)

4:35pm: Straight flush for Chen

Reigning Asia Player of the Year Pete Chen just scored another nice pot to send an opponent to the rail.

We caught the action as the board read 4♥2♥3♥J♦ and Chen raised a bet of 1,375 up to an even 3,000. His opponent called and the 2♠ river paired the board.

Chen took a while before acting but eventually slid out a bet of 13,000 for enough to cover his opponent. The latter called it off for his tournament life only to hear Chen announce "Nuts" before tabling the A♥5♥ for a flopped straight flush.

Despite Chen having the stone cold nuts the dealer still made the eliminated player reveal his hand, and he flipped up Q♥J♥ for an inferior flopped flush.

Chen climbs to around 42,000 in chips with the average currently at 17,654.

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Pete Chen enjoying himself on Day 1b

4:10pm: Back to it

The 120 players left in the Red Dragon race have returned from break to play Level 4.

Antes have now been introduced and the blinds are currently 100/200 (25).

Keep in mind late registration is still open for another two hours so we might see a few latecomers to increase the field even further.


First break of the day

Players have gone on their first break of the day.

Action will resume in 10 minutes time.

3:55pm: Cheong charges Gubieski

Sam Keng Lon Cheong opened the action with an early position raise to 450 and Nathan Gubieski came along from the button.

The K♥3♣J♦ flop prompted a check from Cheong before Gubieski took the betting lead with a stab for 625 in chips.

Cheong made the call and the dealer turned the 9♦.

After another check from Cheong, Gubieski fired again for 1,800. Cheong called once more and the6♣ river rolled off.

The action checked to Gubieski who took some time, looked back at his cards and thein forfeited the pot by tossing his cards in the muck.

3:35pm: Reigning APOY chips up

It was 2014 Asia Player of the Year Pete Chen vs China's Liwei Chen with the board reading K♣3♣A♣6♥8♠.

There was well over 5,000 in the pot and Pete Chen made a bet of 3,000 before staring stoically at his opponent. With a call the other player tapped the table when Pete Chen showed 3♥3♠ for a flopped set.

Pete Chen gave a celebratory double fist pump in jest and stacked up a total of around 22,000 in chips.

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

3:15pm: Davies done

Well only moments ago we reported that Scott Davies had entered Day 1b, and now we have to report that he has made an untimely exit.

On a board of 4♣6♥4♥T♥7♣ Davies held 6♠6♣ for a flopped full house but his opponent had spiked a two outer on the river with 7♥7♦ for a superior boat.

"Looks like a short red dragon main event for me. Flopped a boat in the first orbit and got this river :(" Davies tweeted accompanied by the photo below.

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3:00pm: Field update

We're only an hour into the day and already the field has eclipsed yesterday's.

Day 1a attracted 108 runners while there are already 125 and climbing at the tables today.

There have reportedly already been two eliminations with players seemingly choosing to play some big pots despite it being only Level 2.

In addition to the recent notable players post, 2014 WSOP APAC Main Event champion Scott Davies is now a part of the action.

We'll see how big the field climbs and how Davies can fare today.

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

2:35pm: More for Ma

The pot had already swelled to 8,400 by the river when the board read 2♠7♣7♠2♥4♠.

Runfeng Ma was first to act and pushed out a bet of 7,000, around half of his entire stack. Ying Chien Huang then had the decision and was clearly tormented by such a big bet so early in the day.

Huang asked the dealer to spread the pot and after giving it some though, ultimately decided to call.

Ma tabled 7♥4♥ to show his flopped trips had improved to a rivered full house and his opponent quickly mucked.

The hand sees Ma climb to around 27,000 in chips.

2:20pm: Notable names

It's still early but we've noticed a few familiar faces among the field here.

The reigning Asia Player of the Year has pulled up a seat for Day 1b. Needless to say Chen had a stellar 2014, the highlight of which saw him final table the APPT Macau Main Event. He'll be looking to score some APOY points and a nice prize here in Macau.

Former Red Dragon champion Kenny Leong is also at the tables this afternoon. Leong has several impressive cashes in Macau to his name, the biggest being a second place finish in the 2013 APPT Macau Main Event.

Representing the Australian contingent today are Dean Blatt and Nathan Gubieski. Blatt has almost half a million dollars to his name in live cashes and Gubieski is fresh off a win in the Gol Gol Big One $40k Classic.

There are still close to four hours of late registration and we'll be keeping an eye out for any other notable names making an appearance.

2:00pm: Shuffle up and deal

The cards are officially in the air!

PokerStars LIVE Macau's Fred Leung has just announced shuffle up and deal so we're now underway.

There will be 12 40-minute levels in this flight with action expected to finish up at around 10:30pm tonight. Late registration will be open for the first four hours of play and we already have 100 entrants at the tables.

Blinds begin at 25/50 and players have starting banks of 15,000 in chips.

This blogger will now be heading to the tournament floor to scout for notable players and any substantial action. Stay tuned!

MPC23 Red Dragon Day 1b starting soon!

Welcome back to PokerStars LIVE Macau!

Players are now wandering in to the poker room for the second of four Red Dragon Day 1 flights.

Yesterday saw 108 players in the mix and today is expected to be even bigger. You can read a full recap of yesterday including player numbers and chip stack here.

Cards will be in the air from 2:00pm local time so be sure to stick with us for all the action from this MPC23 Red Dragon!

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Brad Kain
@PokerStars in Asia Pacific Poker Tour