MPC24: China's Huitong Cao claims top spot on Day 1c

For poker fans; today had everything.

We witnessed records broken and an indescribable atmosphere as players flooded the poker room here for the third and final opening flight of the Red Dragon.

By the close of late registration it was 512 who joined the hunt today. That brought our total up to 1,075 for a record-breaking Red Dragon field. Not only was today the biggest Day 1 flight and confirmed we were among the biggest iteration of this tournament ever, but it also became the largest-ever freezeout tournament in the whole of the Asia-Pacific.

Of those 512 who did take part today, only 127 would survive the 12 levels of play. Ahead of the pack when all was said and done stood Huitong Cao. He finished with 232,600 ahead of Wayne Zhang with 167,600 and Jun Yang Ong on 165,900.

MPC24 Day 1c chip leader Huitong Cao.jpg

Ahead of the pack on Day 1c - Huitong Cao

Cao has only one previous live cash to his name from a second place finish in a turbo event back in 2014. With that score awarding him only $4,479 Cao is well on his way to the biggest result of his poker career.

Returning tomorrow to join Cao on Day 2 from today's flight will be four previous Red Dragon champions. Yuefeng Pan (95,700), Zhenru Xie (73,400), Raymond Wu (73,000) and Tom Alner (49,000) all finished with chips.

MPC23 Red Dragon Day 1c Top Ten Chip Counts
Huitong Cao (China) - 232,600
Wayne Zhang (China) - 167,600
Jun Yang Ong (Singapore) - 165,900
James Chen (Taiwan) - 150,500
Raul Gallego (Spain) - 138,400
Leo Cheng (Canada) - 135,100
Satrya Wijiya Teja (Indonesia) - 126,500
Yongjun Liang (China) - 121,200
Marc Rivera (Philippines) - 115,900
Vladimir Dobrolskii (Russia) - 114,800

Click here for full end of day chip counts
Click here for Day 2 seating draw<

While these lucky players survived the night, for others, it was a different story. Our two representatives for the PokerStars contingent couldn't hold on. Bryan Huang was eliminated earlier after a three-way all in didn't end in his favour. Also hitting the rail was Yaxi Zhu who lasted until late in the day but just came up short in the end.

MPC24 day 1c Yaxi Zhu.jpg

Team PokerStars Pro Yaxi Zhu

We also lost a horde of notable names today with Jason Lo, Aaron Lim, Raiden Kan, Jack Salter and MC HotDog all falling by the wayside.

For the 127 who made the cut, they'll join the qualifiers from the first two flights back here tomorrow. Play will kick off earlier with a 3:00pm start to give players a chance to attend the MPC24 Welcome Party in the evening.

As always we'll be covering all the action from here at PokerStars LIVE Macau. We hope you can join us for another exciting day of poker action!

Brad Kain
@PokerStars in Asia Pacific Poker Tour