MPC24: Day 1a live updates

10:30pm: Day 1a in the books with Chao Yang as chip leader

Day 1a of the MPC24 Red Dragon is a wrap!

Of the starting field of 205 only 49 still remain in the hunt.

China's Chao Yang leads the way with 168,700 in chips.

We're just running the numbers and we'll have everything you need to know soon in the end-of-day recap right here on the PokerStars Blog.

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Day 1a chip leader Chao Yang

10:20pm: Final five hands

PokerStars LIVE Macau's Rex Cheong just took to the microphone to inform players that there would be a draw for how many hands they would play out before the conclusion of Day 1a.

The honour went to reigning Asia Player of the Year Alan King Lun Lau who pulled a card to signify only five hands remain on the schedule.

We'll be scouting the field to see who appears to be the end-of-day chip leader. Stay tuned!

10:05pm: Li fails to hold on

It's been a rollercoaster of a day for Yuguang Li.

He scored himself a double up in the last level but a bad beat just sent him hurtling to the exit.

Li was in a commanding position preflop, getting the last of his stack in holding A♦T♥ against his opponent's A♠9♣.

The A♥7♥9♦ flop, however, left him needing some help.

"No!" Li called out upon seeing the flop, before the 7♣ turn and 3♣ river rolled off to make his elimination official.

"Good game" said Li's opponent and the two shook hands before Li departed from the tournament area.

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

9:40pm: More fall as the final level approaches

We're into the home stretch of Day 1a now.

With only ten minutes left until our final 40-minute level of the night it's anyone's guess how many players make the cut and who will present themselves as the end-of-day chip boss.

205 pulled up seats this afternoon and now only 59 of those remain.

Stay with us for the exciting conclusion of Day 1a in this Red Dragon!

9:25pm: Li finds a lucky double

Yuguang Li just found a two outer to stay alive.

He moved all in preflop from the hijack seat for his last 13,500 and was called by the player in the small blind. The big blind got out of the way and the two flipped their hands.

Li: 3♠3♦
Opponent: Q♣Q♦

Li was searching for a three to keep his tournament hopes alive and he found one on the 2♣3♣T♦ flop.

"Yes!" he cried after seeing he'd hit a set.

A queen wouldn't fall on the 7♠ turn or 7♦ river and Li doubled up.

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

9:00pm: Steven Cody emerges as new chip leader

We have a new chip leader here now as Steven Cody just took down one of the biggest pots of the tournament.

The completed board read 4♠5♦9♣T♥J♠ and it was on Cody's opponent to act. He put out a bet of 15,000 into an already bloated pot before the decision fell on Cody.

Cody shuffled his chips before putting in a raise to 37,000. It was quickly called by the player flashing 8♠7♠ for a jack-high straight but he was disgusted to see Cody had rivered the king-high straight.

The cooler brings Cody's stack up to 115,000 and he appears to be the comfortable chip leader at the moment.

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There's a new chip boss in town - Steven Cody

8:45pm: Lin loses a flip to find the exit

We had noticed Team PokerStars Pro Celina Lin wasn't in her seat a while ago, and although we unfortunately missed the action, Lin shared the gist of what happened on Twitter.

8:30pm: Level 10 begins, blinds are 600/1,200 with a 200 ante


8:20pm: 10 minutes rest

Players are now taking their last break of the night.

8:10pm: Chen commits

2014 Asia Player of the Year Pete Chen is picking his spots and picking up chips.

The action began with a hijack raise to 2,200 before Chen defended his big blind.

The dealer fanned out the J♦K♣9♠ flop and Chen checked to the preflop aggressor. The latter continued for 2,700 which was met with an all-in jam from Chen to the tune of 13,500 in chips.

Chen's opponent threw his hand away as the former APOY scooped the pot.

7:55pm: Not-so-lucky ladies for Li

MPC22 champion Yuguang Li has been climbing steadily today but he just encountered his first major setback.

The action folded to the player in the cutoff who raised it to 2,200 leaving himself 14,200 behind. It got to Li in the small blind and he pushed all in with enough to cover his opponent.

The player didn't hesitate long before getting the rest of his chips in.

Li: Q♥Q♦
Opponent: 5♠5♣

Li's pocket queens were out in front before the 8♦T♣5♥ saw the player in the cutoff spike bottom set. Needing a queen or running straight cards to prevent a bad beat taking almost half his stack, Li couldn't find help as the 8♣ turn and 7♥ completed the board.

Li is still alive but now has only 20,800 to play with.

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

7:30pm: McGrath can't hold

Australian Brett McGrath put in a raise from the cutoff preflop before the player in the small blind moved all in for 11,200. McGrath screwed up his face and gave it some thought but called in the end to put his opponent at risk.

McGrath: A♣9♥
Opponent: K♣Q♥

McGrath had the best of it until the 5♦3♥Q♠ flop saw the small blind spike top pair. The 4♦ arrived on the turn to give McGrath additional straight outs.

"Two!" he called but the deck wouldn't cooperate with the river landing the 8♦.

That hand drops McGrath down to under 5,000.

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Brett McGrath

7:15pm: Li wins battle of the blinds

Yuguang Li just took down a sizeable pot after besting an opponent in a battle of the blinds.

It folded around to the player in the small blind and he raised to 1,600. Li defended his big blind and the pair saw a flop of 4♥9♥Q♦.

The small blind continued for 2,200 and Li made the call.

Both players checked on the 8♦ turn before the 5♦ landed on the river.

The small blind led out for 5,500 but Li popped it up to 12,000. The raise was met with a call and Li tabled K♦T♦ for a rivered flush.

His opponent tapped the table as the pot was pushed Li's way.

7:00pm: Level 8: Blinds are 400/800 with a 100 ante

6:50pm: The field is thinning

It's getting into the later part of Day 1a now and despite the blinds still only at 300/600 the starting field has almost been cut in half.

When late registration was locked out we had a total of 205 entrants but now only 126 remain. With a few levels left we'll soon find out how many of those can survive through to Day 2.

We're only 10 minutes from Level 8 where the blinds will climb to 400/800 (100) and put even more pressure on the short stacks. With that level change we'll also see the removal of the 25 denomination chip.

6:35pm: Lin climbing

Celina Lin has been peddling a short stack for most of the day but she might be gaining some momentum after a recent double up.

Lin got the last of it all in preflop and was a strong favourite to stay alive.

Lin: A♠A♦
Opponent: A♣7♣

The aces held on the 9♣T♦J♠3♠6♥ runout to see Lin double up to around 9,000 - relatively shortstacked despite the double but still with her tournament life.

6:20pm: Level 7 begins, blinds are 300/600 with a 75 ante


6:10pm: Time for a break

Players have once again stopped the action for a scheduled break. We'll be back momentarily.

6:00pm: Wilson exits

Ben Wilson has just been eliminated after running into an opponent's set.

An under the gun raiser made it 1,100 to go before Wilson raised it to 3,000 from the button. The initial raiser called and the flop landed 4♦6♣J♥.

It was checked to Wilson who continued for 3,000 before his opponent clicked it back to 6,000. Wilson then moved all in and was quickly called.

Holding A♦5♦ against 6♥6♦ Wilson was in bad shape and couldn't find a miracle as the 9♥ turn and 6♠ river completed the board.

He exits the tournament area with 162 players remaining.

5:45pm: Team Pro Update

We're almost half way through today's proceedings and unfortunately for the PokerStars contingent it's been a rough day so far.

Three PokerStars Team Pros took to the table today - Celina Lin, Chen-an Lin and Aditya Agarwal.

Chen-an Lin is going strong but unfortunately the same can't be said about his teammates. Agarwal arrived not long ago and only managed to last around 15 minutes before making his way to the rail.

The third and final Team Pro Celina Lin had a bad start today but is slowly fighting her way back. We'll be sure to keep an eye on her and see if she can run it up.

5:30pm: Level 6 begins, blinds are 200/400 with a 50 ante

5:20pm: Li sends one packing

MPC22 champion Yuguang Li just got the best of a player here on Day 1a.

We caught the action with around 2,500 in the middle and the flop a monochrome 4♦T♦8♦. Li checked before his opponent moved all in for almost four times the pot.

Holding the flopped nut flush with A♦K♦ Li snapped off the jam and almost had the pot locked up already against T♣9♣. The turn and river bricked off as the player left the tournament area, and Li stacked up over 30,000 in chips.

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MPC22 champion Yuguang Li

5:05pm: Lin low on chips

Team PokerStars Pro Celina Lin hasn't been able to get anything going this afternoon. She just lost some more chips in a recent hand.

We arrived on the river with the cards showing 5♠6♦J♦6♥4♣ and the player in the big blind bet out for 1,850. Lin considered her options and committed the chips only to see she was behind to her opponent's J♠9♣.

That hand sees the Team Pro drop to under 6,000 in chips.

4:50pm: Level 5 begins, blinds are 150/300 with a 25 ante

4:40pm: Nuts for Nakai

Japan's second-ever WSOP Bracelet winner Takahiro Nakai is here and running up a stack after he found himself on the right end of a flush versus flush confrontation.

It was two handed by the turn and Nakai checked with the board showing 2♥Q♠K♠9♠. His opponent bet 6,000 before Nakai moved all in for an extra 14,725 on top.

After checking and rechecking his cards the other player called but saw he was drawing dead to Nakai's A♠J♠ nut flush. The inconsequential 7♥ rolled off as Nakai's opponent tabled T♠8♠ to show the table it was a cooler.

That large pot was shipped Nakai's way and he propelled himself into position as one of the early chip leaders here.

4:25pm: Cui chipping up

Jiabin Cui just found himself a sizable double up.

We caught the action with the board reading 8♥K♣4♣9♦ as Cui checked and his opponent on the button bet 4,000. It was then that Cui moved all in over the top for a total of 9,175.

After asking for a count and deliberating for a few moments, the player on the button called to put Cui at risk and the two tabled their cards.

Cui: K♦6♦
Opponent: Q♥9♠

Cui needed to fade a queen or nine and succeeded as the 3♠ completed the board.

4:10pm: Level 4 begins, blinds are 100/200 with a 25 ante


4:00pm: First break

The remaining players have stepped away from the tables for their first scheduled break. Play resumes in 10 minutes.

3:50pm: 200 in attendance so far

We're 10 minutes from the conclusion of Level 3 here and we've just eclipsed the 200 player mark.

With last series setting the pace at a total of 945 and opening flights known for attracting the smallest fields, we look well on the way to reaching that number again.

We still have another two hours of late registration here for Day 1a. Let's see if any other latecomers join the hunt!

3:35pm: Chen-an Lin scoops one

Team PokerStars Pro Chen-an Lin is here today for the Red Dragon and he just picked up a pot moments ago.

On a board of K♦6♣K♠4♥ Lin's opponent on the big blind led for 600 and was called.

The 8♠ saw the player in the big blind freeze up as he checked before Lin quickly checked behind. Both players had ace high but Lin's A♣Q♠ was good enough to take down the pot against A♥5♥.

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Team PokerStars Pro Chen-an Lin

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

3:10pm: Ticherfatine takes a hit

We arrived at the table in time to see a bloated pot and the board reading 5♠9♠7♣Q♠A♥.

France's Cecile Ticherfatine had a bet of 3,400 sitting out in front of her and it was on her opponent to act. He reached for chips and Ticherfatine went to prematurely turn her hand over.

The movement caused her opponent to hesitate for a moment but he ultimately opted to call with A♠A♣ for a rivered set. He had way the best of it against Ticherfatine's 6♦5♦ for a lowly pair of fives.

The hand knocked Ticherfatine down a peg but she still has a healthy stack of around 12,000.

2:55pm: Bad start for reigning APOY

After an early position raise to 200, reigning Asia Player of the Year Alan King Lun Lau three-bet to 650 from the cutoff. With the player on the button cold-calling, the initial raiser also came along to see a flop of K♦4♠2♣.

It was checked to Lau who continued for 950. The button threw his hand away but the player in the early position called before the 2♠ turn paired the board. It was then that he led into Lau with a bet of 1,450. Lau called and when the 9♣ river arrived his opponent snap-checked. After a moment's thought Lau checked behind to see he was beat by K♥T♣.

Lau mucked his hand and dropped down to around 11,000 in chips.

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

2:30pm: Lin loses a little

It folded around to Team PokerStars Pro Celina Lin on the button and she raised it up to 150. It got to the player in the big blind and he put in a reraise to 400. Lin didn't want to relinquish the title of aggressor as she put in a four-bet to 1,050.

Her opponent made the call and they saw a flop of 8♠7♦4♠. It checked to Lin who continued for 1,350. The bet was met with a quick call before the dealer turned the 8♦.

The action then went check-check and the 9♣ completed the board. It was checked to Lin for a third and final time and she flicked out a bet of 2,100. She was called and tabled Q♦9♠ for a rivered two pair but it was no good against her opponent's T♣T♦ for slightly better.

Lin falls to a little below the 15,000 starting stack.

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

2:30pm: Lin loses a little

It folded around to Team PokerStars Pro Celina Lin on the button and she raised it up to 150. It got to the player in the big blind and he put in a reraise to 400. Lin didn't want to relinquish the title of aggressor as she put in a four-bet to 1,050.

Her opponent made the call and they saw a flop of 8♠7♦4♠. It checked to Lin who continued for 1,350. The bet was met with a quick call before the dealer turned the 8♦.

The action then went check-check and the 9♣ completed the board. It was checked to Lin for a third and final time and she flicked out a bet of 2,100. She was called and tabled Q♦9♠ for a rivered two pair but it was no good against her opponent's T♣T♦ for slightly better.

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Team PokerStars Pro Celina Lin

Lin falls to a little below the 15,000 starting stack.

2:15pm: Team Pros and Players of the Year

Things have only just begun but already we've spotted some notable names at the tables here.

Among those are Team PokerStars Pros Celina Lin and Chen-an Lin. Also at the felt are 2014 Asia Player of the Year Pete Chen, and the reigning Asia Player of the Year Alan King Lun Lau.

Also making an appearance fresh off an eighth place finish in the Aussie Millions Main Event is 2015 Asia Player of the Year runner up KC Wong. So too is the man who won this very event this time last year (as well as the High Roller!) Yuguang Li.

We'll keep our eyes out for any other familiar faces as Day 1a continues.

2:00pm: Cards in the air

PokerStars LIVE Macau's Fred Leung just took to the microphone to welcome players before announcing shuffle up and deal - and with that the MPC24 Red Dragon is officially underway!

The plan for today is to play through 12 level of 40 minutes apiece. That means we're in for eight hours of play and including breaks the action will wrap up around 10:30pm.

Registration is open for the first six levels so we won't know Day 1a's exact player count until after 6:20pm. Opening flights are notoriously the smallest but the poker room is buzzing at the moment so time will tell how big the field will grow.

Starting stacks are 15,000 and the blinds begin at 25/50.

Now it's time to head to the tournament floor and catch the action.

MPC24 Red Dragon Day 1a set to start

Welcome once again to PokerStars LIVE Macau for our coverage of the Macau Poker Cup 24 Red Dragon!

We're kicking things off with the first of three opening flights as Day 1a is set to commence shortly. In the meantime you can read all about the week to come right here - MPC24: The Red Dragon fires up.

Players will take their seats at 2:00pm local time in a bid to win the best looking trophy in poker and the lion's share of a HK$8,000,000 guaranteed prize pool. Stay with us for all the action!

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All photos by Kenneth Lim Photography courtesy of PokerStars LIVE Macau

Brad Kain
@PokerStars in Asia Pacific Poker Tour