MPCC: Money men decided, now for the serious stuff

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The Macau Poker Cup's reputation for high drama and swashbuckling poker was delivered in spades on day one of the Macau Poker Cup Championship Main Event at PokerStars Macau in the Grand Lisboa Hotel and Casino today.

The field of 158 players far exceeded expectations, and ensured a prizepool of almost HKD $3,000,000 in the MPC's first HKD $20,000 buy-in Main Event. And considering that the event is being held on the cusp of the holiday season, the line-up impressed both in terms of quantity and quality.

In addition to PokerStars.net Team Asia pros Tae Jun Noh, Celina Lin, Raymond Wu, Bryan Huang and Jonathan Lin, the line-up included several players with APPT final tables under their belts and the best of the best from the 2009 MPC.

The real action started after dinner when the structure really started to bite and stacks of all sizes came under considerable pressure. After the elimination of Ivan and Geoff Pringle, Ming Wang was confirmed as the bubble finisher after Darren Yoon's K-Q paired on the river against Ming Fang's flopped pair of sixes.

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PokerStars.net Team Asia's Bryan Huang showed nerves of steel with several all-ins on the cusp of the bubble

After almost 15 levels of 40 minutes, just 19 of the 158 starters remained with Chun Chieh "Michael" Chang holding the chip lead with 364,000. Others who'll be back tomorrow for the final day include PokerStars.net Team Asia trio Tae Jun Noh, Raymond Wu and Bryan Huang, Terry Fan, Winfred Yu plus former chip leaders Devin Tang and Henry Wang.

It's been a long but enthralling day here at PokerStars Macau. It's time for a nightcap at one of the Grand Lisboa Hotel and Casino's many bars, before returning at 12.30pm tomorrow for the race to the inaugural MPCC title.