MPCC: Asia's finest on show in season finale
The thought of having a top-20 line-up of players from China, Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, Taipei, the USA, Canada and the UK in a major international poker tournament would have been unthinkable as little as two years ago.
But that's the "league of nations" represented heading into the final day of play in the first Macau Poker Cup Championship Main Event at the Grand Lisboa Hotel and Casino in Macau; the culmination of a week-long festival of poker to celebrate the end of the first full year of Macau Poker Cup events.
As the Macau Special Administrative Region prepares to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the return to China, another chapter in the history of the world's premier gaming location will be written today when the first MPCC Main Event champion is crowned.
The man in the box seat with 19 players remaining is Taipei's Chun Chieh "Michael" Chang on 364,00, although PokerStars.net Team Asia Pro Bryan Huang is snapping at his heels on 325,000.
Two other PokerStars.net Team Asia Pros will also be back today - Korea's Tae Jun Noh needs to finish fifth or higher to overtake Kitty Kuo in the race for Asian Player of the Year, while Raymond Wu is hoping for an early double-up as he brings the outright short stack into day two.
Whether it's a bowl of congee or a plate of bacon and eggs, players are taking on some fuel before play starts at 12.30pm local time today. We'll be starting in the magnificent PokerStars Macau facility before relocating to the TV table in the heart of the Grand Lisboa Hotel and Casino once the final nine are decided.
Day 2 seat draw
Seat 1: Rafi Istanbulian (Canada) 85,000
Seat 3: Mathew Schwarmann (USA) 56,000
Seat 4: Vincent Chung (USA) 235,000
Seat 5: Victor Chen (Taipei) 212,000
Seat 6: Yinseng Devan Tan (Hong Kong) 143,000
Seat 7: Nigel Jones (UK) 113,000
Seat 1: Terry Fan (Taipei) 101,000
Seat 3: Yong Hyun Yoo (Korea) 251,000
Seat 4: Ming Fang (China) 170,000
Seat 5: Bryan Huang (Singapore) Team PokerStars Asia 325,000
Seat 6: Hung Tu Wang (Taipei) 126,000
Seat 7: Kitson Kho (Hong Kong) 186,000
Seat 8: Wing Bor (Paul) Cheng (Hong Kong) 158,000
Seat 2: Chun Chieh Chang (Taipei) 364,000
Seat 3: Tran Linh (Canada) 122,000
Seat 6: Tae Joon Noh (Korea) Team PokerStars Asia 201,000
Seat 7: Daren Yoon (Malaysia) 195,000
Seat 8: Raymond Wu (Taipei) Team PokerStars Asia 50,000
Seat 9: Yew Fatt Kan (Malaysia) 68,000