MPCC: Level 1 & 2 updates
Live updates from day 1, level 1 (blinds 25-50) & level 2 (50-100) of the Macau Poker Cup Championship Main Event brought to you by Sean Callander from the Grand Lisboa Hotel and Casino in Macau. Click refresh to see the latest updates below.
2.30pm: Region's best out in force
The proximity to the holiday season hasn't stopped the region's best players turning out for the first Macau Poker Cup Championship. PokerStars.net Team Asia Pros Celina Lin, Jonathan Lin, Raymond Wu, Bryan Huang and Tae Jun Noh lead the list of notables.
Others in town include 2009 WCOOP bracelet winner Terrence Chan, 2008 APPT Macau High Roller runner-up Andrew Scott, 2009 APPT Macau fifth-place finisher Daoxing Chen, three of the nine players who final-tabled APPT Cebu last month (New Zealand's Kevin Clark, Mark Pagsuyuin of the Philippines and Taipei's Terry Fan), and Jeppe Drivsholm, who was fifth in the 2008 APPT Macau Main Event.
Singapore's Ivan Tan, who final-tabled APPT Macau tournaments in 2007 and 2008, Malaysia's Daren Yoon, rising Aussie stars Daniel Neilson, Julian Powell and Julian Cohen and Thailand's Ire Blumenthal underline the wealth of nations here today.
There are also large contingents of players representing the Western Australian Poker League and Hong Kong Poker House, all proudly wearing the logos and colours of their respective organisations.
But it's the PokerStars Macau regulars who dominate the field, with many of the top Macau Poker Cup performers out to gain a slice of the estimated HKD $3,00,000 on offer.
MPC high fliers Kitty Kuo, Chen-an Lin, "Victor" Chen Chih Yen and Zhenjian Lin are all in today's field, along with "Joe" Kin Joh Pua, who won last night's inaugural Tournament of Champions worth HKD $100,000, including his seat in the MPCC Main Event.
1.30pm: Paparazzi invades PSM
PokerStars Macau has been invaded by a massive media contingent for the arrival of Hong Kong "It" Girl Chrissie Chau. The model/actor/bikini model is here to officially open the Macau Poker Cup Championship event, and has been followed to Macau by enough reporters and photographers to put Ante-up for Africa to shame.
Chau's appearance has added to a chaotic but incredibly exciting start to the day. Many of the players who'd planned to ferry to Macau from Hong Kong this morning had their plans thrown into disarray when the service was halted.
This was due to the departure from Hong Kong to Macau of Chinese President Hu Jintao for 10th anniversary celebrations of Macau's return to China. President Hu was last here five years ago, and the city is awash with red and green flags to honour his visit.
A string of celebrations have been planned across the weekend to honour the milestone, including a massive fireworks display following a concert by Cantopop superstar Andy Lau. What a backdrop for Macau's biggest ever home grown poker tournament!