Chong tops Mr. Macau for Red Dragon Day 1b lead

Today was the second and final opportunity for players to take their seats for the Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon Main Event. A massive field of 258 players took up the opportunity, stretching your humble tournament reporter into overflow tables outside the PokerStars Macau Poker Room on the main gaming floor and even over in front of the main Grand Lisboa Casino bar.

It meant our total number of players reached a very impressive 447 players to smash the HK$3,000,000 prizepool guarantee.

Some of the notables in today's field included Sixiao "Juicy" Li, Jay Tan, Jordan Lo, Percy Yung, Ion Sang Song, "Mr Macau" Charles Chua, Mayumi Kaneko, Thommy Lam, Michael Marvanek, Daren Yoon, Kim Gap Young, World Gaming Magazine CEO Andrew Scott, the effervescent Hirotoshi Nakabo, APPT Cebu champion Young-shin Im, PokerStars sponsored Neil Arce, PokerStars Team Online Pro Yu-Reng Peng and the number one ranked player in the Asia Player of the Year, Hung-Sheng Lin.

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Lin was prominent early after he dispatched of "Juicy" in the early stages with pocket aces against pocket kings. He appeared on track for yet another big run in a major Macau event, but before you could blink his tournament came crashing down to Earth. A couple of rough beats were followed by himself running pocket kings into pocket aces to be eliminated from the tournament. The man with the pocket aces was the man they call "Mr. Macau" as Charles Chua recovered from a slow start to spring to life.

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Chua's hot form continued throughout the day, and when he flopped a full house against Jessica Shi-ling Ngu, Chua was with the chip leaders - a position he maintained for the rest of the afternoon.

However he was pipped at the post by Malaysian Victor Chong who grabbed the chip lead with some solid play throughout the day to bag up 132,200 chips.

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Chua (126,200), Albert Chi Keung Lau (107,300), Takuya Suzuki (106,000) and the aggressive Chin Feng Lee (88,100) round out the top five.

Team PokerStars was represented today by Taipei's online prodigy Yu-Reng Peng. Known online as "AmPHisbaenA", which interestingly translates to "two-headed snake", Peng is part of PokerStars Team Online and he showed why today with a remarkable runner-runner quad eights, including a one-outer river to crack an opponent's set of aces. It was one of the highlights of the day as Peng safely made it through the day with 75,800 chips.

Also through to Day 2 are Andrew Scott (73,800), Ben McLean (66,700), Ion Sang Song (51,200), Mayumi Kaneko (46,000) and Young-Shin Im (37,600) as 78 players survived the day.

Click here for the chip counts for the day one survivors

Click here for the Day 2 seating draw

The 78 players from today will join the 65 survivors from Day 1a as the remaining 143 players will come together in the PokerStars Macau Poker Room for the first time as Day 2 of the Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon Main Event kicks off at 12:10pm local time (GMT+8). Also tomorrow night will see a world-class field turnout for the HK$30,000 High Rollers Event which starts at 8:10pm. We'll be here once again to bring you all of the live action on the PokerStars Blog. We look forward to your company then!