Kiwi leads International field to Red Dragon Day 1a lead

With poker in Macau finally starting to fulfil its potential, the May/June edition of the Macau Poker Cup brought with it high expectations. The preliminary events have produced consistent numbers and today the wait was finally over as the HK$11,000 Red Dragon Main Event got underway.

Boasting a HK$3,000,000 guaranteed prizepool, the Main Event appears a lock to smash through that guarantee, and Day 1a got us well on target when 189 players took to the felt at the PokerStars Macau Poker Room inside the luxurious Grand Lisboa Casino.

There were plenty of local hopes but a significant number of Internationals playing from an incredibly diverse range of countries. Many are ex-pats who enjoy themselves too much in then Asian regions to ever contemplate going back home to chilly winters, while there were a few in attendance who had made the trip specifically for this event.

Also amongst the field were three PokerStars Team Asia pros with Celina Lin, Raymond Wu and Bryan Huang highlighting the line up.

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Today's field also included Justin Chan, Victor Chen, Brice Renaud, Ivan Tan and the February Red Dragon champion Mark Benasa who was one of those who made their way to the exit during the ten and a half levels of play today as only 65 players survived the day.

Leading the charge was Kiwi Jeremy MacDonald who amassed 131,900 without too much fanfare on a tough table late in the day that also included Bryan Huang, Justin Chan and Nathanael Seet.

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Seet was also prominent as he used his cash game experience to make some excellent reads and great calls to sit pretty with 90,500 by the end of the day.

Top Ten Chip Counts:

Jeremy MacDonald (New Zealand) (PokerStars Player) - 131,900
Conrad Coetzer (South Africa) (Pokerstars Macau Qualifier) - 112,600
Nathanael Seet (Singapore) - 90,500
Kwan Pao Mah (Canada) (Pokerstars Macau Qualifier) - 81,300
Choong Kian Weng (Malaysia) - 77,800
Xin Rui Lu (China) (Pokerstars Macau Qualifier) - 77,000
Chin Sun Tan (Singapore) (Pokerstars Sponsored Player) - 75,000
Yang Xie (China) - 74,000
Xiaojun Zhang (China) (Pokerstars Macau Qualifier) - 72,000
Milton De Spain (Macau) (Pokerstars Macau Qualifier) - 68,500

Also safely through the day are Justin Chan (60,200), Asuza Maeda (59,300), Ivan Tan (56,500), Brian Lovett (53,000), Aditya Agarwal (39,900), Brian McAllister (35,200), Jimmy Wong (34,000), Raymond Wu (32,000), Brice Renaud (28,800), Yvo Molin (27,300), Celina Lin (24,200), Bryan Huang (24,000) and Victor Chen (11,900).

Click here for the complete Day 1a end-of-day chip counts

We'll be back to do it all again tomorrow with an even bigger field expected to turn out for Day 1b of the Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon Main Event. The action will kick off at 2:10pm (GMT+8) and we look forward to your company for live updates on the PokerStars Blog. Until then, it's good night from Macau!

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