Lawrence Peng pips Japanese to lead Red Dragon Day 1b

Today, well actually yesterday, saw Day 1b of the Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon Main Event commence at the worker-friendly time of a little after 8:00 p.m. Not only did this allow for players to jet in from nearby countries following work, but also allowed some last minute entrants courtesy of a good banker run on the Baccarat tables or a handy double up or two on the poker table.

The banker must have ran hot, and the poker tables featured some gamble as 290 players took a seat in the PokerStars Macau Poker Room to create a final field size of 478 that resulted in a HK$4,780,000 prizepool -- smashing the guarantee by over fifty-percent.

With players filtering in to the two designated overflow areas, Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang firstly introduced the newest Team Asia member Vivian Im to order the cards into the air before he led the field alongside Celina Lin. Joining the two Macau veterans included Neil Arce, Chong Cheong, Charles Chua, Daren Yoon, Charles Lam, Hung-Sheng Lin, Haifeng Xue, Kenny Shih, Nicky Tao Jin, Wally Sombrero, Phil Lau and Australians Nobbi Tanaka, Ricky Gov, Milan Gurung and Kyle Cheong as notable American professionals Tommy Le and Danny Wong made surprising visits.

Huang lost more than half his stack in one of the first hands of the day as Yoon and Lam found gifted early doubles. Unfortunately for Le -- brother of 2008 APPT Macau High Rollers Champion Nam-- he would arrive and leave within quick succession when his K♥K♥ was outdrawn on the flop by an opponent's 9♠9♦. As David Steicke made a late entrance, the air-conditioning would cease to work, and although we were expecting a Nelly-esque version of "Its getting' hot in here" from Charles Chua, we would have to settle for his elimination as Yoon, Tanaka, Wong and Steicke all followed suit.

Unlike teammate Raymond Wu, Huang and Lin's day would be extremely tame with both of them remain fairly quiet until they both found themselves on the rail; both of which exited holding the same hand -- pocket sevens! With players falling, it would be a strong Japanese contingent that would mount up the leaderboard as Seijiro Machi led the way before relinquishing his strong dominating lead late in the day to Lawrence Peng as the top ten chip counts sit as follows:

Lawrence Peng

Day 1b chip leader Lawrence Peng

Top Ten Chip Counts:
Lawrence Peng (Singapore) - 135,100
Osamu Kishimoto (Japan) - 121,900
Kozo Isono (Japan) (PokerStars Sponsored Player) - 119,200
Charles Wai Feng Wong (United States) - 100,400
Aaron Rong (Malaysia) (PokerStars Sponsored Player) - 100,200
Lien Cheng (China) - 98,000
Cheong Chong (Hong Kong) - 96,800
Seijiro Machi (Japan) (PokerStars Macau Qualifier) - 96,200
Akira Ohyama (Japan) (PokerStars Sponsored Player) - 89,500
Makoto Chikusa (Japan) - 79,500

With Japan dominating the leaderboard, Milan Gurung (66,900), Kenny Shih (35,100), Haifeng Xue (28,100), Roel Pijpers (23,000) and Neil Arce (16,500) are just a few of those that managed to survive also .

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

Click here for the Day 2 seating draw.

The 98 players from today will join the 62 that survived yesterday to make a Day 2 starting field of 160. As the players return in just a few hours to the PokerStars Macau Poker Room, they will all have one goal on their mind -- firstly to make the money paying spot of fifty-eight before mounting a charge to be in a position to capture the HK$1,039,700 first prize, Red Dragon trophy and valuable Asia Player of the Year points.

With play kicking off at 2:10 p.m. (GMT+8), make sure to stay locked onto the PokerStars Blog for the continuous live updates as we look to unearth the next Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon Main Event winner right here from the tournament floor of the Grand Lisboa.

Tim Duckworth
@PokerStars in PokerStars Macau