Macau Millions Day 1c: Levels 1 - 5 (blinds 300-600)

10:15pm: Ten-minute break

10:12pm: Bryan busto

We've lost two of our Team PokerStars Pros in a matter of minutes as Singapore's Bryan Huang has also crashed out of the tournament.

Huang opened with a raise to 1,200 from the hijack position with James Potter flat-calling in the cutoff to see a Q-7-5 flop. Huang fired a continuation bet of 1,200 and Potter made the call, as a repeat five hit the turn. Both players checked and the river was an eight. Huang bet 4,300 and Potter moved all in to force Huang to call off his last 5,000 or so chip. Potter opened ace-five for trips to leave Huang to toss his cards into the muck and exit the poker room.

We look forward to seeing Huang back to chance his luck again in the remaining opening flights, while Potter heads to the break as one of the chip leaders with around 40,000 chips.

10:10pm: Duhamel done

Well it appears that we spoke too soon about Jonathan Duhamel, as the World Champion has been bundled out of the Macau Millions Main Event.

After losing a chunk of his stack in a previous hand, Duhamel three-bet all in for his last 5,800 with pocket threes but his opponent made the call with queen-jack. The board ran out A♦Q♠9♠Q♦6♦ to give his opponent trip queens and send Duhamel to the rail.


Jonathan Duhamel in action at the Macau Millions

10:00pm: There's more than one champion in this field

Before play kicked off this afternoon, Justin Chan went up and introduced himself to Team PokerStars Pro Jonathan Duhamel. The two actually share something in common, as Duhamel is of course the reigning WSOP champion, and Chan the reigning champion of the Macau Millions!

After a recent table break the two now find themselves seated on the same table, and it's Duhamel who is moving up the leaderboard after eliminating a short-stacked opponent.
The short stack was all in preflop for his last 3,000 or so with A♦4♥, and Duhamel made the call with K♠Q♥. The A♥T♠Q♣ flop put the shorty in the lead, and nothing changed on the T♥ turn, however the Q♦ river filled up Duhamel to jump him up to 22,000.

9:40pm: Not a yummy turn

Claudia Yum has just taken a big hit after her pocket kings were cracked by the pocket tens of David Benoy. The chips were in preflop and the board was spread 6♣Q♣4♥T♥J♦. The two-outer turn gave Benoy the double up and left Yum crippled.

However she doubled up very next hand, getting some small revenge against Benoy when her ace-king held against Benoy's ace-seven. Yum is back to about 2,500 in chips.

9:25pm: Gift for Bryan

Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang is particularly fond of the PokerStars Macau Poker Room. The reigning Asia Player of the Year has enjoyed a lot of success in this room and he's off to a bright start in his first appearance at the Macau Millions.

Of course, it's always a little easier when you get gifts like the following hand. With three limpers in preflop, Huang was happy to complete in the small blind, as James Potter rapped the table in the big blind to see a flop of 8♥8♦3♠.

Action was check, check, before a player in middle position decided to move all in for around 5,000 into a pot of just 2,000. Two folds and Huang immediately tossed out calling chips which could only mean one thing. As Potter folded, Huang opened A♣8♣ for trips as his eager opponent had got a little off track with his K♦T♥. The 9♥ turn and 7♦ river completed the board as Huang sends one to the rail on his way to a stack of just under 22,000.


Bryan Huang in action on Day 1c of the Macau Millions

9:10pm: Scott blasts a double up

Andrew Scott is up to 22,000 and travelling nicely after a double up in the battle of the blinds. Both players committed the minimum of 200 preflop to see a flop of Q-6-3. Scott led out for 200 and his opponent popped it to 600. Scott paused for affect and made the call and a king hit the turn. Scott checked and flat-called the 1,500-chip bet of his opponent before another queen paired the board on the river.

Scott blasted out a bet of 4,000, his opponent insta-moved all in and Scott snap-called! Scott opened K-Q for a full house as his opponent flashed the case queen and mucked.

Scott is the CEO of a gaming magazine here in Asia and his Editor in Chief is James Potter who is also progressing well in the early stages. Potter is up to nearly 30,000, seated to the direct left of Bryan Huang on a table that hasn't been afraid to get amongst the action early on.

8:45pm: What a cooler!

Ok so if you've been playing poker, or reporting on poker tournaments, long enough then you've pretty much seen every combination of bad beat, sick suckout or cooler hand that you can imagine. Not much surprises anymore.

Well, we've just seen one hell of a flop that made us look at each other and say "wow".

Table 19 in the far corner of the room was in hysterics and as we arrived to the table they were quick to explain the situation. Action was back on Armand Prati after three other players on the table had moved all in on a flop of T♥9♥2♥. Even more incredible was the fact that Prati was the original raiser!

After a few minutes of deliberation, Prati open-folded 3♥4♥ for a baby flush. He got off cheap. Two others, weren't so lucky as Ramin Lessani opened A♥Q♥ for the nuts. Unlucky player number one showed K♥5♥ while unlucky player number two was the only one with an out as he opened 8♥6♥.

All four players had flopped a flush with eleven of the thirteen available hearts opened on the table. Amazing. There were cries for the 7♥ to make things even sicker, but it wasn't to be as the 7♣ and 6♦ completed the board. Lessani quadruples up and becomes our early chip leader with about 35,000 chips. Wow!

8:40pm: A few names

While there is plenty of attention on the presence of Jonathan Duhamel, there are several other well-known players sprinkled around the PokerStars Macau Poker Room this evening.

Team PokerStars Pros Bryan Huang and Celina Lin are two of the headline acts here this evening, and they are joined by the likes of Andrew Scott, Kelly Flynn, James Potter, Yasuhiro Waki, Michael Mariakis, Dang Quan Dai, Hanbing "Marlboro" Wang, Hung-sheng Lin, Charles Lam, Roel Pijpers, Ion Song, Mikael Rosen and Bryan Huang's father Jack Ng.

We also have the defending champ here as PokerStars sponsored Justin Chan has taken his seat in today's field.

8:30pm: Big field in the house

It's been announced that there are already over 170 entrants for this evening's flight, which is well in excess of the 127 that we saw for the opening flight on Saturday. The first 180 registrations are guaranteed a seat, but any additional latecomers will have to be content with being alternates. The rate of eliminations in this event has been fairly rapid, so that shouldn't be too much of a hindrance to their chances.

8:20pm: A reminder about today's format

The Macau Millions is certainly one of the more unique tournament formats in the world. In recent years the "repechage" or second chance format has become popular in a way for organizers to increase prize pools amongst its existing customer base. The Macau Millions has taken that concept to a whole new level.

Not one, not two, not three, but seven opening day flights gives each of our players seven chances to buy into the tournament in the hope of reaching day two and the money. You can fire one bullet, or if you have enough ammo, you can take all seven shots!

Play will continue on each "Day 1" until the field has been reduced to the final 7% of the field. At that point the players will have secured a berth on Day 2 and a guaranteed payday of HK$8,000.

The great thing about the Macau Millions format is that if you make it through a day one flight you still have the option of playing each of the other opening flights. You can try and reach the cash once again as only the biggest stack from your successful attempts will be used when play recommences on Day 2.

This is quite possibly the first poker tournament in history where someone could potentially cash seven times in the one event!

The structure for today's play will see each player start with 10,000 in chips and 25-minute levels. We should see a big field this evening, probably the largest of the event so far, with play likely to take around seven hours to reach our final 7%.

8:10pm: Third time lucky

The players have sorted out their registrations and with tickets firmly in hands, have taken their seats for day 1c of the Macau Millions Main Event.

PokerStars Macau Marketing Manager Fred Leung has welcomed the players and handed the microphone to none other than Team PokerStars Pro and 2010 World Champion Jonathan Duhamel who said a few words, "It's my first time to Macau and I'm having a great time. I wish everyone the best of luck and dealers please shuffle up and deal!"

There will be extra incentive for someone to claim the scalp of the champ this evening as a bounty has been placed on his head. Whoever eliminates Duhamel this evening will receive a brand new PokerStars sports jacket signed by the World Champion himself.

With that, Day 1c of the Macau Millions is officially underway!


Jonathan Duhamel gives the command to "Shuffle up and Deal!"

We're back within the luxurious confines of the Grand Lisboa Casino for Day 1c of the 2011 Macau Millions Main Event. The PokerStars Macau Poker Room has been bustling with activity all week, and we expect another excellent field for the third of seven opening flights this evening.

Following a two-day break, a few more well-known players have landed in Macau after the completion of another major tournament in Manila over the weekend and the Ultimate Home Game which ran last night featuring Team PokerStars Pros Marcel Luske, Martin Hrubý and World Champion Jonathan Duhamel. Will we see any of them hit the tables again this evening?

It's likely we'll have a few more notables in the field, as well as those who will be coming back to hopefully make it third time lucky for their shot at the guaranteed HK$1,500,000 prize pool.

Here's the schedule for the rest of the 2011 Macau Millions Main Event:

Wednesday, April 6, 8:10 PM - Macau Millions - Day 1C
Thursday, April 7, 8:10 PM - Macau Millions - Day 1D
Friday, April 8, 2:10 PM - Macau Millions - Day 1E
Friday, April 8, 7:10 PM - Macau Millions - Day 1F
Saturday, April 9, 12:10 PM - Macau Millions - Day 1G
Saturday, April 9, 8:10 PM - Macau Millions - Day 2
Sunday, April 10, 12:10 PM - Macau Millions - Day 3

Play kicks off this evening at 8:10pm and is likely to extend for around seven hours for players to reach day two action. Stay tuned to the PokerStars Blog for all of your live updates from the tournament floor.