Macau Millions Day 1d: Levels 1 - 5 (blinds 300-600)
10:10pm: Ten-minute break
10:00pm: Mistimed value
Justin Chan has taken a hit to his stack after a mistimed river shove. Chan called 2,000 on the flop, checked the turn and was then faced with another bet of 2,000 on the river on a board of 6♠K♠Q♥A♦3♣. Chan thought for several minutes trying to decide his best option, before announcing himself all in.
Chan's opponent insta-called and tabled J♦T♦ for the nuts as Chan sighed and flashed A♥Q♦ for two pair. He's down to 8,000.
9:50pm: Aces clubbed
Getting pocket aces is a good thing, but having them cracked is not much fun. How about when your pocket aces are cracked by...pocket aces? That's just what we witnessed when two players got their chips in with A♣A♠ versus A♥A♦.
Usually this is a chop but the red aces went a little red in the face when the board landed a very black T♣Q♦7♣6♣K♣. Ouch!
9:40pm: Steicke silenced
David Steicke couldn't make a chip and a chair comeback as he was just eliminated from the tournament. Steicke shoved his last 1,100 from under the gun with jack-eight and Japan's Hirotoshi Nakabo made the call with ace-nine.
Steicke hit a pair but it wasn't enough on the 8-T-9-9-A board as Nakabo made a full house to send Steicke to the rail.
He was soon followed by good mate Andrew Scott who struggled to get much going today before pushing his short stack with A-9 and running into an opponent's A-K.
9:30pm: Chan chips up
The defending champion Justin Chan is chipping up nicely after collecting a recent pot on the river, but it took three barrels to do it. We caught the action on the flop of 2♦9♠5♦ with Chan firing 1,400 and his opponent on the button making the call.
The turn was the T♠ and Chan decided 1,400 was the right price again. His opponent made the call and the river was the 6♠. Chan released a third bullet, this time for 4,600, but it was too much as his opponent let it go.
Chan is up to 27,000.
9:20pm: Steicke gets stuck
Another high profile player in today's field is Hong Kong based Aussie David Steicke.
Steicke rose to prominence several years ago with some stunning performances in Macau at the APPT and has since gone on to record over US$2 million in tournament earnings in Asia, Australia, Europe and at the WSOP.
Steicke is known for his love of high-stakes events, so he was always expected to gamble it up in the HK$2,200 turbo format of the Macau Millions Main Event.
With a raise to 800 from Dang Quan Dai and a call by Ka Ho Sun in front of him, Steicke decided to try the old squeeze play as he moved all in for his last 6,300. It was enough to force a fold from Dai, but Sun committed his last chips, tabling 9♠9♦ for the best hand against Steicke's Q♦6♠.
The board ran out 8♠K♣8♦3♣5♣ to double up Sun and leave Steicke with just 300 chips. He was able to more than triple those up to 1,100 the next hand when his jack-nine caught a pair against an opponent's jack-king, however it's still a long way back from there.
9:00pm: Big laydown by Wu
It's pretty tough to lay down an overpair. It's a skill not easily learnt, and often what separates the amateurs from the pros. Team PokerStars Pro Raymond Wu has just proven that with an exceptional lay down in the early stages of Day 1d.
With two limpers in front, Wu raised it to 450 in position. The small blind cold called, as did the two limpers to see a flop of 7♣2♦3♥.
Action checked to Wu who tossed out 1,200. The small blind folded but Richard Lee Yuen check-raised all in, before Vojtech Lacek did likewise! It was only an additional 3,875 to Wu to cover both players, but he didn't take long before folding his Q♠Q♥ face up.
"Which one of you has the set?" said Wu.
It wasn't Yuen as he opened a rather imaginative 3♣2♠ for two pair, but Lacek showed 7♥7♦ for top set. The turn was the 2♣ but that didn't change anything as the 9♣ hit on the river.
It would've been easy for Wu to make a cheap call with a big hand in what is a fast-structured tournament, but he made a great laydown with what turned out to be the third best hand. Wu slips to 15,000, while Lacek, who is part of the Czech invasion here this evening, is up to about 14,000.
8:50pm: The curse continues for Celina
Celina Lin hasn't had much luck here at the Macau Millions. Yesterday she was desperate to win a flip, but today flopping a set still wasn't enough.
She recalled to us that she lost most of her chips after flopping a set of deuces on a 2-5-8 flop but incredibly she ran into an opponent holding pocket eights, and was eliminated soon after.
"I had like five last longer bets tonight too!" she said with a wry smile.
8:45pm: Who else is here?
We have the full quota of PokerStars Team Asia here this evening with Bryan Huang and Celina Lin back for more, while it's our first sighting of Raymond Wu so far at the Macau Millions.
Joining them this evening is Czech PokerStars Team Pro Martin Hrubý, Kelly Flynn, Michael Mariakis, Dang Quan Dai, Ted Wang, Andrew Scott, Daoxing "Bobo" Chen, Hanbing "Marlboro" Wang, Hung-sheng Lin, Harold Tsakmaklis, Hirotoshi Nakabo, Sparrow Cheung, David Steicke, Nigel Jones, Brian Mcallister, Mikael Rosen and defending champion Justin Chan.
8:40pm: The Dutchman flies into Macau
One player who is a big fan of Macau is the "Flying Dutchman" Marcel Luske who has taken his seat in tonight's Day 1d field. Luske is one of the most popular Team PokerStars Pros and well-known for his entertaining antics on the felt, including wearing his sunglasses upside down and randomly breaking into a chorus of song.
While he enjoys himself on the felt, Luske has a fierce tournament record with nearly US$4 million in career earnings including 20 WSOP cashes, and it's great to see him here at the Macau Millions.
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%.
8:15pm: Big field has early casualty
It looks like we'll easily better yesterday's field of 182, with the figure already nearing that mark and a lengthy queue of people still waiting patiently at the registration desk.
However one spare seat has already opened up with our first elimination of the day coming within minutes of the cards in the air. We don't have a lot of details but we believe it was pocket kings versus ace-queen on a queen-high flop.
8:10pm: Day 1d kicks off!
The players have taken their seats in ready for a long night ahead. PokerStars Macau Marketing Manager Fred Leung has welcomed the players before Team PokerStars Pro Marcel Luske took the microphone, speaking of his love for Macau and wishing everyone the best of luck.
Finally the microphone was handed to PokerStars qualifier George Gattner, who was the winner of the PokerStars Ultimate Home Game promotion. George and his Czech crew are here playing this evening as part of his prize package and he was given the honour of uttering the immortal words, "Shuffle up and deal!"
Fourth time's a charm! Well at least that's what our players will be hoping this evening as Day 1d of the Macau Millions kicks off in the PokerStars Macau Poker Room at the Grand Lisboa Hotel and Casino. It was a beautiful, sunny day today here in Macau, so we'll see if the sun continues to shine or the storm clouds start to set in for our players this evening.
Each day we're seeing brand new faces arrive in Macau as this event surges towards the 1,000-entrant mark. A few others however are starting to become part of the furniture as it will be their fourth attempt at glory and a share of the guaranteed HK$1,500,000 prize pool.
Here's the schedule for the rest of the 2011 Macau Millions Main Event:
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 local time (GMT+8) with play once again likely to wrap up around 3am. Stay tuned to the PokerStars Blog for all of your live updates from the tournament floor.