Macau Millions Day 1e: Levels 1 - 5 (blinds 300-600)
4:15pm: Ten-minute break
4:05pm: One down, one up for Bobo
With a raise to 1,600 and call in front of him, Daoxing "Bobo" Chen decided to squeeze all in from the small blind for just under 10,000. The original raiser called off his last chips as the third player stepped aside. It was Chen's A♠Q♠ up against T♣T♠ which improved to a set on the board of 4♠T♥7♦Q♦3♦.
This left Chen with just 2,800 which he moved all in next hand following a limp and a raise to 1,200. His opponent called with J♣T♣ as Chen was in the lead with Q♦9♦. The board was spread 7♠4♦6♣6♦A♦ to give Chen a flush for a double up to stay alive. He's back to 7,000 in chips.
3:45pm: Sparrow flies past Waki
With a raise in front of him Sparrow Cheung popped it to 3,000 and action folded to Yasuhiro Waki who moved all in. Play folded back to the original raiser who thought got several moments, with the stone-faced Waki giving away nothing. He eventually folded but Cheung wasn't going anywhere as he immediately made the call and opened A♦A♣. Waki tabled J♦J♣ and was in trouble.
The board arrived Q♠4♥4♦6♠T♠ and Waki couldn't find a jack to save himself as he is eliminated from the tournament. Cheung is now up to nearly 40,000.
3:25pm: Bobo keeps it small with Big Slick
One of our favourite players in Macau is Daoxing "Bobo" Chen. Bobo first came to our attention on the final table of the 2009 APPT Macau Main Event where his theatrics, gamesmanship, unorthodox play and blatant time-wasting had everyone's eyes fixed firmly in his direction. Chen ended up 3rd for US$239,328 in prize money, but hasn't been able to reach those heights again with no tournament results recorded since that time.
Bobo is in today's field and off to a good start. After limping in from early position, Bobo picked up five other limpers to see a flop of K♣2♦6♦. The blinds checked to Bobo who bet 700 with just the small blind making the call. The turn was the 9♦ and action went check, check, to see the 4♥ fall on the river.
The small blind fumbled with his chips before deciding on a bet of 700 but Bobo was quick to call. The small blind opened Q♣6♠ for just a pair of sixes as Bobo took it down with A♥K♠ for a pair of kings. Bobo is up to 16,000.
3:10pm: Innocent predator
Five limpers each paid 200 to see a flop of Q♥K♠T♠ and action checked to Japanese starlet Mayumi Kaneko who bet 700. Next to action was the defending champ, Justin Chan and he decided to min-raise to 1,400. The table folded back to Kaneko who may look innocent at the table, but she turned on the aggression as she bumped it to 3,100.
Chan was a little surprised and gave it up as Kaneko jumps to 16,000.
2:50pm: Nakabo breaks the duck
We're yet to see a player cash in more than one flight so far at the Macau Millions, but Japan's Hirotoshi Nakabo is aiming to be the first. After making it through as the short stack last night on day 1d, Nakabo is back at it again today to try and improve his chip count and bag another HK$8,000 in cash.
Nakabo survived last night with just 45,500 in chips, and he's already half way to that amount in just the second level of the day after eliminating an opponent to move up to 22,000. After failing to cash at last year's Macau Millions over five flights, it took Nakabo nine attempts to finally break through for that cash. However there are a few others out there today looking to break bigger streaks than that!
2:45pm: Where's Wally?
It was great to see Wally Sombero in today's field, but it was only a brief visit as he was quickly dispatched from the tournament. Sombero lost a preflop race with pocket nines against ace-king on a board of 2♣7♣8♠A♥T♥ and was sent out the door.
2:40pm: Macau Millions so far, by the numbers
0 - Number of players who have qualified for Day 2 more than once
10 - Number of PokerStars players who have qualified for Day 2 (at end of Day 1D)
43 - Number of players that have advanced into Day 2 (at end of Day 1D)
117 - Players needed today (Friday) to tie the current 741-entry record for "most entries in an Asia poker tournament"
210 - Current record for a Day 1 heat in Macau Millions set in yesterday's Day 1D
386 - Players needed today (Friday) to reach 1,000 entries. This would be the FIRST time ever in Asia!
403,000 - Current overall chip leader Junzhong Loo from Malaysia, set on Day 1C
2:30pm: Some friendly faces
We currently have around 170 entrants in today's field. Some we've seen before while a few new faces are taking to the felt of the Macau Millions for the very first time.
Headlining today's field is the PokerStars Team Asia duo of Bryan Huang and Celina Lin, while we've also spotted Kelly Flynn, Michael Mariakis, Sparrow Cheung, Hung-sheng Lin, Rathi Shashank, Andrew Scott, Daoxing "Bobo" Chen, Hirotoshi Nakabo, David Steicke and Devan Tang.
Also making his first appearance today is the Godfather of poker in the Philippines, Wally "The Dream" Sombero.
2:20pm: 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. So far no one has been able to cash more than once in this tournament.
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 again this afternoon, with play likely to take around seven hours to reach our final 7%.
2:10pm: Day 1e is underway!
The players have found their way to their new homes for the day and exchange pleasantries with their new neighbours in preparation for a big day ahead. There's still a healthy queue of players at the registration booth as PokerStars Macau Marketing Manager Fred Leung welcomed the players to Macau and what is already the largest poker tournament by number of entrants ever held in Asia.
The microphone was then handed to Team PokerStars Pro and reigning Asia Player of the Year Bryan Huang for the shuffle up and deal honours.
The cards are now in the air!
We're back in the Grand Lisboa Hotel and Casino for the fifth opportunity for players to hand over HK$2,200 for shot at the Macau Millions $1,500,000 guaranteed prize pool. We're expecting a bumper field today with two flights to be held - one kicking off at 2:10pm and the second starting at 7:10pm tonight. It's going to be a long and busy day in the PokerStars Macau Poker Room, but that's just the way we like it!
For some, making it through the day and reaching a minimum HK$8,000 payday will simply mean getting themselves unstuck from a disappointing week on the felt. For others, today will be their first attempt as the numbers swell towards the magical 1,000-player mark.
Here's the schedule for the rest of the 2011 Macau Millions Main Event:
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 afternoon at 2:10pm local time (GMT+8) and will continue until we reach the final 7% of the field. Stay tuned to the PokerStars Blog for all of your live updates from the tournament floor.