Macau Millions Day 1g: Levels 1 - 5 (blinds 300-600)
2:15pm: Ten-minute break
2:05pm: Full house for Nakabo
One of the highlights of the week has been the entertaining theatrics of Hirotoshi Nakabo. Constantly chattering, sweating cards and getting a wee bit excited when a player is all in (especially himself), we've enjoyed watching Nakabo on the felt this week.
He caught our attention again recently, after eliminating an opponent in a battle of the blinds. It was A♠6♠ up against Nakabo's Q♦Q♠, and Nakabo was all smiles as the board ran out T♥3♠Q♥7♥7♦. Nakabo's full house jumps him to 23,000.
1:55pm: Mariakis is king
Michael Mariakis has jumped to the top of the chip counts early here on Day 1g after a bit of a gift saw his opponent over commit preflop with J♦T♠ in a button versus big blind battle. Mariakis held the goods as he called with K♥K♣ as the board delivered no surprises as it arrived 6♣K♦9♦A♠8♥.
"That was a lot to put in with jack-ten," commented Mariakis but he wasn't complaining as his stack climbs to 55,000.
1:35pm: Rosen rattled by the ladies
It takes a lot to rattle Swede Mikael Rosen. Usually a picture of stoic concentration, Rosen was just spotted jumping out of his chair after a pretty rough beat against Japan's Yasuhiro Waki.
As the action was recalled to us, Waki fired 1,400 on a flop of A♦K♠Q♦, before Rosen raised an additional 2,100. Waki moved all in, and Rosen snap-called with ace-king for two pair to be well ahead of Waki's ace-queen.
However it was the evil Q♠ that appeared on the turn which caused the table to roar and Rosen to jump from his chair in disgust as Waki snatched the lead with a devastating two-outer. The river bricked the 7♠ and Rosen was left with just a few thousand in change as Waki is now looking dangerous with around 32,000 chips.
1:20pm: Lin has seen it all
Celina Lin is back for her seventh attempt in this Macau Millions, but it's been a slow start on Day 1g for the Team PokerStars Pro. We just caught her raising the limp from the UK's Richard Barnes. Lin made it 800 on the button, but Barnes pulled the old limp-shove as he moved all in for an additional 3,275. It was too much for Lin as she gave it up.
"Don't think I'm doing that with pocket fives!" chirped Barnes.
"Well, I've seen everything in Macau!" laughed Lin as she slips to 7,500.
1:15pm: Tsakmaklis straightens two
Harold Tsakmaklis has just eliminated two opponents with a pretty hand flop of J♥8♣9♠ doing all the damage. The chips went into the middle with San Youp Kim pushing with A♦9♣, John Liang gambling with K♥T♥ while Tsakmaklis wasn't going anywhere holding T♠7♦ for the straight.
The 3♦ turn and 5♣ river changed nothing as Tsakmaklis busts two on his way to a stack of 22,000.
1:00pm: Avoiding the Flying Dutchman
Dutch pro Marcel Luske is back again for another crack at the Macau Millions and after a slow start he just chipped up with a small pot.
With a raise to 250 from Enrico Chong in the cutoff, Luske was the lone caller on the button to see a flop of 2♦K♦Q♥. Chong bet 325 and Luske quickly called as he quietly hummed away to himself.
The turn brought the 3♠ and Chong checked to Luske who tossed out 575. Chong quickly folded.
"I folded because I don't want them (reporters) to ask my name when I go all in against you!" Too late Mr.Chong, we have you covered and await your all in! Meanwhile Luske has chipped back up to around 8,000.
12:40pm: Huang's unlucky chop
Bryan Huang was in the action early here on Day 1g, but the Team PokerStars Pro was pretty unlucky to only grab a chop.
Catching the action on the turn with the board reading J♦8♣J♥K♠, Huang's bet of 550 was called before the 8♦ double-paired the board on the river. Action checked to Huang who bet 2,150 and was quickly called.
Huang showed J♠8♠ for a flopped full house as his opponent was a little fortunate to get half with his J♣T♥.
12:30pm: Table of death claims first victim
It didn't take long for the "Table of Death" containing Celina Lin, Andrew Scott, Ivan Tan and Wally Sombero to claim its first victim.
We don't have a lot of details as we spotted Andrew Scott making a hasty path for the exit. Apparently his ace-queen had been trumped by Sombero's pocket kings with all the chips going in on a queen-high flop. Scott is out with Sombero out to a quick 30,000 chips.
12:25pm: Today's lineup
Some of those we've spotted in today's Day 1g field include Justin Lowe, Ted Wang, Michael Mariakis, Mikael Rosen, Fan Fan, Hanbing "Marlboro" Wang, Brian Mcallister, Raiden Kan, Nathanael Seet, Hirotoshi Nakabo, Bobo Chen, Melvin Matibag, Sparrow Cheung and Percy Yung.
With such a big field, it's rare to see the top tier pros line up against each other, so we have to mention one particularly tough table which contains Ivan Tan, Andrew Scott, Wally Sombero and Team PokerStars Pro Celina Lin.
Team PokerStars is also represented today by Singapore's Bryan Huang who has had several deep runs already in the Macau Millions, and the Flying Dutchman Marcel Luske.
12:15pm: A full house, literally!
We have 25 tables in operation here on Day 1b which will probably make this the largest flight of the seven in the Main Event, putting our total numbers around the 1,300-entrant mark.
So far 72 have progressed through to Day 2, with three of those qualifying twice - Day 1f chip leader Thommy Lam, Qinghong Zhang and Sixiao Li.
Will we see any repeat cashes here this afternoon?
12:10pm: It's the last hoorah
PokerStars Macau Marketing Manager Fred Leung welcomed the players into the poker room before handing the microphone to PokerStars Director of Live Operations in Asia-Pacific, Danny McDonagh who spent a few moments thanking the staff and the players for helping to be part of such a successful event. He also paid special tribute to the great support of the Japanese players and media who have once again supported this event in great numbers.
McDonagh then gave the instructions to shuffle up and deal as Day 1g is officially underway!
Gee, it's day seven!
On the seventh day, God rested and all was good. However there's no rest at the Macau Millions as a massive queue is currently lining up at the registration desk for Day 1g of the Main Event. It's the seventh and final opportunity for players to part with HK$2,200 in an attempt to reach Day 2 of this historic event.
So far we've seen an incredible 1,061 entrants roll through the gates to smash the previous Macau Millions record of 741, and set a new benchmark as the largest poker tournament ever held in Asia based on number of entrants. With the record already in the bag, and the prize pool guarantee smashed, today is icing on the cake on what has been another hugely successful event for the PokerStars Macau team.
"I was quietly confident about reaching 1,000 players," said Danny McDonagh, the recently promoted PokerStars Director of Live Operations in Asia-Pacific, "but with a total field now possibly hitting 1,300, this has exceeded our wildest expectations!"
"This year the popularity of the Macau Millions is so much greater, particularly within the region." continued McDonagh. "Poker is really taking off in Asia. It's a proud moment for our PokerStars Macau team and speaks volumes about Grand Lisboa's well deserved reputation for quality and success."
Here's the schedule for the remainder of the Macau Millions:
Saturday, April 9 @ 12:10 PM - Macau Millions - Day 1G
Saturday, April 9 @ 6:10 PM - $1,500 Deepstack [2-day event]
Saturday, April 9 @ 8:10 PM - Macau Millions - Day 2
Sunday, April 10 @ 12:10 PM - Macau Millions - Day 3 Final
Sunday, April 10 @ 2:10 PM - $1,000 Rebuy
Play will kick off at 12:10pm local time (GMT+8) and we look forward to you joining us once again for live updates right here on the PokerStars Blog.