Macau Poker Cup returns in February

ps_news_thn.jpgPokerStars Macau at Casino Grand Lisboa is now preparing for the biggest Macau Poker Cup (MPC) ever which will run from February 21-27. The buzz in Macau is attracting players globally as poker enthusiasts ranging from nearby regions such as Hong Kong, China and Taipei to distant countries including Australia, Russia, and Germany have already qualified for the Red Dragon main event. The Red Dragon now comes with a HKD $3,000,000 Guarantee to ensure that this week will award record-breaking prize money for Asia's premiere poker series.

The 37 qualifiers already represent a record number of pre-registered players for the MPC and there are still 4 weeks before the poker festivities begin at PokerStars Macau. Last year had a peak of 321 players in the Red Dragon and that number is expected to be easily surpassed come the last week of February.

The Asia Player of the Year (APOY) race was recently launched as the MPC January Special carried three tournaments from January 21-23 and had 245 players competing over the weekend for the early lead in Asia's most prestigious poker award. Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang, the defending APOY champion, began the year the same way he ended 2010 as he won the opening $2,000 KO Bounty event and looks poised for a strong run at repeating last year's feat.

"I don't want to sound cheesy, but it feels like home." said Huang about returning to PokerStars Macau after the Christmas break. The 25-year-old Singaporean has recently announced his engagement and was looking happy as ever. "I'm feeling really good about life overall and I think my poker game will reflect that positive energy. The Asia Player of the Year schedule has added a lot more events for 2011. The changes make for tougher competition but I'm extremely eager to tackle the challenge. I know lots of people are gunning for the APOY this year so getting myself onto the leaderboard this early is really nice. I can barely wait for February's Macau Poker Cup."

Macau_poy_trophy.jpg

While the weekend chatter was dominated by Huang's great start, the rest of the field had plans to dethrone the defending champ as the eventual APOY winner will receive a 1-year sponsorship deal with PokerStars Macau. Former Red Dragon winner, Denny Yu from China, returned to the poker scene and won the $5,000 NLH event for HKD $119,000 and currently holds the top APOY position with 600 points. Norway's Kristoffer Myhre won the $1,500 Deepstack event and made two final tables. Myhre is tied with Yu at 600 points but is officially 2nd on the APOY since he has less in prize money. Macau Millions winner Justin Chan from Hong Kong missed the final table in the opening event but redeemed himself with a 3rd place finish the following day and currently sits 5th overall. Team PokerStars Pro Celina Lin never seems to miss a final table as she placed 4th on Sunday, good for 14th on APOY.

Asia Player of the Year Leaderboard (as of January 23, 2011)

1. "Denny" Deng Feng Yu (China) 600 pts.-- $119,045 winnings
2. Kristoffer Myhre (Norway) 600 pts.-- $41,400 winnings
3. Max Wu (Hong Kong) 500 pts.-- $79,400 winnings
4. Bryan Huang (Singapore) 480 pts.-- $28,382 winnings
5. Justin Chan (Hong Kong) 400 pts.-- $52,900 winnings
6. Ion Sang Song (Hong Kong) 400 pts.-- $18,900 winnings
7. Tai Tan (Singapore) 320 pts.-- $12,600 winnings
8. Nathaniel Seet (Singapore) 300 pts.-- $44,100 winnings
9. Sparrow Cheung (Hong Kong) 300 pts.-- $19,600 winnings
10. Rui Bao (China) 250 pts.-- $35,300 winnings


Macau Poker Cup Schedule (February 2011)

Tuesday, February 22 @ 8:10 PM - Event 1: $1,000 Charity Event + 2 Rebuys ($50,000 Added Prizes)
Wednesday, February 23 @ 8:10 PM - Event 2: $2,500 KO Bounty ($200,000 Guarantee) [2-day event]
Thursday, February 24 @ 8:10 PM - Event 3: $3,000 NLH ($350,000 Guarantee) [2-day event]
Friday, February 25 @ 12:10 PM - Event 4: $1,500 Deepstack ($150,000 Guarantee)
Friday, February 25 @ 8:10 PM - Event 5: $11,000 Red Dragon ($3,000,000 Guarantee), Day 1A
Saturday, February 26 @ 12:10 PM - Event 5: $11,000 Red Dragon ($3,000,000 Guarantee), Day 1B
Saturday, February 26 @ 10:00 PM - $1,000 Ladies Event
Sunday, February 27 @ 2:30 PM - Event 6: $5,000 NLH ($400,000 Guarantee)

For the complete Macau Poker Cup schedule please visit www.pokerstarsmacau.com