Macau ready for Red Dragon Main Event

When PokerStars first entered the unchartered waters of the Macau gaming market with the inaugural APPT Macau event back in 2007, everyone held great hopes that the local people would embrace the game of poker that we love and make it their own. It was not going to be easy to drag gamblers from their Baccarat tables across to the poker room and teach them a new game, but with the massive amounts of money wagered in the local casinos every day, it appeared to be a certain winner.

However the growth was perhaps a little slower than many predicted. Instead of seeing immediate success, the seeds that were planted back in 2007 have taken some nurturing. Led by Danny McDonagh and his staff at the PokerStars Macau Grand Lisboa, they have continued to work on the poker scene in Macau to encourage more and more locals into the game. It appears that in 2011, the fruits are finally starting to show for five years of hard toil.

It started back at the first Macau Poker Cup of the year in February with a staggering 1,579 participants across six events to award HK$7,780,280 (US$1,000,000) in prize money. PokerStars player Mark Benasa from the Philippines became the first Filipino player to win the Red Dragon main event and took home HK$1,100,000. Benasa is currently ranked second in the Asia Player of the Year.


The trend then continued at the Macau Millions in April where 1,329 players entered the Main Event to produce the largest ever field for a poker tournament in Asia. It smashed the prize pool guarantee as Taipei's Hung-sheng Lin confirmed himself as one of Asian poker's brightest young stars to win the title and HK$400,000 to jump to the top of the APOY rankings.


Due to the overwhelming success, the Macau Poker Cup series in May received a schedule make-over to give players even more value for their visit to Macau. There are now eight featured events that count towards the APOY.

"In Macau Poker Cup's early days it was just 3 days of tournaments on Friday, Saturday and Sunday," said Danny McDonagh, PokerStars Director of Live Operations for Asia-Pacific. "It's been an amazing journey to see it now expanded to a nine-day schedule. It just shows how much we've progressed and grown. The MPC has a wide variety of buy-ins and this schedule appeals to poker players of every bankroll with the introduction of the High Rollers and $6,000 events."

Confirmed in the field are Team PokerStars Pros Celina Lin, Raymond Wu, and 2010 APOY winner Bryan Huang.

Macau Poker Cup Schedule (May/June 2011)
• Saturday, May 28 @ 2:10 PM - $500 3x Turbo Rebuy Red Dragon Satellite (5 Seat Guarantee)
• Saturday, May 28 @ 8:10 PM - Event 1: $3,000 NLH ($300,000 Guarantee) [2-day event]
• Sunday, May 29 @ 2:10 PM - Event 2: $1,000 Charity Event + 2 Rebuys ($50,000 Added Prizes)
• Monday, May 30 @ 8:10 PM - Event 3: $1,500 Deepstack ($150,000 Guarantee) [2-day event]
• Tuesday, May 31 @ 8:10 PM - Event 4: $5,000 KO Bounty ($500,000 Guarantee) [2-day event]
• Wednesday, June 1 @ 2:10 PM - $4,000 Teams Event
• Thursday, June 2 @ 2:10 PM - Event 5: $11,000 Red Dragon ($3,000,000 Guarantee), Day 1A
• Friday, June 3 @ 2:10 PM - Event 5: $11,000 Red Dragon ($3,000,000 Guarantee), Day 1B
• Friday, June 3 @ 7:00 PM - $1,000 Ladies Event
• Saturday, June 4 @ 2:10 PM - Event 6: $6,000 NLH ($600,000 Guarantee) [2-day event]
• Saturday, June 4 @ 8:10 PM - Event 7: $30,000 High Rollers Event [2-day event]
• Sunday, June 5 @ 2:10 PM - Event 8: $2,500 KO Bounty ($250,000 Guarantee)

Asia Player of the Year Leaderboard (as of April 10, 2011)
1. Hung-Sheng Lin (Chinese Taipei) 3,643 pts -- $850,000 winnings
2. Mark Benasa (Philippines) 2,585 pts -- $1,100,000 winnings
3. Young-Shin Im (Korea) 2,154 pts -- $760,000 winnings
4. Brice Renaud (France) 1,600 pts -- $300,000 winnings
5. Hung-Chang Lin (Chinese Taipei) 1,561 pts -- $149,548 winnings
6. Ion Sang Song (Macau) 1,400 pts -- $183,200 winnings
7. Charles Chua (Malaysia) 1,362 pts -- $184,402 winnings
8. Kuo Yang Yuang (Chinese Taipei) 1,292 pts -- $363,000 winnings
9. Huy Khiem Nguyen (Germany) 1,280 pts -- $200,000 winnings
10. Yang Sun (China) 1,200 pts -- $198,510 winnings

The Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon HK$3,000,000 Guaranteed Main Event kicks off in a few hours time with Day 1a commencing at 2:10pm local time (GMT+8). Stay tuned to the PokerStars Blog for all of your live updates as we're expecting another massive poker event here in Macau.