MPC Red Dragon Main Event Day 1a: Levels 4 - 6 (blinds 200-400, ante 50)
6:20pm: Ten-minute break
6:10pm: Wong races through Jones
Nick Wong has just found a double up after winning a preflop race with Will Jones. Wong started things off with a raise to 1,025 with Bobo Chen making the call before Jones put on the squeeze, raising to 2,525 in position. Action folded back to Wong who thought for a few moments before re-raising to a total of 5,525. This was enough to force a fold from Chen but Jones wasn't going anywhere as he moved all in. Wong quickly called and tabled A♥Q♥ to find himself racing with Jones' T♣T♥.
Wong jumped into the lead when the Q♦6♣A♠ flop hit him hard, and Jones couldn't catch up on the 9♠ turn and 2♠ river. Wong doubles up to 30,000.
Jones was left with around 10,000 in chips but they didn't last long as he ran pocket kings into pocket aces moments later to be sent crashing out of the tournament.
5:55pm: Crying call good for Huang
Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang continues to have a strong day on the felt today after collecting another healthy pot, this time against Frenchman Brice Renaud.
Huang made a crying call on the river on a king-high board holding pocket queens to find himself good against Renaud's ace-queen. Huang is now up to 40,000 in chips.
5:40pm: America takes one from the Dutch
American Brian Lovett is amongst our chip leaders and he just padded his stack even further with a nice pot against Dutchman Yvo Molin.
Celina Lin started the action with a raise to 1,100 which Lovett called, before Molin popped it to 3,100 in position. The blinds folded, as did Lin, but a defiant Lovett stuck around to see a flop of 5♥7♥3♥.
Lovett checked to Molin who bet 3,000. Lovett virtually beat him into the pot with a snap-call as the 5♠ hit the turn. Both players checked and the river was the T♣.
Lovett reached back and found 4,500 to plonk into the middle which was enough as Molin quickly folded. Lovett flashed the A♥ and raked in the chips to move up to 50,000.
5:20pm: Top two will do
William Te Jr opened with a raise to 850 and found a call from Carvey Horng. The button player was all in for his last 750 and the small blind called as well to see a flop of 7♠Q♣K♥.
Action checked to Te Jr who bet 2,050 into the side pot, but Horng responded by moving all in. The small blind got out of the way as Te Jr pondered the additional 11,400. He eventually made a reluctant fold as Horng showed K♦Q♠ for top two pair. The short-stacked all-in player held A♠7♣ and couldn't improve through the J♠ turn and 3♣ river. Horng is up to 25,000 chips.
5:00pm: Cooler triples Xie
Yang Xie has just tripled up in a big preflop clash as his A♣A♥ found plenty of action, with two opponents committing their chips holding ace-king and pocket queens.
The board was spread 7♥8♦9♠J♣2♥ to leave Xie's aces in front for a triple up to around 24,000.
4:50pm: Seet sets up
The big stacks are starting to emerge with Singapore's Nathanael Seet one of them after eliminating an opponent.
The action went down on a flop of 5♣3♥4♣. There was a bet of 1,600 and an all-in raise of 8,000 before the action was with Seet who sat back in his seat and considered his options. Seet eventually tossed out calling chips as the third player stepped aside.
Seet showed 4♥4♦ for a set but he had a real sweat on his hands as his opponent held a big draw with A♣7♣ for flush and straight possibilities. The 8♥ turn and K♠ river changed nothing as Seet collected the healthy pot to move up to a comfortable 45,000 chips.
4:30pm: The champ falls to the Queen of hearts
February's Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon champion Mark Benasa has been bundled out of the tournament at the hands of Team PokerStars Pro Celina Lin.
Lin opened with a raise to 525 before Benasa raised to 1,200. Lin made the call and they saw a flop of 8♥6♥2♣. Benasa bet 1,800 and Lin moved all in, covering her opponent. Benasa made the call for his last 9,000 chips with pocket kings as Lin was drawing with her K♥J♥ flush draw.
The turn bricked the 6♣ but the river was the 4♥ to give Lin the flush and the pot. A disappointed Benasa made a hasty exit from the poker room as his quest to take the lead in the Asia Player of the Year will have to wait for another event. Meanwhile Lin is now up to 34,000.
4:20pm: Play resumes
The players are back following the break with 170 still alive from the starting field of 189. Registration should now be closed so we'll be able to have confirmation of total numbers for you shortly.
It's still early days with no runaway chip leader, but Team PokerStars Pros Celina Lin, Raymond Wu and Bryan Huang are all off to solid starts and have increased their stacks in the first three levels of play. With antes now introduced for the first time we should see the action, and the eliminations, start to increase.