MPC Red Dragon Main Event Day 1b: Levels 1-3 (blinds 100-200)

10:10 p.m: Ten-minute break

10:00 p.m: Tanaka takes one
PokerStars Qualifier and Australian tournament regular Nobbi Tanaka has been having a tough time of it today. And of life in general.

Currently residing in Japan, Tanaka was on his way her to Macau before he lost his passport. After pulling some strings and getting a new ordered, Tanaka was returned the passport after it was found at Hong Kong International Airport. But since Tanaka had already put in an order for a new one, he had to wait for that to be delivered.

Nobbi Tanaka

Nobbi Tanaka happy to receive his passport ... but not so happy at his start today

As you can tell, Tanaka is here in person, but his Day 1b hasn't been going to well as his stack has been slowly declining.

However, we did manage to catch him collecting a pot from Charles Lam. Tanaka opened from under the gun to 425 and Lam defended from the big blind before check-calling 525 on the K♦5♦6♣ flop. Tanaka fired out a second barrel for 1,075 when the turn landed the 2♠ to see Lam's cards hit the muck and Tanaka claim the pot to move to over 11,600 in chips.

9:50 p.m: Did you say call or fold?
With poker tournaments attracting players from all over the world, there are always going to be differences in language and cultures. With Macau being located in the heart of Asia where so many different countries merge to play the beautiful game of poker, it isn't suprising to see a few players mishear each other.

Over on table twelve with the board reading K♥4♥8♥4♠, we found Japanese player Yuji Mikubo pushing out a bet. His opponent in the hand - Korean Sangeon Kim - moved all in and slid his chips into the pot.

"All in?" asked Mikubo.

"Yes all in!" responded Kim.

Then Mikubo went on to mutter words that sounded like he was calling.

"You call?" asked Kim.

Mikubo returned fire by saying something along the lines of, "No, I fold."

However his words were completely different to his actions as Mikubo tabled his 4♣4♦.

"You call?" asked Kim again.

With Mikubo holding quads, he of course made the call as Kim sheepishly tabled his A♥J♥ for a meaningless flush as Mikubo was pushed the double.

9:35 p.m: Steicke spotted
David Steicke needs no introduction when he walks through a Macau poker room as he has two wins, eight final tables and ten cashes since he began his poker career back in late in 2007.

With over US$2.1 million in tournament earnings, Steicke will be looking to improve that over the next few days as he has just taken a seat in today's flight.

9:30 p.m: Level up, blinds 100-200

9:20 p.m: Le legged
Wandering around the room, we managed to spot another well respected International player in Tommy Le -- brother of 2008 APPT Macau High Rollers Champion Nam.

Unfortunately we must have put the bloggers curse on Tommy because we witnessed his departure as soon as spotting his arrival.

Le limped in early position, as did a second player, before the hi-jack made it 800 to go. The button and big blind made the call before Le three-bet to 3,250. The cold-caller passed, but the remaining three players all made the call to see a 7♥9♣5♠ flop fall with the pot containing over 130-big blinds.

The big blind checked and Le continued for 5,300 to force a fold from the original raiser before the button instantly pushed all of his 10,300-chip stack into the pot. The big blind mucked, and a visibly upset Le committed his 10,150-chip stack.

Le: K♣K♥
Opponent: 9♠9♦

With Le's opponent outdrawing Le, the 6♦ and 2♦ on the turn and river would see the Californian hit the rail in a very unlucky circumstance.

Tommy Le

Tommy Le betting out on the flop with his trailing pocket kings

9:10 p.m: Win for Gov
Ricky Gov entered the pot from the lo-jack with a raise to 350 only to have the player on his immediate left three-bet to 1,000. Once the blinds passed, Gov tossed in four chips of pink and blue colour to amount to a four-bet of 2,500.

His opponent paused slightly before making the call to see a [10c]7♣[10d] flop fall. Both players tapped the table before the 5♣ landed on the turn and Gov fired out a delayed continuation-bet of 4,000.

Taking nearly a minute to find a decision, Gov would eventually be pushed the pot once his opponent folded as the Australian moved to 11,900 in chips.

9:00 p.m: Lam recipient of king-high shove
"You double already Charles?" asked a player in the direction of Charles Lam.

"Guy shoved on me with king-high and I had a set!" responded Lam -- who managed to win the Event 4: HK$4,000 No Limit Holdem a few days ago.

"Gutshot!" quipped tablemate Nobbi Tanaka in reference to Lam's opponent have a gutshot straight draw to go with his king-high. Lam currently sits on roughly 29,000 in chips.

Event 4 Winner Charles Lam

Event 4: HK$4,000 No Limit Holdem Champion Charles Lam

8:50 p.m: Level up, blinds 50-100

8:45 p.m: More arriving
Nicky Tao Jin has just been spotted in the far corner of the tournament room while Danny Wong and Phil Lau are seated on the same table.

Filipino poker player Wally Sombrero has just taken a seat directly in front of the PokerStars blogging desk while Dutch players and PokerStars Macau Qualifiers Yvo Molin and Roel Pijpers are amazingly seated next to each other.

8:40 p.m: Yoon doubles already
"You missed my double!" exclaimed an excited Daren Yoon as he rushed over to the PokerStars Blog desk.

"It was a sweat though!" added Yoon before explaining the hand.

After a limper, Yoon bumped it up to 225 holding king-ten and was met with many callers as a K♥[10h][4] flop landed. Yoon pushed out a continuation-bet of 625 which was called by a few of his opponents before one of them bumped it up to 3,500. Yoon pushed and the flop-raiser instantly made the call tabling his 7♥4♥.

Fortunately for Yoon, the board blanked out and he was a recipient of an early double here.

8:25 p.m: Huang clipped early
With the board reading 7♥Q♠5♣K♠ and the pot sitting at around 5,000, Bryan Huang check-called a bet of 2,200 as the 9♥ landed on the river.

Huang again checked, and when his opponent bet out 2,500, Huang deliberated slightly before making the call. Unfortunately for Huang, he would be unable to best his opponent's 5♦5♠, and as a consequence he would slip down to around 5,900 in chips.

8:20 p.m: Who's here?
Both Team PokerStars Pros Bryan Huang and Celina Lin are in today's field while Macau regulars Neil Arce, Chong Cheong, Charles Chua, Darren Yoon and Charles Lam are in attendance alongside Hung-Sheng Lin and Haifeng Xue.

Waving the flag for the Australians include Nobbi Tanaka, Ricky Gov, Milan Gurung, Kyle Cheong and Bruce Nguyen while recent WSOP Main Event eighteenth-place finisher Kenny Shih is also playing.

8:10pm: Play underway
Although many players are still finding their seats, PokerStars Country Manager Fred Leung has just introduced Team PokerStars Pro Asia member and current reigning Asia Player of the Year Champion Bryan Huang. Huang proceeded to introduce the newest member of Team Asia -- Vivian Im -- who went on to utter those famous words of shuffle up and deal to send the cards into the air for Day 1b of the Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon Main Event into action.

With roughly twenty-five tables currently in play, registration will be open for the first two hours of play. Each player will begin with a 15,000-chip starting bank and will play ten 40-minute levels before calling it quits for the night.


Welcome back to the PokerStars Macau Poker Room at the Grand Lisboa for Day 1b of the Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon Main Event!

Yesterday saw 188 players take to the felt, and with a further 300 expected today, the HK$3,000,000 guaranteed prizepool is bound to be smashed. Speaking to Tournament Director Danny McDonagh, the magic number of 300 isn't unrealistic although past numbers will prove that it may be a little tough. The biggest Day 1b in Macau Poker Cup history was 292 runners in February this year, and with the May/June edition reaching 258, everyone is hoping that a new record can be set today.

Just a few of the players playing today include Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang and Celina Lin as well as Macau regulars Daren Yoon, Charles Chua and Neil Arce.The race for Asia Player of the Year will heat up today also with many of those in contention taking a seat; one of which will be Haifeng Xue who managed to win the Event 5: HK$5,000 KO Bounty yesterday to earn some much-needed points as the current leaderboard sits as follows.

Asia Player of the Year Leaderboard (as of August 10th, 2011)
1. Hung-Sheng Lin (Chinese Taipei) 3,996 pts -- HK$872,500 winnings
2. Mark Benasa (Philippines) 2,585 pts -- HK$1,100,000 winnings
3. Kwan Pao Mah (Canada) 2,365 pts -- HK$983,400 winnings
4. Ion Sang Song (Macau) 2,300 pts -- HK$306,600 winnings
5. Young-Shin Im (Korea) 2,154 pts -- HK$760,000 winnings
6. Yue Xu (China) 1,987 pts -- HK$218,900 winnings
7. Haifeng Xue (China) 1,971 pts -- $679,400 winnings
8. Brice Renaud (France) 1,863 pts -- HK$324,500 winnings
9. Raiden Kan (Malaysia) 1,860 pts -- HK$377,600 winnings
10. Hung-Chang Lin (Chinese Taipei) 1,801 pts -- $160,318 winnings

asia_poty_trophy.jpg

What is up for grabs for winning the Asia Player of the Year (along with a one-year PokerStars Macau sponsorship)

Day 1b is set to commence at 8:10 p.m. (GMT+8), so make sure to stay tuned to the PokerStars Blog for all the live updates from the Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon Main Event.

Tim Duckworth
@PokerStars in PokerStars Macau