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

4:10pm: Ten-minute break

4:00pm: Tan takes four-bet pot

Facing a button raise to 525, Jay Tan re-raised to 1,200 in the big blind before her opponent put in a four-bet to 3,000. Tan made the call and they saw a flop of 4♣8♦8♣.

Tan checked and her opponent bet 3,550. Tan sighed and re-checked her hole cards before check-raising to 8,075. Her opponent quickly gave up the act and folded to allow Tan to rake in a handy pot and chip up to over 20,000 chips.

3:40pm: Big overbet gets action

You occasionally see some interesting plays here in Macau and the following hand certainly caught our eye. Limp 200, limp 200, raise all in for 9,400. It was a strange overbet by Eric Chen but even more bizarre was that the small blind and original limper both called!

There were two ace-kings up against the pocket jacks of the limper who tripled up when the board ran out J♠Q♦Q♣7♠6♣.

3:20pm: No longer a "Juicy" field

It is difficult to keep up with all the action here today with tournament tables stretched far and wide, even extending outside of the poker room area an into the main gaming floor. The big screen is showing 256 entrants but late registration is still open.

We did hear of one notable elimination, and that was poker starlet Sixiao "Juicy" Li.

Li was a fascinating player to watch during the Macau Millions with her icy demeanour and razor sharp game, but not even Juicy could avoid elimination when she ran her pocket kings into the pocket aces of Hung-Sheng Lin.

3:10pm: Team PokerStars represented

We thought we didn't have any Team PokerStars Pros in the field today but it's just been pointed out that in fact we do. He doesn't quite have the profile of a Celina Lin, Raymond Wu or Bryan Huang, but Yu-Reng (Colin) Peng is a PokerStars Team Online Pro from Taiwan who is looking to make a big impact on the live poker stage.

Playing on PokerStars under the moniker "AmPHisbaenA" (which interestingly translates to "two-headed snake"), Peng has been crushing No Limit Holdem and Pot Limit Omaha cash games up as high as $5/$10.

We'll be keeping a close eye on Peng's progress here today in the Red Dragon Main Event.


Yu-Reng Peng in action representing PokerStars Team Online at the Red Dragon Main Event

2:50pm: Im proving she is the real deal

Young-shin Im became an overnight sensation when she captured the APPT Cebu title last year but she has proven she is no one-hit wonder with a string of results in Macau including a runner-up finish in the Red Dragon Main Event in February to put her in third place in the Asia POTY race.

Im is off to a solid start already today after picking up a small pot with ace-king. We caught the action from the turn, with Im calling a bet of 500 on the A♠3♥5♥6♥ board. The river was the 6♦ and when action checked to Im, she bet 800. Her opponent called and Im's A♦K♥ was good to take the pot. She's up to 18,000.

2:45pm: Arce slides early

PokerStars sponsored player Neil Arce has lost nearly half of his stack within the first level of play after we just witnessed him folding on the river in a sizable pot.

Four players had each paid 350 preflop to see a K♦Q♦3♣ flop and action checked to Arce who bet 1,000 from under the gun. He found one fold before the player on the button flat called. The big blind folded and we were heads up to the 5♣ turn.

Arce didn't slow down as he casually tossed 2,000 into the pot. The bet was matched and the river fell the 9♥. Arce slowed down and checked to his opponent who stuck with the pattern and upped the price to 3,000. It was too much for Arce as he let it go to slip to 8,000 in chips.


PokerStars sponsored Neil Arce has lost nearly half his chips in the first level of play

2:35pm: Lo hits a high

"Man I've been running so bad lately," commented Taipei player Jordon Lo to us as we said hello before play kicked off this afternoon. After finishing fifth in the Macau Millions in April, Lo tells us he has been struggling, but perhaps he's likes a big stage as he's off to a great start here in the Red Dragon Main Event.

With a raise to 200 in front of him, Lo and a player in the small blind called to see a 4♥8♣7♥ flop. Action checked to the preflop aggressor who bet just 200. Lo bumped the price to 500 as the small blind cold-called. The original aggressor stepped aside and the turn card brought the 6♥.

Both players checked and the river landed the T♣. The small blind led out for 1,100 but Lo came back with a raise to 3,000. With such a co-ordinated board, there were many possibilities out there, and the small blind paid to see which one Lo held. It was A♥K♥ for an ace-high flush which was good to take down a nice pot. Lo is up to 22,000 in the early goings.

2:20pm: Who's here?

It's a massive field today, so navigating through the sea of players is going to prove a little troublesome. Just a few of the notables that we've already spotted include Sixiao Li, Jay Tan, Jordan Lo, Percy Yung, Rathi Shashank, Mayumi Kaneko, Ion Sang Song, "Mr Macau" Charles Chua, Thommy Lam, Michael Marvanek, Daren Yoon, Kim Gap Young, World Gaming Magazine CEO Andrew Scott, the effervescent Hirotoshi Nakabo, APPT Cebu champion Young-shin Im, PokerStars sponsored Neil Arce and the number one ranked player in the Asia Player of the Year, Hung-Sheng Lin.

2:10pm: Cards are in the air

The players have found their way to their seats as PokerStars Director of Live Operations in Asia-Pacific, Danny McDonagh, welcomed the players to Macau before giving the instructions to the dealers to get it started. The cards are now in the air!

We're back in the PokerStars Macau Poker Room at the Grand Lisboa Casino for Day 1b of the Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon Main Event. A bumper field is expected today with as many as 30 tables ready for action this afternoon. The biggest Day 1b in MPC history was 292 runners back in February, so if we can match that figure then we'll smash the HK$3,000,0000 prizepool guarantee.

Some of those in action today will include PokerStars sponsored Neil Arce, APPT Cebu champion Young-shin Im and the number one ranked player in the Asia Player of the Year, Hung-Sheng "Shaq" Lin from Taipei.

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

Day 1b commences at 2:10pm local time (GMT+8) so stay tuned to the PokerStars Blog for all of your live updates from Red Dragon Main Event.