MPC Red Dragon Main Event Day 1b: Levels 4 - 6 (blinds 200-400, ante 50)
6:20pm: Ten-minute break
6:10pm: More chips for Chuck
We're not sure exactly how it got to this point, but one player was all in and Charles Chua was facing a bit of 6,000 on the river into a decent side pot. The board read 3♠6♦6♣5♦6♥ as Chua considered his play.
Chua eventually made the call as his opponent sheepishly opened K♣Q♣ for just king-high as Chua showed 5♣9♣ for a full house to win the side pot. The all-in player couldn't better that as he mucked to award Chua the main pot as well. After giving the field a "head start" as Danny McDonagh put it earlier today, Chua has gone from a low of 6,000 chips to now sit with around 50,000.
5:55pm: Set shoots Eng to the top
Ching Seng Eng has shot to the top of the chip count leaderboard after a massive pot saw him eliminate another fellow big stack. The pot was already very healthy when we saw Eng fire 10,000 on the flop of J♠7♦2♦. His opponent cut down his chips several times before moving all in, but Eng made the call with 7♠7♣ to have his opponent's A♦J♥ in terrible shape.
It was all over on the 7♥ turn as Eng improved to quads as the 9♠ was the meaningless river. Eng leaps up to a commanding 75,000 chips.
5:40pm: Official numbers are in!
We have confirmation of the official numbers for the Red Dragon Main Event. 189 players yesterday have combined with a very healthy 258 players today to create a total number of 447 entrants. This puts the prizepool well over HK$4,000,000 which smashes the guarantee.
Another great result for PokerStars Macau and poker in the Asian region.
5:20pm: Mr. Macau slays Shaq
When we first met Charles Chua at the 2008 APPT Macau, we proudly gave him the nickname "Chuck Truck" in honour of the way he would run over his opponents at the table. Now a few years down the road, and well, Chua has made it big. He's shrugged the tag of "Chuck Truck" and has evolved into "Mr. Macau".
It's a prestigious tag that Chua wears with pride as he always saves his best performances for Macau. Currently sitting 7th in the Asia POTY, Chua has done his chances of claiming the title a world of good, after eliminating the current leader in Hung-Sheng Lin.
It was a dramatic fall for Lin in this tournament, as he was on the verge of accumulating a mountain of chips. However the coolers continue on table six as Lin ran his pocket kings into the pocket aces of Chua. A couple more aces on board for good measure was more than enough to eliminate Lin as Chua moves up to 36,000 chips.
5:05pm: Arce unhappy
Neil Arce is not particularly happy right now as the bad beats continue on Day 1b of the Red Dragon Main Event. We arrived after the carnage to see the pot being shipped to Itsau Wang who held K♦8♣ on a board of 9♦2♦J♥7♦8♥.
Apparently a pair of eights was enough to collect the 40,000-chip pot as Arce recalled to us that he held ace-queen and, in a preflop war, Wang had made the call with the marginal hand and spiked the only pair on the river. Ouch!
Arce was left with just 1,900 chips but did manage to double up the very next hand with ace-queen against king-queen to get back to 4,500 to stay alive.
4:55pm: Oh Ho!
We've quickly learnt in Macau that when a table roars that it's doesn't always mean something blog-worthy - the locals just love to get excited over their cards. And who can blame them? However on this particular occasion, the roar was definitely blog-worthy as Edward Yam Chun Ho delivered a brutal blow to eliminate an unlucky short-stacked opponent.
Ho was in pretty much the worst shape possible preflop when he took A♠J♦ smack-bang into an opponent's A♥A♦, but that all changed when the flop rolled off K♠T♥Q♦ to give him the Broadway straight as his opponent's jaw hit the ground.
The 6♠ turn and 4♥ river didn't bring any chop as Ho collected the pot to move up to 46,000 chips.
4:40pm: Shaq shattered
Asia Player of the Year leader Hung-Sheng Lin jumped out of the gates here today as one of our early chip leaders, but "Shaq" has just slipped back into the pack after losing a chunky pot in unfortunate circumstances.
With a raise to 600 and three-bet to 1,200 in front of him, Lin considered his options for several moments before tossing out a call from the cutoff position. The blinds folded and the initial raiser called to go three ways to a flop of 6♦5♥2♥.
The action was check, check to Lin who bet out 2,850 on the baby flop. He got one fold but his other opponent decided to check-raise all in for a total of 6,075. Lin insta-called with 9♥9♣ and was in great shape against his opponent who got a little excited with A♥K♦.
"HOLD!" cried Lin, but almost before he'd finished uttering the word, the dealer burned and turned the A♠.
"F**K!" yelled Lin in disgust as his opponent nabbed an ace from space to take the lead. Lin was left with two outs but the K♠ river was just salt into the wound.
The 17,000-chip pot was shipped to his opponent to leave Lin cursing his luck with his stack of 20,000.
4:20pm: Play resumes
The players have rushed to the snack bar, the bathroom and smoker's corner, and somehow managed to make it back to their seats within ten minutes. Not a bad effort. There are still 230 players alive in today's field, but one of them is not Percy Yung who lost a big race before being eliminated late in the last level.
With registration now closed we should have official numbers and prizepool information for you shortly.