MPC Red Dragon Main Event Day 1b: Levels 4-6 (blinds 200-400, ante 50)

12:20 a.m: Ten-minute break

12:15 a.m: Nobbi bundled out
Nobbi Tanaka just approached the PokerStars blogging desk to detail his elimination. After running up his chip stack back to over average, Tanaka opened a pot from early position to 825 with pocket fives.

Two players called and Tanaka continued for 1,325 on the [2][4][K] flop with just one player making the call as the [4] landed on the turn. Tanaka pushed out 3,300 and his opponent again made the call before Tanaka moved all in for roughly 8,500 when the river landed the [A].

Unfortunately for Tanaka, his opponent looked him up with [A][2] and Tanaka was forced to exit to the rail just a few minutes shy of the break.

12:10 a.m: Wong finds fold
Danny Wong is the most recognisable name in today's tournament, but he has certainly made a name for himself playing tournament poker. With over US$1.8 million in tournament earnings, Wong's best results come at the Bellagio where he has lodged a first, second and third for US$319,420, US$561,115 and US$361,480 respectively.

However, today he isn't fairing too well.

Opening under the gun to 1,050, Wong was soon confronted with a three-bet to 3,000. After deliberating for nearly two minutes, Wong flicked his cards to the muck while being left with just 5,325 -- or a little over 13-big blinds.

If Wong is to replicate his success at the Bellagio here at PokerStars Macau, then he'll hopefully use the upcoming break to replenish and dominate when he returns.

Danny Wong

Danny Wong in the heart of battle

12:05 a.m: Those fallen will be remembered
As we decided to updated our chip counts page (which can be viewed here), we realised that we had unfortunately lost a few players in recent times.

Yvo Molin, Charles Chua and Charles Lam -- while all regulars to PokerStars Macau -- are regular no more as they found themselves on the rail. Unfortunately for Jay Tan, she was unable to generate any momentum from her short stack and also finds herself watching from the sidelines.

11:55 p.m: Steicke slips
With a player in the cutoff tossing out a 1,000 denomination chip and announcing raise, David Steicke three-bet his button to 1,650. Although there was some confusion about if Steicke's raise was a valid one -- since the original raise was a 600-chip raise, Steicke's was deemed to be fine -- the blinds passed and the cutoff player made the call.

Steicke fired out a continuation-bet of 2,750 on the [10h]K♦[10d] flop with his opponent check-calling. The turn and river of the 2♠ and 3♣ were checked through to see Steicke forced to fold when his opponent tabled his K♠J♣ for two-pair.

Although Steicke took a small hit, it did send him below his starting stack as he now sits with 14,100 in chips.

11:40 p.m: Level up, blinds 200-400, ante 50

11:35 p.m: Tan takes beat
With a limp under the gun and from Phil Lau in the cutoff, Jay Tan bumped it up from the small blind to 1,650.

The original limper immediately splashed the pot with a call as Lau pushed his cards to the muck and the dealer dropped a 3♠4♠4♥ flop. Tan bet out 3,000 only to have her opponent make it 7,000 to go. Tan pushed for 15,000 and her opponent immediately snapped off his 11,225.

Tan: Q♥Q♣
Opponent: K♣4♣

"What a banana!" exclaimed Tan as she watched the A♣ and 8♥ complete the board.

As Tan slipped to 4,200, her opponent could only sneak out a wry smile while uttering, "What else am I going to do?"

Jay Tan

Jay Tan texting the details of her bad beat to a friend (we assume)

11:25 p.m: Top pair for Steicke
With around 2,000 in the pot and the board reading A♦K♥9♣ we found David Steicke confronted with a 1,250-chip bet. Pondering for a few moments, Steicke pushed out a min-raise to 2,500 which his opponent called as the 6♣ landed on the turn.

Now faced with a check, Steicke carefully cut out a 3,700-chip bet, which after a further two minutes forced a fold from his opponent.

As Steicke raked in the pot to move to 22,500 he flashed the A♠ and stated, "I thought you had one as well, but knew I had you out-kicked!"

11:10 p.m: Rong sits on top
A quick walk around the room and we think we've spotted the chip leader jammed between Kyle Cheong and Charles Chua.

Hailing from Malaysia -- like Chua -- is Aaron Rong who is also a PokerStars Sponsored Player, and with an amassed 61,000 in chips, he currently is leading the tournament as we enter level five.

11:00 p.m: Level up, blinds 150-300, ante 25

10:55 p.m: Tanaka back to average
After detailing Nobbi Tanaka's earlier troubles, we are safe to say that he finally sits with an average stack.

Catching the action with the board reading A♦6♥J♥4♦ and Tanaka the preflop raiser, we found him calling a 700-chip bet from his opponent in the small blind. With the river blanking out, both players checked and Tanaka tabled his Q♣J♠ to collect the pot and move to 16,700 in chips.

10:50 p.m: Hong halted
Cathy Hong isn't a name that will stand out to most, but if you have ever spent some time watching Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier play, you may notice a beautiful Korean on the rail with this very name.

Hong isn't just the usual poker WAG as she plays herself -- and isn't too bad either -- as Hong has registered cashes around the world including WSOP, EPT and NAPT cashes with her best result to date being a sixty-sixth placing in the EPT Deauville Main Event for €10,900.

Taking part in today's flight, Hong was unable to replicate her run in Deauville and has just been eliminated. Finding her last 7,350 all in, it was Hong's Q♣Q♦ in the lead against her opponent's A♦K♦.

Unfortunately for Hong, the board was spread A♠7♦9♥7♥3♥ to see Mrs ElkY pushed to the rail.

10:30 p.m: Its gettin' hot in here...
Its gettin' hot in here, so take off all your clothes, I am gettin' so hot, I wanna take my clothes off

Ok, so Nelly isn't actually here in Macau busting out a tune -- although he does love to play poker -- but this is the dilemma facing the players as the air-conditioning doesn't appear to be working anymore.

"Hey Fred..." prodded Charles Chua as he pointed to the roof signalling his distress at the lack of air-conditioning.

PokerStars Country Manager Fred Leung responded, "Yeah there is a problem with the air-conditioning. I'm going to get a waitress to bring over more water."

With Leung seemingly on top of the problem, the players will have to get use to the warmer temperature, or as Nelly puts it, "I wanna take my clothes off!"

Charles Chua

Who wouldn't want to see Charles Chua take his clothes off?

10:20 p.m: Play resumes
With the break being over, the smoke-filled area that surrounds the PokerStars blogging desk slowly starts to fade as the cards return to the air.

With registration now officially closed, the final numbers and prizepool information will be passed onto us soon, and in turn we will detail you exactly what these players are playing for.

Tim Duckworth
@PokerStars in PokerStars Macau