MPC Red Dragon Main Event Day 2: Levels 11-12 (blinds 1,000-2,000, ante 200)

4:10 p.m: Ten-minute break

4:00 p.m: Chang continues to climb
Carlos Chang opened under the gun to 5,100 and found a caller from the cutoff before the player on the button moved all in for 18,800. Chang iso-shoved to force the cutoff out of the way.

Chang: A♣J♠
Opponent: A♥4♠

It wouldn't come easy for Chang as he would have to fade the mega-sweat as the board was spread 2♦9♥3♥6♥8♠, but with that final card being clomped on the river, Chang was pushed the pot to further extend his lead as he now sits on 219,000 in chips.

Carlos Chang

Current chip leader Carlos Chang

3:50 p.m: Peng doubles
With the board reading 8♦K♠9♥ and the pot sitting at around 60,000, we found Lawrence Peng all in for his last 11,800.

His first opponent iso-shoved to force the third opponent out -- as he mucked a king for top pair.

Peng: A♦A♠
Opponent: K♣5♦

The turn and river landed the 9♣ and 9♠ to see Peng snag a double to roughly 85,000 in chips.

Lawrence Peng

Lawrence Peng sweating out some aces

3:45 p.m: Rong wins small one from Wu
Aaron Rong opened the pot to 5,000 and Raymond Wu made the call from the big blind.

Rong wouldn't need to work too hard to win this pot, as his continuation-bet of 7,600 on the 5♠4♠K♥ flop would be enough to prompt a fold from Wu.

3:40 p.m: Chang over 200k
The action folded to the cutoff who shoved for 15,200. With the action on Carlos Chang on the button, he deliberated for a few moments before folding as the blinds kicked their cards to the muck also.

What made this hand interesting was that Chang must realise that he is on the border of ticking over the 200,000 mark, and probably was keen to become the first player to do so.

Just two hands later, Chang would open the pot to 6,000 and quickly pick up the blinds and antes to push his chip stack to 200,200 while becoming the first player to enter the 200,000-chip stack club.

3:30 p.m: Wu getting owned by Yu
On two occasions today, this PokerStars blogger has wondered over to see how Team PokerStars Pro Raymond Wu has been fairing. On both these occasions, Wu has not only lost the hand, but to the same player.

Midway during the previous level, Wu opened the button to 3,800 and Kurita Yu three-bet the small blind to 8,000. Wu took his full measure of time before folding and flashing the A♦.

Just a few minutes ago Wu would enter the pot from the lo-jack for 4,600 and Yu would follow with a three-bet to 8,000. Wu relinquished and let Yu take another pot from him, but for the Team PokerStars Pro, he still sits on 60,000 -- just a big blind under the current average stack.

Kurita Yu

Kurita Yu is turning out to be Raymond Wu's nemesis today

3:15 p.m: Tan and Machi eliminated
With the player count now down to 115, players are without doubt flying out the door.

Seijiro Machi and Ivan Tan's seats have recently been occupied by players -- that simply aren't Machi and Tan. A quick look around the room and both Machi and Tan have been spotted on the rail.

3:10 p.m: Level up, blinds 1,000-2,000, ante 200

3:00 p.m: Xue takes it on turn
Haifeng Xue opened from under the gun to 4,500 only to have his opponent in the small blind three-bet to 15,000. Xue made the call as the dealer dropped the 4♦3♦[10h] flop and both players checked.

The turn of the 6♣ saw the small blind check again, but Xue took the lead and pushed out 11,000. The small blind instantly mucked, and Xue collected the pot to move to 70,000 in chips while remaining one of the only players remaining able to catch Hung-Sheng Lin in the Asia Player of the Year race.

Haifeng Xue

A happy looking Haifeng Xue

2:50 p.m: Arce out
With two all ins ahead of him from players in the hi-jack and cutoff respectively, Filipino poker player Neil Arce committed roughly his final 15,000 from the button.

Arce: [K][J]
Cutoff: A♠J♠
Hi-Jack: [A][5]

The board was spread 6♥4♣6♦J♣A♣ to see the 2008 Asian Poker Tour Manila Champion sent home early.

2:40 p.m: Players falling fast
The tournament has only been playing for thirty-minutes and already thirty people have been bundled out the door.

With 130 players remaining, and nearly a further 70 more eliminations needed until we reach the money -- at this rate, we could be there before the first break!

2:30 p.m: Seet finds river
With the action folding to the small blind, he bumped it up to 3,600 and Singaporean Nathanael Seet defended his big blind to see a 6♠9♣4♠ flop fall.

Both players checked before the small blind fired a delayed continuation-bet of 4,100 when the J♣ landed on the turn. Seet made the call, and when the river of the [10s] landed, both players checked.

The small blind tabled his K♣3♣ for a busted flush draw, while Seet tabled his [10c]5♣ for a busted flush draw also -- but a rivered pair -- to claim the pot and move to 60,000 in chips.

2:25 p.m: Rong wronged
Raymond Wu opened to 4,300 from middle position only to have Aaron Rong three-bet his cutoff to 10,500. The player in the big blind moved all in for 12,000 to force Wu out as Rong made the call for the additional 1,500.

Rong: A♦K♥
Opponent: Q♥Q♦

Unfortunately for the Malaysian, the board was spread 3♠9♠[10c]J♣5♠ to see him ship the pot to his opponent while slipping to 85,000 in chips.

Aaron Rong

Aaron Rong in action yesterday during Day 1a

2:20 p.m: Senic spikes river to dent Machi
With a raise to 4,000, one-time chip leader Seijiro Machi made the call, as did Andrej Senic before Ryo Kowatari moved all in for 6,300. The remaining three players made the call as the dealer dropped a [10s]7♥8♠ flop.

The action was checked to Senic who bet out 9,000 with only Machi making the call as the 5♠ landed on the turn. Machi checked, Senic moved all in for 19,500 and Machi snap-called.

Machi: A♠J♠
Senic: 8♥8♣
Kowatari: J♣J♥

With Machi in commanding shape, the 7♠ on the river would see Senic shipped the pot with his rivered full house to move to around 90,000 as Machi slipped to 58,000 while Kowatari bite the dust.

2:15 p.m: Danny McDonagh inducted into the Australian Poker Hall of Fame
Although reading about these tournaments normally revolves around hearing how friends, foes and idols are travelling, today marks a special day as the PokerStars Blog would like to officially congratulate Danny McDonagh on his recent appointment into the Australian Poker Hall of Fame.

Regarded as the leading Tournament Director in not only the Asia-Pacific region but of the world, McDonagh now works officially as the PokerStars Director of Live Operations. From the Aussie Millions to the Asia Pacific Poker Tour, and the Australia and New Zealand Poker Tour to the Macau Poker Cup - McDonagh has impacted the Asia-Pacific region in astounding ways.

I'm honoured to be the first administrator in the Aussie Hall of Fame alongside such select company like Joe Hachem and Jeff Lisandro.

When I began my poker career as a tournament director at Crown Casino, the team was running a $1,000 event that eventually became the Aussie Millions. I mean, who would have known that it would become the international icon that it is today.

PokerStars reached out to me and offered me an opportunity to do what I love, which is being on the floor, but also have control on key decision making for tournaments throughout the Asia-Pacific. That really appealed to me and keeps me motivated.

I love working with the PokerStars Macau team and hope to not only replicate the Aussie Millions experience but eventually exceed that success. This week's Macau Poker Cup is another great success story about poker growth in a new region paired with an amazing venue at the Grand Lisboa.


Danny McDonagh in action here in the PokerStars Macau Poker Room

Whether it has been McDonagh's role as a planner, promoter or director of major poker tournaments, he has without doubt played an integral role in the growth of poker in Asia-Pacific.

The PokerStars Blog would again like to congratulate McDonagh on adding another feather to his bow by being inducted into the Australian Poker Hall of Fame joining the likes of Joe Hachem, Jeffrey Lisandro, Lee Nelson, Billy "The Croc" Argyros, Mel Judah, Gary Benson and Tony G.

2:10pm: Play underway
After scampering through the table draws that have been posted, it seems the majority of the players are now in their seats.

Unlike yesterday, the format of today will see the levels increase to be sixty minutes in duration. We aren't exactly sure how long we will play today, but the most likely answer will be somewhere around the eight-level mark.

The order to blend 'em and send 'em have been issued, and the cards are now whizzing through the air to kick off Day 2.

Welcome back to the PokerStars Macau Poker Room at the Grand Lisboa for Day 2 of the Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon Main Event!

Yesterday saw the final day one flight kick-off, and with a near record-setting attendance, a final 478-player field was created. Although falling short of the February number -- but still bettering the May/June edition -- the HK$4,780,000 prizepool will see one fortunate player heading home a HK$1,0397,000 richer if they are able to last the distance

Click here for the complete prizepool details.

With players battling back-and-forth over the past two days, only a third of the field remains as 160 players will be looking to firstly secure a money-earning spot of fifty-eight before mounting a charge up the leaderboard to be in best position to make the final day of play.

Although a long way from securing the beautiful Red Dragon trophy, Singapore's Lawrence Peng is in best position after amassing chips late in Day 1b to finish the top dog in both his flight and overall with a powering 135,100 in chips. Sitting slightly behind him are six other players in the six-figure club as the top ten counts round out as follows:

Top Ten Chip Counts:
Lawrence Peng (Singapore) - 135,100
Osamu Kishimoto (Japan) - 121,900
Kozo Isono (Japan) (PokerStars Sponsored Player) - 119,200
Chao Li (China) - 115,500
Jun Chen (China) - 110,700
Charles Wai Feng Wong (United States) - 100,400
Aaron Rong (Malaysia) (PokerStars Sponsored Player) - 100,200
Lien Cheng (China) - 98,000
Cheong Chong (Hong Kong) - 96,800
Seijiro Machi (Japan) (PokerStars Macau Qualifier) - 96,200

Although not blessed with as many chips as the above players, Milan Gurung, (66,900), Manami Hayamizu (46,700), Winfred Yu (50,900), Nathanael Seet (48,700), Kenny Shih (35,100), Will Cheong (30,500), Haifeng Xue (28,100), Roel Pijpers (23,000), Ivan Tan (20,300) and Neil Arce (16,500) are all still in the hunt.

Macau has blessed upon us a beautiful August day with the sun beaming down on the bustling streets, however there are 160 players that would rather be locked inside a smoke-filled card room with a chance to walk away with a bankroll-padding payday.

Play is set to re-start at 2:10 p.m. (GMT+8), so make sure to stay locked onto the PokerStars Blog as we provide the continuous live updates of all the Day 2 Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon Main Event action live from the PokerStars Macau Poker Room at the Grand Lisboa.


Tim Duckworth
@PokerStars in PokerStars Macau