MPC Red Dragon Main Event Day 2: Levels 14 & 15 (blinds 2,000-4,000, ante 500)
4:40pm: Ten-minute break
With play now on the bubble and hand-for-hand play commencing, the action has slowed right down. Time for a quick break!
4:20pm: Ace-high call pays dividends for Seung Heon
We've reported two hands on Baek Seung Heon so far today and both of them have been pretty strange. This one though is a doozy.
We're not exactly sure what led to this point, but we think it was bet, raise, all in on a flop of 3♠9♥Q♦. We arrived to see Seung Heon facing a decision of an additional 32,300 with well over 100,000 already in the pot. There must've been a fair bit of psychological warfare in this one, as Seung Heon made a pot-committed call with just A♣5♥ for ace-high. Incredibly his opponent's 2♦2♣ were in the lead!
What was going on here? Some ultra-aggressive bubble play we're assuming, as the short stack had to dodge six outs to stay alive. The 7♦ bricked the turn but both players slammed the table when the 5♣ spiked on the river. One in delight, the other in total despair.
Incredible stuff as Seung Heon is now our chip leader with 440,000 chips.
4:05pm: Seet claims another
Nathanael Seet has helped get us one step closer to the money after eliminating a short stack. Seet opened with a raise before the short-stacked player moved all in from the small blind with pocket threes. Seet quickly called with pocket aces and they held up on the board of K♣K♠4♣Q♥7♠. Seet is now up to 110,000 and looking very solid.
3:55pm: Celina falls short of the cash
A few years ago Celina Lin went through a horrible stretch of tournaments where she would regularly finish on the bubble, and just a little while ago she explained to her tablemates that ace-queen was her cursed hand after she folded it to a preflop shove. Her opponent showed ace-ten.
So it all seemed like a set up when Lin found ace-queen once again, just five places from the money. Following a preflop raise, Lin moved all in but the player behind her made the call with pocket nines. The original raiser folded what he said was ace-queen.
Lin's favourite hand again jinxed her once again as the board blanked out [j]. Lin is out as just 54 players remain in the Red Dragon Main Event.
3:50pm: Chucky is dead
Charles Chua's fall from grace was a rapid one. After being one of our chip leaders at the start of the day, his last 30,000 chips have now disappeared to leave him short of the cash. Chua three-bet shoved with pocket nines and found a caller with ace-ten, but a ten spiked on the flop to leave Chua to make a disappointed exit.
3:40pm: Level up, blinds 2,000-4,000, ante 500
3:35pm: Peteri's kings cracked as Lau leaps towards chip leaders
Gabor Peteri's head must be spinning right now. He was eyeing off the tournament chip lead in a three-way all in clash, but instead copped a rough beat to lose a massive chunk of change.
Peteri held the best hand with K♦K♣ against a short stack with 6♦6♥ and Albert Lau with A♠K♠, but the board ran out 5♣A♦J♣3♥Q♣ to see an ace land on the flop like a dagger through the heart of Peteri.
It was 122,200 to pay off Lau who raked in both main and side pots to climb up to 280,000 while Peteri is devastated with just 65,000.
3:20pm: Lovett rockets through Chua
We're expecting play to slow down now as we're just one table away from the money, but one player who was right in the thick of the action was Brian Lovett as he just doubled up through Charles Chua.
Chua opened with a raise before Lovett moved all in. Chua called with [a][k] but Lovett held the rockets A♠A♥. The board ran out 2♥T♣7♠4♥5♠ to double Lovett to around 110,000 to leave Chua shaking his head with only 30,000 chips left.
3:00pm: Chan on fire!
Have we mentioned that Justin Chan has a lot of chips? Well, he's just taken out another player to now clearly hold the chip lead in his own right. He didn't need the river on this occasion, as he had it pretty much covered on the flop of 5♥7♠2♠ as the chips went into the middle. Chan tabled 7♥7♣ for a set as his opponent tossed his cards towards the muck in resignation!
It was ruled that the all-in player must show, and he opened A♣J♣, perhaps not realising that he in fact wasn't drawing dead. It's the second time in two days we've seen someone attempt to muck, not realising they still had a slim chance of winning the hand. There was no backdoor straight this time as the turn and river bricked out to climb Chan up over 300,000.
2:50pm: Chan finds more river help
Justin Chan has disposed of another opponent as the 2010 Macau Millions champ continues on his merry way in Macau.
With a raise to 8,500 and an all-in bet of 26,500 in front of him, Chan declared himself all-in to isolate the short stack. It worked as the initial raiser folded and Chan found his A♥K♣ up against his opponent's 7♥7♠.
With both players slapping the table and calling for their respective cards, the race was on! However Chan would have to sweat until the river as the 4♥8♠2♦J♦K♦ eventually paired his king to send his opponent to the rail. Chan is now with the chip leaders with 270,000 chips.
2:40pm: Play resumes
The players are back with nine tables in action as we start to get close to the money stage of the tournament. The top 50 players will be paid today with a minimum cash worth HK$20,100.
Korea's Baek Seung Heon jumped to the top of the leaderboard late in that last level, as did Fung Ting Hang after flopping a straight to crack the set of aces of Edmund Lee. There are several other players who are also quickly accumulating big stacks, with South African Conrad Coetzer, Australia's Jessica Shi-ling Ngu and Hong Kong's Justin Chan all looking threatening.
It looks like we've lost our PokerStars Team Online Pro Yu-Reng Peng, however PokerStars Team Asia Pro Celian Lin is still alive but she's looking for a double up with a stack of about 38,000.