MPCC Day 1a: Levels 1-2 (blinds 100-200)
4:10pm: Ten-minute break
3:40pm: Spets slips
As we wandered past table four to discover Aussie Will Jones had found an early double up, we caught a hand that saw Sweden's Roger Spets lose half his stack.
It started with Romania's Lica Sever opening to 525 in middle position. Spets flat-called on the button and Jones came along in the small blind to see a flop of 4♦9♦4♣.
Jones checked and Sever bet 1,100. Spets called as Jones got out of the way before the J♥ hit the turn. Sever fired again for 2,200 and again Spets paid to see the river 3♠ fall.
With that, Sever declared himself all in for his last 7,000 to send Spets into the tank. After staring down his opponent intently, and re-checking his hole cards on several occasions, Spets tossed in calling chips.
Sever sighed and stood from his chair as he showed T♠T♥ in resignation that he must be beat. However he was good as Spets tossed his cards into the muck.
"Did you think you were bluffing?" asked one player.
"He looked like he was bluffing, because he thought he was bluffing!" added Spets as he slips down to 10,500 in chips.
3:20pm: Nelson heads back home
It was a short and sweet appearance by Kiwi Lee Nelson here in the MPCC Main Event as the ANZPT Melbourne champion is our first high-profile casualty of the day.
After losing a sizable pot to Cheng Li just moments earlier, Nelson was down to his last 4,000 or so chips which he committed preflop with 8♠8♦ against Dean Holt's A♥Q♦.
The board fell A♠5♥3♣K♣6♣ to pair up Holt's ace and eliminate the Australian Poker Hall of Famer from the tournament.
3:10pm: Level up, blinds 100-200
3:00pm: A little Juicy
Catching the action on a board of T♦4♣6♦8♥, Brent Bibby tossed out 775 into a pot of 2,100 before Juicy Li raised the minimum to 1,550. Bibby was a non-believer as he re-raised to 3,275. Li went into the tank for several minutes before making the call.
The river brought the 4♦ and Bibby checked to Li who seemed to like the paired board as she quickly bet 3,700. Bibby quickly gave it up as Li chips up to 25,000.
2:45pm: Shaq in the house
One player we neglected to mention earlier is none other than Hung-sheng "Shaq" Lin who is the current leader in the Asia Player of the Year race.
Lin is the 2011 Macau Millions champion and has a staggering eight final table appearances to his credit this year, made even more remarkable by the fact that two of them came just yesterday when Lin final tabled both Event #2 and Event #3 of this series.
He's going to be hard man to catch in the Asia POTY race.
2:35pm: Here comes Spiderman!
We love it when nicknames stick. Back in June a player by the name of Kwan Mah grabbed the attention of the Asian poker world with victory in the Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon Main Event. We didn't know a lot about Mah, but his distinctive red and black spider web cap earned him the nickname "Spiderman". A few months on, and it seems that Mah is fond of the name, as the cap is still being worn and as the poker room now simply refers to him as Spiderman!
Mah is also off to a good start here in the MPCC Main Event as we caught him in an early hand with 2010 Macau Millions champ Justin Chan.
Chan led out for 600 from the small blind on a flop of 6♣9♣J♠. Mah made the call as a third player folded from the button before the 8♦ hit the turn. Chan checked and Mah bet 2,000. Chan deliberated for some time before making the call as the 9♦ completed the board. Chan took some time before tapping the table as Mah made it another 3,000 to go. Chan again deliberated before matching the bet. Mah showed T♠9♠ for trip nines which was good to jump up to 26,000 as Chan slips to 14,000.
2:30pm: A few names
Some of those we've spotted on our first lap of the PokerStars Macau Poker Room include Team PokerStars Pro Raymond Wu, Victor Chen, Michael Mariakis, Juicy Li, David Steicke, Will Jones, Brice Renaud, Roel Pijpers, Roger Spets, Percy Yung, Justin Chan, Curly Seal, previous MPC Red Dragon winner Kwan "Spiderman" Mah and the defending champion Julian Hasse.
Of course the field is dominated by the locals, some of whom we'll get to know a little bitter as this tournament progresses.
2:15pm: Today's format
We'll be playing seven levels today with the generous 20,000-chip start bank and one-hour levels set to provide plenty of game time for our players. However one thing we know about Macau poker players is that they love to gamble, so more chips just means more gamble!
2:10pm: Shuffle up and Deal
The players have taken their seats in the PokerStars Macau poker room in the Grand Lisboa Casino for Day 1a of the Macau Poker Cup Championship. Early reports have today's field at around 100 players with tomorrow's field expected to be even bigger.
After a warm welcome by PokerStars Country Manager Fred Leung, the mic was handed to the defending champion Germany's Julian Hasse to given the instructions to "Shuffle up and Deal!"