MPCC Day 1a: Levels 5-6 (blinds 250-500, ante 50)
8:30pm: Ten-minute break
8:25pm: Getting sticky with Steicke
On a hand that ran into the break, David Steicke has moved his chips into the middle, and thought he was happy to force a fold until his opponent showed his cards.
It started with a late position raise to 1,200 with two players calling, including Steicke in the small blind. The flop landed Q♥6♣9♠ and action checked to the preflop aggressor who bet 1,600. The third player folded as Steicke took his time before check-raising to 5,100. His opponent toyed with chips and made the call.
The turn brought the A♥ and Steicke continued the aggression, moving his last 15,000 or so chips into the middle. His opponent said nothing and open-folded J♠2♠.
"I assume that's a fold?" chuckled Steicke as he'd ruined the plans of his opponent who'd floated the raise to try and get frisky with just jack-high.
"I had him dominated!" laughed Steicke to Emanuel Seal as the players went on a break, indicating that he held jack-ten. Steicke is up to 35,000 chips.
8:10pm: Wu runs into Kings
Raymond Wu has just run into pocket kings, but luckily for him it wasn't a huge pot as Romanian Lica Sever doubled up his short stack.
Sever was all in for 12,775 with K♦K♥ as Wu made the call with A♥Q♠. Sever faded the ace on the 6♥8♠7♥J♣K♣ board to double up. Wu is still comfy with 45,000.
8:00pm: A curly double
Emanuel "Curly" Seal has landed a double up. We only caught up with the action on the river but when Seal moved all in for 12,925 on a board of 6♦T♣J♠Q♦4♠, we were pretty sure he had the goods. His opponent was Seijiro Machi, who had already bet 7,650 at that point and was committed to make the call.
Machi showed Q♥T♥ for two pair but Seal held A♦K♣ for the Broadway straight. Seal doubles up to close to 40,000 with Machi slipping to 70,000.
7:50pm: Chan is set
Justin Chan has just landed a mighty double up to chip up with the chip leaders. We arrived to the table on a flop of 5♥8♣J♦.
Chan led out with a bet of 7,500 which forced one fold before his opponent min-raised to 15,000. Chan thought for several minutes before announcing himself all in for another 15,850. His opponent made a crying call with Q♠Q♣ and discovered the bad news when Chan opened 8♠8♥ for middle set.
The K♦ was a scary looking turn for Chan as the paint made his heart skip a beat, but the 5♦ safely landed on the river for the double up. Chan is now up to 75,000 chips.
7:30pm: Level up, blinds 250-500, ante 50
The players are certainly enjoying a fantastic structure here in the MPCC Main Event as we move into the sixth level of the day with the rarely seen 250-500-50 level.
7:10pm: No ace for Chen
Victor Chen has just been eliminated from the MPCC Main Event, but he didn't leave without a little performance that grabbed the attention of the entire room.
The crowd was three deep around the table when Chen jumped to his feet and started screaming for an ace. By the time we worked our way to the table the board had been spread 6♥3♦9♣J♣5♣.
There was no ace on board, as Chen's [a][q] had been scooped up by the dealer and his tournament was over. The pot was pushed to Haifeng Xue who held K♦K♥ while a third player couldn't find the case queen with his Q♦Q♣.
Xue is currently second on the Asia POTY leaderboard following his second place in the Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon in June, amongst several other impressive results. He's on track for another strong performance here as he moves up to 42,000 in chips.
6:55pm: Juicy escapes the trap
We only caught the post-flop action in this hand, but we get the feeling that Juicy Li just escaped a huge trap that was laid by Justin Chan.
When we arrived to the table the board read 7♦3♦4♠ and Li was leading out from the small blind for 2,025 into four opponents. We're guessing that she three-bet preflop and was following up with a continuation bet on the flop as the preflop aggressor.
Her bet reduced the field by two as Chan was one of the callers to see the A♣ hit the turn. Li slowed and checked it to Chan who bet 5,300. The late position opponent folded, but Li went into the tank. Clearly pained by the decision, she obviously didn't like that turn card as she reluctantly folded. Perhaps it was a blessing in disguise as Chan flashed a craftily-played A♦A♥!
Li is down to 20,000 with Chan now up to 30,000.
6:45pm: Arce takes a hit
Neil Arce opened with a raise from the button before the big blind moved all in for an additional 4,700 on top. Arce liked the price and tossed out a 5,000-denomination chip as he rolled over Q♦T♥ for live cards against his opponent's A♦8♠.
Arce was thrilled with his decision when the flop landed 2♠J♥Q♠ as he flopped top pair to take the lead, however the 8♦ turn and A♥ river improved his opponent to two pair for the double up. Arce could only shake his head as he slips to 23,000.
6:30pm: Play resumes
Play has resumed with approximately 89 of our original field of 121 still alive on Day 1a of the Macau Poker Cup Championship Main Event. Japan's Seijiro Machi is our likely chip leader at the moment. Machi won the charity event yesterday and is continuing his hot form to sit with around 85,000.