MPCC Day 1b: Levels 1-2 (blinds 100-200)

4:10pm: Ten-minute break

4:00pm: Lin bluffs pocket aces

It's pretty hard to fold pocket aces at the best of times but when the board reads 9♦5♥8♠7♣T♦, with multiple straight and two-pair combinations, and you're faced with a 2,000-chip bet from the queen of Asian poker Celina Lin, then it's probably a pretty good time to give them up.

That was the conclusion that John Tech came to as he tanked for a long time before flashing A♥A♦ and tossing them into the muck.

Lin showed K♦Q♣. Oops!

Lin gave a polite smile as her successful bluff gets her back to 22,000 as we head on the first break of the day.

3:40pm: Tan wins mini blind war

Louis Nyberg opened with a raise to 525 from the small blind and Ivan Tan defended his big blind with a call. The two went heads up to a flop of 2♥7♠7♣ and Nyberg bet 575. Tan made the call as the 9♣ hit the turn.

Nyberg fired again for 1,500 and the two exchanged some friendly banter before Tan again made the call. The river was the 4♠ and Nyberg tapped the table. Tan quickly tossed out a small bet of 1,100. It was too cheap for Nyberg to fold but Tan showed him A♦9♠ for the best hand to take it down. Tan moves up to 28,000.

3:20pm: The land of the rising players

It's great to see plenty of Japanese players back on the tables of Macau for the MPCC and they've enjoyed quite a bit of success recently around the globe.

Two of those players are here today in Masayoshi Tanaka and Azusa Maeda.

Tanaka picked up a 4th place at the WSOP this year in Las Vegas, to go with a 2nd place back in 2009. Interestingly both results were in Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw which is not a poker discipline that is well known in Asia.

More recently Maeda came within a breath of winning Japan's first ever WSOP bracelet, but ultimately he had to be content with second place and €133,471 in the opening event of the current World Series of Poker Europe. Straight from Europe to Macau, Maeda will be looking to carry that form here today at the MPCC.


Azusa Maeda fresh off the plane from Europe and into the MPCC

3:10pm: Level up, blinds 100-200

3:00pm: Flopping flushes with Hirotoshi

With a raise to 250 in front of him, Hirotoshi Nakabo made the call in the cutoff. The small blind called before the big blind squeezed to 1,600. It didn't quite work as the preflop raiser and Nakabo both called to see a monotone 2♠9♠8♠ flop.

Action checked around to Nakabo who bet 2,000. The big blind folded as the preflop raiser continued along. The Q♥ turn was checked by both players before the Q♦ paired the board on the river. Again it was checked to Nakabo who bet 3,500 and found a call.

Nakabo excitedly tabled A♠K♠ for the flopped flush which was good to rake in the chips. He jumps up to 26,000 in the first level of the day.

2:55pm: Early pot for Rosen

Mikael Rosen opened with a raise to 275 from early position and Wing Cheong Chong defended his big blind with a call.

The flop came down A♦Q♥T♥ and Chong decided to lead out for 500. Rosen thought briefly and matched the bet as the 3♦ hit the turn.

Chong checked and Rosen tossed out 875. Chong thought for several minutes but eventually gave it up as the "BubbleKing" wins an early pot.

2:45pm: A few more names

A couple more players of note have found their way to their seats as we're now over the 180-player mark. Some of those include Mikael "BubbleKing" Rosen, Chris Edgar, Elton Tsang, Sammy Huang, Azusa Maeda, Wing Cheong Chong, Mark Benasa, Terry Fan and Gordon Huntly who won his seat in this morning's turbo satellite.

Also in the field today is Scotland's Dale Philip. Known online as "Daleroxxu", Philip is a member of PokerStars Team Online and is currently touring the world playing poker and blogging his adventures along the way.


PokerStars Team Online member Dale "Daleroxxu" Philip

2:30pm: Who's here?

Our first patrol around the PokerStars Macau Poker Room took a lot longer than yesterday with a far bigger field in attendance. The big screen is currently showing 171 entrants and that number is still ticking upwards, so we're going to easily better last year's MPCC numbers.

While there's sure to be a few more notables pop up as the day progresses, our first rounds saw us spot Sparrow Cheung, Daren Yoon, Ivan Tan, Raiden Kan, "Bobo" Chen, Kai Paulsen, Kim Gabyong and the lovable Japanese cult hero Hirotoshi Nakabo.

We also have several Team PokerStars Pros flying the flag this afternoon as Vivian Im, Bryan Huang and Celina Lin are all in today's field.

We've also noticed that a throng of WAPL players have taken their seats in today's field. The Western Australia Poker League regularly brings a group of players to Macau every year, and their patches are certainly well represented around the room today.

2:10pm: Take two at MPCC

Welcome back to the Grand Lisboa Hotel and Casino for Day 1b of the Macau Poker Cup Championship. The skies outside may be a little murky as the rains continue to hit South East Asia, but the action inside on the poker tables is expected to be far more pleasant today. We're looking forward to seeing a stellar line up this afternoon with several seasoned professionals amongst a sea of recreational amateurs taking their shot at Asian poker glory.

PokerStars Country Manager Fred Leung welcomed the players to their seats before giving the dealers the official instructions to "Shuffle up and deal!"

Once again players will start with a 20,000-chip start bank as we play seven one-hour levels today.