MPCC Day 1b: Levels 3-4 (blinds 150-300, ante 25)

6:20pm: Ten-minute break

6:00pm: Set shrivels up for Im

Team PokerStars Pro Vivian Im has just taken a nasty hit to her stack in an interesting hand on table nine. Im opened with a raise to 800, before met with a three-bet to 2,300 from late position. Play was then with Japan's Kano Shinichiro who cold-called, to give Im a good price to come along and make it three ways to the 7♠8♥9♦ flop.

Action checked to Shinichiro and he stumbled with his chips before moving all in for his last 8,400. Im removed her ear phones before also declaring herself all in as the third player got out of the way.

Shinichiro showed J♠J♥ but Im had flopped a set with her 8♣8♠.

A crowd gathered around to watch and they oooooh'd in unison as the T♠ hit the turn to give Shinichiro his gutshot straight, leaving Im to try and pair the board. It wasn't to be as the 2♠ was as bricky as it gets to see Shinichiro find a double up and leave Im with 15,000 in chips.


A flopped set is not enough for Team PokerStars Pro Vivian Im at the MPCC

5:40pm: Big blind special?

With a raise from the button to 800, "Bobo" Chen called in the small blind before Choon Siang Tan popped it to 4,000 from the big blind. It looked like a squeeze, and the button player thought so, as he moved all in. Bobo got some TV time before he folded but Tan insta-called and tabled A♠A♦ to have the button's A♣Q♣ in bad shape.

The flop was 6♥3♦Q♥ to offer some hope, but the 7♣ turn and T♥ river completed the board. Tan sends one to the rail to move up to 65,000 chips.

5:30pm: Lucky ace for Edgar

Chris Edgar has just landed a big double up but he had to do it the hard way - rivering an ace to crack the pocket kings of Kai Paulsen.

After Paulsen opened with a raise from early position, Edgar opted to three-bet, before Paulsen re-raised once again. Edgar must've sensed weakness as he moved all in for his last 16,800, however Paulsen snapped it off with K♠K♣ as Edgar showed A♦7♣ and would need some help.

The flop brought a pair for Edgar as it arrived T♠9♠7♥, but he'd need further assistance. The 9♥ wasn't it but the A♣ on the river gave Edgar two pair to take the pot and double up to 36,000. Paulsen is still well placed with 35,000.

5:20pm: Level up, blinds 150-300, ante 25

5:10pm: Hirotoshi is still the king

It was the first time today we'd had to rush to a table and push through the crowd to see what all the commotion was about, and of course, it was no surprise when we got there to find Hirotoshi Nakabo in the middle of it.

We love Nakabo and his theatrics, and when we arrived we found Nakabo's K♥K♠ up against an opponent's J♥J♠ with all the chips in preflop. Nakabo was in great shape, but that didn't stop him pleading to the dealer for "no jack"!

The flop was the T♥5♠9♠ which was pretty safe, but the Q♠ brought a new twist. Suddenly his opponent picked up an open-ended straight draw. Nakabo now had to fade an eight or a king that wasn't a spade. The dealer burned and revealed the J♣ which sent a few hearts a flutter but Nakabo was quick to realise it gave him a straight to collect the huge pot.

"Thank you dealer!" Nakabo repeated over and over as he stacked up 40,000 worth of chips.

5:00pm: Rosen cuts one

Michael Rosen has eliminated a short-stacked player after he called the all-in shove for 5,500 holding A♥Q♥. His opponent tabled T♦T♣ but Rosen connected on the board of 8♣4♠A♠J♠3♦.

Rosen is back up to about 20,000 chips.

4:50pm: Dale done

Dale Philip has joined Byran Huang on the rail as the wheels start to fall off Team PokerStars this afternoon. Philip was already down to just 4,500 when he opened from late position to 700 and found a caller in the small blind.

The flop landed 3♦Q♥6♠ and Philip's continuation bet of 700 was called before both players checked the 3♥ turn. On the T♠ river, the small blind fired out 4,500 which was enough to put Philip all in. He rolled his eyes, clearly frustrated, and tossed his cards into the muck.

Moments later and Philip's last 3,000 chips were in the middle from the small blind with 8♦6♦ as the big blind made the call with K♥5♥.

The flop of 5♠J♥3♦ paired up the big blind, and Philip's outs were just even further on the A♥ turn. The river was the A♣ as Philip grabbed his jacket and made a hasty exit from the poker room.

4:35pm: Rough day in the office for Bryan

"Might be a long day, hope table breaks soon, I've opened 6 times today, got 3b & 4b all 6 times."

That's what Bryan Huang tweeted a short time ago as he struggled to handle the aggression of his table the early levels of play. Well, in fact it has ended up being a rather short day for the Team PokerStars Pro as Huang has just been eliminated from the tournament.

He kindly dropped by the blogging desk to let us know of his demise.

According to Huang there was a middle position raise to 900 and a call from the button before Huang also made the call holding pocket sevens in the big blind.

The flop was [6][7][8] which looked pretty good for Huang as he flopped a set and led out for 1,950. Both opponents called and the turn was a not-so-pretty [t]. Huang and the MP-player checked to the button who bet 2,950. Again all three came along to see a repeat [t] on the river.

It looked like a great card for Huang as he improved to a full house and he moved all in for around 12,000. The preflop aggressor in middle position insta-called as the third player got out of the way. Huang showed his full house but couldn't believe it when his opponent showed pocket tens for running quads!

Huang is out as our first high-profile elimination of the day.


Full house into quads is too much for event a Team PokerStars Pro to escape from

4:20pm: Play resumes

The players are back in action following the break. The big screen says our field is up to 185 which is a significant increase on last year's numbers. With registration now closed we should have the official numbers and the prizepool breakdown for you shortly.