Xiaobo Zhou headlines China domination of Red Dragon Day 2

The penultimate day of the Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon Main Event was a day where players would either go home crying or rest easy that they had a chance to capture a whopping HK$1,039,700 first prize.

Day 2 of any poker tournament is normally the money day, and today was no exception as the returning 160 players would have all their eyes on at least making the money-earning top fifty-eight. Like the rush a Baccarat table gets on the casino floor of the Grand Lisboa when banker gets on a run, players found all kinds of ways to make a hasty exit -- or return to the Baccarat tables -- in the early few orbits of play.

Thirty went in the first half hour and another thirty by the first break as the highest profile player remaining -- Team PokerStars Pro Raymond Wu -- river-bluffed his entire stack at the w-rong time when Malaysia's Aaron Rong looked him up with [10s]6♠ on a 4♠Q♦7♠Q♠6♥ board to best Wu's 2♥2♦. With Wu out the door, a controversy solved and the bubble nearing, it would be Day 1a chip leader Chao Li on the rise as he soared up the leaderboard to be in a dominating position. Unfortunately for the ultra-aggressive Chinese player, he would make it one bet too many when he five-bet all in holding K♥J♥ and was snapped off by the A♠A♥ of Wenlong Jin.

After several doubles on the bubble, Japanese player Yuta Kondo would be the one shedding the most tears as his A♠K♦ was unable to remain the best hand when his opponent made a flush holding 8♥7♥. With the bubble burst, play kept its fast pace as the chip lead was rotated between Jin, tablemate Chen Lu and Yang Zhang before Xiaobo Zhou soared from nowhere to snag the lead by nearly 240,000 in chips.

Xiaobo Zhou

Day 2 chip leader Xiaobo Zhou from China

Top Five Chip Counts:
Xiaobo Zhou (China) (PokerStars Macau Qualifier) - 844,000
Yang Zhang (China) (PokerStars Macau Qualifier) - 605,000
Chen Lu (China) - 520,000
David Kai-kwong Man (Hong Kong) - 406,000
Daniel Tarnopol (Thailand) (PokerStars Qualifier) - 381,000

With China dominating the leaderboard for the majority of the day, it is no surprise to see the top three spots held by previous chip leaders as twenty-six players survive for a Day 3 berth. Of these players, Poland, Malaysia, Japan, Singapore, Denmark, Iran and the United States all are represented to support the notion that poker is truly a worldwide game. Of the 478 players that took to the felt several days ago, 39 countries have been represented with the largest group of players coming from Japan (92 players), Hong Kong (81), Chinese Taipei (44) and China (42).

However sharing nationality won't mean much to the final twenty-six players when they step back into the PokerStars Macau Poker Room. This game is a battle of individual skill, and when each and every player takes a seat tomorrow it will be a declaration of war as only one player can rise above them all to claim the title of Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon Main Event Champion!

Here's how they'll line up tomorrow:

Table 15
Seat 1: Hossein Shabannezhad (Iran) - 193,000
Seat 2: Dai Wei Yein (Hong Kong) - 111,000
Seat 3: Jun Chen (China) - 227,000
Seat 4: Kevin Petersen (Thailand) - 153,000
Seat 5: Per Ulrik Andersen (Denmark) - 111,000
Seat 6: Konstantin Pogodin (Thailand) - 266,000
Seat 8: Aaron Rong (Malaysia) - 79,000
Seat 9: Xiaobo Zhou (China) - 844,000

Table 16
Seat 1: Jishui Hao (China) - 368,000
Seat 2: Tetsuya Tsuchikawa (Japan) - 129,000
Seat 3: Makoto Horikawa (Japan) - 58,000
Seat 4: Andrew Kai Wing Chung (Hong Kong) - 200,000
Seat 5: Daniel Tarnopol (Thailand) - 381,000
Seat 6: Makoto Chikusa (Japan) - 172,000
Seat 7: Jianyu Chen (China) - 258,000
Seat 8: Kishimoto Osamu (Japan) - 215,000
Seat 9: Alex Er (Singapore) - 194,000

Table 20
Seat 1: Zuo Wang (China) - 254,000
Seat 2: Tommy Kai Wong (United States) - 206,000
Seat 3: Yang Zhang (China) - 605,000
Seat 4: Pawel Chmiel (Poland) - 280,000
Seat 5: Patrick Kar Keng Lee (Singapore) - 142,000
Seat 6: David Kai-kwong Man (Hong Kong) - 406,000
Seat 7: Jun Wah Yap (Malaysia) - 258,000
Seat 8: Wenlong Jin (China) - 333,000
Seat 9: Chen Lu (China) - 520,000

Play will recommence tomorrow at 12:10 p.m. (GMT+8) and will continue until just one is left standing. The PokerStars Blog will be providing all the live updates, so don't stop following along as the final day of the Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon Main Event will be one full of excitement, heartache and big paydays.

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As the Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon Main Event ticked into the final level of play, the HK$30,000 High Rollers event got underway with fifty-three players forming a HK$1,447,572 prizepool.

Team PokerStars Pros Bryan Huang, Celina Lin and Vivian Im lead the field that consisted of PokerStars Macau regulars Haifeng Xue, Kim Gap Young, Wally Sombrero, Andrew Scott, David Steicke, Neil Arce, Michael Marvanek, David Ewing, Daren Yoon and Daoxing Chen. Twenty countries were represented, but at most seven would be seeing some money pass through immigration as the payouts were broken down as follows:

1st -- HK$477,872
2nd -- HK$304,100
3rd -- HK$202,700
4th -- HK$159,300
5th -- HK$115,300
6th -- HK$101,400
7th -- HK$86,900

With play expected to go deep into the night, players will return tomorrow to join the Main Event in playing down till a winner is crowned.

Tim Duckworth
@PokerStars in PokerStars Macau