MPC Red Dragon Final Table live updates

10.45pm: Celina Lin wins MPC Red Dragon Main Event!
Ming Fan out in second, winning HK $589,100

After a titanic heads up phase of play, this tournament is now over. And Team PokerStars Pro's Celina Lin has become the first ever two-time Red Dragon champion, winning HK $854,000. She is now on the brink of tears after a sensational victory.

Here's how the final hand went down:

As ever, it was a limped pot pre-flop and the two of them went to a K♥3♦6♣ flop. There was no action there either, but the 4♦ turn suddenly meant it went nuts.

Ming Fan checked, Lin bet 200,000 and Fan moved all in. Lin called!

The stacks were almost equal - so close in fact that we weren't sure who had whom covered - but before that was decided, we saw the hands.

Lin had 6♦4♠ and was ahead of Fan's Q♦5♦, but he had plenty of outs to both the flush and the straight.

After a long pause, the dealer finally burned and turned the .... Q♠. The rail erupted and the tournament officials set about counting the chips.

It was down to Hill to announce: "Celina has him covered" and the roof was suddenly lifted from the room.

A full wrap is in its way, but for the time being all you need to know is that Celina Lin is Red Dragon champion. For the SECOND TIME!

10.30pm: Min everything
The approach both these players are taking is to limp pre and keep it small all the way through. That is unless they want to shove pre-flop, which Ming Fan sometimes does. It's a little unconventional for heads up play.

Also unconventional is the picnic-style blanket Celina Lin is wearing under the table. The room is almost totally empty now but the air conditioning is still on, which means it's mighty chilly. Lin still looks dressed for a summer garden party from the table up, but she has a thick blanket draped on her bottom half. This is the kind of scintillating coverage you don't get on TV.

The stacks, by the way, are totally even still at 2.9m apiece.

10.10pm: The Neverending Story
This is the tournament that refuses to end. It couldn't have got much closer than it did just a moment ago, but Celina Lin has hit a three outer to double up and stay alive.

They got it all in on a flop of 7♠3♦4♥ and Lin was in deep trouble. She had 9♣7♦ to Ming Fan's K♥7♣. She was dead to a...oh, there it is on the turn: the 9♥ sending Lin high-fiving her rail and Fan wincing as the title was snatched from his grasp again.

The J♦ river was not the king he needed.

On we go. They are now about even in chips again.

9.55pm: The PokerStars Blog hex strikes again
Ah, you know what I said about Celina Lin turning the screw here? Well it has jinxed her because Ming Fan has now doubled up.

Lin limped from the small blind - this happens a lot. Fan announced all in from the big blind - this also happens a lot. But this bit doesn't: Lin called. We had the tournament on the line again.

Lin: A♠9♥
Fan: K♠[10d]

Although Lin's fans now began pleading for an ace, even contorting their bodies into an approximate* shape of an "A", the window card was the [10h] and that was great for Fan.


Celina Lin's fans ask for an ace...


...but it's Ming Fan who is celebrating

The rest of the board ran out J♠4♠6♣9♠ and Fan doubles to 4.68m.

Lin has the rest, which is about 1.2m.

*Very approximate. You try contorting your body into the shape of an alphabet letter**.
**Except an "I". Or maybe a "T".

9.40pm: Final stretch?
It certainly appears as though momentum has swung in the direction of Celina Lin, who is managing to win all the decisive pots now. On this latest one, un-raised again pre-flop, Lin led for 100,000 at a flop of 8♥5♥3♣. Ming Fan called.

The turn was 4♥ and Lin checked. Fan bet 225,000 and Lin now raised - a check-raise - to 500,000. Fan flicked his cards into the muck.

Lin now has 3.6m to Fan's 2.2m.

9.30pm: A few blow in Fan's direction
Celina Lin had gradually been adding to her lead with another succession of small pots. But then Ming Fan managed to win a few back. It was un-raised to a flop of 7♥J♥5♠ and they both checked. The turn was 2♠ and Lin led for 160,000. Fan called. The 6♥ rivered and they both checked.

"King high?" said a quizzical Lin.

Fan tabled K♠2♥ and his pair of ducks was good.

9.20pm: Lin leads again
Well, well, well. What a turnaround. Celina Lin has taken over the lead again, taking down this latest pot with a bet on the turn. Ming Fan opened to 200,000 and Lin called. The flop was K♥6♥3♥, which they both checked, and the 4♦ turned. Fan checked, Lin bet 400,000 and Fan folded.

Lin now has 3,200,000, which is ahead.

9.15pm: Even stevens
Stacks are again almost precisely even. They both have just less than three million.

9.10pm: Fan fired up
Ming Fan announced that he was all in on both the next two hands after the Celina Lin double up. He maintains an emotionless exterior, but one gets the idea that he's boiling inside. He was so near to the title moments ago. (Lin folded both times, by the way.)

BLINDS UP. PLAYING 50,000-100,000 IN LEVEL 27

9.05pm: All in call!
This is the first time the whole tournament has been on the line, but Ming Fan could not win a flip to take the whole thing down. Instead, to the great delight of a packed rail, Team PokerStars Pro's Celina Lin has doubled up and is right back in it.

Lin announced a raise and before she could even get her chips out there, Fan announced that he was all in, covering Lin by far. Lin nodded her head and said that she called and suddenly this was it.

Lin: A♦[10c]
Fan: 5♥5♦

So, a classic race, but the window card - the [10s] swung it emphatically to Lin.


Celina Lin wins the race

Although she could hardly bear to watch, the rest of the board was safe. It came 3♠7♦K♠J♠ and she doubled back to about 2,700,000. Game on again.

BLINDS UP. PLAYING 40,000-80,000 IN LEVEL 26

8.50pm: Ten minute break
That's the end of the level and they are taking a ten-minute break.

8.45pm: Massive pot puts Fan back in charge
Here's a pot that makes everything we've seen before pale into insignificance. It was monstrous, it went to Ming Fan, and puts him into a dominant chip position once more.

It was limped pre-flop and both players checked the 8♠J♥4♠ board. But then it went a bit weird. The Q♦ turned and Fan bet 115,000. Celina Lin raised to 350,000 and Fan called. Something was clearly brewing.

The river was 8♣ and Lin bet 500,000. Fan now found three towers of orange chips, worth 500,000 each, and made a raise. He wanted a million more.

Lin looked vexed but eventually called. A delighted Fan turned over Q♥8♦ for the rivered boat. Lin was disconsolate as she showed [q][j] for top two, now rivered.

That took a huge hit out of Lin and she is down to 1,370,000. Fan has the rest, which is 4,400,000.

8.35pm: Lin leads
There's no doubt about it, Team PokerStars Pro's Celina Lin is now in the lead. She has 3.1m to Ming Fan's 2.7m as this captivating heads up battle continues.

It's worth noting that they have now been playing heads up for almost twice as long as it took to go from nine to two.


Celina Lin out front by herself in Macau

8.30pm: Monster pot back to Lin
Celina Lin is now at least even - and may even be ahead in chips - after making another of her trademark top-dollar calls on the river. This hand went like this: Lin raised to 150,000 from the button and Ming Fan called from the big blind.

The flop came 7♦Q♠4♥, which they both checked, and the Q♥ turned. Fan bet 160,000, which Lin called, and they went to a 6♠ river.

Fan bet 350,000 at that, and Lin didn't take too long over this call. Fan mucked and so we will never know what they had. But it dropped Fan to about 2.8m and gave Lin about 3m. I'll check these amounts in a moment.

8.10pm: Fan moves up a gear
Here's the biggest hand of heads up play, both in terms of the chips it was worth and the time it took to play. It took about 15 minutes, most of it after the turn, when Celina Lin tank-folded to huge aggression from Ming Fan.

Fan raised to 160,000 pre-flop. That's a min-raise, which Lin called. That took them to a 3♠9♠4♥ flop and Lin, first to act, bet 170,000. Fan called.

The turn was 2♥ and now it got intriguing. Lin continued her aggressive line and bet 370,000. But after meticulously counting 370,000 out of his stacks of yellow chips, Fan then added a tower of orange, 25,000 denomination chips, to them and slid them forward. That was a raise of 500,000.

Lin tanked for a very long time and eventually folded. Fan flashed a nine at her as he began raking the chips.

7.55pm: Lin getting even
It seems that the vast majority of the recent small pots have been going to Celina Lin and the Team PokerStars Pro is now all but even in chips with Ming Fan. Fan has about 3 million to Lin's 2.8m.

7.50pm: No ante
Never let it be said that we're not observant here at PokerStars Blog. A mere matter of three hours late, I have just realised the ante was taken out of play when they got heads up.

So the blinds are now 30,000-60,000 and no loose change.

BLINDS UP. PLAYING 30,000-60,000 IN LEVEL 25

7.45pm: Lin continues slow comeback
I'm not sure I've ever seen a heads up battle with so many showdowns. But these two continue to make the dealers work all the way to the river, then pinch small pots from one another.

Most recently, Celina Lin won one. It went raise (Lin) and call (Fan) pre-flop. Then after a 2♥6♦2♣ flop, Lin check-called Fan's 160,000 bet. They both checked the 8♦ turn and the 4♥ river and Lin's A♠6♠ was good.

Lin now has 2.3m to Fan's 3.5m.

7.40pm: Levelling out
Ming Fan is maintaining his chip advantage, but things have been going in Celina Lin's direction of late. She just took down a small pot, getting a value bet called on the end as well.

It was unraised to a flop of J♦6♣K♠. Check, check. The K♦ turned and Lin led for 35,000, which Fan called. The 3♥ rivered and Lin now bet 85,000. Fan called again.

Lin tabled J♥8♣ and Fan mucked.

7.25pm: Trickling on
It's entered a bit of a slump again, with small unraised pots being the order of the day. Celina Lin just took down a slightly bigger, but still pretty small, one: after Lin limped and then called Ming Fan's 100,000 raise, they saw a flop of 2♦8♥3♠. Fan checked, Lin bet 120,000, and Fan flicked his cards away.

7pm: Lin adopts the call-muck
Big pot this, as Celina Lin gets caught with her hand in the till. It looked like it was a three bet pre-flop pot, which took them to a A♥K♦8♣ flop. They both checked.

On the [10c] turn, Fan led for 200,000, which Lin called.

That brought them to the scary looking 9♣ river, completing plenty of draws. Fan checked, Lin bet 440,000 and then Fan called. Lin mucked this time, without showing.


Ming Fan heads up

That pegs Lin back to 1.45m.

6.50pm: Counts
They're back from the break. Ming Fan has a baguette. Celina Lin doesn't. They also have these stacks:

Ming Fan: 3,510,000
Celina Lin: 2,315,000


Heads up in Macau

BLINDS UP. PLAYING 20,000-40,000 (5,000) IN LEVEL 24

6.40pm: Break time
They're heading off to a break. Ten minutes, and we'll be back with chip stacks and everything.

6.35pm: Check-raise wins
Celina Lin raised to 80,000 and Ming Fan defended his big blind. They saw a 5♠A♥4♥ flop. Fan checked and Lin bet 140,000. But all of a sudden, here was a check raise. Fan made it 400,000 and after a couple of checks of her hand, Lin let it go.

6.30pm: Dealer training
Limp. Check. Flop. Check, check. Turn. Check, check. River. Check, check. You win.

That, in short, is the past eight hands or so. It's pretty much just dealer training at the moment. (Although they are, of course, already fully trained and have done a fine job all week.)

6.20pm: Ming mucks
One of the more sizeable pots after a period of inactivity has just gone in the direction of Celina Lin. Ming Fan is developing a trademark "muck in the dark" in these stages.

Fan raised pre-flop and Lin called, taking them to a K♠6♥3♦ flop. Lin checked, Fan bet 70,000 and Lin called. The 8♠ turned, which they both checked, and then the A♥ rivered.

Lin checked and Fan bet 120,000. Lin called and Fan mucked again. Lin didn't need to show her cards once more, and may be getting tempted just to call these river bets with any old garbage. Fan has mucked plenty without needing to see his caller's cards.

6.05pm: Lin calls out Fan again
Celina Lin is still managing to put soul reads on her opponent and has just picked up another 200,000-odd with a good call on the river. Lin limped and then called Ming Fan's 50,000 raise pre-flop.

Then after the Q♦8♠2♠ appeared, Lin called Fan's 75,000 bet. They both checked the A♥ turn, but then Fan bet 100,000 after the 9♣ river.

Lin dwelled for a good while but then called. Fan snap-mucked, so we didn't see the hands again.

Two things are sure here: Ming Fan is clearly capable of making big moves (he's far from just a flat-track bully). But also Celina Lin is capable of making a big call when she needs to. This is an intriguing battle.

6pm: Back to small ball
After the chastening hand where Celina Lin flopped quads, Ming Fan is being slightly more circumspect now. The two of them have reverted back to the small ball poker they were playing before that typhoon of action. This could yet go on some time.

BLINDS UP. PLAYING 15,000-30,000-5,000 IN LEVEL 23

5.45pm: Lin flops quads, gets maximumThis is a monster pot, going in the direction of the Team PokerStars Pro Celina Lin, who has just doubled up to 2.2 million.

After Ming Fan opened, Lin made it 70,000 more to play. Fan called, which means they saw this flop: A♠7♥7♣.

Lin bet 80,000 and then Fan made it 220,000. Lin took a while, but called.

The 9♣ turned and Lin checked. Fan picked up a stack of orange chips, worth 25,000 each, but then just declared himself all in. Lin insta-called, and here's why. She turned over 7♦7♠ for the flopped quads!

Fan was forced to show his hand, even though he was always likely to be drawing dead. Yep, sure enough 4♠5♠ weren't going to cut it.


Celina Lin heads up

Fan has 3.8 million and still has the chip lead. But things are a degree more even now as we head into level 23.

5.40pm: Lin takes another
Celina Lin opened to 56,00 and Ming Fan called. The flop was 4♦[10c]9♥ and Fan check-called Lin's bet of 70,000. Call. The turn of A♠ and river of 7♣ were both checked and Lin's [10h]8♥ was good.

5.30pm: Lin will not be moved
Ming Fan just tried to bluff Celina Lin off a full house, which didn't work. It had been characteristically tetchy through a board of 3♦K♠Q♣Q♥3♠ but then Fan bet, Lin raised (60,000 more), Fan raised again (160,00 more) and Lin called.

"Board," Fan said, somewhat sheepishly and revealed 8♠[10s]. Lin showed 5♦3♣, which was good.

5.25pm: Lin nibbles back
Celina Lin just nibbled some more back from Ming Fan, turning a flush but then being forced to check the river. Fan had raised pre-flop, asking for 30,000 more. Lin called.

The flop was 2♦9♠9♦, which they both checked, and then Lin bet 50,000 on the 8♦ turn. Fan called.

The river was a fourth diamond. The 3♦. They both checked and Lin showed her [10d]5♦, which was still good as Fan passed.

5.20pm: Fan nibbling away
Ming Fan is gradually turning the screw, with all the small pots they are now playing appearing to go in his direction. He just made a call with bottom pair deuces, which was good, and then won another pot with a bet on the river. In the latter, Celina Lin had opened to 58,000 and Fan called.

They checked the flop of 9♠3♠J♠ and also checked the turn of 4♥. Fan, however, bet 75,000 at the K♣ river and won.

5.10pm: Lin pays off straight
Ming Fan is mixing his game up here and is almost impossible to read. Celina Lin just paid him off in what seemed to be a confusing hand - until you saw Fan's hand.

Lin limped from the small blind and Fan checked his option. They checked the 5♣9♥8♦ flop, and the 6♥ turn. Lin also checked the 2♦ river, but Fan put out a bet of 100,000, more than twice the pot.

Lin looked perplexed but called. Fan showed 7♦4♣ for the turned straight. Lin mucked.

5pm: Small ball
Despite playing some huge pots already today, both these players evidently know that that's not necessarily the only way to go. Things are kind of circumspect at the moment. After Ming Fan limped from the small blind, Celina Lim made it 70,000 more to go. Fan called.

The flop was 6♦2♦6♥ and Lin's bet of 100,000 took it.

4.50pm: Small pot to Fan
Ming fan opened with a fashionable min-raise, making it 48,000. Celina Lin called from the big blind. They both checked the flop of K♥Q♠A♣ and they also checked the 4♥ turn. But Fan bet 50,000 at the 5♥ river, and then tabled a winning K♦6♠ when Lin called. She mucked.

4.45pm: One hand heads up?
They returned to heads up play with the following stacks:

Celina Lin: 1,120,000
Ming Fan: 4,706,000

And on the very first hand, Lin opened to 48,000 and Fan announced all in! Were we heading for a one-hand heads up duel? No. Lin laughed and folded.

4.30pm: Chul Woo Park out in third, winning HK $351,200
Gotta say, with four letters in his surname, it was a bit tiring having to write Chul Woo Park's name over and again. So Ming Fan has just solved that problem for me by totally coolering Park and sending our final Korean to the rail in another extraordinary pot.

Fan limped from the button, a move we haven't seen much of in this tournament so far. Park raised to 103,000 from the small blind (we've seen a lot of that) and Celina Lin folded her big blind.

That put the action back on Fan, and he raised now to 303,000. Park wasn't going anywhere, and asked for the all in triangle, shipping for his 1.5 million stack.

Fan called!

As a delighted Lin looked on, those two went to war, and they both had big pairs. Park had J♦J♠ but Fan had him out-pipped with Q♦Q♠. This was enormous again.

The flop came 6♠4♥5♣ and then the turn of 8♦ brought possible chop outs. But the 5♥ river was not one of them and Park is sent spiralling out.

We are now heads up and have barely been playing two hours.

BLINDS UP. PLAYING 12,000-24,000-4,000 IN LEVEL 22

4.20pm: First break
At the start of play, no one could have predicted we would be down to three players by the first break of the day. However, it now feels kind of surprising that we have even made it this far. It looked for all the world as though we would be done by now after six players bust in less than a level and a half.

But here we are, three handed as they go for the first 10-minute pause. When they return, these players will have the following stacks:


Ming Fan: 3,050,000


Chul Woo Park: 1,577,000


Celina Lin: 1,180,000

4.14pm: Slowdown
Of course, anything except an all in every hand is a slowdown compared with the early action today. But this is actually now relatively slow by any standards. Players are exchanging blinds and antes as we approach the first break of the day.

4.05pm: Lin calls, Fan mucks
Celina Lin has got impeccable judgment and she has just made another terrific call to take a big pot from Ming Fan.

Lin opened to 52,000 from the button and Fan called from the small blind. Chul Woo Park also called, from the big blind, and that meant there were three of them to a flop of 6♣8♦4♥.

Fan bet 133,000, which got Park out the way. But Lin called for a 6♥ turn. Check, check.

The river was 3♠ and Fan led for 200,000. Lin went into the tank. She glanced up at the tournament board, checking out the payouts. Then she looked at her cards again. Then she looked at the tournament board again, and then reached for her chips.


Celina Lin, reading souls

She made the call and Fan mucked instantly. Lin was also able to slide her cards away and pick up a neat pot with who knows what.

4pm: One hundred bigs
Although the action so far would have you believe we're playing a made-for-television crapshoot, not only are there no television cameras, but the remaining three players have an average of 100 big blinds at this stage. It is far from a crapshoot.

3.51pm: Approximate counts
Approximate three handed chip counts:

Celina Lin: 980,000
Chul Woo Park: 1,584,000
Ming Fan: 3,250,000

3.50pm: Chang Rak Choi out in fourth, winning HK $278,300
Choi has now been chopped. He looked to be in awesome form until that last monster hand left him with the short stack and he open shoved the button with his last 320,000.

The decision came around to Celina Lin in the big blind and after she dazzled a smile at Choi - who predictably melted - Lin called.

Lin: A♠8♥
Choi: A♣3♦

Once again Lin's instincts were spot on and she would not lose her lead through the 5♣9♣K♦6♦[10d] board.


Chang Rak Choi eliminated

Choi departs. Lin is now one of three for the title.

3.45pm: Insanity!
This is enormous. Absolutely massive. The three biggest stacks - Park, Choi and Fan - got them all in the middle pre-flop in an almighty skirmish.

I think Ming Fan started it, opening to 54,000. Choi made it about 15,000 from the button and then Park shipped from the small blind. Fan called but then Choi announced that he was all in. And Fan called!

Fan: J♣J♠
Choi: A♥Q♥
Park: K♠Q♠

Choi had the most chips by a peep over Fan. Park was the shorty. But then this flop appeared:


That put Park in the lead and angling for a triple up. The [10c] turn changed nothing and neither did the 3♥ river.

That meant Park tripled up to 1.52 million; Fan won the side pot and moved up to 3.4 million and Choi, for whom it had been going so well lately, is down to 320,000.

Celina Lin, who sat out the hand, has 620,000.

3.30pm: New chip leader
Chang Rak Choi is really showing how to play this game in this past hour and he has assumed the chip lead, with non-stop aggression. In one recent hand, all four players saw a flop, unraised. It came 7♥8♥J♠. It was checked around.

The 4♣ turned and then it went nuts. Chul Woo Park bet 100,000. Celina Lin called, Ming Fan raised to 300,000 and Choi announced that he was all in. He covered both Park and Lin, who quickly folded, but then Choi thought about it for a long while. But he then folded. That gave Choi about 2.4m, which is the most.


Chang Rak Choi

3.26pm: Richard Hu out in fifth, winning HK $220,700
On the very next hand after the skirmish with Celina Lin left him crippled, Chul Woo Park open shoved from under the gun for 325,000. The three bigger stacks got out the way, but Richard Hu, in the big blind, called. It was actually for Hu's tournament life as he had marginally fewer chips that Park.

But Hu was looking good for a double up. He had A♠9♠ to Park's K♥Q♣.


Richard Hu

The flop was 4♣[10s]8♣, which didn't hurt Hu. And even the 6♦ was fine. But the Q♦ rivered and that killed Hu. Park all but doubles back up to about 600,000 as Hu goes looking for his $220,000 and change.

3.20pm: Celina Lin's double Park
Celina Lin remains on track for a unique Red Dragon double. Team PokerStars Pro Asia's most celebrated daughter just doubled up, three-betting all in from the small blind after Chul Woo Park opened from the button. Park called, and they were racing:

Park: 2♦2♠
Lin: A♦9♦

The crowd was rooting for Lin, and were jubilant on the [0c]3♥K♦ flop. The 7♣ turned and the 5♣ rivered, completing Lin's double up and putting her on about 820,000.


Celina Lin says a prayer before doubling

Park is down to 330,000.

BLINDS UP. PLAYING 10,000-20,000 (3,000) IN LEVEL 20

3.15pm: Showdown! (Fan wins, of course)
Ming Fan limped from the small blind - possibly the result of the hostile action he's been encountering from Chung Rak Choi to his left. Choi checked his option, and the two big stacks saw a flop of J♦8♣9♠. Check, check.

The turn was the J♠ and Fan bet 32,000. Choi called, taking them to a 9♥ river. Check, check.

Fan opened [10s]7♥ and Choi was about to flip his cards too when Richard Hu, with a good deal of incredulity, said: "He flopped a straight!"

Choi mucked instead.

3.10pm: Choi fights fire with fire
Ming Fan's opening raise it typically to 38,000 but he is now having some difficulty getting it through Chung Rak Choi, from one seat to his left. Choi has made back-to-back three bets in position to slow the Fan bulldozer slightly.

3pm: Lin fights back
Ming Fan had been running over this table, with most players wisely getting out the way - or busting. But after Fan opened from under the gun a moment ago, Celina Lin moved all in from the big blind and Fan didn't want to pay the 350,000-ish extra.

Here is that assassin, by the way. Can you possibly imagine that this man is such a terror?


Ming Fan: Silent but deadly

2.55pm: Approximate counts
Here are the chip counts at this stage:

Ming Fan - 2,800,000
Chang Rak Choi - 1,400,000
Chul Woo Park - 930,000
Celina Lin - 415,000
Richard Hu - 300,000

2.48pm: Dan Sing out in sixth, winning HK $180,400
This is ridiculous. Ming Fan has now knocked out his fourth player of this final table, flushing out Dan Sing.


Dan Sing at final table

Fan opened to 45,000 from the cut off and Sing moved all in from the big blind. Fan called. This time Fan was behind with J♦9♦ to Sing's A♦K♥. But that didn't matter one bit.

The flop came 4♦8♦5♦, giving Fan the flush. But Sing still had outs to the nut flush. However the 4♥A♣ on turn and river were no good for our Kiwi as Fan's one-man wrecking crew continues to bludgeon through the final.

2.40pm: Jordan Westmorland out in seventh, winning HK $140,100
Yu Liang out in eighth, winning HK $103,600

Ming Fan has just knocked out his second - sorry, third! - player of this final table, in consecutive hands.

First up, he ended Yu Liang's war of attrition with a short stack when Fan found K♣K♥ at the same time that Liang was shoving with J♥J♠. Liang was given some hope on the 6♠3♠8♠ flop, but the 7♦2♣ were blanks.


Liang Yu at final table

And then on the very next hand, it was folded to Jordan Westmorland in the small blind, who announced that he was all in. Fan snap-called and again was in great shape.

Westmorland: A♣4♥
Fan: A♥J♥

The board was dry again. It came 5♣Q♦8♠9♠6♦. I'm not sure we're through two orbits yet and three players are already out, all at the hands of Ming the Merciless.


Jordan Westmorland: put on a shirt, but couldn't make it pay

2.35pm: No Ni - Zhengwei Ni out in ninth, winning HK $84,400
Zhengwei Ni is our first faller, running head-long into the unstoppable force that is Ming Fan.

Ni opened to 80,000 from early position, but Fan bumped it to 300,000 from two seats to his left. That covered Ni, who now had a decision for his tournament life.


Zhengwei Ni during his brief final table appearance

He thought, then called, but was in big trouble. He had A♥6♥ to Fan's A♠K♣. It was dead by the turn as the dealer peeled 5♦Q♣8♦K♥. The [10d] river was irrelevant.

2.25pm: Muscle play
The second all in of the day, uncalled this time. Ming Fan applied maximum pressure on Chul Woo Park, announcing he was all in on a board of 3♦4♥9♥ after Park had called Fan's three bet pre-flop. Fan is still the massive chip leader and so had Park well covered.

Park let it go, losing about 200,000.

2.20pm: Double Yu
No surprise to see Yu Liang moving all in on the second hand of the day, but perhaps a mild surprise to see the second shortest stack, Dan Sing, making the call. Everyone else got out the way and so it was the two shorties at it.

Liang tabled Q♠Q♥, the second premium pair since he went to a micro-stack, and Sing could only muster 9♥9♦. The board only helped the queens - it ran 3♦6♥A♣7♠K♣ and so Liang got the crucial early double up.

Sing is now down to about 300,000.

2.15pm: Off we go
Yep. We're off. Ming Fan has been told to take off his headphones because play has started.

2pm: More pictures
"Smile or you lose chips," said Danny McDonagh. Suffice to say, not many of them are crazy about this photo process. But it's done now and play is imminent.


Final table players, clockwise from Celina Lin (under the "A"): Celina Lin, Zhengwei Ni, Jordan Westmorland, Qi Ming Fan, Chang Rak Choi, Richard Hu, Yu Liang, Daniel Sing, Chul Woo Park

1.45pm: Picture time
The players are unbagging chips, posing for photos, saying their last rites, that kind of thing. Whatever one does in this position. Play will almost certainly begin on time though. It hasn't failed to yet over here.

Here's a reminder of the stacks with which they start the final table:

Seat 1 - Celina Lin - 477,000
Seat 2 - Zhengwei Ni - 304,000
Seat 3 - Jordan Westmorland - 256,000
Seat 4 - Qi Ming Fan - 1,669,000
Seat 5 - Chang Rak Choi - 1,450,000
Seat 6 - Richard Hu - 305,000
Seat 7 - Yu Liang - 82,000
Seat 8 - Daniel Sing - 380,000
Seat 9 - Chul Woo Park - 902,000

Blinds have been wound back a little, to the 8,000-16,000 (2,000) level. That guarantees a 35 big blind starting stack at the final, which was advertised right from the start of the tournament.

Even the tournament short stack Yu Liang has five big blinds. We have seen bigger comebacks. (Ming Fan has 104 big blinds.)

1.30pm: Final!
It's final table time at the Macau Poker Cup: Red Dragon Series, and if ever a picture made words unnecessary, it's this one:


Red Dragon final table

Play is due to start at 2pm, or thereabouts, and then we'll be playing down to a winner.

Read all about a turbulent day two in yesterday's wrap. Take a look at the player profiles of the finalists. Then look at the chip count for the start of the day. Also why not remind yourself what they're playing for.

All photographs on PokerStars Blog from Macau are © Kenneth Lim Photography (//

Howard Swains
@howardswains in PokerStars Macau