MPC Red Dragon Main Event Day 1a: Levels 10-11 (blinds 800-1,600, ante 100)
Bag and tag puts Dong Woo Kang in front
A late start was always going to mean a late finish, but the 8:10pm kick off certainly sat well with players, especially those travelling over from Hong Kong after a working day, as a massive field of 283 players voted emphatically with their feet. The record turnout confirmed the Macau Poker Cup as one of the premier poker tournament series in the region.
We were expecting some big names, but most of them decided to enjoy a rest day and take to the felt tomorrow, with today's field mostly full of local players and qualifiers. Andrew Feldman, David Steicke, Andrew Scott, Justin Chan, Roger Spets, Mark Benasa, Haifeng Xue, Jimmy Siu, Yvo Molin, Emanuel Seal, Daren Yoon, Julian Hasse, Seijiro Machi and Manami Hayamizu were just some of the notable players who forked over HK$11,000 for their shot at the coveted Red Dragon trophy.
At the end of ten and a half levels, the field was reduced to just 97 players with Dong Woo Kang from Korea topping the charts with 125,200. Lu Chen (121,100), Roman Paxyuth (114,800), Shao-hung Lee (109,700) and Ke Chen (104,200) round out the top five.
Other notables through to Day 2 action on Saturday include Gordon Huntly (97,400), Nicky Tao Jin (83,300), Andrew Feldman (53,800), Julian Hasse (38,200) and David Steicke (32,200).
A new batch of hopefuls will enter the PokerStars Macau Poker Room at 8:10pm tomorrow evening as the Macau Poker Cup: Red Dragon Main Event looks set to reach heights greater than ever before. We'll be here once again tomorrow and we hope you'll join us. Until then, good night/morning from Macau!
3:40am: That's it!
The last twenty minutes went by mostly uneventfully, with the exception of Lu Chen catching a handy two-outer river with pocket jacks to crack the pocket aces of Billy Ngo to jump up towards the chip leaders.
There was an interesting moment when the decision was made for how many more hands to play in the final minutes. Five more hands were randomly drawn, but Danny McDonagh wisely overruled that to make it just two.
"Two more hands only! These dealers have got to go home!" voiced McDonagh.
We'll have complete counts for the field for you shortly but it appears that Shao-Hung Lee will be close to the chip lead with over 100,000 with Lolo Chen, Zhu Hong and Gordon Huntly not too far behind.
3:20am: Level up, blinds 800-1,600, ante 200
We'll be playing twenty minutes of this level before calling it a day.
3:05am: Huntly becomes the hunter
Gordon Huntly has taken down a very nice pot in rather strange circumstances to make a charge towards the chip lead as the day draws towards a close.
With the flop reading K♠8♣Q♥, Huntly faced a bet of 9,000 but announced a raise to make it 23,000 to go. Huntly was on the button and probably slightly worried when the player in the small blind smooth-called the raise. The original aggressor pained over his decision before reluctantly folding as the 9♠ landed on the turn.
The small blind checked and Huntly took the opportunity to check behind as the T♣ arrived on the river. The small blind again quickly checked as Huntly moved all in for his last 18,800. The small blind took another peak at his cards but the scary board forced a fold as Huntly raked in the pot to move up to around 85,000 chips.
2:50am: Scott out
Andrew Scott's war with Roman Paxyuth has ended with the Aussie's elimination from the tournament. As he recalled to us on his way to the exit, Scott squeezes all in from the big blind for his last 14,000 over a raise and call. Paxyuth made the call with ace-ten to have Scott's king-ten dominated.
The board bricked out to leave Scott on the rail.
2:40am: Play resumes
The players are back with one more hour of play (one and a half levels) before we wrap up play just a little before 4am local time.
The big screen shows 130 players remaining with the big stacks including Li Po Lee, Roman Paxyuth, David Steicke and Andrew Feldman.