MPC Red Dragon Main Event Day 1a: Levels 4-6 (blinds 200-400, ante 50)
12:20am: Ten-minute break
12:10am: The Bobo
We just caught Daoxing "Bobo" Chen pull the classic Bobo overbet shove - an epic move that the poker fans in Macau just love to see.
With three limpers in front for 400 a pop, Chen moved all in from the small blind...for 11,500. Once player tanked but eventually his opponents folded to see Chen flash the J♦ and rake in the pot.
12:00am: Scott back in business
Andrew Scott was down to 4,500 just a few short minutes ago, but he now sits with 26,000 after the recent elimination of an opponent.
The chips were in preflop with Scott's 5♥5♠ holding against his opponent's A♥J♠ on the board of Q♥T♣8♠7♦5♦. A relieved Scott raked in the pot and seemed happy to see his opponent bust.
"Yeh he didn't like me," said Scott. "We had history!"
11:40pm: Level up, blinds 200-400, ante 50
11:25pm: Mariakis mistep
Action folded to Michael Mariakis on the button, but rather than raise to steal the blinds, he decided to mix things up with a limp. The small blind and big blind both came along to see a flop of 8♣A♠9♣.
Check. Check. Check. The turn brought the J♥ and again all three players tapped the table. The river landed the T♦ to put four to a straight on board and when action checked to Mariakis he decided it was time to take a shot with a bet of 850. The small blind folded but the big blind insta-called and tabled Q♠9♠ for the winning straight. Mariakis falls to 16,000.
11:10pm: Bullying the bully
Haifeng Xue was our early chip leader but his bullish style has just seen him come unstuck. With a raise and a call in front of him, Xue put in the squeeze from the big blind of an additional 4,000. The original raiser folded but the third player called again to take a flop of 8♦3♥J♥.
Xue powered on with a hefty bet of 8,000, but his opponent immediately announced himself all in. It was an additional 17,250 to Xue who pondered the decision for a moment before giving it up. He's still in good shape with a stack of 36,000.
11:05pm: A few eliminations
It appears that Daren Yoon and Seijiro Machi are amongst the recent eliminations from the MPC Red Dragon Main Event.
Yoon's series has been one to forget. After two pure bubbles in the MPC side events, his luck didn't get any better in the Main Event, as it was recalled to us that he lost twice with a set. Once against a flush before the final blow came when another flopped set was crushed by an opponent with pocket aces when a third ace spiked on the river.
11:00pm: Level up, blinds 150-300, ante 25
10:50pm: One hand too many
"I've played 55% of the hands on this table so far," chirped Andrew Scott as we wandered past his table. But it was one hand too many as we watched the World Gaming Magazine CEO lose a chunky pot in a strange hand.
It was limped six ways to a flop of 2♠9♠J♣ and nothing unusual went down as it was checked around to see the K♠ land on the turn. Again no one seemed interested as the action checked around to Scott in position. He bet out 800 and found resistance from one caller in middle position.
The river was the 9♥ and Scott's opponent decided his best play was to lead out for 4,000. Before the chips had barely kissed the felt, Scott verbalized a call. His opponent tabled a surprisingly strong 2♥2♣ for a full house to take it down and drop Scott back to 10,000.
10:40pm: Shaq times out
It hasn't been a great start for Hung-sheng "Shaq" Lin in the defence of his Asia Player of the Year crown. Of course, there's a loooong way to go in that race, but for now, Lin will need to turn things around if he is to grab POTY points in the Red Dragon Main Event.
Lin is down to around 10,000 after dropping some chips to Yvo Molin. We arrived on the flop of 3♣Q♠9♦, with a bet of 2,125 in front of Lin. In Macau, the dealers pull in the bet amounts, so we can't be sure if this was a bet or a raise, but it didn't matter as Molin responded with a raise of his own of an additional 3,375.
Lin went deep into the tank for several long minutes before the clock was called. Lin played with his chips and seemed to swing between calling and folding on several occasions before reluctantly tossing his cards into the muck.
10:30pm: Feldman seeking Macau cash
Another of the international stars in today's field is UK pro Andrew Feldman who took his seat towards the end of the last level. Known more as a high-stakes cash game player, one of the interesting things about Feldman's tournament record (which boats more than US$1 million in prize money) is that he has recorded cash results in ten different countries around the world including Australia, Europe and the US. He would obviously love to add a result in Macau to that resume.
We recently caught Feldman in a hand on a board of 5♥6♦3♦2♦ where he led out with a bet of 1,500 from early position. His opponent on the button made the call before the 6♠ paired the board on the river.
It didn't deter Feldman from tossing out 3,300 on the river but he wasn't thrilled when his opponent moved all in. It was another 6,325 to Feldman to call but he gave it up to slip to 13,000.
10:20pm: Play resumes
The players are back following the break with antes introduced for the first time. The total number of entries for Day 1a has been officially locked out at 283 players.