MPC Red Dragon Main Event Day 1b: Levels 7-9 (blinds 500-1,000, ante 100)

2:30am: Ten-minute break

2:25am: Players by country

With play slowing up a little, PokerStars Country Manager Fred Leung has helped us fill the void with some stats about the players in the Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon Main Event. China is the most represented with 114, while the Japanese once again have an impressive number with 93 entrants.

"The biggest mover was the United Arab Emirates," announced Danny McDonagh, "up 200% from one to three entrants!"

Top ten countries:
China - 114
Japan - 93
Hong Kong - 74
Chinese Taipei - 66
Singapore - 35
Russia - 32
Australia - 28
Korea - 22
UK - 19
Canada - 16

2:20pm: Hirotoshi wakes the neighbours

If anyone was nodding off then Hirotoshi Nakabo has just made sure that we are all wide awake with a screech of delight after spiking an ace on the river to win a huge pot.

It was Nakabo's A♥K♣ up against an opponent's Q♥Q♦ with all the chips in preflop. Nakabo stood and watched silently as the first four community cards rolled off T♦J♣8♣T♥. However the A♦ on the river was the trigger for celebration as Nakabo took it down. His opponent was eliminated as Nakabo moves up to 65,000.

2:10pm: It's that time of the evening

It must be that time of the evening. Everyone is getting a little tired and play has tightened up considerably. We did spot one player getting a little shut-eye at the table, and it appears that the 4am finish is a long way off for that gentleman.

However one man who is keeping everyone awake is Australian Matt Siegman. Clearly enjoying one too many bourbon and cokes (unusual for an Aussie right?), Siegman is talking up a storm and stirring the pot at his table in every way possible.

Siegman couldn't wait for the break to light up a cigarette but the eagle-eyed Danny McDonagh was on to him quick as a flash to slap Siegman with a one-hand penalty for the misdemeanour. We're sure exactly what happened next, but when we looked over McDonagh had allowed Siegman to "take" the microphone where he mumbled jibberish with the general gist being that smoking is bad.

1:50am: Level up, blinds 500-1,000, ante 100

1:40pm: Rossiter laying low

One player we haven't mentioned much about this evening is APPT Macau 3rd place finisher Jeff Rossiter. Every time we wander past his table we can't see to catch him in a hand so we asked him for an update on his day so far.

"It's been pretty boring, but I just doubled up!" said Rossiter. "Jack-ten all-in preflop for ten big blinds against queen-seven!" he added.

Rossiter has enjoyed some great success here in Macau, and has decided to base himself here for a period of time to grind the big cash games. In fact, earlier in the week he tweeted about hitting a one-outer on the river to win a HK$500,000 pot. Must be nice!

Rossiter is back up above starting stack, and if he can't find another double up or two, then he'll be eyeing off the cash games!

1:30am: Celina in charge

Our last remaining player representing Team PokerStars is Celina Lin and she continues to impress with some aggressive play and steely demeanour.

Following an open to 2,400, Lin deliberated before raising it up to 5,800. Her opponent splashed out a call and the flop landed 9♣7♠Q♦. Action checked to Lin in position and she again methodically cut down chips before tossing out 5,800. Her opponent gave it up and Lin flashed the table the 4♥ to remind everyone who was in charge! She's back to 52,000.

1:20am: Im out

Vivian Im was unable to recover from her earlier bad beat as she has been sent to the rail. Following a raise to 1,700, Im moved all in for her last 2,400 before a player in late position moved all in over the top to isolate and force a fold from the original raiser.

Im tabled 9♦7♦ and would need help against J♦J♠, but it didn't arrive on the 2♠3♠Q♠T♥5♣ board.

1:10am: Level up, blinds 400-800, ante 100

1:00am: Prizepool information

The number crunchers have done their thing and the official prizepool and payout information has been released. The field of 635 players have produced a prizepool of HK$6,297,676, shattering the guarantee.

The top 81 players will lock up a minimum HK$16,000 score while a final table is worth HK$93,676. However it's the top prize they are all chasing with the winner set to collect the Red Dragon trophy and HK$1,320,000 (approx US$170,323).

12:55am: Vivian takes it with a smile

Bad beats happen in poker tournaments, but a true test of a person's character is how well they deal with them. Some like to scream and bemoan their bad luck. Others take it on the chin with a smile.

Team PokerStars Pro Vivian Im is certainly the latter, as we just saw her cop a bad beat to leave her tournament hanging by a thread.

After an early position raise to 1,500, and an all-in bet from the small blind, Im followed by moving all of her chips in from the big blind. The original raiser folded as Im looked set to win a big pot when her A♣K♠ was up against a dominated A♥3♥. That is, until the board ran out 4♥4♠2♣4♦5♠ to give her opponent a running straight.

The chips were cut down and Im was left with just 3,300 in change. Meanwhile fellow Team PokerStars Pro Celina Lin is travelling a lot better and up to 60,000 at last count.

12:40am: My oh Ma!

We have a new chip leader in the room as Shang-te "Marcus" Ma has just cracked the pocket aces of Ooi Keong Yeo to bounce him to the rail.

The action went down on a T♠6♠9♥ and the chips flying as Yeo found his A♣A♦ were no good against Ma's 9♦9♣ for a flopped set. Yeo walked from the table in dismay as the 5♥ turn and 8♥ river completed the board. After a countdown of chips, Ma had him covered to move up to 72,000.


Marcus Ma cracks aces on his way to the chip lead

12:30am: Play resumes

The players are back in action with four and a half more levels to play today. We have around 250 players still alive today with Team PokerStars Pro Celina Lin amongst the leaders with a stack of 45,000. Vivian Im is also progressing well with around 20,000.

Sangeeth Mohan and Hirotoshi Nakabo are also well placed with stacks of around 35,000.