MPC Red Dragon Main Event Day 2: Levels 11-13 (blinds 1,200-2,400, ante 400)
4:30pm: Ten-minute break
4:15pm: Cheam gets frisky
We rushed to the table of Kazakhstan's Roman Paxyutkin after he let off a loud scream after copping a brutal beat against Australian Alvin Cheam.
Paxyutkin had opened with an early-position raise and action folded around to Cheam in the small blind who decided to move all in for close to 60,000. Paxyutkin made the call with A♠K♦ as Cheam had been caught making a move with his Q♠2♠.
The flop was a safe 8♣4♣J♥ but Paxyutkin let out a shriek of dismay when the Q♦ appeared on the turn. The 2♥ river was salt into the wound to see Cheam double up to 120,000 with Paxyutkin slipping to 98,000.
"I misread my hand, I thought I had ace-queen," commented Cheam with a wry smile.
4:00pm: That's not a good sign...
"If you suspect collusion players, call me over," Danny McDonagh just announced to the room. We haven't ever noticed any problems with collusion in tournaments in Macau but there must've been something that McDonagh spotted to warrant the announcement.
As we start to get close to the money, soft play is certainly something to be aware of in any poker tournament. There are now 120 players remaining, with the top 81 to finish in the money.
3:45pm: Chong swims on the river
We were attracted to the table in the far corner of the room following an almighty roar from Victor Chong.
The October MPC runner up was in his feet and celebrating as we rushed over to see what had gone down. It was a perfect river card for Chong to keep him alive in the tournament as his K♦Q♣ found a pair on the 6♦4♠8♠2♥Q♦ board to better his opponent's ace-nine.
Chong is up to 60,000.
3:30pm: Level up, blinds 1,200-2,400, ante 400
3:20pm: Charles sets up
Candian Brent Charles is now in good shape after flopping a set in a multi-way pot. We arrived on the turn with one short-stacked player already all in, and a second player considering the all-in bet of an additional 27,200 from Charles.
The board read J♥9♠K♥3♣ and eventually the player folded as Charles' 9♥9♣ was too good for the short stack's K♠6♠ as the 5♠ completed the board. Charles is up to 60,000.
3:15pm: Crucial win for Chen
Victor Chen has just collected a vital pot after a preflop clash fell his way. Chen was deep in thought when we arrived at the table and facing an all-in bet of an additional 19,700. It looked like Chen was going to fold but out of nowhere he splashed the pot with calling chips and anxiously opened K♦Q♠. He found himself with live cards against A♦9♦.
"King queen!" prayed Chen, knowing that he only had about ten big blinds left if he lost the hand, and his prayers were answered when the board ran out Q♣6♦6♣5♥2♠.
Chen sends one to the rail to move up to a stack of 74,000.
3:05pm: Bardah busto
Ronnie Bardah's good fortune didn't last long. After eliminating a short stack just moments ago, Bardah four-bet shoved preflop with A♠K♣ but his opponent, Antonio Domingues, made the call with K♥K♦.
The board ran out K♠A♦5♥6♥J♠ to see Domingues' stack of 69,900 doubled. Bardah was left with under 2,000 in change which disappeared shortly after.
2:55pm: Roman calls clock on himself
On Day 1a we wrote a hand about Roman Paxyutkin and him calling the clock on Andrew Scott. Well today, he's done it again, but this time the person he called the clock on was himself!
We arrived on the turn on the board of A♠6♠7♥3♥ with Seng Ngai Lam all in for his tournament life. It was 69,200 to Paxyutkin who was in the tank pondering the decision.
"Why you limp preflop," Paxyutkin said.
"I tell you once you fold," replied Lam.
The two continued to exchange from friendly banter in broken English before Paxyutkin called the clock on himself to force a decision. After it ticked down, he eventually folded as Lam showed A♣9♠.
2:40pm: Ronnie rules
The chips are starting to move around, with the short stacks forced to make desperate attempts to double up or die trying.
American Ronnie Bardah has just taken advantage of that, taking down a nice pot to eliminate the short-stacked Norman Fung.
Following an open to 4,800 from Sailesh Verma in early position, Fung moved all in for his last 7,900 from the small blind before Bardah isolated from the big blind by declaring himself all in for 53,200. Verma thought for a few moments before folding as Bardah found his T♦T♣ in good shape against Fung's A♦T♠.
The board was spread 7♣2♠5♦Q♥8♦ to leave Bardah to take it down and move up to around 70,000.
2:30pm: Level up, blinds 1,000-2,000, ante 300
2:30pm: ID check
One player who is here is German Bjoern Wiesler. However he has not been allowed to take his seat as he has been unable to show any ID and there is no one here who can verify his identity.
After a heated argument with TD Danny McDonagh, the decision was firm. Show some ID or you can't take your seat.
We're not sure why Wiesler has no ID or why he can't go and get it, but McDonagh is currently on the phone trying to help find someone who can verify his identity.
It's a good lesson for all players in Macau - remember to bring your ID!
2:25pm: Sleep in?
The earlier start time seems to have thrown a few people out of whack, with several bags still sitting on their tables unopened. One of them belongs to UK pro Andrew Feldman who is yet to make an appearance today.
2:20pm: Well that didn't last long
We've had our first casualty of the day and unfortunately it was our last hope for Team PokerStars in Celina Lin.
On her way to the exit, Lin was kind enough to recall the details to us. Facing a raise to 3,600, Lin moved all in for around 28,000 with pocket jacks but her opponent made the call with pocket queens. Lin couldn't find a third jack to stay alive and was sent to the rail.
"Oh well, back to bed!" sighed Lin.
2:15pm: Format change
After 40 minute levels on the opening day, players will now enjoy one hour levels on Day 2 which should give them a little more breathing room.
We'll be commencing play with 20 minutes left in Level 11, with the blinds at 800-1,600 with a 200 ante.
2:10pm: It's go time for Day 2
Welcome back to the Grand Lisboa Hotel and Casino in Macau for our continued coverage of the Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon Main Event. Our field of 635 players has been whittled down to just 212 who have returned to the PokerStars Macau Poker Room to battle it out.
It could be another lengthy day today as we probably need to get down towards 30 or so players by the end of the day. No doubt that will take a while.
Day 1B chip leader Hoi Ian Mak from Macau will enter Saturday's Day 2 with 123,500 chips which puts him in a virtual four-way tie with Korea's Dong Woo Kang (125,200) and Chinese players Ning Qin (122,100) and Lu Chen (121,100) for the overall lead.
Team PokerStars is represented by the queen of Asian poker in Celina Lin who had a strong day yesterday before stumbling towards the end of the day. She'll start today with 28,700 and will be keen to rebuild to make a run at the money for the top 81 players.
The players have found their way to their seats and Fred Leung has given instructions to shuffle up and deal as Day 2 is underway!