MPC Red Dragon Main Event Day 2: Levels 14-15 (blinds 2,000-4,000, ante 500)
6:40pm: Ten-minute break
6:40pm: Lind bubbles!
The clock was paused as hand-for-hand play extended beyond the end of the level, but it didn't take too long for the bubble to burst, and we couldn't have written the script to be more dramatic if we tried.
We passed by Joseph Lind in the lobby the other day and his buddy made a comment that Lind was going to win the tournament. Well, unfortunately the bubble is about as far from that bold statement as possible.
Lind was desperately unlucky, when he moved his last ten big blinds into the middle with T♥T♦ and got a surprisingly loose call from the small blind with 8♥7♥.
When the flop landed 9♦Q♣6♠ to give the big stack an open-ended straight draw, you could feel the pain coming. The 2♥ turn wasn't it, but the T♠ river was a devastating blow to Lin as he bubbles the MPC Red Dragon Main Event in 82nd place.
With that, the players have been sent on a ten-minute break.
6:25pm: Bubble time
We're now on the official money bubble. 81 players are about to be very happy. One player is not.
There is also a relatively new rule here in Macau, which we'd love to see implemented in other tournaments. Players must be seated when the first card is dealt, as opposed to when the last card is dealt. If they are not seated, then their hand is dead. This is a great way to ensure players stay in the seats and do not roam around the tournament floor.
6:20pm: Huntly out
Gordon Huntly was down to just 10,500 in chips when he moved all in with Q♣9♦. Andrew Feldman made the call in the big blind but tabled the same hand - Q♠9♥. There were no surprises on board and Huntly improved his stack slightly by chopping the antes.
Huntly's hopes to avoid the bubble were then riding on king-jack when he moved all in for around 12,000 moments later. However Norwegian Mikal Blomlie made the call with king-queen which held when the board bricked out.
Huntly is out as we are now at 83 players, and just two places from the money.
6:15pm: Hasse doubles
Julian Hasse's quest for a second major title here in Macau is back on track after finding a handy double up. Hasse's last chips were in preflop with A♣K♥ which held against an opponent's dominated A♥J♠ on a board of 7♥4♣8♣6♥Q♦.
Hasse is now comfortable on the bubble with a stack of 90,000.
6:10pm: Yabuuchi's bigger boat
PokerStars sponsored Nobuhiro Yabuuchi is now in good shape to make a deep run here for Japan after winning a three-way all-in pot. We're not sure when the chips went into the middle, but Yabuuchi's A♥A♠ raked in the chips against ace-queen and a short stack's five-deuce on a board of Q♥5♣A♣Q♠J♥.
Yabuuchi is now up to 210,000 but it's not quite with the chip leaders as the UK's Craig Eichmeier has moved up to 300,000.
6:00pm: Hirotoshi runs into rockets
Disaster for the effervescent Hirotoshi Nakabo as an ill-timed move approaching the money bubble has resulted in his elimination from the tournament.
Action folded to Nakabo in the small blind and he moved all in for around 60,000 chips, or around 15 big blinds. The big blind took a moment to peek at his cards and incredibly looked down at A♥A♣ to make the easy call. Nakabo was devastated as he opened his K♦8♦ and walked from the table.
The board ran out T♠9♦2♣8♣6♣ to leave the aces in front. The chips were cut down and Nakabo discovered that he was narrowly covered. Taking it well, he wished his table good luck and departed the poker room.
We now have 87 players remaining and just a handful of eliminations from bursting the bubble.
5:45pm: Ding for Ming
Ni Ming is now up towards 300,000 after his pocket kings got paid off in style. Ming had three-bet to 20,000 following a raise and call, but his opponent responded by moving all in. Ming called with his K♠K♣ to be in great shape against J♥T♥ which held on the board of 9♦2♣2♥8♠9♣. Ming is now a clear chip leader.
5:40pm: Level up, blinds 2,000-4,000, ante 500
5:35pm: Chop for Lee
Patrick Lee's recently found chips were put to the test on a board of 8♠9♦7♠6♥. Tan bet out 12,000 and his opponent raised to 26,000. Lee responded by moving all in but his opponent made the call.
Lee opened A♠T♦ and his opponent showed A♥T♠ for the same hand. Straights all around, chop it up!
5:30pm: Tan flush with chips
Malaysian Darian Tan is into the chip lead after eliminating a short-stacked opponent. The chips were in preflop with Tan's A♠K♠ in control against his opponent's king-queen.
When the board was spread there was a queen on the river, but it didn't matter as Tan had already flopped the nut flush to collect the pot and move up to 260,000 chips.
5:15pm: Ma sticks around
Marcus Ma was one of our chip leaders on day one, but it's been tougher times today. Maybe his luck has turned around after a much needed double up.
We arrived to see Ma raking in a pot of around 65,000. We're not sure what his opponent had, but Ma had caught the best pair with his K♣Q♣ on a board of 7♦2♥5♣K♥9♠.
5:00pm: Cavaliere crushed
Gustavo Cavaliere has been bundled out of the tournament in unfortunate fashion as Patrick Lee's quest to become a two-time MPC champion is on track.
The chips were in preflop with Cavaliere looking good with his A♥A♣ up against Lee's Q♦Q♠, however a roar went up in the room when Lee spiked a set on the 6♥8♥T♦Q♥3♠ board. After a countdown of chips, Lee just had Cavaliere covered to send him to the rail. Meanwhile Lee is all smiles as he moves up to 155,000.
4:40pm: Play resumes
The players are back with around 115 still in contention for the MPC Red Dragon title.
There is no runaway chip leader but Ni Ming would be close to the lead with around 200,000, while Nicky Tao Jin has also climbed up the leaderboard to now sit with around 160,000.