Photo Finish for Yanqin Huang on Day 1b of the MPCC Main Event
The business end of the night can often be the easiest part of the day for the humble tournament reporter. The only thing left to report on is the chip leader and usually one player has managed to burst away from the crowd and sit behind a stack that towers above the rest of the field. Then there are those times when the chip leader could be anywhere in the room and we scramble around like a chicken who has lost their head, hoping we don't miss the bag that has the largest amount of chips in it. The latter was how it was tonight, with at least half a dozen players in the running to finish up as the official chip leader. Eventually we managed to gain our composure and find the fullest bag, with Yanqin Huang emerging as the Day 1b chip leader with his stack of 112,925.
Just a few hundred chips behind Huang was Germany's Sebastian Benz. A great night for Benz saw him finish the night with 112,625 in chips. Hot on the tail of both Benz and Huang were Zhu Lin with a stack of 110,775. Another couple of players who fell just short of finishing as the chip leader were Sunny Jung (107,850) and Kenny Wong (107,050). Readers may get a sense of déjà vu when they read Jung's name and that's because he finished up as the chip leader on Day 1 of this event last year. While he couldn't go on to claim the victory in the 2011 MPCC Main Event, he will be looking to have another crack over the coming days. According to Wong, he and Jung are better off not finishing as the chip leader anyway as he told us that, "The Day 1 chip leader never wins." We couldn't think of an example to rebut Wong's claim, but we are sure Huang will be looking to change Wong's opinion.
A couple of other players who will be joining the above monster stacks on Day 2 include Team PokerStars Pros Raymond Wu (72,300) and Bryan Huang (59,050). It was a solid day for Huang and Wu as they both have enough chips and enough talent to make a run at the 2012 MPCC Main Event title. Huang has unfinished business in this event after finishing in fifth-place back in the 2009 MPCC Main Event.
While Huang and Wu will be returning to wave the PokerStars flag on Day 2, fellow Team PokerStars Pros Celina Lin and Vivian Im will have to watch on from the sidelines. Im was unlucky to hit trip kings holding K♥J♦ and ran into Benz's A♠K♦, with the higher kicker being the end of Im's tournament life. Lin was sent to the rail much earlier than Im, with Lin's tournament life coming to an end when she ran her pocket jacks into the pocket queens of Victor Chong.
Some other players who joined Im and Lin on the rail throughout the night include all three previous MPCC Main Event champions. The inaugural champion Devan Tang was the first one sent home, followed by the reigning champ Raiden Kan and the 2010 victor Julian Hasse. With these three players gone, we can tell you that there will be a brand new MPCC champion in just a few days' time. What will they be playing for you ask? Well, with 181 players taking their seats on Day 1b, combined with the 89 players of Day 1a, a 260-player field has created a prize pool of HK$4,818,960. A total of HK$1,108,500 of that is reserved for the eventual winner and the full payout information can be found here
Some of the other players from Day 1b who are still surviving include Victor Chong (57,950), Hirotoshi Nakabo (48,425), Darren Judges (37,225) and Daren Yoon (32,375). Be sure to click the links below for all the end-of-day chip counts, including Day 1a. The Day 2 seating draw can also be found below.
With Day 1b now in the record books, it will be the Day 1a chip leader Edmund Lee who will start Day 2 as the overall chip leader. Exactly 123 players will join Lee at the tables from 3:10pm in the PokerStars Macau poker room in the Grand Waldo Entertainment Complex. Make sure to join us then as we expect to burst the bubble and start making our way towards a final table!