Ryan Hong on Song Heading into Day 3 of MPCC Main Event

MacauPokerCup_thn_promo.jpgAt the end of Day 1b, Kenny Wong held a top-five chip stack and told us he was grateful to not finish as the chip leader because "The Day 1 chip leader never wins." While the Day 1a chip leader Edmund Lee is still surviving, he is now one of the short stacks heading into Day 3 and needs to do plenty of work if he is going to prove Wong wrong. The Day 1b chip leader Yanqin Huang on the other hand will have no chance to make a liar of Wong as he was eliminated by none other than the man of the moment, Ryan Hong.

A huge day from Hong saw him accumulate a massive a stack of 430,300. That amount will see him enter Day 3 as the dominating chip leader, with the next closest player Rui Chen starting the day with 264,200 in chips. The hand in which Huang was eliminated was definitely the turning point of the night for Hong and it perhaps showcased how it was that Hong managed to accumulate such a mammoth stack. Hong three-bet Huang preflop holding ace-six and then managed to lure Huang into shoving his stack in with pocket fours on the river of a dangerous ace-high board. From there, Hong sailed into the chip lead and was on cruise control until hundreds of thousands in chips were sealed in a white bag and tucked away for the night.

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Ryan Hong will start Day 3 with a monster chip lead

While Hong was certainly the most prosperous player on Day 2, a couple of very familiar faces were not as fortunate. At the start of the day there were two Team PokerStars Pros aiming to solidify their names as some of the best in the land, but both failed and found themselves on the rail throughout the day. It was Bryan Huang who was eliminated first, with his pocket queens falling to the might of king-jack. The hand in question saw Huang three-bet Steve Yea preflop and then all the chips went in on a flop housing two jacks. No help came on the turn or river for Huang and it was home time for the Singaporean poker pro.

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Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang will not be returning on Day 3

With Huang watching on from the rail, it was Raymond Wu who would be left waving the PokerStars flag, but eventually that flag would find the rail, with Wu's tournament life coming to an end late into Day 2. Wu was seemingly doing fine for much of the late half of the night, but time took its toll and eventually he was sitting behind a short stack and had to shove on the button holding J♠2♦. Jessica Ngu made the call from the big blind holding K♠9♥ and by the time a 3♥2♣K♣7♣5♠ board had been spread along the felt, it was all over for Wu.

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Raymond Wu will have to be content with finishing as the last Team PokerStars Pro standing

Some of the other players who joined Wu and Huang on the rail throughout the day include Jay Tan, Kenny Wong Sebastian Benz, Kenny Shih, Michael Marvenek and Hirotoshi Nakabo. Speaking of Nakabo, he was very unlucky to see his tournament life come to an end. The genial Japanese player committed all his chips preflop holding A♠K♦ and had to come up against the 5♦4♦ of one opponent. A 5♠K♠3♥ flop was safe for Nakabo and the A♥ improved his hand even more. However, that card gave Nakabo a sweat and when the 2♥ was dealt on the river; a brutal runner-runner straight was sent to his opponent and sent Nakabo out the door.

With dozens of players being eliminated on Day 2, it will be 45 players who return on Day 3 with a chance of making a run at the HK$1,108,500 first-place prize. A few of the players in the best shape to do just that include Lei Zhang, Sparrow Cheung, Wenlong Jin and the reigning Asia player of the Year champion, Shaq Lin. First these players will have to make it to the 31 money-paying positions and a few of the players who are short stacked and might struggle to make the money include Rui Bao, Daren Yoon, Victor Chong, Jill Maley, Amit Jain and Brian Pearson. Be sure to click the links below for a full end-of-day chip count list, along with the Day 2 seating draw.

Click here to view the end-of-day 2 chip counts

Click here to view the Day 3 seating draw

The action on Day 3 is set to begin at 1.00pm on Saturday and the plan is to burst through the bubble and make our way to a final table of nine. Until then, goodnight from Macau!

Joshua Bell
@PokerStars in PokerStars Macau