The lure of Macau's Red Dragon
Gazing out the hotel window, the incredible flashing neon lights of the Grand Lisboa Hotel and Casino provides a stunning backdrop as we are excited to once again find ourselves in heart of gambling in Asia. Our passports might be starting to collect a few familiar stamps, but there's always something special about Macau, no matter how many times you visit. That's why it's no surprise to see the hugely successful Macau Poker Cup return for the 15th time, with record numbers expected during the week-long poker series.
The feature event of the schedule is the HK$11,000 Red Dragon Main Event which offers a HK$3,00,000 guarantee, but there's one thing we know about guarantees in Macau and that is that they are made to be broken!
The last MPC had a total of 1,652 players and awarded HK$9,553,323 (approx US$1,225,000) in prize money -- which are both records for the Macau Poker Cup.
"The Red Dragon event went from 300 players in 2010 to 478 players in 2011," said Fred Leung, PokerStars Country Manager for Macau. "February has traditionally been the largest MPC series each year and everything indicates that trend will continue."
Last August it was Singapore's Patrick Lee who captured the impressive Red Dragon trophy after defeating a field of 478 players. For his win, Lee pocketed HKD $1,039,700 (approx US$134,155) in prize money and it is expected that Lee will be returning to the PokerStars Macau Poker Room to defend his crown.
Joining him will be a throng of Asia's finest - local grinders, online qualifiers, overseas professionals and, of course, our team of PokerStars Pros including Raymond Wu, Celina Lin, Vivian Im and Bryan Huang.
"I'm quietly confident that we'll set a new mark in the Red Dragon," said Danny McDonagh, PokerStars Director of Live Operations for Asia-Pacific. "Our team is anxious to see the turnout for Day 1A after such a stellar start to the week."
The Macau Poker Cup: Red Dragon series also marks the first event of the prestigious Asia Player of the Year race for 2012. Last year Hung-sheng "Shaq" Lin steamrolled his way to the honour with an impressive year that was kick-started with a 3rd place finish in the MPC Red Dragon Main Event last February.
Will a new young gun emerge this year? Or will it be time for the old guard to shine?
It will all unfold before us over the next four days as the Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon Main Event kicks off on Thursday evening with Day 1a commencing at 8:10pm local time (GMT+8). Stay locked into the PokerStars Blog for all of your live updates.