Kuzmin Cruises to Lead on Day 1a of the MPC Red Dragon

At 5:00 a.m. most people in the world are just a short while away from waking up and starting their day. Not in Macau and certainly not poker players. It's a city that never sleeps, where the lights never go off and where finishing a poker tournament early in the morning is the norm. Beginning at 8.00 p.m. last night, Day 1a of the Macau Poker Cup: Red Dragon Main Event has finally entered the record books.

When the cards were first dealt many hours ago, there were only 150 players at the tables. However, it was always going to be a much larger field than that, courtesy of a long late registration line. Eventually all the players scrambled into their seats and the total number of entrants on Day 1a was revealed to be 253.


Dozens of players were late and eager to play the Red Dragon

Several notable names began the day in hopes of surviving the night but fell to the rail, including Craig Cockburn, Alvin Cheam, David Steicke and the reigning Asia Player of the Year Yosuke Sekiya. Steicke's story was a roller coaster of highs and lows, with his tournament eventually coming to an end when his Ace-Ten couldn't compete with the Ace-Queen of an opponent.

One player who fared much better than the above players was Team PokerStars Pro Raymond Wu. Having had much success within the walls of the Grand Waldo Entertainment Complex, Wu is looking hungry for more. Wu was of course the victor of a side event back at the Asia Championship of Poker in late October, where he won a big HK$419,800 first-place prize.


Raymond Wu will be looking to continue his PokerStars Macau success

A notable hand came late in the day for Wu when he managed to eliminate an opponent. The hand in question saw Wu holding J♠J♦ against the all-in player's 4♣4♠. A 9♠9♥6♠6♥3♦ board was of no damage to Wu and with that he had a very healthy stack of around 70,000 in chips.

Also no stranger to the PokerStars Macau poker room, Australia's Michael Marvanek was one to watch on Day 1a of the MPC: Red Dragon. Marvanek managed a huge hand early when he hit Broadway on the river of a A♣7♥K♦4♥J♠ board. Marvanek got full value out of that hand and was the first player to see his chips move over 100,000. From there it was smooth sailing for Marvanek who finished up the day as one of the chip leaders.
While Marvanek and Wu may have bagged up very respectable stacks, their chips paled in comparison to that of Vyacheslav Kuzmin's. Soaring to the chip lead during the dying moments of the night (read: morning), Kuzmin will carry 175,500 into Day 2 and lead the total of 70 players who survived Day 1a.

Vyacheslav Kuzmin_MPC_Long.jpg

Vyacheslav Kuzmin stood tall over all overs on Day 1a

Click here for official end-of-day 1a chip counts

The second and final Day 1 flight is set to begin once again at 8.00pm local time and so, it's off to bed we go as the PokerStarsBlog will continue to be nocturnal creatures bringing you all the action from the MPC: Red Dragon Main Event!

Joshua Bell
@PokerStars in PokerStars Macau