Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon: Day 2 Updates
10:50pm: 21 survive to reach Day 3
Eight levels have come to an end with our field now down to just 21 players. As we mentioned, it was a dominant display today by Brian Yip who led pretty much from the first level of play, and never relented until one of the final hands of the day added the exclamation point.
Others in strong shape include LK Chan, Thomas Ward and Tom Alner. We'll have a full wrap of today's action, and the official counts for you shortly.
10:50pm: Yip goes bang to end the evening
Just when we thought it was time to call it a day, Brian Yip capped off a remarkable day with yet another elimination to catapult him even further ahead at the top of the counts.
Yip and Yingui Li had been exchanging a few raises in recent times, and it all came to a head in a three-bet pot on a flop of J♣2♥K♠.
Yip checked, Li bet, Yip check-raised another 75,000, but Li clicked it back another 75,000 on top. Yip made the call and the 5♠ fell on the turn. Yip checked and Li bet 101,000. Yip again check-raised, this time all in as Li was committed for his last 100,000 or so more.
Li showed K♣Q♥ for top pair, but was just outkicked by Yip's A♦K♥. The massive pot was pushed to the chip leader when the 3♣ completed the board. Li was out in 22nd as Yip will bag up somewhere in the vicinity of 1.6 million chips in a dominant display on Day 2.
10:45pm: Three more hands
We'll be dealing three more hands on each table before we pack up for the evening.
10:40pm: Paulsen perishes
Kai Paulsen was down to his last 118,000 which he moved all in from the button. He found resistance from Akira Ohyama in the small blind who re-raised all in to isolate. It worked, as the big blind folded and we had a showdown with Paulsen's A♦5♠ holding the edge against Ohyama's K♣Q♥.
However the dealer fanned out a board of 9♠4♣Q♠3♦K♥ to see Ohyama made two pair to eliminate Paulsen in 23rd place.
10:30pm: Playing for stumps
It appears our players are now content to shut up shop and live to fight another day. There's been very little action to report, with most players just looking to maintain their position and return to fight it out tomorrow.
10:20pm: Recent eliminations
28 Wai Kin Wong (Hong Kong) - HK$28,500
29 Alan Wun Cheung Wong (Hong Kong) - HK$28,500
30 Yao Wang (China) - HK$28,500
31 Fan Fang (China) - HK$28,500
32 Neo Li Han Chen (Chinese Taipei) - HK$28,500
33 Daoxing "Bobo" Chen (China) - HK$28,500
34 Edin Heco (Bosnia And Herzegovina) - HK$28,500
35 Fu Man Tin (Hong Kong) - HK$28,500
36 Per Kok Hong (Malaysia) - HK$28,500
10:10pm: Lin cut down by Yip
An Lin was next to go after getting down to around 170,000 and open-shoving from the button with J♦8♦. He couldn't get past chip leader Brian Yip in the big blind who made the call with A♠Q♥.
The board blanked out 9♦K♣5♥6♣4♥ to send Lin to the cashier as Yip now has a tonne of chips on the table. His stack is now three levels high, with a protective wall around it that no army could penetrate. Best estimate is around 1.3 million in chips.
10:00pm: Tran gutted
Linh Tran has been eliminated in rather unfortunate fashion. We're sure exactly how the chips got into the middle but the flop read T♦2♣6♥ with Tran's A♦3♦ ahead of his opponent's 3♠5♠ until the 4♦ spiked the gutshot straight on the turn.
Tran had a flush draw but the river landed the 2♥ to send Tran to the rail.
9:50pm: Level 19, blinds 6,000-12,000, ante 2,000
This will be the last level of the day, regardless of the number of players left.
9:30pm: Oh yeah for Ohyama
Akira Ohyama is another to have a big rail of support including the likes of Bryan Huang and Nicky Jin, and they just enjoyed a recent double up.
It was Ohyama's pocket kings up against king-queen, with the kings holding true. Ohyama is now up to 300,000 as another table is broken and we are down to our final 27 players.
9:15pm: Chip count update
The rich are getting richer here as the big stacks continue to bully the little guys.
Brian Yip - 1,100,000
Thomas Ward - 800,000
LK Chan - 720,000
Tom Alner - 700,000
Franky Cao - 500,000
9:05pm: Bye bye Bobo
Bobo Chen's run in the Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon has been brought to an end. He opened with a raise to 25,000 before Fanny Li moved all in from the big blind. Chen thought for a few minutes before committing his stack of 90,000 with A♦J♦ but he'd need help against Li's Q♥Q♠.
The help didn't arrive on the board of 6♠9♥3♣5♠T♣ as Chen was sent to the rail. Meanwhile Li, who final tabled this event back in April, is now up to a healthy 300,000.
8:55pm: Quite frankly
In a battle of the "Franks", Frank Maley raised the button and Franky Cao made the call to see a flop of T♣J♦K♣. Cao check-called for 10,000 and the 7♠ hit the turn. Cao checked again and Maley bet another 20,000. Cao thought briefly and made the call to see a repeat K♠ on the river.
Cao checked and Maley quickly checked behind, opening A♣T♠ for the best hand. Maley is climbing and now finds himself with 300,000 as Cao drops to the same amount.
8:50pm: Play resumes: Level 18, blinds 5,000-10,000, ante 1,000
8:40pm: Ten-minute break
The 37 remaining players are now taking their final ten-minute break of the day. When they return, we'll be playing another two levels before we call it a night.
8:40pm: Recent eliminations
37 Gary Guan Yu Chen (Chinese Taipei) - HK$25,300
38 Chang Rak Choi (Korea) - HK$25,300
39 Mengqiu Zhang (Hong Kong) - HK$25,300
40 Kenneth Yuen Kiong Leong (Hong Kong) - HK$25,300
41 Qi Peng (China) - HK$25,300
42 Yanqin Huang (China) - HK$25,300
43 Xixiang Luo (China) - HK$25,300
44 Hoi Ian Mak (Macau) - HK$25,300
45 Sailesh Verma (Hong Kong) - HK$25,300
8:35pm: Mei survives
An Lin raised to 16,000 before Mei Ngok moved all in for an additional 59,000. Lin made the call with 5♦5♣ but Ngok had that crushed with T♣T♠.
The board fell J♣6♥3♠2♥2♦ to see Ngok double up to around 170,000, with Lin still in good shape with just under 500,000.
8:30pm: The big stacks
Thankfully, the tournament staff have started to colour up some of the purple 500-denomination chips around the tables, which makes our life a little easier when trying to count these big stacks. The big stacks in the room are:
Brian Yip - 890,000
Thomas Ward - 780,000
LK Chan - 620,000
An Lin - 500,000
8:20pm: Ward claims another
Thomas Ward is now making a surge towards the chip leaders after eliminating another opponent. Ward held A♥3♠ against the short stack's K♣K♦ and spiked an ace on the board of A♠Q♠4♣Q♥8♣.
Ward is now up to 780,000.
8:15pm: Recent eliminations
46 Yu Hao Lung (Chinese Taipei) - HK$22,200
47 Jaimie Eng Hock Tee (Malaysia) - HK$22,200
48 Immanuel Siebert (Germany) - HK$22,200
49 Jing Gao (China) - HK$22,200
50 Brett Stephen King (Australia) - HK$22,200
51 Daniel Laidlaw (Australia) - HK$22,200
52 Ajay Abrol (Singapore) - HK$22,200
53 Raiden Kan (Hong Kong) - HK$22,200
54 Matthew Weng Chih Chan (Singapore) - HK$22,200
8:10pm: Double for Maley
Frank Maley is back in business thanks to a recent double up, much to the delight of his support on the rail near Table 1. Maley was all in with pocket queens against Fang Fan's ace-king but the queens held true.
Maley is up to 240,000 which is right on average chips as Fan slips to 310,000.
8:00pm: LK threatening
Another big stack has emerged with Lap Kay Chan now sitting with one of the biggest stacks in the room. I've been reliably informed that the man they call "LK" is usually only seen on the high stakes cash game tables, so it's a rare treat to see him on the tournament floor. He's certainly making the most of his time here at the MPC Red Dragon, with almost thirty stacks of chips in front of him, totalling 700,000.
7:40pm: Level 17, blinds 4,000-8,000, ante 1,000
7:30pm: Laidlaw out!
Well, I guess Daniel Laidlaw is officially downswinging. After finishing 2nd and 1st in his last two major tournaments, Laidlaw will have to be content with 51st here in Macau after his recent elimination from the MPC Red Dragon.
Laidlaw moved all in from late position for 53,000 with Q♦J♥ but ran into someone running even hotter as the giant-killing Brian Yip made the call with A♦9♠.
The board ran out 8♥5♥T♦3♠3♣ to leave Laidlaw to head to the cashier, before jumping straight into the HK$20,000 side event. Meanwhile Yip now has a three-tier structure of chips in front of him, estimated to be worth around 850,000.
7:20pm: Recent eliminations
55 Shintaro Miyake (Japan) - HK$19,000
56 Bryan Huang (Singapore) - HK$19,000
57 Yuichiro Sodeyama (Japan) - HK$19,000
58 John Michael Conkright (Macau) - HK$19,000
59 Hung Sheng "Shaq" Lin (Chinese Taipei) - HK$19,000
60 Shouhan Wei (China) - HK$19,000
61 Yuichi Sumida (Japan) - HK$19,000
62 Henrik Tollefsen (Norway) - HK$19,000
63 Andrew Uy Gaw (Philippines) - HK$19,000
7:10pm: Bryan burnt
After losing a massive pot with pocket kings a short time ago, Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang was left to fight with a short stack of a little over ten big blinds. He was able to steal on a couple of occasions, but then two back-to-back blows led to his elimination from the tournament.
First Huang moved all in with king-jack but doubled up a short stack who held a dominant ace-jack. That left Huang with around 35,000 which he moved all in preflop from under the gun with Q-7 but he found a call from an opponent with pocket jacks. The board bricked out to send Huang to the rail.
7:00pm: Recent eliminations
64 Tao Li (China) - HK$15,800
65 Farhad Mohajerani (Iran) - HK$15,800
66 Christine Lee Ann Hia (Malaysia) - HK$15,800
67 Chang Zhou (China) - HK$15,800
68 Xinchen He (China) - HK$15,800
69 Daron Wencao Ang (Singapore) - HK$15,800
70 Kang Man Wong (Hong Kong) - HK$15,800
71 Vrugvad Karkhanis (Uk) - HK$15,800
72 Shih Jung Liu (Chinese Taipei) - HK$15,800
73 George Kato (Japan) - HK$15,800
74 Rajesh Goyal (India) - HK$15,800
75 Takuya Kato (Japan) - HK$15,800
76 Glenn Pauling (Australia) - HK$15,800
77 Christopher Clark (Canada) - HK$15,800
6:50pm: Down they fall
They've been busy at the cashier with the players falling away in rapid succession since the bubble burst. We'll have an update shortly of those who have cashed already as 58 players remain in contention.
Meanwhile Brian Yip has gone from strength to strength during the bubble period. Yip collected a big pot with a rivered straight against Qi Peng just before the bubble, and may have done some more damage recently. Yip is up to 720,000 for a clear lead over the field as Peng is now back down to 100,000.
Other big stacks include Franky Cao (420,000), Fang Fan (400,000), Kai Paulsen (380,000) and Tom Alner (370,000).
6:40pm: Play resumes: Level 16, blinds 3,000-6,000, ante 500
6:30pm: Ten-minute break
With the bubble bursting, the short stacks have gone frantic looking to try to double up or die trying. Some have succeeded, some have failed as the remaining 70 players take a break.
6:20pm: Ugly ace for Huang
Our lone Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang has made the money, but that joy was quickly soured after doubling up Hung-sheng "Shaq" Lin shortly after the bubble burst.
It was Huang's pocket kings up against Lin's ace-king but an ace on the turn gave Lin a pot worth around 140,000 to leave Huang back on 70,000.
6:10pm: Finally the bubble pops!
After Danny McDonagh added an extra fifteen minutes to the clock to allow for the slow play on the bubble, we finally saw the luck go against the short stack of Malaysia's Adam Kondrollochis to burst the money bubble.
With a couple of short stacks down to as low as just 4,000 in chips, Kondrollochis got his last 17,500 in preflop with K♠K♦ and was in good shape against K♣Q♣.
However the board was cruelly spread 7♣Q♥T♦4♥Q♠ to give his opponent trip queens for the devastating bubble blow. The remaining 77 players were thrilled to be in the money as Kondrollochis headed home empty-handed.
5:45pm: Short-stacked survival
The big stacks are enjoying this prolonged bubble as the short stacks hang on for dear life. There are a few players blinding themselves away, and they've had multiple chances to survive the bubble with all-in clashes on other tables, but every time the short stack has survived.
Gary Chen had a chance to pop the bubble with Q♥Q♠ but a short stack hit a king with A♦K♥ to stay alive. We've also seen pocket aces hang on against pocket queens, K♦J♦ was good against 8♠6♥, and a player with pocket jacks made a nice river call on a queen-high board to catch his opponent's bluff.
We're approaching the one-hour mark for the bubble and it doesn't look like popping anytime soon.
5:20pm: Leong not going anywhere
We almost had another incredible bubble story as Kenny Leong was all in and at risk of bubbling the MPC Red Dragon Main Event. Leong was the inaugural MPC champion but he didn't have to worry about bubbling as his A♣A♠ survived against Mei Ngok's A♥K♣ on a board of 6♣4♠5♦2♠4♥.
The bubble continues!
5:10pm: Level 15, blinds 2,000-4,000, 500 ante
5:05pm: Fan shows his fangs
Fang Fan is now with the chip leaders after taking down a nice pot against Thomas Ward. Fan opened with a raise from the hijack position to 7,500 before Ward three-bet to 17,000 on the button. Fan made the call and the flop was spread J♦6♥6♣.
Fan checked to Ward who bet 12,500. Fan responded with a check-raise to 28,000 with Ward making the call. The turn brought the 5♦ and Fan led out with a bet of 23,000 which was enough to take it down.
Fan is now up to a commanding 370,000 chips.
5:00pm: Laidlaw survives bubble scare
With hand-for-hand play underway, we just had our first all-in and call on the money bubble. The player at risk was the red-hot Daniel Laidlaw, so it was no surprise to see him turn up with A♦A♠. His all-in was called by Brian Yip who held A♣7♣.
There were a few scares on the K♥Q♣6♣ flop as Yip found a flush draw, but the 2♦ turn and 2♠ river bricked the board to see Laidlaw double to 80,000.
4:50pm: Bubble looms
With that elimination we're just three places from the money now with 80 players remaining. There are a few shorties stalling for time, but Danny McDonagh is right on top of it, giving players a warning to make sure they don't deliberately waste time.
At the other end of the scale, a new chip leader has emerged with Qi Peng now sitting behind a stack of 340,000 over on Table 3. Interestingly Peng is sitting to the direct right of the other biggest stack in the room in Brian Yip who has about 330,000. These two are well ahead of anyone else, so they'll be weary of getting too involved against each other.
4:40pm: Huang in the action
"I'm getting crushed!" exclaimed Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang as we walked by his table. "I opened seven times and got shipped on every time!" he added.
We caught one of those hands, but it was a good fold by Huang as he let ace-queen go preflop and his opponent showed pocket kings.
However Huang was able to recover some chips moments later when the short-stacked Rucha Karkhanis moved all in from under the gun for her last 17,000 with A♥7♦. Huang made the call on the button with K♣Q♣ and connected on the 6♦K♦6♠7♣2♠ board. Karkhanis misses the money as Huang chips back up to 125,000.
4:30pm: Zilch for Zalac
Ivan Zalac is on the rail just ten places short of the min-cash. Zalac recalled to us that he ran ace-king into pocket kings, and unlike on Day 1, his opponent wasn't laying down kings preflop this time around.
With no ace from space on board, Zalac is out, but he's going to head over and jump straight into the HK$20,000 event which has started across the other side of the room and looks to be attracting a pretty healthy field.
4:25pm: Chip Count Update
Brian Yip - 330,000
Gary Chen - 290,000
Mei Ngok - 160,000
Thomas Ward - 145,000
Bobo Chen - 135,000
Bryan Huang - 130,000
Tom Alner - 125,000
John Conkright - 125,000
Raiden Kan - 110,000
Kenny Leong - 105,000
Frank Maley - 105,000
Kai Paulsen - 100,000
Daniel Laidlaw - 70,000
Shaq Lin - 50,000
Manami Hayamizu - 45,000
Ivan Zalac - 40,000
4:10pm: Play resumes: Level 14, blinds 1,500-3,000, ante 500
The players are back with the big screen showing 94 players remaining alive in the MPC Red Dragon. With the top 77 to be paid, expect the action to slow over the next couple of levels as we inch toward the bubble bursting!
4:00pm: Ten-minute break
Asia Championship of Poker returns to Macau this October
The next major championship here in Macau is the Asia Championship of Poker (ACOP) which will be held here at the PokerStars LIVE at the City of Dreams poker room from October 18th to November 3rd.
There are 12 ACOP Title Events, highlighted by the HK$25,000 Warm-up, the HK$100,000 Main Event and the HK$250,000 High Rollers Event. This year, the Main Event will boast a whopping HK$20,000,000 (US$2.6m) prize pool with the best players in the world expected to be in attendance.
The full schedule of events has now been made official and you can view the complete schedule, including satellite information, on the PokerStars Macau website.
3:45pm: Big overbet from Conkright
Mei Ngok opened with a raise to 5,000 from late position and John Conkright made the in big blind to see a flop of 8♣5♠T♣. Conkright checked and Ngok flicked out 5,000.
All seemed normal so far, but then Conkright then declared himself all in for a massive overbet! Ngok asked for a count and it was a total of 89,000. It seemed like some of the craziness from last night was returning but, after some thought, Ngok tossed her cards back to the dealer in frustration.
Ngok is at 165,000 with Conkright now up over 100,000.
3:30pm: Go tournaments!
James Bills is the latest to join the rail. We didn't catch his elimination but the young Aussie took to Facebook to vent his frustrations...
"So just lost KK to A10 and the very next hand KK to AQ all in pre. Go tournaments!"
3:20pm: Maley making waves
Frank Maley, along with his wife Jill, are regulars in Macau. They run the Western Australian Poker League and always bring a group of WAPL members over to events in Macau to combine some poker with a fun trip away. This time around Maley, looks set to make a deep run after continuing his good form here into Day 2.
We recently caught Maley adding some more chips to his stack with a check-raise on a flop of 9♣5♥3♦. His opponent bet 6,200 but Maley check-raised to 14,000 to take it down. He's now up to 120,000 and going well.
3:10pm: Paging Mr Liao Dong
Most players are usually excited to get back into the swing of things on Day 2. They've worked hard to build a stack on Day 1, and now it's time to cash in. However no one told Liao Dong.
Currently his chip bag is doing a pretty poor job of defending his blinds after Dong has failed to show up today. He started with 31,600 and a short time ago was down to just 9,000. Those chips aren't likely to last much longer.
Perhaps he's trying the Vinny Vinh trick of not showing up and blinding off to reach into the money. Unfortunately that's not going to happen today. We hope he doesn't rock up at 7:00pm thinking it's a late start, because by that stage his last chips will be long gone.
3:00pm: Level 13, blinds 1,200-2,400, ante 400
2:50pm: Yip lets rip
Brian Yip has continued his strong form from Day 1b after the recent elimination of Yixin Wu. There must've been some history here as these two young bulls let rip with some aggression preflop. Yip opened the cutoff to 4,000 before Wu three-bet to 9,500 on the button. Yip thought for a bit before splashing enough yellow chips into the middle to put Wu to a decision for his tournament life.
Wu had about 30,000 more behind and took his time over the decision. Eventually the clock was called but before it ticked down, Wu committed his chips.
Yip grimaced and opened A♥5♥ but Wu was the one who wasn't pleased as he opened A♦4♣. It was a big pot for two rather weak aces, and there was a good chance of a split, but the board rolled off K♠2♦3♦6♣K♦ to leave Yip's kicker to play as Wu was sent packing.
Yip is now into the tournament lead with a stack of 270,000 on a table which also features a few other big stacks in Mei Ngok and Day 1a chip leader Daniel Laidlaw.
2:30pm: Abrol up, Alner down
Ajay Abrol has virtually tripled up in a big three-way all-in clash on Table 9. Abrol went with 4♦4♠ and found action from Tom Alner with A♥Q♦ and the short-stacked Daiki Tsubota with A♠9♥.
The board ran out K♦3♣7♣T♠2♠ as Abrol gave a shriek of delight, raking in the pot worth around 90,000.
Alner was left with around 8,000 in change, but he managed a double up next hand with A♣T♥ against K♦3♦ to keep his head above water with about 20,000 chips.
2:15pm: King Ivan
With a button raise to 5,500 and an all-in shove Jinhua Li in the small blind in front of him, Ivan Zalac looked down at K♦K♠ in the big blind and thought all his Christmases had come at once. He stood to his feet, called us over to the table and announced himself all in. The button folded as Zalac's kings were well ahead of Li's 9♠9♣.
The flop dropped J♥6♦Q♣, but the K♥ turn was actually a bad card for Zalac as Li's outs doubled from two nines, to four tens. However the river J♠ completed the board to see Zalac rake in a big early pot and send Li to an early exit.
2:10pm: Early squeeze for Bryan
Shaq Lin opened with a raise from the cutoff to 4,200 and the button player flat-called which opened the door for Bryan Huang to squeeze from the small blind. He made it 11,300 to go. Action folded back to Lin who thought for several minutes. Eventually he let it go, and the button followed, to see Huang pad his stack to 55,000.
2:00pm: Let's gogogo!
The remaining 168 players have taken their seats, unbagged their chips and are ready to roll on Day 2 of the Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon Main Event. It's going to be a big day as we look to burst the money and then try to get as close to the final table as possible. We are unlikely to reach that point, as we've been told that we'll be playing eight levels today without a dinner break. That will see play wrap up at 10:30pm local time. The levels are one hour long today, so there's plenty of game time here for our players with the blinds kicking off today at 1,000/2,000 with a 300 ante.
Danny McDonagh has given the dealers their final instructions and the cards are now back in the air.
No time to party in the poker room
New York may be the city that never sleeps but Macau could certainly lay claims for that title as well. After a late finish last night we were hoping to get a little shut-eye before our early start today, but we were awoken at the ungodly hour of 11am by amplification of a thumping bass beat emerging from the poolside area. Anyone familiar with the Hard Rock Hotel chain will know that they like to party, and party hard, and today is no exception. Despite the poor weather still lingering, the hotel staff have been busy this morning decorating the poolside area for "Splash" - a huge pool party with world-renowned DJs that will be cranking from 4:00pm today. Channel V will even be broadcasting the event so it's a big deal! For those in Macau you can head down there and enjoy the party for just HK$450 or why not get a group together and hire one of the cabanas?
While we hope the weather holds off for the party, we unfortunately won't be able to enjoy the bikinis poolside today as the poker room is calling. It's Day 2 of the Macau Poker Cup Main Event and we're locked in on our remaining 168 runners to see who can survive today to first reach the money for the top 77, and then surge towards the final table.
Gary Chen dominated Day 1c to lead the way but today is a new day. There are plenty of sharks lurking in these waters, with former MPC champion Raiden Kan nipping at his heels and Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang still in contention.
Top ten chip counts Day 2
Gary Chen (Chinese Taipei) - 215,600
Raiden Kan (Hong Kong) - 187,200
Brian Yip (Hong Kong) - 180,900
Tao Li (China) - 130,700
Fang Kai Yang (Chinese Taipei) - 124,200
Sailesh Verma (Hong Kong) - 123,800
Michelangelo Longabela (Australia) - 118,900
Jia Cheng Chong (Singapore) - 115,500
Daoxing "Bobo" Chen (China) - 115,000
Mei Ngok (Hong Kong) - 113,800
The action recommences at 2:00pm (GMT+8) and we hope you'll be following on from your poolside cabana throughout the day.
Photos by Kenneth Lim Photography courtesy of PokerStars LIVE Macau
Heath "TassieDevil" Chick is a Freelance Contributor for the PokerStars Blog.