MPC Red Dragon Day 1a: Levels 1-4 (Blinds 100-200, Ante 25)

10.55pm: Level Up, Blinds 150-300, Ante 25

10.45pm: Who's Flying and Who's Dying

It's still early days here on Day 1a of the MPC: Red Dragon Main Event, but some of the players who have seen their stacks increase well above the 15,000 they started the evening with include Michael Chan (40,000), Xiao Cui (26,000), Michael Marvanek (23,000) and Alvin Cheam (21,000). Others who aren't doing so well include Yvo Molin (11,500), Julian Hasse (11,000), Craig Cockburn (9,000) and David Steicke (7,000).

10.30pm: Cockburn Loses a Chunk

Aussie Craig Cockburn is currently sitting behind quite a small stack, with plenty of his chips recently going into the hands of an opponent. We arrived at Cockburn's table to find a 4♥6♣T♦5♥ board on the felt and around 4,000 already in the pot. Cockburn was first to act against his one opponent and he made it 2,075 to go. The player thought long and hard before making the call and ushering in a 9♣ on the river.

When Cockburn quickly checked on the river, his opponent once again went into the tank, this time before betting 3,200. Cockburn leaned back in his chair at the sight of this bet, then folded and left himself with a stack of under 10,000 in chips.

10.15pm: Level Up, Blinds 100-200, Ante 25

The players are back from their quick break and ready to keep playing!

10.05pm: First Break of the Night

With three levels in the record books, the players have been sent on their first ten-minute break of the day.

9.55pm: Chan Quickly Chews Up Chips

Malaysia's Michael Chan is most likely the early chip leader here on Day 1a of the MPC: Red Dragon Main Event. We recently watched Chan rake in an impressive pot that began when a player limped from middle position. The cut-off player then raised to 475 before Chan popped it to 1,375 from the big blind. The limper got out of the way here, while the cut-off made the call.

Before the dealer flipped over the Q♦J♣3♣ flop, Chan checked in the dark. When Chan's opponent also checked, a Q♥ landed on the turn and Chan tumbled out a bet of 1,875. Chan's opponent didn't want to rumble anymore, letting his hand go and adding more chips to Chan's seemingly ever-growing stack.

9.35pm: Long Tank for Karita

We have just witnessed a lengthy hand over on Yu Karita's table. Arriving at the action with a 7♣9♦8♥ flop on the felt, Karita was first to act and checked to her one opponent. There was already around 1,000 in the pot at this point and the Karita's opponent bet 1,200. Karita quickly raised it up to 2,100 here and here opponent made the call.

When the dealer turned over a 2♠ on the turn, Karita check-called a bet of 2,300 and a J♥ completed the board on the river. Karita checked here and was again faced with a bet, this time of 4,100. Karita went deep into the tank at this point, thinking for almost three minutes before the clock was called. Almost immediately after the Tournament Director was called to the table, Karita opted to let her cards go, sending the pot away from her stack. With that, Karita sits with a stack of around 12,000.

9.25pm: Level Up, Blinds 100-200

9.20pm: Entries Fly Up To 250

The late registrations have been flying at rapid pace during the first few levels. As of this moment the tournament clock is telling us that 250 players have paid their HK$11,000 buy-in and taken to the felt at the MPD: Red Dragon - a great result for the first of two Day 1 flights.

8.55pm: Early Fun for the Team Pro

Raymond Wu is the lone Team PokerStars Pro in tonight's Day 1 flight and has flexed his muscles early to see his stack increase to just under 20,000 in chips. We recently arrived at Wu's table to see a player limp from early position, before the action was on Wu. Not letting the limper get away with seeing a cheap flop, Wu raised it to 300 and cards went into the muck from all directions of the table before it was back on the limper. Flicking out a call, Wu's opponent watched on and then checked when the A♥T♦8♣ flop was spread on the felt. Wu continued his aggression here, betting 300, which his opponent called. When a K♦ was dealt on the turn, the action was again checked to Wu, who bet 700. Wu's opponent thought for some time before letting his hand go and sending the pot to the Team PokerStars Pro.


Team PokerStars Pro Raymond Wu has had a great start to the night

8.45pm: Level Up, Blinds 50-100

8.25pm: Who's at the Tables

The dust is beginning to settle at the tables and some of the familiar faces have begun to emerge. Some of those that we noticed include the reigning Asia Player of the Year Yosuke Sekiya, Team PokerStars Pro Raymond Wu, along with PokerStars Macau regulars David Steicke, Daoxing "Bobo" Chen, Michael Marvanek, Craig Cockburn, Yvo Molin, Conrad Coetzer and Danny Wong.

8.15pm: Early Numbers

The tournament clock is telling us that there are currently 175 players registered for Day 1a the Macau Poker Cup: Red Dragon Main Event, but we are assured that number is on the rise. By the looks of the long line that is cueing over by the tournament registration desk, it is likely that tonight's Day 1 flight will easily surpass 200 players and perhaps near 250. We will be sure to keep you updated!


The players are eager to get to the tables

8.10pm: How Today will work

With such a late start here on Day 1a, plenty of players have been very interested to know just how many levels will be played this evening. Lasting 40 minutes each, we have just been told that there will be "at least seven hours" of play. Our calculations tell us that this means around 11 levels will be played before the lucky survivors bag up their chips.
The blinds begin at 25-50 and with a 15,000-chip starting bank, expect plenty of action!

8.05pm: Let Those Cards Fly

The players have scrambled into their seats and with the introductions out of the way, the cards are in the air! Play has begun a few minutes late, but the tables are starting to fill rapidly. Let the action on Day 1a of the Macau Poker Cup: Red Dragon begin!


PokerStars Macau Country Manager Fred Leung makes the call to begin

Joshua Bell
@PokerStars in PokerStars Macau