MPC Red Dragon Day 1C updates

4:15am: Done

Day 1C has come to a close. Stay tuned for a wrap of today's events.

4:10am: Close race

Once again, the title of chip leader came down to the final few hands of the day. Big stacks kept popping up over at Table 2. Vincent Rubianes, Gie Reyes and Gerardo Lubas were all seated at the table.

Lubas had the chip lead going into the final level, but then Reyes knocked out a player and snatched it away.

The board read [10s]2♥2♣9♣4♥ and Reyes had J♣[10d] for top pair. His opponent had moved all-in with A♣7♣ and missed his flush. Reyes jumped up to 204,000 and finished as our overall chip leader.

3:55am: Half more

We've made it to Level 12 and will be playing for 20 more minutes. Actually, the clock will run for 10 more minutes and then a lucky player will choose a card that'll tell us how many more hands we'll play.

Level 12: 1,000/2,000 blinds, 300 ante

3:40am: Flying out

The blinds are high and the average stack is more than 50,000. The tournament is littered with short stacks and the other players are doing their best to clean them up.

Some of our most recent eliminations include Julian Hasse and Team PokerStars Online Naoya Kihara.

Naoya Kihara.jpeg

Naoya Kihara

Kihara was off to a great start at the beginning of the day but got chipped down in the later levels. Then Kihara moved all-in preflop with ace-nine and got called by ace-queen. Ace-queen held up and Kihara was sent to the rail.

Kihara was the last Team PokerStars player in the field today, but the red-spade brigade still has hope. Team PokerStars Pro Vivian Im survived Day 1B and is the last surviving Team PokerStars member.

3:20am: A cruel game

"Why is poker like this?" said Jordan Westmorland.

Westmorland wasn't in the hand, but three other players at his table were. Two players were all-in and a third called.

The first all-in player showed jacks, Sangeeth Mohan -- who was the largest stack and second player to move all-in -- turned over A♥A♠. The player with the middle stack and last to call tabled Q♣Q♠.


Sangeeth Mohan, slightly happier before the cruel hand

"I don't want to watch this," Mohan said, standing up and leaving the table.

The flop was a low 4♥2♣6♣, but then turn brought a Q♥. The middle stack took the lead and an 8♥ on the river gave him the win.

Mohan was left with only 20,000 and Westmorland questioned the cruel nature of poker.

Level11: 800/1,600 blinds, 200 ante

3:05am: Yu flipped out

Winfred Yu was all-in and flipping for his tournament life. After a raise to 3,000, Yu re-raised to 9,500 from the button.


Winfred Yu

Yu's opponent threw in a chip and made a triangle with his fingers: All-in. Yu quickly called with his remaining 22,000 and was at-risk.

Yu showed A♣K♥ and his opponent turned over Q♥Q♣. The board came 6♦7♣9♠4♦2♥ and Yu was out of the Red Dragon.

2:45am: Viene Vincent

Vincent Rubianes chipped up early on and then laid low. He stuck around with his 30,000 for some time and now his stack has skyrocketed to what might be the lead.


Vincent Rubianes

Rubianes scored a few more chips after a raise to 2,600 from early position and a call. Rubianes was in the big blind and threw in a 3-bet to 7,700. The initial raiser folded and the other player moved all-in for just under 20,000.

Rubianes called instantly and showed Q♦Q♣ to the at-risk player's 2♦2♥.

"Alright, we're flipping," the at-risk player joked.

The board came 6♥4♠K♦[10s]4♥ and Rubianes took down the pot. While his stack has yet to reach the size of his hair, it still stands at a formidable 145,000.

Level 10: 600/1,200 blind, 200 ante

2:20am: Last one

We've arrived at the final break of the day and all Day 1s.

We've gone through three Day 1s and even more breaks.

They're all about to end though.

Players will come back and play two and a half more levels before it's time to bag and tag. There are still 153 players left in Day 1C but the final few levels are brutal.

We'll see how many can make it to Day 2.

2:10am: Reyes rises again

Gie Angelo Reyes is back up.

The board read 8♦3♦Q♠ and a player in middle position bet 6,500. There was already thousands in the pot and Reyes made it 15,000. His opponent called, bringing 4♠ on the turn.

Reyes fired another 15,000 bet and his opponent thought. Then he thought some more. Reyes called the clock and his opponent snapped out of his trance and folded.

Reyes is now up to 125,000 and appears to be the tournament chip leader. Team PokerStars Online Naoya Kihara, who's at Reyes' table, has been pushed down a bit to 54,000.

1:55am: Money

The prize pool is in.

Danny McDonagh took the microphone and told players that they'll be playing for the largest prize pool in Red Dragon history. The event tore through the HK $5,000,000 guarantee and got a prize pool of HK $8,746,412

There will also be a record-number of Red Dragon cashers this event with total of 108 players making the money. A mincash in this event will be worth HK $17,500.

But most players here will be hunting down the Red Dragon and first-place prize money that comes with it. The grand prize this event will be HK $1,771,000, the largest cash prize to accompany the trophy. Players who manage to make it to the final table will see minimum payday of HK $153,000.

Only 129 players survived Day 1A and Day 1B and we're already down to 171 players in Day 1C. Money is just a day away.

Level 9: 500/1,000 blinds, 100 ante

1:35am: No more Jones

Lacey Jones has taken the lonely walk out of the Red Dragon Main Event.

Jones was slowly chipping down since the beginning of the day and finally met the end of the road in Level 8. Faced with a raise to 2,100, Jones moved all-in for her last 12,000.


Lacey Jones

The blinds folded and the initial raiser called. Jones turned over A♦8♠ but her opponent tabled pocket jacks.

Jones couldn't improve and was eliminated from the tournament. Her table broke immediately after her elimination and we're down to about 200 players.

1:15am: In and out

Our reigning Red Dragon Champion Yoshitaka Okawa will not get a back-to-back Red Dragon.

Tables are starting to break faster and bigger stacks are starting to appear. Raiden Kan is near up in chips with 74,500.

Winfred Yu is currently sitting with 40,000 while Jordan Westmorland has about 40,000. Rubianes chipped up early in the day but is still at about 30,000.

Lacey Jones has been having a slow bleed. She's seated a new table but is still short with only 13,000.

Level 8: 400/800 blinds, 100 ante

12:55am: The way of the tournament

We're into the second half of Day 1C and action is picking up. We've broken our first table and are down to 230 players.

Some of our most recent eliminations include former Red Dragon Champion Kitty Kuo and serial final tablist Joseph Cheong.


Former Red Dragon Champion Kitty Kuo

Our massive chip leader, Gie Angelo Reyes, has also taken a hit, doubling up a player and dropping to about 80,000. Several players are starting to catch up Reyes, including Team PokerStars Online Naoya Kihara who's up to 75,000.

Kihara has also been moved to Reyes' table. A big stack clash is imminent.

12:40am: Done

Our final alternate has just been seated and the tournament will finally start to shrink. There were 101 alternates today, bringing the number of Day 1C entrants to 394.

This brings the total number of Red Dragon Main Event entries up to 891. We're still waiting on final confirmation of the number, but one thing is official, the record has been destroyed.

Tournament staff needed more than 635 unique entries to beat the record and were hoping to maybe make it to 700.

They never expected to almost make it to 891. We might've even made it past 900 but tournament staff were forced to close late registration due to the sheer amount of alternates.

We're now waiting on official numbers and details of the massive prize pool -- which has already exceeded USD $1,000,000.

Level 7: 300/600 blinds, 75 ante

12:20am: Winning on break

We were five minutes into the break and Naoya Kihara was involved in a hand with three of his tablemates. It started when a player raised to 800 from early position and got three callers, including Kihara.

All four players checked until the board read 5♠A♠K♣8♠4♦. Kihara was on the cutoff and the last player to act. Action checked to him again and he bet 3,100.

Everyone folded except for the initial raiser and Kihara turned over 4♣4♥ for the rivered set. His opponent mucked and Kihara is now up to 62,000.

12:05am: A chip off the mountain

Our massive chip leader, Gie Angelo Reyes doubled up a player but is still in the lead. A player in early position called and Reyes made it 1,700 from the hijack. The button called and the initial raiser moved all-in for 7,600.

Reyes called and the button thought. The button stood up and thought some more. Then he begrudgingly picked up his cards and threw them into the muck.


Gie Angelo Reyes

The initial raiser showed J♣J♠ and Reyes turned over A♥6♠.

The 6♣K♥9♦ gave Reyes one six, but the 5♥ turn and 7♥ river would give the at-risk player the double-up.

Despite losing the hand, Reyes is still in the lead with 98,000.

11:55pm: Massive lead

It's usually hard to find a chip leader at this stage of the tournament. Several players hang around the same chip mark and a single hand can send one to the lead and or back to starting stack.

But there's one stack in the field right now that sticks out like a giant, sore, chip-like thumb. Gie Angelo Reyes is currently the runaway leader with 110,000. While we aren't even halfway down with the day, Reyes' stack is already enough to be in the top 15 chip counts for Day 1.

A significant part of Reyes' stack came from Tetsuya Tsuchikawa.

"You know Tetsuya?" Reyes asked. "I wiped him out. Two hands."

The Red Dragon is notorious for knocking chip leaders off their throne, we'll see if Reyes can hold on to his lead.

11:40pm: One up, one down

Team PokerStars had two players in the field today. One Team Online, one Team Pro. One Bryan Huang, one Naoya Kihara.

Huang had a rough start and was just eliminated from the Red Dragon. Kihara's day has been quite the opposite, hitting 30,000 early on and still rising.

Kihara currently has one of the larger stacks of the tournament with 41,000.

Level 6: 200/400 blinds, 50 ante

11:25pm: Chipping up

Jordan Westmorland has been playing a lot of pots and now he has a lot of chips. Westmorland and the player on the big blind were battling it out on a Q♥8♦6♦ flop. Westmorland had 650 in front of the bet line and the big blind raised to 2,000.


Jordan Westmorland

Westmorland made it 4,500 and the big blind called. The big blind then checked teh 2♥ on the turn and Westmorland moved all-in.

The big blind thought about his next move and decided to go for the fold.

Westmorland is now up to about 35,000.

Vincent Rubianes -- who's seated one table over from Westmorland -- is also nearing the 35,000 mark. Big stacks are starting to emerge but we still have several levels to go.

11:05pm: Status report

We have a large number of pros and quite a few women in the field today. More than a few players fit into both categories.

Former Red Dragon winner Kitty Kuo is currently a bit below average with 12,300 while Lacey Jones is up to about 17,500.


Lacey Jones

10:55pm: Can't catch Huang

Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang is down to about 10,000.

A player in early position raised to 800 and Huang called from the cutoff. There was a [10h]J♣7♠ flop and both players checked, bringing a 4♦ on the turn.

Huang bet 1,300 and his opponent called bring a very Greenstein A♠ on the river. The player in early position checked and Huang checked behind.


Bryan Huang is off to a tough start

Huang turned over J♥8♥ for a pair of jacks and his opponent -- audibly frustrated -- flipped over K♥Q♥ for the rivered straight.

He couldn't trap Huang.

Level 5: 150/300 blinds, 25 ante

10:45pm: Cheong trying to stay strong

After a raise to 600, Joseph Cheong re-raised to 1,200 from the cutoff. Action folded back to the player in early position who called, bringing a 2♠2♦[10c] flop.


Joseph Cheong

Cheong bet 1,400 when checked to and his opponent called. There was a 9♠ on the turn and another check. Cheong fired 3,100 and his opponent responded with a raise to 7,500.

Cheong folded but is still above average with nearly 19,000.

10:30pm: Keep coming

Alternates are still being called and there isn't an empty seat in the tournament area.

One of those seats is occupied by Julian Hasse, the 2010 Macau Poker Cup champion. The former champ is already off to a good start as he's nearly doubled his starting stack to 30,000.

Winfred Yu, who's fresh from his 3rd place finish in the WSOP APAC is also in the field. This final tablist is still at about starting stack with 14,250.

Level 4: 100/200 blinds, 25 ante

10:00pm: Break

Three levels have come and gone and players have been temporarily released from the tournament area.

The clock currently reads 311 players, but we still have dozens of alternates waiting for their shot at the Red Dragon.

9:50pm: Kihara rises

After a raise from middle position, Kihara re-raised to 1,025 from the button. Action folded back to the initial aggressor who four-bet up to 3,500. Kihara called and the flop came K♠7♦J♣.

Both players checked and a Q♦ came on the turn. The player in middle position bet 4,000 and after some thought, Kihara moved all-in for 8,400.


Naoya Kihara starting strong

The initial aggressor eased on the aggression and folded.

Kihara then took down another pot after raising to 550 from middle position. The hijack and the big blind called, bringing a 9♥A♠K♣ flop. The big blind checked, Kihara bet 850 and everyone folded.

The Team PokerStars Online player is now close to 30,000.

9:30pm: No more HotDog

MC HotDog started the day next to WSOP bracelet winner Kevin Song and Japense grinder Jaeik Cho. It was a tough draw for the rapper's debut poker tournament.

In his final hand, HotDog called a 350 raise along with a few other players. There was a two-seven-nine flop with two clubs.


MC HotDog

"I was shortstacked and wanted people to think I had a flush draw," HotDog said. But the rapper held 2-7 for two pair.

One player bet and HotDog moved all-in for about 6,000. Everyone folded except for the initial bettor.

HotDog's opponent showed pocket queens against HotDog's two-pair. The turn brought a king and HotDog was poised for a double-up until a queen fell on the river.

MC Hotdog was eliminated from his first live poker tournament but isn't done yet. The Taiwanese rapper plans on playing a few more events while here at the Macau Poker Cup.

Level 3: 100/200 blinds

9:15pm: Quick counts

With nearly two levels done, a few players have chipped up including Raiden Kan who's at 21,500. Kan won the 2011 Macau Poker Cup October special for HKD $1.25 million and has numerous cashes in the Macau Poker Cup, including two in Red Dragon Main Events.

Joseph Cheong is currently at about 16,000 while Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang is at about starting stack with 14,250.

Naoya Kihara has lost a bit and is sitting with 12,300.

9:10pm: Still growing

When players are eliminated their immediately replaced with an alternate. It's a never-ending poker limbo. We've also spotted a few new faces including Stephen Chidwick, who currently down to 7,500, and Kitty Kuo, who's at 15,800.

9:00pm: Hurry up

"We've been playing for an hour and we've only lost two players," Danny McDonagh announced to the tournament floor. "Lets loosen it up a bit."

There are still several alternates in the field and tournament staff is hoping to get as many of them in the tournament as quickly as possible.

But if the past few days have taught us anything, it's that the Red Dragon is a fierce bust-out machine.

8:50pm: Secrets

There were a few whispers and secrets over at Naoya Kihara's table.

Faced with a raise from early position, Kihara three-bet to 1,150 from the cutoff and the player on the button folded. When the dealer went to grab the button's hand he accidentally grabbed Kihara's cards as well.

Kihara stopped the dealer but the cards had already been mixed up. Kihara had been protecting his cards with a yellow, T5,000 and protested. It was a delicate situation.

He whispered his cards to the dealer, the dealer checked and called the floor. The floor came and was filled in on the situation. The button and Kihara whispered their hands to the floor and the floor checked the cards.

"It's only because you were protecting your hand," the floor said. "If not, I can't do anything."

Always protect your hand kids.

Kihara got his cards back and action continued.

The initial raiser called and the flop came K♦4♠K♥. Both players checked and a 5♥ came on the turn. Kihara fired away 1,050 and his opponent folded.

Level 2: 50/100 blinds

8:35pm: Sold out

Late registration won't be open for two hours today. The Red Dragon Main Event has officially sold out.

The line for late registration was enormous and we now have more than 100 alternates. The tournament staff decided to close registration in order to accommodate all these poker hungry players.


The line over at registration.

8:20pm: The sea of Day 1C

A lot of player rested until Day 1C to take their crack at the Red Dragon, including several big names.

Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang and Team PokerStars Online Naoya Kihara have both taken a seat today. Vincent Rubianes, Jordan Westmorland, Dan Kelly and Lacey Jones have also made their way to Macau for a shot at the Red Dragon.

Yoshitaka Okawa, our reigning Red Dragon champion, has also made his way to Day 1C to defend his title. Another player returning to defend a title is the reigning Asia Player of the Year, Yosuke Sekiya.

It's a big day with big names, we're in for some big action.

8:05pm: Drop the mic

MC HotDog took the microphone, something he's no stranger to. But instead of spitting out rhymes like he's used to, MC HotDog told dealers to shuffle up and deal.


Play is now underway.

7:50pm: Getting ready

The pre-tournament rumble has started. Hundreds of chattering poker players are waiting on the rail and dealers are clinking chips together and organizing them into neat, 15,000 starting stacks.

Danny McDonagh grabbed the microphone and is is giving players instructions. Tables 30 and below are welcome to come take their seats, 31 and above have to wait, they're alternates.

Today's a historic day on the Asian poker scene as the Red Dragon Main Event has obliterated the record for biggest poker tournament in Asia. The previous record was 635 unique entries and now we're expected to pass 800.

Some of the players taking part in this sliver of poker history today are Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang and Taiwanese rapper, MC HotDog.

A few members of Team PokerStars Pro and MC HotDog joined staff members in some opening festivities earlier today. There was a banner, models, giant scissors and a camera, here's proof:

Executives and Team PS.jpg

7:30pm: New high score

The Red Dragon has done it again. Day 1C is still thirty minutes away and the event has been filled to capacity, smashing the record for biggest tournament in Asia.

The number to beat was 635 unique entries and we passed that mark nearly two hours ago. After the record was broken, the entries quickly soared past 700 and now we're closing in on the 800 player mark.


The Red Dragon's lair

The tournament area can only seat 280 players, but we've already had more than 20 players sign up as alternates. The number is now at around 790 and there are still players finding their way towards the registration desk.

On top of that, late registration is still open for the first two hours of play. The record has already been smashed, we'll see how smashed in a few hours.

Alex Villegas
@PokerStars in PokerStars Macau