MPC Red Dragon: Lohia locks the lead in Day 1A
The field got quartered, and then some.
Day 1A attracted 209 players, but after slightly more than 8 hours of play, only 51 remain. Leading those final 51 is Sailesh Lohia, with 164,500.
From the very beginning, the Red Dragon was a massacre. All-ins and calls were more than abundant and players hit the rail at a steady rate.
Director of Live Poker Operations, Asia-Pacific, Danny McDonagh, even grabbed the microphone and reminded players that this was not a re-buy event. "It's a real tournament. A freezeout. You get one shot." Even after the warning, the carnage continued. Levels went up quickly and we seemed to be going through chip leaders even quicker.
Near the middle of the day, names like Ahmed Kharrim and Michael Tang popped up and rose to the top spots. Their stacks then dwindled and others quickly took their spot. Nick Wong and Bharat Naidu then took turns sharing the spotlight, but it wouldn't last.
It wasn't until we entered the final levels of the day that Sailesh Lohia took the chip leader torch and held it high.
From Level 9 on, Lohia edged into the lead and managed to continue chipping up. It wasn't a steady gain for Lohia though. The end-of-day chip leader lost several pots but managed to win enough to keep the lead.
Lohia even lost a large pot to Ikezawa Ryuta in the last few hands of the day. This final pot put Ikezawa Ryuta up to 131,200, good for second in the chip counts. Lohia would've had a massive lead if it wasn't for Ryuta's last-minute chip up.
Rounding off the top three is Taiwan's Chih Feng Li with 118,500.
With only six tables finishing the day, Lohia's held a large portion of the chips. Not only did their table host the top two chipstacks, but the fifth as well.
South Africa's Levi Dare finished the day fifth in chips with 109,200. Dare also suffered a wild day typical of the Red Dragon Main Event.
Dare found himself short near the middle of the day and then skyrocketed towards the top with a lucky pair of aces and a few good hands.
While all these players will take a few days break before returning for Day 2, most players who started the day are on a permanent break.
One of those players was the only Team PokerStars Pro to make it to Day 1A, Raymond Wu. Wu had a rough start, which led to a rough day that ended in a rough elimination.
Wu moved all-in preflop and got called by 5♥4♥. The Red Dragon works in mysterious ways and four-five suited would outdraw Wu's J♠8♠.
And the madness that started today will continue for the next few days.
While Day 2 won't start until Saturday, Day 1B is only 15 hours away.
So, as this late night turns into the early morning, we won't say "goodnight" or "see you tomorrow." We'll sign off with a casual "See you in a bit," instead.
Don't miss the rest of the action the Red Dragon Main Even has to offer. We're expected to break a record and tomorrow will bring us one step closer.
7pm local time. Don't forget.
See you in a bit.