MPC Red Dragon: Reyes rises to the lead

Today was a big day.

Two hours before the tournament even started, the Red Dragon Main Event beat the record for largest poker tournament in Asia.

The line was set at 635 unique players and tournament staff were hoping to get 700 players. No one expected the 891 entries we ended up with. The registration line extended out to the casino and the tournament director was forced to close late registration a bit early.

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Everyone wanted a bit of Red Dragon action

We ended up with 101 alternates and they waited a few hours for their shot at the Red Dragon trophy. When the dust settled, Day 1C's official player count was 394, the largest single day field in Macau Poker Cup history.

Out of the 394 that started the day, only 103 remain. Leading those players -- and topping the chip counts of all Day 1s -- is Gie Angelo Reyes with 204,000.

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Day 1 chip leader, Gie Angelo Reyes

Reyes jumped to the top of the leader board in Level 6 when he dwarfed the field with a stack of 110,000. Reyes then lost a few hands and his chip leader status until the final level of the day when he got moved to a table with two other Day 1C chip leaders: Vincent Rubianes and Gerardo Lubas.

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Gerardo Lubas

In the last few hands of the day, Lubas and Reyes were nearly even in chips. Then Reyes scored another knockout and became the first player of the tournament to cross the 200,000 mark.

Lubas will be starting Day 2 in second with 183,900. Starting third in chips will be another Day 1C participant, Jianning Xu with 167,500. This leaves our Day 1A chip leader, Sailesh Lohia, starting Day 2 in fourth with 164,500.

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Jianning Xu

Day 1B leader and runner-up in the previous Red Dragon, Zhenwu Wang will round of the top 5 with 161,700.

But not everyone had such impressive Day 1s. Nearly three-quarters of the players that signed up for the Red Dragon have already been eliminated.

Some of these players include Johnny Chan, Lacey Jones, Joseph Cheong, Winfred Yu, Kitty Kuo, Yoshitaka Okawa, MC HotDog and Dan Kelly. They all sat down for Day 1 but didn't make it through.

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Lacey Jones

Team PokerStars also succumbed to the brutality of the Red Dragon. Raymond Wu, Celina Lin, Bryan Huang and Naoya Kihara all signed up for this event but hit the rail. The last remaining Team Pro is Vivian Im, who'll start Day 2 with 54,200.

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Vivian Im, the sole surviving Team Pro

Check out the full list of chip counts right here.

If you're interested in the seat draw for Day 2, then click right here.

Tomorrow will be the first day the field stops growing. We'll start trimming down the field of 232 players and hit the money. The Main Event smashed the HK $5,000,0000 guarantee as we ended up with HK $8,746,412, the largest prize pool in Red Dragon history.

Only 108 players will get a slice of the prize pool with a mincash coming in at HK $17,500. Our eventual champion will take far more than that though. Top prize for this event will also be the largest in Red Dragon history, HK $1,771,000.

Day 2 is scheduled to start in just under nine hours.

Come back for more action from the Red Dragon right here.

Alex Villegas
@PokerStars in PokerStars Macau