MPC20 Countdown: Interview with Kenny Leong
Question: Who was the Macau Poker Cup's first ever Red Dragon event champion?
Answer: It was Kenny Leong from Hong Kong who won HK$126,700.
As we count down the days to MPC20 - which takes place from January 10-21, 2014 - we sat down with Leong for a Q&A session to find out more about the first man who managed to slay the Red Dragon.
Q: When you won the first-ever Red Dragon event in 2008, there were just 33 players. Its current record is 891 and is likely to be surpassed at MPC20. Did you ever imagine it would become this big?
A: When the first Red Dragon was organized, it was probably the first poker tournament in Macau to be ever held (there) so I was very excited to go and support it. I was fortunate enough to win it... it feels great to have the distinction of being the first ever Red Dragon champion.
We had been playing poker for a few years prior to that in Hong Kong so I knew poker would grow with PokerStars coming to Macau, but I could never have imagined it becoming this big, this fast.
Q: What's changed about the Red Dragon event and the Macau Poker Cup series overall since you first played?
A: It has evolved into a series with more side events and Player of the Year points. People with different bankrolls can enjoy the series and it's not just for poker professionals or rich amateurs. Anyone can go and enjoy the experience. It's a great platform where serious poker players and amateur poker enthusiasts can meet and battle.
Q: What do you love most about the Macau Poker Cup?
A: It is a very well organized series. It is by far the biggest poker event in Asia. I would like to see it get the recognition that the WPT and EPT enjoy.
Q: And is there anything that you'd like to change?
A: The only thing I maybe have trouble with during the Red Dragon events is staying away from the family for a few days. I have a young daughter who I wish could travel with me.
Q: What do look forward to the most about the upcoming MPC20?
A: When I go play the Red Dragon these days I look forward to the whole poker experience I enjoy for the 10 to 15 days I'm in Macau. I get to catch up with old poker friends who travel from different parts of the world to come play in the events.
Q: What kind of expectations do you have for yourself at MPC20?
A: When I play any poker tournament, my expectation for myself is to go win it. However, I understand how tough it is to win an event.
Q: Is there a particular kind of strategy you plan to employ?
A: My strategy though is always the same...chip up and make the final table!
The Macau Poker Cup runs January 11-20 with tournament buy-ins ranging from HK$750-$11,000. See the MPC20 schedule here.