MPC21: Day 1A live updates

2:55am: Yang Goes All the Wei on Day 1a

The final five hands of the night have been dealt at each of the six remaining tables and it looks like approximately 50 players have bagged up some chips as Day 1a of the MPC21 Red Dragon is all over!

Leading the way with a stack of 166,700 is Wei Yang. With just a few side event results on his resume, Yang will be looking to make this tournament his big breakthrough. Long way to go, but nonetheless, it's a good start!

That's all from the live reports for now, but you can expect a full wrap-up of the day's action, along with all the end-of-day chip counts to appear on the PokerStars Macau page as soon as possible.

We will be back in just around 12 hours as a new batch of players take to the felt for Day 1b. It kicks off at 3:00pm local time, so make sure to join us. Until then, goodnight!


Wei Yang is the Day 1a chip leader

2:35am: Pause the Clock

The call has just been made to pause the clock and to deal five more hands at each table.

Stay tuned to find out who makes it through Day 1a and more!

2:25am: Big Stacks Late in the Day

It's that time of day when we try to scope out the big stacks and therefore the likely end-of-day chip leaders. At the moment it's looking like a three horse race between Wei Yang, Yan Cui and Robert Schwartz. With not long to go in the final level, it's unlikely any player will surpass these three.

Stay tuned!

2:20am: The Final Level

The players, and staff, have just been made aware that a decision has been made in regard to how many levels we will be playing tonight. The answer? One more!

2:10am: Level 11 Begins, Blinds 600/1,200 (200)

2:00am: Teng Wont Make Back-to-Back Final Tables

Victor Teng made the final table of this event back in January, but won't be doing that again here in August.

Teng lost all his chips when he three-bet all in for less than 20,000 from the big blind holding Q♣8♦. The player directly on Teng's left had limped, and another player in the cutoff had also committed some chips.

The player on Teng's left tanked for around 3 minutes, eventually making the call. The other player got out of the way and Teng was at risk and coming up against Q♦Q♥.
The board ran out K♠K♥5♣J♣7♠ and Teng was out.

Following the hand Teng was clearly frustrated. Apparently the player who eliminated him had been limping preflop a lot and the fact that he tanked for so long with pocket queens might be considered curious to some.


Victor Teng on Day 1a of the MPC21 Red Dragon

1:45am: Here Comes Kim

Hong Keun Kim, also known as 'Eddy', has just scooped a very hefty pot to see himself rise up the chip counts deep into Day 1a of the MPC21: Red Dragon Main Event.

It started when a player limped from early position. Kim then three-bet to 5,500 from the button and a player with a big stack in the big blind moved all in, having both other active players in the hand at risk. The limper folded, while Kim called off his stack of around 40,000.

Kim held 8♥8♦ and was up against A♦Q♦.

The board ran out 3♦7♣7♥3♠4♣ and just like that, Kim was one of the chip leaders.

1:30am: Back for the Final Levels

The players are back from their break and the final levels of the night have now begun.

We sill haven't received confirmation on how many more levels we will be playing, but we have been told that it might even be two and a half levels. We will keep you updated!

Blinds are now 500/1,000 with a 100 ante.

1:20am: Final Break of Day 1a

The players have just been sent on their final ten-minute break of the day.

When they return there will be at least two more levels, though that could be increased to three.

1:10am: Winfred Firing Up

High roller specialist Winfred Yu has seemingly had a roller coaster day at the felt. We have
seen his stack sit as low as 10,000 and as high as 40,000. Right now he has around 30,000.

Yu recently lost some of his chips in a hand on a J♠3♠4♠3♥6♦ board. Yu was the preflop aggressor, opening to 2,500 and receiving one call from the small blind. Yu then led for 3,300 on the flop, which was called, and then both players checked the turn and river. At showdown, Yu's cards went into the muck when his opponent turned over Q♥Q♠.

12:50am: Lone Team Pro Sent Home

Just a few bolded headings ago we mentioned that Team PokerStars Pro Vivian Im was down to just 5,000 in chips. As such, we were watching her like a Hawk, hoping of course, that she would rebuild her stack, but also being aware that she could be eliminated at any moment.

Unfortunately we wouldn't make a very good Hawk as we weren't there to catch her elimination. Instead we were left looking at an empty chair. We tried to track Im down to find out what happened, but Im must have quickly left the tournament room. Luckily there are plenty of side events on offer over the next week, so Im will certainly be back over the next few days. You can find out about those side events on the PokerStars Macau website.


Vivian Im, long before she was eliminated

12:40am: Level 9 Begins, Blinds 400/800 (100)

12:25am: Grey Day for Platinum Chen

Hao Chen, winner of the record-breaking Macau Millions, has recently been eliminated from Day 1a of the MPC Red Dragon Main Event. We didn't catch his elimination, instead we saw the back of his grey hair leaving the tournament area. Obviously we wouldn't be so insensitive to mention this if Chen had simply naturally lose some colour in his hair like many men do, but Chen's hair is by choice. That's right he has died his hair Grey. Not usually a choice men make when they are as young as Chen. But hey each to their own... And, anyway, Tournament Director and hairdressing connoisseur Sam Dawson tells us his hair is 'platinum', not grey.

12:10am: Demlakian Still Chugging

With a board reading 6♥9♣2♦6♠J♠, Ken Demlakian bet out 7,400 before being faced with a raise to 21,000. That didn't sit well with the Australian who went deep into the tank.

Demlakian stared down his opponent intently and toyed with calling chips, seemingly to try and extract a read from his opponent. It wasn't working but Demlakian wasn't about to relent with his stare down.

Eventually the clock was called and at that point, Demlakian's opponent decided his best strategy was to turn around in his chair and face the opposite direction. Demlakian continued with the glare, now directed at the back of his opponent's head.

As the clock ticked down, a frustrated Demlakian eventually released his cards to the dealer, but he's still in good shape with a stack of around 28,000.

12:00am: Level 8 Begins, Blinds 300/600 (50)

11:45pm: Vivian Rumbles With the Chip Leader

As we start to move towards the end of the night the chip leaders become more and more relevant. That's why we recently had a walk around the tournament area, looking for big stacks.

One player we came across was Yan Cui. At first we didn't realise he had a big stack, he instead stole our attention because he was in a hand with Team PokerStars Pro Vivian Im.

There was already a 3♦A♣7♦4♦8♠ board on the felt at this point and Im and Cui had already built the pot to around 2,000. Im only had 5,100 behind and was first to act on the river, making it 1,000 to go. Cui opted to fold and Im scooped up some much-needed chips.

Following the above hand, Cui was busy buying up the 25-denomination chips to race off and we counted that he had well over 110,000. That's a huge increase on the 15,000 starting stack and easily sees Cui as the current chip leader.

11:30pm: Registration Closed for the Day

With four hours of play in the books, registration has been closed!

We havent received the prize pool information yet, but it has been confirmed that 213 players hit the felt on Day 1a. That's quitew a few more than the 200 that APPT President Danny McDonagh hoped for at the start of the day.

11:20pm: Back for Level 7

The players are back from their break and the cards are back in the air.

We are now up to Level 7 with the blinds at 250/500 and a 50 ante.

11:10pm: Break Number Two

The players have been sent on their second break of the day!

Be sure to stay tuned for more action on Day 1a of the Red Dragon Main Event.

11:00pm: Hasse Hurt By Jung Jung and Then Gone

Julian Hasse has just taken quite the brutal beating.

He wasn't happy about it either.

We didn't catch all the action, but we do know that Hasse had jammed all in on a 3♣8♦6♥ flop holding pocket jacks. Jung Jung Tang was his opponent and called off her considerable stack, though not enough to put Hasse at risk. She called with just K♠J♣.

In some senses it was a gift to Hasse, but it wasn't a great gift considering the board ran out with a K♦ on the river, leaving Hasse extremely short stacked.

Hasse, a former champion of the now defunct MPC Championship, wouldn't survive long after this hand as we found him on the rail.


Julian Hasse has been eliminated on Day 1a of the Red Dragon

10:40pm: Double Time for Winfred Yu

Winfred Yu is one of the most prominent poker identities in this side of the world as an operator and high-stakes player. So we're happy to report that Yu will be sticking around the PokerStars LIVE Macau poker room a little longer this evening thanks to a recent double up.

The chips were in preflop in a bit of a cooler as Yu's pocket aces got action from an unlucky opponent who held pocket queens.

The board would run out J♥7♣K♠7♦T♦ to see Yu's stack of 8,525 more than double to around 18,000 chips.

10:30pm: Level 6 Begins, Blinds 200/400 (50)

10:25pm: Chasing the Team Pro

It's not surprising that part of the job description here at the PokerStarsBlog is to track the progress of Team PokerStars Pros. Vivian Im is the only Team Pro here on Day 1a, so it should be a straight forward task. Generally that would be the case, but Im seems to be hiding from us.

At the start of the day, one of the staff told us that Im was in the field and so we went to look for her. After a thorough search we found on the furthest most table from the entry to the PokerStars LIVE Macau poker room. She was basically as far away as she could be.

Then her table broke.

Now Im should have been easier to find, but nope, Im had been moved to the only table which is somewhat separated from the rest of the tournament area. Sure, it's only two metres away from the other tables, but a giant wall of music memorabilia stands between Im and the other tables.

Regardless, we found Im and can tell you that the Team PokerStars Pro from South Korea is travelling nicely with just over 20,000 in chips.


Team PokerStars Pro Vivian Im on Day 1a of the Red Dragon

10:15pm: Lou Sends Ones to the Rail

We recently watched one player lose his tournament life. It was over on Table 9 and we arrived on the turn of a 5♠T♦J♥Q♦ board. Xixiang Lou held 9♦8♦ for a turned straight, while one all in player had Q♥T♥ for two pair. The river was a 2♦ brick and with that one more player had fallen short, while Lou is starting to build a very healthy stack.

10:00pm: No Bold Repeat for Buyanjargal

Buyanjargal Bold, from Mongolia, won the record-breaking MPC20 back in January, outlasting a field of 995 players. Unfortunately Bold will not be winning his second MPC Red Dragon this week.

We aren't exactly sure how Bold was eliminated, but we do know that his starting table was recently broken and he was not one of the players to re-draw to a new table. Instead, we saw Bold wandering on the rail.


Just one Red Dragon title will have to do for Buyanjargal Bold

9:50pm: Level 5 Begins, Blinds 150/300 (25)

9:40pm: More Fist-Thumping Fun

We wrote a little earlier about players thumping their fists on the table for various reasons. Well, we just discovered another one as we wandered past a random table and were stopped by a player thumping his fist down hard on the table. However this situation was a little different as the player didn't have any cards. In fact, he wasn't even paying attention to the poker action.

The player in question was actually watching some sort of movie or TV show on his tablet, and the scene must've been so funny that caused him to erupt in hysterics. Technology is pretty big in this part of the world, so it's not uncommon to see multiple players on every table entertaining themselves on their mobile device. Who said poker was a social game?

9:25pm: Macau Champ Snags a Double

Reigning APPT Macau champ Jiajun Liu had just landed a double up, and he did it with his typical nonchalance. We arrived to see a board of 9♦7♠K♥3♣Q♠ and Liu's opponent deliberating over his decision. He eventually decided to move all in but Liu instantly, and rather casually, slid his remaining 2,850 into the middle.

Liu's opponent shrugged and reluctantly flashed A♣J♣ for just ace-high, but Liu opened A♥9♠. A very nice call for tournament life with third pair on the board sees Liu climb back up to a workable 7,500 in chips.

9:10pm: Back for More on Day 1a

The first break of the night is over and the players are back in their seats.

In other, related, news, the tournament clock now tells us that there are 212 players.

We are now beginning Level 4, with blinds at 100/200 with a 25 ante.

9:00pm: First Break of Day 1a

The players have been sent on their first break of Day 1a.

Ten minutes and it will be back to it!

8:50pm: The Straight is Good... Eventually

There was recently a bit of a mix up on table 26.

We know this because two players, a tournament director and the dealer were all frantically chatting at showdown on a 4♠7♣8♠J♠3♥ board.

Zhengdong Li was the most passionate in this situation. He was all in with his tournament life at risk at the hands of Kuo Yan Huang. The players weren't speaking English, but it was easy to work out what the dispute was.

Apparently, Li had moved all in on the river, which Huang called. At this point, Li flipped his cards over, but in the act of doing so, they hand landed face down, directly on top of the muck. He had quickly flipped them over to reveal 6♠5♥ for a flopped straight, but Huang claimed that his hand should be dead.

Huang sat there, not revealing his hand as the tournament director discussed the issue with the dealer and the players at the table. It was evident that he did not deliberately muck and in consideration of his holdings and the fact that the cards were easily retrievable, it was decided his hand was still live.

Huang was forced to show his J♦J♣ for a set of jacks, meaning Li had won the pot, surviving and thriving as his stack is now just under 30,000 in chips.

8:30pm: Zhang Picks Up a Nice One

Alvan Zhang is a regular here at PokerStars LIVE Macau, posting plenty of deep runs in side events, but has yet to break through with a big result in one of the main events.
Maybe that will change this week.

We recently arrived at Zhang's table to find him involved in a three-handed pot on a K♦3♥4♦ flop. The first player to act, from the small blind, checked, while the next player, Kenneth Morgan bet 800. Zhang called this bet from Morgan's direct left and Yvo Molin folded from the hijack.

Morgan and Zhang watched on as the dealer turned over a 4♣ on the turn and this time Morgan bet 1,550. Zhang called and a T♠ completed the board on the river. Morgan opted to check here and Zhang took a long time before betting 3,275. Morgan folded and the chips went to Zhang!


Alvan Zhang on Day 1a of the MPC Red Dragon

8:20pm: Level 3 Begins, Blinds 100/200

8:15pm: Playing for More Than Cash

In the past, players who entered the MPC: Red Dragon knew that for their $11,000 buy-in they would have a chance at winning huge amounts of cash and one of the best looking trophies in poker.

Now, there is even more to play for.

You see, back in July, PokerStars LIVE Macau announced Swiss luxury watch brand 'Slyde' as an official sponsor. Basically what this means is that the champion of the Red Dragon will be going home with a Slyde 'Titanium' design watch valued at CNY 52,800 (approximately USD $8,480).

When the partnership was announced, Jorg Hysek, creator of Slyde, welcomed the partnership, saying: "We are very pleased to be working with PokerStars LIVE Macau. Slyde is a company that values creativity, innovation and quality, and we are very pleased to be aligning ourselves with a brand like PokerStars LIVE Macau that has a similar focus. We are looking forward to presenting the winners with their watches and congratulating them on their success at the tables."

Hysek will be able to do just that this time next week.

8:00pm: Thumping the Table

In Macau, the loud bang of a thumping fist on felt can mean many things. It can mean a player was just eliminated. It can mean a player just won a meaningless tiny pot. It can mean a player thinks they just got dealt a natural nine. It can mean a players wants some service from the waitresses.

The loud bang that we just heard had a more traditional meaning though - a massive pot.

The noise came from over on Table 3. We arrived to find one player slamming his fist on the table in joy, all the while two other players were leaving the tournament area.

The player slamming his fists and raking all the chips was Lingyun Hu, while Yameng Guo and Waturu Namiki were eliminated. All the chips had apparently gone all in on the flop of a 5♣4♦2♣T♣5♥ board. Here is what the three players held

Namiki: A♦A♥
Guo: A♣J♣
Hu: 4♥4♠

As you can see it was an action-packed flop, with an over pair, a set and a nut-flush all looking very pretty. Guo got there on the turn, making the flush, but Hu's set turned into a full house on the river and with that he scooped the massive pot.

Both Namiki and Guo had already lost some chips before this hand played out, but Hu still moved his stack up to a very handy 30,000 in chips, enough for the (very) early chip lead.

7:45pm: Expectations on Numbers

As we move into the second level of the day the tournament clock tells us that so far just under 200 players have bought into Day 1a of the MPC21 Red Dragon Main event. We asked APPT President and the big boss here at PokerStars LIVE Macau what he thought about today's field size and what to expect over the weekend.

"I said from the start I would be happy with anything over 200 entries this first day," McDonagh said. "If we can manage that then we should be able to crack 700 total players, which would be great considering there were 645 in this event in August last year."


The new PokerStars LIVE Macau is starting to fill up

7:40pm: Level 2 Begins, Blinds 50/100

7:30pm: Scanning the Tournament Floor

We have taken a wander through the tournament floor and spotted quite a few recognisable players. The first to steal our attention was certainly Buyanjargal Bold.

That name may sound familiar because Bold is the most recent Red Dragon champion. Bold defeated the largest field in Red Dragon history (995) this past January.
Bold's not the only Red Dragon champion in the field, also at the tables is the first-ever Red Dragon victory Kenny Leong, along with 2011 champ Patrick Lee.

While they may not be champions of the Red Dragon, 2014 APPT Macau victor Jiajun Liu, recent APPT Seoul runner-up Christian Haggart, January 2014 MPC Red Dragon third-place finisher Victor Teng, 2011 Asia Player of the Year Shaq Lin and Team PokerStars Pro Vivian Im are also in the field.

Stay tuned as more familiar faces emerge and to find out how these players fare on Day 1a of the MPC21 Red Dragon Main Event! Late registration is open for the first four hours of play.

7:05pm: Here is the Plan

Okay, so the powers that be (read: APPT President Danny McDonagh) have told us that we will likely be playing 11 levels this evening. All levels last 40 minutes each, and when factoring in breaks, that means Day 1a will draw to a close at around 3:00am local time. The first level is 25/50 and as previously mentioned, players start with stacks of 15,000.

This tournament, an HK$11,000 buy-in event, is a freezeout, meaning players only get one chance at making Day 2, and ideally, going all the way to becoming a champion. The record field size for the Red Dragon is 995, which was achieved just this past January. That amount of players will be hard to beat, but with the Day 1a field currently sitting at just under 200 players, and two more Day 1 flights to play, we are expecting a large field.

Right now it's time to look around the floor and see who we recognise in the field!

7:00pm: Cards flying on Day 1a

Dozens of players have taken their seats and the dealers have started letting the cards fly on Day 1a of the MPC21: Red Dragon Main Event!

All the players start with 15,000 in chips and will be hoping to run up a stack and make it through Day 2. That's all the details we know at this moment, but we are about to do some investigating and find out what the plan is for tonight.

Opening Day 1 of MPC21: Red Dragon set to begin shortly

Here we are at PokerStars LIVE Macau at the City of Dreams, ready for the opening Day 1 flight of the MPC21: Red Dragon Main Event!

The poker room has moved from its home on level one of the main gaming floor and is in now located on level two in the new 'Soho' location of the casino. It's a good looking room and soon it will filled with dozens of players ready to hit the felt for Day 1a of the Red Dragon Main Event.

The opening action begins at 7:00pm local time this evening (Friday) and the PokerStarsBlog will be here all night long, and all week long, providing live updates of the HK$11,000 buy-in MPC21: Red Dragon! You can also find out more information about this tournament in our event introduction - 'MPC21: The Red Dragon's coming of age'.


PokerStars LIVE Macau is located at the City of Dreams

Joshua Bell
@PokerStars in PokerStars Macau