MPC21: Day 1B live updates

Emning Zhang leads Day 1B by a nose

There are 42 happy poker players leaving PokerStars LIVE Macau right now. They all managed to do what 106 others couldn't - make it through Day 1B of the MPC21 Red Dragon Main Event.
It's safe to say that at the start of the day all 148 entrants wanted to become the chip leader, but as they say, there can only be one! On this occasion it was Emning Zhang who bagged the chip lead with a stack 115,100. He was just a few thousand ahead of Darian Tan (112,600) and Bin Hu (109,700).

While they didn't fare as well as the chip leaders, we can also tell you that Team PokerStars Pros Celina Lin and Raymond Wu both survived.

You can expect all the end-of-day chip counts and a full wrap-up of Day 1B to appear on the blog soon, but for now we bid you farewell! We will be back with more live updates from 3:00pm local time tomorrow as the third and final Day 1 flight takes place.

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Emning Zhang is the Day 1B chip leader

10:50pm: Wai Leong makes Lester hurt

Lester Pinto has been amongst the chip leaders all day.

Not anymore.

We recently arrived to find Pinto invbolved in a big pot with Wai Leong Chan on the river of a 4♥4♣K♦Q♦5♦ board. There was already around 40,000 in the pot at this point and Pinto check to Chan, who bet 20,100. Pinto tumbled out a chip to indicate the call and Chan quickly turned over A♦J♦ - a runner-runner nut-flush.

Pinto just shook his head, paid the bet and left himself with under 30,000 in chips.
Luckily for Pinto he would double up just a few hands later hoding pocket fours versus ace-queen, while Chan will now likely finish the night as one of the chip leaders.

10:40pm: Six more hands

The tournament clock has been paused and the players have been told there will be six more hands at each table! Right now the race for the chip lead is between Dairan Tan, Bing Hu and Emning Zhang.

10:30pm: Emning Zhang keeps winning chips

Emning Zhang can't seem to put a foot wrong. He's been on our radar for most of the afternoon - time which he has spent as one of the chip leaders. Zhang has continued his winning ways into the last level of the night.

We picked up the action with Zhang and one player on the turn of a J♦5♥2♥K♠ board. Zhang led out for 7,400 and the player called. The river was a 2♠ and this time Zhang checked and was faced with a bet of 17,000. Zhang tanked and eventually called.

Zhang's opponent reluctantly showed A♣4♣ for just ace high, while Zhang tabled his T♣T♠.
Zhang is up to 130,000 and looking likely to be one of the chip leaders at the end of play.

10:15pm: Final level begins with five tables

The final level of Day 1C has just begun and we are already down to five tables of nine. There were 53 survivors on Day 1A and it's looking like tonight will be somewhere in the 30's.

10:10pm: Level 11 begins, Blinds 800/1,600 (200)

10:00pm: No luck for Lin as Bin surges

Aaron Lin (brother of 2011 Asia Player of the Year Shaq Lin) got his stack of 18,900 in preflop holding Q♥Q♠ and was in good shape against Bin Hu's T♥T♦.

Then the dealer spread out a K♦7♣T♣9♦6♠ board and it was all over for Lin.

Hu already had quite a big stack before this hand, but is now one of the chip leaders with 95,000.

9:45pm: PokerStars LIVE Macau full to the brim

While Day 1b of the Red Dragon is getting towards the business end of the day, a new batch of fresh-faced hopefuls have just taken their seats around the PokerStars LIVE Macau poker room. But they are not here to compete in the Main Event. They are here for the HK$3,000 No Limit Holdem Turbo Event which has just kicked off as part of the MPC21 schedule.

The poker room is currently full to the brim with the 32 tournament tables all in use and the queue at the registration desk has been over 30-people long for the best part of the last half hour. With the tournament full, these players are now waiting as alternates until someone busts and a spare seat is freed. Being an alternate is not always a good thing in a Turbo event, but PokerStars Macau chief Danny McDonagh has just announced that the clock will be paused at the current level until all alternates have been able to take their seats to ensure that no one is greatly disadvantaged.

It's great to see the new space at the City of Dreams bubbling with activity on a busy Saturday night, and if the number of people here tonight is any indication, then we're in for an even bigger day tomorrow for the final flight of the Red Dragon Main Event.

9:30pm: Back for the final levels

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

Blinds are now 600/1,200 with a 200 ante.

Two more 40-minute levels and Day 1C is all over!


9:20pm: Final break of Day 1C

The players have been sent on their final break of Day 1C. When they return there will be two more levels before calling it a night!

9:10pm: Lin on the comeback train

What a comeback from Celina Lin!

The Team PokerStars Pro was down well under 10,000 recently, but is now cruising thanks to a couple of big pots. First Lin doubled up to around 25,000 and then she sent a player to the rail to move to just under 50,000.

The hand in which Lin sent a player packing saw her raise it up to 5,000 from the button after three players had already put some chips in the pot. At this point the player who was under the gun moved all in for 16,700 more (21,700 total) and Lin started thinking about her decision. Eventually Lin called and tabled pocket eights. Her opponent had king-jack suited. The board ran out all bricks and with that, Lin was back in business.

8:50pm: Big stack emerges in the form of Zhang

Another big stack has emerged in the form of Enming Zhang after a huge clash on Table 2. This wasn't your typical ace-king versus pocket queens double up, as Zhang and his opponent got a little creative.

We arrived on the flop of 3♣4♠Q♦ to see the player in the big blind lead out with a bet of 2,700. Zhang was on the button, and we assume the preflop raisor, as he bumped it up to 8,500. His opponent gave it some thought and made the call as the J♥ found its way onto the turn.

Action checked to Zhang who reached for a stack of blue 1,000-denomination chips and slid them into the middle, but before they could even be cut down, the big blind had moved all in and Zhang quickly called!

The big blind proudly showed his J♠4♥ which had turned two pair, but it was no good as Zhang held Q♠3♥ for an equally raggedy, but slightly superior two pair. The river was the T♦ and Zhang's last 34,500 chips were doubled to see his stack rise to an impressive 95,000 chips.

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How could Enming Zhang lose with a card protector like that?

8:40pm: Level 9 begins, blinds 500/1,000 (100)

8:30pm: Lester is running too good

"He's running too good man!" cried the player on Lester Pinto's right.

It's hard to argue with this fellow when you consider the hand he had just witnessed.

It started with a player opening to 1,700 from early position. Two players called before Pinto three-bet to 10,000 from the small blind. The original opener moved all in for just under 15,000, the other two players folded and Pinto put in the extra chips.

Pinto had A♥K♠ and was up against A♠A♦.

The A♣4♦Q♦ flop wasn't helpful to Pinto as his opponent hit a set of aces.

Then a T♦ turn and a J♠ river meant that Pinto had made a straight.

Ouch.

Not for Pinto though.

He's up to around 98,000.

8:10pm: Celina back over five figures

Team PokerStars Pro Celina Lin is finally back over five-figures.

It's been a rough day of grinding for Lin, but a recent three-bet shove for 9,200 from the big blind after an early position open to 1,600 and an eventual fold from that player sees her move back towards the starting stack.

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Celina Lin is looking a little happier now she is regaining some chips

8:00pm: Level 8 begins, Blinds 400/800 (100)

7:50pm: Jing Wang moving into the lead

At this point in the day, it looks like Jing Wang is the chip leader!

Wang recently picked up a very large pot against one opponent on a 8♥Q♦J♣K♣9♥ board.

Wang had opened to 1,600 preflop from middle position and the player in the big blind made the call. Both players checked the flop, while Wang led for 1,300 on the turn. When Wang led for 3,500 on the river, his opponent folded.

Wang is sitting pretty on around 75,000.

7:35pm: Registration locked out, field size in

With registration closing after four hours of play we can confirm that 148 players have partaken in Day 1B of the MPC20 Red Dragon Main Event. That's a little lower than expectations, but tomorrow should see huge numbers filter into PokerStars LIVE Macau. We are still on trek to surpass last year' MPC August field size of 645.

7:20pm: Back with rego closed

The players are back from their break and with that, registration has closed.

Blinds are now 300/600 with a 50 ante.

There are five more levels before today is all over.


7:10pm: Break number two

The players have been sent on their second break of the day. It will be back to it in ten minutes.

That also means there are ten minutes remaining to register for Day 1B.

7:00pm: Team Pros on the downward trend

Following Bryan Huang's elimination, we thought we would go have a look around the tournament area and see how the other two Team PokerStars Pros are faring.

Turns out the answer to that question is... Not too well.

Raymond Wu, is still doing fine with a little over 20,000 but in comparison to the 45,000 he got his stack up to, that's not too well.

Celina Lin has been grinding all afternoon, but is down to well under 10,000. We recently watched Lin three-bet jam for 7,750 from the button and after one player had opened to 700 preflop. Lin took down this pot and added some chips to her stack.

Let's see if these two can do what Huang wasn't able to.

6:45pm: Huang runs into aces and you know the rest

Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang has left the building.

One the way out, he told us that he ran ace-queen into pocket aces.

"Unlucky," we said to him.

"Not really," replied Huang with a chuckle.

Celina Lin and Raymond Wu remain in the field, waiving the PokerStars flag.

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Bryan Huang looks down at ace-queen, gets chips in, doesn't win

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

6:25pm: MPCC champ Chen climbing

Former MPCC champion Rui Chen has just landed a rather dramatic double up in impressive style. We arrived to see a flop of 6♣T♠8♦ with a bet of 4,800 and a call in front of Chen. He was taking his time over his decision before he eventually decided the play was to kick it up with a min-raise to 9,600. That was enough to force the first player to fold, but the second opponent wasn't going to go away so easily.

The player anguished over the decision for several minutes and eventually the clock was called.

That was the trigger for the player to splash out a call and we would see the 3♦ hit the turn.
Action checked to Chen who moved all in for 9,575 and this time the bet was quickly called.

Chen tabled T♥T♦ for top set and his opponent dropped his head in dismay and also his cards into the muck in resignation. There was no need for a river card as Chen more than doubled to climb to 44,000 in chips.

6:15pm: Lester crusing

Earlier in the day Lester Pinto sent Sunny Zhang to the rail. Pinto had pocket aces and hit a set, while Zhang was unlucky to hit a set of twos, get all his chips in and lose the pot. Interestingly, Pinto and Zhang have been running good this past week, both winning side events. Obviously Pinto has been running just a little bit better.

Since dealing the fatal blow to Zhang, Pinto has continued to prosper and is now one of the chip leaders with a stack of 45,000.

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Lester Pinto is in good shape on Day 1B

6:00pm: Yoo moving on up

Korea's James Yoo has managed to accumulate one of the larger stacks early here on Day 1B of the Red Dragon. He recently scooped a pot against one opponent on a 2♠4♦T♦J♥4♥ board. There was around 3,000 in the pot when we arrived on the turn and both players checked here. Then Yoo led out for 3,500 on the river and with a fold, scooped up the pot.

Yoo's best result here in Macau was a deep run in the 2010 APPT Macau Main Event.

5:50pm: Level 5 begins, Blinds 150/300 (50)

5:35pm: Players still filtering In

Registration is still open until just after 7:00pm, so we still have a solid 90 minutes for players to pony up the HK$11,000 buy-in and take to the tables of Day 1B of the Red Dragon Main Event.
At the moment we are up to 147 players, which combined with yesterday's 213, brings us up to 360. Regardless of today's field we are expecting a packed house for tomorrow's Day 1C.

5:25pm: Team Pro update

All three Team PokerStars Pros here on Day 1B of the Red Dragon are travelling along nicely, though at different paces.

Celina Lin has struggled to gather any momentum early, finding herself with around 11,000 and seemingly unable to find a playable hand during this current level.

Raymond Wu, on the other hand, has continued to rake in chips and sees his stack sitting firmly above 40,000.

Huang has managed to win a few chips recently. He five bet from the button when he got into a raising war with the player on his direct right. His opponent didn't want to rumble with Singapore's most successful poker player and with that Huang moved up to around 20,000 in chips.

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Celina Lin is in grind mode on Day 1B of the Red Dragon

5:10pm: Back to play with antes

The first break of the day is over and the cards are back in the air.

Antes now kick in, with blinds at 100/200 with a 25 ante.

Team PokerStars Pro Raymond Wu is returning to a stack of 40,000 which looks like it puts him in the early chip lead.


5:00pm: First break of Day 1B

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

Ten minutes and it will be back to it.

Don't forget late registration is still open for two more hours!

4:45pm: Bin starts Day 1B strong

Bin Hu has already amassed just over 30,000 in chips.

Plenty of those came in a recent three-handed pot that went his way.

We arrived on the turn of a 4♣9♥8♣T♥ board, with Kok Chew Leong checking to Hongjun Cui, who bet 2,000. Hu mad the call and so too did Leong.

The river was a Q♥ and the play was checked to Hu. After a few moments, Hu bet 3,500. Leong quickly folded and the action was one Cui. That bet was more than half of Cui's remaining stack and after some thought, Cui decided to save his chips.

4:30pm: Wu in the groove

Raymond Wu is running hot in the early stages of Day 1b of the Red Dragon Main Event after we just caught him winning two big pots in consecutive hands.

The first hand saw Wu fire bets on the turn and river on the board of 3♣Q♦T♦9♣9♦. The bets were called and Wu showed 8♦6♦ for the winning flush.

The very next hand Wu was back in the thick of things, check-raising a bet of 800 to 2,200 from the small blind on the flop of 2♠J♦4♠. His opponent made the call before Wu discounted the price to 1,800 on the repeat 2♥ turn. Again the bet was called before the K♠ completed the board. Wu slid out a stack of blue chips, which was enough to put his opponent all in for his last 6,000. It was a quick call but the short-stacked player couldn't better Wu's 4♣4♦ for a full house!

Wu sends one to the rail to climb to 38,000 and the early Day 1b chip lead.

4:20pm: Level 3 Begins, Blinds 100/200

4:10pm: Just a little gamble

In the early levels of play, it's not uncommon to see a little gamble, especially here in Macau, but we just saw a three-way action flop that couldn't ended a lot worse for a couple of our players than it ultimately did.

The flop of J♣3♣K♣ would produce a bet of 1,200 from Jianwei Liu before Yi Guang Xu popped it up to 2,500 in position. The action was back with Kwok Man Lau in the small blind who tanked for a long time before deciding to make the cold call. A fourth player folded and Liu made the call.

The turn was the 2♣ to put four clubs on board and that brought checks around the table. The river was a bricky 5♦ and again everyone decided to play it careful as they tapped the table.
From the small blind, Lau was to show first and opened K♥J♥ for a clubless two pair. Liu could beat that as he revealed 7♣6♣ for a flopped flush, but it was Xu who was actually third best on the flop but ended with the best hand holding Q♠T♣ for a better flush. Xu chips up to 25,000 in chips.

3:55pm: Good start for Wu

Team PokerStars Pro Raymond Wu won the Red Dragon in March of 2010. Back then the total field was 321 players, which is closer in size to a single Day 1 flight these days.

Wu is currently in the middle seat of Table 6 on Day 1b and is looking comfortable.

We recently arrived to watch Wu casually flicking out a preflop raise to 500 from early position. He received two called, one from Kuang Hung Lee in middle position and one from Darian Tan in the cut off.

On the 6♣4♦2♥ flop, Wu led out for 500, Lee got out of the way and Tan made the call. The dealer then flipped over a 7♦ on the turn and this time Wu checked. Tan bet 900 here and Wu thought for some time, doubling checking his cards before making the call.

When the board completed with a 9♣, Wu once again checked and this time Tan bet 1,500. Wu went into the tank and eventually tumbled out a call.

At showdown Tan tabled K♦T♦ for just king high, meaning Wu had made a good call with 5♦5♥.

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Raymond Wu has started Day 1B strongly

3:25pm: Who is in the field

As we already mentioned, all three Team PokerStars Pros are in today's field, but they aren't the only players we recognise at the tables. Also at the tables are players like 2009 Red Dragon champion Zhenjian Lin, Darian Tan, Aaron Lin, Sunny Zhang, Lester Pinto and Justin Chan.

3:20pm: Slow start to the day

"Wow, slow start," quipped APPT President Danny McDonagh.

He was referring to the fact that only roughly 140 players have sat down at the tables so far, which is quite a lot less than the 200 plus he expected. Of course, there is late registration for four hours, so more players are likely to sit down. A small field on Day 1B is usually an indication that Day 1C will be massive anyway.

3:10pm: Day of the Team Pros

Just as we were getting out of our seat at the media desk to walk over to the tournament area and see who is the in field we bumped into Team PokerStars Pros Bryan Huang, Celina Lin and Raymond Wu. All three were on their way to the registration desk.

"You can't all play Day 1B," joked APPT President Danny McDonagh. "One of you is going to have to sit out and play tomorrow."

The three Team Pros weren't having it though as they all wandered over to the tournament area, with Celina Lin clutching a brand new Team Pro patch that she looked quite happy with.

We certainly don't mind them all playing today.

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Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang on Day 1B of the Red Dragon

3:05pm: Planning the day

Just a quick update on the Day 1B plan.

Like yesterday, we will be playing eleven 40-minute levels. That will bring us to around 11:00pm local time. Players start with 15,000 in chips, the first blind level is 25/50 and there will be 10-minute breaks after every three levels!

Alright, with that out of the way, it's time to check who is in the field.

3:00pm: Fred kicks it off on Day 1B

PokerStars Macau's "Poker Dude" Fred Leung has just welcomed the players and asked the dealers to shuffle up and deal as Day 1B of the MPC21 Red Dragon has begun!

Right now there are under 200 players in the tournament, but with registration open for the first four hours of play, we can expect the field to grow considerably.

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Fred Leung on the mic at PokerStars LIVE Macau

Second Day 1 flight begins today

Welcome back to PokerStars LIVE Macau as we are getting ready for Day 1b of the MPC21 Red Dragon Main Event!

It was less than twelve hours ago that 52 players bagged up some chips on the first Day 1 flight. Those survivors came from a total field of 213 Players. We have received the word from APPT President Danny McDonagh that today's field should be a similar size.

The cards will be in the air from 3:00pm local time and we will once again be here all day long providing live updates, so be sure to keep clicking refresh on your browser and find out how it all plays out.

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PokerStars LIVE Macau in it's new location in the City of Dreams

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