MPC21: Day 1C live updates

Blomlie leads past champ Cheong

What a day! The largest ever single-day flight of the Red Dragon began with 447 players and now we are down to approximately 130 as Day 1C has drawn to a close.

Leading the way with 169,500 in chips is Macau-based Norwegian expat Mikal Blomlie. The player with the second largest stack is a familiar face in 2010 Red Dragon champ Wing Cheong Chong. These two players, along with all the other survivors from Day 1C, will now return to the felt from 4:00pm local time tomorrow where they will join with the survivors from Day 1A and 1B.

We will have full confirmation of players remaining, all the end-of-day chip counts, Day 2 seating draw and a wrap of the day's action to appear on the PokerStarsBlog as soon as possible!


Mikal Blomlie bagged the most chips on Day 1C

10:40pm: Pause the clock

The clock has been paused and each table will deal five more hands before calling it a night.

John Q Hoang has lost quite a few chips since our last post, so he isn't part of the chip lead conversation at the moment. Mikal Blomlie, on the other hand, is still looking good. Another player who has made a late surge is 2010 MPC Red Dragon champion Wing Cheong Chong.

Stay tuned to find out who ends up as the chip leader and how many survive!

10:30pm: Blomlie continues to surge, Hoang thereabouts

It's that time of night when we start to take notice of the chip leaders.

At the moment it looks like a two horse race between Mikal Blomlie and John Q Hoang.
Blomlie recently scooped up another handy pot when he had Q♥Q♣ and had an opponent all in preflop holding A♥4♥. The board ran out 8♠K♣J♣2♠8♥ and Blomlie moved up to around 140,000.

Hoang is seated on the table directly next to Blomlie's and also has around 140,000 in chips. Hoang is arguably one of the most successful tournament players in the room, amassing well over $2 million in tournament results, which includes WSOP and WPT final tables.

10:20pm: Is that real?

Kitty Kuo has been eliminated.

Her tweet explains it all.

Unfortunately for Kuo, yes, yes is is real.

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

Final level of the night!

Just 40 minutes left in Day 1C.

10:00pm: Hot dog cooked, Blomlie crushing

We recently went over to check how Chinese hip-hop superstar MC Hot Dog was faring and found that he was no longer in the tournament. Mr. Hot Dog did well to make it this far considering he had his pocket aces cracked by pocket kings early in the day.

When we went to find Mr. Hot Dog to no avail, we noticed that the table directly next to Mr. Hot Dog's former table was playing host to who is likely the chip leader. The player's name is Mikal Blomlie and he was around 125,000 in chips.


MC Hotdog has exited the tournament

9:40pm: Some country trivia

As play begins to tighten up towards the end of the day we thought we would take this opportunity to fill you in on the eclectic mix of countries represented in the MPC21 Red Dragon.

As usual China was the most well represented with 349 players or 43.19% of the field. Next best was Japan with 84 (10.40%). There 37 countries represented in total, with one player from Jamaica probably being the one to stand out on the list. Below is the breakdown of the top five.

China - 349 (43.19%)
Japan - 84 (10.40%)
Hong Kong - 76 (9.41%)
Chinese Taipei - 70 (8.66%)
Korea - 29 (3.59%)

9:30pm: Back for final two levels

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

Two more levels and it's all over.

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

Stay tuned!

9:20pm: Final break of Day 1C

The players have just been sent on their final 10-minute break of the day.

When they return there will be two more 40-minute levels.

9:10pm: Massive pot to Masato

Japan's Masato Yokosawa has just scooped a massive pot and he sent home last year's Red Dragon champ Tom Alner in the process.

When we arrived at the table there was already well over 40,000 in the pot and a 9♦Q♠7♣6♥K♣ board on the felt. One player, with a little over 30,000 behind, had seemingly checked to Yokosawa on his left, who moved all in for 25,000. Alner was next to act and moved all in for 22,200. The other player in the hand tank-folded, at which point Alner waited for Yokosawa to turn over his hand.

Eventually the J♠T♠ for the nut straight was revealed and Alner sort of rolled his eyes and graciously left the tournament area.

Yokoswa now has upward of 100,000 in chips, which looks like the chip lead.


Tom Alner, before he lost all his chips

8:50pm: Money, money, money and more money

The prize pool has been announced!

People are going to win some money. Lots of it.

In total there were 808 players, which created a prize pool of HK$7,837,600 (~US$1 million).
Exactly 108 players will pick up at least HK$16,000 (~US$2,000), while the eventual champ will pocket a very large HK$1,667,000 (~US$215,000).

Here is what the final table payouts look like, while you can click here for full payout information.

1st - HK$1,667,000
2nd - HK $1,100,000
3rd - HK $658,000
4th - HK $491,000
5th - HK $350,000
6th - HK $290,000
7th - HK $232,000
8th - HK $175,000
9th - HK $135,600

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

8:35pm: Aussie Scott marches on

As mentioned earlier, Australia's Andrew Scott was one of the late registrants. That hasn't stopped him from accumulating chips as he now sits behind well over 30,000.

We watched Scott play out a hand on a K♠3♥4♠K♣7♦ board. There were four players involved in the pot, one of whom bet 3,500. Scott called this bet, while the other two players got out of the way. Both Scott and his opponent checked the turn. On the river, Scott led for 7,000 and scooped up the pot.

8:20pm: Xie Bo finds the double

PokerStars LIVE Macau regular Xie Bo was down to just 7,700 recently, but now he's sitting much prettier with pretty much the starting stack.

Bo got all his chips in on holding J♥J♠ and was up against pocket sixes. The board ran out A♦T♦5♣Q♣2♣ and with that, Bo had found the double!

8:10pm: Numbers confirmed, largest single-day ever

The numbers for Day 1C have been confirmed at 447.

That's the largest single-day flight in Red Dragon history.

Added with the 213 players from Day 1a and the 148 from Day 1b, the total field is 808.

That's the third largest Red Dragon ever.

Prize pool to be confirmed as soon as possible!

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

7:45pm: Kiwi's aggression doesn't work

Picking up the action on a flop of 9♥A♥3♣, play checked around to New Zealand's Thomas Ward on the button who tossed out a bet of 2,200. That was enough to find one fold, but a second player made the call as the 8♦ hit the turn.

Both players checked and the river produced the 8♥. Action again checked to Ward who fired out a bet of 5,600. His opponent shot Ward a few deathly stares and eyed off his remaining stack before splashing out a call.

"You're good," sighed Ward as he opened 2♥2♣ which was no match for his opponent's A♣Q♥. Ward slips to 12,000 in chips.

7:30pm: Manila champ spotted

Considering there was four hours of late registration today, and there were over 100 alternates, it's not surprising that we keep spotting fresh familiar faces at the tables. One of those we spotted recently lifted a trophy in this very region.

His name is Thanh Ha Duong and the tournament he won was APPT8 Manila. Duong defeated a field of 260 players exactly one month ago to this day. Duong has already won a couple of small pots to start Day 1C of the MPC21 Red Dragon, moving his stack up to 20,000. We will be keeping a close eye on Duong, seeing if he can win another major tournament in the space of just a few weeks.

7:20pm: Back and locked out

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

Registration is now locked out. Looks like 447 total players for today, but we will have confirmation of that number as soon as possible.

In the meantime, the remaining players are back with blinds of 300/600 with a 50 ante.

7:10pm: Second break and registration closed

The second break of the day has just begun!

Registration is now closed, though there are still quite a few alternates who have already bought a seat waiting to get into the tournament.

Check back here soon!

7:00pm: Scott arrives late and wins one

Macau resident Andrew Scott was a late arrival into the Day 1c field but he didn't waste any time in getting to work. First hand of Scott's day would see the Australian min-raise from middle position before the big blind popped it up to 2,800. Scott didn't muck around as he splashed his entire 15,000 stack into the middle.

His opponent deliberated for some time before open-folding J♠J♣. That was perfect for Scott who flashed 7♦7♥ and raked in the pot.

6:50pm: Yogo starting the Red Dragon strongly

Reigning ANZ Player of the Year Iori Yogo is in today's field and so far he is travelling strongly. We recently watched Yogo scoop a pot and move his stack to just under 35,000.

The hand started with a player limping from middle position, another doing the same from late position, Yogo putting in extra chips from the small blind and the big blind opting to check.

On the A♠2♥3♠ flop, It was checked to the late-position player and he bet 1,100. Yogo was the lone caller and with that, the dealer flipped over a J♠ turn. This time both players checked and a 6♥ completed the board on the river.

When Yogo led for 1,800 and received a call, he turned over A♣6♣ and scooped the pot.

Iori Yogo on Day 1C of the MPC21 Red Dragon Main Event

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

6:20pm: The Kongjing Wu story continues... And concludes

The story of Kongjing Wu has come to an end.

It probably isn't too hard to guess what happened.

Since our last Wu update it took just a few more hands for him to be eliminated. True to form, he shoved all in blind preflop several times, showing such monsters as 8♠3♠ and even Q♥7♣.

Then Wu was so desperate he tried something tricky (yet against the rules) to ensure he could exit the tournament. He shoved all in for around 20,000 except for a single 25-denomination chip. Liu Qing then moved all in for a little more and it was back on Wu, who tried to fold. He was told he was unable to do that due to collusion rules and so he committed his last 25 chip.

This time Wu had a pretty good hand considering his strategy - A♦2♦.

Fortunately for Qing, he had A♠A♣.

The board ran out 3♣6♠9♣T♠J♦ and Wu finally got his wish as he quickly left the tournament area and is seemingly on his way to do something that is far more important to him than HK$11,000.

6:05pm: The story of Kongjing Wu

Kongjing Wu was a PokerStars qualifier who was registered to play on Day 1a, but he didn't show up to play. Danny McDonagh was kind enough to give Wu a second chance by pushing him back to Day 1c, in case he did turn up. If he didn't show today, then his entry would simply be a donation to the prize pool.

A few minutes ago Wu did in fact turn up, but the only thing was that he didn't want to play. He wanted a refund. That's not something that is offered to qualifiers as McDonagh explained to him that he had to play or forfeit his entry.

Wu's response in Chinese but the translation was that he would play but just go all in every hand!

With three yellow 5,000-chips in hand, Wu was directed to a table where a free seat had opened. Interestingly Wu changed up one of the yellow chips, which seemed odd if he was about to go all in, but it seemed that Wu was enjoying the theatre of what was about to unfold.

The cards were dealt and, out of turn, Wu splashed all of his chips into the middle without looking at his cards. The Tournament Director warned Wu and the chips were pulled back. A player decided to raise to 700 from middle position and Wu was still true to his word as he again splashed all in. The table folded around and the middle position player gave a wry smile as he didn't know what to do.

Wu tried to make it easier for him by exposing one of his cards to the table - the J♦ - and another warning was issued.

The middle position player decided to call for his tournament with 8♥8♦. Wu showed J♦K♠ and the board of 4♣A♣3♣K♥T♥ paired the king for a rather cruel knockout.

The very next hand Wu didn't bother look at his cards and he wasn't worried about stacking his chips as he shoved them all in to the middle with multiple thrusts. For his third breach of etiquette in two hands, the floor ruled it a string bet. It didn't matter as a late position player moved all in with A♥K♦ and doubled up through Wu's K♠9♣. Wu gave back 14,000 to sit with a little over start stack after an eventful two hands. Somehow we don't think that will last much longer.

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

5:45pm: Updating the Player of the Year

It has just come to my attention that there is a new Asia Player of the Year leader.

The change came just last night when Ka Cheong Wong won the HK$3,000 Turbo side event. That was Wong's eighth final table this year alone and gave him enough POY points to surpass previous leader Victor Teng. Of course, the Red Dragon Main Event will have the biggest implications for the POY leader board, so will be watching with interest over the next few days to see how it all plays out.

5:25pm: Lam on the rail

Charles Lam has posted more than US$100,000 in tournament results at PokerStars LIVE Macau, but won't be adding any more to that tally here in the MPC21 Red Dragon Main Event.
Lam was recently all in for just a few thousand preflop against Renjun Yang and one other player. Lam watched on as the two active players took to a T♥8♣7♠ flop. Yang led for 2,000 here, which was enough to see the other player fold.

With that, Lam turned over A♥9♣, which was behind the K♠T♠ of Yang.

Lam needed to catch some cards to survive, but the 8♥ turn and the K♦ river were of no help and so he was sent to the rail.

5:10pm: Giant field back at the tables

The massive field is back from their break and the cards are back in the air!

Registration is still open for the next two hours, but with over 100 alternates already waiting to be allocated a seat, it might be a while a new registrant gets in the tournament.

Blinds are still 100/200 for this level, but now a 25 ante kicks in.

5:00pm: Time for the first break

Hundreds of players have stormed out of the tournament area and have now split into dozens of directions like a very poorly orchestrated stampede.

They will be back at the tables in ten minutes.

4:35pm: Shao showing early form

Yuan Shao has already managed to move his stack toward 30,000 during these early stages of Day 1C of the Red Dragon Main Event.

We recently watched Shao scoop a pot on the turn of a Q♠Q♣J♣5♦. We arrived at the action on the flop, with Shao going up against two opponents. There was already around 3,000 in the pot at this point and Shao was second to act, leading out for 2,300 after one opponent checked. Just one player called and on the turn Shao led for 3,500 and scooped the pot.

With so many players in the field it's hard to tell who the chip leader is at this very early stage, but Shao certainly has started strongly.

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

4:10pm: More interesting players in the field

Earlier in the day we told you about MC Hotdog being in the field. It's not often you have a backstory like that for a player in a poker tournament. However, today we have been made aware of a couple of other players with interesting stories in the field.

Firstly we have Yohwan Lim.

He's considered by many as being one of the best and most influential video gamers of all time. His poison, not surprisingly considering its popularity in his home country of South Korea, is Starcraft. In the game he is known as 'BoxeR'.

Then we have Gene Yu.

Hailing from Taiwan, Yu is a former member of the US Army Special Forces, otherwise known as, the 'Green Beret'. Yu has lived a storied life, one which he has documented in what sounds like a very interesting book entitled 'The Yellow Green Beret: Stories of an Asian-American Stumbling Around the US Army Special Forces.' Yu also happens to be the nephew of Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou.

Surely a poker tournament is a piece of cake compared to the US Army Special Forces. Or even compared to the competitive Starcraft scene.

Will be watching these two with interest.

3:50pm: Wow, that's a big field

At the start of the day we very confident we would see a field much larger than either of the last two days. We probably didn't think we would surpass the combined number from those two days. And then some.

We have just been told that we are currently up to an amazing 420 player entered in the tournament. With 32 tables in the room, that means we have 100 alternates that will hopefully be seated over the next few hours.

Registration will remain open for the first four hours of play, so theoretically we could still see even more than 420 players partaking in Day 1C.

Regardless, we already up to 781 total players, which is huge for a freezeout tournament of this buy-in level (HK$11,000 or ~$US1,400).


The line for the registration desk seemingly never gets shorter

3:40pm: Level 2 Begins, Blinds 50/100

3:35pm: MC Hotdog... 'Nuff said.

There is a player in the field who goes by the name MC Hotdog.

He's famous. Very famous.

He's considered the godfather of Chinese hip-hop.

And he plays poker. Usually online at PokerStars, but also here at PokerStars LIVE Macau.

"I enjoy playing poker," says the 36-year old Taipei native. "I love the competitive mind sport aspect of the game. Playing on PokerStars allows me to compete with other players anytime and anywhere, no matter if I'm on the road touring between concerts or back at home."

He's yet to breakthrough with a big live tournament result, but clearly he has mad skills and could make this week his week to shine.

There's not much else we can say except to watch this:

3:25pm: Field grows and grows... And grows

A constant stream of players continue to filter into the PokerStars LIVE Macau poker room. So many, in fact, that we are now into alternates. That means well over 320 players have entered the tournament so far and it's looking like we will push towards 400 total players. All in all, combined with the previous Day 1 flights, we have already surpassed last year's August Red Dragon field size of 645 players. That also means this will be the third largest Red Dragon of all time and maybe even push to become the second largest.

3:15pm: Faces and more faces

With a packed PokerStars LIVE Macau it is no surprise that there are a huge amount of recognisable faces at the felt for Day 1C of the Red Dragon Main Event. This includes players like Sparrow Cheung, MPC Championship victor Raiden Kan, ANZ Player of the Year Iori Yogo, Stev Yea, Juicy Li, Kitty Kuo and 2012 ACOP champion Xing Zhou.

3:05pm: Plan and party reminder

Just like the first two Day 1 flights, players start Day 1C with 15,000 in chips, blind levels last 40 minutes each and we will be playing 11 levels.

PokerStars LIVE Macau's Fred Leung also just reminded players about the party they are all invited to. It takes place after the Main Event final table on Wednesday evening at the 'Flame' bar which is located right by the poker room. It sounds like it's going to be great time and is a perfect reason for players to stick around, even if they are eliminated from the Main Event.

3:00pm: Begins with huge line still moving

Dozens of players are currently still lined up to buy into Day 1C of the Red Dragon Main Event. Hundreds of others, however, are already at the tables and playing the first hands of the day!

It's going to be a massive day.

Packed PokerStars LIVE Macau ready for third and final Day 1 flight

We always knew today would be massive. Sure, yesterday's 148 players was a little below expectations, but we are going to make up for that today.

Around an hour before play there have already well over 200 entrants into Day 1C of the Red Dragon. There is also a massive line of players waiting to buy in at the registration desk. It's looking like there will easily be more than 300 players, which will see the total field storm past 600 and towards 700.

The cards will be in the air from 3:00pm local time and the PokerStarsBlog will once again be providing live updates of all the action, so be sure to join us here!


The PokerStars LIVE Macau chips are ready to go out to the players

Joshua Bell
@PokerStars in PokerStars Macau