MPC21: Yang goes all the Wei on Day 1A
It's amazing how quickly a new home feels, well, like home.
You see, around eight hours ago when we walked into the unfamiliar second floor of the City of Dreams for Day 1a of the MPC21 Red Dragon, we were a little sceptical. After all, we had grown to love PokerStars LIVE Macau's home on the main gaming floor and nobody likes change. It's scary.
But all the fears were squashed just a few hours into the day.
The new room is great. There's good music pumping from the nearby Hard Rock Café, there's a handy bar right by the tables and the general ambience of the room is pleasing.
If we enjoyed the new room on Day 1a, then Wei Yang enjoyed it even more.
Like the 212 other players on the opening Day 1 flight, Yang started the day with 15,000 in chips. By the end of eleven 40-minute levels Yang had that stack up to 166,700.
Yang, from China, has had only minor success in side events around this region's tournament scene, so he will be hoping to finally make an impact in a big tournament like the Red Dragon. Unfortunately for him hundreds of others have the same idea.
Yang's bag is around 20,000 in chips heavier than his nearest competitor Robert Schwartz.
It was a big last level of the night for Schwartz as he built off dealing the fatal blow to Australian Victor Teng. Schwartz eliminated Teng when he called off a three-bet shove holding Q♦Q♥, which was too strong for Teng's Q♣8♦.
Schwartz and Yang were two of seven players who finished Day 1a with six-figure stacks. The other five were: Chun Tung Wai (128,700), Xin Zhang (118,100), Mengyao Chen (116,700), Yan Cui (111,800) and Jiaxiu Liu (100,900).
A very familiar face in Winfred Yu bagged up just under six-figures, finishing with a stack of 94,000. Yu is well known as a high roller specialist, but has also had plenty of success in tournaments around this region, including a fourth-place finish in the recent APPT Seoul Main Event.
Also still alive heading into Day 2 is Kenny Leong - a man who is synonymous with the Red Dragon. He won the first edition of this tournament back in 2008. There were 33 players, which is a far cry from the hundreds that play in the event now. Still, a title is a title and Leong will be looking to win another one. Leong finished Day 1a with 71,600.
While all of the aforementioned players had a great night at the felt, others did not. Some of those who were eliminated on Day 1a include recent MPC20 champion Buyanjargal Bold, 2014 APPT Macau champion Jiajun Liu, 2013 APPT champion Alexandre Chieng, 2011 Asia Player of the Year Shaq Lin and even Teaam PokerStars Pro Vivian Im.
All in all, there were exactly 52 survivors of 213 starters on Day 1a of the Red Dragon. Each and every one of the survivors will return to the felt on Monday, while a couple of new batches of players will partake in this weekend's Day 1 festivities.
For now, it's goodnight, but make sure to return to the PokerStarsBlog tomorrow as continue to provide live updates of the MPC21 Red Dragon Main Event! Play begins at 3:00pm local time!