MPC22: Lee leads after dramatic bubble day
Macau is an addict for the dramatic.
Everything about the city is over the top. The lights, the buildings, the casinos, the poker, the players. This isn't a negative thing, it just happens to be eye opening for westerners who may have never experienced the craziness of the 'Vegas of the East'.
The final level of Day 2 of the MPC22 Red Dragon encapsulated this perfectly.
It was bubble time. Hand-for-hand play kicked off with 120 players remaining, which was three players off the money. From here everything ran relatively smoothly. Two players quickly hit the rail and so it was onto the official bubble.
Then, 90 minutes later and after 14 short-stack double ups, the tournament staff made the call to play one more hand before calling it a night. No elimination and the players would have to return to burst the bubble on Day 3.
The trend suggested that there would either be no action or a double up.
Instead, there was a double elimination with Zhiyun Tang and Dapeng Wu bursting the bubble and finishing in equal 117th place, taking home HK$12,300 each.
Tang was eliminated when his Q♠6♠ for two pair was counterfeited by A♥J♦ on a T♠6♣A♦Q♦T♣ board. Wu, meanwhile, opted to finish the night off with bang by shoving just under ten big blinds from the button with 4♠2♠ and ultimately ran into the A♥Q♠ of Fan Xu in the big blind. No help came for Wu and so he was eliminated.
Long before the bubble was even on the radar there were 285 players at the tables all hoping to make it through to Day 3. More than 100 of those found the rail in the first three levels of action.
One of the players who wasn't able to make it through the night was the lone Team PokerStars Pro remaining in the field, Kosei Ichinose.
The pro from Japan got his relatively short stack in preflop holding pocket eights and ran into pocket tens. No help on the board run out Ichinose made his way out of the tournament and to the registration desk to jump in a side event.
Dozens of other notable players also hit the rail throughout Day 2 including former Red Dragon champion Tom Alner, hip hop star MC Hotdog, Akira 'Clutch Hero' Ohyama, Chinese pro Juicy Li and APPT Cebu champ Hoang Anh Do, just to name a few.
Where these players faltered, many others prospered.
The player who flourished more than any other was Korea's Yiwon Lee.
Lee's stack of 585,000 ended up just ahead of fellow Korean Jaehun Kim with 494,500.
The next largest stack belongs to the UK's Stephen Miles. His 395,000 in chips, however, is quite a way back from the two Korean leaders.
Portugal's Diego Gomez (373,500), Japan's Takuya Yamashita (341,000) and China's Yifan Zhang (321,500) rounded out an eclectic mix of nationalities at the pointy end of the chip leader board.
MPC22 - Day 2 Top Ten
Yiwon Lee (Korea) - 585000
Jaehun Kim (Korea) - 494500
Stephen Miles (UK) - 395000
Diego Gomez (Portugal) - 373500
Takuya Yamashita (Japan) - 341000
Yifan Zhang (China) - 321500
Yuanye Chen (China) - 310500
Aditya Sushant (India) - 281000
Zhenwu Wang (China) - 275500
Darian Tan (Malaysia) - 269000
You can find out how Day 2 played out in more detail on the live reporting page here at the PokerStarsBlog, while that link above is where you are going to find all the end-of-day chip counts and Day 3 seating draw. You can also click here for a reminder of all the prize pool information.
The surviving players will now return to PokerStars LIVE Macau from 3:00pm local time on Thursday and the plan is to play down to a final table. That means we need to see 107 elimination so strap yourselves in for a long and eventful day. Join us then!