MPC26: High Roller coverage archive

Congratulations to MPC26 High Roller Champion Juicy Li!

MPC26 Juicy Li.jpg

Juicy Li has hoisted the High Roller trophy and collected HK$2,436,000 after overcoming a record-breaking field of 130 players.

2:05am: Xuming Qi eliminated in 2nd place (HK$1,646,000)
Level 24 - Blinds 80,000/160,000 (20,000 Ante)

It only took one hand of heads up play to determine that Juicy Li was our champion. She raised to 320,000 on the button before Xuming Qi moved all in from the big blind for 1.67 million. Li snapped it off with her huge holding and Qi was left searching for assistance.

Qi: Q♦J♣
Li: K♠K♥

"I'm drawing dead," sighed Qi prematurely after seeing the 4♦A♥7♥ flop, but after the A♣ turn card it was official. The inconsequential 7♠ river made things official and with that the MPC26 High Roller was in the books.

Qi earns himself HK$1,646,000 for his impressive runner-up finish. -- BK

MPC26 Xuming Qi runner up.jpg

Runner up - Xuming Qi

2am: Heads up chip counts
Level 24 - Blinds 80,000/160,000 (20,000 Ante)

Juicy Li - 11.33 million
Xuming Qi - 1.67 million

1:55am: Hong Nan eliminated in 3rd place (HK$1,070,000)
Level 24 - Blinds 80,000/160,000 (20,000 Ante)

MPC26_HighRoller_088.jpg

Hong Nan busts in 3rd place
 

Play is speeding up here and had not long resumed after the short break before we lost another. Sixiao Li leveraged her monster stacks and moved all-in from the small blind and Hong Nan did not think too long about it before making the call.

Hong Nan: T♦K♥
Sixiao Li A♠J♣

The monochrome Q♦A♦5♦ flop kept Li in the lead though Nan could still hit any diamond to improve. The T♠ turn gave Nan some more outs and the Chinese player shot to his feet when a red four hit the river, unfortunately for Nan it was the 4♥ and his tournament is now over. Hong Nan hit the rail in third place for a seven-figure score and we are now down to two.

1:45am: Three-handed chip counts
Level 24 - Blinds 80,000/160,000 (20,000 Ante)

Juicy Li - 7.075 million
Xuming Qi - 3.020 million
Hong Nan - 2.905 million

1:36am: Short break
The remaining three high rollers have just taken a short 5-minute break

1:35am: Thomas Ward eliminated in 4th place (HK$885,900)
Level 24 - Blinds 80,000/160,000 (20,000 Ante)

MPC26_HighRoller_102.jpg

Kiwi Thomas Ward busts in 4th place
 

After a quiet spell in which the remaining four players took it in turns to steal the blinds and antes and jockey for position New Zealand's Thomas Ward found himself one of the shorter stacks. 

Down to around 1.3 million with blinds (roughly 8 big blinds) Ward moved all-in from the button with A♦4♠ and was called fairly swiftly by Hong Nan in the big blind with A♥J♥.

Ward was the at risk player with a dominated hand and totally missed the 7♥2♣6♣ flop. Despite turning a gunshot wheel draw for a faint glimmer of hope when the 3♠ hit the turn the A♠ river meant Nan's kicker played and we lost another. Ward departs in fourth place for HK$885,900 while Nan stacked up to just over 3 million. 

1:10am: Li leaps further ahead
Level 23 - Blinds 60,000/120,000 (10,000 Ante)

Thomas Ward raised to 240,000 on the button and both Juicy Li and Hong Nan called from the small and big blind respectively. The flop was spread 6♠Q♠5♦ and it was checked around to the J♦ turn card.

Li then led out for 600,000 and after Nan folded, Ward made the call and the 3♥ completed the board.

Li paused before loading up again and firing for 725,000. Ward paid it off and Li tabled Q♣J♥ for top two pair. Ward shook his head and dropped to 1.4 million as Li extended her lead to 5.6 million. -- BK

12:50am: Wayne Yap eliminated in 5th place (HK$714,500)
Level 23 - Blinds 60,000/120,000 (10,000 Ante)

MPC26_HighRoller_100.jpg

Singapore's Wayne Yap departs in 5th place
 

The very first hand after the break Singapore's Wayne Yap moved all-in from under-the-gun for his last 255,000 with Sixiao Li making the call from the big blind.

Wayne Yap: J♠7♥
Sixiao Li: J♥9♥

Yap found himself dominated and did not improve when the flop fell an unhelpful 3♣4♠6♥. Li paired her nine when the 9♣ came down on the turn to leave Yap drawing to the deck's four remaining sevens. Unfortunately the Q♥ river was not one of them and Yap hit the rail in fifth place.

12:45am: Chip counts
Level 23 - Blinds 60,000/120,000 (10,000 Ante)

Here's how the remaining five players are stacking up:

Sixiao Li (China) - 4,755,000 
Hong Nan (China) - 3,620,000
Xuming Qi (China) - 2,330,000 
Thomas Ward (New Zealand) - 2,045,000
Wayne Yap (Singapore) - 255,000

12:35am: Break
The five remaining high rollers are on a short 10-minute break, stay tuned in and we'll be back with some chip counts shortly.

12:30am: Qi doubles through Yap
Level 22 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (10,000 Ante)

Following some blind and ante swapping there has been a quick burst of action. Sixiao Li instigated things with a min-open from the cutoff before Wayne Yap announced he was all-in from the button.

Action folded around to Xuming Qi in the big blind and he moved all-in for just over 1.1 million and Li quickly bowed out.

Xuming Qi: A♠K♣
Wayne Yap: K♦J♠

Qi was the at risk player but had the dominating hand and maintained his lead throughout when the board ran out 2♦5♦K♥ K♠9♥ and doubled to 2.3 million while Yap takes a huge hit and drops down to a little under five big blinds with a stack of 480,000.

12:15am: Phanlert Sukonthachartnant eliminated in 6th place (HK$563,500)
Level 22 - Blinds 50,000/100,000 (10,000 Ante)

We're now down to five players after Phanlert Sukonthachartnant exits in sixth place. Sukonthachartnant moved all in for his last 540,000 on a flop of 2♠3♥J♣ and was snapped off by Thomas Ward.

Sukonthachartnant: Q♦8♣
Ward: 3♣2♣

Phanlert Sukonthachartnant was in rough shape and while he found a little help on the 8♥ turn card, the T♥ river made his elimination final. -- BK

mpc26 Phanlert Sukonthachartnant.jpg

6th place - Phanlert Sukonthachartnant

12:05am: Matthew Wakeman eliminated in 7th place (HK$431,000)
Level 21 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (10,000 Ante)

MPC26_HighRoller_096.jpg

Australia's Matthew Wakeman finishes in 7th place
 

The last hand of level 21 was also the last hand for Australia's Matthew Wakeman. Down to his last 245,000 Wakeman moved all-in from the hijack and Sixiao Li made the call from the small blind.

Matthew Wakeman: K♦8♦
Sixiao Li: 3♦5♠

Even though Wakeman spiked top pair on the flop it was not enough as Li hit trips when the dealer spread the K♣3♣3♠ community cards. Running sixes on the turn and river were of no help to Wakeman who departed in seventh while Li stacked up over the 5 million mark.

11:55pm: Canlin Chen eliminated in 8th place (HK$324,300)
Level 21 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (10,000 Ante)

Canlin Chen was next to go after he found himself super short and moved in for his last 250,000 from early position.

It folded around to Thomas Ward in the big blind and he felt obliged to call blind with Chen's stack being so short.

"I guess I don't need to look," Ward said, tossing in calling chips.

Chen: 4♣4♦
Ward: 5♠5♦

Players laughed at seeing Ward had a slightly bigger pair and it held through the K♠J♦T♠2♣2♦ runout.

Chen makes an exit in eighth place for HK$324,300. -- BK

MPC26 canlin chen.jpg

Canlin Chen concedes defeat with a tap of the table

11:50pm: eliminated in 9th place (HK$242,000)
Level 21 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (10,000 Ante)

Chunqing Wang was the first final table casualty - he fell by the wayside at the hands of Xuming Qi with a little help from a cold deck. .

Wang pushed his last 605,000 into the middle from early position and Qi moved all in over the top only just covering Wang by 15,000.

Wang: K♠K♥
Qi: A♣K♣

Qi was a favourite to double up but an ace on the river when the cards fell Q♥9♣T♦T♠A♦ signalled the end of his tournament run. -- BK

MPC26 Xuming Qi.jpg

Xuming Qi

11:40pm: Sukonthachartnant doubles through Ward, Li extends lead
Level 21 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (10,000 Ante)

A short-stacked Phanlert Sukonthachartnant moved all-in from early position for his last 605,000 and action folded around to Thomas Ward in the small blind who thought it over for a minute or so before tossing out a single 25k chip to signify the call and Sixiao Li snap folded from the big blind.

Phanlert Sukonthachartnant: J♠J♦
Thomas Ward: A♣J♣

Sukonthachartnant hit the case jack to spike his set when the flop came down 8♣J♥K♦ to take the lead and guaranteed himself a double when the 2♦ turn and A♦ river peeled off to climb to 1.3 million while Ward dropped to 2.9 million.

Ward lost some more the next hand to Sixiao Li after min-raising the button with Li calling from the small blind. Carlin Chen folded out the big blind to take play heads-up to a 4♠T♥4♥ which Li checked over to Ward.

Ward fired out a 150,000 c-bet which Li called and the dealer burned and turned 5♣. This brought a second check from Li and a double barrel from Ward, this time for a slightly larger 300,000.

Li tanked for a minute of so before check raising to 700,000 and Ward folded instantly, dropping to 2.3 million while Li extended her lead to 4.9 million.

11:20pm: MPC26 High Roller: Final table set
Level 21 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (10,000 Ante)

MPC26_HighRoller_085.jpg

MPC26 High Roller: final table set

Seat 1: Thomas Ward (New Zealand) - 3,465,000
Seat 2: Sixiao Li (China) - 4,390,000 
Seat 3: Canlin Chen (China) - 485,000
Seat 4: Phanlert Sukonthachartnant (Thailand) - 445,000
Seat 5: Wayne Yap (Singapore) - 1,600,000
Seat 6: Chunqing Wang (China) - 715,000
Seat 7: Hong Nan (China) - 740,000
Seat 8: Matthew Wakeman (Australia) - 560,000
Seat 9: Xuming Qi (China) - 600,000 

10:55pm: Wai Kiat Lee eliminated in 10th place (HK$198,500)
Level 21 - Blinds 40,000/80,000 (10,000 Ante)

MPC26_HighRoller_079.jpg

Wai Kiat Lee busts to set up final table
 

Following a table move former front runner Wai Kiat Lee had barely sat down before he was all-in, and then was all-out. Lee moved his last 960,000 into the middle still in the chip racks he used to move tables and was beaten into the pot by Juicy Sixiao Li.

Wai Kiat Lee: 9♥9♣
Juicy Sixiao Li: Q♥Q♣

Lee was the at risk player and found no help when the board ran out 4♣A♠6♠T♥4♦ and exited in 10th place to set up the final table. Li now has a huge stack and is in possession of so many chips we did not have a chance to count them before she was moved to the final table. Play has now paused for a seat re-draw and we'll get a full count of who's in and how they are stacked shortly.

10:50pm: Ro Woong Park eliminated in 11th place (HK$198,500)
Level 20 - Blinds 30,000/60,000 (5,000 Ante)

Ro Woong Park was just sent packing in 11th place after Juicy Li administered him with a tough beat. Park got his last 950,000 all in preflop with A♣J♥ against Li's A♥3♠ and looked good to double up.

He even extended his lead on the 6♥J♣4♥ flop, but the 5♠ turn and 7♥ river meant Li would find a runner-runner straight to knock Park out. -- BK

MPC26 Ro Woong Park.jpg

Ro Woong Park

10:40pm: Gang Xu eliminated in 12th place (HK$174,300)
Level 20 - Blinds 30,000/60,000 (5,000 Ante)

Gang Xu has fallen as Thomas Ward has extended his chip lead after the two got all the money in preflop.

Xu: K♥7♠
Ward: A♠J♥

Xu was behind and it got worse after the A♣8♦3♦ flop. Needing running cards to stay alive Xu couldn't do it as the 6♣ turn and Q♥ river rolled off to seal his fate.

He headed to the payout desk as Thomas Ward stacked up a new total of 3.6 million. -- BK

MPC26 Gang Xu.jpg

Gang Xu

10:30pm: Xiang Zhu eliminated in 13th place (HK$174,300)
Level 20 - Blinds 30,000/60,000 (5,000 Ante)

A short-stacked Xiang Zhu moved his last 550,000 in from the small blind over the top of a late position open, big blind Ro Park re-shoved to isolate, the original raiser got out of the way and the cards were turned over.

Xiang Zhu: K♠J♠
Ro Park: J♣J♥

The board ran out 6♠A♦8♦5♥3♦ and we lose another. 

10:25pm: Chan eliminated in 14th place (HK$159,800)
Level 20 - Blinds 30,000/60,000 (5,000 Ante)

MPC26_HighRoller_060.jpg

Wai Wa Chan busts in 14th
 

A short-stacked Wai Wa Chan moved all-in for his last 200,000 and Juicy Sixiao Li re-shoved to isolate from late position.

Wai Wa Chan: J♠8♦
Juicy Sixiao Li: 4♦4♣

The board ran out 3♦3♠T♠4♠6♥ to give Li the full house and send Chan crashing out in 14th place.

10:20pm: Stephane Serfati eliminated in 15th place (HK$159,800)
Level 20 - Blinds 30,000/60,000 (5,000 Ante)

Stephane Serfati was the next to depart after he ran into Phanlert Sukonthachartnant's pocket queens. Serfati jammed for 215,000 from the cutoff and Sukonthachartnant moved all in over the top from the button for 360,000. The rest of the table got out of the way and the cards went on their backs.

Serfati: A♥4♥
Sukonthachartnan: Q♠Q♦

Serfati needed help but it wouldn't come when the cards fell 3♦6♣K♦6♥9♥. He collects HK$159,800 for his 15th place finish. -- BK

MPC26 stephane serfati.jpg

15th place - Stephane Serfati

10pm: Break
The 15 remaining high rollers are on a 10-minute break.


9:58pm: Shen eliminated in 16th place (HK$152,000)
Level 19 - Blinds 20,000/40,000 (5,000 Ante)

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Yeping Shen busts in 16th

Yeping Shen was not as fortunate against the ladies as Sukonthachartnant. Following an under-the-gun raise from Chunqing Wang to 100,000 Shen moved all-in from the button and was instantly called.

Shen's pocket fives were trailing to Wang's pocket queens and with no five making an appearance on the flop. turn or river Shen's High Roller is over and he hit the rail in 16th.

9:57pm: Sukonthachartnant doubles
Level 19 - Blinds 20,000/40,000 (5,000 Ante)

Phanlert Sukonthachartnant moved all-in for his last 200,000 with T♣T♦, eliciting a snap call from tablemate Nan Hong holding Q♦Q♣. Fortunately for Sukonthachartnant the board ran out 8♣5♦7♣7♠T♥ and the Thai player rivered a full house to keep his high rolling dreams alive.

MPC26_HighRoller_040.jpg

Zhou Tong becomes the first paying casualty

As is often the case the moment the bubble bursts there is a quick bust out. Wayne Yap opened lit the blue touch paper with a raise to 90,000 from the cutoff and Zhou Tong quickly announced all-in from the small blind with Q♦Q♠.

Unfortunately for Tong, Thomas Ward woke up in the big blind with K♦K♥ and re-shipped his monster stack. Yap flashed A♥Q♥ before folding to take the action heads-up.

Tong received no help whatsoever when the board ran out 7♣4♦8♥6♣4♣ and he became the first paying casualty departing in 17th place.

9:40pm: Zhigang Yu bubbles
Level 19 - Blinds 20,000/40,000 (5,000 Ante)

We're now in the money after Zhigang Yu departs in 18th place.

Yu had bled down to just one big blind and he committed it into the middle from the under the gun seat. Xuming Qi called on the button, Xiang Zhu called in the small blind and Ro Woong Park checked in the big blind before a flop of J♦8♦6♠.

The action was checked around and the 6♣ arrived on the turn. Again it was checked through and the 8♣ completed the board. Zhu checked, Park bet 85,000, Qi called and Zhu let it go before Yu saw he was going home.

Yu: A♦4♦
Park: J♥8♥
Qi: A♣8♠

It was two full houses up against Yu and he was eliminated to take us into the money. The remaining players have all locked up HK$152,000. -- BK

MPC26 High Roller bubble Zhigang Yu.jpg

Bubble boy - Zhigang Yu

9:25pm: Farewell for Fisher; bubble time
Level 18 - Blinds 15,000/30,000 (5,000 Ante)

Slade Fisher had been hanging on with a super short stack for a while but his tournament has finally come to an end.

He pushed all in for 110,000 from the hijack and both Wayne Yap and and Matthew Wakeman called from the small and big blind respectively.

It was checked down the whole way on the 8♣9♦2♠8♦K♥ runout and Fisher's A♦2♣ was no good against Wakeman's K♣J♣.

Fisher departs in 19th place and with that we are on the direct money bubble and playing hand-for-hand. -- BK

9:15pm: Blinds up
Level 18 - Blinds 15,000/30,000 (5,000 Ante)

Just 19 players remain in contention in the MPC26 High Roller and the blinds continue their inexorable rise. We are one bust out away from hand-for-hand and two bust outs away from the money with New Zealand's Thomas Ward currently leading the field with around 1.7 million.

9pm: Weikang Wang walks
Level 18 - Blinds 15,000/30,000 (5,000 Ante)

Weikang Wang has been eliminated after getting the last of his chips in and finding himself dominated by Nan Hong. The latter opened to 80,000 under the gun before Wang jammed for 305,000. Hong called it off and they tabled their cards.

Wang: A♦T♥
Hong: A♣Q♣

Wang couldn't catch up on the A♥3♦5♠2♥A♠ run out to fall just a few places short of a payday here tonight. He shook Hong's hand and headed for the exit. -- BK

8:50pm: Serfati survives
Level 18 - Blinds 15,000/30,000 (5,000 Ante)

Stephane Serfati is still in the hunt for the High Roller title after a preflop clash with Xin Jin. After Jin raised the button, Serfati moved all in from the big blind for around 230,000. Jin snapped it off and the cards went on their backs.

Serfati: Q♥T♥
Jin: A♥8♠

Serfati was behind but a turn queen on the 9♠3♦7♥Q♦K♣ saw him stay alive and double up. He raked that pot as Jin dropped to 275,000. -- BK

8:30pm: Wakeman cripples Sukonthachartnant, Qi busts Tu, Ward takes lead
Level 17 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (4,000 Ante)

The action is becoming fast and frantic now our 22 remaining high rollers have digested their food. It looks like Matthew Wakeman is still hungry for chips though and the Australian player has just doubled up through Thailand's Phanlert Sukonthachartnant.

We caught the action on a 2♠6♣5♦ flop just as Wakeman checked from the big blind and Sukonthachartnant led out for 105,000 from under-the-gun. Canlin Chen made the call from middle position and action folded back around to Wakeman who check-raised all-in for around 250,000.

Sukonthachartnant quickly re-raised all-in and Chen got out of the way. Wakeman's 6♠4♠ was trailing to Sukonthachartnant's J♣J♥ but not for long. The 3♠ turn gave Wakeman the straight in addition to a backdoor spade draw and the 9♣ hit the river to shoot Wakeman up to 670,000 and leave an unhappy looking Sukonthachartnant with around 180,000.

While this was going on Nan Tu and Xuming Qi got all the chips in pre-flop and while Tu pulled the trigger first by shoving with A♠K♣ Qi woke up with K♠K♥ and called instantly.  The 7♠Q♣3♦J♦Q♠ board provided Tu with no help and he departed in 23rd place.

Rong Wang followed Tu to the rail seconds afterwards after moving all-in pre-flop with A♥7♥ and running into the pocket jacks of Thomas Ward. While the 9♥7♣8♥ flop was a distinctly sweaty one for Ward the board bricked out 3♦8♣ to send Wang crashing out in 22nd and shoot Ward into the chip lead with a stack of 1.45 million.

"That was a sick fade," quipped a visibly relieved Ward as he raked in the massive pot.

8:20pm: Li lucky to live
Level 17 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (4,000 Ante)

Juicy Li is still in contention after being dominated at risk against Zhigang Yu.

Yu opened to 38,000 on the button before Li three-bete jammed for 385,500 from the big blind. Yu tank-called it off and saw he was ahead when the hands were revealed.

Li: A♣9♣
Yu: A♠J♣

"YES!" cried Li at the sight of the 9♦9♠3♠ flop as she spiked trips.

Li already had the pot locked up by the 3♥ turn before the inconsequential J♠ arrived on the river. She raked in the pot and Yu dipped to 155,000. -- BK

8:20pm: Alner exits
Level 17 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (4,000 Ante)

Two-time Red Dragon champion Tom Alner departs from this High Roller event after losing a coinflip to Wayne Yap.

After Yap opened from under the gun, Alner moved all in for what appeared to be 316,000 more. Yap thought about it for over a minute before flicking in a single chip to denote a call.

Alner: 8♥8♣
Yap: A♥J♣

"Ugh, I didn't wanna play that way" moaned Alner, insisting that he would've preferred not to flip for stacks.

Things got even worse for Alner after he lost the lead on the J♥Q♥Q♦ flop and couldn't pick it back up through the 4♠ turn or 5♥ river. He leaves us as Yap jumps to 1.1 million in chips. -- BK

MPC26 HIgh Roller Tom Alner.jpg

Tom Alner awaiting his fate

8:05pm: Wu wins one
Level 17 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (4,000 Ante)

Huihan Wu just doubled up after besting Xiang Zhu in a battle of the blinds.

On a flop of 8♦Q♣8♣ Wu fired for 100,000 from the small blind before Xiang Zhu moved all in for 201,000 in the big blind. Wu made a quick called and players flipped their hands.

Wu: K♥Q♥
Zhu: A♥K♦

Wu was ahead and he faded an ace on the 9♠ turn and 4♦ river to double through. Zhu meanwhile fell to 305,000. -- BK

7:55pm: Post break stacks
Level 17 - Blinds 12,000/24,000 (4,000 Ante)

The 25 remaining high rollers have retaken their seats and are back in the thick of the action. The average stack is coming in at just over 540,000 and here's how some of the remaining field is stacking up:

Yeping Shen (China), 1,440,000
Thomas Ward (New Zealand), 971,500
Canlin Chen (China), 850,000
Wayne Yap (Singapore), 714,500
Nan Hong (China), 750,000
Wai Kiat Lee 710,000
Slade Fisher (New Zealand), 550,000
Juicy Sixiao Li (China), 520,000
Tom Alner (UK), 350,000

7:05pm: Dinner Break

All that action brings our 25 remaining high rollers to their scheduled 50-minute dinner break with play resuming at 7:55pm.

7pm: Hong takes from Lee, Li doubles, Breaktime
Level 16 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (3,000 Ante)

We arrived at former front runner Wai Kiat Lee's table just in time to see tablemate Nan Hong put the clock on him. The pot was already pretty sizeable and Lee was facing a Hong river bet of 65,000 with the board reading J♦J♥6♠T♦4♣.

Just as Lee's hand was about to be declared dead he slammed in the call, but quickly mucked when Hong tabled Q♠J♣ to climb to 750,000 while Lee fell to 745,000.

Juicy Sixiao Li moved all in for her last 202,000 from under-the-gun with 7♠7♥ eliciting a quick call from Phanlert Sukonthachartnant holding 9♣9♦. Luckily for Li the 7♣6♥5♥ shot her into the lead where she stayed when the turn and river ran out 3♣ and K♥ respectively. Li doubled to around 450,000 while Sukonthachartnant falls to 580,000.

6:50pm: Action slows as bubble looms
Level 16 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (3,000 Ante)

We're down to only 27 players now and with 17 places paying it appears everyone has become a little gun shy with the prospect of a payday on the horizon.

We're also approaching a 50-minute dinner break which may have something to do with it. We'll be watching to see if things pick back up.

6:45pm: Ward wins from Yap
Level 16 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (3,000 Ante)

Singapore's Wayne Yap opened the action with a raise to 42,000 from middle position and Thomas Ward chose to defend from the small blind to take play heads-up to a 7♠A♦5♠ flop.

Ward checked the action over to Yap who continuation bet 35,000 with the Kiwi player making a quick call. That was it for the betting in this particular hand with both players checking the Q♦ turn and 3♠ river and Ward wins a small one to climb to 830,000 while Yap drops slightly to 760,000.

6:30pm: Ward busts Jain Level 16 - Blinds 10,000/20,000 (3,000 Ante)

MPC26_HighRoller_022.jpg

Thomas Ward
 

A short-stacked Shashank Jain got the last of his chips in with A♦7♦ but ran into the pocket queens of New Zealand's Thomas Ward. 

Unfortunately for Jain there was no ace to be seen and Ward's pocket pair held to send the Indian player to the rail in 29th place while Ward stacks up to 800,000.


 6:15pm: Stacks 
Level 15 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (2,000 Ante)

Singapore's Wayne Yap looks to be the current chip leader with just over 1 million in chips, closely followed by China's Yeping Shen who has around 960,000. 

Other notables still in the running are as follows:

Phanlert Sukonthachartnant, (Thailand), 880,000
Wai Kiat Lee (Malaysia), 875,000
Hui Shi (China), 610,000
Thomas Ward (New Zealand) 600,000
Chunqing Wang (China), 500,000

The UK's Tom Alner is still in contention but looks to be getting a little short with around 175,000.

6:10pm: Good flip for Fisher
Level 15 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (2,000 Ante)

Yeping Shen opened to 40,000 in the hijack before Hui Shi three-bet to 90,000 from the cutoff. The action folded around to Slade Fisher in the big blind and he moved all in for 177,000.

Shen folded, Shi called, and the hands were revealed.

Fisher: A♥K♥
Shi: Q♠Q♦

Fisher's tournament looked in dire straits by the turn with the board showing 7♥6♠2♣9♦ but the K♠ river rolled off to see him take the lead and lock up the pot.

"Oh, hello there" chirped railbird Stevan Chew between sips of red wine.

With that pot Fisher moves up to 410,000 and Shi drops to 420,000. -- BK

6:05pm: Win your way into the PokerStars Championship Macau

The PokerStars Championship visits Macau from March 30 to April 9 and you can win a trip to join the fun in limited edition PokerStars Spin & Go tournaments.

Running from now until February 27 PokerStars is hosting $10 Spin & Gos where the top tier prize includes a seat into the HK$42,400 PokerStars Championship Macau Main Event, eight nights' accommodation and $1,000 travel expenses.

The Spin & Gos are available to play right now and 16 lucky winners have already been awarded in less than 72 hours. You can find out everything you need to know about the promotion right here.

Good luck at the tables! -- BK

mpc26 spin n go promotion.jpg

6pm: Chan shoves on Li, Matloubi out
Level 15 - Blinds 8,000/16,000 (2,000 Ante)

We arrived at Juicy Sixiao Li's table just in time to see her become embroiled in a big pot against Hong Kong's Wai Wa Chan. 

Chan, sitting under-the-gun looked to be the initial aggressor and had a bet of 35,000 out on the table in front if him and looked to be facing a re-raise of 90,000 in total from Li, who was in the big blind. 

Chan took his time over the decision but did eventually make the call and the dealer spread the 3♦8♦3♥ flop. This brought a c-bet of 75,000 from Li and Chan counted out the call before abruptly changing his mind and announcing that he was all-in. This brought a snap fold from Li who dropped to 430,000 after the hand while Chan climbed to around 350,000.

There was a cry of "All-in and a call" from the dealer seated at the table directly behind Li's and we turned around in time to see Mansour Matloubi (small blind) as the at risk player with A♣4♣, which was up against the A♥K♦ of Canlin Chen (big blind). Both players missed the board by miles meaning Chen's kicker played.

"I remember catching much bigger hands when I was younger," sighed Matloubi as he headed for the rail while Chen stacked up his new chips to climb to just shy of 1 million.

5:45pm: Tong doubles Yu, Kings good for Kho
Level 14 - Blinds 6,000/12,000 (1,000 Ante)

Zhigang Yu has just earned himself a double up courtesy of tablemate Zhou Tong. We are not sure when all the chips went in as stacks were in the process of being counted down when we arrived with the board reading Q♦J♥Q♥6♦3♦.

Tong had Q♣5♣ face up in front of him, but this was not good enough to beat the K♦J♦ of Yu and he stacked up to 350,000 while Tong took the hit stoically to fall to around 180,000.

Over on the feature table Hong Kong's Kitson Kho opened the action from early position with a raise to 30,000 with India's Shashank Jain the only caller from the big blind.

Both Jain and Kho checked the A♣7♠Q♠ flop and when Jain checked for a second time on the T♣ turn Kho decided to lead for 28,000, which brought a call from Jain.

The A♠ river brought checks from both players; Jain flipped over J♥9♥ for a missed backdoor straight draw but this was not enough to beat Kho's K♦K♥ and the Hong Kong player stacked up to 300,000 while Jain fell to 134,000.

All that action brought play to the end of the level and blinds have climbed once again.

5:40pm: Chan moves in
Level 14 - Blinds 6,000/12,000 (1,000 Ante)

On a flop of 4♦7♥Q♣ Wai Wa Chan checked from the big blind over to Ro Woong Park who fired for 50,000. Chan made the call and the 6♣ arrived on the turn.

Chan then pushed his last 210,500 into the middle. The move was good enough to pick up the pot and see Chan climb to 425,000. Meanwhile Park dipped to 290,000.

5:30pm: Triple for Zhou
Level 14 - Blinds 6,000/12,000 (1,000 Ante)

A short-stacked Quan Zhou slammed his last 19,500 into the centre of the table and picked up two callers in the form of Phanlert Sukonthachartnant (small blind) and Nan Tu (big blind).

Sukonthachartnant checked the A♣9♠4♠ flop over to Tu who decided to isolate Zhou and led out for a bet of 22,000, which was enough to get the Thai player to bow out and the hands were turned over.

Nan Tu: Q♥9♥
Quan Zhou: A♠T♦

Zhou had hit top pair which held when the K♦ turn and 3♦ completed the hand and he tripled to around 67,000 so Zhou still has his work cut out for him should he wish to go the distance. 

5:25pm: Xu three-bet folds
Level 14 - Blinds 6,000/12,000 (1,000 Ante)

After an open to 24,000 in the hijack, Gang Xu came over the top with a reraise to 60,500. It folded back around to the initial raiser and he decided on a four-bet for 158,000.

With the decision back on Xu he took another peek at his cards but in the end he relinquished the hand and dropped to 660,000.

5:10pm: Rong move, right time
Level 14 - Blinds 6,000/12,000 (1,000 Ante)

The size of the buy-in has not deterred our high rolling players from throwing the chips around and we are down to 37 players remarkably quickly and the average stack is now coming in at a little over 350,000.

One player who will be sticking around for a little longer is Rong Wang, who just doubled up in a hand against Jiaxiu Liu. Pre-flop it was Liu who opened the action from under-the-gun with a raise to 25,500 and Wang shoved for just under the 100k starting stack from middle position with Liu making the call.

Rong Wang: K♥8♥
Jiaxiu Liu: J♣J♦

Sometimes poker is all about making the wrong move at the right time and Wang was rewarded by the poker gods when the flop fell 8♠5♥K♠ to give him top two pair.

The 6♦ turn and 7♣ river changed nothing and Wang stacks up to 210,000 while Liu took a hit and dropped to 260,000.

4:55pm: Take a break

It's time for a 10-minute break.

4:50pm: Fisher finds kings
Level 13 - Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 Ante)

Slade Fisher just secured a double up through Pat Mahoney after picking up a monster and managing to hold. The two of them got all the money in preflop with Fisher's last 175,500 at risk.

Fisher: K♠K♣
Mahoney: 9♥9♦

The cards fell 4♠A♣8♠Q♦7♣ and the pot was pushed Fisher's way as Mahoney fell to 265,000. -- BK

4:40pm: Sukonthachartnant busts O'Rourke
Level 13 - Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 Ante)

We don't know when all the chips went in but we do know that Australia's Liam O'Rourke is out. We caught the action on the river with the community cards reading 8♥A♣6♣9♥J♠ and cards and chips scattered all over the table. 

O'Rourke has 8♣T♠ face up in front of him but that does not look good enough to beat the A♥5♥ that is sitting face up in front of Thailand's Phanlert Sukonthachartnant.

O'Rourke busts and Sukonthachartnant now has a huge stack of chips that looks to be around 700,000.

Chip leader still looks to be Malaysia's Wai Kiat Lee however, who has obviously been busy and is sitting on what looks to be over 1.4 million in chips.

MPC26 Liam O'Rourke.jpg

Liam O'Rourke

4:30pm: Chua chopped down
Level 13 - Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 Ante)

MPC24 Red Dragon champion Ying Lin Chua has been eliminated at the hands of Boon Heng Siong.

It folded around to Chua on the button and he moved all in for his last 116,000. Siong made the call from the small blind, and with the big blind out of the way the two active players tabled their cards.

Chua: 6♦2♦
Siong: 2♠2♥

Chua needed help but he wouldn't find it as the board ran out 4♣9♥A♦J♥8♦. He departs as Siong buds to 580,000 in chips. -- BK

4:15pm: Shi busts Chen
Level 13 - Blinds 5,000/10,000 (1,000 Ante)

There will definitely be a new High Roller champion as we arrived at defending champion James Chen's table just in time to see him bust.

We caught the action on the turn in a heads-up pot between Hui Shi and Chen with the board reading 7♦T♠5♦8♥ just as Chen cut out a rather chunky 75,000 bet leaving himself around 115,000 behind. 

Shi made the call swelling the already sizeable pot and the 6♠ hit the river bringing a shove from the Chinese player to send Chen into the tank for close to 8 minutes. 

"I can only beat a bluff," said Chen as he thought it over. "You could have eight-nine, maybe nine-ten... I don't know if I can fold though." 

Shi sat there stoically saying nothing and with a huge sigh Chen threw the last of his chips in to find out the bad news  - Shi rolled over T♣9♠ for the rivered straight to scoop the massive pot and send Chen to the rail.


4pm: Stacks
Level 12 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 Ante)

After a quick scout of the tables here's how some of the field is stacking up:

Wai Kiat Lee (Malaysia), 720,000
Patrick Mahoney (USA), 550,000
Zhao Qing (China), 450,000
Thomas Ward (New Zealand), 440,000
Chunqing Wang (China), 420,000
Juicy Sixiao Li (China), 310,000
Stevan Chew (Australia), 250,000
Shashank Rathi (India), 220,000
Matthew Wakeman (Australia), 190,000
Tom Alner (UK), 165,000

3:45pm: Easy squeezy for Li
Level 12 - Blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000 Ante)

Australia's Stevan Chew opened the action with a raise to 16,000 from middle position and the big stacked Chunqing Wang cut out some raising chips and made it 35,000 to go from right next door.

Action folded around to Juicy Sixiao Li in the big blind who sensed weakness and she squeezed all-in. Chew quickly stepped out of the way and Wang mulled it over. It seemed Li's spider senses are working well though as he too decided to bow out leaving Li to pad out her stack with over 50,000 in blinds and antes, all without showdown.

3:40pm: Payout information

The payouts are now in. 17 players will be seeing a return on their investment with the minimum cash at HK$152,000 and HK$2,436,000 going to the eventual champion.

We've also been informed that this is the largest ever High Roller event for the MPC with these 130 entrants eclipsing the previous record of 114. -- BK

PlacePrize (HKD)
1$2,436,000
2$1,646,000
3$1,070,000
4$885,900
5$714,500
6$563,500
7$431,000
8$324,300
9$242,000
10$198,500
11$198,500
12$174,300
13$174,300
14$159,800
15$159,800
16$152,000
17$152,000

3:30pm: Late registration locked out

Late registration is now closed and with that we can tell you we have a total of 130 entries in this High Roller event. They consist of 108 unique entries and 22 re-entries which generated a prize pool of HK$9,682,400.

That means for the Macau Poker Cup this is already the biggest festival in history - even with two events left on the calendar this week! So far here at MPC26 we've seen 5,249 players and HK$57,843,898 awarded in cash and prizes.

3:20pm: More for Matloubi
Level 11 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (500 Ante)

Mansour Matloubi has doubled up through yesterday's Red Dragon final tablist Yang Zhang. Players went three-way to a flop of 9♥7♥4♠ and after it was checked to Matloubi in the hijack, he moved all in for 81,500.

Zhang was in the cutoff and after cutting out a call and pausing, he finally pushed the chips into the middle. The big blind got out of the way and the cards went on their backs.

Matloubi: A♥A♦
Zhang: T♠T♣

Matloubi faded a ten and running straight cards as the K♣ turn and A♣ river rolled off to complete the board. He now has 205,000 to play with while Zhang drops back to 220,000. -- BK

3:15pm: Mahoney takes one from Tong, Tran Out
Level 11 - Blinds 3,000/6,000 (500 Ante)

Patrick Mahoney put Zhao Tong to the test on the first hand of the new level in a confrontation that took nearly 12 minutes to play out. Pre-flop it was Mahoney who was the initial aggressor, opening to 13,000 from middle position and Tong re-raised to 35,000 on the button.

Mahoney made the call and both players checked the J♥Q♥A♠ flop. The 8♥ turn brought a 47,000 bet from Mahoney, ballooning the pot to over 165,000 after Tong made the call.

The 6♣ river saw Mahoney cut out a large stack of yellow 5k chips and lead out for a bet of 88,500 to send Tong deep into the think tank where he remained for close to 10-minutes. 

Tong started talking to himself out loud and according to our Chinese blogger Tong said that the only hand he could beat at this point was pocket tens. Eventually he decided to give it up and dropped to 244,000 while Mahoney raked in the sizeable pot to climb to 530,000.

Just as we finished watching that rather lengthy hand we arrived at Linh Tran's table just in time to see him get all the chips in pre-flop with pocket aces against the pocket nines of Hui Shi. unfortunately for Tran Shi caught a nine on the river to make a set and bring Tran's High Roller to a rather quick end.

3pm: Lew leaves us
Level 10 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 Ante)

It seems PokerStars Team Online Randy Lew has hit the rail after a bad beat. Deciphering his tweet it sounds like he was all in preflop with ace-king against ace-jack but was sent packing when his opponent spiked a jack on the river.

MPC26 Randy Lew.jpg

Randy Lew

2:45pm: Break

Our High Rollers are on a short 10-minute hiatus with the re-entry period closing at the end of the break.

2:40pm: Fisher rivers Tong
Level 10 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 Ante)

China's Zhou Tong opened the action from under-the-gun with a raise to 8,500 and New Zealand's Slade Fisher made the call in the cutoff with both players checking the 9♠3♣6♥ flop.

After Tong checked for a second time on the 4♣ turn Fisher decided to take a stab for 11,000 and a suspicious Tong made the call to bring both players to the J♦ river.

Tong checked for the third time and Fisher fired out a bet of 23,500, which sent Tong deep into the tank. However he did eventually decide to call and turned over A♣Q♥ only to discover that Fisher, holding Q♠J♠ had just got there. Tong falls to 311,500 while Fisher rises to 185,000.

2:35pm: Davies done and dusted
Level 10 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 Ante)

Scott Davies has been eliminated as we approach the second level of the day. He found his short stack all in preflop and was dominated by tablemate Bobby Zhang.

Davies: K♠Q♦
Zhang: A♥K♦

Davies couldn't come from the behind as the cards fell 5♠8♠9♥J♦5♣. He leaves us as Zhang builds to 110,000 in chips. -- BK

2:30pm: Fan out, Chen sets up Siong
Level 10 - Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 Ante)

We wandered past Tao Fan's table just in time to see him bust after choosing to defend his big blind with the speculative K♣2♦ against an opponent's K♦Q♣.

Fan was pretty short before the hand by the looks of things and may be considering a second bullet. The Chinese player will definitely need on though as despite flopping two pair when the board ran out T♠2♣K♠ 8♠Q♠ his opponent  rivered a higher to pair to bring his high roller to an abrupt end.

In contrast defending High Roller Champion James Chen has got his Day 2 off the a great start and has just won a chunky pot from Singapore's Boon Heng Siong. 

Siong started the day as one of the three largest stacks, though that honour will now go to Chen after the dust settled on this particular pot. We caught the action on the turn with the community cards reading 9♥5♣T♠8♠ and over 80,000 already in the pot.

Chen had just fired out a bet of 48,000 and Siong slid out a tower of yellow 5k chips for a re-raise of 100,000 in total with Chen making a quick call.

The K♦ river saw a check from Chen and after thinking it over Siong checked it right back and it is just as well for the Singaporean he did so; Siong rolled over T♣9♦ for a flopped two pair but this was not enough to beat Chen's 5♣5♦ flopped set. Siong takes a hit and dropped to 125,000 while Chen climbed to 465,000.

2:25pm: Wakeman walks over to re-enter
Level 10: Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Matthew Wakeman started the day with just a touch over 10 big blinds but he appears to be the first elimination here after losing a coinflip to Zhou Tong.

It was Wakeman's king-queen against pocket fours and he failed to run Tong down. Despite the hiccup, Wakeman is jumping straight back into the action after utilizing the optional re-entry. -- BK

2:15pm: Mahoney makes a good call
Level 10: Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Pat Mahoney is stacking chips after winning a pot against Qi Yuan.

On a flop of T♥8♣4♠ Yuan fired for 9,000 from the hijack and Mahoney made the call on the button to see the 8♠ turn card. The action then went check check and the 6♥ completed the board.

Yuan then loaded up again and took a stab for 24,000. Mahoney screwed up his face as he tried to decipher what Yuan's line meant, and ultimately flicked in a call to see the good news.

Li tabled A♠5♦ for just ace high while Mahoney had the best of it with 7♥7♣. He moves up to 380,000 while Yuan dropped to 195,000. -- BK

2pm: Shuffle up and deal!
Level 10: Blinds 2,000/4,000 (500 ante)

Cards are now in the air here on Day 2.

MPC26 High Roller Day 2 ready to go

MPC26_MainEvent_Day1C_003.jpg

Welcome back to PokerStars LIVE Macau where Day 2 of the MPC26 High Roller starts at 2pm local time (GMT+8).

Currently 67 players of the 121-strong starting field remain in contention and with registration open until the end of the first level of play today that figure is expected to rise. Malaysia's Wai Kiat Lee is leading the charge with an impressive 722,000 in chips. Next closest rival is Manila Megastack 6 Champion Boon Heng Siong from Singapore who finished Day 1 with 560,000 with China's Chunqing Wang (511,000) rounding out the top three.

Two-time defending Champion James Chen is still very much in the running and will be looking for a record three-peat and is well positioned to make history, sitting amongst the top ten stacks with 339,000 in chips.

Other notables in the running include New Zealand's Thomas Ward, high stakes crusher Patrick Mahoney, WSOP Main Event winner Monsour Matoubi and former Asia Player of the Year Kitty Kuo.

PokerStars Team Pro Randy Lew is also still in the running and will be looking to add to his already impressive haul of Macau cashes with his biggest career score coming here back in 2011 in the APPT Main Event.

Cards will be in the air shortly and we will be playing until a champion is crowned so stay with us as we see who has what it takes to go the distance and be crowned king of the High Rollers.


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PokerStars Blog reporting team at MPC26: Ben Wilson and Brad Kain. Photography by Kenneth Lim. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog
Ben Wilson
@PokerStars in PokerStars Macau