MPC26 Single Day High Roller: Sergio Aido takes the title

Aido Takes Down HK$100,000 Single Day High Roller


Single Day High Roller Champion Sergio Aido

It took just over thirteen and a half hours and twenty-five 30-minute levels for Spain's Sergio Aido to carve the 81-strong MPC26 Single Day High Roller down to the last man and claim the lion's share of the HK$7.5 million prize pool.

Aido defeated China's Yuan Li after a gruelling 80-minute heads-up battle where, despite Li reaching deep into his bag of tournament tricks, the Spaniard never relinquished his chip lead.

As the end approached Aido tightened the screws to extend his lead to a 3-1 chip advantage. Blinds climbed to a hefty 100,000/200,000 with a 10,000 running ante before Aido managed to whittle Li down to just shy of 15 big blinds and moved all-in from the button with queen-ten offsuit. 

Li made the call with nine-ten suited to find himself dominated and did not improve when the flop fell a diamond-less A♣J♠4♥ and the Chinese player found himself drawing to the deck's three remaining nines. The 4♦ turn came one street too late to give Yi flush outs, and the 6♦ river meant Li had to settle for the HK$1,474,000 (~US$189,964) on offer for second place.

An elated Aido celebrated wildly with his watching rail and while the HK$2,074,000 (~US$267,288) first prize does not eclipse the career-high of HK$6.5 million he earned for his third place finish in the November 2016 Triton Super High Roller, it does represent his second largest career score and pushes his tournament winning over the US$3 million mark.

It took eleven hours to whittle the 81-strong field down to 13 where play went hand-for-hand, and it took another 40-minutes of arduous hand-for-hand play to reach the hallowed money spots.

Team PokerStars Pro Jake Cody made a stellar recovery after taking a huge hit earlier in the day against Hong Kong's Wing Cheong Chong when the latter flopped a flush to leave Cody with just 4 big blinds. 

Cody cemented his comeback by eliminating Russia's Dimitrii Afonichev  midway through level 16 and then put the hammer down to reclaim the chip lead and climb to 1.5 million. 

However, a rare misstep against nemesis Chong saw Cody pull the trigger and move all-in for 1.45 million (roughly three-times the pot) on the river on a Q♠7♦A♠5♣J♦ board. Chong made one of the sickest calls ever seen for his tournament life with jack-ten offsuit to cripple Cody and snatch the chip lead.

After Aido busted the unfortunate Linh Tran to burst the bubble when his nine-ten suited out flopped Tran's king-ten suited, Yuan Li eliminated both Sparrow Cheong and the short-stacked Cody in one fell swoop when his pocket aces held against Cheong's pocket kings and Cody's queen-ten suited to set up the final table.

Final Table
Seat 1: Yuan Li (China), 1,725,000
Seat 2: JP Kelly (UK), 790,000
Seat 3: Wing Cheong Chong (Hong Kong), 2,110,000
Seat 4:Pete Chen (Taiwan), 250,000
Seat 5:PokerStars Team Pro Celina Lin (China), 325,000
Seat 6:Nick Wong (Hong Kong), 200,000
Seat 7:Mikita Badziakouski (Belarus), 230,000
Seat 8:Sergio Adio (Spain), 1,920,000
Seat 9:Jordan Westmorland (USA), 550,000

The once mighty Wing Cheong Chong became the final table's first casualty after tangling with Aido in a huge hand that saw all the chips go in pre-flop following a raising war between the two, Aido's pocket queens holding against Chong's pocket tens to send the Hong Kong player to the rail for an HK$215,000 (~US$27,700) payday. 

This opened the floodgates for a slew of rapid eliminations with a short-stacked Nick Wong following Chong to the rail shortly afterward after the Hong Kong player was forced to move the last of his chips in pre-flop with jack-three offsuit, which could not overcome big blind Yuan Li's king-six offsuit.

The field's sole remaining PokerStars Pro Celina Lin was next out the door just five minutes later, running ace-jack into the ace-queen of Belarus' Mikita Badziakouski.

Taiwan's Pete Chen was next on the chopping block a scant five minutes after, his short-stacked shove with king-seven offsuit cruelly rivered by the seven-five offsuit of JP Kelly.

Jordan Westmorland followed Chen to the exit minutes later after running queen-nine suited into the king-queen suited of Yuan Li and the US player departed in fifth place for HK$588,100 (~US$75,790).

JP Kelly was left short after folding out a huge pot to Li on the river, departing just 10-minutes after Westmorland for HK$743,000 (~US$95,750) after running king-six into the ace-nine of Aido.

Three became two just minutes after Kelly's exit when Mikita Badziakouski moved all-in from the button with king-jack and Aido woke up in the small blind with ace-nine once again.

An overjoyed Aido had the following to say about his victory:

"I finished in 10th place at the ACOP and 6th place in yesterday's HK$50,000 tournament so I really wanted the win." 

Clearly delighted, Aido joked, "I feel so good I'm 90% sure that I'll win the Main Event."

For a full list of payouts click here. All that high-octane action concludes our tournament coverage for the day, but you can see if Aido makes good on his promise when Day 1C of the Red Dragon Main Event resumes at 7pm local time on Tuesday 14 February.

3:30am: Yuan Li Eliminated in 2nd (HK$1,474,000)
Level 25 - Blinds 100,000/200,000/20,000

Yuan Li Finishes in 2nd Place

The blinds climbed once again shortly after the last big hand with Aido folding the next five hands in a row. Li managed to claw a little back after limping the button, which induced a raise to 450,000 from Aido. 

Li quickly moved all-in and it was Aido's turn to rock back in his chair, though the Spaniard eventually decided to pick a better spot and let it go to drop a little to 5.1 million while Li rose to 2.9 million.

Just five minutes and three hands later and it was all over. The rising blinds meant Li's 2.9 million came in at just under 15 big blinds while Aido had just over 25 big blinds. 

When the end came it all happened extremely quickly; Aido open-shoved the button and Li shot him a suspicious stare, looked down at his chips, looked back up at Aido and pushed in a 100k stack of yellow 5k chips to represent the call and the cards were turned over.

Yuan Li: 9♦T♦

Sergio Aido: T♥Q♣

Li found his hand dominated by Aido's and needed just the right flop if he wanted to snatch the lead. Li's Chinese rail crowded around screaming for diamonds and Aido calmly ambled over to his watching Spanish contingent to watch the action pan out from a distance.

The diamond-less  A♣J♠4♥ flop brought no succour for Li who needed to hit the deck's three remaining nines to survive.

The 4♦ kept Aido in the lead and the 6♦ river sealed the deal to grant the Spaniard the trophy and the title. Aido's watching rail burst into raucous cheering as he wandered over to shake Li's hand and the Chinese player departed in 2nd place. 

After 80-minutes of gruelling heads-up play Sergio Aido became the MPC's second-ever Single Day High Roller Champion.

We'll be posting a recap of the action and a list of the final payouts shortly so watch this space.

3:15am: Aido Hits Flush
Level 24 - Blinds 80,000/160,000/20,000

Both players are still relatively deep compared to the blinds with Li on around 2.9 million (around 19 big blinds) and Aido on around 5.1 million.

Action has stagnated somewhat, but then both remaining players have been slugging it out at heads-up for just over an hour and the tournament has been going for over 13 hours now.

Just like the last big hand that developed between these two players it all started with a limp with Li calling on the button and Aido checking his option in the big blind.

It was all check on the 8♦6♣T♣ flop before Aido opened for the minimum on the A♥ turn and Li made the call. 

 The river brought down the J♣ and Aido checked it over to Li, who took a stab for 200,000. The Spanish player promptly check-raised to 900,000 and Li rocked back in his seat like he had just taken a punch to the face.

The Chinese player chewed over the decision for quite some time but did eventually make the call, but could only toss his cards into the muck when Aido turned over 8♣9♣ for the rivered flush.

That pot now gives Aido nearly a 3-1 chip lead and he climbed to 5.8 million after the hand while Li dropped to 2.2 million.  

2:55am: Blinds Up
Level 24 - Blinds 80,000/160,000/20,000

There has been no change in the stacks and blinds have no climbed once more.

2:50am: Aido Extends Lead, Li Resets
Level 23 - Blinds 60,000/120,000/10,000

Sergio Aido was leveraging his chip lead aggressively and really starting to put the hammer down on Yuan Li before the Chinese player decided to make a stand.

It all started innocuously enough when Aido limped the button and Li checked his option from the big blind.

Li led the K♥K♠7♥ flop for 150,000 and this is where it all went crazy. Aido got aggressive once more and popped it up to 400,000 and action was back on Li.

The Chinese player reached for chips and they weren't for calling with and he re-popped it to 900,000 in total leaving himself 1.1 million behind. Aido went deep into the tank but did eventually call swelling the pot to close to 2 million.

The J♣ turn saw Li quickly move all-in and Aido folded just as quickly. All that action brought our two protagonists back to the stacks  they started heads-up play with and Aido has 4.8 million to Li's 3.2 million.

2:10am: Heads-up in the HK$100,000 Single Day High Roller
Level 22 - Blinds 50,000/100,000/10,000

Sergio Aido (l) is Heads-up Against Yuan Li (r)

The 81-strong field has now been whittled down to just 2. 

Spain's Sergio Aido holds the chip lead with 4,870,000 over China's Yuan Li who has 3,235,000.

2:05:am: Mikita Badziakouski Eliminated in 3rd Place (HK$985,000)
Level 22 - Blinds 50,000/100,000/10,000

Mikita Badziakouski Finishes 3rd

Almost immediately after JP Kelly's departure the final table suffered another casualty with Belarus' Mikita Badziakouski moving all-in from the button pre-flop with K♠J♣.

Sergio Aido woke up with ace-nine once again, this time with A♦9♥ in the small blind and he called pretty speedily.

The board ran out queen-seven-eight-four-four and Aido's ace-high was enough to take the pot and further extend his lead while Badziakouski headed for the rail.

2am: JP Kelly Eliminated in 4th Place (HK$743,000)
Level 22 - Blinds 50,000/100,000/10,000

JP Kelly Hits the Rail in 4th

The UK's JP Kelly took a huge hit at the hands of Yuan Li after folding to a river shove to drop down below the 1 million mark before moving in for the last of his chips from the button with K♥6♥.

Sergio Aido made the call from the big blind with A♣9♥ and Kelly immediately got to his feet and picked up his bag when the flop came down A♦A♥T♦.

The 9♠ turn left Kelly drawing dead and he departed in 4th place while Aido further extends his lead and climbed to around 4.8 million.  

1:40am: Jordan Westmorland Eliminated in 5th Place
Level 21 - Blinds 40,000/80,000/10,000

Jordan Westmorland (l) Departs in 5th

Hot on the heels of Pete Chen's elimination and the final table loses another player. This time is was Jordan Westmorland on the chopping block, moving all-in from the hijack with Q♦9♦ with Yuan Li making the call from the button with K♠Q♠.

The flop came down K♣A♠8♠ to further extend Li's lead and the A♦ turn and 5♦ river were of no help to the US player and he hit the rail in 5th while Li stacked up to close to 4 million.

 1:35am: Pete Chen Eliminated in 6th Place (HK$460,000)
Level 21 - Blinds 40,000/80,000/10,000

Pete Chen Busts in 6th

Taiwan's Pete Chen was one of the final tables shorter stacks and moved all-in from under-the-gun for his last 270,000.

With chips to spare after his recent double-up JP Kelly chose to defend his big blind and made the call.

Pete Chen: K♣7♥
JP Kelly: 7♣5♦

Chen found himself in great shape, his hand dominating Kelly's but the poker gods were feeling fickle.

While Chen maintained his lead all the way to the T♦J♠7♥A♦ turn, Kelly spiked the 5♥ river to bring Chen's tournament to a close. Chen hit the rail in 6th while Kelly climbed to 1.37 million.

1:30am:Kelly Doubles
Level 21 - Blinds 40,000/80,000/10,000

Our high rolling finalists are certainly not shy about throwing the chips around at the moment and it's becoming tough to keep up with all of the action.

JP Kelly moved all-in from the button with Q♠Q♥ and Mikita Badziakouski looked him up from the blinds with A♥J♦.

The board came low and raggedy to grant Kelly the double and he climbed to 1.1 million while Badziakouski drops to 1 million.

1:25am: Celina Lin Eliminated in 7th (HK$362,000)
Level 21 - Blinds 40,000/80,000/10,000

PokerStars Team Pro Celina Lin Busts in 7th

Yuan Li was still stacking up Nick Wong's former chips when there was another all-in and a call on the final table with Celina Lin moving all-in from middle position with A♣J♦

Unfortunately for Lin, Belarus' Mikita Badziakouski woke up right behind her with A♦Q♦ and made the call to put Lin at risk.

The board ran out 6♠4♣T♣3♣4♦ and we lost another while Badziakouski stacks up to 1.5 million.

1:20am: Nick Wong Eliminated in 8th Place (HK$283,000)
Level 21 - Blinds 40,000/80,000/10,000

Nick Wong Departs in 8th Place

Pete Chen took a hit with pocket jacks versus the A♦J♣ of Mikita Badziakouski before doubling with K♣Q♣ against the 9♠9♥ of Sergio Aido with all the chips going in pre-flop in both hands.

Shortly after this Hong Kong's Nick Wong moved all-in for his last 200,000 with J♥3♣ and was called off by Yuan Li in the big blind with K♥6♠.

Both players caught a piece of the 3♠5♥6♣ flop and unfortunately for Wong his opponent Li hit the bigger piece.

The turn and river came down 8♦ and 4♣ respectively and Wong was eliminated in 8th while Li climbed to over 3 million. 

1:10am: Wing Cheong Chong Eliminated in 9th (HK$215,000)
Level 20 - Blinds 30,000/60.000/5,000


Wing Cheong Chong Finishes 9th

Sergio Aido opened the action with a raise to 200,000 from middle position, Wing Cheong Chong re-raised from the big blind to 485,000.

Aido did not think long before moving all-in and Chong called nearly as quickly.

Sergio Aido: K♠K♦

Wing Cheong Chong: T♦T♣

Both players were ridiculously deep at the start of the hand with Chong having around 1.5 million blind when he made the call.

The board ran out J♦2♥4♠5♥9♣ to send Chong to the rail in 9th place and Aido now has a commanding chip lead with a stack of 4 million.

  1:00am: Lin Doubles Through Li
Level 20 - Blinds 30,000/60.000/5,000

Wing Cheong Chong limped from early position and Celina Lin moved all-in for 310,000 from middle position. Action folded around to Yuan Li in the big blind who min-raised to 620,000 and Chong got out of the way.

Celina Lin: Q♥Q♣
Yuan Li: A♠K♠

Lin was the at risk player and needed her hand to hold to survive. The board ran out 5♥4♠6♣7♥Q♦ to see Lin spike a set of queens on the river to climb to 650,000 or so but Li still have heaps of chips and is sitting on around 1.4 million.

12:50pm: Final Table Set
Level 20 - Blinds 30,000/60.000/5,000

HK$100,000 Single Day High Roller Final Table

Seat 1: Yuan Li (China), 1,725,000
Seat 2: JP Kelly (UK), 790,000
Seat 3: Wing Cheong Chong (Hong Kong), 2,110,000
Seat 4:Pete Chen (Taiwan), 250,000
Seat 5:PokerStars Team Pro Celina Lin (China), 325,000
Seat 6:Nick Wong (Hong Kong), 200,000
Seat 7:Mikita Badziakouski (Belarus), 230,000
Seat 8:Sergio Aido (Spain), 1,920,000
Seat 9:Jordan Westmorland (USA), 550,000

12:35am: Double Elimination Sets Up Final Table
Level 20 - Blinds 30,000/60.000/5,000


Hong Kong's Sparrow Cheong Busts in 10th Place

A scant few minutes after the elimination of the unfortunate Linh Tran and there was a three-way all-in over on the other table with Sparrow Cheong, Jake Cody and Yuan Li getting all the chips in the middle pre-flop.

Yuan Li had pocket aces and both players easily covered, Sparrow had pocket kings and had Cody covered and Cody had Q♥T♥.

The board ran out 6♦2♦6♣6♠5♥ to an ecstatic cry of "Yes!" and a fist pump from Li who busted both players to bring us to the final table. Both Cody and Cheong departed for HK$188,500.

12:30am: Aido Busts Tran to Burst Bubble

Level 20 - Blinds 30,000/60.000/5,000


Linh Tran Bursts Bubble

Two consecutive all-ins on the two remaining tables burst the bubble in spectacular fashion after tension reached almost unbearable levels. 

Sparrow Cheong moved all-in from under-the-gun and was looked up by Wing Cheong Chong in the big blind so this was the first hand to play out.

Sparrow Cheong: A♠J♣
Wing Cheong Chong: 7♠9♦

Sparrow survived when the board ran out K♥2♦6♠6♣T♠ to double to 350,000 and Chong still has close to 2.5 million.

Unfortunately for Linh Tran he was not so lucky. Pre-flop Sergio Aido moved all-in from the small blind with T♦9♦ and Tran called off the last of his chips with T♥K♥.

Aido spiked his nine when the flop came down 9♠5♠3♦ meaning Tran needed to hit his king to survive. The 3♠ turn changed nothing and while Tran hit the T♠ river it also gave Aido two pair to burst the bubble.

12:25pm: Kelly Busts Tong
Level 20 - Blinds 30,000/60.000/5,000

A short-stacked Zhou Tong moved all-in for his last 100,000 with J♥4♥ and JP Kely looked him up with K♣3♣ and spiked two pair on the flop to send Tong to the rail and bring us to the bubble. Play still remains hand-for-hand.

12:20am: Level Up and Stacks
Level 20 - Blinds 30,000/60.000/5,000

The blinds have just gone up once more as hand-for-hand continues and the tension in the poker room is palpable as the 13 remaining players jockey for position.

Wing Cheong Chong continues to apply the pressure with his beefy stack and has now climbed to 2.5 million. The next few big stacks are as follows:

Sergio Aido - 1.6 million
Yuan Li - 800,000
Jordan Westmorland - 600,000
Celina Lin - 400,000

Everyone else looks decidedly short with Jake Cody one of the shortest on 100,000.

11:55pm: Cody Pulls Trigger, Chong Makes Sick Call
Level 19 - Blinds 20,000/40,000/5,000

A huge hand has just played out between PokerStars Team Pro Jake Cody and nemesis Wing Cheong Chong that saw the latter decimate Cody's stack for the second time today.

Pre-flop it was Cody who was the aggressor pumping it up to 80,000 from the hi-jack with Chong making the call from the small blind to take play heads-up to a Q♠7♦A♠ flop.

Both players checked to bring in the 5♣ turn which brought a 100k bet from Chong and a call from Cody.

The J♦ river saw Chong check it over to Cody once more and the PokerStars Team Pro pulled the trigger and moved all in. Chong had around 970,000 behind and made a huge call for his tournament life.

Cody rolled over 7♠6♦ for a pair of sevens and Chong proudly flipped over J♠T♣ which was a huge call but the correct one. Cody cracked a huge grin and tapped the table, dropping down to 450,000 while Chong shoots back into the chip lead with over 2 million.

11:50pm: Blinds Up
Level 19 - Blinds 20,000/40,000/5,000

Play is now hand-for-hand with the average stack coming in at 623,000 as the 13 remaining players try to fight their way to the money spots withh 11 getting paid.

11:40pm: Tran Doubles Tong Before Break
Level 18 - Blinds 15,000/30,000/5,000

Compared to the crazyness of earlier play has slowed down considerably with no-one wishing to bust as this late stage of the day. Just before the break there was an all-in and a call with Linh Tran and Zhou Tong getting all the chips in pre-flop.

Linh Tran: A♠Q♠
Zhou Tong: T♠7♠

Tong was the at risk player and needed to hit to survive and did so when the board ran out 7♥K♣5♦5♠2♠.

Tong climbs to 300,000 while Tran drops to 350,000. The remaining 13 players are now on a 10-minute break. Jake Cody is still chip leader with just under 1.5 million, closely followed by JP Kelly and Wing Cheong Chong.

11:30pm: Play Tightens As Bubble Looms
Level 18 - Blinds 15,000/30,000/5,000

Play is tightening up considerably with the bubble rearing its ugly head, just 13 players remain in contention with PokerStars Team Pro Jake Cody still leading the field with 1.45 million. Next closest rival looks to be JP Kelly with 1.1 million with Wing Cheong Chong still going strong with a stack of roughly the same.

 11:10pm: Chong Busts Tsang
Level 18 - Blinds 15,000/30,000/5,000

Just as the blinds climbed once more Hong Kong's Anson Tsang moved his last 288,000 chips in pre-flop from late position and action folded around to Wing Cheong Chong in the big blind who made the call.

Anson Tsang: Q♦Q♥
Wing Cheong Chong: A♦T♣

Chong spiked his ace when the flop came down A♠6♣K♦ to take the lead and the K♣ turn and 3♦ river gave Tsang no help and he departed in 14th place.

11:05pm: Cody Busts Chen
Level 17 - 12,000/24,000/4,000

We missed a bust out whilst reporting on the last hand but arrived at Jake Cody's table just in time to see Guangcheng Chen move all-in for his last 250,000.

Cody flat called the button and Yuan Li briefly flirted with the idea of coming along for the ride but decided against it at the last moment and folded.

It was a good thing for Li he did;Chen rolled over A♦T♥ which was trailing to Cody's A♠A♥ and stayed that way when the board ran out Q♥Q♣7♦8♥J♦ to send Chen to the rail and stack Cody up to just over 1.4 million in chips.

We are now down to 14 players and are just three bust outs away from the money.

10:45pm: Westmorland Doubles Aido, Cody Wins From Li
Level 17 - 12,000/24,000/4,000

Sergio Adio

Mikita Badziakouski opened the action with a raise to 50,000 from middle position and Jordan Westmorland flat called from late position before Sergio Aido moved in from the blinds for his last 202,000.

While Badziakouski got out of the way Westmorland made the call and the cards were turned over.

Jordan Westmorland: A♥Q♠

Sergio Aido: A♦K♥

The board ran out T♣9♣J♠4♠3♥ to grant Aido the double to just over 500,000 (around the average) and Westmorland dropped to 700,000.

Whilst this was going on Jake Cody and Yuan Li became embroiled in a sizeable pot over on the second of our two remaining tables.

Current chip leader - PokerStars Team Pro Jake Cody

Pre-flop Cody juiced it up to 61,000 from the button and Li clicked it back with a big blind min-raise. Cody made the call taking play heads-up to a 8♦Q♥T♠ flop, which both players checked.

Li checked again on the Q♣ turn and Cody went into the tank for a minute or two before deciding the right amount to bet was 100,000. That was enough to get Li to give it up and he drops down to 650,000 or so while Cody extends his lead still further and looks to be sitting on 1.2 million.

10:35pm: Cody Takes Lead As Blinds Rise
Level 17 - 12,000/24,000/4,000

Following his elimination of Dimitrii Afonichev, PokerStars Team Pro Jake Cody has been applying the pressure and has managed to pad his stack out still further with some aggressive blind and ante stealing.

Currently Cody looks to be the chip leader with just over 1 million as Wing Cheong Chong has dropped off a little and sits in third with 850,000 with Jordan Westmorland in the middle of the two on a stack of just over 900,000.

10:25pm: Cody Busts Afonichev, Westmorland Busts Finger
Level 16 - Blinds 10,000/20,000/3,000

PokerStars Team Pro Jake Cody has made a stellar recovery after his pre-break misadventure against Wing Cheong Chong and has just busted the unfortunate Dimitrii Afonichev.

All the chips went in pre-flop with Cody's pocket kings leading Afonichev's pocket eights to send the unfortunate Russian crashing out in 18th place.

Shortly afterwards Jordan Westmorland and Martin Finger clashed in a hand that saw Finger head for the rail.

Westmorland opened the action with a late position raise to 40,000, Finger moved all-in for 303,000 from the small blind with pocket nines and Westmorland made the call with ace-king and spiked a king on the river to climb to 900,000. 

There are now 16 players left, 11 of whom will make the money.

10:10pm: Chong Busts Zhao
Level 16 - Blinds 10,000/20,000/3,000

This tournament is quickly becoming the Wing Cheong Chong show and there does not seem to be much anyone can do about it at present, although Wei Zhao did his level best.

Chong opened the action with a raise to 42,000 from early position and JP Kelly flat called from the button before Zhao moved all-in from the small blind for his last 200,000. Chong made the call and Kelly bowed out to take play heads-up.

Wing Cheong Chong: 4♠4♥
Wei Zhao: T♠T♣

While Zhao's pocket tens were miles in front of Chong's pocket fours they did not stay ahead for long. The 2♣9♦8♣ flop saw Zhao keep his lead but the 4♣ turn saw Chong hit his set. Zhao had a backdoor club re-draw as well as the deck's two remaining tens but the J♦ river was of no help whatsoever and we lose another. Chong is now up to over 1.5 million and is showing no signs of slowing.

10pm:Blinds Up
Level 16 - Blinds 10,000/20,000/3,000

The blinds continue their inexorable rise and just 21 players remain in contention in the HK$100,000 Single Day High Roller. Wing Cheong Chong is currently leading the field with next closest rival looking to be Yuan Li. The average stack is coming in at just over 350,000 or 17.5 big blinds.

9:50pm: Lew Winged
Level 15 - Blinds 8,000/16,000/2,000

Chip Leader Wing Cheong Chong

Just as we were scouting the tournament area to get an idea of how our remaining 25 high rollers were stacking up we arrived at PokerStars Team Online Pro Randy Lew's table just in time to see him run afoul of Wing Cheong Chong.

Lew had moved all-in from under-the-gun for his last 211,500 with J♠T♠ and, sitting to his direct left, Chong hit the think tank. 

Chong counted out the calling chips whilst putting on an Oscar-winning indecisive performance before making the call. All Chong's acting did not encourage anyone else to get involved meaning he got no extra value for his A♥A♦.

The flop came down  7♣8♥6♥ to give Lew a glimpse of hope, but this was quickly dashed when the turn and river bricked out 5♣ and 6♣ respectively.

That timely catch saw Chong cement his already large chip lead still further and his climbs to 1.1  million while Lew headed for the rail in 25th.

Chong's next closest rival looks to be Yuan Li who has around 700,000 with some of the rest of the field stacking up as follows:

JP Kelly - 600,000
Jordan Westmorland - 450,000
Sparrow Cheong  - 400,000
Linh Tran  - 360,000
Celina Lin - 300,000
Mikita Badziakouski - 280,000
Pete Chen - 275,000
Jake Cody 180,000

8:50-9:40pm: Dinner Break

Level 15 - Blinds 8,000/16,000/2,000

The field's 26 remaining high rollers are on a 50-minute dinner breal. When play resumes at 9:40pm blinds will be 8,000/16,000 with a 2,000 running ante.


7:50pm-8;45pm: Chong Leads Follow Pre-Dinner Break Carnage

Level 14 - Blinds 6,000/12,000/1,000

The action has been fast, furious and frantic over the last 2 levels and the chip lead has changed hands on more than one occasion. Players are getting the chips in with an almost reckless abandon and we have lost eight players in very quick succession.

Former front runner Sam Cheong is now out of the running after clashing with China's Yuan Li and while we missed all the pre-flop action we arrived in time to see the fireworks on the turn.


Yuan Li

With the board reading K♦9♣J♣6♥ and well over 250,000 already in the pot Cheong had moved all-in and been quickly called by Li.

Sam Cheong: A♥T♥

Yuan Li: K♥Q♣

Li looked to have Cheong slightly covered and the Macau local headed for the rail when the river bricked out and came down J♠ leaving Li to rake in a huge pot and climb to 650,000.

However, that pot paled in comparison to the huge hand that played out between Wing Cheong Chong and PokerStars Team Pro Jake Cody shortly afterwards.


PokerStars Team Pro Jake Cody

Pre-flop it was Chong who was the initial aggressor, opening to 26,000 from early position and Cody, sitting to Chong's direct left, re-popped it to 67,500 to go. Chong however, was going nowhere and made the call to bring both players to the monochrome K♥3♥7♥ flop.

First to act, Chong led for 30,000, Cody made the call and the pot swelled to 210,000 before the dealer burned and turned 8♠ which brought checks from both players.

The K♣ river saw Chong bomb it for 200,000 and after mulling it over Cody made the call. Chong rolled over 5♥6♥ for the flopped flush and Cody flashed pocket jacks with the J♥ before pitching his cards into the muck to drop down to 46,000.

Chong raked in the monster pot top climb to 900,000 and shoot into the chip lead.

While this was going on Jordan Westmorland and Nan Tu became involved in a chunky pot that saw the latter heading for the rail.

We caught the action on the river with the board reading 9♦3♥3♠J♥4♣ just as Westmorland led out for 75,000 into a pot of roughly 150,000.

Tu tanked before shoving for 67,500 more to send Westmorland into the tank himself.

However the US player did make the call. Tu turned over K♣K♠ but this was not enough to beat Westmorland's  Q♥3♦ flopped trip threes and Tu headed for the rail while the US player stacked up to 450.000.

On the last hand before the 50-minute dinner break PokerStars Team Pro Celina Lin moved all-in pre-flop for 155,000 from the cutoff and was looked up by JP Kelly from the button.

Celina Lin A♥K♦

JP Kelly: A♠Q♦

Both players missed when the board ran out 7♠7♦2♣6♦9♠ meaning Lin's kicker played and she doubled to 330,000. Kelly still has plenty of chips though and is sitting on a stack of 600,000.

7:45pm: Prize Pool and Stacks
Level 13 - Blinds 5,000/10,000/1,000

JP Kelly eliminated an unfortunate opponent  to bring the 81-strong field down to 35, his pocket queens granting the UK player a double to what looks to be 550,000 with the average stack coming in at a little over 230,000.

Other notables still in the running include:

Wing Cheong Chong (650,000)
Sam Cheong (500,000)
Lin Tran (460,000)
Dong Zhao (405,000)
Sparrow Cheong (400,000)
PokerStars Team Pro Jake Cody (362,000)
Nick Wong (313,000)
PokerStars Team Pro Celina Lin (250,000)
Pete Chen (240,000)
Jordan Westmorland (210,000)
PokerStars Team Pro Online Randy 'nanonoko' Lew (180,000).

The prize pool is coming in at just over HK$7.5 million with just 11 players making the hallowed money spots. First prize is worth a whopping HK$2,074,000 with a min-cash good for HK$188,500.

7:30pm: Numbers Are In
Level 12 - Blinds 4000/8,000/1,000

The numbers are in and there are 81 confirmed entries for the HK$100,000 Single Day High Roller. 

Of these, 65 are unique entrants with a further 16 players opting for a second bullet to create a very impressive HK$7.5 million prize pool. 

We'll break this down further when the official prize pool calculations are released shortly so we can see exactly how much is on offer for first.

7:15pm: Cheong Takes Early Lead, Lin Cripples Ogura
Level 12 - Blinds 4000/8,000/1,000

Sam Cheong has got his Single Day High Roller off to a great start and has edged into an early lead by busting yet another unfortunate tablemate.

All the chips found their way into the middle on a 6♦4♥3♣ flop with Cheong's T♦T♠ leading his opponent's 5♥5♠ and staying that way when the turn and river ran out 6♠ and 9♠ respectively to shoot Cheong up to over 450,000.

Celina Lin marked the beginning of the new level with a double courtesy of Takashi Ogura. 


Japan's Takashi Ogura (l) Doubles PokerStars Team Pro Celina Lin (r)

Pre-flop the button opened for 16,000 and Ogura moved all-in for 92,500 from the small blind with 9♠9♦ and Lin made the call from the big blind with A♦T♣.

The board ran out A♣8♠2♠T♠7♣ to see Lin climb to over 200,000 while  Ogura was left crippled with just a single big blind after the dust settled.

6:55pm: Chen Picks Off He, Cheong Busts Chan
Level 11 - Blinds 3,000/6,000/500

Wing Cheong Chong opened the action with a raise to 12,500 from middle position and picked up two callers in the form of Pete Chen (button) and Chang He (big blind).

Both Chang and Chong checked the 3♣J♦T♣ flop over to Chen who took a stab for 16,000. Chang made the call and Chong folded to take the action heads-up to the 9♣ turn.

This slowed the action right down with Chang checking it over to Chen who checked it right back and the dealer peeled off the 2♠ river.

This brought a 16,500 bet from Chang and a suspicious Chen looked him up. Chang sheepishly turned over 7♦3♥ for fourth pair, which was not enough to beat Chen's K♠Q♣ turned straight.

Chang once proud 350,000 stack has dropped to 190,000 (though not all of that went in this hand obviously) and Chen climbs to 150,000.

Local Sam Cheong appears to have taken Chang's place as chip leader and has just eliminated the unfortunate Wai Leong Chan.

A short-stacked Chan got his last 86,000 in pre-flop with A♥5♠and was called rather quickly by Cheong holding K♦K♥ and the board ran out 6♥4♦2♦ 4♥6♣ making Chan the first official casualty as re-entry is now closed.

6:40pm: Game On, Registration Now Closed
Level 11 - Blinds 3,000/6,000/500

Play has just resumed in the HK$100,000 Single Day High Roller and registration is now closed. That means we'll soon be able to let you know who's in, who's out and just how juicy the prize pool is so watch this space.

6:30pm: Tran Busts Liang Before Break
Level 10 - Blinds 2,000/4,000/500

The clock was ticking down to the break but that did not slow down the action with an under-the-gun player opening to 8,000 and picking up a caller in the form of PokerStars Team Pro Celina Lin.

Action folded around to Linh Tran in the small blind, who asked how much both players had behind (both less than the 100k starting stack) before squeezing to 100,000 to go.

Yu Liang instantly moved all-in from the big blind for what looked to be 110,000 and after both the original raiser and Lin got out of the way the cards were turned over.

Line Tran: A♥Q♥
Yu Liang: J♣J♦

Liang's pocket jacks were slightly ahead of Tran's ace-queen and stayed in front for three-quarters of the hand when the board ran out 4♠6♦2♥8♠. Unfortunately for Liang the river was the A♦ and he busted as Tran raked in the huge pot to climb to over 300,000.

Liang still has 10-minutes to decide if he wants to re-enter with registration closing after the 10-minute break.

6:10pm: Lew Goes One For One
Level 10 - Blinds 2,000/4,000/500

PokerStars Team Online Pro Randy Lew

We arrived just in time to see PokerStars Team Pro Randy Lew double up a short-stacked Wayne Yap. We are not sure when the chips went in but Lew is in small blind holding king-three offsuit and Yap is in the big blind with A♦5♦

Both players missed the board meaning Yap's ace-high was good for a double and he climbed to 80,000 while Lew dropped to 165,000.

Lew managed to climb back over the 200k mark the very next hand however, coming over the top of a Pete Chen 8,500 under-the-gun open from the button for 24,000.

Chen thought it over for a minute but made the call to take the action heads-up to a 5♠T♠8♥ flop, which Chen checked over to Lew.

The PokerStars Team Pro fired out a 20,000 c-bet and Chen made the call to bring thee action to the 7♥ turn.

Chen checked and Lew went deep into the tank for a good 2-3 minutes before announcing he was all-in for 119,000. Chen had 125,000 and decided against the call and Lew is back up to 210,000.

6pm: Level Up
Level 10 - Blinds 2,000/4,000/500

Blinds are up once again and the field now has 73 entries with the late arrival of Belarusian Mikita Badziakouski. Late registration is open until the end of the level so we will have a better idea about who is in, who is out and how many player in total by then.

5:45pm: Zhao Busts Zhang
Level 9 - Blinds 1,500/3,000/500

Wei Zhao is upping the aggression and has just taken out Ye Zhang. It was Japan's Takashi Ogura who lit the blue touch paper with an under-the-gun raise to 6,500 and  Zhao re-raised to 16,500 from middle position. 

Zhang made the call from the button and action folded back around to Ogura who got out of the way to take play heads-up to a 3♣6♠7♣ flop. 

Zhao checked it over to Zhang, who took a stab for 16,500 only to see Zhao quickly slide out a tower of yellow 5k chips for a 100,000 check raise. This has Zhang covered and sent the Chinese player deep into the tank, though he did elect to call and the cards were turned over.

Ye Zhang: Q♠Q♣
Wei Zhao: K♠K♥

Zhang looked unhappy to have run into Zhao's higher pocket pair and the turn and river ran out T♠ and A♣ respectively to send him to the rail while Zhao stacks up to 250,000.

5:30pm: Blinds Up
Level 9 - Blinds 1,500/3,000/500

A grand total of 67 players (including re-entries) have anted up the HK$100,000 for the Single Day High Roller with 55 players still in the running.

There have been 7 re-entries so far with China's Yunsheng Sun, Jaibin Cui, Wenbin Zhang and Weizhou Zha, Taiwan's James Chen, Australia's Stevan Chew and Hong Kong's Hon Cheong Lee all opting for a second bullet.

5:15pm: Zhao Wins One
Level 8 - Blinds 1,200/2,400/400

Wei Zhao

Wei Zhao is busy padding out his stack and we caught the online turbo specialist opening the action with a raise to 5,200 from the hijack with Linh Tran (cutoff) and a player on the button making the call.

Zhao c-bet 6,000 on the 7♣4♠J♦ flop and while that was enough to get Tran to bow out the button made the call to take play heads-up to the 8♣ turn.

This brought a second bet of 16,000 from Zhao which was enough to take down the hand and he climbs to 156,000.

It looks like Chang He is pushing the envelope at present and still remains the front runner with over 350,000 stacked in three huge chip towers in front of him. 

Other players sitting on impressive looking stacks include Macau local Sam Cheong (250,000), PokerStars Team Pro Randy 'nanonoko' Lew (240,000), Joran Westmorland (210,000), JP Kelly (190,000), Pete Chen (174,000) and it appears Australia's Matthew Wakeman has managed to turn things around from the last time we checked and he has climbed to 130,000.

4:50pm: Break
Level 8 - Blinds 1,200/2,400/400

The 51 remaining players are on a break, play will resume shortly and late registration is open until 6:30pm.

4:45pm: Zhang Out, Lee Profits
Level 7 - Blinds 1,000/2,000/300

There are now 60 confirmed entries (including re-entries) for the HK$100,000 Single Day High Roller, 52 of whom are still in the running. 

Hon Cheong Lee is on his second bullet of the day after busting the first running his ace-jack into the rivered trip Kings of Chang He earlier. 

It looks like second time's the charm for Lee who has just busted the unfortunate Wenbin Zhang. We are not sure when all the chips went in as both players had the cards turned over when we arrived at the table with the community cards reading 9♥J♠3♠ 5h] A♥.

Zhang's A♠T♦ was dominated by Lee's A♦K♦ and stacks were being counted down with Lee having slightly more meaning he scoops the pot to climb up to 200,000 while Zhang heads for the rail.

4:30pm: Luo Out
Level 7 - Blinds 1,00/2,00/300

The field has grown to 59 entries, 51 of whom remain in contention. The brightly attired Chang He is currently leading the charge with a stack in excess of 250,000 while Qi Luo is coming in at the other end of the chip spectrum as he has just busted.

We do not know who knocked him out but we do know the details of how it happened. Down to his last 30,000 Luo moved all in from early position with J♥T♥ and ran into an opponent's pocket queens. It does not look like Luo is keen on re-buying just yet but he is hanging around the tournament area and could well change his mind.

4:15pm: More Entries and Stacks
Level 6 - Blinds 800/1,600/200

The HK$100,000 Single Day High Roller Field has now grown to 59 entries, 55 of whom still remain in contention with China's Wenzhou Zha and Jiaxin Cui being the only two players who are on their second bullet. 

Notables with stacks include JP Kelly (180,000), Linh Tran (150,000), Wei Zhou (110,000) and PokerStars Team Pro Jake Cody (111,000).

Other PokerStars Team Pros still in the running are Randy Lew (120,000) and Celina Lin (70,000). Sparrow Cheong and Pete Chen look to still be close to the 100,000 starting stacks and Thomas Ward (70,000), Martin Finger (65,000) and Matthew Wakeman (60,000) look to be some of the field's current shorties. 

3:35pm: He Busts One, Adio Takes One From Chen, Finger and Ward Tangle
Level 5 - Blinds 600/1,200/200

The field has increased still further and there are now 53 entries in the HK$100,000 Single Day High Roller. Late arrivals include Taiwan's Pete Chen, Hong Kong's Sparrow Cheong and China's Hao Tian.

There has also been another bust out and while we are not sure who that was the man wielding the executioners axe was Chang He, a man difficult to ignore due to his day-glo orange jacket.


Chang He

Pre-flop He was the aggressor opening to 3,000 from early position and picking up a single caller. He checked the jack-six-eight rainbow board over to his opponent who took a stab for 4,000, which He called.

A nine hit the turn, which brought another check from He and a bet of 10,000 from He's opponent. He check raised to 27,500 and was called pretty quickly keeping the hand heads-up.

A king hit the river and He moved in for the rest of his chips with his opponent making the call without much hesitation.

He turned over pocket kings for a rivered set, which was miles in front of his opponent's ace-jack and He stacks up to close to 200,000.

We caught another all-in over on James Chen's table. We are not sure what the pre flop and flop action was but caught the hand on the turn with the board reading 5♣4♠K♣ 3♥ just as Chen had led out for a bet of 22,500 from the blinds into a pot that looked to be close to 40,000.

Chen's opponent in the hand, Sergio Adio quickly moved all-in and Chen mulled it over but chose to let it go. Audio climbs to roughly 135,000 while Chen looks to be slightly under the 100,000 starting stack.

Two other players who are currently sitting with less than they started are New Zealand's Thomas Ward and Australia's Martin Finger, though Finger now has a little more than Ward after the following hand played out.

We caught the action on the flop with Finger (big blind) checking the action over to a late position Ward on a board reading A♣7♠2♠. Ward fired out a bet of 2,500 and Finger called to bring both players to the A♥ turn.

Finger checked it over to Ward for a second time and the Kiwi fired a second barrel, this time for a slightly larger 6,500, which was called once more.

The 2♣ brought a third check from Finger and Ward checked it right back, pitching his cards into the muck when Finger rolled over A♦Q♣. Finger climbs to around 75,000 while Ward looked to have around 65,000.

3:25pm: Game Time Once Again
Level 5 - Blinds 600/1,200/200

Our 44 high rollers have just retaken their seats and cards are in the air once more.

3:15pm: Break
Level 5 - Blinds 600/1,200/200

The 44 high rollers are on their first 15 minute break of the day, blinds will be 6,00/1,200 with a 200 running ante when play resumes shortly.

3pm: Two Down, One Re-entry
Level 4 - Blinds 500/1,000/100

The players are wasting no time getting their chips in here and we have already had two bust outs. We are not sure who the first was, but the second was Jiabin Cui who has decided he wants a second try and has re-entered.

A player who has got his tournament off to a slightly better start in Linh Tran, who has just taken down a pot from tablemate Qi Luo.

Pre-flop it was Luo who was the initial aggressor opening the action to 2,300 from under-the-gun. Tran, sitting in the hi-jack, re-raised to 6,000 and action folded back around to Luo who made the call.

Luo checked the 8♥8♦2♦ flop over to Tran who c-bet another 6,000. Lou looked tempted but decided against it in the end, folding out to give Tran the pot and he climbs to 180,000.

2:40pm: Blinds Up
Level 4 - Blinds 500/1,000/100

Blinds are up in the HK$100,000 Single Day High Roller and all 43 players still remain in contention. With late registration open until 6:30pm local time (GMT+8) there may well be a few more late entries and with players around a single re-buy should they desire a second bite of the cherry the prize pool could well grow still further.

2:35pm: More Fresh Blood, Westmorland Getting Busy
Level 3 - Blinds 400/800/100

The field has grown to 43 entries with Australia's Stevan Chew and Martin Finger, the UK's Louis Salter and Hong Kong's Winfred Yu just several of the new faces.

It looks like Jordan Westmorland has been busy, running his stack up to 180,000 though he has just passed some chips the way of Lingling Nie.

We caught the action on the turn in a heads-up pot between Westmorland and Nie with the community cards spread 6♠8♣7♥Q♦ just as Westmorland checked the action over to Nie, who bet 21,000 into a pot of roughly 26,000.

We're not sure what the prior action was but it looks like Westmorland has already been raised by Nie on the turn judging by his reaction to this latest bet.

"It look's like a set, is it a set?' Westmorland quizzed Nie who smiled but said nothing. Westmorland made the fold whilst begging Nie to show him one card but to no avail and she climbs to around 120,000 and Westmorland drops to 170,000.

2:15pm: More New Faces
Level 3 - Blinds 400/800/100

Antes have just come into play with the start of level three and the number of entries has risen to 36 - 3 more than September's MPC25 and no one has re-entered yet so it looks like this could be yet another event that surpasses its predecessor, something of a trend for MPC26.

We caught one of the field's new faces  - Team PokerStars Pro Online Randy 'nanonoko' Lew - involved in a hand against Rong Wang.

With the board reading J♥8♦T♥ 3♥5♦ and around 12,000 already in the pot Lew had led the river for 3,700. Wang, sitting on the button, announced raise and made it 12,000 to go and while Lew chewed it over he elected to let it go. Lew has around 90,000 of his 100,000 starting stack left while Wang rises to 111,000.

Other late arrivals include Linh Tran, PokerStars Team Pro Celina Lin and the UK's JP Kelly has just taken his seat. Currently Kelly has no tablemates with which to tangle but it looks like Mathew Wakeman is headed over to take his seat following a tableware so we're sure it won't be long before Mr Kelly is in the thick of the action.

2pm: Cui Wins One, Westmorland and Wakeman Tangle
Level 2 - Blinds 400/800

Jiabin Cui opened the action with a 3,300 under-the-gun raise with Boyao Li (button) and Jake Cody (small blind) making the call to take play three-way to a flop of A♣4♥7♣.

Both Cody and Cui checked and Li decided to take a stab for 5,000 and while Cody bowed out Cui made the call to bring play heads-up to the 8♥ turn.

That was it for the betting in this particular hand with both players seemingly content to check it down to the Q♠ river sonf Cui raked in a reasonable pot with A♥5♦ as Li pitched his cards into the muck.

Over on one of the other three tables we witnessed a blind on blind battle between Jordan Westmorland and Mathew Wakeman. Westmorland limped his small blind and Wakeman popped it up another 2,000 with Westmorland making the call to bring the action to the A♥J♣8♥ flop.


Jordan Westmorland

Westmorland check called Wakeman's 1,800 c-bet to bring both players to the 9♦ turn, which Westmorland checked again.

Wakeman led for a slightly larger 6,800 and after shooting him a sidelong glance Westmorland called once more and the dealer flipped over the A♣ river.

This brought checks from both players and Westmorland turned over J♥T♠ to counterfeit Wakeman's eight-nine on the river. 

1:45pm: Field Grows as Blinds Rise
Level 2 - Blinds 400/800

There are now 31 players with more still trickling in. Australia's Mathew Wakeman has taken his seat and will be looking to follow up on his deep run last month at the Aussie Millions with a big score here in Macau. 

Other notables in attendance include the previously mention two-time MPC High Roller Champion James Chen and Macau Poker Cup Champion Denny Yu. 
Yu is a high stakes cash player who won the second ever MPC back in 2008, defeating Celina Lin heads-up to take the title. The field size back then was 31, which will be similar to todays field so Yu will fancy his chances.

1:25pm: Cody Gives One Up, Zhao Gets Busy
Level 1 - Blinds 300/600

PokerStars Team Pro Jake Cody has taken his seat and we caught him involved in a hand with two-time MPC High Roller Champion James Chen.

With the flop reading 4♦6♣5♣ Cody, sitting in the cutoff, had led out for what looked to be a pot-sized a bet of 3,000 and Chen (button) made the call to take the action to the J♣ turn.

That brought a check from Cody and a bet of 5,200 from Chen. Cody mulled it over but eventually decided to give it up and pitched his cards into the muck.

It looks like these players have all come to play and some of them are not shy about throwing chips around early.  We walked past Dong Zhao's table and he already has a stack of over 180,000 - so nearly a double up already. From the looks of things these have come from neighbouring tablemate Hongjun Zhao as he has what looks to be just 23,000 of his 100,000 starting stack left.

Fortunately for Hongjun Zhao there is the option for a single HK$100,000 re-buy should things not go his way.

1:10pm: Cards in the air
Level 1 - Blinds 300/600

And we're off, so far there are 10 runners but we have just seen New Zealand's Thomas Ward and the USA's Jordan Westmorland making their way to the tournament area so it looks like we are up to 12.

Other notables in attendance at present are Hong Kong's Nick Wong and China's Dong Zhao but it's still early days so we expect this number to grow as the day progresses with late registration open until 6:30pm.

1pm: Starting Soon
Level 1 - Blinds 300/600

Poker players are notoriously late risers and high rollers are no exception. We are just waiting for enough of the players who are slowly arriving so we can get the cards in the air. So far there are 9 registered entries and it looks like it's game time.

The players will be starting with 100,000 stacks and  have 30-minute levels in which to use them with blinds starting at 300/600. Watch this space and we will bring you all the action as it happens.

12:30pm: MPC26 Single Day High Roller Starting Soon

The MPC26 HK$100,000 Single Day High Roller will be underway shortly at 1pm local time (GMT+8).

This high-calibre big buy-in event was a new addition to the already jam-packed Macau Poker Cup schedule last September and attracted 33 high-rolling players who battled over the HK$3 million (US$386,650) prize pool.

Five months ago it was Russia's Vladimir Dobrovolskiy who emerged victorious to bag himself an HK$897,000 (US$115,625) payday, defeating China's Jinghui Ying heads-up to take the title at the September 2016 MPC25.

While we are unsure whether Dobrovolskiy will be returning to defend his title MPC25 Single Day High Roller final tablist Linh Tran is in attendance, as is the UK's JP Kelly.

Kelly topped the opening flight of the Red Dragon Main Event yesterday so we know he has a window in his schedule today. The WSOP bracelet winner is a regular at big buy-in events, with his last score in Macau coming in the 2012 Super High Roller.

Other high-rolling poker professionals seen prowling the poker room over the last few days include USA's Patrick Mahoney and PokerStars Team Pro Jake Cody confirmed his entry last night.

More possibles include fellow PokerStars Team Pros Randy 'nanonoko' Lew and Celina Lin, who will be keen to follow up her HK$565,000 runner-up finish in the record-breaking Baby Dragon.

The PokerStars blog will be on hand to bring you all the action so keep your fingers ready to hit that F5 refresh key as we see who has what it takes to take down the MPC26 Single Day High Roller.

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

Ben Wilson
@PokerStars in PokerStars Macau