MPC27: Baby Dragon Day 1 coverage archive

A frantic day here at PokerStars LIVE Macau has now come to a close as the record-breaking Baby Dragon field was culled by over 80%. Day 1 of the unofficial warm-up event saw the previous field record of 602 surpassed with ease as 793 hopefuls ponied up the HK$8,000 (~$1,000) in a bid to slay the Baby Dragon.

Combined they generated a total prize pool of HK$5,538,312 (~$708,000) with HK$1,163,000 (~$150,000) being awarded to the eventual winner tomorrow. Before that though we'll see the bubble burst and 99 players paid with the min-cash set at HK$15,500 (~$2,000).

Of the 793 in attendance it was the USA's James Lee who climbed the highest. He picked up pocket queens to win a big pot in the final orbit of the day and take the lead from previous frontrunner Yohwan Lim. Lee has $167,961 in live tournament earnings and finds himself in a great position to add to that here this week. Lee will lead the charge when play recommences with 212,100.

MPC27 James Lee.jpg

James Lee - Out in front

Also still in contention are Team PokerStars Pros Celina Lin and Randy Lew who managed to spin it up after starting late due to the long alternate list. Lin caught a double up in Level 9 with pocket kings against ace-king suited and carried that momentum to the end of the day where she finished on 80,500. Lin was the runner-up in the MPC26 Baby Dragon last time and will be undoubtedly looking to go one better in this iteration. Lew meanwhile ended proceedings trailing his teammate with 54,600.

Those who made the cut will be getting some rest before the 1pm restart tomorrow when we'll be back ready to crown a Baby Dragon champion. Be sure to join us right here on the PokerStars Blog! In the meantime you can read all about today's action below.

3:15am: Five more hands
Level 12: 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

Only five more hands remain here for Day 1 of the MPC27 Baby Dragon.

3am: Lucky Wang leaps up the counts
Level 12: 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

Yawei Wang now has a mountain of chips in front of him after a lucky break saw him eliminate Wei Xu and deal a huge blow to Jeffrey Lo.

Xu was the one who kicked things off with an all-in for 21,200 and when it folded to Wang in the small blind he announced all in for 58,600. Lo had clearly woken up with a hand in the big blind and he gave it a few minutes consideration.

Lo finally called if off and saw how favourable of a position he was in.

Lo: J♥J♣
Wang: 9♠9♦
Xu: K♥T♥

Lo was in the lead for a huge pot but his demeanour quickly changed when Wang hit a set on the 9♠7♠A♦ flop.

"Oh my f@#king God," bemoaned Lo as the tables turned.

The Q♠ turn and K♣ river meant Wang's set was good and he raked in the giant pot while Xu hit the rail and Lo was knocked back down to 52,000.

That pot sees Wang among the frontrunners with 140,000.

2:40am: Mudgal marks out Loke
Level 11: 800/1,600 (200 ante)

Chun Kit Loke has been eliminated at the hands of India's Dhaval Mudgal.

Loke was short with just 11,000 and he shoved all in from the cutoff before the action was on Mudgal on the button. He motioned to see the stacks of the players in the blinds before moving all in himself for around 32,000.

The blinds quickly got out of the way and the hands were turned face up.

Mudgal: 7♠7♥
Loke: A♦7♣

Loke was chasing an ace to stick around but the K♠2♥9♣9♦Q♦ runout saw Mudgal's pocket sevens hold. He moved up to 45,000 as Loke hit the rail.

2:20am: Prize pool information

This record-breaking 793-player field (crushing the previous record of 602) is now locked out and that means we have all the prize pool information.

The top 99 players will receive a return on their investment with a min-cash valued at HK$15,000, while the eventual champion will walk away with HK$1,163,000 (~$150,000) on top of the title and the Baby Dragon trophy!

1:55am: Team Pro Update
Level 10: 600/1,200 (100 ante)

Three Team PokerStars Pros entered today but now with 200 players left of the starting 793 only two of those remain. Aditya Agarwal was the one to fall after he failed to pick up momentum in the early stages.

It's a different story for Randy Lew and Celina Lin, however, as the two still have chips. Lew flying the flag the highest for the PokerStars contingent on 28,000 while teammate Lin is on 17,000.

Lin dropped to that stack after a recent hand saw her continuation bet 3,000 on a flop of 2♠2♥5♠ before the big blind clicked it back to 6,000. Lin flicked in a call but ultimately had to fold when the big blind bet enough to cover her when the 7♦ arrived on the turn.

There are only two levels left in the night so we'll soon find out if either Lin or Lew can survive to the final day tomorrow.

MPC27 Randy Lew.jpg

Randy Lew

1:35am: Cheng chips up
Level 10: 600/1,200 (100 ante)

Local Ho Cheng will be counting his blessings after a miracle river card has saved his tournament. He was all in and at risk preflop after finding himself in a coinflip scenario holding 8♥8♣ versus A♠K♠.

It was a fair fight until the A♦6♦2♠ flop saw Cheng lose the lead and down to only two outs left in the deck to help. The 9♦ turn changed nothing but the 8♠ on the river was met with gasps from Cheng's tablemates as he spiked the two outer to remain in the hunt.

After that lucky turn of events Cheng now has 29,500 in chips at his disposal.

1:05am: Scheduled break

A 15-minute break has just begun. Players will return momentarily.

1am: Celina Lin lives
Level 9: 500/1,000 (100 ante)

Team PokerStars Pro Celina Lin is still in the hunt and chipping up after picking up a monster and holding to secure a double up.

Lin opened to 2,300 preflop before the player next to act three-bet to 5,300. The action folded back around to Lin and she four-bet jammed for 11,700. The move was snapped off and the two players revealed their hands.

Lin: K♥K♣
Opponent: A♦K♦

Lin had the best of it and things stayed that way on the 8♣T♥7♠3♥7♣ runout. With that pot Lin finds a little breathing room, building to 24,500.

MPC27 Celina Lin.jpg

Celina Lin

12:40am: Cai climbs higher
Level 9: 500/1,000 (100 ante)

Hui Cai has had a great day on the felt and he's continued that trend after taking down another pot to climb to 44,000.

Cai defended his big blind preflop before the dealer spread a flop of 3♦5♥6♣. After a check from Cai, the initial raiser continued for 2,200 and Cai quickly shoved all in with enough to cover his opponent's 12,000 behind.

The bet was too strong and the opener surrendered the pot to Cai.

"Two pair?" came the inquiry, and Cai nodded but only flashed the 3♥.

12:20am: Mok moving on up
Level 8: 400/800 (100 ante)

Billy Mok has received a sizable double up after somewhat of a cold deck stung Ching-Yun Lee.

The two raised back and forth preflop before Mok moved in for a total of 27,750. Lee called it off to put Mok at risk and the cards went on their backs.

Mok: K♣K♦
Lee: A♦K♠

Mok was looking to fade an ace and he was successful as the cards fell T♥J♥5♥9♠J♠ to see Mok secure the double. He raked in a pot of 56,500 while Lee dipped to a little over 10,000.

12am: Jin joins the railbirds
Level 8: 400/800 (100 ante)

Xin Jin was the most recent evictee after he committed his short stack and ended up on the wrong side of a flip against Che Li Lin.

Jin raised to 1,825 preflop off a stack of just 4,800 before Lin moved all in for 14,700. It folded back around to Jin and he called to see he was off to the races for his tournament life.

Lin: 9♥9♣
Jin: A♠J♥

Jin needed to improve but the T♦6♠3♣4♠Q♦ runout refused to help. He hit the rail as Lin stacked up a new total of 19,000.

Get your hands on a trophy the easy way

The Macau Poker Cup is renowned for two of the best-looking trophies in poker, and now you can get your hands on one without winning a tournament.

PokerStars are giving away mini Red Dragon trophies to the first 1,500 players registered in the MPC27 Red Dragon this week - and with a huge alternate list tonight for the Baby Dragon we recommend getting in quick before the trophies run out!

MPC27 trophy promo.jpg

11:15pm: Team Pros pull up seats
Level 7: 300/600 (75 ante)

Team PokerStars Pros Celina Lin and Randy 'nanonoko' Lew are finally among the action after waiting on the alternates list.

Lew and Lin were alternates 130 and 395 respectively so they decided to treat themselves to some dessert before their seats were ready.

The Team Pros have had a mixed start here with Lin down to around 5,500 from the 10,000 starting stack, while Lew has built to 16,000. We'll keep an eye on how they progress throughout the night.

10:45pm: Clock paused until alternates seated

In the interest of fairness for the alternates still remaining the clock has been stopped until everyone who has registered has been seated. This way, despite the huge turnout, those waiting will begin their Baby Dragon hunt with a playable stack.

Registration is now officially closed so when the alternates join the action and the staff run the numbers we'll be able to bring you the prizepool and finalized field information.

10:20pm: Take a break

It's time again for a 15-minute break. Coverage will resume shortly.

10:15pm: King dethroned
Level 6: 200/400 (50 ante)

King Chung Wang has been knocked out after getting his short stack into middle to see he needed some help.

It was Jia Miao who opened the betting to 950 before Wang shipped it all in for 2,725. The player on the button opted for a cold four-bet to 8,800 and that was enough to force Miao out of the pot, who tabled 8♠8♦ before tossing them into the muck.

Wang revealed 5♠5♦ but things didn't look good as he had to beat Q♠Q♥. Unfortunately for Wang he couldn't do it as the cards fell T♥4♦7♦A♠4♠ with him failing to improve.

10pm: Chen chopped down
Level 6: 200/400 (50 ante)

Zhaohui Chen has left the tournament area after a brutal beat brought an end to his Baby Dragon.

With the board reading K♥2♣2♦A♣ Chen moved all in for 3,250 before standing from his seat and looking around the room seemingly disinterested. Chen was eventually called to be put at risk by A♥Q♥ but Chen was in great shape to double with 4♥2♥ for three of a kind.

Anything but an ace would see Chen stay in the hunt but his opponent's head shaking quickly turned to a fist pump as the A♠ rolled off. Chen was unable to fade the two-outer and was subsequently sent packing.

9:40pm: Chop it up
Level 5: 150/300 (25 ante)

After an open from the player in the cutoff, Sparrow Cheung three-bet to 2,650 from the small blind. Darian Tan Kok Fye was in the big blind and after looking down at 9♠9♥ he moved all in over the top for 8,025.

The original opener pushed all in himself for 13,000 and Cheung sat there balancing the PokerStars fidget spinner that he'd gotten at PokerStars Festival Manila not long ago. He decided to flash the K♦ and fold before looking dismayed as the cutoff tabled pocket nines as well.

"King!" shouted a tablemate in a bid to needle Cheung, but the board ran a clean 5♠8♦J♥4♠T♣.

The two active players chopped it up and Cheung went back to playing with his fidget spinner.

MPC27 Sparrow Cheung.jpg

Sparrow Cheung bringing a new meaning to spinning it up

9:20pm: Tam taken out
Level 5: 150/300 (25 ante)

Hoi Wai Tam will be licking his wounds after getting his chips in with the best of it but coming up short against Chung Wai Ho.

We arrived at a flop of J♦A♥6♥ and after Ho checked from the big blind, Tam fired for 1,300. Ho then clicked it back to 2,600 before Tam played back at him for 5,100. Ho then moved all in and Tam snapped him off with the lead.

Tam: A♣J♣
Ho: J♥9♥

It was Tam's top two pair versus the flush draw but the Q♥ arrived on the turn to complete Ho's flush. Tam had three outs to stay alive but the 3♦ river meant his tournament was done and dusted.

The dealer counted down Ho's stack of 9,050 and Tam found out he was just covered. The latter hit the rail as Ho climbed to 19,500.

8:55pm: Liu lifts with quads
Level 4: 100/200 (25 ante)

Yi Liu has lifted his stack to 18,000 after landing quads in a recent hand.

There was a full house on board with the cards in the middle showing A♦Q♥Q♦A♥Q♣ and the big blind led out for 2,500 into a pot of 6,300. Liu was sitting in the cutoff and went for some value with a raise to 6,000 but his opponent quickly relinquished his hand.

Liu showed him the A♠A♣ for the stone cold nuts as the dealer awarded Liu the pot.

8:35pm: Tang takes a hit from Judges
Level 4: 100/200 (25 ante)

Darren Judges has moved up to 33,000 in chips after back-to-back check-raises saw him scoop up a healthy pot.

Judges checked it over to Tang on a 4♦6♣9♦ flop and after Tang fired for 1,600, Judges raised to 4,200. Tang called and the dealer turned the Q♣. Another check from Judges turned into another check-raise as Tang bet 4,000 and Judges moved all in.

Tang quickly mucked and fell to 25,000 while the pot was pushed to Judges.

8:05pm: First break of the night

Players have stepped away from the tournament floor for a 15-minute break.

8pm: Record already broken!
Level 3: 75/150

The previous Baby Dragon field record of 602 has already been put to shame tonight with the player tally currently sitting at 759 players in this MPC27 Baby Dragon. With two and a half hours left of late registration that number is still expected to climb.

Some of those who we've spotted since play began include Gab Yong Kim, Juicy Li and Asia Player of the Year frontrunner Alan Lau.

MPC27 Gab Yong Kim.jpg

Gab Yong Kim

7:40pm: Agarwal gone
Level 3: 75/150

Mayank Agarwal has been relegated to the rail after a bluff gone wrong versus Wing Keung Cheuk.

The community cards read J♠5♠5♥3♣ and after Cheuk had checked it over to Agarwal, the latter had moved all in for 3,375. Cheuk stared at Agarwal between bites of the noodle dish that was in front of him, and after screwing up his face and shaking his head it didn't look as if he was happy to call it off.

After another few seconds, however, Cheuk announced a call and Agarwal knew he was looking to spike the river to stay alive.

Cheuk: A♣J♦
Agarwal: A♥K♦

Down to just three outs Agarwal couldn't find one as the river bricked off to signal the end of his Baby Dragon run. Cheuk collected the pot and now sits with 18,000 at his disposal.

7:20pm: Sum sent packing
Level 2: 50/100

It was a short tournament for Yunsheng Sun who was just eliminated by Danny Tang.

It seemed the two of them had a raising war preflop as there was already over 5,000 in the pot when the dealer spread the 5♥4♥7♥ flop. Both players checked to the 8♠ where Sun led out for 2,500. Tang called and the 6♥ river brought a straight and four cards to a flush onboard.

Sun checked it over to Tang who announced he was all in with enough to cover Sun's last 4,725. Sun called it off playing the board with A♣T♣ but that was no good against Tang's Q♥Q♣ for a queen high flush.

Tang now has a tower of chips worth 29,000.

7pm: Bansal building
Level 2: 50/100

Paawan Bansal has added to his stack after a three-way pot involving his fellow Indian countryman Dhaval Mudgal and Lam Ka Yu.

Bansal bet 350 on a flop of 8♥4♠A♥ and both Mudgal and Yu called to see the 8♣ fall on the turn. The action was then checked around before the 3♥ river card.

Yu decided to take the betting lead with a wager for 1,050 but Bansal reached deep and bumped it up to 2,725. Mudgal gave it some thought but he got out of the way to see Yu dive deep into the tank. After a couple of minutes a tablemate called the clock, and shortly after the one-minute countdown began, Yu decided to let it go.

He now sits with around 4,000 in chips while Bansal moves up to 14,500.

6:40pm: Karlsson collecting
Level 1: 25/50

Adalsteinn Karlsson is currently stacking chips after getting some value from Jaydeep Dawer.

We caught the action with the board reading K♥A♥8♠Q♠ and Karlsson bet 300 from middle position. Dawer made the call in the cutoff and the 8♦ completed the board. Karlsson fired for 1,300 with A♦Q♣ for two pair and Dawer quickly paid him off. Dawer seemed to think it was a chop somehow as he tabled A♣3♠ only to be informed that he had in fact lost the hand.

He drops to 8,200 while Karlsson builds to 11,800.

6:20pm: Field filling with familiar faces
Level 1: 25/50

The field continues to grow here and among the sea of players across the tournament floor we've spotted a whole host of notable names.

MPC24 Red Dragon champion Ying Lin Chua and APPT Manila winner Linh Tran are in the field, as are notable Indian pros Raghav Bansal and Dhaval Mudgal. Also in the mix is Sparrow Cheung who led the way in the Asia Player of the Year race until just last night when Alan Lau took down the 6-handed event to usurp the current top spot. Lau is also expected to join the Baby Dragon hunt but we haven't seen him just yet.

6pm: Shuffle up and deal!
Level 1: 25/50

Players are now in their seats and play is underway here for the MPC27 Baby Dragon. We already have close to 400 at the tables and with a long line at the registration desk we could be setting another record here tonight.

MPC27 Baby Dragon Spreads Its Wings

It won't be long now until the Baby Dragon leaves the nest and fires up here at PokerStars LIVE Macau for MPC27. The HK$8,000 unofficial warm-up event boasts a HK$2 million guarantee and is scheduled to kick off at 6pm local time (GMT+8).

Last season it was Taiwan's Feng Wen Chen who tamed the record-breaking MPC26 Baby Dragon after overcoming a field of 602 to lift the trophy and collect HK$915,000 (~$118,000). Chen bested Team PokerStars Pro Celina Lin in a 90-minute heads up battle but Lin is back in Macau this week and will be looking to improve upon that runner-up finish.

MPC26 Baby Dragon heads up.jpg

That's all from us now until we see cards in the air. Be sure to return for all your live coverage needs right here on the PokerStars Blog.

Live reports from Macau by Brad Kain. Photos by Kenneth Lim Photgraphy courtesy of PokerStars LIVE Macau

Brad Kain
@PokerStars in PokerStars Macau