MPC25: Day 1B coverage archive

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Canlin Chen ahead of the pack on Day 1B

Another Day 1 flight, another bunch of poker hopefuls and another 12 levels of exciting action here at PokerStars LIVE Macau. We saw 363 take to the felt today - a big improvement on yesterday's 248 - and tomorrow is expected to be much, much bigger.

At this pace the MPC25 Red Dragon is well on its way to eclipsing the field record of 1,075 set last series. With 611 already accounted for we will need 465 players tomorrow for back-to-back record breaking events.

Chip stacks rose and fell through 8 hours of play but when the end of proceedings was upon us the day belonged to Canlin Chen. It was a late surge that saw Chen cruise into the lead. His pocket jacks knocking out a tablemate in the final level to solidify Chen's spot at the top. He bagged up 202,900 - only just shy of yesterday's frontrunner Yandong Liu who will take 203,600 through to Day 2.

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Today's chip leader Canlin Chen

Chen's best live result to date occurred in this very room just a few months back when he final tabled the ACOP Platinum Series XIV. That 6th place finish saw him take home HK$55,600 ($7,168). Chen has only two other live cashes to date (both from the same ACOP series) and he has a good shot at finding another one here this week.

He leads the 89 Day 2 qualifiers from this flight. They will get a day off tomorrow before returning on Wednesday to continue the hunt for the Red Dragon title. Some of those lucky enough to make the cut include Nan Tu (113,700), Dapeng Mu (107,300), Benjamin Hamnet (90,300), Valentyn Shabelnyk (64,000) and Matthew Boucher (40,400),

While they will be celebrating, it's condolences for those who couldn't hang on. Our four other Team Pros who hit the tables today were all sent packing. Bryan Huang, Yaxi Zhu, Kosei Ichinose and Randy Lew all failed to secure a Day 2 seat.

Lew's demise came about when he ran 7♣7♦ into the J♠J♦ of MPC24 Red Dragon 4th place finisher and today's runner up chip leader Liang Xu's. It was almost all over on the 6♦J♣T♦ flop before the 3♠ turn meant Lew was drawing dead. He left us about three quarters of the way through the day in Level 9.

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Eliminated - Randy Lew

That's all from us here tonight. You can find a full list of today's survivors right here. We'll be back for a later start of 7pm for Day 1C tomorrow. Here's hoping we can break another record! See you then.

10:20pm: Chen making waves
Level 12: Blinds - 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

We're in the dying stages of the night and it appears Canlin Chen has run away with the chip lead here. He was already touting an impressive stack and he just felted a player to accumulate even more chips.

Chen opened on the button to 4,500 before the small blind pushed all in for 22,000. Team PokerStars Pro Celina Lin folded the big blind but Chen snapped it off with the better hand.

Chen: J♣J♦
Small blind: Q♣8♣

Chen's pocket jacks were in front and stayed that way as the cards fell 6♦T♥3♠5♦A♦. His opponent was sent packing and Chen established himself as the first of today's players over 200,000 in chips.

10:10pm: Final seven hands
Level 12: Blinds - 1,000/2,000 (300 ante)

The announcement has been made. There will only be seven more hands played here on Day 1B.

Who will join yesterday's 55 survivors on Day 2? Who will bag up the chip lead and will it eclipse Day 1A frontrunner Yandong Liu's 203,600? Stay with us here at the PokerStars Blog to find out!

9:45pm: Chen chips up
Level 11: Blinds - 800/1,600 (200 ante)

Victor Chen just claimed another pot. He now has 44,000 in chips to work with.

It was a board of 9♣6♠K♦4♣ and Chen check-called a bet of 5,500. The 5♥ rolled off on the river and both players checked their options before Chen tabled the winner.

He revealed 6♣5♦ for a rivered two pair which was good enough to collect the chips.

9:25pm: Cade and Bilychenko bust
Level 11: Blinds - 800/1,600 (200 ante)

South Africa's Ben Cade and Russia's Alexey Bilychenko have been eliminated late in the day here.

Cade met his demise with K♠9♥ against A♣T♣. The board ran out A♠2♣A♦3♠2♥ to see him drawing dead on the flop before the inconsequential turn and river.

Bilychenko's run came to an end when he bricked with A♦Q♥ versus J♠J♣. The cards fell 7♥2♦6♥4♠2♥ to signal that it was all over.

9:05pm: Chip count update
Level 10: Blinds - 600/1,200 (200 ante)

It's almost the penultimate level on Day 1B and at this stage it looks like the title of chip leader is anyone's for the taking. Our last remaining Team PokerStars Pro Celina Lin is still among the action, she has an above average stack of 54,000.

Here's how some of our other players stack up.

Alexey Bilychenko - 42,000
Victor Chen - 38,000
Valentyn Shabelnyk - 37,000
Ben Cade - 34,000
Yvo Molin - 33,000

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Team PokerStars Pro Celina Lin

8:45pm: Boucher building
Level 10: Blinds - 600/1,200 (200 ante)

Matthew Boucher is building a decent stack, he now sits with 62,000 to play with. He acquired some of those chips in a recent hand after knocking out a shortstack.

He brought it in for a raise to 2,500 from under the gun before he picked up two callers.

Boucher continued for 4,500 on the 5♦J♣3♠ and after one call, the player on the button moved all in for 6,700. Boucher and the third player both flicked in the extra and the J♥ arrived on the turn.

The action was checked through to the 6♥ river where Boucher led out for 7,000. That was met with a quick fold before the button tabled Q♠Q♥ for an overpair. Boucher had that trumped, however, showing A♣A♦ to deliver an elimination and claim the pot.


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8:25pm: Break o'clock

It's that time again. Play resumes in 10 minutes.

8:15pm: Qiu crippled and Li doubles up
Level 9: Blinds - 500/1,000 (100 ante)

Ye Qiu was knocked down to only 4,700 after doubling up tablemate Weiyu Li.

All the chips were in the middle preflop with Li at risk for his last 8,800. He got his money in good though holding 6♠6♥ to be out in front of Qiu's 4♣4♦.

The players at the table laughed at the 3♣5♦7♥ flop as Li and Qiu needed each other's cards to spike a straight. Nothing changed on the 9♦ turn or 2♦ river and Li held to secure the pot.

7:55pm: Lin last Team Pro as Lew eliminated
Level 9: Blinds - 500/1,000 (100 ante)

Celina Lin is the last surviving Team PokerStars Pro here on Day 1B after Randy Lew was eliminated by MPC24 Red Dragon 4th place finisher Liang Xu. They got all the money in preflop before turning their hands up.

Lew: 7♣7♦
Xu: J♠J♦

Lew was in trouble and things got worse when the 6♦J♣T♦ left him drawing super thin. The 3♠ turn signaled the end for the Team Pro while Xu now has 28,000 to play with.

7:35pm: The numbers are in
Level 8: Blinds - 400/800 (100 ante)

The tournament is now locked out for Day 1B and with that we have the official entrants count. There are 363 players confirmed for today. Adding that to yesterday's tally we now have a running total of 611.

The previous record was set at MPC24 when 1,075 entered the Red Dragon. To break the record again and go back to back we'll need to see 465 players here for Day 1C tomorrow.

7:10pm: Lu sends one packing
Level 8: Blinds - 400/800 (100 ante)

Lin Lu just eliminated a shortstacked opponent. After an under the gun all in for 2,800 Lu isolated from middle position with a raise to 5,300. The rest of the tabled folded and the cards went on their back.

Lu: 9♣9♦
Under the gun: A♦K♣

They were off to the races and Lu had the best of it when the board ran out 5♦2♠2♣5♣8♦. He added those chips to his stack and moved up to 43,000.

6:45pm: Lew dips to the danger zone
Level 7: Blinds - 300/600 (75 ante)

Team PokerStars Pro Randy Lew hasn't been able to get much going here today, and he just lost over half his stack after a preflop confrontation.

It folded around to Lew in middle position and he raised to 1,200 before a tablemate moved all in for 5,750. The rest of the table folded and the decision was back on Lew.

He looked torn between calling and folding, deliberating for around a minute. Ultimately Lew did commit the chips with Q♥J♠ and was behind his opponent's A♦K♥.

The K♣2♦2♣ flop was a bad one for Lew and things didn't get better as the 2♥ turn meant he was drawing dead. The inconsequential 3♦ arrived on the river and Lew was left with only 4,850.

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Randy Lew

6:25pm: Li climbing
Level 7: Blinds - 300/600 (75 ante)

Ran Li just added around an extra 50% to his stack with a well-timed preflop move.

Lin Lu began the betting with a raise to 1,350 and after the player in the cutoff called, Team PokerStars Pro Randy Lew called from the big blind. The decision then fell on Li in the big blind. He stacked up his 10,700 in chips and pushed it into the middle.

The three other active players all relinquished their hands and Li added a good portion to his stack without risk of elimination.


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6:10pm: Scheduled break

The remaining players have stepped away from the tournament area for a 10 minute break. Play will resume shortly.

6pm: Bilychenko doubles up
Level 6: Blinds - 200/400 (50 ante)

Russia's Alexey Bilychenko just faded danger and held to double through his tablemate.

After an open to 1,050 Bilychenko bumped it up to 3,050. His opponent called and they saw a flop of J♣T♣5♥. It was checked to Bilychenko and he fired for 2,200, leaving himself only 2,150 behind. The bet was met with a call and the 6♥ arrived on the turn.

Bilychenko's opponent then put the Russian all in and Bilychenko called with K♠J♥ for top pair. He was in front but still at risk with his tablemate holding K♥Q♥ for both open ended straight and flush draws.

Luckily for Bilychenko the river bricked off and he survived the encounter to double up.

5:45pm: Yaxi Zhu eliminated
Level 6: Blinds - 200/400 (50 ante)

Team PokerStars Pro Yaxi Zhu joined us late today and she has already made her way to the exit.

The story goes that after a raise to 1,100 and a call from the player on the button, Zhu moved all in for her last 2,250 from the small blind. The big blind isolated with another raise to 4,200 and with the rest of the table out of the way the active players table their cards.

Zhu: A♠K♠
Big blind: 5♣5♦

It was a coinflip and Zhu needed to improve to survive. She missed on the Q♦9♦3♣ flop and was drawing dead by the 5♥ turn.

Her departure means only two Team Pros remain in the field.

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Yaxi Zhu

5:25pm: ACOP is fast approaching
Level 5: Blinds - 150/300 (25 ante)

Asia's richest poker festival is coming back to Macau soon with the Asia Championship of Poker returning on October 28.

You can read all about it and find the full schedule right here. We'll see you there!

5:15pm: Zhu caught bluffing
Level 5: Blinds - 150/300 (25 ante)

Yaxi Zhu recently joined the field and she was just looked up after barreling off on a bluff in a battle of the blinds.

On a flop of 3♣K♣T♥ Mingqin Liu checked from the small blind before Zhu fired for 500. Liu called and the dealer turned the Q♠. Another check from Liu saw Zhu continue for 1,500 and Liu called again.

Liu checked for a final time on the 8♦ river and Zhu had one last stab at it for 3,500. The bet was quickly called by Liu and Zhu tabled J♣7♣ for a bricked flush and straight draw. Liu revealed A♠A♦ for an overpair and collected the pot.

He now has 32,300 in his arsenal while Zhu falls to 10,225.

5:00pm: Two Team Pros out, one more in
Level 5: Blinds - 150/300 (25 ante)

The Team PokerStars Pro contingent here in Macau just lost two players from this Red Dragon, but gained one back after a late registration.

It was Bryan Huang and Kosei Ichinose who have been felted so far.

Yaxi Zhu, however, has decided to join us. She just sat down in what was once James Chen's seat - he was also eliminated not too long ago.

4:45pm: Fighting fatigue
Level 4: Blinds - 100/200 (25 ante)

Many players across the tournament floor are staying sharp by enjoying a range of Red Bull products free of charge. The Macau Poker Cup's official energy drink provider has stocked fridges filled with Red Bull varieties here at PokerStars LIVE Macau.

Team PokerStars Pro Celina Lin took to Twitter to tell her followers she was about to try the new Tropical Summer Edition.

4:35pm: Jingtao Liu wins a flipLevel 4: Blinds - 100/200 (25 ante)

Jingtao Liu was having a rough start today but he has kept his tournament alive after winning a pot against Satoshi Hara.

Hara three-bet all in from the big blind for 6,875 before Liu called all in for less to put himself at risk. With the rest of the table out of the way the two players tabled their hands.

Liu: A♣J♣
Hara: T♥T♦

Liu needed to improve and he did that on the 6♦J♦3♣ flop. He improved to trips on the J♠ turn and faded danger on the Q♠ river to score the double up. Hara was out of his seat and heading for the exit but he was summoned back to the table by the dealer to play his final 1,625.

4:25pm: Yogo takes chips from Chen
Level 4: Blinds - 100/200 (25 ante)

Iori Yogo is starting to build a stack. He just won a pot from MPC23 High Roller champion James Chen.

We arrived at the table with the board showing J♥T♣5♦J♦6♥ and Yogo was first to act in the big blind. He decided on firing for 450 and Chen paid him off.

Yogo flipped up A♠J♣ for three of a kind jacks and Chen surrendered his hand to the muck. With that pot Yogo moves up to 19,000 in chips.


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4:00pm: Take a break

It's time for the first break of the day. Play resumes in 10 minutes.

3:50pm: More familiar faces
Level 3: Blinds - 100/200

The Team PokerStars Pros are out in force today. We already spotted and Celina Lin and Randy Lew earlier in the day and now their teammates Kosei Ichinose and Bryan Huang have joined the hunt.

Also seen on the tournament floor was Kitty Kuo. She started off the year right with a final table appearance at the Aussie Millions Main Event and will be chasing another deep run in this Red Dragon in Macau.

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Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang

3:30pm: Cade climbing
Level 3: Blinds - 100/200

South Africa's Ben Cade is in the building and having a great start to the day. He had already moved up to over 20,000 in chips from the 15,000 start bank.

It was a recent pot that saw Cade collect some of those chips. The board was spread 7♣7♠5♥2♥J♥ and when the player in the big blind led out for 1,700, Cade came over the top with a raise to 6,750.

Cade's opponents folded and the South African raked in the chips.

3:10pm: Eclipsing 300
Level 2: Blinds - 50/100

It's just over an hour into Day 1B and the field has just ticked over 300 players.

301 have pulled up seats so far - already beating out the 248 who tried their luck yesterday. Tomorrow is expected to draw a huge field so we are already well on our way to breaking the record of 1,075 entrants from MPC24.

2:50pm: Demlakian dropping
Level 2: Blinds - 50/100

Australia's Ken Demlakian is not off to a good start here. He was just on the wrong end of a huge pot.

The action began with Bingfu Huang raising to 225 before Shao Li next-to-act made it 700 to go. It folded around to the player on the button and he put in a third raise to an even 2,000. Demlakian was sitting in the small blind and motioned to see the button's stack.

"I started with 15. I haven't played a hand yet" came the response.

Demlakian cold called, Huang folded and Li called as the flop landed 9♠6♦J♥. It was checked through to the button and he continued for 3,500. Demlakian and Li both called to see the A♣ turn.

Three checks followed and the K♠ completed the board. Demlakian led at it for 2,500, leaving himself only 3,700 behind. His opponent sat shaking his head but ultimately put in a raise for enough to cover Demlakian's remaining chips.

"You've got either ace-king or pocket queens" Demlakian said after some time in the tank.

A couple of minutes passed and Huang called the clock. Demlakian was informed he had only one minute remaining to act and the countdown began. He deliberated right down until the four second mark before finally letting the hand go.

Demlakian drops to 3,700 from a starting 15,000 but with the blinds still at 50/100 he isn't in the danger zone just yet.

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Ken Demlakian

2:30pm: Chen chipping up
Level 1: Blinds - 25/50

Victor Chen is at the table at already accumulating chips. He just took down a sizable pot after a barrel on the river.

The board read 2♣9♥7♣T♣ and both Chen in the big blind and his opponent on the button checked it through to the J♣ river. The pot was already bloated with over 4,000 in the middle and Chen asked he dealer to spread it before he acted.

Chen decided on a bet of 3,300 leaving himself only 9,000 behind. The player on the button studied Chen for about 30 seconds before relinquishing his hand. With that Chen moves up to over 16,000 in chips.

2:15pm: Sharks in the water
Level 1: Blinds - 25/50

The field is growing here and we've already spotted some notable names among the pack.

Flying the flag for the PokerStars contingent so far are two-time Red Dragon champion Celina Lin and APPT Macau champion Randy Lew. They have both achieved stellar results here in the past and will be looking to do so again this week.

Joining them at the tables are MPC23 High Roller champion James Chen and PCA Main Event final tablist Ken Demlakian. There are already 269 players seated and with late registration open for six levels that number is expected to grow.

2:00pm: Cards in the air
Level 1: Blinds - 25/50

PokerStars LIVE Macau's Fred Leung just took to the microphone to kick off proceedings. Let's go!

1:30pm: Day 1B set to begin

We're back again for Day 1B of this MPC25 Red Dragon Main Event. There is already a long line at the registration desk and we're expecting to see a bigger field than yesterday's 248 here this afternoon.

Just like yesterday the plan is to play 12 40-minute levels, with the action concluding at around 10:30pm. Players start with 15,000 in chips and Level 1 has blinds of 25/50.

We'll have all the news live from the tournament floor here at PokerStars LIVE Macau. Keep your browser locked to the PokerStars Blog!

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PokerStars Blog reporting in Macau brought to you by Brad Kain. Photos by Kenneth Lim Photography courtesy of PokerStars LIVE Macau.

Brad Kain
@PokerStars in 2016