MPC24: China's Liang Xu leading into final table

We finally made it!

After a week of exciting poker action here at PokerStars LIVE Macau the Red Dragon final table is here at last.

When things kicked off at 3pm we had 55 players and weren't sure how long the day would last. Approximately eight hours later and that Day 3 field has been whittled down to a lucky nine.

Leading our final nine is none other than China's Liang Xu. He had a steady climb throughout proceedings and received a nice boost to his stack when he won a flip holding pocket eights against Kelly Liu's ace-queen to send her home only a couple players short of an appearance tomorrow.

MPC24 final table chip leader liang xu.jpg

Leading the charge - Liang Xu

Xu is no stranger to winning a tournament in Macau having shipped the ACOP Platinum Series XI back in October for HK$169,300. With HK$190,000 going to ninth place here for this Red Dragon event Xu has already guaranteed himself the biggest cash of his career and will be chasing the HK$2,360,000 first-place prize.

Perhaps the story of the tournament, however, is that of 'Baby' Tom Alner. The only player outside of Asia to ever win the Red Dragon, Alner has again made the final table of this prestigious event. He returns tomorrow as one of our short stacks but that hasn't dampened his spirits.

"It's awesome. I'm so hyped to get through such a huge field" Alner said about his chance at a two-time victory.

MPC24 Day 3 tom alner.jpg

Will Tom Alner become Red Dragon champion again?

Unfortunately for Nan Tu it was a different story tonight. He left us in 10th place as the final table Bubble Boy. Tu first took a huge blow to his stack when he ran pocket sixes into the pocket kings of Fan Xie. Following that he peddled a short stack for a while before finding himself dominated and at risk against Takashi Ogura.

Tu held A♣5♣ and needed help against Ogura's A♦Q♣. He would never find it as the board ran out 6♠8♠K♠2♦8♣ to see the players and railbirds in the tournament erupt in cheer and play come to a close for Day 3.

MPC24 day 3 fan xie celebration.jpg

Fan Xie celebrates with her rail as the final table bubble bursts

So that leaves nine left in the hunt for the prestigious Red Dragon title and the best-looking trophy in poker. Here's where our players are sitting and how they fare in the chip counts.

MPC24 Red Dragon Final Table Draw
Seat 1 - Takashi Ogura (Japan) - 2,710,000
Seat 2 - Liang Xu (China) - 3,375,000
Seat 3 - Fan Xie (China) - 1,110,000
Seat 4 - Ying Lin Chua (Malaysia) - 2,665,000
Seat 5 - Chengbei Lei (China) 1,700,000
Seat 6 - Yang Zhang (China) - 1,375,000
Seat 7 - Tom Alner (United Kingdom) - 1,030,000
Seat 8 - Yongqiang Huang (China) - 520,000
Seat 9 - Wayne Zhang (China) - 1,610,000

So that's a wrap until tomorrow. Play will recommence at 3pm local time and won't conclude until we have our champion. We hope you can join us for the exciting conclusion of this MPC24 Red Dragon!

Brad Kain
@PokerStars in Red Dragon