MPC20: Day 1b Live Updates

January 17, 2014

Gigantic stack for Gao the Leader

Approximately 60 players have wandered out of the PokerStars LIVE at the City of Dreams poker room, all having bagged up some chips after securing a Day 2 berth.

One player who did more than bag “some” chips was Lei Gao. It was a huge day at the felt for Lei and everyone in the room knew it as he shouted and screamed in joy every chance he had. You might have the done the same if you finished Day 1b with 245,100.

We will have full end-of-day chip counts and a recap of the day’s action posted here at the PokerStars Blog as soon as possible! Until then, poker fans.


Lei Gao was happy all day and had 245,100 reasons for it

3:25am: Gao will be the chip leader

With five hand left in the night it is a bold statement to claim that someone is guaranteed to be the chip leader, but we are going to go out on a limb and make this claim about Lei Gao.

We didn’t catch the latest hand to go Gao’s way, but we did see him once again bound out of his seat and cheer in glee. When we went over to his table to investigate we were told that Gao held J-8 against Q-6 and had hit trips on the flop to send a short-stacked opponent home.

It is looking like Gao will finish with well over 200,000 in chips.

3:15am: Final Five Hands

The tournament clock has been paused and the call for five more hands has been made.

Stay tuned for any last-minute action, all the end-of-day chip counts and a wrap-up of the day’s action.

3:05am: Set, Full House, Bye Bye

“Set!” chip leader Lei Gao exclaimed when his pocket sevens hit a set on the flop against an at-risk opponent’s Ace-King.

“Full house,” Gao added when the board paired up.

“Bye Bye!” Gao continued as got out of his seat in excitement.

Another player down and even more chips to Gao.

He is now up to around 150,000.

2:55am: Final Level Blues

It is quite clear the clock is nearing 3:00am. There are more than a few players nodding off at the tables and even more ordering drinks and the like to keep themselves awake.

Despite being a tired bunch of players, the action has been fierce as a huge amount of players have hit the rail over the last hour or so. There are currently around 80 players still alive. Let’s see how many of those survive the final level of the night.

2:50am: Level 12 Begins, Blinds 800/1,600, Ante 200

2:35am: Wu Continues to Shove

Team PokerStars Pro Raymond Wu is trying his hardest to get his stack out of the danger zone, but no player at this table will give him any action. Wu recently shoved all in two hands in a row. First when the action was folded to him in the small blind and then when it was folded to him on the button.

Wu is still hovering at around 20,000 in chips, which is currently good for less than 15 big blinds.

2:20am: Fortunately Zalac will be keeping his clothes on

Ivan Zalac will be keeping his clothes on.

And that’s a good thing.

Generally poker players keep their clothes on at the table, but the reason we bring up the fact that Zalac will keep his clothes on is because he recently said this after shoving his stack of around 20,000 in on the river of a 5♠Q♣9♠9♣4♦ board.

“I will walk out of here naked if I have pocket queens.”

You see, Zalac’s opponent had been tanking for quite some time when he asked Zalac if he had pocket nines or pocket queens. Zalac was adamant he didn’t have pocket queens, but regardless, the player opted to fold. Zalac picked up around 20,000 extra in chips and as he was stacking them, showed a K♦.

2:10am: Level 11 Begins, Blinds 800/1,600, Ante 200

1:55am: Team PokerStars Pro in Shove Mode

Team PokerStars Pro Raymond Wu’s stack has hovered around 15 to 20 big blinds over the last couple of levels and he has recently been quite active with the shove button.

Wu’s most recent escapades saw the PokerStars sponsored player shoved for around 20,000 from the bit blind following a limp from the button and the small blind. Neither of these players wanted and part of it and so Wu added some much-needed chips to his stack.

Wu has taken down an MPC Red Dragon Main Event in the past and will be looking to join fellow pro Celina Lin as a two-time champion. Before he can do that though he will need to start by making Day 2.

1:40am: Gao Shows Bluff

Lei Gao has continued his Day 1b domination during these last few levels of the night.

He has also showed what the power of chips and aggression can achieve.

It started with a player opening to 2,800 from middle position. Gao was the lone called from the button. The dealer flipped over a 4♠10♦2♦ flop and both players checked. On the 3♣ turn, Gao’s opponent led for 3,800 and Gao called.

The river was a K♥ and this time it was checked to Gao. After a few moments Gao piled a stack of 500-denomination chips into the middle, making it 7,500 to call. The player opted to fold.

As Gao raked in his new chips he slammed own 8♠7♠.

Gao is up to around 130,000 in chips.

1:30am: Final Three Levels Begin

The players are back from their break and the 10th level of the night has begun.

There will be three more levels before calling it a night.

The blinds are now 600/1,200 with a 200 ante.

1:20am: Final Break Time

Approximately 114 players have been sent on their final 10-minute break of the night.

Three more levels remaining on Day 1b of the MPC20 Red Dragon Main Event.

1:10am: Gaw Falling Asleep

There have a been a couple of times that we walked past Andrew Gaw’s table and it looked like the player from the Philippines was falling asleep. It is getting pretty late here in Macau, so that’s probably not too surprising. Gaw did pep up recently though, but considering he lost quite a few chips, maybe he should have stayed asleep.

It started with a short-stacked player committing his last 500 chips from the hijack. The next player to act, from the cut off, raised it up to 3,200 and Gaw flat called. The big blind also came along for the ride and the dealer spread out a 5♠K♥6♣ flop. The big blind checked here and the cut off bet 4,500. Gaw made the call, the big blind got out of the way and a J♥ completed the board on the river. This time when the player on the turn bet 6,500, Gaw folded. For those keeping score, the river was a J♥ and the short stacked player doubled up with A♥10♥ against K♦10♦.

Despite losing some chips in this hand, Gaw is still very healthy with a stack of 50,000. Gaw finished 10th in the 2012 ACOP Main event and that’s the best result of his career so far.

12:55am: Wu doubles through the Leader

We aren’t saying we predicted what would happen, but if you read the previous post that talks about Team PokerStars Pro being moved to Lei Gao you will notice that we seemed to think it was likely the two players would eventually clash.

And clash they did.

Gao limped from early position, the rest of the table got out of the way and it was on Wu in the small blind. Wu three-bet all in for 11,100 and Gao made the call. Wu turned over his K♣4♣ and Wu took his time before tabling A♠10♥.

Wu wasn’t looking good and the news didn’t improve up to the turn of a 2♦3♠8♦9♣ board.

Then the 4♥ completed the board on the river and Wu had doubled up.
Despite losing this hand Gao is still crushing and looks like the chip leader.


Lie Gao has been animated in his accumulation of chips

12:40am: Level 9 Begins, Blinds 500/1,000, Ante 100

12:35am: Team Pro Wu Moved to the Leader’s Table

Team PokerStars Pro Raymond Wu was recently moved to Lei Gao’s table. Why is that significant you ask? Because Gao is the first player on Day 1b of the MPC20 Red Dragon Main event to sit behind a six-figure stack. It isn’t the same story for Wu as he only has around 15,000 in chips.

We haven’t caught Gao in any big hands tonight, but we have heard him scream out in joy a couple of times. We have also been told but one of Gao’s opponents at the table that Gao has been playing very loose.

Let’s see if Wu clashes with Gao.

12:25am:Haase Has Chips

Julian Hasse has had quite a productive day at the felt, seeing his stack rise to over 30,000 early in the day and is now steady at around 45,000.

Hasse recently added chips to his stack in a hand that started with Hasse three-betting to 3,6000 after the opponent on his direct right opened to 1,600. The player called and the dealer spread out a K♠J♥6♣ flop. The action was checked to Hasse here and he bet 3,500. That was enough to rake in the pot.

Hasse has just shy of US$300,000 on his tournament resume; with his biggest result being here at PokerStars LIVE Macau. Hasse won the 2010 Macau Poker Cup Championship for HK$1,064,000. That tournament no longer exists and so here Hasse is, hoping to add a Red Dragon title to his list of accolades.

12:10am: King Kenny Killed

In this situation, “King Kenny” is an ironic name. That’s because it was pocket kings that saw the end of former Aussie Millions runner-up Kenny Wong and he claims that it is always kings that are his demise here in Macau.

It wasn’t an opponent’s kings that sent Wong home, no it was his kings and a single over-card, a dreaded ace, that was his undoing. Wong himself recalled the hand to us, so we aren’t 100% sure which player at Wong’s table dealt the fatal blow. However, Japan’s Kazuki Ikeuchi is currently sitting behind a large 70,000 in chips, so there is every chance that it was him. With that stack, Ikeuchi is one of the chip leaders.


Kenny Wong has a difficult relationship with pocket kings

12:00am: Level 8 Begins, Blinds 400/800, Ante 100

11:55pm: Number Confirmed

The number of tournament entries on Day 1b of the MPC20 Red Dragon Main Event has been confirmed at 294. Added with the 285 from Day 1a, exactly 579 have entered the event so far. This means if we are to make it the magical number 1,000 entrants, we will need 421 for tomorrow’s Day 1c. That is definitely possible. What is highly likely is that we will beat the previous record of largest Red Dragon field, which currently stands at 891.

11:45pm: See Below, Disregard it

See that Tai Tan post below.

You may as well forget that ever happened as unfortunately we have just spotted Tan leaving the tournament area. Those chips didn’t last long for Tan, but we are sure he will be around during the next few days taking part in some of the side events on offer here in the PokerStars LIVE at the City of Dreams poker room. You can find a list of those side events by clicking right here.

11:35pm: Tai Tan’s Trips

Tai Tan recently found himself extremely short-stacked when he moved all in holding 3♣2♥ from the small blind. Another short-stacked player, holding K♥10♥, also moved all in, while a player holding 5♣5♦ had both Tan and the other player at risk.

The board ran out Q♣3♠3♥10♦Q♥, with Tan giving a shout of delight at the sight of the flop.

Tan has posted several solid results here in Macau, including making the final table of the APPT Macau Main Event. Despite tripling up, he doesn’t have a huge stack so will need to do plenty of work to add another Macau result to his resume.

11:25pm: Goindi Gone

India’s Abhishek Goindi spent the most recent break on the tournament rail just like all the other players here on Day 1b of the MPC20 Red Dragon Main Event. However, we noticed that Goindi didn’t return to his seat like all the other players.

We asked Goindi what happened and apparently he had been eliminated just prior to the break. His day wasn’t a good one as starte off by running his pocket kings into pocket aces and was eventually eliminated when his pocket jacks ran into pocket kings.

11:20pm: Back Again with Registration Closed

The players are back from their second break of the night and that means registration has now closed.

We will have confirmation of today’s numbers as soon as they are made available.

In the meantime, approximately 207 players have now begun Level 7, with blinds at
300.600 and a 75 ante.

11:10pm: Second Break

Approximately 207 players have been sent on their second break of the night.

Check back here soon for more action from the Red Dragon.

11.00pm: Good Start Gone Bad for Auckland Champ

ANZPT Auckland champion David Lim has a great start to the day, but is now missing from his seat. We didn’t catch his bust-out, but his tablemate Kenny Wong was happy to let us know what happened.

Apparently Lim three-bet an opponent preflop holding Tx-9x and the player called holsing Kx-Qx. The flop came Jx-Tx-6x and Lim bet quite large. Another call and a 9x hit the turn – pretty much the worst card for Lim. All the chips went in here, with Lim running into the nuts. Just like that it was all over for the young Aussie.

10:50pm: Registration Almost Closed

Registration is open for another 20 minutes on Day 1b of the MPC20 Red Dragon Main Event.

So far there have been 294 entrants – nine more than yesterday.

APPT President Danny McDonagh is quietly confident that the 891-player record for this event will be surpassed and still believes reaching 1,000 total players is a real possibility.

10:40pm: Zalac Cruising Along

Ivan Zalac has just over $80,000 in live tournament results in events all around the world, but has yet to post anything significant here in Macau. His biggest result in Macau is a 10th place finish in the HK$20,000 High Roller at the August 2013 Macau Poker Cup.

Zalac is one of the many players still alive here during the sixth level on Day 1b of the MPC20 Red Dragon Main Event. We recently watched Zalac scoop up a handy little pot on the turn of a 7♣K♣A♠10♠ board. There was around 5,000 already in the middle when we arrived and Zalac was busy betting 2,000 into two opponents. Both players folded and Zalac raked in the pot. The Aussie is now up to around 25,000 in chips.


Ivan Zalac on Day 1b of the MPC20 Red Dragon Main Event

10:30pm: Level 6 Begins, Blinds 200/400, Ante 50

10:15pm: Charity Begins at the Poker Table

Earlier today PokerStars LIVE at the City of Dreams presented an oversize cheque worth HK$400,000 each to two Macau-based charities. What some of the players here on Day 1b may not realise is that the tournament fees they paid on their HK$11,000 buy-in helped make this possible.

“What players may not realise,” McDonagh announced at the charity event. “Is that a portion of all tournament fees here at PokerStars LIVE Macau are donated to charity. So therefore poker players are actually also helping these charitable organisations.”

Be sure to click here and read the full story of the charity of PokerStars LIVE Macau.

10:05pm: Lin Won’t be Making it a Third

Unfortunately Team PokerStars Pro Celina Lin won’t be making it a third Red Dragon Main Event here at MPC20. That’s not the worst news though, considering Lin is still the only player in history to win two of these titles.

We didn’t catch Lin’s elimination, but we heard the story directly from the Team PokerStars Pro. Apparently Lin had been three bet four times by the same player and when they were both in the same positions, with Lin in the cutoff and her opponent on the button. Lin had seen this player show down 6♥4♥ on a previous hand that he three-bet, so she was pretty confident his range wasn’t too strong.

Lin’s final hand saw her open to 700 from the cutoff and yet again this same player three-bet to 1,800. Lin then shipped her stack all in and the player made the call. Lin held pocket sixes and wasn’t look great against the player’s pocket nines. The board ran out bricks and it was all over.

9:50pm: Level 5 Begins, Blinds 150/300, Ante 25

9:40pm: Lim with Plenty of Chips

When we recently wandered past Table 19 we noticed there was a player with a stack nearing 50,000 in chips, which is quite large for this early stage of the tournament. Then we realised we recognised the player as David Lim.

Lim, from Australia, is the most recent ANZPT champion. He took down ANZPT Auckland back in November for a hefty NZ$110,760 score. He will be looking to add another handy result to his resume here in Macau.

9:25pm: How the Team Pros are Travelling

Team PokerStars Pros Celina Lin and Raymond have both taken down MPC Red Dragon Main Events in the past (Lin has two titles) and both of these players are at the tables here on Day 1b of the MPC Red Dragon Main event.

Wu hasn’t had a good day so far, seeing his stack fall to around 14,000 in chips. However there is still plenty of time for Wu to recover.

Lin is doing better than Wu, but still only has a little more than the starting stack.


Team PokerStars Pro Raymond Wu on Day 1b of
MPC20 Red Dragon

9.15pm: Back to It

The players are back from their break and the cards are back in the air!

We are now beginning Level 4, with blinds at 100/200 with a 25 ante.

9:05pm: First Break of the Night

The players have been sent on their first 10-minute break of the night!

See you back here soon for more MPC20 Red Dragon action!

8:55pm: Battle of Japan

There’s not too much we can saw about what just happened between Japanese countrymen Kohsei Osa and Seija Kondo. All we can do is let the cards do the speaking.

Kohei Osa: J♠10♠
Kondo: 10♥10♣

Board: 6♦2♠10♠9♠10♦


It appears as if the chips went in on the turn and with a deadly river, Osa was sent home, while Kondo has a hefty stack.

8:45pm: Four More Than Yesterday

The tournament clock is currently telling us that 289 players have registered on Day 1b of the MPC20 Red Dragon Main Event so far. That is four more than yesterday’s 285 players. That means the total tally so far is 574 players, which puts us in good shape to easily surpass the 891-player record for this event and even move towards 1,000 players.

8:40pm: Clubs Will do for Shaq

2011 Asia Player of the Year Shaq Lin has just found the right amount of clubs to see his 6♣4♣ scoop up a handy post against the Q♣Q♥ of Wee Yee Tan.

We arrived at the hand in question on the river of a J♠J♣2♣A♦8♣ bard, with well over 5,000 in the pot and with Lin checking to Tan. Eventually Tan checked it back and the pair turned over their cards. Lin’s clubs were good and that was that.


Shaq Lin will be looking to recreate his success of 2011

8:30pm: One of the Champions Travelling Nicely

Wing Cheung Chong took down the fourth-ever Red Dragon Main Event back in December of 2008. Only 57 players played that tournament, which is less than a quarter of the current Day 1b field. A lot has certainly changed since then, but clearly not Chong’s desire for poker chips.

Chong recently sent a player home when his 4♣3♣ caught a flush against A♣A♠. Despite the player pleading for a spade on the river, no spade came and so Chong’s flush was good enough to win the pot and see himself starting strongly here at MPC20 Red Dragon.

8:25pm: Level 3 Begins, Blinds 100/200

8:10pm: Players, Players Everywhere

More players have sat down during Day 1b of the MPC20 Red Dragon Main Event including former Red Dragon champion Patrick Lee, ACOP Main Event champion Sunny Jung and previous MPCC Champion Julian Haase.

Also recently taking their seats was Team PokerStars Pros Celina Lin and Raymond Wu. Lin of course is the only two-time Red Dragon champion, while Wu also has a Red Dragon title on his resume.

7:55pm: Handy One for Solomon

South Africa’s Jarred Solomon has had a solid start here on Day 1b of the MPC20 Red Dragon Main Event. We recently watched Solomon take down a handy pot on a 10♣3♥3♣5♣3♠ board.

Picking up the action from the turn, there was already over 5,000 in the middle and Solomon had check-called a bet of 2,500 against one opponent. Both players checked the river and Solomon quickly turned over his A♣A♠ – enough to win the hand.

7:45pm: Level 2 Begins, Blinds 25/50

7:40pm: PokerStars LIVE Macau full to the brim

APPT President Danny McDonagh has just popped up on the microphone system here in the PokerStars LIVE at the City of Dreams poker room and informed everyone that 43 poker tables are currently open and active. That’s a record for this poker room.
Obviously a huge majority of those tables are tournament tables, but there are also plenty of cash games in action, including the exciting low-limit PokerPro tables which are continuing to be hugely popular here in Macau.

All in all there are around 30 tournament tables open, with the tournament clock currently telling us that there have been 277 entrants so far on Day 1b.

7:30pm: Faces in the Room

It’s looking like the field size here on Day 1b is going to be similar to Day 1a. Of course, just like last night, there are plenty of familiar faces at the table

We spotted two MPC Red Dragon runner-ups in India’s Abhishek Goindi (February 2012) and Haifeng Xue (May 20011). Also at the tables were the likes of reigning Asia Player of the Year Jian Yang, 2011 Asia Player of the Year Shaq Lin, Apoorva Goa, Emi Hibuse and Darren Judges.

Also expected at the tables tonight are Team PokerStars Pros Celina Lin and Raymond Wu, though we are yet to see them at the tables.

7:10pm: Second Day 1 Plans

The players have just been told that tonight’s Day 1b action will play out in exactly the same way that Day 1a did. That means we will be playing 12 levels, each lasting 40 minutes. There will be a 10-minute break after every three levels (two hours) and the first level sees blinds of 25/50. Surviving players will bag and tag at around 3:45am.

7:05pm: Introduction Done, Cards in Air

“One minute call, take your seats,” Fred Leung recently told the room. “We are going to start on time!”

Five minutes past seven wasn’t exactly on time, but it was close enough as the cards are now in the air on Day 1b of the MPC20 Red Dragon Main Event.

It was the first-ever champion of the Red Dragon, Kenny Leong who introduced the event, giving a rousing “shuffle up and deal!” that would put a game-show host to shame.
You can read a recent interview with Kenny Leong here, while we will be sure to keep an eye on him tonight!

MPC20 Red Dragon Main Event Continues Quest for Record Field

There’s no better night for poker than a Friday in Macau, so we are excited for the beginning of the second Day 1 flight of the MPC20 Red Dragon Main Event!

When Day 1a began there were a very hefty field of 285 players packed into the PokerStars LIVE at the City of Dreams poker room and at the end of the night 67 remained with Terry Fan and Ka Cheong Wong on top of the counts.

So how many players will play Day 1b? Some of the staff here at PokerStars LIVE Macau will be happy for a field similar to Day 1a, while APPT President Danny McDonagh would be very happy to see around 320 players – an amount which would make it highly likely that the total field of the MPC20 Red Dragon Main Event would reach 1,000 players.

You can keep it locked here at the PokerStars Blog and find out exactly how many play Day 1b and keep up to date with all the action with live updates from 7.00pm local time!


Players are getting ready for Day 1b of MPC20 Red Dragon Main Event


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