Wednesday, 1st February 2023 07:30
Home / Uncategorized / MPC26 Red Dragon: Day 1B coverage archive


Zhun Zhong

Another Red Dragon day is in the books.

Day 1B has come to an end and Zhun Zhong appears to be leading the field with 169,200. There were a few other strong finishes today including Corbin White (85,400) and Raiden Kan (93,500). They’re joined by approximately 140 other survivors from Day 1B.

A total of 413 players started Day 1B and most of them hit the rail. Liam O’Rourke saw his Red Dragon dream end today as well as Jeff Mooney, who jumped straight into the HK$100,000 after his elimination. Wang Zhang nearly made it through to Day 2 but busted in the last level of the day.

The others will live to fight another day. These players will join the 86 Day 1A survivors on Wednesday for another day of Red Dragon action. It won’t be just them, tomorrow is expected to be the largest day.

Tomorrow could also set a new record. The Red Dragon record is 1,145 entrants and this one has already attracted 717 players. If Day 1C surpasses 428 players, then we’ll have a new Red Dragon record.

Tomorrow will start a bit later too. Play is scheduled to start at 7pm local time, but it’ll still follow the 12, 40-minute level format we’ve been playing. A few big names are expected tomorrow including Team PokerStars Pros Celina Lin and Randy Lew.

Join us right here at the PokerStars Blog for all the Day 1C action.

10:30pm: End of night double for Kan
Level 12 – 1,000/2,000, 300 ante

Raiden Kan doubled in one of the last hands of the night.

Kan moved all-in for 28,600 with Q10 on a 9KA flop and he got called by a player with A6. Kan was hoping for a jack, but the turn brought a 5 instead.

The river was a little more cooperative though and it brought him a J. There was already about 22,000 in the pot and Kan doubled to about 80,000 with the rivered straight. –AV

10:30pm: Final six hands
Level 12 – 1,000/2,000, 300 ante

Only six hands remain here on Day 1B.

Ismail Dalle is currently leading the way – let’s see if he can maintain the lead in the dying stages! — BK

10:10pm: Wayne Zhang eliminated
Level 12 – 1,000/2,000, 300 ante

Wayne Zhang has seen considerable success in Macau but he has come up short in the final level of Red Dragon Day 1B.

After a button raise to 5,000, Zhang moved all in from the small blind for 20,000 in chips. The big blind woke up with a hand and made the call, and after the initial raiser threw his hand away, the cards went on their backs.

Zhang: K7
Big blind: AK

Zhang needed help but failed to find it on the J10104K runout. — BK

9:50pm: Ermin doubles
Level 11 – 800/1,600, 200 ante

Ivan Ermin just scored another double up.

This one pushed the Russian player past the six-figure mark. There was already about 35,000 in the pot when Ermin and his opponent were faced with a J38 flop. Ermin’s opponent was confidently betting with AA and didn’t know Ermin had flopped two-pair with J8.

Things escalated quickly. Ermin found himself all-in for 46,300 and his opponent quickly called. Pocket aces were in need of some help, but they didn’t get any from the 9 on the turn or the 5 on the river.

Ermin’s two-pair took down the ot and he doubled up to about 135,000, which will put him hear the top of the leaderboard. –AV

9:40pm: Zhao can’t KO
Level 11 – 800/1,600, 200 ante

Yiwei Zhao recently had a tablemate at risk after matching his last 9,000 in chips preflop. Zhao was behind with 88 to her opponent’s 99 and after the dealer revealed a nine high flop, there was a ruling that the flop had to be shuffled back into the deck and spread again.

The man who had flopped top set seemed to take it pretty well and was rewarded when his pocket nines held on the second runout of Q4A53.

Despite the setback Zhao still has a very healthy 79,000 in play. — BK

9:30pm: Ermin four-bet folds
Level 11 – 800/1,600, 200 ante

Ivan Ermin brought it in for a late position raise to 3,800 before he was played back at by the player in the cutoff for 9,000. Ermin went into the tank before deciding on a four-bet to 21,800.

It wasn’t long before his opponent announced all in for a total just shy of 60,000 and Ermin quickly let it go, dropping to 77,000.

As well as scooping the pot, the cutoff rubbed salt in the wound by flipping over the 8. — BK

9:15pm: Shrinking and rising
Level 10 – 600/1,200, 200 ante

The field has been more than halved.

Only about 200 players of the initial 413 remain and they keep on dropping. A starting stack is a short stack right now and players are jamming all across the tournament area.

But where some fall, others rise. A few larger stacks are starting to emerge, but there’s no clear runaway stack like JP Kelly’s yesterday. There are a few more levels to go though, so that can change.

One player that currently has a sizable stack and is certainly near the lead is Corbin White, who’s currently sitting with a stack of about 105,000. There are a few stacks around the tournament that are starting to reach that level as well, and it’ll just take two of them to clash to match Kelly’s 237,000. –AV


Corbin White

9:05pm: Huang bests Beattie in blind battle
Level 10 – 600/1,200, 200 ante

Jiayi Huang just got the better of Kelvin Beattie in a battle of the blinds to move up to 43,000 in chips.

On a flop of 433 Beattie fired for 3,000 from the small blind into a pot of 8,000. Huang clicked it back to 6,000 and Beattie went deep in the tank.

After about three minutes of deliberation Beattie finally let it go to leave himself with exactly 20,000. — BK

8:50pm: Judges overrides Hamnet
Level 10 – 600/1,200, 200 ante

We arrived at the table on the turn with the cards spread 7A23 to see Benjamin Hamnet fire for 6,000. Darren Judges made the call from the hijack and the 2 completed the board.

Hamnet gave up on the end, choosing to check, and when Judges checked back the hands were revealed.

Hament: K9
Judges: QQ

Judges’ pocket queens were good and he scooped the pot to climb to 39,000 in chips. — BK

8:30pm: Last break of the night

The 230 runners still left in the hunt have just commenced their final break of the night. Play resumes in 10 minutes. — BK

8:25pm: Kan can
Level 9 – 500/1,000, 100 ante

Raiden Kan is now up to about 55,000.

In a small, recent victory, Kan raised to 2,300 from the hijack and got calls from big and small blind.

The flop came 2210 and the big blind bet 3,200 when checked to. Kan raised to 10,000 and both his opponents folded. Kan is now well above average with about 55,000 and he’s looking to score another big win in Macau.

Kan has a few victories here in Macau and a few Red Dragon cashes. In his career, Kan has accumulated $1.1 million in live tournament earnings. We’ll see if he can add more this tournament. –AV

8:15pm: Chip counts
Level 9 – 500/1,000, 100 ante

Here are a few of the notable chip counts among those still in contention here on Day 1B.

Matthew Boucher – 59,000
Yiwei Zhao – 54,000
Corbin White – 47,500
Visha Chen – 37,000
Wayne Zhang – 34,000
Raiden Kan – 28,500
Alan Lau – 26,000
Kelvin Beattie – 17,500

— BK

8:05pm: Numbers game
Level 9 – 500/1,000, 100 ante

Registration for Day 1B is closed and the official player count is in.

If you guessed anything less than 413, you were wrong. If you guessed anything more, you were also wrong. We had exactly 413 players today, bringing the grand total up to 717 players. That means that Day 1C will need 428 players to break the current Red Dragon record of 1,145 entrants.

Play starts a little later tomorrow, at 7pm local time. Chances are it’ll be pretty big as well though.

There are a few other big things going on as well. The Single Day High Roller saw a total of 81 entries. It’s a hefty prize pool since each entry was HK$100,000. It’ll all be awarded today though and you can follow all that action right here.

We won’t know the Red Dragon prize pool for a while, but it very well could be the biggest. –AV


7:45pm: Ermin doubles
Level 8 – 400/800, 100 ante

Ivan Ermin just cracked some aces and doubled up to about 80,000.

In that hand, Ermin and Zhiqiang Qian were faced with a 67K flop and there was about 10,000 in the pot.

Ermin checked from middle position and Qian made it 5,200 from the button. Ermin thought for a bit and called, bringing a 5 on the turn. Ermin checked again and Qian upped the bet to 10,200.

Ermin moved all-in for about 27,000 and Qian quickly called. Qian turned over AA but Ermin showed KK for a flopped set of kings. A 4 came on the river and the dealer started pulling in the cards before Qian stopped her.

He wanted a picture. Qian took out his phone, hands still shaking, and snapped a photo of his cracked aces and Ermin’s set of kings. Ermin raked in the pot and chipped up to about 80,000 while Qian was left with just about 3,000. –AV

7:30: Goldberg gone
Level 8 – 400/800, 100 ante

Efraim Goldberg has just exited the tournament area after being eliminated.

We caught the tail end of the hand with Goldberg holding ace-seven and behind an opponent’s ace-queen on a runout of J55103.

With Goldberg’s elimination we are down to 290 players in today’s Day 1B field. — BK

7:20pm: A dip for Boucher
Level 8 – 400/800, 100 ante

Just as we were talking about Matthew Boucher’s climb, the American player took a hit.

Boucher raised to 1,600 from early position and Tao Fang called from the button. The big blind called as well and the flop came 92J.

All three players checked and a Q came on the turn. Action checked to Fang and he fired off a bet worth 2,600. The big blind folded and Boucher called after some thought.

The river brought a 6 and some more thinking. Boucher thought for a bit before checking and then Fang thought for about a minute as well before he checked back. Boucher turned over A10 but Fang had a better kicker with AK.

Fang raked in the pot and chipped up to 50,000 while Boucher dipped to about 29,000. –AV


Matthew Boucher

7pm: Boucher rakes one
Level 7 – 300/600, 75 ante

Matthew Boucher’s stack continues to climb – this time he took a pot from Efraim Goldberg.

The community cards were showing JQA94 and Boucher flicked out a bet of 6,300 from the big blind. Goldberg was the only other player, sitting on the button, and he couldn’t make the call.

Goldberg’s cards went into the muck and Boucher’s stack grew to 34,000. — BK

6:50pm: Chen chips up
Level 7 – 300/600, 75 ante

On a flop of Q42 Visha Chen checked in the big blind before an opponent made a bet for 2,400. It appeared that Chen tried to raise but just sliding in a single 5,000-denomination chip without announcing anything, it was ruled a call.

The 6 landed on the turn and Chen picked up the initiative with a lead for 4,200. Her opponent opted to move all in over the top with enough to cover Chen’s total of 9,525. That didn’t faze her, however, as she quickly made the call with Q9.

That was ahead of her tablemate’s 77 and Chen managed to fade a seven on the river to double through. — BK

6:40pm: A bump for Ermin
Level 7 – 300/600, 75 ante

Ivan Ermin raised to 1,400 from middle position and Zhiqiang Qian called from the button.

The flop came AK5 and both players checked. A 3 came on the turn and Qian bet 2,100 when checked to. Ermin called and and a Q completed the board.

There was another round of checks and Ermin tabled KJ. Qian shook his head and showed a Q and threw his other card into the muck. The hand left Qian with about 17,000 while Ermin is up to about 40,000. –AV


Ivan Ermin

6:15pm: Break it up
Level 6 – 200/400, 50 ante

Players are now on their second 10-minute break of the day. Late registration is closing so we’ll also have official Day 1B numbers soon. Stay tuned. –AV

6:10pm: Kan rising and a table bustout
Level 6 – 200/400, 50 ante

Raiden Kan took a hit early in the day but he’s been crawling back up and is now over starting stack with about 30,000.

Kan has been involved in a few pots recently, but laid them down on the flop. They were small though and didn’t do too much damage to Kan.


Raiden Kan

There was some damage done at his table though. Right before the break, Yi-te Wu raised to 2,100 from middle position and Kan debated for a second from the late position. Kan looked at Wu’s stack, about 13,000, and decided to fold. Gu Jia on the other hand moved all-in for about 7,000.

Wu called and tabled AK to Jia’s KK.

The flop was a treacherous 910Q and then a J came on the turn to give Wu the broadway straight. A Q completed the board and Wu went back up to about starting stack while Jia was eliminated from the Red Dragon. –AV

6:10pm: Staying power

As we approach the end of Level 6 and the halfway point of Day 1B players might be starting to feel fatigued. Luckily for everyone in the Red Dragon, Red Bull – the official energy drink provider of PokerStars LIVE Macau – has stocked fridges across the tournament floor with varieties available free to all players.

6:05pm: Fu and Zhao let it go
Level 6 – 200/400, 50 ante

After an under the raise to 900, Ying Fu called and Yiwie Zhao three-bet to 2,700. Both players called and the flop landed 33Q.

It was checked over to Zhao and she continued for 3,100. The initial opener tanked before finally clicking it back to 6,200.

That elicited two quick folded from Fu and Zhao and the under the gun player raked in the pot. — BK

5:45pm: A pair of pocket pairs
Level 6 – 200/400, 50 ante

Kelvin Beattie raised from middle position and Feng Wen Chen called from the cutoff.

The blinds and button folded and the two players got dealt a J55 flop. Beattie bet 700 and Chen called. The turn brought a 6 and another bet. It was from Beattie though. Beattie checked that time and Chen bet 900. Beattie thought for a while and called, bringing the 4 on the river.

Both players slowed to a check and Beattie turned over 66. Chen had that pocket pair beat though and he turned over 99.

Chen took down the pot and chipped up to about 20,000 while Beattie was left with 12,300. –AV


Feng Wen Chen

5:35pm: Aces for Mooney
Level 5 – 150/300, 25 ante

Geoff Mooney was under the gun and on a flop of 727 he bet 1,200 in chips. The only other player was in the cutoff and he called. The dealer turned the Q and Mooney checked it over to the cutoff, who fired for 1,300.

Mooney asked to see his opponent’s stack before making the call, taking them to the K river. The action on the end was quickly checked through and Mooney flashed AA for the best of it.

He moves back up to right around the 20,000 starting stack. — BK

5:25pm: White picks off a bluff
Level 5 – 150/300, 25 ante

Corbin White fired for 1,300 on a flop of 588 and the player on the button called to see the 4 turn. The action was then checked through before the 7 completed the board.

White checked again but the button took a stab at it for 3,100. After a moment of thought White made the call with 1010 to see he was good against his opponent’s AQ.

That hand takes White’s total chip count up to 38,000. — BK

5:15pm: Dragon demographics
Level 5 – 150/300, 25 ante

The tournament floor is crowded.

Hundreds of players are now vying for a shot at the Red Dragon title and a vast majority of them hail from China. About 260 players in the field are from China, while Hong Kong and Taiwan are tied for second with 17 players each.

In fact, there are more Wangs than Taiwanese players in the field. Twenty-five of the players in the field have the surname “Wang.” While Wang takes the last name title, Zhang comes in a close second with 23. There are 20 Chens in the field and then there’s a steep dropoff with 12 Lis.

That’s still more players than the United States has in the field though. The American powerhouse is the fourth-most represented country in the field with nine players, followed by Japan’s seven.

The numbers are still growing though and they won’t be final until tomorrow. –AV


5:00pm: Cooler commotion
Level 5 – 150/300, 25 ante

There was a lot of commotion over at Zinan Xu and Tian Shui’s table. It was the kind of commotion a cooler caused.

Xu had hit trip aces, with AQ but Shui had filled up with A10. The board read 410A4A and the dealer was counting up Shui’s stack. Shui had about 12,000, slightly less than Xu. Xu was taking the beat fairly well, smiling and laughing as his stack shrunk to about 1,300.

Shui on the other hand doubled up to about 25,000. It’s slightly above starting stack and gives Shui a bit more room to breath. Xu on the other hand will be looking to multiply his handful of big blinds to stay in the game. –AV

4:50pm: Han moves in
Level 4 – 100/200, 25 ante

Xiao Han’s tournament is still alive after getting an all-in jam through against Jia Guo.

We arrived to an already bloated pot and the board showing A5J3. There were two active players and Guo was the first to act. He led out for 5,275 before the decision fell on Han.

Han stacked up his last 17,475 and, after a slight pump-fake, he slid it all into the middle.

The move was met with a snap fold from Guo who dropped to 10,500 as Han scooped the pot. — BK

4:40pm: Closing in on 400
Level 4 – 100/200, 25 ante

The Red Dragon cannot be tamed.

There are nearly 400 players in the field already and there are still a few levels of late registration open. Combined with yesterday’s field of 304 players, we’re closing in on 700 total players for the MPC 26 Red Dragon.

Yesterday’s Day 1A field beat the Day 1A field that brought us the largest Red Dragon in Red Dragon history. That tournament’s Day 1A –which took place last September– drew 248 players. At the end of all the Day 1s, that tournament ended up drawing a field of 1,145 players.

Tomorrow is expected to be bigger than today so there’s a chance there’ll be some Red Dragon record breaking tomorrow. For now though, players have their minds set on making it to Day 2.

The dream is still alive for most of them. There are about 370 players remaining out of the nearly 400 players that started the day. That number will start dropping quick as the blinds keep rising. –AV

4:20pm: Jia and Zhang chop it up
Level 4 – 100/200, 25 ante

The action went three-handed to a flop of 910Q and with the pot at around 3,000 in chips, Gu Jia moved all in for 6,300 from the small blind. Chenxu Zhang was next to act in the big blind and she went deep into the tank.

After deliberating for several minutes the clock was final called and a tournament official was called over to count down Zhang’s last minute before the hand was dead. With just nine seconds left Zhang made the call and when the cutoff quickly folded, the two active players tabled their cards.

Jia: AQ
Zhang: AQ

Both had top pair top kicker and would ultimately chop it up after the Q turn and 6 river completed the board. — BK

4:04pm: Break
Level 3 – 100/200 blinds

Players are on their first 10-minute break of the day. –AV

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4:00pm: Kan can’t call
Level 3 – 100/200 blinds

Raiden Kan was debating putting all his chips in before the first break.

The clock had been called and the seconds were ticking away. Kan and Chang Xu had been embroiled in the hand for more than 10 minutes and they were just on the turn.

The hand started with a raise to 550 from the hijack. Kan was on the button and re-raised to 1,400. Xu was on the big blind and threw in a four-bet to 2,900. Zhongyang Wang folded from the hijack and Kan thought for a bit before calling.

The flop came J62 and Xu bet 4,000. Kan thought for a about a minute and called. The turn brought a 2 and another bet from Xu. This time the bet was worth 9,000.

Kan wasn’t happy. He grabbed his cards and started shuffling them. After about a minute he stopped and put his hand on his chin, then on his chips. Kan sighed and leaned back. Then he went back to the chips. Kan only had about 10,350 behind.

It was taking too much time for some players and they called the clock on Kan. The floor came and that’s when he debated putting all his chips in. He put them in a small pile and as the the floor started counting down from 10, Kan started motioning to put his pile in. He stopped at the last second though and put his chips down.

His hand was dead.

Kan was left with about 10,000 while Xu chipped up to about 30,000. –AV

3:50pm: He hurt in battle of the blinds
Level 3 – 100/200 blinds

Ming He has been bested by Matthew Boucher in a battle of the blinds after his river bet was picked off. The board read 2A7Q10 and, sitting in the small blind, He fired for 3,500 into a pot of roughly 5,000.

Boucher went into the tank and tried to get some extra information by engaging He in conversation. While that failed Boucher still ultimately made the correct call, committing the chips to see He’s 32 for bottom pair.

Boucher tabled A9 for top pair and scooped the pot to climb to 31,000. — BK

3:40pm: Dong almost done and dusted
Level 3 – 100/200 blinds

Huixin Dong is now in the danger zone after running into the pocket aces of tablemate Zhigang Zhang.

We arrived with the community cards spread 4A7Q5 and both Dong and Zhang with their hands face up. Dong had A10 but it was no good against Zhang’s AA for top set.

The dealer awarded the pot to Zhang to see him double up to 36,000 and leave Dong knocked down to just 975 in chips. — BK

3:20pm: Zheng’s kings
Level 2 – 50/100 blinds

PokerStars Sponsored Player Alvan Yifan Zheng is in the field and he took down a small pot with pocket kings.

Lintong Dai raised to 375 from the cutoff that hand and Zheng made it 875 from the cutoff. The button and blinds folded and Dai called. The flop came A87 and both players checked. A 3 came on the turn and players checked again.

A J completed the board and players went all-in. Just kidding, they checked it down. Dai turned over JQ for the rivered pair of jacks while Zheng tabled KK and took down the pot.

Zheng is now slightly above starting stack with about 22,000. — AV

3:10pm: Wang wins some
Level 2 – 50/100 blinds

Xiaoxu Wang is accumulating chips early after taking down a recent pot.

Players went five-way to a flop of 689 and it was checked around to the player in the hijack. He fired for 625 before Wang repopped it to 1,625 in the cutoff.

That raise was enough to take it down with the other four players all relinquishing their hands and Wang collecting the pot. She now has around 22,000 in play. — BK

2:50pm: Still swelling
Level 2 – 50/100 blinds

The players don’t stop coming.

There are nearly 300 players in the field and line is still snaking around the tournament area. Tables are sprawled all across the tournament area, seeping into nearly hidden areas. Everywhere you look there’s a table where a number of people are taking their shot at Red Dragon glory.

Lots of them are new faces too. Media members are scrambling around trying to identify familiar faces. You could say the Macau Poker Cup has become pretty popular. The word is spreading, people from all over the world are flocking to Macau.

Late registration is open until Level 6 so there’s still no telling how big today will be. — AV


2:40pm: Boucher bullies Matsumoto
Level 1 – 25/50 blinds

Matthew Boucher is chipping up after utilizing some aggression versus Hiroshi Matsumoto.

We caught the action on the turn with the cards spread 61049 and the action on Matsumoto. He led at it for 750 before the decision fell on Boucher.

Boucher wanted to play for more and raised it up to 2,650. Matsumoto couldn’t stick around and relinquished his hand as the pot was pushed Boucher’s way. — BK

2:30pm: Players flocking in
Level 1 – 25/50 blinds

The field here continues to grow and with a long line still at the registration booth that won’t be changing any time soon.

One player who’s already pulled up a seat is Australian Kelvin Beattie who is fresh off a final table appearance in the HK$50,000 NLH event last night. Beattie pocketed HK$207,200 for his eight place finish and will be looking to find an even bigger score here in the Red Dragon.

Also at the tables is Raiden Kan who is no stranger to playing poker in Macau. He shipped the 2011 MPC October Special Main Event for $160,591 and has an impressive $1.1 million in total live earnings.

We’ll be keeping an eye on the progress of Beattie and Kan, and also for any other notables making a late appearance. — BK

2:10pm: Cards in the air
Level 1 – 25/50 blinds

Day 1B of the Red Dragon is underway and it looks like it’ll be a big one.

There are already several tables and a big line up at the registration desk, which is conveniently located next to a mini-fridge of free Red Bull™ –Red Bull is the official energy drink provider for PokerStars LIVE Macau.

Yesterday saw the biggest Day 1A field in Red Dragon history, could today be the biggest Day 1B? The Red Dragon is no longer dormant, it’s raging on and hyped up on Red Bull™ –Red Bull is the official energy drink provider for PokerStars LIVE Macau.

Blinds start at 25/50 and we’ll be playing 12, 40-minute levels with a break after every three levels. The PokerStars Blog team will be bringing you updates throughout the day courtesy of Red Bull™ –Red Bull is the official energy drink provider for PokerStars LIVE Macau. — AV


Red Bull is the official energy drink provider for PokerStars LIVE Macau.

Day 1B of the Red Dragon set to commence

It’s almost time again for a new batch of poker hopefuls to try their luck at slaying the Red Dragon this week. They’ll all start moving in soon as the official kick off is scheduled for 2pm local time.

Today’s group will be chasing notable pro JP Kelly who set the pace yesterday – spinning his 20,000 start bank up to 247,300 by the conclusion of play.

The plan again is another 12 40-minute levels which will see play finishing up right around 10:30pm. We hope you can join us for all the action direct from the tournament floor here at PokerStars Macau! — BK

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Reporting in Macau brought to you by Alexander Villegas and Brad Kain. Photography by Kenneth Lim Photography courtesy of PokerStars LIVE Macau.

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