Friday, 9th December 2022 13:26
Home / Uncategorized / PokerStars MPC28: Red Dragon Final Table Set, $30,000 Platinum Pass Awaits

There was no shortage of drama on Day 3 of the 28th edition of the Red Dragon. The eliminations were Formula 1-fast. The bad beats were spectacular. The chip stacks rivaled the height of some Macau high rises. At the end of the day Junhao Hong did the best job navigating a field rife with land mines and bagged a final table-leading stack of 4.61 million.

The Red Dragon nine

The final table is a particularly compelling one with numerous Chinese players filling out the table but also pros from Russia, Korea and Singapore looking to snag some Red Dragon glory.

Here’s a complete look at the final table players and their chip counts:

Seat Name Country Chip Count
1 Minho Lee Korea 2,655,000
2 Aleksei Opalikhin Russia 2,200,000
3 Junhao Hong China 4,610,000
4 Alvin Zheng China 2,830,000
5 Zhou Tong China 2,965,000
6 Dongqi Lin China 1,680,000
7 Zhen Hua China 995,000
8 Jiming Chen China 535,000
9 Jiang Ho Huang Singapore 3,985,000

Every player at the final table will have a little extra incentive to take this one down in the form of a $30,000 Platinum Pass provided by PokerStars.

The $30,000 Platinum Pass package includes a seat to the first-ever $25,000 PokerStars Players Championship along with $5,000 for airfare and accommodations. In addition there’s also a seat into the HK$100,000 ACOP Main Event for first place. That’s not even counting the HK$3m first-place prize.

Junhao Hong (right) wins AK vs. AK against Aleksei Opalikhin (left).

Day 3 began with 69 players still chasing the Red Dragon dream.

The field had absolutely no interest in chilling and within just one hour of play there were nearly 20 players that had made their way to the payout booth.

Ying Tang, the overnight chip leader, seemed unstoppable at the start of play but started to fade as we crossed into the second level of the day.

The rapid pace kept up and by the time the dinner break came around at end of Level 23 the field had been reduced to 28 players. For some reason the after dinner rush was real today and there were four eliminations within minutes of players returning from their break including popular Hong Kong player Juicy Li.

It was during this portion of the evening that Aleksei Opalikhin emerged as the chip leader. Little did Opalikhin know that he was in store for arguably the sickest beat of the entire tournament thus far.

Minho Lee is looking to become the first Korean Red Dragon winner.

Opalikhin lost AK to AK when Junhao Hong managed to go runner-runner to complete his flush in a pot worth 3.8 million.

All was not lost for Opalikhin, however, and he actually managed to battle back and make the final table with 2.2 million.

Former chip leader Ying Tang finally made her way to the rail in 12th place. She picked up HK$160,500 but likely had her mind set on that final table and the $30,000 Platinum Pass.

Final table bubble boy Gang Wang

The final table bubble proved an interesting one with Gang Wang folding pocket kings to a 3-bet all-in shove from Minho Lee. It proved to be the wrong choice as Minho Lee had ace-jack and Aleksei Opalikhin had pocket nines. The board bricked out and Wang missed out on an enormous pot.

Wang never seemed to recover from folding kings and ending up in a disastrous situation when he made a move on Aleksei Opalikhin with 62 only to get snapped off with AK.

Tomorrow is poised to be an action-packed day of poker with the final table kicking off at 3 p.m. and playing to a winner.

If that’s not enough action for you there will also be a HK$80,000 high roller starting up at 7:30 p.m. That high roller will be awarding another $30,000 Platinum Package so it’s sure to be well attended.

Until then get some sleep and get ready for some more Macau-style action coming straight from the City of Dreams to your living room. –AC

• PLAYERS: 9 (of 1,122)
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12:30am: Gang Wang goes bang(10th – HK$204,090)
Level 26: Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

Those kings might haunt Wang for a while…

The Gang Wang horror show continues. He seemed distraught following that kings hand where he folded the winner for a huge pot and we’re not sure he’s ever quite recovered his mental equilibrium.

His pain is at an end and it is another hand we assume he won’t be cutting out for the poker highlights scrapbook to show his grandchildren.

Aleksei Opalikhin, who remember would be out had Wang called with kings earlier, raised to 200,000 from the small blind and Wang jammed for his 900,000 stack with 62 from the big blind.

The Russian snapped his hand off, no surprise as he held AK.

The board ran out J75A4 to give Opaliskhin the nut flush and the day ended dramatically and in style!

Wang’s day was done and he collects HK$204,090 and can be proud of such a deep run. Well done Mr Wang.

The completion of the day means we’ll have chip counts and the final table draw to follow shortly – Junhao Hong leading the way with a cracking 4,610,000.

A full wrap of the day will follow just after that. Hold tight! –RS

12:15am: Opalikhin doubles with an ironic pocket pair
Level 26: Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

Pocket kings could’ve been the hand that ended Aleksei Opalikhin’s tournament, and just now, it’s the hand that’s helped him double up. How ironic.

Dongqi Lin set him in from the small blind and he made a snap call after peaking at his holding.

Lin: K7
Opalikhin: KK

The board ran 636A5. Lin dropped to 1.4 million. –MC

12:00am: Big stacks dominate
Level 27: Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

On the cusp of the final table, there are understandably a few nervous players out there. The big stacks such as Hong and Lee are taking this opportunity to collect chips at a pretty high clip.

The medium stacks are finding it hard to open as the risk when they are three-bet is so huge, those big stacks can really attack with a wide range of hands.

Who will be the unlucky player to miss out on the final? We have Junhao Hong leading right now with around 3.6 million – but Minho Lee isn’t far behind with over 3 mill himself.

No player is so far in front they can consider themselves 100% insulated from being eliminated on the final table bubble. Tense stuff… — RS

11:50pm: Opalikhin triples in a hand that should’ve been the last of the day
Level 27: Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

Aleksei Opalikhin should be out, but a strange turn of events means he’s actually tripled up his 230,000 stack.

The Russian player moved all-in from under the gun and was snap called by Gang Wang in the next seat. Miho Lee then came in with a squeeze to a million straight. The action was back on Lee and he folded pocket kings! His lively friends on the rail gave him tons of abuse and he held his head as he saw his opponents open….

Opalikhin: 99
Lee: AJ

The board ran 362107 to see the nines hold. Lee was never so happy to hand over 230,000 chips, it could’ve been a lot more expensive for him. –MC

11:45pm: Gu can’t get past Zheng twice, busts (11th – HK$160,500)
Level 26: Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 5,000)

Pan Gu may have gotten the best of Yifan Zheng in the last coin flip hand they played but she couldn’t do it a second time.

Zheng opened for 125,000 and Gu shipped it from the small blind for about 580,000. The player in big blind actually contemplated calling for a couple minutes but then folded.

Zheng insta-called and tabled 88. Once again we were in a coin flip situation with Gu holding A10.

The board ran out KJ3JK8 to eliminate Gu in 11th place. We are now on the final table bubble. –AC

11:30pm: Tang, go & cash (12th – HK$160,500)
Level 26: Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 5,000)

Tang showed highly accomplished poker skills.

Tang came into the day as a big chip leader and she’s been atop the rankings for a fair portion of the day but the last few levels have seen her dip a little and the stacks being as they are – one bad run of fortune and that’s it.

Tang had just under 800,000 and decided KQ was good enough to shove. She did so, only for Zhou Tong to pick up an ominously large stack of green 25,000 chips and re-raise to isolate.

The rest of the table watched eagerly as big stack Tong flipped up a dominating [AC]Q. Tang was in trouble and although the board briefly threatened an upset, it ran 1088J2 and her day was finished in 12th spot, good for HK$160,500.

Well played Miss Tang, we hope to see you again soon. Tong meanwhile has accumulated a monster stack now – up to 3,000,000. –RS

11:20pm: Pan stays in Neverland
Level 26: Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 5,000)

Pan Gu has gotten herself back in the hunt with a double up through Alvan Yifan Zheng, who dropped to 1.53 million.

He moved all-in from the small blind and she called all-in for 365,000 from the big blind.

Zheng: 44
Gu: KQ

The board ran a Gu flavoured 103JQ9, paring her up on the turn. –MC

11:15pm: Jiang Ho Huang four-flushes Aleksei Opalikhin in 3.8m-chip stunner
Level 26: Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 5,000)

Is this real life?

It doesn’t get much sicker than this.

Aleksei Opalikhin opened for 140,000 from early position only to have Jung Ho Huang move all-in from the hi-jack for approximately 1.65m.

Opalikhin, who had Huang covered by 400,000, went deep into the tank and contemplated his next move. Eventually the Russian decided to make the call. It was the right choice. The players revealed:

Opalikhin: AK
Huang: AK

The flop came 863 and it appeared we were heading towards a rather standard chop.

The turn peaked everyone’s interest, however, when it came 3 giving Huang the flush draw.

The river? Nothing less than the 2. Always bet on black.

The room gasped and a stone-faced Opalikhin counted out the chips he suddenly owed Huang.

By the time the smoke had cleared Huong was up to 3.8 million chips while Opalikhin was crippled to 400,000.

The Russian was surprisingly good natured about the sick beat and even shook Huong’s hand after the suckout. –AC

11:10pm: Fu celebrates too early, busts in 13th
Level 24: Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

Zhitao Fu got his chips in good, flopped top pair and celebrated. That was a mistake as his opponent had outs and had him drawing dead on the turn.

Fu was down to 610,000 when he made his move from the button. Jiang Ho Huang was in the big blind and called.

Huang: KQ
Fu: A2

The board ran 106AJ9 and Huang, who moved up to 2.8 million, was the player left celebrating in the end. –MC

11:05pm: Chips extracted from Gu
Level 26: Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 5,000)

Jiming Chen was down to just over ten big blinds and limped UTG. The small blind completed then Pan Gu swung the hammer, moving allin for her million chip stack.

Snap call from Chen (small blind folded.) He’d trapped Gu with KK. She had a shot to get there with A7 but a club-less ace-less flop of J48J8 brought little succour.

Gu down to 380,000, Chen back in contention with 1.3 million. –RS

10:45pm: Full counts as just 13 remain
Level 26: Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 5,000)

Only four more players need to bust before the final table is set and we’re done for the night. Here’s how your final 13 stack up. –MC

First name Last Name County Chip Count
Minho Lee Korea 3,900,000
Zhou Tong China 2,550,000
Jiang Ho Huang Singapore 2,200,000
Alvan Yifan Zheng China 2,100,000
Aleksei Opalikhin Russia 2,050,000
Zhenhua Lu China 1,450,000
Dongqi Lin China 1,450,000
Junhao Hong China 1,370,000
Ying Tang China 1,100,000
Pan Gu China 970,000
Jiming Chen China 960,000
Zhitao Fu China 890,000
Gang Wang China 775,000

10:30pm: Break!
Level 25: Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

A frantic few levels since the dinner break have seen the field reduced to just 13 players in contention for the Red Dragon title.

They have a much-needed 15 minutes to relax, grab a coffee, smoke or smoothie and call up their friends to give them a progress report.

There’s a lot on the line so use these 15 minutes well guys and come back with your game faces on! We’ll see you shortly. –RS

10:25pm: Eugene Kim crashes out in 14th for HK$131,300
Level 25: Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

Eugene Kim was a short stack to start the final table and has finally succumbed to the rail.

Kim got all-in with 55 against Dongqi Lin’s AQ.

The board ran out Q7394 to end Kim’s tournament. The Philippines player will receive a hefty consolation prize for coming 14th in the form of HK$131,300.

We’re officially down to 13 players and are just three bustouts from the final table bubble. –AC

10:12pm: Manuel Lii Mascunana eliminated in 15th for HK$102,100
Level 25: Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

It’s been a flurry of action for the final two tables and it’s showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Philippines player Manuel Lii Mascunana is our latest casualty.

Zhou Tong opened for 100,000 from early position and a very short-stacked Mascunana moved all-in from the button for around 180,000.

Action folded to Tong who made the call. Mascunana had A8 but that was in bad shape against Tong’s AQ.

The board ran out KJ56J to give Tong the checkmark and eliminate Mascunana in 16th place.

Tong has been on a hot streak as of late and was up to 1,650,000 chips after the hand. –AC

9:59pm: Lin gone in 16th for HK$102,100
Level 24: Blinds 20,000/40,000/5,000

Chen An Lin is gone. Shortstacked with A4, he went all in for his remaining 250,000 or so, only for Zhou Tong to pick him off with ace-king.

The dominating hand held and we’re down to 15…the fur is really flying now! The final table approaches… –RS

9:54pm: Tianyu Chen busts 17th for HK$102,100
Level 25: Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

Tianyu Chen didn’t last as long as he might have wished at the final table tables.

Chen was crippled when he lost a huge coinflip with ace-king against Dongqi Lin when he lost a huge coin flip with AK to Lin’s pocket nines.

Chen was crippled and left with only 225,000 chips after the hand. He shoved on the next two hands and got looked up by Dongqi Lin in the second one.

Chen had Q5 and couldn’t beat Lin’s A5. It’s been a good start for Lin while Chen is out of the tournament in 17th place.

9:45pm: Final two table re-draw
Level 25: Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

Table 1 Table 2
Seat 1 Minho Lee Alvan Yifan Zheng
Seat 2 Zhitao Fu Minho Lee
Seat 3 Junhao Hong Pan Gu
Seat 4 Gang Wang Jiming Chen
Seat 5 Eugene Kim Manuel Iii Mascunana
Seat 6 Zhehua Lu Aleksei Opalikhin
Seat 7 Dongqi Lin Ying Tang
Seat 8 Tianyu Chen Chen An Lin
Seat 9 Jiang Ho Ho Huang Zhou Tong

9:36pm: Hong closes book of Tao
Level 25: Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

Li Tao just tried a spectacular bluff. He’d reached the river of a 342Q7 board and the river card looked like a nice texture to get Junhao Hong off a hand, completing both a straight and a flush.

He jammed all-in for 400,000 or so, only to get snap-called by Hong. The hand he was representing – most likely a flush – was the hand Hong was holding – a flush with Q9. Don’t you just hate it when your opponent has what you’re representing?

That bluff was destined to fall on stony ground. Hong started laughing as he picked up a giant pot by just clicking call. Too easy. Tao miserably collected his things and melted into the night. You shouldn’t feel too bad Li. Finishing 18th for HK$102,100 is no mean achievement. –RS

9:35pm: Final two tables as Wang goes
Level 25: Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

Bowen Wang lost a race to Minho Lee to go in 19th spot. The latter moved up to 2.45million as a result.

After and under the gun open to 100,000 and two calls, Lee squeezed to 550,000 from the big blind. The first two opponents folded before Wang moved all-in for 750,000. Call.

Lee: AK
Wang: 66

The board ran 4A892 and Want went on his way, but with $102,100 in his back pocket. –MC

9:30pm: The old 3-bet, 4-bet shove, 5-bet re-shove
Level 25: Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

Matt Moss has been eliminated in a spectacular hand that saw several million chips trade hands.

Matt Moss

The hand began with a player in early position opening for 100,000 but Russian Aleksei Opalikhin 3-betting to 280,000 from the cutoff.

The fireworks were just getting started because Matt Moss looked down at his cards and decided to 4-bet shove all-in for just under one million chips.

Zhou Tong decided to 5-bet shove all-in for 1.2 million from the small blind. The big blind quickly folded as did the initial bettor.

Opalikhin thought for a minute or two but eventually decided to throw his hand in the muck.

Moss flipped over AK but he was crushed by Tong’s AA.

The board ran out Q10368 to eliminate Moss and send Tong’s stack soaring past 2.2 million. –AC

9:20pm: Opalikhin takes over the lead
Level 24: Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

Jiang Ho Huang’s lead lasted a very short time as Aleksei Opalikhin busted Chen Li to moved up to around 2.5 million.

Li was down to 405,000 when he moved all-in from early position. Opalikhin was in the small blind and made the call.

Opalikhin: AK
Li: A3

The board ran 4KJ27. Li was up out of his after the flop but the turn stopped him in his tracks, before he continued his walk of shame after the river. –MC

9:18pm: Gang Weng style
Level 24: Blinds 20,000/40,000/5,000

Gang Weng just punched the air with joy.

The source of his happiness was a full double up from 490,000 to 1,100,000 with 77 versus the 55 of Li Tao after the pair had warred preflop.

The board of K92410 saw him home and his boost means Tao is down to a “mere” 800,000. Still a pretty tasty stack but actually below average now incredibly. –RS

9pm: Jiang Ho Huang busts Kunal Manohar Punjwani
Level 24: Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 4,000)

The eliminations are really starting crank up a notch as we get closer and closer to the final two tables of the tournament.

The latest bustout saw Jiang Ho Huang go in for a standard raise from late position only to have Kunal Manohar Punjwani move all-in from the button.

Jiang Ho Huang made the call and flipped over AK which was firmly in the lead of Punjwani’s AJ.

The board ran out K10278 to eliminate Punjwani from the tournament. Jiang Ho Huang, on the other hand, is crushing with more than 2.2 million chips. It’s an incredible feat considering he started the day with just under 200,000 chips. –AC

8.45pm: Three quick eliminations
Level 24: Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

Back from the break, and I’m afraid the Red Dragon dream has died for the following players. Here’s the financial reward they get for surviving so deep into the belly of the dragon. Congratulations guys. –RS

Name   Country Payout
25 Zhen Wang China $64,200
26 Xiaoxiang Li China $64,200
27 Raiden Yew Fatt Kan Hong Kong $64,200

8:55pm: Aces for Co
Level 24: Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

You’re under the gun with 13.5 big blinds and really need a hand. Then you look down and what you see is not a dream.

Eugene Kim Co had, you guessed it, aces in the hole and moved all-in. The action folded around to Zhou Tong on the button and he moved in over the top, forcing the blinds to fold.

Co: AA
Tong: AK

The board ran a blank 1091078 and Tong dropped to 700,000. –MC

8:40pm: Juicy Li hits the rail
Level 24: Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 4,000)

Juicy Sixiao

It didn’t long for Juicy Li to bust after the dinner break.

Li shoved with QJ and got looked up by Kund Manohor with A8.

The board ran out K76A9, which gave Manohor the checkmark and eliminated Li. A deep run for Li but she won’t be making the final table this time around.

8:20pm: Red Dragon roars back
Level 24: Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

Sharp Tang playing some tasty poker.

The dragon has been fed and has taken wing once more. We’re closing in on determining the final nine players who will contest the Red Dragon final.

That HK$3,055,000 and US$30,000 Platinum Pass ticket must feel tantalisingly close for the players now, having survived nearly a thousand players to reach this point. Just another twenty or so till they can call themselves champion!

Exciting times… –RS

7:15pm: Red Dragon stops for Dinner
Level 23: Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 4,000)

Dragons get hungry, the same as us. The Red Dragon must be fed and it is time for its dinner.

We’re off to catch a sheep, put fire retardant suits on and give the dragon some roast lamb.

We suggest you find a safer way to spend the next hour. Grab some food and enjoy the video of last night’s player party below. We’ll return with the final 28 players battling to make it to the final table. See you then! –RS

This looks to be our top five chip counts but check the chip count tab for even more counts:

First name Last Name County Chip Count
Minho Lee Korea 1,500,000
Aleksei Opalikhin Russia 1,450,000
Zhou Tong China 1,410,000
Ying Tang China 1,400,000
Yugan Wang China 1,300,000

6:53pm: Shanmeng Li hits the rail
Level 23: Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 4,000)

We’re down another player as Shanmeng Li went all-in with AQ and got snapped off by a Yifan Zheng with AK.

The board ran out 632106 to eliminate Li. We’re now down to 31 players and very close to getting down to just three tables.

6:45pm: The Dominators
Level 23: Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 4,000)
On the rise are Tianyu Chen who now has a mighty 1,200,000 whilst Matt Moss is in beastmode right now – pushing up past 2,000,000 to lead the overall counts as we speak.

Ying Tang is still holding a pretty monstrous stack herself despite being leap-frogged by Moss. She’s on 1,800,000.

A few other stacks of note are Gang Weng who has 525,000 and Aleksei Opalikhin with 675,000. –RS

6:30pm: Chen An Lin picks up aces, gets paid
Level 23: Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 4,000)

Is there a better feeling than getting aces later in a tournament? OK, there may be a few things but it’s gotta be up there.

Chen An Lin just experienced the feeling first hand in a big hand against Xiaoxiang Li. Li opened for 70,000 from early position and Lin made the call from the big blind.

The flop came Q54 and both players checked. The dealer spread the 7 turn card.

This time around Lin led out for 110,000. Li didn’t waste much time before moving all-in having Lin covered by a significant margin.

Lin snap called and showed black aces. Li was in a world of hurt with JJ.

The river was an insignificant 10 and Lin doubled up to 650,000 thanks to his pocket aces. –AC

6:20pm: Manohar escapes from Zhu
Level 23: Blinds 15,000/30,000(ante 4,000)

Manohar survives tens moment.

Eights are lucky in Chinese culture. We’ve heard it said some players prefer pocket eights to aces as eight is such a lucky number. It’s possible Xingbao Zhu might be one of those who doesn’t subscribe to that opinion following his recent elimination.

Holding the felicitous pocket eights, he went to war with Kunal Manohar preflop for his entire stack – Manohar holding pocket tens – but there was no magic in the air and the better pair won over the 57Q33 board.

Zhu’s day was over – for once the luckiest hand in poker had let him down. Manohar is up to 460,000 and looking pleased as punch about it.–RS

5:55pm: Deafening double for Hong
Level 22: Blinds 10,000/20,000(ante 3,000)

Junhao Hong wins the prize for the loudest player left in the tournament. Every time his stack is in the middle – he stands and yells in Chinese at the flop.

We’ve had this translated by our local friends. Apparently it is something like “hold, hold HOLD!!!” It’s great he’s so enthusiastic about his poker but his tablemates might be thinking about popping in a couple of earplugs soon!

His most recent assault on his tablemate’s eardrums occurred when he squeezed all-in for his 250,000 stack once Gang Weng had raised to 50,000 from the cut-off, called by Pan Gu on the button. Gu was the sole caller, turning up 55 to Hong’s well-ahead 88.

Hong was well ahead but he made sure of victory by yelling at full volume throughout the hand. The board peeled JJ74K to Hong’s delight. One (thankfully) final shout of “yes!” and he was up to 600,000! –RS

5:44pm: Final four tables
Level 22: Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

We’re officially down to the final 36 players with just four tables. The pace here on Day 3 continues to be race-car fast but we’re expecting things to slowdown immensely as we get closer to the final table.

Every player left has locked up HK$58,300 just by making it this far but exponentially bigger prizes await the final table players. –AC

5:29pm: Minho on the move
Level 22: Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

The doctor is in.

Korea’s Minho Lee finished just shy of the chip lead last night but he’s making an excellent case for himself to be the end of Day 3 chip leader.

Thanks to two successful hands he’s once again near the very top of the counts.

In the first hand Lee knocked out an opponent with A4 over 109. Lee flopped an ace and that was more than enough to net him the pot and eliminate another player.

In the next hand Lee put pressure on the big blind when he bet 55,000 from the small blind. The player on the big blind, Gang Wang, made the call.

The flop came K76 and Lee followed up with a c-bet of 52,000. Wang called and the turn came J.

This time Lee slowed his roll and checked. Wang followed suit and the river fell 4. Lee immediately pushed a 103,000 bet into the middle.

Wang thought for several minutes but eventually made the call only to have Lee flip over K6 for two-pair.

After the hand Lee was up to about 1.48m and looking especially dangerous on Day 3. — AC

5:20pm: Need some wings? Guess who can help
Level 22: Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Quench that thirst!

With 40 players remaining, the pressure is rising here at the Red Dragon. All this stress might be a little draining so it’s a good thing there are several fridges stocked with cans of Red Bull, who are the exclusive energy drink providers of PokerStars Live at The City of Dreams, dotted around the casino floor. Help yourselves! –RS

5:10pm: Yeyu Chen hits the rail
Level 21: Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Just before the break Yeyu Chen was eliminated by Zikun Chen – his Q-9 failing to outrun Zikun’s big slick.

Chen moves to 285,000 after that hand and we now have updated chip counts available so you can see the lay of the land. Matthew Moss is on the march (up to 940,000) but Ting still reigns supreme for now with over 1.5 million. –RS

4:59pm: First break
Level 21: Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

We’ve reached the first 15-minute break of the day and we’ll have updated chip counts for you momentarily. Play is moving extremely fast as we’re already down to 43 players.

4:53pm: Tianyu wins battle of the Chens
Level 21: Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Pocket nines, a 15BB stack and an unopened button. Tianyu Chen thought this the perfect opportunity for a shove and went all-in.

He didn’t bank on namesake Chen Li finding pocket aces in the small blind however and when Li called – Tianyu’s tournament was on the line.

He found salvation however. The poker gods smiled upon him and a nine was peeled off from the dealer to win him the pot. Li took the beat well, laughing as he passed over a chunk of his stack, still well up over 500,000.

Tianyu meanwhile rises to 480,000 – that spiked nine could be the springboard to bigger and better things for him. –RS

4:26pm: Moss is boss
Level 21: Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Matt Moss

The U.K.’s Matt Moss narrowly missed out on becoming the overnight chip leader yesterday when he stumbled in the last level and Ying Tang rocketed up the counts.

It appears today he’s dead-set on regaining that chip lead.

Moss opened for 27,000 on the button and got one caller in the big blind. The flop came A93 and the big blind player checked. Moss fired 25,000 and his opponent called.

The turn came 8 and once again the big blind player checked but Moss fired a hefty 74,000 into the pot. That was enough to finally chase the other player out of the hand.

It wasn’t a huge pot for Moss but thanks to a few other decent pots the English player is up to over 800,000 and going the right direction.

4:15pm: Wang beats Tang
Level 21: Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Ying Tang

It took awhile but Ying Tang is finally starting to come down to earth from her peak of nearly 1.8m chips.

Yugan Wang opened for 35,000 from early position and Tang made the call from the big blind.

The flop came 1084 and both players checked. That brought a J turn. Tang checked again but Wang fired 40,000 into the pot. Tang called and the river fell Q.

Once again Tang checked and Wang thought for a minute or two but then fired 90,000 into the pot. Tang went into tank and frustratedly weighed her options. In the end she couldn’t make the call and opted to throw her hand in the muck.

Wang tapped his hand on felt before flashing an ace as he threw his hand into the muck and raked in the pot.

Tang fell down to a still sizable 1.57 million chips after the hand while Wang seems to be trending up with 1.3 million. –AC

4:04pm: Ding loses out in Juicy pot
Level 21: Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Juicy squeezes out Ding.

Yueping Ding just spent a painful few minutes wrestling with variance and by the time it was over he’d been pinned for a three count.

First off, Zhehua Lu jammed all-in from the small blind for 133,000 – 11 big blinds, and Ding made an understandable call with 33.

Lu had A8 and won the pot over the 879J4 board to move to 280,000, leaving Ding with just 22,000 – on the cusp of elimination.

The next hand saw the action fold to Lu on the button who celebrated his good fortune with a raise to 25,000.

Lu was priced in with any two but when he looked down at 72 – the worst hand in poker – he chuckled to himself. He could barely bring himself to do it but eventually he realised the maths compelled him and made the call for his entire stack.

Juicy Li in the big blind came along for the ride and the two active players checked down the QQ1088 board – Li turning up 10J to claim the pot and move to over 200,000. Ding got a few laughs when he turned over his 7-2 offsuit but he won’t be adding any more entertainment to the tournament as his chips have run out. Well played sir. –RS

3:36pm: Hanyang Li sent packing
Level 20: Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Hanyang Li was one of the short stacks to start the day and wasted no time making several all-in shoves and getting folds from her opponents.

Her luck finally ran out when she shoved for 125,000 from UTG with A9 and got called down the player in the big blind who held KQ.

The board ran out J87K5 to eliminate Li, who’s been one of the most active players in this tournament.

The bustouts are coming frequently here on Day 3 and we’re already down to 57 players from the starting 69. –AC

3:25pm: Hong brings the noise
Level 21: Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)
Jack En-Ching Wu has played his last in the Red Dragon. We approached his table due to a huge roar from Junhao Hong, who had A2 in front of him on a board of 65392 – Wu showing AK.

At some point along the way all the chips had entered the pot. However it went in, Hong held the winning hand with that pair of deuces and his bellowing celebrations echoing round the arena were the soundtrack to him chipping up to over 600,000.

Wu looked sad but resigned as he left his seat – his Red Dragon dream over. –RS

3:14pm: Paging Cui Jun
Level 20: Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

We’ve got a no-show here on Day 3.

If anyone knows Cui Jun you might want to suggest to them that they make their way to the PokerStars LIVE Macau Poker Room as soon as possible.

Jun was one of the short stacks to start the day with 228,000 but he’s already blinded down to 192,000.

It might have something to do with the amazing player party that was held last night but Jun needs to get to the poker room ASAP if he wants a legit shot at this thing. –AC

3:05pm: Dominant start for Tang
Level 21: Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Can anyone stop the Tang juggernaut?

Ying Tang has begun the day as she finished yesterday. Causing destruction to her fellow tablemates and chipping up all the while.

In the first few hands, it was folded to Tang on the button. She glanced over at the stacks of the two blinds – both fairly short – and announced all-in, her own monster stack dwarfing them both.

Kimio Takasugi in the small blind picked up his 92,000 stack and pushed it over the line and once the big blind folded the cards were revealed.

Tang: K2
Takasugi: AQ

The man in danger was ahead but Tang was live, and when the board ran out a Tang-friendly 824J8 she’d spiked two pair to take it down. Takasugi didn’t look surprised as he gathered his belongings and left.

He finishes up with HK$37,900 for his deep run and Tang augments her massive stack yet further…up to over 1,400,000 now. –RS

3:01pm: Day 3 is a go
Level 20: Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Day 3 is officially off and running at the PokerStars LIVE poker room in Macau at the City of Dreams. We’ve just seen the debut of a very pretty green 25,000 chip. That’s the chip you want at this point of the tournament.

Final table looming on Day 3 of MPC28 Red Dragon Main Event

Sixty-nine players return to the PokerStars LIVE poker room today with dreams of making the vaunted final table but the real question is to whether anyone will be able to slow down a surging Ying Tang who finished with a staggering 1.39 million and appeared nigh-unbeatable as the evening came to a close.

Will Matt Moss regain his status as chip leader?

Tang does have some competition in the form of Korean Minho Lee who finished with a similar 1.3 million chips but wasn’t nearly as dominant as the breakout Chinese player.

The stakes are unquestionably high with a trip to the MPC28 Red Dragon final table on the line today. The winner of said final table will walk away with a staggering HK$3,055,000 but the perks for winning the tournament are in a realm of their own with both a $30,000 Platinum Package to the 2019 PSPC on the line as well as a HK$100,000 seat to the upcoming ACOP Main Event.

The top 10 chip counts are littered with players from around the world including the UK, India, Taiwan, Philippines and, of course, China.

Some of the notables in action today include Brit Matt Moss (674,000 chips) who was the first player to crack the 1m-chip mark in this event as well as Day 1C chip leader Ian Modder (179,000).

It’s sure to be a fascinating day of poker with so much extra value available at the nine-player final table. We expect a hard-fought battle right to the bitter end tonight.

Action will resume at 3 p.m. today so keep it locked on the PokerStars Blog to see how everything shakes out today and who earns a trip to the fabled Red Dragon final table –AC

PokerStars Blog reporting team at the MPC: Marc Convey, Arthur Crowson and Rod Stirzaker. Photography by Long Guan of Kenneth Lim Photography. Videos by Alex Pinkett and James Beer of 23 Digital

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