3:30am: Play concludes; Huitong Cao predicted chip leader
After such a big field today there may be a slight delay on getting official numbers tonight. We’ll have everything up as soon as possible.
From the looks of it Huitong Cao is the end of the day chip leader.
Keep your browser locked to the PokerStars Blog for chip counts, survivors and the Day 2 draw!
PokerStars LIVE Macau’s Rex Cheong has just announced that there will be six more hands before the conclusion of Day 1c.
It won’t be long until we find out who emerges as our end-of-day chip leader and how many of our 512 runners qualify for Day 2.
Stay with us!
3:05am: Suzuki saved from elimination
Takuya Suzuki just scored a double up in spectacular fashion to stay alive in the final level of the day.
After an opponent raised to 4,500 Suzuki moved his short stack of 10,200 all in and was snapped off when it folded back to the original raiser.
Suzuki needed to improve to keep his tournament alive but the 5♣2♣J♣ was a bad start. The Q♣ turn improved Suzuki to a set but his opponent pointed to his own ace of clubs as he turned the nut flush. Needing the board to pair to avoid elimination Suzuki was gifted the 2♥ river to take down the pot with queens full.
2:50am: Level 12 begins, blinds are 1,000/2,000 with a 300 ante
2:40am: The home stretch
We’re only 10 minutes from the final level of the night here.
It’s been a wild day with this record field sending the poker room into a frenzy.
For something different in the closing stages we thought we’d breakdown the Red Dragon’s 1075 players into their countries.
Of the 41 nations represented in this tournament it’s China way ahead of any other contender with 585 players for a 54.4% majority. A distant second and third are Taiwan and Hong Kong with 93 (8.7%) and 75 (7.0%) respectively.
Will a Chinese player lead the way at the conclusion of play? We’ll find out soon here for Day 1c.
2:25am: No go for Lo
Jason Lo has just been eliminated at the hands of James Chen who looks to be our current chip leader.
We arrived at the table to see the board reading 9♦8♥A♣2♥J♥. It was on Chen to act and after a moment of deliberation he slid out 48,000 which was enough to put Lo to a decision for his tournament life.
Ultimately Lo did call to see that Chen had made a runner-runner flush holding K♥Q♥. Lo tossed his cards in the muck but as it was an all-in situation he was told he had to reveal his hand, and retrieved the 9♥8♠ to show the table. The flopped two pair was no good in the end and Lo was sent packing.
“Nice hand” Lo said as he patted Chen on the back during his exit from the tournament area. Chen is now dominating with just shy of 200,000 in chips.
2:10am: Level 11 begins, blinds are 800/1,600 with a 200 ante
2:00am: Bye bye Bryan
Well, while one of our only two Team PokerStars Pros scored herself a double up, unfortunately the same cannot be said for Bryan Huang.
He moved all in over an opponent’s opening raise before a third party pushed in over the top for more. The decision was back on the initial raiser and despite the action he also called after a moment to make it a three-way all in situation.
Opponent 1: 10♠10♣
Opponent 2: A♥10♥
A 10 in the window on the J♦7♦10♦ flop meant the Team Pro was almost dead to a chop.
“Wow! That’s crazy” Huang said at the sight of the board.
The 4♥ turn signalled the end of Huang’s tournament before the inconsequential K♦ landed on the river.
“Good luck, all the best” Huang said, gracious in defeat as he leaves us in the later part of the day here.
1:45am: Yaxi Zhu doubles through
Team PokerStars Pro Yaxi Zhu was down to 13 big blinds when she moved all in from under the gun for her last 15,800.
It folded to another player who asked for a count before moving all in over the top with enough to cover Zhu. The rest of the table threw their hands away and the two players exposed their hands.
Zhu was in great shape to double through and she faded any danger on the 6♥3♣2♣K♠2♥ run out.
With only two more levels left in the night we’ll be keeping an eye on Zhu to see if she can make it through to Day 2.
1:30am: Level 10 begins, blinds are 600/1,200 with a 200 ante
1:20am: Final break of the night
Our remaining players have begun the last break of Day 1c. Play resumes in 10 minutes.
1:10am: Records fall!
Coming into the start of Day 1c tonight we were optimistic that we’d eclipse the 1000-player mark and the field here in Macau went above and beyond.
When late registration was locked out it was a total of 1,075 runners signalling not one but several new records. Not only does that make this the largest Day 1 starting flight and the biggest-ever MPC Red Dragon event, this iteration of the tournament now boasts a record field for any freezeout across the Asia-Pacific!
With the player numbers so too comes the prize pool information. This record field means that we’re playing for a share of a HK$11,261,700 prize pool with the winner taking home HK$2,360,000 worth of cash and prizes.
While everyone still in the running will be hunting the top prize, it will be our top 135 finishers that receive a payout.
12:55am: Double for Davies
Scott Davies was getting short but he just scored a nice boost to his stack after doubling up.
The hand began with a player raising to 2,500 before the action folded around to Davies. He opted to move all in for 9,000 in chips and the decision was back on the initial raiser.
As the player was thinking, a tournament official informed the table that they play would change from 10-handed to 9-handed from then on.
“We could be eight-handed in a second” Davies quipped as he waited for the other player to act. After about a minute the latter did commit the chips and Davies saw he was in a dominant position preflop.
Davies improved further on the K♠A♠A♣ flop and would just need to fade a jack to stay alive. He did just that, making a full house on the end as the 9♦ turn and K♥ river completed the board.
12:40am: Level 9 begins, blinds are 500/1,000 with a 100 ante
12:30am: Lim loses a little
First-time ever two-time APPT champion Aaron Lim is in attendance today. He’s had a good start but just encountered a minor setback.
Lim brought it in for a raise from under the gun to 1,800 and when it folded around to the player in the small blind, he moved all in for 6,200. After a quick call from Lim the two of them turned their hands up.
Lim was behind but still had a good shot at eliminating the other player, and that only improved on the 9♠7♥7♦ flop. The 6♠ turn meant a king, queen or non-seven spade would save Lim’s opponent, and the 4♠ river confirmed that would be the case.
Despite losing the hand Lim still sits with a healthy 32,000 in chips.
12:15am: Alner doubles
Englishman Tom Alner won the Red Dragon back in 2013 and he’s back in Macau this week to try and do it again.
He was involved in a recent hand that we caught on the turn where Alner bet 4,000 with the board reading 9♥9♣9♦2♥. His opponent called and the dealer flipped over the J♦ river.
Alner moved all in for 8,600 and exposed A♥J♠ after he was called for a rivered full house. The other player leaned over the table to get a closer look at the cards before nodding with resignation.
With that double up Alner climbs to 28,000 in chips.
11:50pm: Raiden Kan eliminated
Raiden Kan has been sent reeling to the rail after he found himself on the wrong end of a battle of the blinds.
It folded around to Kan in the small blind and he raised it up to 1,800. His opponent in the big blind played back at him for 4,800 and with the decision back on Kan, he put in a four-bet for all his last 16,800. The jam was snapped off and players tabled their cards.
Kan needed some help and the 7♥J♦8♦ brought him a gut shot straight draw and a little hope. The 4♥ turn and 2♠ would never complete it, however, as Kan got up from his seat and left the tournament area.
11:35pm: Trips hurt Huang
After a player limped in the cutoff, the small blind called and Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang checked his option in the big blind.
The flop landed 4♦8♠9♥ and players checked around before the 4♣ arrived on the turn. The small blind led for 1,000 and when Huang and the cutoff called, the dealer revealed the 5♠ river.
It was checked to Huang and he fired for 2,000. The player in the cutoff moved all in over the top for 6,350 and with the small blind out of the way, Huang asked for a count.
Eventually Huang made a crying call to see that his opponent had made a straight on the river with 7♥6♥. The Team Pro flashed the 4♠ to show he’d turned trips as his stack was knocked back down to under starting stack.
11:10pm: Take a break
It’s time again for a 10-minute break. Back soon!
11:00pm: Chen chipping up
Play went four-handed to a flop of Q♥3♠9♠ and after the player first to act led out for 675, the man to his direct left called before the action was on James Chen. The player to act after Chen folded out of turn, and then Chen put in a sizable raise to 4,000.
The initial bettor folded but the caller called once more to see the 6♣ arrive on the turn. It was checked to Chen and he continued for 6,600. His opponent counted his stack and gave it some thought but ultimately folded.
“It was a dangerous board for my hand” Chen said as the pot was pushed his way.
“I had an up and down straight. If an eight comes you’re dead” the other player responded.
That hands brings Chen’s stack up to over the 40,000 mark.
10:45pm: Salter shoves
UK Pro Jack Salter is in town for the Red Dragon this week and he just moved all after the flop in a hand against Australia’s Benjamin Ridgway.
The flop showed 9♠8♥5♦ and Ridgway had bet what appeared to be 2,000 in chips.
Salter responded with an all-in jam for 8,950 before Ridgway let the hand go.
Despite the clash there appeared to be no animosity as the international visitors launched into a conversation about travel arrangements and living situations.
10:30pm: Level 6 begins, blinds are 200/400 with a 50 ante
10:20pm: Team Pro update
We have two PokerStars Team Pros trying their luck here on the final opening flight of the Red Dragon – those are of course Yaxi Zhu and Bryan Huang.
While we haven’t caught any hands from the two yet, we did happen to see APPT President Danny McDonagh make the most of Huang’s unattended water bottle as Huang slipped to the bathroom between hands.
Huang may have returned to his seat with a little less chance of hydration than when he left, but the Team Pro has managed to climb from the starting stack of 15,000 to 25,400 in the early stages here.
Zhu is also off to a good start. She’s currently got 19,800 in front of her.
We did it!
Late registration is still open and we’ve already made sure this is the biggest ever freezeout in the Asia Pacific. The total entrant count at the moment sits at 1,059 and with over an hour left for players to still join the action that number could climb even higher.
Joining our record field are three other notables that we’ve spotted – prominent US pro Scott Davies, Macau regular Weiyi Zhang and APPT 9 Macau champion Yat Wai Cheng.
We’ll be looking out to see how they fare here tonight, and keeping an eye on the registration desk to see if our field can get even bigger.
9:50pm: Level 5 begins, blinds are 150/300 with a 25 ante
9:40pm: Lucky river sees Hsu double
Leon Hsu opened the action preflop with a raise to 450. The player to his direct left called before the next to act three-bet to 1,625.
Hsu came back over the top for 5,300 leaving himself 10,125 behind. The initial caller mucked his hand but the three bettor called as the two went to a flop of 8♠7♣9♦.
It was then that Hsu moved all in to send his opponent into the tank. After studying Hsu, leaning back in his chair, checking the tournament clock and counting on his fingers, the player decided to call and put Hsu at risk.
Hsu needed an ace or king to remain in the tournament. He bricked the 4♥ turn but spiked a king as the K♠ rolled off to keep his Red Dragon hopes alive.
Slamming the table and jumping from his seat, Hsu’s opponent didn’t like what he saw. Hsu collected the pot and is now well above average stack.
9:25pm: Luo takes one from MPC23 High Roller champ
James Chen had a great run here in Macau last year, finishing runner-up in February’s Baby Dragon event before following that up with a victory in the September Macau Poker Cup 23 High Roller.
Tonight though it hasn’t been all smooth sailing. Chen lost a recent pot to Xixiang Luo.
The hand went four-way to the 6♣J♠Q♥ flop where after the players in the blinds checked, Chen bet 750. The button folded, Luo called from the small blind and the big blind folded before the dealer turned the 7♣.
Luo checked again and Chen continued for 1,300. Raising his hand in the air Luo motioned to see Chen’s chip stack. After assessing what he had behind, Luo called the bet.
The river went check-check and Luo showed Q♠10♥ which was enough to win the pot.
9:10pm: Level 4 begins, blinds are 100/200 with a 25 ante
9:00pm: First break
The first break of the night has just commenced. Coverage will commence shortly.
8:50pm: Lo KOs Ho
We arrived at the table with the board reading 8♦7♦7♥J♥ and Jason Lo had made a bet of 1,300 after opponent Collin Ho had checked to him. Ho wanted to play for more and reraised it to 3,850.
Lo eyed Ho’s roughly 8,000 stack and made the call to see the 5♥ river.
Ho shrugged and tossed the rest of his stack in but Lo almost beat him into the pot, slamming in a call and flipping 7♠7♣ for quads. He chips up to 36,000 while Ho leaves us in here in Level 3.
8:35pm: Chan chips up with a jam
Justin Chan hasn’t had a great start here but he’s fighting back after winning a recent hand.
The action started with a raise from Kazuma Tanaka in early position, before Chi Han Hsien made the call from the hijack seat.
Next-to-act Justin Chan squeezed all in for 4,400 and it folded back around to Tanaka. He only took a moment to throw his cards into the muck, and when Hsien followed suit, Chan collected some much-needed chips.
8:20pm: Level 3 begins, blinds are 100/200
8:10pm: Heung hits the river
Raiden Kan, Chun Kong Ken Heung and Lante Zhang went to a flop of 9♦4♥9♠ and all three checked their option. The 2♥ turn prompted Kan to lead out from the small blind for 400 and he was called in two spots.
The A♣ river saw the three players check again and Kan tabled 6♠6♥ optimistic that his pocket pair was good. Heung tabled A♦Q♥, however, for a higher two pair and took down the pot after Zhang mucked.
On a flop of 2♣5♦6♦ Yong Zhang led for 350 and was called in two spots by Kunal Patni in the cutoff and Leonidas Alexopoulos on the button.
The turn brought the Q♦ and Zhang bet again, this time for 650. Patni stuck around but Alexopoulos gave it up before the 3♦ river appeared.
Zhang fired a third time for 1,150 and Patni didn’t take long to call it off. Holding the ace-high flush with A♦9♦ Zhang had more than enough to claim the pot. Patni took a quick glance at his own cards before relinquishing the hand.
7:40pm: Level 2 begins, blinds are 50/100
7:30pm: Early hit to HotDog
Taiwanese rap artist MC HotDog is in the building but he recently sent a few chips over to tablemate Rong Xia.
HotDog raised to 125 from the cutoff before Xia next to act reraised to 350. HotDog called and players went to the 10♠7♠2♦ flop.
The action went check-check and the dealer turned the 6♣. HotDog then led for 275 which was met with a call before the 8♠ arrived on the river.
After a check from HotDog, Xia made a bet of 900. The rap star called it off but saw the bad news as Xia tabled 9♣9♠ for a rivered straight.
7:15pm: A stellar line-up
Scanning the tournament floor it’s become apparent that a whole host of notable names waited until the biggest opening flight of the week to make an appearance.
We have two Team PokerStars Pros in the building. Bryan Huang and Yaxi Zhu have registered and will be looking for a big score this week in Macau.
Joining them will be almost too many familiar faces to count. Sparrow Cheung, Kunal Patni, Iori Yogo, Thomas Ward, Raiden Kan, Aaron Lim, Raymond Wu, Takuya Yamashita, Jack Salter and even MC HotDog are in attendance.
It’s a star-studded field already and we’ll be on the lookout for anyone else we recognise.
7:00pm: Play is underway!
Just as Day 1a and Day 1b kicked off, things just began here with PokerStars LIVE Macau’s Fred Leung taking to the microphone to welcome tonight’s players and announce that it was time to get the cards in the air.
We’re in for 12 40-minute levels here tonight. Including breaks that means things are set to wrap up around 3:30am.
Registration will be open until 11:20pm and with over 350 players already registered, and a line at the booth, we look well on track to eclipse the 1000 mark.
Players will start with 15,000 in chips and the blinds at 25/50.
It’s go time!
MPC24 Red Dragon Day 1c ready to go
It’s almost time for the Red Dragon’s third and final opening flight!
Today is expected to be easily the biggest yet and with 563 combined entrants from Days 1a and 1b we’ll be hoping the field can reach the 1000-player milestone.
Those taking their seats today will be chasing yesterday’s chip leader Kamel Mokhammad. The Ukrainian set the pace last night bagging up 210,600.
Play kicks off at 7:00pm tonight and with the later start we’ll be playing until the early hours of the morning. Stay tuned to the PokerStars Blog for everything you need to know from here in Macau!
All photos by Kenneth Lim Photography courtesy of PokerStars LIVE Macau