1:20am: Jason Chong eliminated in 2nd place; Tom Alner wins!
On the first hand of heads-up play, Jason Chong moved all in and took the blinds and antes. On the second hand, Tom Alner tried the same with 7♦7♣ but Jason Chong made the call with Q♣T♣ and the race was on.
The flop was spread 7♥8♠9♠ which was an incredible flop as Alner spiked a set but Chong improved his outs to eight with an open-ended straight draw. The A♦ missed and Alner was one card away from victory. The dealer burned and revealed the 2♥ to crown Tom Alner as our Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon champion!
Well done to Jason Chong who navigated his way through a tough final table to take 2nd place for HK$758,000 in prize money while Tom Alner gets HK$723,000 plus the $100,000 ACOP Main Event entry and the shiny new Red Dragon trophy!
We'll be back with a full wrap of today's action for you shortly.
1:15am: Heads-up for the Red Dragon title
It's Tom Alner and Jason Chong going heads-up for the MPC Red Dragon title, with Alner holding a commanding chip advantage as heads-up play gets under way.
Tom Alner - 7,900,000
Jason Chong - 1,600,000
1:10am: Wilson Fu eliminated in 3rd place
Wilson Fu was under two million in chips when he announced himself all in from the button holding A♠8♦ but Tom Alner was quick to call with a dominant A♦J♠.
The flop of K♣K♦9♦ brought chop outs but Fu snatched the lead when the 8♣ appeared on the turn. Alner still had hope however and when the A♣ appeared it took a moment to realise that Alner's aces and kings with a jack kicker was the best hand. Fu was a little shocked but he'll be pleased with his play today as he collected HK$827,000 following the deal for 3rd place.
1:00am: Alner turns up the heat
Jason Chong raised from the button to 325,000 and Tom Alner called in the big blind. The flop landed 6♦K♠5♥ and Alner checked to Chong who bet 400,000. Alner check-raised to 925,000 and Chong made the call.
A massive pot was already in the middle as the Q♥ hit the turn. Alner thought for a long time before betting 1.2 million, leaving himself just one million more behind. Chong deliberated for some time before making a frustrated fold. A huge swing in chips for Alner who is now up to around 5.4 million, with Chong down to about 2.4 million.
12:55am: Play resumes: Level 29, blinds 80,000-160,000, ante 20,000
We've been informed that this is the first time we've ever reached Level 29 in a Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon.
12:45am: Ten-minute break
Chip counts at the break:
Jason Chong - 3,935,000
Tom Alner - 3,390,000
Wilson Fu - 2,230,000
12:35am: Alner survives!
Tom Alner moved all in from the button and Jason Chong did likewise from the small blind. Action was then with Wilson Fu in the big blind who flashed pocket fives before folding.
Alner opened Q♠J♣ but he didn't like what he saw when Chong showed a dominant A♦J♠.
The flop landed 7♣7♥6♣ while Fu gave a wry smile when the 6♠ appeared on the turn as his pair would've been counterfeited. But the drama was still to come as the Q♦ appeared on the river for Alner to double through! He's now up to around 3.2 million with Chong back under 4 million.
12:25am: Handy king for Wilson
Jason Chong raised the button to 240,000 before Wilson Fu moved all in. Tom Alner folded his big blind but Chong made the call and opened 6♠6♦. Fu had only looked at the A♠ so he was rather pleased when he squeezed out the K♣ behind it.
The king would prove handy as the board ran out K♥8♣T♦3♥5♦ to see Fu double through to 2.6 million. Chong is still in the chip lead but has dropped to about 4.8 million.
12:15am: Ace-high good enough for Chong
Tom Alner looked like he was turning up the heat with a series of big three-bets. He got away with it twice, but on the third time, Jason Chong four-bet jammed. Alner made the call with K♣Q♣ but trailed the A♠2♦ of Chong.
The board ran out 8♥7♦3♠5♣5♦ to see ace-high hold for Chong for the double up to around 6.1 million chips.
12:00am: Victor Sheerman eliminated in 4th place
It was a brave run by the Russian. He netted the biggest pay day of the deal, but Victor Sheerman has missed out on the MPC Red Dragon title after bowing out in 4th place.
Sheerman moved all in for 1.2 million from under the gun with A♠3♥ and Tom Alner found the same hand from a few minutes earlier as he called on the button with 7♣7♠.
Sheerman caught a pair on the 4♠3♣6♥ but it was the wrong pair, as the T♠ turn and 4♣ river completed the board. Sheerman collects a post-deal total of HK$853,000 as Alner is now out to a commanding chip lead with over half the chips in play.
11:55pm: Lucky sevens for Alner
Jason Chong's lead was short-lived. Tom Alner has just doubled through after shoving with 7♠7♣ and finding a call from Chong with A♠K♣.
The board bricked 2♥8♠T♥2♦6♦ to leave the sevens in front to see Alner double up to 3.4 million. Chong is back to around 2.6 million.
11:50pm: Chong takes the lead
Jason Chong opened with a raise to 240,000 from the button before Wilson Fu moved all in from the small blind. Chong deliberated for a few moments before making the call with A♠9♣ which was ahead of Fu's K♦Q♥.
The flop of J♠T♣5♦ gave Fu an open-ended straight draw but the T♦ turn and J♣ river bricked the board to see Chong double up to 4.3 million with Fu slipping to around 1.2 million.
11:45pm: Level 28, blinds 60,000-120,000, ante 20,000
11:40pm: Fu on the move
Since the resumption of play it's Wilson Fu who has taken control. He's padded his stack with a couple of nice three-bets before a big check-raise against Victor Sheerman that got through.
Fu is now up to over 3 million for a clear lead over the remaining four players.
11:30pm: Play resumes
The players are back and the cards in the air with a little over ten minutes left in Level 27, with the blinds at 50,000-100,000 with a 10,000 ante.
11:20pm: Deal is done
Following the elimination of Thomas Ward, the players agreed to pause the clock to look at the numbers which is understandable considering the shallow chip stacks at this point in time.
An ICM deal has been struck based with the $100,000 ACOP Main Event seat and the title left in the middle to play for. Here's the breakdown of the payouts they have now locked up:
Victor Sheerman - 2,955,000 chips - HK$853,000
Wilson Fu - 2,690,000 chips - HK$827,000
Jason Chong - 2,090,000 chips - HK$758,000
Tom Alner - 1,820,000 chips - HK$723,000
With that out of the way, it looks like the players are now taking a quick break.
11:00pm: Deal negotiations
The clock has been paused as the four remaining players enter into deal negotiations.
10:55pm: Thomas Ward eliminated in 5th place
It's taken a long time to go from five to four, but back-to-back blows to New Zealand's Thomas Ward has left him as the next to head to the cashier.
The first hand saw Ward shove the button with K♦6♣. He was hoping for a steal but ended up with the best hand when Tom Alner called off for his tournament life in the big blind with Q♥T♥. Ward's lead evaporated on the flop of 5♥8♦Q♣, with the 9♣ turn and J♠ river leaving Ward with just 400,000.
He folded twice before the big blind rolled around and he was faced with an all-in bet from Wilson Fu in the small blind. Ward called it off with J♥8♠ as Fu opened A♦3♠. The board ran out 7♣6♦Q♥Q♠6♥ with no help to Ward to send him to the rail in 5th place for HK$317,000 in prize money.
10:40pm: Fours are enough
Wilson Fu raised to 200,000 from under the gun and Victor Sheerman made the call. The flop landed T♣3♠8♦ and Fu continuation bet for 270,000. Sheerman made the call before both players checked down the A♣ turn and 6♣ river.
Fu showed 4♣4♥ which was enough as Sheerman mucked. Fu is now up to 2.4 million with Sheerman at 2.6 million.
10:25pm: When Toms collide
It's remarkable with all the big cards we've seen, that we haven't seen more bustouts on this final table, and that trend continues with the recent double up for Thomas Ward.
Ward shoved 660,000 from under the gun with Q♥Q♦ and Tom Alner made the call on the button with A♣K♣. The board ran out Q♠6♠K♥2♣9♣ to give Ward a set to double through. He's up to 1.5 million with Alner dropping to 1.1 million.
10:15pm: Two pairs of ladies
We've just seen two big double ups start the new level off with a bang! First Tom Alner shoved with Q♥Q♠ and was called by Wilson Fu with A♥9♠. The board landed 5♣Q♦J♥T♥3♥ to see Alner double through to 1.7 million.
Next hand Jason Chong found the same hand with Q♦Q♠ and shoved his last 940,000, but Thomas Ward woke up with K♦K♥ and made the call in the small blind. Chong looked a goner until the board of 7♥J♥J♠A♦Q♥ gave him a two-outer river to stay alive, as Victor Steerman announced that he folded ace-jack in the big blind!
Chong is up to 2 million with Ward now the short stack with 900,000.
10:10pm: Level 27, blinds 50,000-100,000, ante 10,000
10:00pm: Ten-minute break
9:55pm: Flopping sets
Victor Sheerman raised from the small blind to 160,000 and Tom Alner made the call to see a flop of 3♠8♥2♦. Sheerman bet out for a hefty 425,000 which represented about half of Alner's stack. Alner folded and Sheerman flashed pocket threes for a set!
9:50pm: Chip count update
Victor Sheerman - 2,800,000
Wilson Fu - 2,400,000
Thomas Ward - 2,000,000
Tom Alner - 1,200,000
Jason Chong - 1,000,000
9:45pm: Fu folds kings preflop!
We often talk about the crazy action here in Macau, so it's rare that we have to write about a big laydown. Well, Wilson Fu has got the rail buzzing after making one of the most amazing folds we've ever seen.
Five-handed, Fu opened to 160,000 from the button before Victor Sheerman announced himself all in for over 2.5 million from the big blind blind, narrowly covering Fu.
Fu went into the tank for several minutes before shocking the room by open folding K♦K♥. What the?
The rail roared and Sheerman obliged by flashing A♥Q♦.
One of these players could've had more than half the chips in play if there was a call there. But instead, the status quo is maintained while Fu will no doubt be questioning that play for some time.
9:30pm: Ace from space for Ward
The action continues to come thick and fast as Thomas Ward found a double up on the very next hand. But he had to do it the hard way.
Ward shoved all in for around 800,000 with A♠J♣ but Jason Chong must've kept his cards up his sleeve from the previous hand as he found Q♠Q♣ for the second time in two hands.
This time the ladies weren't so kind as the board ran out J♥9♣K♦4♣A♥ to see Ward find an ace from space on the river to stay alive. He's back up to around 2 million.
9:25pm: Brian Yip eliminated in 6th place
Brian Yip was down to just 175,000 which he committed the very next hand. Jason Chong and Victor Sheerman came along, checking the board of 6♥8♥2♥5♠8♠ to the river where Chong bet out 150,000. Sheerman made the call but mucked at the sight of Chong's Q♠Q♣. Yip flashed T♠4♠ which was never in the hunt.
Yip's fall from grace was spectacular but it was a mighty run that probably deserved better than 6th place. Hopefully HK$253,000 in prize money will heal the wounds of what might have been.
9:20pm: Yip gets out of line
Wilson Fu looked like he wanted to raise when he splashed about 100,000 into the middle, but it was deemed a limp of 80,000. That mistake would ultimate lead to a massive problem for Brian Yip who was dragged into the pot from the big blind.
The two took a flop of 2♣J♠4♥ and this is where things got messy. Yip led out for 100,000 before Fu raised to 300,000. Yip decided to keep the pressure on by moving all in but Fu insta-called with A♦J♥ as Yip was in trouble with an ugly 2♦3♥.
Fu couldn't watch as he ran off to the bathroom before the 5♦ hit the turn to give Yip a straight draw. However the river Q♣ completed the board to see Fu double up to around 2.7 million, to leave Yip crippled.
9:15pm: Chip count update
Victor Sheerman - 3,250,000
Brian Yip - 1,600,000
Wilson Fu - 1,500,000
Jason Chong - 1,200,000
Tom Alner - 1,125,000
Thomas Ward - 800,000
9:10pm: Wilson mucks
Wilson Fu opened from the cutoff to 165,000 and Victor Sheerman made the call in the small blind to see a flop of K♥7♥5♠. Both players checked and the turn brought the 4♣. Sheerman led out with a bet of 105,000, but Wu came back with a raise to 265,000. Sheerman called and the river was the A♦.
Sheerman checked and Wu bet out a hefty 410,000. Sheerman thought briefly before making the call, but we didn't get to see any cards as Wu conceded and tossed his straight into the muck.
9:05pm: No dinner plans?
It was just put to the players if and when they would like a dinner break. A few players looked peckish but the general consensus seemed to be that they would be happy to play on. They'll re-evaluate that in an hour.
9:00pm: Level 26, blinds 40,000-80,000, ante 10,000
8:40pm: Alner back in the game
Action folded to Brian Yip in the small blind and he continued to push the action as he announced himself all in. Tom Alner was in the big blind and squeezed his hole cards before making the call for his last 710,000 chips.
Yip opened K♦J♣ but that was in bad shape against Alner's dominant A♦J♦.
It only got worse for Yip through the J♠7♦A♣4♠4♣ board as Alner made two pair for the double up. He's up to 1.5 million with Yip now down to just over one million.
8:20pm: Six-ball, corner pocket
Thomas Ward opened with a min-raise from the button to 120,000 before Victor Sheerman finally got in on the action with a three-bet to 295,000 from the small blind. Back on Ward and he moved all in with Sheerman making the call.
The Russian opened 6♣6♦ as Ward was way in front with Q♣Q♠, that is, until the flop landed 6♥9♦4♠. A set for Sheerman would leave Ward needing a queen for the knockout. The A♣ turn and 2♣ river completed the board to see Sheerman double to 2.25 million with Ward now down to 1.25 million.
8:15pm: Big double up for Wilson
Brian Yip opened with a raise to 120,000 before Jason Chong made it 240,000 on the button. Action was then with Wilson Fu and he splashed all his chips into the middle defiantly. When they were stacked up, it was a total of 795,000. Yip then declared himself all in which was enough for Chong to get out of the way.
Yip showed J♣J♥ to be racing with Fu's A♠K♥. The first four community cards blanked 6♣9♠7♠8♥ but the K♦ found its way onto the river to keep Fu's tournament alive! He fist-pumped and gave a yell of delight as he now up to 1.8 million with Yip down to around the same mark.
8:10pm: More for Yip
Brian Yip opened with a raise to 120,000 and Jason Chong made the call. Action was checked to the river on the board of 2♣9♥6♠A♠K♥ where Yip took a stab for 150,000. Chong made the call but couldn't beat Yip's A♥4♣.
Yip moves up to 2.6 million with Chong down to 1.5 million.
8:00pm: Play resumes: Level 25, blinds 30,000-60,000, ante 5,000
7:50pm: Ten-minute break
Approximate chip counts at the break are as follows:
Thomas Ward - 2,600,000
Brian Yip - 2,400,000
Jason Cheong - 2,000,000
Victor Sheerman - 1,450,000
Wilson Fu - 650,000
Tom Alner - 620,000
7:35pm: Brian the bully
Brian Yip is starting to flex his muscle again with some preflop aggression. In a recent hand, Thomas Ward opened to 80,000 on the button, before Yip three-bet to 200,000 in the big blind. Ward came back with a four-bet to 330,000 but that didn't deter Yip who moved all in. Ward instantly folded.
Moments later, Yip three-bet jammed over the opening raise from Wilson Fu who was also quick to fold.
Yip is now back up over two million in chips.
7:20pm: Frank Maley eliminated in 7th place
A monstrous pot has just erupted across the Tasman Sea with New Zealand's Thomas Ward going to war with Australian Frank Maley.
It started with a large raise to 135,000 from Maley from under the gun. Action folded to Ward in the small blind who three-bet the minimum to 230,000. Maley called and they saw a flop of 6♦6♥T♠.
Ward led out for 200,000 and Maley called as the J♦ hit the turn. Ward bet again, this time for 350,000 but Maley quickly called for the all-in triangle as he committed all of his chips.
"That's such a sick turn card!" exclaimed Ward to his rail before announcing a call with T♦T♣ for a full house. Ward clearly was worried about pocket jacks, but Maley only had one of those as his A♥J♥ was in trouble. The river was the 8♠ and after a countdown of chips, Maley was covered and eliminated in 7th place for HK$206,000 in prize money.
Ward now has a huge lead over the final six with a stack of 3.3 million for about one-third of the total chips in play.
7:10pm: Perfect tens for Chong
Action folded to Brian Yip on the button and he put maximum pressure on the short stacks in the blinds by announcing himself all in. Tom Alner folded from the small, but Jason Chong threw his head back before making the call with T♣T♥ in the big blind. That was a bad hand for Yip who opened K♥T♠.
The board was spread A♦4♥8♠6♦5♠ to see Chong double up to around 1.6 million with Yip now at 1.85 million.
7:00pm: Joao Pedro de Castro eliminated in 8th place
Just moments after we lost our first player, we're now down two following the elimination of Portugal's Joao Pedro de Castro.
de Castro moved all in for around 500,000 from middle position with Q♦J♠ but found a quick call from Frank Maley who opened A♥K♥.
The board would run out 8♥6♦K♠A♠Q♣ to see Maley make two pair which was more than enough to eliminate de Castro from the tournament. de Castro picks up HK$158,000 for 8th place.
6:55pm: Shinichi Takenouchi eliminated in 9th place
It's taken over an hour for someone to crack but finally we've lost our first player of the final table. It was a multi-way pot that did the damage with Tom Alner raising to 80,000, picking up Thomas Ward and Shinichi Takenouchi as callers.
The trio took a flop of 3♥2♣5♥ and action checked around to Ward who bet 85,000. Takenouchi called out of the big blind as Alner escaped.
The turn brought the 2♦ and Takenouchi checked to Ward who bet 190,000. Takenouchi gave the triangle symbol to indicate he was all in but Ward beat him into the pot with a craftily-played A♠A♦. Takenouchi found himself drawing to just two outs with 3♣7♣.
The river was the 6♣ as Takenouchi leaves us in 9th place for HK$126,578 in prize money. Meanwhile Ward is now up to 1.9 million in chips as one of our chip leaders.
6:50pm: Level 24, blinds 20,000-40,000, ante 5,000
6:45pm: Chip count update
Brian Yip - 2,200,000
Victor Sheerman - 1,700,000
Thomas Ward - 1,050,000
Jason Chong - 900,000
Tom Alner - 850,000
Frank Maley - 800,000
Shinichi Takenouchi - 750,000
Wilson Fu - 680,000
Joao Pedro de Castro - 525,000
6:40pm: Double up for Chong
Tom Alner raised the button to 60,000 before Jason Chong moved all in from the small blind. Alner asked for a count - it was another 350,000 - before he made the call with K♣T♣. Chong showed A♥8♣.
The board fell 9♦9♣2♥7♣3♦ and despite picking up a flush draw on the turn, Alner was unable to connect on the river. Chong doubles to 900,000 with Alner back to 850,000.
6:35pm: Big slick strikes for Yip
Shinichi Takenouchi is on the slide after losing a big pot to Brian Yip. Takenouchi opened with a button raise to 60,000 before Yip three-bet to 150,000 from the small blind. Tom Alner folded his big blind but Takenouchi made the call.
The flop landed 2♦Q♥7♣ and both players checked as the 3♠ hit the turn. Yip checked and Takenouchi took the opportunity to bet 150,000. Yip made the call as the K♥ appeared on the river. Yip liked the looks of that card as he led out for 250,000. Takenouchi quickly called but mucked when Yip tabled A♠K♦ for the rivered top pair.
Takenouchi shook his head as he slips to 550,000 with Yip now well over the two million chip mark.
6:20pm: Sheerman takes one from Shinichi
Shinichi Takenouchi opened with an early-position raise to 60,000 with Wilson Fu and Victor Sheerman making the call to see a flop of K♥3♦4♠.
Sheerman checked from the big blind and Takenouchi followed up with a bet of 75,000. Fu folded but Sheerman made the call. The 3♣ found its way onto the turn and both checked to see the 5♥ complete the board.
Sheerman led out for 140,000 and Takenouchi made a crying call, only to muck when Sheerman opened K♦9♦ for kings up. Takenouchi is down to 1.15 million with Sheerman now challenging for the lead with 1.8 million.
6:10pm: Kicker problems for Yip
Brian Yip was first into the pot with a raise from the button to 60,000. Tom Alner made the call in the small blind and the two took a flop of 2♣8♦5♠. Alner checked and Yip bet 60,000. Alner made the call before tapping the table again on the J♣ turn. Yip let rip with another bet, this time for 105,000. Alner thought for a bit before making the call.
The river brought the 8♠ and both players quickly checked it down.
Yip opened 7♣5♥ for a pair of fives, but he was out-kicked by Alner's A♦5♦. Alner jumps to 1.45 million with Yip still our chip leader with 1.75 million.
5:55pm: Big double for Maley
After Thomas Ward took the first pot of the final table with a four-bet shove against Brian Yip, it was Australian Frank Maley who was the first to strike a major blow.
After Joao Pedro de Castro opened to 65,000 from under the gun, Maley moved all in for a total of 175,000. Action was then with Tom Alner and he slid a total of 225,000 into the middle, with the apparent attention to re-raise. However his maths were a bit off and since it was under half of the required raise amount, it was deemed a call. It didn't matter in the end, as action folded back around the table including de Castro.
Alner opened A♠Q♥ with Maley hoping that he wouldn't need much help with his J♦J♠ as the J♥ was already an exposed card. With that card used as the first burn card, the board was spread 5♠4♥K♠6♥8♣ to see Maley double through. He's up to 450,000 and back in business.
5:50pm: Final table under way
The players have taken their seats and final table formalities are out of the way. The cards are back in the air with the clock wound back to the start of Level 23 with the blinds at 15,000-30,000 with a 5,000 ante.
5:30pm: Final Table line up
Seat 1: Joao Pedro de Castro - 590,000
Seat 2: Victor Sheerman - 1,280,000
Seat 3: Frank Maley - 185,000
Seat 4: Shinichi Takenouchi - 1,550,000
Seat 5: Brian Yip - 2,065,000
Seat 6: Tom Alner - 1,420,000
Seat 7: Jason Chong - 655,000
Seat 8: Chuanyu "Wilson" Fu - 965,000
Seat 9: Thomas Ward - 845,000
The players are just taking a quick break with play to be under way in a few moments.
5:25pm: LK Chan bubbles the final table
Jason Chong limped into the middle and Thomas Ward moved all in over the top. Action folded to LK Chan in the big blind who made the call with his own tournament life at risk. Ward opened K♣J♠ but trailed the A♥Q♥ of Chan.
The board arrived 4♦K♠T♦3♠5♣ to pair Ward's king for the knockout blow. An unfortunate run of events there for Chan who looked a very dangerous opponent, but will have to be content with HK$101,000 for 10th place.
Meanwhile Ward has gone from the verge of elimination to now be back in contention with over 700,000 chips as the players redraw for the final table.
5:15pm: Shinichi flush with chips
Perhaps a little steamed at the previous hand, Shinichi Takenouchi announced himself all in from the small blind for 615,000. LK Chan made the call in the big blind and opened T♥T♦ as Takenouchi would need to improve his A♣J♣.
The board fanned out K♣4♦9♣8♦5♣ to give Takenouchi a flush on the river for the double up to over 1.2 million. Meanwhile it's all going south for Chan at the moment as he's now down to around 350,000.
5:10pm: Level 23, blinds 15,000-30,000, ante 5,000
5:05pm: Double for Ward
Action folded to Thomas Ward on the button and he moved all in for 261,000. Shinichi Takenouchi asked for a count on the button before making the call with 7♣7♥ as Ward was in trouble with 4♣3♣.
However the poker Gods shined on Ward as the board was spread Q♠4♠A♣3♠3♦ to give Ward a full house for the double up.
4:55pm: Huge swing for Yip
A huge hand has just unfolded on Table 2. Sadly, we only got back to the tables in time to see the river action with the board reading 2♣T♥7♣9♥9♣. There was over one million chips in the middle between Brian Yip and LK Chan, with Yip moving all in for a total of 838,000.
Chan went deep into the tank, for what was close to ten minutes, as Yip sat motionless, staring at the felt. The action was stopped on the other table as Chan thought long and hard for what was the biggest pot of the tournament so far.
Eventually Chan folded as Yip rubbed his eyes and flashed the K♦.
Yip is back on top with over two million chips as Chan falls to 950,000.
4:50pm: Ward critical
Things haven't really gone right today for New Zealand's Thomas Ward, and after a couple of recent blows, he's now on the short stack.
In the first hand, Jason Chong raised the button to 50,000 before Ward three-bet to 120,000 in the small blind. Brian Yip folded his big blind but Chong responded with a four-bet to 200,000. Ward gave it up.
Moments later and Ward tangled with Yip on a board of 9♠K♦8♥A♦7♠. With a healthy pot already in the middle, Ward led for 110,000 on the river before Yip announced himself all in. Ward thought long and hard but eventually gave it up.
It's not quite emergency ward time, but it's getting critical as Ward slips to 300,000.
4:35pm: Cao cut
The short-stacked Franky Cao is on the rail in 11th place. We didn't catch the action but it was recalled to us that Cao was all in with ace-seven against the pocket sixes of Tom Alner. The board bricked out to eliminate Cao as Alner climbed to a tournament-leading 1.7 million in chips.
4:25pm: All over for Ohyama
While Frank Maley was busy three-bet shoving on multiple occasions on Table 1, a big clash unfolded on Table 2 with Jason Chong and Akira Ohyama getting their chips in preflop.
Chong held A♠K♣ and had Ohyama covered with his A♦Q♦.
Ohyama's rail were calling for a queen, and although they got their wish, the final board of T♦6♥J♣Q♣T♥ would see Chong make a Broadway straight to send Ohyama home in 12th place.
4:15pm: Chip count update
Victor Sheerman - 1,400,000
Frank Maley - 200,000
Franky Cao - 180,000
Joao Pedro de Castro - 520,000
Tom Alner - 1,560,000
Chuanyu Fu - 470,000
Jason Chong - 365,000
Thomas Ward - 650,000
Brian Yip - 1,150,000
Akira Ohyama - 400,000
Shinichi Takenouchi - 1,180,000
LK Chan - 1,350,000
4:10pm: Play resumes: Level 22, blinds 12,000-24,000, ante 4,000
4:00pm: Ten-minute break
The remaining 12 players are off to take their first break of the day.
4:00pm: Wee Tan eliminated on the break
On the final hand before the break, Wee Tan was eliminated in 13th place. The details are sketchy but we believe that Tan shoved with ace-nine, and Tom Alner called with ace-jack. A jack on board was more than enough to Alner to send Tan to the exit.
3:40pm: One Chong doubles, the other busts
Jason Chong has landed a much-needed double up. After Brian Yip opened under the gun to 40,000, Chong three-bet all in from the big blind for another 128,000 on top. Yip made the call with an ambitious J♥7♥ but held live cards against Chong's A♥K♥.
The board ran out 5♥K♠T♣4♥K♦ to get Chong back to around 370,000.
Meanwhile on the other table we've lost Chong Tan. He was all in preflop with ace-six against Wee Tan's pocket sevens. Chong Tan couldn't find any help on board and was sent to the cashier in 14th place.
3:25pm: Wong gone
Kelvin Wong was sitting with around 270,000 which he moved all in from middle position. Action folded to Tom Alner in the big blind and he made the call with A♣J♣. Wong opened 6♣6♥.
The flop was a bare 7♠4♥Q♣, but the J♠ turn card paired up Alner to take the lead. Wong would need a six to stay alive but the 3♥ river wasn't it. Wong collects HK$63,300 for 15th place as Alner is now contending with the chip leaders on around 1.3 million.
3:20pm: Woe for Wu
LK Chan opened to 45,000 from under the gun and Brian Yip made the call before action passed to Chen Chin Wu in the big blind. He announced himself all in for a total of 252,000. Chan declared himself all in to force a fold from Yip, with Chan's K♣K♠ in the lead against Wu's A♦T♠.
The board ran out J♥4♦T♦8♣Q♣ which didn't offer Wu enough help as he becomes our 16th place finisher as Chan is now up to 1.4 million and looking dangerous.
3:10pm: Another double for Japan
A big double up has put Japan's Shinichi Takenouchi into contention. He was all in with 6♦6♥ against Brian Yip's A♠K♣ but the chip leader couldn't connect on the board of 7♠7♣9♦3♦T♥.
Takenouchi is up to 800,000 with Yip back to around 1.4 million.
3:05pm: Fanny falls
We've lost our last female player with Fanny Li falling in 17th place. Li limped from middle position for 20,000 before Tom Alner upped the price to 62,000 in position. Action folded back to Li who moved all in for 286,000. Alner wasn't pleased, but after a few moments of thought he committed to the call and tabled K♣Q♣. Li opened 4♥4♠ and was racing for her tournament life.
The board rolled off 3♠6♠Q♥J♦2♥ to pair the queen for Alner to eliminate Li from the tournament.
3:00pm: Level 21, blinds 10,000-20,000, ante 3,000
2:45pm: Chip leaders
Brian Yip - 1,800,000
LK Chan - 1,000,000
Victor Sheerman - 1,000,000
Akira Ohyama - 800,000
Thomas Ward - 640,000
Tom Alner - 600,000
Wee Yee Tan has landed a double up after catching a fortunate river card to stay alive. Tan was all in preflop with A♠K♠ with Chuanyu Fu making the quick call with K♥K♣. The board ran out J♣7♣6♠4♠8♠ to see Tan make a running flush for the double up.
Tan is up to 360,000 with Fu dropping to the same amount.
Meanwhile we've lost Hitesh Ruparellia from the other table. We don't have any details other than we believe Brian Yip was the one responsible as his stack is back up over 1.6 million. 17 players remain.
2:25pm: Double up for Akira
Akira Ohyama had landed a huge double up to take a chunk of chips out of the stack of chip leader Brian Yip.
Ohyama had been forced to fold twice to three-bets from Shinichi Takenouchi, but when Ohyama found A♠K♣ he was happy to commit into the middle. Yip made the call with J♦J♠ but lost the race when the board rolled off A♥Q♦6♥2♠3♣.
Ohyama's stack of 345,000 was doubled, as Yip drops back to around 1.3 million.
2:10pm: Ngok out
We've lost another player which means we're now rebalancing to our final two tables. It's another of our female players as Mei Ngok has been sent to the rail early on Day 3. She lost a crucial hand with pocket nines against pocket fives when her opponent made a straight, before getting her last chips in the middle with A♦4♣. She found herself dominated by Chuanyu Fu's A♥T♦ with the board running out T♥A♠8♣5♦A♣.
Ngok will take home HK$41,200 for 19th place.
2:05pm: Two down!
In the opening minutes of play we've already lost two players from our field of 21. On Table 2, Shinichi Takenouchi opened to 34,000 before Jason Chong moved all in over the top for 168,000. Genie Li then also announced herself all in for about 100,000 as Takenouchi got out of the way.
Chong opened 9♠9♦ to be ahead of Li's 5♣5♥. The board was spread J♠J♣3♦J♥4♦ to leave Chong to rake in the pot and eliminate Li from the Main Event.
Meanwhile over on Table 3, Fang Kai Yang was spotted shaking the hands of his tablemates as he left the table. His tournament is also over as 19 players remain.
2:00pm: Cards are in the air!
The players have taken their seats, unbagged their chips and exchanged pleasantries with their tablemates. It's time for Day 3 of the MPC Red Dragon Main Event to get under way!
We'll be starting at Level 20 with the blinds at 8,000-16,000 with a 2,000-chip ante.
It's time to crown our Red Dragon champion!
645 entrants and a Level 8 typhoon haven't stopped our remaining 21 players from reaching the final day of play here at the Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon Main Event. The atmosphere in the PokerStars LIVE Macau poker room at the City of Dreams will be at fever pitch as we see who will make our final table before crowning our new champion.
All eyes today are on youngster Brian Yip. This is his first run at a major poker championship, and with such a commanding chip lead, his biggest obstacle might be a case of the yips.
A few of the other players might have a say in that though, with some talented players still alive. LK Chan, Thomas Ward and Tom Alner are super-good players while Fanny Li is looking for back-to-back MPC final tables. Li is one of three ladies still in contention.
MPC Red Dragon Day 3 Top 10 Chip Counts
Brian Yip (Hong Kong) - 1,656,000
Lap Kay Chan (China) - 769,000
Victor Sheerman (Russia) - 760,000
Thomas Ward (New Zealand) - 740,000
Fanny Li (USA) - 691,000
Tom Alner (UK) - 527,000
Akira Ohyama (Japan) - 473,000
Chuanyu Fu (China) - 466,000
Fan Cao (China) - 414,000
Shinichi Takenouchi (Japan) - 383,000
Play kicks off at 2:00pm and we'll be here once again to bring you all the live action as it unfolds from the floor of the PokerStars LIVE Macau poker room. We hope you'll join us!
Photos by Kenneth Lim Photography courtesy of PokerStars LIVE Macau
Heath "TassieDevil" Chick is a Freelance Contributor for the PokerStars Blog.