Fred Leung had his lucky green tie on today and that could only mean one thing - we were in for a big day ahead on Day 1c of the Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon Main Event. The PokerStars LIVE at the City of Dreams poker room was full to the brim with every table in use, including five overflow tables out of the main gaming floor.
A total of 280 players took their seats on Day 1c which boosted the total number of entrants for this event to 645. That makes it the second largest Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon in history which is an incredible achievement given the fact that a Level 8 typhoon ripped through the Philippines, Hong Kong and Macau earlier in the week.
The players would all be gunning for the stunning trophy and the HK$1,340,000 top prize and the action was fast and furious this evening. There were a number of former Macau Poker Cup winners in the field but Julian Hasse, Victor Chen, Patrick Lee, Kitty Kuo, Nicky Tao Jin and the defending champion Terry Fan were all casualties from today's flight.
Fan in particular was a little unlucky after getting dragged into a limped pot from the big blind with the old deuce-seven, only to be greeted with a 2-2-A flop. Fan check-raised all in and got a call from a player with ace-ten, but an ugly ace appeared to wipe out Fan's chances of back-to-back MPC crowns.
Others to fall today were Kenny Wong, Daren Yoon, Kenny Shih, Nick Wong and Jay Tan.
As the clock ticked into the hours of the early morning, things started to get a little crazy. It was pure entertainment, and the sort of action we've come to love here in Macau.
First there was the story of the big stack going all in from under the gun without looking at his cards. His timing was off as he found three callers, including both pocket aces and pocket kings! The big stack squeezed the old 9♣6♠ but sadly wasn't able to crack the aces.
The crazy action continued a short time later when we saw a four-way all-in preflop clash. It was aces, queens, sixes and ace-jack with Jason Cheng spiking a set of queens to get all the biscuits in an insane triple elimination!
However the story of the day was with Guan-Yu "Gary" Chen. A massive cooler saw Chen sitting quietly with a full house as action exploded in front of him with one opponent holding a straight and the other a flush. It's the sort of position we all dream of. It catapulted Chen to a massive stack which he was able to nurse all the way to the end-of-day chip lead.
Chen bagged up 215,600 which will put him top of the pops when play resumes on Day 2. Others to enjoy strong days on the felt include Raiden Kan (187,200), Tao Li (130,700), Fang Kai Yang (124,200), Sailesh Verma (123,800), Jia Cheng Chong (115,500), Manami Hayamizu (111,700) and Junzhong Loo (107,300).
Also through to Day 2 is Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang. After cracking aces with a flopped set, Huang climbed up the counts early on, but went a little quiet later on in the day. Still, he was able to bag up 43,500 which will see him in contention when play resumes tomorrow.
We'll be back in the PokerStars LIVE at the City of Dreams poker room in Macau at 2:00pm Saturday (GMT+8) as the remaining 168 players come together for the first time for Day 2 of the Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon Main Event. We look forward to your company then!
Photos by Kenneth Lim Photography courtesy of PokerStars LIVE Macau
Heath "TassieDevil" Chick is a Freelance Contributor for the PokerStars Blog.