On Day 1b of the MPC21 Red Dragon all the staff at PokerStars LIVE Macau were expecting a similar field size to Day 1A’s 213 players. So, when just 148 players hit the felt it was perhaps a little disappointing. Then, on Day 1C, it was expected that there would be somewhere around 350 players. That’s not what happened though. This time, however, there was no disappointment, just glee, as a new record for the largest Red Dragon single-day flight was set.
PokerStars LIVE Macau only has 32 tables and they were full to the brim when play started. That meant the Red Dragon had to move to alternates. Dozens of players waited for a seat to open over the first four hours of play and once every one who wanted to play had been accounted for, exactly 447 players had ponied up HK$11,000.
Added with the players from Day 1A and 1B, the total field ended up being 808. That’s the third largest field in Red Dragon history and the largest for the August edition of the Red Dragon. That field created a prize pool of HK$7,837,600 (~US$1 million), which will be spread amongst the top 108 players, while the eventual champion will pocket HK$1,667,000 (HK$215,000).
It might be a little too early to talk about the money though. After all we only just finished up with the third and final Day 1 flight. In the end there were 127 survivors on Day 1C and it was Mikal Blomlie who led the way with 169,500 in chips.
Blomlie is a Macau based Norwegian poker pro who has posted tournament results all around the world. His biggest score came in the 2013 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure where he finished 10th. Blomlie also has plenty of online results, including winning the PokerStars WCOOP player of the series just last year.
Blomlie dominated the late stages of Day 1C, moving into the chip lead when he held Q♥Q♣ and sent an opponent home who held A♥4♥, all in preflop. With so many chips and so much experience, Blomlie is going to be one to watch on Day 2 of the Red Dragon.
The closest player to Blomlie is a very familiar face in 2010 Red Dragon champion Wing Cheong Chong. It was a solid day at the felt for Chong as he finished up with 152,500 in chips. Chong clearly knows what it takes to win this very tournament, so we will also be keeping a close eye on him.
Blomlie and Chong may have ended up with the spotlight on them at the conclusion of play, but at the start of the day the spotlight was on Yohwan Lim, Gene Yu and a player by the name of MC Hot Dog.
Each of these players was garnering attention for different reasons. First we have Lim, a South Korean who is considered one of the all-time greatest video gamers. Then we have Yu, a former prominent member of the US Army Special Forces who has written an acclaimed book called “The Yellow Green Beret”.
Finally, we have MC Hot Dog.
In the west this name might sound quite humorous. In the east, that name is known as the godfather of Chinese hip-hop. Mr. Hot Dog hit the rail very late in the day, which was a good effort considering he had his pocket aces cracked by pocket kings during the first level of play. Unfortunately both Yu and Lim joined MC Hot Dog on the rail throughout the day.
The 127 players who bagged chips on Day 1C will now join up with the 52 from Day 1A and the 42 from Day 1B. That means 221 total players will be at the tables for the start of Day 2.
Blomlie, the Day 1C leader will start the day just few thousand in front of Day 1A chip leader Wei Yang. You can find the complete Day 1C survivors by clicking here, while the Day 2 seating draw can be found on the link below.
The players will be back to PokerStars LIVE Macau from 4:00pm local time on Monday. At some point on Day 2 they will burst through the bubble and start making their way towards the final table. The PokerStarsBlog will once again be on hand providing live updates, so be sure to join us then.