Once again the surviving players are exiting the PokerStars Macau poker room at the Grand Waldo Entertainment just shy of getting to witness the sun rising. Last night marked the beginning of the second and final Day 1 flight here in the Macau Poker Cup: Red Dragon Main Event and boy was it a big night of poker.
Beginning with 279 players taking to the felt, the early chatter around the tables was the impressive field size this event had drawn. With 253 players partaking on Day 1a, and together with the Day 1b number, a very solid total field of 532 players created a HK$5,222,325 prize pool. Of that amount HK$1,123,000 is reserved for the eventual champion. Interestingly, that makes this very Red Dragon Main Event the second largest in the series’ long and illustrious history.
The day started with several of the most recognisable faces in Asian poker including the likes of Team PokerStars Pros Bryan Huang, Celina Lin and Vivian Im, along with Macau regulars Darren Judges, Dan Sing, Sparrow Cheung, Juicy Li, Jacky Wang, Kim Gap Young, Akira “Clutch Hero” Ohyama, recent ACOP Main Event champion Xing Zhou, 2011 Asia Player of the Year Hung-Sheng Lin, and Macau Poker Cup Championship victor Raiden Kan.
One player who sauntered in late and managed to turn heads at almost every poker table was 10-time WSOP bracelet winner Johnny Chan. Unfortunately for poker fans, and us here in the media, Chan wouldn’t be able to survive the night.
Plenty of the aforementioned players joined Chan on the rail on Day 1b, including Kim Gap Young, Darren Judges, Hung-Sheng Lin and Zing Zhou, while unfortunately Team PokerStars Pros Celina Lin and Bryan Huang also found the exit door throughout the day.
Huang’s story was a simple all-in preflop holding ace-king and not managing to improve against an opponent’s pocket kings, while Lin’s story was a little more complicated. The end of Lin’s tournament started saw Lin get all her chips in holding pocket queens on a 7♦9♣4♣ flop. Lin’s lone opponent held A♣7♣ and managed to hit a flush on the river to send Lin home. Following the elimination of Huang and Lin, it was only Vivian Im who survived Day 1b as she will now join Raymond Wu for tomorrow’s Day 2 action.
Towards the end of any day of a poker tournament, us in the media must try and track the big chip stacks. This is an obvious job, but it’s also very important because we need to tell the photographers who to take a photo of. Tonight that was a very hard task.
During the last level there were several players with stacks of just over 100,000 in chips.
We didn’t know who was going to be the chip leader, and so we made sure photos of all of these players were taken. For a moment it looked like Jinjie Yan was going to be the leader with 109,300 in chips, but he ended up being pipped at the post by Zhu Hong with 109,800. All in all it was 87 players who survived Day 1b and they will join the 70 players from Day 1a, meaning 157 players will return on Day 2.
With Day 2 starting in just a few hours’ time at 3.00pm, we are off to try and get some shut eye! Make sure to click the links above to see the Day 2 seating draw and the official end-of-day 1b chip counts. Join us again… Later today!