The three starting flights of the Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon Main Event are now over, and competition at the event, as always, has been intense.
It was a slow start to the event, with only 134 players turning out for Day 1a, but they quickly warmed up as a total of 645 players turned out for all of the starting flights. The amount of casualties fell like dominoes, however, with just 168 players making the cut to the second day of the event.
The top of the current chip ladder is dominated by Chinese and Taiwanese players, with Guan Yu Chen leading the remaining field in a big way. The Taiwanese poker pro finished Day 1c with a stack of 215,600 chips to his name, making him the only player going into the second day of play with over 200,000 chips.
Hong Kong’s Raiden Kan is second on the chip ladder going into Day 2. He finished the last starting flight with 187,200 chips after giving himself a nice little boost just before the end of play. Kan flopped a Full House while his opponent flopped Three of a Kind. That led Kan’s opponent to go all in after Kan initially bet 4,000. Kan snap called and added a few more chips to his already big stack.
Another Hong Kong player, Brian Long Yip, is third on the chip ladder, with a stack of 180,900. Yip dominated play on the second starting flight to finish was the huge stack, putting himself in a solid position for the remaining days of the tournament.
The difference in the stack sizes between the ‘Big Three’ and the remaining field is quite large, with China’s Tao Li having the fourth largest stack. He will have 130,700 going into the second day of play, 50,000 chips less than Yip.
That means very little at this stage of the game, however. As most of us have seen many times before, it only takes one good or bad play for the tide to change dramatically in a major event like the Red Dragon. With two days left in the tournament, most players are still in with a good chance of taking out the event.
One player who will not have that chance is April’s Red Dragon winner Terry Fan. The Taiwanese player was knocked out of the event in the late stages of Day 1c after moving all in on the flop with trip Twos. His opponent called with Aces and Twos and it looked like Fan might have been in line for a double up. It was not to be, however, as another Ace came on the board to give his opponent a higher Full House.
Another notable player who was eliminated during the starting flights was PokerStars pro and Macau Poker Cup regular Celina Lin, who was eliminated on Day 1b of the Main Event. Lin’s story was similar to that of Fan, as she also went all in after flopping trips, in her case trip Eights.
Her opponent was behind with a pair of Queens, but ended up winning the hand after another Queen came on the river. That quickly put an end to Lin’s hopes of winning the Main Event, but she did win the first tournament of the Macau Poker Cup, which should be some consolation to her.
Competition is set to heat up even more on the second day of the main event as players aim to make it to the third and last day of play and ultimately take out the top HK$1,340,000 (around $172,810) cash prize. It likely won’t be the end of the world if they fall a bit short of that though, with the top 77 players at this event all getting paid.
Day 2 of the Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon Main Event is set to take place tonight at the PokerStars LIVE at the City of Dreams.