We said earlier in the week that records were made to be broken when it comes to poker in Macau. Well, that ambition has quickly become reality overnight as the Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon has obliterated the previous record for this event.
The previous high mark of 635 players has been dwarfed as a total of 891 players took part in the 18th running of the MPC Red Dragon with 394 players turning up on Day 1c alone. Clearly the move to the new PokerStars LIVE poker room at the City of Dreams has proven to be a popular one.
The field was so large that Danny McDonagh, PokerStars Director of Live Poker Operations in the Asia-Pacific, was forced to lock out the event early with over 100 alternates needing to be seated.
"This far exceeds our wildest expectations." said McDonagh, as he and his PokerStars Live staff are to be commended for such a remarkable result.
The top 108 players will share in HK$8,746,412 (US $1.1M) prize pool, with the champion to receive the stunning Red Dragon trophy along with HK$1,771,000 (US $228,000) in prize money.
Some of the notables in the Day 1c field included Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang and Team PokerStars Online Naoya Kihara, Vincent Rubianes, Jordan Westmorland, Stephen Chidwick, Raiden Kan, Kitty Kuo, Joseph Cheong, Dan Kelly, Sangeeth Mohan, Nam Le, Winfred Yu, Julian Hasse, Lacey Jones, former Aussie Millions champ Oliver Speidel, Asia Player of the Year Yosuke Sekiya and the reigning Red Dragon champion Yoshitaka Okawa. However the official shuffle up and deal honours were given to Taiwanese rapper MC HotDog.
Such is the nature of tournament poker, most of those failed to progress through the day as just 103 players survived the carnage. It was Filipino Gie Reyes (pictured) who emerged half way through the day as one of the big stacks, and it was a position he never let go as he cruised through the day as the only player in excess of 200,000 in chips.
Reyes will now carry the chip lead into Day 2 where a long day is expected with 232 players returning to try and reach the money and then push towards the final table.
Top 10 Chip Counts entering Day 2
Gie Reyes (Philippines) - 204,000
Gerardo Lubas (Philippines) - 183,900
Jianning Xu (China) - 167,500
Sailesh Lohia (India) - 164,500
Zhenwu Wang (China) - 161,700
Ka Ho Chiu (Hong Kong) - 150,600
Teck Soon Leu (Singapore) - 138,600
Kenny Wong (Hong Kong) - 137,300
Kelvin Lau (Malaysia) - 136,100
Aodi Zhang (China) - 134,000
Stay tuned to Poker Asia Pacific as we bring you daily recaps of all the action at the Macau Poker Cup.
* Information and photo courtesy of the PokerStars Blog
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- Title: Macau Poker Cup: Records smashed in Red Dragon Main Event
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- Date: 10:59 AM